Monday, May 31, 2004

WWII Propaganda Poster Tribute

Both of my grandfathers fought in WWII. I never met my mother's father. He was Marine killed in action in the Pacific. My mother was only 4 years old when he died. My father's father was in the Army Air Corps and flew bombers. He never saw action. He later went career and retired to Colorado Springs after serving in the SAC for many years. My father was a Marine. He served between Korea and Vietnam.

I'm proud of them. All of them. On this memorial day I wish I had the chance to know my grandfather, to thank him. I wish the Japs hadn't bombed Pearl Harbor. I wish the Nazis hadn't decided to conquer Europe. I wish Communists hadn't tried to dominate the world. I wish Islamofascists weren't out to subjugate me and my family to sharia law. But I will never forget that it is THEY who are to blame. My parents generation were told never to forget December 7. We should never forget September 11.

How did they maintain their will to fight through four tough years? The following is a tribute to them. The originals can be found here. We might learn the hard lessons of war from these images.

Avenge September 11

We Are All in the War On Terror All the Way

Poke Fun of Thine Enemy

Deliver Us From the Axis of Evil

This Means You Chomsky

I Said Shut Up Chomsky!!

I'm Serious Chomsky, Shut Up!!

Yes, This is a Threat Chomsky!!

Read #2 Drudge

The "G" Word

Jawas Execute Nick Berg-We'll Get You Jawas!

Boohoo! What About Prescription Drugs?

Why We Fight!

When the UN was an Ally to Freedom

CNN Infobabe?

Al Sadr is Watching You

Events start wars. People win wars. Never forget, never surrender.

Update: Shamelessly linked at the underemployed PhD's Beltway Jam

Freedom Of Stupid Speech

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi, in exile from Iran where she is wanted for blasphemy, uses her new found freedom of speech to say this:
...terms such as "Islamic terrorism" should not be used....
Right, perhaps Zen Buddhist terrorist would be more to her liking?
Ebadi also told the audience not to believe in the theory of a clash of civilizations. "That is used to justify war," she said
Insert head in sand.

Quote of the Day...

...or, what are they putting in the Kimchi these days?
I became a Muslim because I felt Islam was more humanistic and peaceful than other religions.
More on the Religion of Peace here and here. But don't worry, no tautologies here.

Libertarian or Conservative?

I have often asked myself this question. Thanks to this little quiz (via Ian at Inoperable Terran) I am closer to answering it:
16: A cup with that only contains half a cup of water is...

CONS[ervative]: half full.

LIB[era]L: half empty.

L[i]B[e]RT[arian]: an example of shortages caused by government control of our water supply.

COMM[unist]: an example of inequitable wealth distribution caused by the inherent social injustice in free enterprise.
A: Libertarian.

Sunday, May 30, 2004

No Wife and No TV Make Rusty A Something Something

Mrs. Shackleford is out of town, along with Jr. Shackleford and Little Miss Shackleford. The TV is out. What's a heterosexual to do? Blog. The only good thing to come out of the crisis is that I didn't have to watch the humiliating defeat of the Lakers Saturday night.

So, in my dull-boy state I have been relegated to surfing the old blogosphere. These are all blogs I actually read on a semi-regular basis. Here's all the news that's fit for Jews (except Rick James)!

If I was to vote for a Democrap, it would definitely be this 'tard who confirms that Al Gore was a recent victim of a bioterrorism attack. I think I just rented that movie starring Awana Suckdiqui, Coop.

It looks like Allah may be back. I've missed him. Mostly 'cause I like to troll around his site hoping to hook up with one of those virgins that constantly surround his posse.

BRD hooked me up with P.J. O'Rourke's musings. Did I just say I hooked up with P.J. O'Rourke? Yeah, I know MB2, you were 'into' O'Rourke long before it was cool.

Speaking of gay Freudian slips, his Grand Maximum Flashness over at Nakedvillainy has the goods on that film, based on this screenplay written by Homer Simpson, about this guy, dressed in a skirt, who has this hot wife, who sleeps around, and her name was Washingtonienne or something, and her face was so hot that the dude launches a thousands ships, so that he could fight USC....I think it's called "The Bus That Couldn't Stop." Fight On! (Doh!)

What can you say about a guy who lives in a country that doesn't celebrate America's Memorial Day? Commie! P.S.-Can I get a loan?

And since it's Memorial Day, you better have a gander over at what Eric the Slightly Neurotic Monk has to say. Note the lingo of 1868 and the gratuitous use of the word "traitor." Fascist Andrew Johnson administration!

How does a Jew celebrate Memorial Day? He does exactly what the ZOG wants him to do, biyatch! Evil is as evil does.

And speaking of the ZOG mouthpiece, pretender to the throne Misha I waxes poetic in defense of the homefront. Not the usual diatribe, but the post is 99.9% free of all non-puppy meat (except Rick James)!

Need some poetry for this Memorial Day picnic? Jeff Goldstein will not be invited to the annual shin-dig up at Chappaquiddick. I guess since I'm an octoroon I'm off the list too.

What will Al Gore be doing on his weekend pass from the "farm" in Camarillo? Iowahawk suggests he will be meeting with his lawyer, Rusty Shackleford, and his other lawyer, Rusty Shackleford.

I think "they" will discuss a woman's right to terminate her mongoloid fetus, especially when Timmy becomes inconvenient. Also on the agenda: 52nd trimester abortions and the pros and cons of the Atkins Diet. Just remember, your not a Nazi for supporting eugenics IF your a Democrat.

Laurence seems to have the same problem I have. But how does an Amish heretic spend his time at an isolated Colorado hotel? Tracking flights from Florida. I got $20 on flight #2213 from Vegas being delayed!

Speaking of Vegas, thanks to MiB for the invite. Why do I have the feeling, though, that the only thing we would agree on would be a quick trip to the Bunny Ranch.

And those are all the links fit to dump (except Rick James).
[Note to self: Get a Life]

All Your Terrorists Are Belongs To Them!

Via the Grand Vizier I found this "interesting" statement from Crown Prince Abdullah:
Those who keep silent about terrorists will be regarded belonging to them
*giggle* *snort* *cough* Who needs Comedy Central when you have Abdullah!?!

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Does Dershowitz Sanction Killing al Jazeera Reporters?

From the Miracles Never Cease to Happen File comes word, via James over at OTB, that Alan Dershowitz may be cogent after all:
The time has come to revisit the laws of war and to make them relevant to new realities. If their ultimate purpose was to serve as a shield to protect innocent civilians, they are failing miserably, since they are being used as a sword by terrorists who target such innocent civilians. Several changes should be considered:

First, democracies must be legally empowered to attack terrorists who hide among civilians, so long as proportional force is employed. Civilians who are killed while being used as human shields by terrorists must be deemed the victims of the terrorists who have chosen to hide among them, rather than those of the democracies who may have fired the fatal shot.

Second, a new category of prisoner should be recognized for captured terrorists and those who support them. They are not "prisoners of war," neither are they "ordinary criminals." They are suspected terrorists who operate outside the laws of war, and a new status should be designated for them - a status that affords them certain humanitarian rights, but does not treat them as traditional combatants

Third, the law must come to realize that the traditional sharp line between combatants and civilians has been replaced by a continuum of civilian-ness. At the innocent end are those who do not support terrorism in any way. In the middle are those who applaud the terrorism, encourage it, but do not actively facilitate it. At the guilty end are those who help finance it, who make martyrs of the suicide bombers, who help the terrorists hide among them, and who fail to report imminent attacks of which they are aware. The law should recognize this continuum in dealing with those who are complicit, to some degree, in terrorism.

Fourth, the treaties against all forms of torture must begin to recognize differences in degree among varying forms of rough interrogation, ranging from trickery and humiliation, on the one hand, to lethal torture on the other. They must also recognize that any country faced with a ticking-time-bomb terrorist would resort to some forms of interrogation that are today prohibited by the treaty.
The third point is especially well-taken. We are in a war with not only the fish, but also with the sea in which the fish swim. I saw on CNN, a couple of days ago, a guy trying to estimate the number of al Qaeda operatives. His estimate? Between one and two-thousand. Obviously he was trying to downplay the recent ISS report that estimated about 18,000 al Qaeda world-wide. The policy implication from the talking head on CNN was that the al Qaeda threat was not nearly as grave as widely believed. But how did he count "al Qaeda" members? He included in his estimate only those who had completed actual military training in Afghani camps, and who then had been formally invited into the ranks of the organization. In this man's estimation, only those who were shown the secret handshake, given the ritual spanking, and given the keys to the secret cabal cave are "al Qaeda." This definition seriously distorts the nature of the WOT and of terrorism in general.

Muslims and their dhimmis have a vested interest in narrowing the definition of "terrorist" precisely because so many have deep sympathies for those engaged in jihad. Using Dershowitz's definition automatically puts a whole bunch of people in a new category that is no longer "civilian" and presumably means that they are legitimate targets of military action under some conditions (what those conditions are, Dershowitz doesn't really say). But he is exactly right, and this has deeper implications than I believe even Dershowitz foresees.

For instance, certainly al Jazeera is quite up front in their animosity towards the US and in their support of killing non-Muslim non-combatants. Further, they intentionally incite Muslims to kill the "occupying forces" in Iraq. Under Dershowitz's definition could we finally take military action against al-Jazeera? Would we be justified, under this new international law, in bombing al Jazeera's headquarters? Would the rules of engagement be changed so that open season could be declared on those reporters giving al Sadr the bully-pulpit he needs to incite his ranks to kill? If so--then brace yourself--I think such a move would be a good thing. As I have said on numerous occasions, people believe what they see on TV. The propaganda put out by al Jazeera is so odiously bad that it leads directly to the death of American soldiers and civilians. If America was as evil as it is portrayed in many Islamic media, then wouldn't you also feel justified at trying to bring about our downfall? Even if that means intentionally killing a few civilians in the effort?

James makes a minor point, though, in his post which I feel needs some commentary:
I essentially agree with Dershowitz on these points, although I would note that legal accountability and popular sentiment don't always go hand-in-hand.
Of course he's right. However, it seems to me that there is a significant portion of the population that believes that what is legal is that which is right. I'm sure this applies to none of my readers, but I know a lot of idiotspeople who think they are compelled to defend abortion simply because it is legal. That is, the law has at least some effect on people's perception of the morality of actions.

Further, there is significant propaganda value for our enemies in maintaining the Geneva convention in its current form. As bad as the images coming out of Abu Ghraib were, the charge of "breaking the Geneva convention" carries a grave and deep connotation. "See," they said, "the US does not live up to its International obligations. Cowboy Bush is a renegade. The US is outside the world community, etc. etc." I'm sure that if we had footage of other tactics that we routinely apply in the WOT that the charge of the US being an outlaw in the family of nations would carry even more weight.

Changing the status of what we de facto already do to a de jure recognition that some tactics in the WOT must be different than those of past wars would give us significant propaganda value. As I have reiterated over and over again, events may galvanize us to war, but it is propaganda that gives the populace the fortitude to see it through to its bloody end. As we are already seeing, many have been convinced that our actions in Iraq are immoral and therefore unworthy of popular support. If we are to maintain support for the broader war, then we ought also give legal sanction to the tactics necessary to win it.

Imperial Propoganda

Known Imperial lackey Victor Davis Hanson has a friend, and he's an excellent writer. From this post over at VDH's website, Bruce Thornton makes these keen observations:
But if the media are really, as they claim, merely "objective" recorders of the facts, then surely they would at least cover the negative and positive facts equally. Indeed, one could argue that in the context of war, civilian deaths or abuse of detainees isn't really "news" but an unfortunate constant of war. What is really "news" in Iraq is that the U.S. military has taken remarkable steps to minimize civilian casualties, and is attempting an unprecedented task: to destroy an enemy and rebuild a society simultaneously. Certainly that wasn't the tack taken in WWII, when Japan and Germany were literally destroyed before the task of rebuilding began.

The "news" in Iraq, then, isn't the behavior of the prison guards, for such brutality occurs every day in every prison in America. If there had been a cover-up, then that would be newsworthy, but the only reason the media know about the story is because the military initiated an investigation. What the whole sorry episode shows is not the failure of the military or the administration, but rather the constant reality of evil in human hearts, an evil that war has always provided an excuse to indulge. That out of 150,000 troops in Iraq a dozen would be sadists should not surprise us.
Amen brother. When was the last time the national media even mentioned the deplorable conditions in Attica or Chino? What makes us different than the Baathist thugs is that torture was an institutionalized norm in the former regime. People were paid to torture. That was their job. In our military, soldiers are arrested for doing things that only resemble torture. Go read the whole article.

Fun With Search Engines

From our vast army of paid Imperial informants comes the latest and greatest in search engine referrals. You can't make this stuff up!

From a Norwegian search engine: female handjobs [Note to self: never tell a bawdy joke in Norwegian in a post again]

Top Google/Netscape referrals: "Jessica Cutler", Adam Yahiye Gadahn, senator jessica cutler nude pic [Google India], real number "mind tricks" [Google UK] [Note to Self: write post about how Senate aid Jessica Cutler used real number mind tricks to have a nude love affair with terror suspect, and lead singer for Ratt, Adam Yahiye Gadahn]

[Note to AOL user who keeps searching for "my pet jawa" & "Rusty Shackleford": If you are trying to 'out' me by revealing my true identity feel free to e-mail in private where I'll tell you my real name. You know, it would only kill any chance I had at getting tenure, ruin my life, and cause Mrs. Shackleford to run off with her homo-native-American-new-age-healer. So, no problem. I'd be happy if you outted me!]

Friday, May 28, 2004

Blogging for Freedom

Asher at Dreams into Lightning and Jane over at Armies of Liberation are on a crusade to end slavery and genocide. No, not "neo-colonial wage-labor slavery" Chomsky. Real slavery. You know, where you can be bought and sold as Chattel. And what nation still tolerates slavery? Sudan. Not only do the Sudanese keep slaves, they are also responsible for genocide against Black Africans in the South.

The good news is that thanks to a massive letter writing campaign the dhimmis over at the U.N. are finally admitting something ought to be done. Let's keep the coals burning under the feet of the Rebel Alliance, shall we? Here is the e-mail. Please help if you can:
Thank you all for your efforts in attempting to forestall another civilian genocide. It is gratifying that at least the bloggers have learned the lesson of Rwanda.

From CNN:

"A spokeswoman for Kofi Annan said the U.N. secretary-general will focus on stemming the fighting in western Sudan, where the lives of hundreds of thousands of people are threatened. Annan has been flooded with requests from people across the world beseeching him to provide emergency assistance to end the killing in Darfur, spokeswoman Marie Okabe told reporters Thursday."

Over one million people are currently in the desert without food, water, shelter, medicine, or protection from Sudanese militias. Several hundred thousand are estimated to die within months through direct slaughter, and starvation and disease as the Sudanese government continues to block food, medicine, monitors and the media. They each have a face and a family.

This link sends emails to:

Consul General of France Richard Duque
Consul General of Italy Pierluigi Squillante
Consul-General for UK Sir Thomas Harris KBE CMG
Minister of Foreign Affairs for Norway Jan Petersen
Minister of Foreign Affairs for Uganda Hon. James Wapakhabulo
Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Sudanese Ambassador to US Khidir Haroun Ahmed
Swiss Ambassador to US Raymond Loretan
US President George Bush

For more information go HERE

Please keep in mind that the recent peace deal ending the civil war has no impact on the Darfur region which is a separate conflict. The one million people dying in the monsoon will gain no relief from the peace deal. Hopefully they will gain relief from us or gain it a day sooner.

Thanks, from Jane

With Thanks to Asher

WW Conspiracy Revealed!

Der Commissar has the goods on Jessica Cutler and Wonkette and he makes a compelling case for collusion. Perhaps an anti-trust lawsuit is in order? Since the get-go you may recall that I wasn't buying. The blogosphere seems to be lining up for or against the Commie-Pinko Bastard's theory anyway. In Oliver Stone's corner we have: Bill at INDC, Michael at the Calico Cat, and Seldom who seems more Sober than usual. On Carl Sagan's side:Tom at The Media Drop, David at In Search of Utopia, and Wizbang's Kevin who spends far too much time looking at National Geographic centerfolds.

Anyway, there is an even more compelling reason to believe a great deal of Miss Cutler's trists are at least partial fabrications: she writes like a man. A close textual analysis reveals her writing style is no different than all the "ladies" who write into Penthouse Forum. Or at least, she writes like a man pretending to be a woman--or a woman who is a charicature of a woman pretending to be a woman so she can intrigue a mostly male audience--or something along those lines.

Does this sound familiar?

Dear Penthouse Forum,
You'll never believe this story, but I swear it's true!
RS called last night. He had a visitor flying in from NYC who was stuck in a holding pattern over DC for an hour...He was bored, so he picked me up and took me back to his house. His friend arrived around 11:30pm, and was exhausted from his hellish plan ride. So Rob and I went upstairs and got ready for bed...So I get into bed and by then, it's midnight.

"What time is it?" RS asks.

"Midnight," I reply.

"Do you know what that means?"


"That means it's your birthday." And he pulls out this pink and green package, and I just know it's a new Lilly dress.
Etc., etc., etc. [Insert lurid details here, unless this is a "treatment" in which only a synopsis of the lurid details are revealed pending a book deal]

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Ratt Lead Singer Wanted on Terrorism Charges

From our vast network of paid Imperial informants comes news that former lead singer of 80's glam-rock band Ratt, Stephen Pearcy, is wanted in connection for plotting terrorist attacks in the U.S.

Above: "Adam Yahiye Gadahn" wanted by FBI

After the short-lived Ratt revival of 1994, following the tragic death of Milton Burle, Mr. Pearcy began a spiritual journey that eventually led him to the Islamic Center of Orange County (CA). It was here that he renounced his slave name (he was 1/64th African American) and became known as Adam Yahiye Gadahn. Mr. Gadahn is considered Armed and Dangerous and should be approached with extreme caution.

File: Don't Blame Islam. Ever.

From our vast army of paid Imperial informants comes this news U.S. charges radical Muslim cleric:
Abu Hamza al-Masri, the fiery Muslim cleric whose shuttered London mosque was linked to Zacarias Moussaoui and shoe bomber Richard Reid, was arrested Thursday in Britain, accused in a U.S. indictment of trying to establish a terrorist training camp in Oregon and providing aid to al-Qaida, officials said.

Al-Masri, 47, also is charged in the 11-count indictment with hostage-taking and conspiracy in connection with a December 1998 incident that killed four tourists in Yemen.
What can I say? I'm stupified. This comes as a total shock to me.

Shhhh....I'm blogging from class!

Really. I'm serious. The great thing about having computers in the class is not the fact that there's porn and stock-quotes (or even pornquotes) it's that while waiting for students to finish I can waste my time blogging. Little do the students suspect that yours truly, Dale Gribble Rusty Shackleford is the force behind this wingnut site that he treats as his Pet Jawa! Or that, under another name, he runs the Most Popular Site on the Internet. Or that in his spare time he goads the God of the Blogosphere into returning. Hey I'm only going to His mountain, until the mountain comes to Rusty.

Oho, Bide your time Rusty. There will come a day when tenure is bestowed on you, then all your crazy opinions can be aired publicly. Patience, my precious.

Hmmm. One student finished, the rest looking annoyed at the click-click of the keyboard. Switch to stealth typing mode.

Here's a question from the bonus point section of the test:
Q) Who was the first woman on the Supreme Court

A) Earl Warren.
Yes, trick questions are par for the course on bonus points. Live with it. What? Unfair? But you don't get penalized for missing it? A joke at your expense? Hmmm, yes, it is. What? Ugh. Would you like some wine to go with that cheese?

More time to kill. Let's see what is going on around the blogosphere, shall we my precious? Yes, yes, see what those nasty bloggers are saying. Yes, yes, nasty bloggers.

Jane says I'm done with the Sudan, They treat Christians like a ragdoll...She hides The blogovision, says Rusty don't owe her nothing...

The interesting thing about this post is that I just lectured yesterday on how Hitler would be a great dinner party guest. Just think of the conversation!

Aaaaarg! Kevin photoshops his way into getting 72 virgins, proving he's got THE FUNNY.

Four more students much more surfing can be done?

Let's go see what Aaron is up to. Oops, it looks like he's on Shabbatical.

Iowahawk proves, once again, why I suck and he rules. I think I heard this speech last week at commencement dude! I'm not joking. I'm being totally seriously. You should have called patent pending.

The Grand Vizier is back, little Greeks, and it seems Mrs. Grand Vizier has a bun in the oven. Congrats! Did I mention that Mrs. Shackleford is in the family way too? I hope this one takes more after the Shackleford side of the family. All the rest of our kids kind of look like my wife's gay Indian licensed New Age Therapist. Did I mention he was gay?

Two more students to go. How much more can be surfed?

What is Misha up to these days? Ah, the "bad news" keeps getting worse out of Iraq, eh Mish? Nice rant, near perfect. A- (for lack of commentary on how this will affect Jessica Cutler's career).

One more student to he comes. Back to work. (apologies for any grammatical mistakes)

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Terrorists in the US -- Jessica Cutler Unavailable For Comment

From our vast network of paid Imperial informants comes news not related to the libido of female bloggers in DC, US says al-Qaeda ready to hit "hard":
Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda is poised to stage a new strike on the United States, Attorney General John Ashcroft said as authorities launched a public hunt for seven "armed and dangerous" suspects.
Jessica Cutler was unavailable for comment on how this would affect her much discussed sex life.

The Justice Department released the following pictures of suspects wanted in conjunction with plots to commit terrorist activities in the US.

ABOVE: Jessica Cutler not among suspected terrorists

In related terrorism news, Terry Nichols convicted of murder:
Nearly a decade after the Oklahoma City bombing, Terry Nichols was found guilty of 161 state murder charges Wednesday for helping carry out what was then the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil. He could get the death sentence he escaped when he was convicted in federal court in the 1990s.
Miss Cutler's publicist, Wonkette, also had no comment on the Nichols situation.

Disgusted! Horrified! Sickening! Give Me More

There is a word that I've been searching for lately...hmmm...what is it? Oh yeah, ironical. It's the only word that really gets the whole Washintonienne/Wonkette vs. Jealous Bloggers thing that's going on. If all you bloggers are so disgusted by her exploits (which I still doubt the veracity of!) then why do you continue to post about her?

Kim du Toit says that the duo "revolt [him]-- both our blogging hooker, and the hits whore." Obviously revolted to the point of silence on the blogging hooker and the hits whore. No intrigue? None?

Ace calls her a "blogger-slash-Senate Aid-slash-dirty, filthy whore." But why do I get the feeling he wouldn't mind some blogger-slash-Senate Aid-slash-dirty, filthy whore action?

Captain Ed thinks "it's a shame ... that so much attention is wasted on two young women" then proceeds to waste a thousand words on these two disgusting young women.

Say Uncle "tend[s] to not comment on these blog controversies" and then proceeds to comment.

Bill "Not Gay" from INDC says that "AT LEAST ONE OF THE TWO SHOULD BE SHUNNED, NOT CELEBRATED." Nothing like a good post to start the shunning their Bill! Well, at least he sort of admits he's titilated by the whole thing, so he's not 'all the way gay' I guess. [Apologies to Kevin Smith]

I'm sure none of these posts have helped the traffic at this website, found via Calico Cat.

The Commissar is right:
The blogosphere is bigger than it was a week ago, thanks to two Washington chick bloggers who "take it."
If Jessica Cutler disgusts you as much as it does me and all of the aforementioned bloggers, you definitely will not want to go to this site which has some pics of the disgusting woman in question and her partner in crime. Also, you won't want to go there if none of this intrigues you, disgusts you, sickens you to the point that knowing the identities of those cryptically mentioned in Jessica's weblog. Oh, and if you aren't jealous of "RS" (even in the darkest recess of the worst part of your psyches) then don't go here to find out who he is. And if you hate looking at her disgusting face in staged quasi-lesbo poses with Wonkette, then don't go here. Homos.

(Disclaimer: If all of this is very intriguing, titillating, interesting, etc., yet you know that it is WRONG to allow yourself to dwell on Jessica/Wonkette for too long--never fear! The aforementioned "Homo" accusation is not directed at you. Enjoy eternal life.)

Perspective Please

From our vast army of paid Imperial informants comes the news that we are about to cross the 800 casualty level in Iraq. A tragic number indeed! But James Joyner of OTB has this to say:
Certainly, 800 deaths is substantial. It's four times what I had predicted beforehand (I was low for the regime change phase but didn't anticipate the scope of the insurgency/terrorist aftermath). Each one of these deaths is a personal tragedy, leaving behind a lot of mourners.

But let's have a little perspective, shall we?....

We lost many times 800 in both the Mexican War and the Spanish-American War, the rationales for which are long forgotten by most.

Indeed, there are perhaps dozens of battles in American history in which we took more than 800 deaths.
Go see the numbers yourself. It's an excellent post.

For Strenth and Valour in putting it all into perspective the Emperor elevates James to the level of Sith Master. May the Dark Side of the Force be with you. Always.

Cameron from Way Off Bass makes a similar point in a post from yesterday:
more men die each year by falling down stairs or walking off cliffs than die in the military under the current administration's Evil Plan to wipe out the Healthy American Male.
For Extreme Insight into the ironicalness of leftist perception, Cameron is declared Padawan Sith apprentice.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

What's the deal with blogging?--by Jerry Seinfeld

From our vast network of paid Imperial lackey informants comes this guest editorial by comedian, and noted Joo, Jerry Seinfeld:

Hey, what is the deal with Blogger?

I mean, you build up a huge following on your blog, and then suddenly they change their URL coding so that links with a WWW prefix don't work. So your all surfing through somebodies link list and then all the blogspot addresses come up with an error message. Like, I'm surfing around the Commissar's new post hoping to see the great bargains $400 bucks will get you at the Bunny Ranch and instead of Jessica Cutler pics I get a 404--just because it's a link to a blogspot account!! What is the deal with that? I thought the whole Google buyout thing was going to be good for Blogger?

And while were speaking of Blogger, have you noticed the new template look they've got going now? Could it be any more obvious that their ripping off basic MT? It's like--"Hey, look at me with my Kelvin Klein Jeans writing my 'not-MT MT template' blog!" What is the deal with that?

And who uses Bloogger these days anyway? Except for the Imperial Lackey and known traitor, Rusty Shackleford, only a few other self-important types think they can resist the Dark Side of the Force--also known as MT. I mean, how long did it take Ace-O-Spades to jump ship? I'm telling you, Ace jumped ship faster than Leo on a Grande Latte Double Frapacino after a British nypmpho at a rave!

And the Maximum Leader at Naked Villainy? Come on. Does he really think were buying the whole made by Blogger but not on a Blogspot account thing? I mean, could it be any more 2002? It's like, "Hi, I'm the Maximum Leader, I listen to all the greates hits of 2002 in perpetuity and I create posts about my favorite drinks all on Blogger, but then FTP to another server! Carry on." What is the deal with that?

And speaking servers, what is the deal with the whole migration to URLs? I mean, what is the catch? How can a web-host make money by offering free blog hosting to everyone from the Big Brother of He Who Must Not Be Named to the hawkish BRD? It's like, "Hi, I'm and I make money by giving it away for free!" Kind of like the blonde prostitute in Vegas who thought she would get rich by giving free handjobs in the back alley behind the Flamingo. Her pimp walks up to her and asks, hey, how do you think were going make money that way? "Volume!" What is the deal with that?

The previous post was solely the work of the Mr. Seinfeld and in no way represents the opinion of Rusty Shackleford, My Pet Jawa, My Pet Jawa Enterprises, or any of its subsidiary holdings.

UPDATE: Thanks to Bill over at INDC for 'turning me on' to the Llama Butchers who also noticed the damn problem. According to them:
Blogger has rerouted all the connections without bothering to tell anybody, in effect dropping the "www" from our web addresses.
Oh the pain of redoing all of my links! To quote Jerry Seinfeld (supra):"I thought the whole Google buyout thing was going to be good for Blogger?"

Monday, May 24, 2004

Jawa School Invaded by Imperial Forces!

The Commissar has done it again with another map. This time I find myself comfortably situated half a click North of Mudville, between the Quando Canal and Emigre University, along the Esmayilia Road just West of Right Monument. Will the Blog Shia Holy City of Kablogh ever be rid of the Zionists and their Crusador lackeys?

Last Word on Mr. "C"

Wow, your network goes down and you get a record number of comments. The real surprising thing is that a good number of them made interesting challenges to my post on the dreaded "C" word (that's censorship, and it starts with "C" and it rhymes with "T" and that stands for "trouble"!). So many comments that I need to do a whole other post on them. So here goes nothing!

First off, let me thank Jane from Armies of Liberation for rushing to my defense in my prolonged absence. If you haven't gone to her site yet, well, what are you waiting for? Go.

Let me respond to MIB who was first off the mark to make this challenge, one that is pretty good:
The writer [yours truly, Rusty Shackleford] here believes that freedom of speech is a privledge, and not a right.

A right, by its nature, cannot be impinged on for any reason whatsoever. A privledge can be impinged on for any reason - or any set of guidelines can be used to impinge upon it (ie, a time of war.)
Ah, now that is the kind of level-headed challenge that is both theoretically coherent, deeply insightfully, and completely wrong. I teach my students in my Intro. to American Government class almost the same thing when we try to define a "right" to them. The unfortunate truth, though, is that it is a really pathetically simplistic definition.

Rights, under every theory of government I've studied, may be breached depending on the circumstances. For instance, if a right means what MIB thinks it means then government may never, under any circumstances, take this right away. Empirically, though, we see that this is not the case. A right to life is spoken of in the Declaration of Independence and in Locke's Second Treatise of Government. So what exactly did Jefferson and Locke mean by a "right to life"? If they meant what MIB thinks they meant then they were a rather inconsistent lot as both were the great justifiers of bloody revolution. That is, they both wrote of a "right to life" and then found ways to justify taking away one's "right" to life in battle.

Both authors also spoke of a right to "property". But this right to property was not so absolute to the Founders that property could never be taken away for any reason whatsoever. This is why the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says that property cannot be taken "without just compensation."

Another good example is the right against the government arresting you for no particular reason. In the Constitution this is enshrined in the gaurantee of the "writ of habeus corpus." That is, you would think that the government ought to be able to justify why it is holding a person in jail. However, in Article I, Sec. 9 the Constitution is clear:
The Privelege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.
So, when can the government completely forego the judicial process and jail people at a whim? In times of war. Which, I think was my original point all along. The Founders uderstood context, and they enshrined it in the Constitution. In normal times certain rights trump government interests, however, in times of war, certain social interests outweigh the interests of individuals. Rights, therefore, cannot be thought of as absolute. This is why Jefferson wrote that rights were "unalianable" and not "inalianable."

In conclusion, MIB I know that you think my:
misunderstanding of the difference between a right and a privledge is disturbing.
But I would respond by saying that I find your lack of faith in the Force...disturbing!

The only other comment, that I think deserves a long response, is from my good friend Bull by the Horn--who isn't such a bad guy once you get through all that suppressed homoerotic lust for Chomsky that he's been denying for years. I know, at least your not all the way gay! First, BBTH, good luck in the job interview. Second, a few of your comments miss the point of my earlier post. I guess I wasn't that clear--which seems pretty much par for the course. I didn't want that kid kicked out of school because the context doesn't justify it. But just because the context doesn't justify the action, doesn't mean the action (in the abstract, not in this instance) is always wrong per se. Censorship in this case was bad, not necessarily the idea of censorship in general.

There is a specific point I'd like to bring up, though, that he makes:
Support for WWII throughout the conflict was very high, international in nature, and the goals, enemies, and stakes were very clear.
A) Why was support high throughout the conflict? I maintain that a good deal of this support can be attributed to censorship and propoganda. That is to say, propoganda caused support (or at least what I perceive to be a high level of it) to be maintained throughout the war.

B) We don't know that support was high. Do you have polls to back that claim up? No. All we have are censored newspapers and propoganda films designed to bolster the very support that you claim was had. I do believe that there was high support at first, but for how long would Americans tolerate thousands of troops dying every month? Censorship was imposed not only to keep vital information out of the hands of the enemy, but to bolster public morale and support of the war at home. It worked.

C) What does the fact that the effort was international have to do with anything? It's a non-sequitor. The Axis effort was also international in nature. The invasion of Poland was international in nature. The Thirty Years War was international in nature.

D) Were the stakes clear then or only now, after the end of the conflict? Prior to Hitler's backstabbing of Stalin the left-wing in the US was in lock step with the isolationists of the right. Only after the Comintern declared Hitler an enemy did the hard left in America begin to utter disgust at what was going on in Europe. Further, why did we even fight in Europe? It was the Imperial Japanese that bombed us in Pearl Harbor. What stakes were clear to whom? The stakes only seem clear now because the historical record is biased by the propoganda of the time as well as the short-lived lovefest of convenience the left had with war when it suited comrade Stalin. It is clear to me that the war was indeed the good war, but take away censorship, propoganda, and Communist (and fellow-traveller's) support then I think real disagreement over that war's morality would still be in debate.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

The "C" Word

There's been a lot of buzz out there about the dreaded "C" word in the last few days. I didn't exactly start the discussion, but my post on a free press in a state of war has generated a lot of mixed reactions. First, let's get the easy challenges out of the way. Kevin over at decided to write a little piece on how I was a big fascist, wingnut, looney, etc. for calling for censorship. Thanks for spiking my site meter! Your argument seems to be that anyone calling for censorship is, de facto, a fascist or an authoritarian. If I do not misrepresent you, then I suppose that FDR was also a fascist? Oh, wait, maybe no one ever taught you that during WWII we had--actual,literal, government sponsored, with all that entails--censorship?

The whole point of my post was that context is everything. Freedom of speech cannot mean the same thing in a time of war that it means in a time of peace. BRD over at Anticipatory Retaliation makes a similar point. Context. Context. Context! In times of peace we generally agree that it is NOT alright to kill people. In times of war we intentionally send our fellow citizens to kill and be killed. In both cases people die, but it is the context that changes the morality of their actions. Unless you are a pacifist, you must believe that killing is sometimes justified. In my book, killing someone else is probably the most severe thing you could possibly do. When we send our fellow troops into war we are asking them not only to kill others, but also to die. The decision to go to war must be a grave one because we are sentencing a certain unknown number of our sons, daughters, husbands, wives, and friends to death. Life is the most fundamental right given to man. If we can ask them to die in our place, why can they not ask us to censor what we say so that a few more of them may live? It seems odd that one is willing to take away our soldiers right to life, but not the press’s right to run stories that may get some of our soldiers killed.

Some of you who even supported my call for some amount of censorship seem to have backtracked. Misha, the Imperial Master over at The Anti-Idiotarian Rottweiler (and with whom I almost always agree) initially supported my calls for censorship, but then seems to backtrack in this post. I might agree with him that kicking this kid (discussed in the post) out of school for a stupid poem may have been severe, but calling a principle who kicked an anti-war hippie out of school a 'Nazi' is a little over-the-top. You think a few members of the German Bund were not kicked out of school for airing their pro-Hitler views? You think a teacher or two were not fired because of their love for Tojo? On top of that, you think they didn’t use the exact same ‘freedom of speech’ argument these two are making? Whether or not what the kid did in this case was so bad as to actually put our troops or public morale at risk is doubtful, but the underlying premise remains: in a state of war you can’t say anything you want because lives are on the line.

This post by Pseudopsalms (which got Misha steaming in the first place) is also misguided. The premise of that post is that our soldiers fight for abstract notions such as ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘the right to disagree’:
There are American soldiers dying in Iraq for a reason. One of those reasons, hell, maybe one of the best reasons is the Freedom of Speech which was so important to those brave men who founded this country that they put it in the first amendment to the Constitution.

Those men are dying for US! To give the rights we seem to take for granted… That includes, it must include, the right to disagree.
I must say that if Pseudopsalms is right about the reason these soldiers are fighting than I’ll have to withdraw my support for this war. I may fight for my right to disagree in a civil war, but I don’t see the logic of fighting a war against Baathists in Iraq so that I can disagree at home. There is no connection between the two. None. We fight Baathist in Iraq to increase SECURITY at home. We send our boys to kill and be killed because we don’t want our enemies setting the terms of our war—and like it or not we were already in a state of war (see my previous post, especially on Hobbes’ definition of war). We didn’t want to wait around for the next 50 years waiting for Saddam to get hold of a WMD. We didn’t want to wait around for the next 50 years waiting for al Quaeda to fully cooperate with Saddam. We didn’t want our planes to be shot at for the next 50 years. We began the shooting war to protect LIVES, not the right to look at porn.

That the war has evolved from one of limited objectives to a single battlefield in the larger War on Terror further underscores the importance of remembering context. In the War on Terror the stakes are big—the very survival of Western civilization. Yes, of course, one of the things that makes Western civilization superior is the right to disagree. Taking away the right of the press to say anything during war-time conditions is not the same thing as taking away that same right under conditions of peace, though. Further, I am not advocating censoring everything. Give me more Larry Flynt. That will piss off our enemies to no end! What I want is some acknowledgement that what the press does affects the war effort and that certain responsibilities are attached to certain freedoms. In war time we are willing to give up our lives, why not a few silly pictures and inane criticisms?

The real problem people have with censorship is that they buy slippery slope arguments. That somehow if we censor X, than Y inevitably follows. I have little sympathy for this argument because it takes censorship out of the context of the goodness of the American people and our general distrust of government. If we censor, the argument goes, than we are no better than the Nazis. This overlooks the fact that we are not a bunch of German who don’t mind being told what to do and that we generally don’t like to go around throwing JOOS in ovens. During WWII we had heavy censorship—much heavier than what I am calling for—and the end to the war brought an end to censorship. Censorship is not something I would enjoy, unlike the EUnichs who don’t mind it one bit, but it is something that ought to be endured. At the end of this war, whenever that may be, let us follow the example of Cincinnatus, return to our fields, and forget this entire episode ever happened. To paraphrase the words of Aquinas, the end goal of all war is peace. In peacetime, censorship is never ok.

Perhaps the best challenge has been from Demosphia who simply questions whether or not a move to censor the press might actually be feasible in the internet age. He may be right in that information moves too fast for any sort of oversight or screening process. However, the underlying morality of censorship in certain contexts remains. Further, since most people continue to get their information from the main-stream press and media, censorship may remain an option.

Those of you who read my first post will know that my call for censorship was really about two things. First, loose lips sink sinks. The images of Abu Ghraib would directly lead to more deaths in Iraq, therefore such images should be suppressed. Remember, the story was out there in the ethereal world of information several months ago. It was the images that outraged so many. So, let’s get rid of the images.

Second, war cannot be sustained on memory alone. Pearl Harbor ignited us to war in the 1940s. But was the memory of Pearl Harbor enough to sustain our morale to see the war through to its bloody end? No. There was a concerted effort—actual propaganda, literal propaganda (not the theoretical propaganda so much discussed by Chomsky and ilk)—to make sure the American public did not get weak in the knees and turn into a bunch of cheese-eating surrender monkeys. People do not want to endure the pain of war and memories fade with time. After time, the reasons for starting a war become unclear and the will to see loved ones live rather than die clouds the initial shock of having the homeland invaded. Events galvanize us, but they do not normally sustain us. Between events, we need constant reminders and symbols of the reasons we entered a state of war in the first place. In the 1940s it was propaganda and censorship that kept morale high at home. It was censorship that kept photos of D-Day off the front pages of the New York Times. It was censorship that kept images of floating bodies in the Gulf of Leyte out of the Washington Post. Thus, censorship helped us win the war.

I know, the objection may be raised that all this talk of censorship is just what our enemies want. That somehow, goes this argument, if we censor they will have won. No. Al Quaeda wants us dead, not censored. And the last thing they want is for us to turn our enormous capacity and ability at creating propaganda images toward the goal of winning the war with them. There goal is to create a global caliphate, not an America full of images of them painted in the worst possible light. There goal is to institute Sharia law (you know, where they KILL YOU for apostasy) not to create an atmosphere in the US where hippies have a hard time getting a permit to protest nude in Times Square.

Finally, let me say this to those of you in the anti-war crowd to whom this censorship would be directed. Those of you who think our war is in vain and that you must help stop it, in my estimation, seem to be coming from a good place. I do think that you generally worry about the welfare of our soldiers. I do not think, as many of my allies in the blogosphere do, that you root for the enemy. I do not think that you smile when one of our boys dies. I think that you believe that the worst thing that could happen to one of our fellow citizens in the military is that he could die. I agree that this is not a happy prostpect. But there is one thing worse than being killed in battle--that is to die for no reason. We must win this war to give meaning to those who have sacrificed their lives to it. If we ask them to sacrifice EVERYTHING but are willing ourselves to sacrifice NOTHING then we are the worst lot possible and deserve the fate the jihadis wish us to have. Death on the battlefield without victory is hauntingly hallow and worthless. Death on the battlefield toward victory is tragic, but gives meaning to those left behind who wish to know why the fallen are gone. Let us not lose this war and let our friends sacrifices be in vain.


Hot Abercrombie Chick is a fake? Are you kidding me!?! No, I don't believe it! Next you'll be telling me Hot Iraqi Blonde is really an untenured college professor of political science somewhere in the South with too much time on his hands!! Or that Pam Anderson's rack aint real! Or that Washingtonniene was really a 19 year-old page with severe acne on an internship from SUNY Buffallo working for that state's Junior Senator. Right. Could a 19 year-old guy make up that stuff about such a hot, horny, slutty, little-dirty muffin of an aide who constantly writes about her sexual experiences? Nice try Kevin. I'm not buying. Enough you lying commie bastards. I will have no more of your minitruth lies!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

5,208,500 dead in Jihad

Thanks to Iowahawk for turning me on to Conservative Punk who then turned me on to Tell the Children The Truth.

That last site focuses on Amin al Husseini's role in worldwide jihad and claims over 10,000,000 have died thanks to that man's ideology. Despite a few obvious bad insinuations (for instance, it mentioned that Sirhan Sirhan was Palestinian thus leaving the reader with the impression that there is some sort of connection) the site has a generally good breakdown of the connections between Nazism, Pan-Arabism, and Jihad ideology. The nexus is Amin al Husseini who was an active promoter of the Nazi cause, organizer of a Muslim branch of the SS in Yugoslavia, the British appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusulam, fomenter of the Arab response to the formation of the Zionist Entity (*wink*), founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, co-founder of the Arab League, and mentor of Yasser Arafat and Saddam Hussein. Wow, what a resume! He was a wanted by the Yugoslav government for genocide, but the Egyptian government refused to extradite him. Nice.

This little piece of info also from the site:
Mein Kampf, written by Adolf Hitler, is a best-seller in the Arab World. It is distributed by the Palestinian Authority headed by Yasser Arafat. Yasser Arafat became the disciple of Amin Al Husseini at the age of 17.
Can anyone verify that?

This is something else I would like to see verified:
there is evidence that Amin Al Husseini was the one who first proposed the FINAL SOLUTION to the Germans, in order to avoid mass migration of Jews to their homeland and prevent the creation of the State of Israel.
That would be a major revelation to me. I have serious doubts about it, though. Not that the jihadis didn't like the whole 'Final Solution' thing, only I doubt that they "first proposed" it. Hitler was evil enough to come up with that doozie on his own.

So, the number of 10,000,000 dead seemed pretty high to me. That would mean that the ideology of Islamojawafascism is responsible for more death and destruction than Nazism. How do they get the number? I agree that the "message" of Islamism is what is really to blame, not just a few bad apples. After all, it was Nazism and not just Hitler that inspired genocide. It was Communism, not just Stalin and Mao and Pol Pot, that inspired forced collectivization and the radical reorganizing of societies that led to the death of millions. So, I think it is fair the way they blame so many deaths on Islamism, but the number still seems pretty high. I tried to piece together some of their sources and came up with the following.

6 million Jews -- Holocaust (not buying this one)
2 million Christian/Animist Sudanese -- Ample evidence exists. Verified.
1 million Armenians -- Conservative estimate. Verified.
????-- "Armenians, Christian Assyrians, Croats, Serbs, Bulgars and Gypsies" under the Ottomans/Turks--Sources?
100,000 Serbs -- In Yugoslavia. Jews and Gypsies not counted, although victims. Verified.
60,000 Hindus -- India. Unverified, but plausible. Sources?
3 million Hindus -- Bangladesh/East Pakistan. Unverified.
2 million Hindus -- Bangladesh/East Pakistan. Highest estimate was 2.5 million, 2 million more conservative. Verified?
200,000 Algerians --this includes Berbers/Arabs--Unverified
50,000 Berbers -- the only number that I could find Verified. Any one have the numbers of Arab victims of the Islamist terrorism in Algeria?
????? Arabs --In addition to Algeria, much of the Middle East is plagued by Islamist terrorists that kill moderate Muslims or secularists. Any numbers on these?
???? Africans -- From Ethiopia to Nigeria, Islamojawafascists are on a killing rage. Any numbers?
55,000 Christians -- Lebanon. Verified. Any numbers on Arabs killed in Lebanon by jihadis?
3,500 Americans --9/11 + Lebanon + various acts of terror. No need to verify morons!
Total verified = 5,208,500

This is a lowball estimate of those killed by Islamofascist ideology. It is subject to revision and further verification.

Monday, May 17, 2004

Kevin Nealon on Kerry Campaign

From paid Imperial informant, Kevin Nealon, comes the following op ed on the Kerry campaign:
Watching images of this weekends Kerry campaign, the following impressions came to my mind. At first I was a little bored. Then I saw the pictures and it piqued my interest. Interesting. Interesting. Interesting. Very Interesting. Then, suddenly I lost interest.

Kerry Reveals New Campaign Strategy

Rumsfeld Did It

Michael Cooper has a great little diddy of a piece. My favorite quote?
Donald Rumsfeld made me into the filthy whore I am today. AND he authorized my heroin use which completely drained my kid's trust fund.---Courtney Love

Sith Mind Trick

Der Commissar reports that WMD have been found in Iraq.

Is this:
A) a Sith mind trick?
B) the truth?

We answer (B) the truth. Justify your answer! Well, since Sith mind tricks only work on the weak minded, and the NY Times is run by--well, you know--the weak minded, and they will totally ignore this or spin it as nothing, then by process of elimination we get (B).

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Dead Man Walking

Is that Donald Rumsfeld or Robert MacNamara there? The media is doing its darndest to make Iraq into this decades Vietnam, and who do we blame for Vietnam? Not Kennedy, not Johnson, not even Ike, but blame MacNamara. Why do I get the feeling every washed out hippie in the New York Press is having a bad LSD flashback? Why do I have the feeling that they see this whole thing as the 60's redux?

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

State of War

In times like these I drop the usual shtick and revert to my normal mode of thinking as a third rate academic. Like many bloggers I see this space as an extension of the alter-ego. My blog is a place where my mean-spiritedness can have a home. It is a place where I can laugh at even the most tragic events. If tragedy + time = comedy, then my blog is a place to reduce the time needed to laugh to absolute zero.

As both of my readers know, I have been pretty pissed over the media's total attention to the Abu Ghraib while other stories languish and rot for lack of attention. I think yesterday's Cox & Forkum cartoon is worth much more than the thousand words I've already used on the subject.

Today my wrath and outrage has been rekindled to a point that I do not believe I have felt since 9/11. This morning, doing my pre-work mode surfing, I began coming to links of the actual video of Nick Berg being beheaded. Misha's warning was not heeded by me:
FAIR WARNING: This'll make you sick, it'll make you angry and it'll make you want to rip the living guts out of anybody as much as mentioning "restraint", which is exactly why it's needed, now more than ever.
I did not realize just how right he was until I actually clicked the link and saw the videos (UPDATE: Misha's links to the video are now dead, but INDC is just as outraged--read the post, too-- and his links work. Again, don't watch the video if you don't want to completely lose it). This morning I am outraged.

King of shtick, the Commissar, has been so despondent lately that his Russian accent has long since fallen by the wayside. This morning he waxed philosophical (if I didn't know his real profession I would say he's a closet academic) and posited the problem of our reaction to this video, and indeed the entire war in Iraq, in the following manner:
Within America, within the warbloggers, indeed within each of our hearts, is a war between our inner Thomas Jefferson and our inner Phil Sheridan. We want to bring stability, peace, a pluralistic society, and democracy to places like Afghanistan and Iraq. We self-interestedly want to pursue those noble goals. At the same time, we are angry about 9/11, terrorists who blow up buses of Israeli kids, serial video decapitators, etc. There is a very powerful Old Testament desire, "Lord, smite my enemies."
I think he's right. The Dale Gribble in me wants to bring peace to Iraq. To remake that society into one of tolerance. The Rusty Shackleford in me wants to kill them all, let God sort them out.

After 9/11, I dropped my usual split personalities and reverted to being the scholar that I am (third-rate scholar, mind you). I was a teaching assistant at the time, at a well known university, with shared offices with other graduate students. In the desk drawer happened to be a copy of Samuel Huntington's Clash of Civilizations. I had read Huntington's article, of the same name, and had stored it in the vast expanse of wasted readings in the back of my mind. But on 9/11, it suddenly clicked that the article I had read was somehow relevant to the images I was seeing on TV. I suppose it was just serendipity that the book happened to be the only one sitting in my desk, left there by a TA who had obtained a free copy while using it to teach some undergraduate course in International Relations, but I took it for a sign and began reading it only hours after the attacks began. Armed with a theoretical framework to put the day's events into perspective I now saw the world through new lenses. My gut reaction to the events, what the Commissar would likely call my inner "Sheridan," now had the force of reasoned theory to back it up. I had become a true believer.

For those of you who are affiliated with a religious denomination that prosltyzes, you know that the new convert is always the most zealous. But as Jesus warned in his parable of the sower, some new converts stay firm in the faith but others have no roots and wither and die. Charles, over at LGF recently said:
I thought September 11 was a big enough shock to the American public that we wouldn’t dare go back to sleep. Unfortunately, I no longer believe that...
Some believe it is enough to see shocking footage to keep the faithful strong. I do not. A scream or a shout from a minister may wake you up, but it will not keep you in the faith the other six days of the week. Only a deeper rooted awareness of what is going on will do that. Let this video serve as a call to wake up, but we need more to keep us on our toes after the initial feeling subsides and becomes just another faded memory. Go read Huntington. Please.

So, this morning I was doing some grading, as I ought to be doing right now, and opened up a file on my computer. For my class on Western Political Theory I had assigned a number of original readings, including Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, etc. For a while now I have been bitching and moaning about the press's irresponsibility in a time of war. In fact, the Bull (hey Bull, where are you??) and I had some pretty heated discussions via e-mail over that very subject. But as I was looking through my files I began to think that there had to be something that would frame my feeling that the press is being irresponsible in a more coherent manner. Indeed, Diogenes has the same general feeling as I do but both of our arguments lack a kind of coherent structure to them. All of this was sort of in the back of my mind when I came upon this passage from Hobbes' Leviathan:
Hereby it is manifest that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man. For war consisteth not in battle only, or the act of fighting, but in a tract of time, wherein the will to contend by battle is sufficiently known: and therefore the notion of time is to be considered in the nature of war, as it is in the nature of weather. For as the nature of foul weather lieth not in a shower or two of rain, but in an inclination thereto of many days together: so the nature of war consisteth not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary. All other time is peace.
I think Hobbes has helped me frame what is going on in this country. Many do not understand that we are at war. Even if the actual battles are far away, the state of war exists. It is here. It is now. The state of war is the medium in which all of our lives are lived. We are the fish, it is the water. All of our actions must be constructed with this in mind. We cannot escape the state of war by somehow denying we are in it. Can the fish suddenly sprout lungs and breathe simply because it does not recognize that his environment is water, not air?

The media does not understand that we are in a state of war. The Commissar is right:
The 'war' in Iraq is a campaign, a battle, a part of the larger war.
That larger war, comrade, is all around us. The media does not understand this concept. They think there is a war 'over there' but not here. That somehow Iraq is separate from the larger war, which is all around us. This is why they believe it is ok to publish pictures of prisoner abuse in Abu Ghraib, because the 'war' is over there. Here, there is peace. But as Hobbes rightly observes the "nature of war consisteth not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary."

It may seem like an unimportant and abstract distinction. What does it matter whether or not a 'state of war' exists everywhere or only in Iraq? But distinctions, even when they are only made by assumption, are absolutely critical to the way we think. The distinction between war and peace is very crucial, because moral actions depend on context. If the context is peace, then moral beings are compelled by conscience to behave in one way. If the context is war, then the same moral being must act in another way. The same is true of the press.

A free-press cannot be maintained in a state of war. Even from a Lockean perspective we cannot understand our liberties as anything but ordered. The inconveniences of living without order makes man:
willing to quit this condition which, however free, is full of fears and continual dangers; and it is not without reason that he seeks out and is willing to join in society with others who are already united, or have a mind to unite for the mutual preservation of their lives, liberties and estates, which I call by the general name- property. (Second Treatise IX:123)
A close reading of Locke reveals that his love of property is a means to an end--property is necessary for the maintaining of life. Life is the first and foremeost right ordained by Nature. Although I love the right to speak and cherish the liberty of the press, such liberty is meaningless without life. All of my rights and liberties are secondary to the need to protect my life. Governments are not founded to protect speech, rather, governments are instituted to protect life. Free speech is an instrumental value--or it is a means to an end. We want freedom of speech and press because these things are necessary to a functioning democracy. However, a functioning democracy is secondary to some amount of order so that neighbors do not settle disputes on their own--a state of War according to Hobbes and an inconvenient state of Nature according to Locke. When the secondary value of free speech conflicts with the primary value of protecting life, the secondary must be discarded. We ought not discard such things lightly, but sometimes they must be sacrificed. We do not let the body die to save the limb.

In a state of war, people die. In a state of peace, it is tacitly understood that you can say anything so long as your words are not a "clear and present danger" (See Schenck v. United States, 1919). Holmes' maxim seems to me a simple attempt at putting to words what we all kind of know deep down: only sticks and stones may break your bones, but words sometimes do hurt you. You cannot say something that will incite someone to kill me. In a state of peace, people aren't normally incited to murder. In fact, yelling fire in a crowded theater rarely yields a riot. However, change the context and the result changes. In a state of war since some amount of anarchy is already present and there is an understanding that it is o.k. to kill, then the likelihood for words to lead to death is greatly multiplied. Loose lips in times of peace are meaningless. In war, loose lips sink ships.

Did CBS's decision to air the photos of abuse at Abu Ghraib cause the brutal murder of Nick Berg? No. Of course not. Al Qaida rarely needs an excuse to commit an atrocity. Did such images contribute to his death? Probably not. He was a dead man walking from the moment he was captured. However, such images do reinforce the preexisting notion in the Muslim world that the US is just another oppressive power. As such, these images mean that fence-sitters are more likely to join the opposition. Those not actually engaged in fighting will be less inclined to cooperate with us. Having a population less inclined to cooperate with us means terrorists will have an easier climate in which to operate. They will no longer have to fear their neighbor turning them in to Coalition forces. They can operate with near impunity. Chaos continues. People die. This all in one small field of one battle in the larger War on Terror.

For the larger war the images are even worse. They reinforce what the traitors Said and Chomsky have been saying for years: America is bad, mmm-kay. They ensure that hostility towards us will find increasing justification. As moral beings, people tend to want to do good. I know, we all are sinful and all that, but that tells us little more than that men are selfish. Even the selfish man tries to find some justification for his actions. He is entitled to the money, everybody else does it, it's not as bad as some other worse thing, etc. The point is that we all need to feel that what we are doing is right. Hence, the murderers and terrorists tell themselves stories that make their actions justifiable. The US is bad. So bad that they need to be stopped. So bad, that killing an American, even a civilian, is justified. So bad, that beheading him is the only way to let the Americans know that we mean business. America is a virus, and viruses need to be killed. Our media's hyper-self-criticism is fodder for the fire. By making our minor flaws out to be something horrific, we give our enemies the moral justification they need to sleep at night after a day of mass-murder.

The images also remind us that propaganda works. The military had already begun investigating the abuses long before the images were available. But it was seeing the images, not the abuse that made so many furious. In a similar fashion, I had known that Nick Berg was beheaded and it pissed me off. But it was only when I saw the images that I went Mad Max. Without the images the reality does not exist in the same way. When the media chose to run pictures of our abuse, they gave the enemy something else to throw in our faces. The great Satan is just as bad as Saddam Hussein---see, they are here to humiliate you---see, take up arms against the great Satan!! More of our men are sure to die. There will be more Nick Bergs because of this. Some of them would have died, with or without the images, but others' lives would have been spared. Some would have escaped, as did Thomas Hamil, because killing a hostage isn't always the priority. But if the US is a country of unreasonable barbarians, then there is no use in keeping hostages alive. Kill them all!

As long as we are in a state of war, the media must act in ways consistent with winning and bringing back a state of peace. If they cannot do it themselves, they must be forcibly censored. Many of you may not know this, but during WWII the government had an actual censorship board. All broadcast and print media were censored for content that could hinder speedy victory. All pro-Japanese and pro-German publications were shut down. Leaders of the German-American Bund were rounded up and locked away. All of the nation's propaganda might were aimed at winning the war. Pearl Harbor woke our population up, but a concerted effort at keeping our citizens ever aware of the war kept us awake. The event gave us the emotional will to begin the war, but it was propaganda that gave us the stomach to see it through to the end. The free-press gave way to the more immediate need of protecting lives.

For those of you who know my true identity, much of this may seem shocking. I am a civil libertarian, and if my state would allow it I would be a registered Libertarian. The main objection to regulating the press is the notion that somehow we will devolve into a state of fascism. In truth, it is the kind of 9/10 rhetoric I would have also used. But it is just rhetoric and nothing else. Worse, it is a slippery slope argument that has no real basis in historical fact. As much as I love Nozick and Locke, epistemologically I must agree with Burke: societies and people do not spring forth from some imagined state of nature where rights exist, but are molded by culture and tradition. The civil libertarian argument has much merit, but all arguements must be made in some context and with reference to actual social conditions. The context of the here and now is war; and the social condition of our nation is that of a people generally dedicated to limited government. We are a country and a people molded after Cincinnatus, not Caesar. To think that content censorship would continue after we have defeated the threat of Islamofascism is to overlook WWI and WWII. In both cases we had direct censorship. In both cases the censorship eventually ended.

I, therefore, using the vast resources and power of my minion (singular) on the internet, call on the US Congress to immediately set a National Board of Review to censor any media content that could hinder the War on Terror. I call on Congress to immediately close all sessions to the public that scrutinize actions of our soldiers overseas. I call on Congress to immediately shut down any media outlets that give moral support to our enemies. I call on Congress to impose immediate sanctions to any country which morally support our enemies. I call on Congress to authorize the immediate seizure of assets of Countries that knowingly allow terrorist to use their internet and other forms of domestic infrastructure to further the goals of worldwide jihad and terrorism.

In sum, I call on Congress to recognize that the War on Terror must be handled as TOTAL WAR. All of the Nation's resources and will must be turned to that aim. From time to time events shock our conscience and reawaken us to the fact that our enemies want us dead. Between these times there must be a concerted effort by the entire nation to constantly remind us that war is a fact. We do not fight war for its own sake, but to restore the state of peace. When we have won, then let us quibble about the merits of prancing prisoners around in underwear. Let us not focus on the mote in our own eye when the beam in our enemy's is strapped with TNT and he is eager to kill us.

UPDATE: Ace proves even feeble minds think alike...but will Andrew Sullivan still vote Kerry?

Tuesday, May 11, 2004


I just got done watching the video of Operation Wolverine (via Protest Warrior Mike O). On the one hand it just goes to show why sterotypes are so long-lasting--because they're usually based in reality--on the other hand I bet you could really score at an A.N.S.W.E.R. rally!

Q) What do butch lesbians, pro-palestinians, Communists, Socialists, Anarchists, Hispanic activists, and environmentalists all have in common?

A) They all hate America. Stupid question.

PS-Kudos Protest Warriors! The video rocks.

Conflation Irritation

More on calling what was done at Abu Ghraib torture or an atrocity. I even heard comparisons to Mai Lei yesterday on NPR. By conflating a few incidents of bad judgement to real atrocities and torture, we create our own enemies. If what we did at Abu Ghraib was as bad as some make it out to be, then the resistance is justified in taking up arms against us. Further, that sort of rhetoric will only lead to more death for our soldiers and more REAL acts of barbarism against civillians. Here is an update on my earlier post. The executioners in that video also play the conflation game:
"For the mothers and wives of American soldiers, we tell you that we offered the U.S. administration to exchange this hostage with some of the detainees in Abu Ghraib and they refused."

"So we tell you that the dignity of the Muslim men and women in Abu Ghraib and others is not redeemed except by blood and souls. You will not receive anything from us but coffins after coffins ... slaughtered in this way."

Million Jawa March

Fresh off the heels of this weekend's successful Million Mom March, the Saudi's prove they are on the cutting edge of Islamic civilization:
Jeddah Students March Against Terrorism

the first time in Saudi history, a peaceful march went ahead in Jeddah as some 200 students from four National Guard schools carrying anti-terror banners took to the streets early yesterday morning.

The students, aged between 12 and 18, were dressed in sweat pants, white T-shirts and caps bearing the words “Together Against Terrorism”...

This was the first quasi-independent march not interrupted by police, a possible sign that government policy on demonstrations is changing provided they serve the interest of the country...

Some years ago, police broke up a peaceful demonstration on Tahlia Street by a group of Saudi women against Israeli atrocities against Palestinians and arrested the demonstrators.

They later asked the women’s male guardians to sign undertakings never to engage in such activities again.
Ah, you've come a long way baby!

6 of 1, half a dozen of the other

Abusing Iraqi prisoners, cutting off American's all the same thing, right?

Video Seems to Show Beheading of American

CAIRO, Egypt - A video posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web site appeared to show a group affiliated with al-Qaida beheading an American in Iraq (news - web sites), saying the death was revenge for the prisoner-abuse scandal.

The video showed five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks, standing over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit who identified himself as an American from Philadelphia.

After reading a statement, the men were seen pulling the man to his side and cutting off his head with a large knife. They then held the head out before the camera.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Hot Iraqi Blonde Scandal!

Nicki, the Hot Iraqi Blonde, has been courtmartialed for her role in the torture scandal! We'll miss you baby.

Got a life?

MPJ reader GCL asks Rusty Shackleford:
You haven't been blogging much; did you get a life?
The answer GCL is "yes." But only if by "getting a life" one actually means "grading heaps of finals" and "giving out F's by the boatload." *Sigh* Blogging will be light for a while. I know this is going to kill my site meter, but what's a brother gonna do? Just me, a pile of papers, and a bucket of Dr. Pepper to whittle the time away.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

What a Country!

Aaron celebrates Cinco de Mayo, but don't tell him he's one day late. I wonder what Yakov Smirnov would think of Occupied Aztlan?

No Apologies from my Big Brother, ICCJ Indictment Pending

The Commissar seems to take exception to the way Ioawahawk and I have treated the whole Iraq "torture" episode. Both of my loyal readers will recall that I recently called on the International Criminal Court of Justice at the Hague to indict my brother for war-crimes. The humiliations done to me by him are far worse than those done by our ghastly soldiers in Iraq who "have become virtually indistinguishable from the SS."

Today, Iowahawk threw a bone to Spoons, the Commissar, and Allah trying to clarify his position.
Finally, I don't believe their actions should be minimized. And by the same token, neither should they be maximized. They were what they were. This was the perspective I was trying to bring, perhaps clumsily. Context? This morning's Chicago Tribune featured four separate stories on the Abu Ghraib abuse case (none on the UnScam oil-for-bribes scandal), a level of media feeding frenzy I personally found absurd.
I agree wholeheartedly with his hawkishness. Where is the perspective on this thing? What some of our soldiers did was wrong, but compare what was done to the millions of stories that could capture the headlines. Why is the fact that Hashem Aghajari has been given a death sentence in Iran for criticising the mad Mullahs not the headline? He will DIE, not just be "humiliated"! Where is the outrage over the fatwa on Shirin Ebadi?

Here are the headlines over at Al Jazeera today:
New graphic Iraq abuse pictures surface
More prisoner deaths by US investigated
Prisoners' families protest
Abu Ghuraib prisoners speak of 'torture'
Arab editors denounce Iraq abuse
The problem is not in saying that the abuses were wrong, it is in calling it torture and then equivocating what amounts to sophomoric humiliations with the institutionalized tactics of despotic regimes. It's the standard Chomskyite logic: "Yes, what [insert country X here] is bad, but what America does is just as bad." And its not just far left asshats and Islamojawafascists who are making the case that the American occupation is just as bad as life under Saddam Hussein. In subtle ways the media equivocates our troops' misdeads with the actions of despotic regimes. For instance:
THE scandal over US torture of Iraqi prisoners in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison deepened yesterday....

the shocking photographs of torture that have sparked an international outcry
These are just a couple of quotes out of the literally thousands out there today and show the insidious way that reporters inject their own bias into stories.

Further, the images that we see do not tell the whole story and are utterly meaningless without context. The most prominent picture coming out of the scandal is this one, which I grabbed off NPR.

The pic seems to depict a man who is being tortured. It is only if you read deep into stories carrying this pic that you learn that "he was told he would be electrocuted if he fell off a box." Only a very careful understanding of those words reveal that what is meant is that he was only told that electrocution was impending, but that the wires were really not attached to anything. Scarring someone is not the same thing as actually hurting someone. Trust me, my brother did the same type of thing--and worse! Where is the outrage over my brother?

Further, it should come as no shock that this kind of thing happens. Frankly, we should expect more of the same and worse. When you have 135,000 18-24 year olds living in a hostile environment, bad things are going to happen. In a population of that size we should expect murder, rape, and real torture to occur. It's just a fundamental law of statistics. Given a large enough population you will always find a few sociopaths and the oddball whack job. No amount of supervision or no weeding out process can ever eliminate them. What makes the abuse seem so bad is that there are photos of the abuse. Pictures are worth far more to the illiterate conspiracy-prone masses of the Arab world than any rational words.

Ok, I wish I could sit here all day blogging but I have a final exam to give and mucho mondo work. Last word: I will apologize for minimizing the scandal the day the ICCJ indicts my brother as a war-criminal.