If Network Solutions Won’t Help Host This…

I’ll help point people to the Live Leak version of Fitna:



I’m working and so haven’t watched yet, and so can’t comment approvingly or disapprovingly. More commentary to follow.

JK: LiveLeak pulled the movie, citing safety risks:

bq. “Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed reports from certain corners of the British media that could directly lead to the harm of some of our staff, Liveleak.com has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers. This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people, from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one…. We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.”

Fitna can also be found here – and here.

51 thoughts on “If Network Solutions Won’t Help Host This…”

  1. This ought to get the unwashed masses polishing up their jack boots double-time. We’ve certainly come a long way from Leni Riefenstahl and ‘Triumph of the Will’, or have we?

  2. Well, it’s straight propaganda. With all the material shown out of context like that, I don’t think it will convert any thinking people to the creator’s point of view.

    OTOH, if you’re one of the people who _knows_ the proper context–like many of the posters and commenters on this site–it serves as a chilling reminder of some things we try not to think about every day.

  3. Powerful and accurate. More than just propaganda, it captures what we are fighting. If I could, I’d broadcast this on TV here in the US, as opposed to the crap that PBS routinely plays.

  4. Who made this crap and why? Is the aim to equate Islam with terrorism? If I make one with Old Testament quotes and people stoning adulterers or old KKK footage of a lynching maybe I can whip up some cretins to hate Christians or Americans.

  5. Ian:

    This ought to get the unwashed masses polishing up their jack boots double-time.

    I don’t know whose jackboots you’re worried about, but you should know that all the Netherlands television stations have refused to show this film for fear of violence – against themselves or the filmmakers, not Muslims.

    Dutch embassies worldwide are on alert because of this film. Likewise the European Union, and even NATO. “Pakistan shut down YouTube to keep people from seeing it.”:http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/asiapcf/02/25/pakistan.youtube/index.html

    Riefenstahl didn’t fear for her life after Triumph of the Will. She died in her bed at 101. I wouldn’t like Geer Wilders’ chances, nor do I expect much outrage from your quarter when they kill him.

  6. Ian and Liberals are the problem. They along with Muslims HATE HATE HATE the freedoms of the West and want to replace it with feudal rule. By one man like say, Castro.

    Nothing in the film is propaganda. Merely a straightforward reciting of the facts. Ian can’t say “the Koran doesn’t say this” because well, the Koran DOES say that. Muslim preachers ARE SHOWN saying and doing things. Muslims demanding “Freedom go to hell” and “Get ready for the REAL Holocaust” and “God Bless Hitler.” Muslim’s in action on 9/11. In Madrid. In London. Done by Muslims for Muslims.

    So that’s it. Muslims and Islam are incompatible with basic tenets of the West: no polygamy, no death for converting from Islam, no forced marriages, female genital mutilation, hanging gays etc.

    Fitna is powerful because it shows the Koran’s own passages, Muslim preachers expounding on them, and what Muslims do: terrorist and other brutality.

    Ian and Liberals are in a great fantasy game. Pretend there are not 50 million plus Muslims in Europe, demanding Sharia and Islam. Pretend Islam is not totally incompatible with Western freedoms. Pretend we won’t have to fight to remain free. Pretend everything is cheap, easy, and cost-less. That every culture is the same, and good and kind (except “worthless” Western culture which should be eradicated as soon as possible).

    JJackson — the man who made this is under sentence of DEATH by Muslims for criticizing Islam, in his own country of the Netherlands. And last time I looked the KKK didn’t kill 3,000 people in Manhattan. Or hundreds in Spain and London. Or cut the head of a man and post it on the internet. Or shoot a woman for “immorality” or hang gays this year.

    You play the old hate-the-West moral equivalency game of children. Because the West is flawed and imperfect, it is not worth defending from it’s very real enemies who want the whole world to look like Iran and Afghanistan, and aim to use terror and intimidation on a mass scale to get it.

    You might wish to surrender to someone, anyone, in your own self-loathing, but rest assured I do not. Nor do most Americans. We are free men and women who do not have to grovel and scrape before benighted savages such as Osama, Ahmadinejad, and the preachers shown on that film.

    What you are really saying: “I JJackson wish to be a SLAVE to Muslims, and never do or say anything that might offend my MASTERS.”

    Or perhaps you are like Rev. Wright: “God Damn America!”

  7. The public Dutch and Belgian TV have shown all the fragments of the film, also most of the newspapers online have the video. Fear? What fear?

    FYI, any TV station would ask to see your film first before airing it and Wilders-looser refused to show it to the producers beforehand. Even the Muslim public broadcaster offered to show it on their air time if Wilders was to appear afterwards in a debate and HE REFUSED.

    Now, about the film, it is a pamphlet. It tries to associate the deeds of some lunatics (who try to justify themselves with the Q’uran) with ALL the moslims.

    It also is poorly done. Some of Wilders blunders:
    – The use of the Danish cartoon was not authorized by the cartoonist. He just called Wilders a thief in an interview on Dutch TV.
    – He changed some words on the verses (soerat 8, vers 60 does not say ‘terrorize’)
    – The image he uses of Van Gogh’s killer is actually a Moroccan raper. Proof that xenophobes think that all Muslims look and act the same?

    Just as a note: I am not a Muslim but the film sucks content and editing wise.

  8. Wretchard’s analysis seems pertinent. Europeans are paralyzed by fear of offending the West-hating Left. Now they must either become totalitarian censors like Stalin’s Russia, or have endless attacks by Muslims at home and abroad for people who are sick of being made foreigners, second class ones at that, in their own countries. They also fear ceding anything to the Right, such as defense of fundamental Western precepts such as liberty, freedom of religion, etc.

    The will get both, eventually. The hatred of the Left as they move too late, and the triumph of the Right as the ONLY FORCE willing to preserve fundamental Western values.

    You can’t have “some” Sharia anymore than be a “little bit pregnant.”

  9. Jim Rockford: half of the Dutch population would love to run over Wilders themselves but we are too civilized to do that. Our wet dream is that he chokes during dinner and c’est tout, au revoir the perodixed paranoid.

  10. Andrea,

    The fact that there is a special cabinet meeting to discuss the movie means there is fear. I just visited De Telegraaf, De Volkskrant and Het AD, and all links to go LiveLeak (which is under attack from hackers… so much for respecting the viewpoint of others). They are too afraid to host the video themselves, or for that matter, run the cartoons. You say there is no fear, yet the headline on all newspapers currently is: “Gebouw Tweede Kamer ontruimd” (translated: House of representatives has been evacuated). What fear indeed.

    Now why would half the Dutch population wish to run Wilders over? Wasn’t that the same sentiment you had just before Fortuyn was murdered? And then the entire country was in shock and said “this is like our 9/11″. And Fortuyn did reach out to Muslims on several occasions, yet that didn’t stop the ‘progressive’ Dutch to label him a dangerous extremist. And yet they were shocked when somebody then killed him.

    Yes, the movie itself isn’t particularly newsworthy or well done for that matter. It has the production quality of the typical YouTube video. It should be a non-issue. But muslims worldwide will likely violently react to it. And you don’t think that’s a problem? Yet you think that somebody who posts a video that is critical of a certain religion hopefully chokes on dinner? Open-minded and progressive indeed.

  11. Andrea,

    As for the cartoonist, the same guy said this as well:
    “(link)”:http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=902_1205325466

    “The Danish cartoonist behind drawings satirising the Prophet Muhammad has urged a Dutch lawmaker to air an anti-Islam film despite Muslim outrage.

    Kurt Westergaard said MP Geert Wilders should show his film, despite government warnings that this would damage Dutch interests.

    He said that no Danish politician would dare to block the film. ”

    [Please try to follow the guidelines for URLs displayed above the text entry fields for comments. Bare URL reformatted so as to not break poor little Movable Type’s tiny mind. –NM]

  12. Jim,
    Nice to hear from you, as always a balanced thoughtful analysis; but in the interests of full disclosure: I love the freedoms of the West; I also fully support the US, Canadian and other NATO forces serving to preserve those freedoms in pursuit of Al Queda in Afghanistan. I trust no other inaccuracies crept into your comment(s).

  13. #6:

    bq. Who made this crap and why? Is the aim to equate Islam with terrorism?

    If you actually watch it carefully to the end, it seems clear that the creators’ intent is to advocate that Muslims “tear out” (either metaphorically or literally) the hateful passages from the Koran.

    “This crap” has nothing to say one way or the other about the Christian Bible or anyone who uses it to spew hate.

    If you are incapable of watching such a short film carefully all the way to the end, perhaps you should spare us your interpretation of it (if I can charitably call your reaction an “interpretation”).

  14. half of the Dutch population would love to run over Wilders themselves but we are too civilized to do that.

    Jupiter’s Nuts. Thanks for the travel advisory, but unless you’re the ambassador I think I’ll decline to take you as a spokesperson for the Netherlands. If you’re the ambassador, I guess we have to listen to this just to be polite.

  15. Remember when Tim Oren noted that we are all becoming potential diplomats? The parallel trend of very cheap production plus global distribution means information war is shifting from a professional to an all-on-all proposition.

    Get used to it, because this trend is going to accelerate, not go away.

  16. Thank you to Winds of Change for providing a link to this film. It is refreshing to read the various comments, both for and against its being made, as well as its perceived message. This demonstrates the beauty and value of freedom of speech.

    For my 2¢, the film shows a frightening trend that exists within Islam today, and one which is rapidly and dangerously spreading. It is noteworthy that the film shows violence between Muslims and non-Muslims, as well as Muslim on Muslim violence. An in depth analysis of Islam today will show that this fundamentalist and violent Islam is the Saudi Arabian model, but no one wants to call a spade and spade. Instead, an unfortunate tendency is to toss all Muslims into the same radical camp or, conversely, to minimize the threat to a small minority. The page symbolically being torn out of the Quran at the end of the film dramatically calls for moderate Muslims to take back their religion from the extremist and dangerous model currently being inflicted on all of us, Muslim and non-Muslim alike. It is my hope (wild though it may be) that this film can engender a united response from all civilized people against this common threat to our humanity, rather than incite polarity.

  17. *Glen at #7*
    _Riefenstahl didn’t fear for her life after Triumph of the Will._

    It’s been a while since I’ve seen it, but I believe Triumph of the Will showed the power of Germany and National Socialism, not how evil the Jews were. Directly insulting a group of people, however truthful, is bound to get a more vehement response.

    Do you think she may have had some fearful moments in her 3(4?) years in a French detention camp, denying she knew anything of the concentration camps of the Gypsies (who appeared in her films), or the fate of so many Jewish people?

    I think she may have.

  18. Meh. Standard enough “they’re coming to kill you!” video that anyone who is on this site probably already knows, and either embraces or rolls their eyes at. Overall? Eh, race baiting video. Why?

    10:00 – “Number of Muslims in the Netherlands”…. Ahhhh! They’re coming to get us!

    13:40 “Halal Fund: investment for muslims” Who cares? We have Kosher investment groups, Christian funds, enviro, lefty and righty.

    10:something “Satellite Dishes” showing that they are not one of them, need something different

    10:something “Police taking their shoes off” – if a temple asked Police not to come in without a yarmulke (for a visit, not a raid), who cares?

    And more! Find your own. Overall, not impressive.

    *ARCA at 19*
    _The page symbolically being torn out of the Quran at the end of the film dramatically calls for moderate Muslims to take back their religion from the extremist and dangerous model_

    Yes.. What I expect from a film that depicts women about to be shot in the head, and post beheading, or (insert any other clip here) is a rational and subtle symbolism for taking their religion back, not to to inflame. (I disregard the text after – nothing like making nice to pretend)

  19. Re Joe’s remembrance of my old post on people’s diplomacy (#18), see this post by Wretchard regarding the film. One of his main points is that official governmental organs of the West are losing control of the ‘Religion of Peace’ narrative, and therefore of the ability to create a coalition with moderate Muslims. Worth reading the whole thing, especially the ensuing discussion.

  20. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. There was a proportionate, appropriate response to 9/11 available. It is probable that the World Trade Centre was regarded as a symbol of everything of the West, and particularly of everything they hate, by Al Qaeda and radical Moslems in general. So attack a symbol of equal or greater power to Islam!

    Which symbol is that? The Kaabah, of course. (sp?) One aircraft, one laser-guided 2000-pounder or antitank missile, job done. Total cost maybe $100K and no casualties. Instead of which the casualties total maybe a million and the financial cost (so far) is around three quarters of a trillion dollars.

    And if that response caused rioting and terrorism? Crush it – ruthlessly. Starting with the closing and demolition of each and every religious institution of theirs in the West, and the expulsion of all non-citizen muslims. Which ought to be done now, in any case.

  21. Tim:

    official governmental organs of the West are losing control of the ‘Religion of Peace’ narrative, and therefore of the ability to create a coalition with moderate Muslims.

    We had a similar narrative in World War II, to the effect that the overwhelming majority of good Germans had been enslaved by a small Nazi clique, who were imagined as being a cabal of industrialists and Prussian Junkers.

    That didn’t overrule reason in favor of pacifism, but it did give soldiers in Europe a cynical sense of humor. Bill Mauldin drew a Stars & Stripes cartoon of two GIs in Germany, looking at a ruined wall that had EIN REICH, EIN VOLK, EIN FUHRER written defiantly on it. “You know, Joe, I don’t think the Germans like being liberated.”

    It didn’t help us convince Germans to overthrow their government (another Mauldin cartoon: “Sure they’s a revolution in Germany. Get down before they hit ya wit’ a wild shot!”)

    There’s a lot of the “good German” in the Muslim communities, in civilized Muslim countries and in the West. The great majority of them disdain violence in their personal lives, love their families, and obey the law. They would never join a jihadist outfit or allow their children to do so if they can prevent it. They stay away from the “Death to the Danish cartoonists” mobs.

    But when they go to Friday mosque and hear clerics who rail against Jews, Americans, and pigs (all the same thing, they’ve been taught) most of them don’t object or go elsewhere. When they’re told that they used to rule the world and are destined to rule it again, they feel no uneasiness. And when they’re told that any criticism of these ideas is an attempt to destroy Islam, they nod their heads.

    Intelligent people who live in the Low Countries might want to pay attention to this someday, no matter how distasteful they find it.

  22. liveleak has caved:

    The Removal of “Fitna”

    Official LiveLeak statement

    Following threats to our staff of a very serious nature, and some ill informed comments from certain members of the British media that could directly affect the safety of some staff members, liveleak has been left with no other choice but to remove Fitna from our servers.

    This is a sad day for freedom of speech on the net but we have to place the safety and well being of our staff above all else. We would like to thank the thousands of people from all backgrounds and religions, who gave us their support. They realised LiveLeak.com is a vehicle for many opinions and not just for the support of one.

    Perhaps there is still hope that this situation may produce a discussion that could benefit and educate all of us as to how we can accept one another’s culture.

    We stood for what we believe in, the ability to be heard, but in the end the price was too high.

    If anyone has a copy of the film, I will host it on my site for as long as my bandwidth will allow. I’ve been itching for my own Fatwa for some time now.

  23. I don’t understand why we don’t just :

    1) Write revised verions of the Koran, with the objectionable material edited out, and more modern, peaceful material sprinkled throughout.

    2) Print millions of high-quality copies.

    3) Quietly and discreetly introduce them throughout the Muslim world. Iraq, Afghanistan, London, everywhere – just give out ‘Free Korans’.

    Don’t tell anyone that it is a ‘new edition’, just given them the nice, leather and gold bounded books.

    Printing 100 million copies at $10/copy is still only $1 Billion. It is quite cheap compared to most other things we are doing.

    Why can’t we do this? Hell, why can’t Israel do this?

  24. Perhaps because, as the final text in the short film suggests, it is not for “us” to do the editing. Doing what you suggest would have huge propaganda blowback and vanishingly small payoff.

  25. Actually, that’s the first time I’ve heard the Koran sung (the way they supposedly often do it.)

    Fitna is a bit more visceral than many offerings out there. Shorter and more to the point than Obsession, for one. Often we don’t make the connections (such as the repeated newspaper headlines he shows) but at least someone is.

    I’ve heard tell that a Coptic Christian is having great success in undermining Islam in his nation – by boldly preaching the Word. Fitna can wake up the watchmen, but it will take Christianity – or more specifically the Christianity that is already in those areas: Orthodoxy, to turn the marauders around.

    I’m not certain of the story as to why Orthodox Christians have not done much in the past, but there is little doubt it is a complex story. Cultural factors, political factors, and so forth. We would like to believe that we’re totally free of them stopping us from preaching, but it usually isn’t the case.

    Then again, perhaps no one was yet called. The time for that might be.. now? Sometimes it’s just weird like that.

  26. We’ve talked about the possibility of Islamic Reformation here before. In between talking about the possibility of being obliterated by a giant plasma bolt from the Andromeda Galaxy.

    That’s unduly pessimistic, maybe, but the irrational hostility of the Western left to any criticism of radical Islam makes the project unlikely to succeed anytime soon.

  27. Yes Dave the satellite dishes are a problem because people in the Netherlands don’t assimilate, instead hold the values of Pakistan or Morocco which are incompatible with that of the Netherlands.

    Which of these do you defend: polygamy, honor killing, female genital mutilation, killing of “apostates?” That is both Islam and the values of Pakistan and Morocco. They are not to put it mildly the values of the West or Netherlands and both should be concerned.

    More to the point, you ally yourself with violence against the West. Fitna could not be shown in theaters because of Muslim violence. It could not be shown on TV because of Muslim violence. Muslim violence (the credible threat of it) got it pulled from LiveLeak.

    Yes you have some Dutch who want to surrender to Islam and live under Sharia. There are Liberals here (principally Obama and Rev. God Damn America) who want that also.

    What is clear that violence by Muslims works to control and suppress speech. Muslims killing people and threatening to kill people means defacto censorship on a global scale by people in Pakistan and other Muslim places for those in the West.

    Those who argue: don’t tick off Muslims implicitly agree that Muslims are violent, dangerous, terroristic, and don’t react like Christians, Jews, and Buddhists when they are criticized.

  28. Jim please make sure you do not skip your meds. Paranoid delusions can be vary scary.

    “What is clear that violence by Muslims works to control and suppress speech. Muslims killing people and threatening to kill people means defacto censorship on a global scale by people in Pakistan and other Muslim places for those in the West.

    Those who argue: don’t tick off Muslims implicitly agree that Muslims are violent, dangerous, terroristic, and don’t react like Christians, Jews, and Buddhists when they are criticized.”

    It is difficult to know where to begin. Lets start by leaving the Buddhists out of it as they – unlike the descendents of Isaac & Ishmael – are not inclined to go in a killing spree if they don’t get there own way.

    Lets try rewording it a bit and see if it rings true

    Don’t tick off the Americans because the America is a violent, dangerous State and doesn’t react like the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden or Norway when they are criticized.

    Yes that works.

    A lot of people are dying and most of them are Muslim. Where Uncle Sam, and friends, are Rambo-ing up other peoples countries they may take a few loses but not on anything approaching the scale of the civilian deaths they causing both directly ‘collateral damage’ (it really does not sound too bad when you say it quickly, but why invent a new expression when we already have Negligent Homicide and Criminally Negligent Homicide) and indirectly – destruction of infrastructure, security and any chance of gainful employment.
    Hundreds of thousands of people are dead who would not be if we had just left our bombers in their bases, how many of those do you think had dreams of coming to our country to kill us before September 2001?. Now of course they are all dead so can not dream of anything, but how many of their friends and neighbours now dream of coming to our country to kill us? Do we have more friends in the world or fewer (don’t include all those dead people, we will assume they were neutrals)?

    The censorship thing is a problem, or rather the self-censorship thing. I just wish Winder had exercised a little. Censorship is normally a tool of the state exercised in tyranny over its people and the states has – and will – always been much more dangerous than small groups of disaffected citizens. Freedom of expression is worth fighting for so I, regretfully, find myself very much for Winders right to make this film. It just makes me sick to find such a hard won right used to such despicable ends.

    ********************************************

    Just to show I am not all doom and gloom I close with a fun game for all the family.

    ‘Tyranny’ – Just match the quote to its author.

    The quotes are by:
    Plato – Thomas Jefferson – C. S. Lewis – Norman Mailer – Osama bin Laden.

    “Tyranny naturally arises out of democracy.”

    “A modern democracy is a tyranny whose borders are undefined; one discovers how far one can go only by traveling in a straight line until one is stopped.”

    “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.”

    “And he moved the tyranny and suppression of freedom to his own country, and they called it the Patriot Act under the disguise of fighting terrorism.”

    “Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.”

  29. JJackson – just as a continuation of the game, help me understand where America has been massively violent when criticized? As far as I can tell, the Western press has been nonstop criticism of America since 68 – and yet they all still live, the embassies remain untorched.

    What did I miss?

    A.L.

  30. “America has been massively violent when criticized?”
    I am not sure I accused it of that. It has been massively violent – not always sure quite why. Perhaps I should have said ‘ticked off’ not ‘criticised’ but the US does not view itself as being like other states. I can just see the Dutch saying ‘I think American may have a nuclear weapon therefore I am perfectly within my rights to invade it’ or how about Sweden deciding to send some secret service against to kidnap some American doing their shopping in Connecticut and whisking them off to a secret base in Wales for a bit of water-boarding, or Norway collecting various nationalities from around the world and holding them for years without trial and then letting most of them go without ever trying them for anything, no apology, no compensation. US foreign policy is often quite open about advocating regime change in other states and really can not see this as being a problem – this includes assassination of their leaders. I venture to guess they would not feel quite the same way if Iran, Cuba or Venezuela should reciprocate. The rest of the world may not see building a military an order of magnitude large than you need for national defence and stationing all over the world gives the US any special rights – beyond intimidation.

    Jim on the other hand definitely seems to think that if I don’t want to tick off Muslims I am implicitly agreeing that Muslims are violent etc. I would argue that as a matter of common courtesy I would try and avoid things that might be viewed as blasphemous or insulting but criticism – if justified – is quite another matter. There are a small number of religious zealots and all purpose crazies in all religion (Jews and Christians definitely have their quota but I do not know about the Buddhists) but the vast majority of the billions of Muslims reaction to all this has been to despair at the provocation and hope calmer heads prevail. The Osamas and Winders may stir, prod and inflame by peddling their hatred but we can only hope not too many people buy into it.

  31. JJ obviously advocates the establishment of a “Neutered States of America”.

    Seriously, JJ, the job of the government of the United States is to promote the general welfare of her citizens. Nothing more, nothing less. There are of course lots of arguments about the best way to do that, but wussing down to the level of whatever cherry-picked free-riding welfare state isn’t exactly an option for those of us who don’t think history is on hold.

    Sorry, but thank you for your input.

  32. JJackson – “not always sure why…” Um, you’re kidding, right? Well, once we get past the Western Expansion and the whole killing Indians thing, we had a couple of trade wars with the Europeans, managed one the few successful efforts to both decolonialize and beat an insurgency in the Phillipines, got involved in another European war to help England and France, did a little mercantile colonialization of our own in Latin America, tried economic sanctions against a brutal religions state (Japan) and got attacked for it, had another brutal dictatorship declare war against us, and kicked both of their asses (with help from Russia, England, and China).

    So yeah, we’ve made it a historical pattern to randomly go around being “massively violent” – in some Howard Zinn fantasy history.

    When we aren’t even talking from the same concepts, it;s hard to have a meaningful dialog.

    A.L.

  33. I hope this isn’t too redundant but it’s easy for Europeans (and a few that study certain ‘liberal arts’ in the US) to sh*t on Christianity, Amerikkka, or anything that is right-of-left-of-center, but Allah forbid to criticize Islam.

    A few guys threaten a few executives with death and the all semi-state operated news agencies shut down…they of course cower under the ‘multi-culturalism’ excuse of political correctness, stating that it is un-European to offend anyone that is not Amerikkkan, Christian, right-of-left-of-center, since those are the more easier targets – To do otherwise would label you as Nazi or worse yet an neo-con Amerikkkan.

    Just sit in your house, close your eyes, and say “Mark Steyn is a wingnut” a hundred times and all the problems will go away.

    Ignorance is bliss indeed.

    (FYI I like some Europeans and had a blast living there while stationed in Germany)

  34. Mark

    “JJ obviously advocates the establishment of a “Neutered States of America”.”

    Well put, and yes. No one seriously doubts the US is far and away the largest, most technologically advanced and formidable military force on the planet today. One carrier group has more firepower than most countries entire armed forces. If the aim of the military was to keep America safe from attack by foreign powers (which is what most countries seem to use them for) then you could probably disband the Army, Navy & Air Forces; the Marines and Coast Guard could manage fine with the National Guard as reserves if several countries attack together. One has to ask ‘what is all the rest of it for?’ (President Eisenhower had some thoughts check out his farewell address) and what is the wisdom of ploughing ever more money into pulling even further ahead.

    “Seriously, JJ, the job of the government of the United States is to promote the general welfare of her citizens. Nothing more, nothing less.”
    A number of poster have referred to ‘the West’ as a convenient short hand but obviously there are large differences in the political and social systems and the US has chosen a model that is rather different to most of the other countries that would normally be considered as being members of that group. The US model imposes a lower tax burden, leaving the individual with more of their money to spend as they choose, the obvious corollary is the State has less to play with. Western States generally use their tax revenue to provide for the security of their citizens, from attack – by internally and externally agents – and as a safety net for the young, old, ill and others who are unable to fend adequately for themselves. To put that another way Police, Military and ‘welfare state’ (I am not sure where the cherry-picking free-riding bit comes in). Being ‘on welfare’ is not generally a ‘life-style choice’ anywhere, providing the most basic levels of food, shelter & health care to all is viewed by most state as ‘promoting the general welfare of their citizens’ less of them view building yet another kick-ass weapon system as fulfilling this duty.

    History is definitely not on hold we are driving it, and not in a good direction.

    Thank you for your input. My original post not withstanding I am taking the time to post here in the hope of changing minds and am also willing to listen to reasoned argument and let others try and shift my position.

    A.L.

    There is little we can do about all the good, or bad, things that have been done in the past I am/was addressing the stuff that we are doing/supporting now. US foreign policy, and its military enforcement, is the problem I was trying to address. This is not a systemic problem; the founding fathers did a fantastic job, in a very short time, in understanding the potential problems of a States dealings with both its citizens and other States in a world they could not even envisage. Overall an awesome bit of foresight and it is no great surprise (having just escaped from the British yoke) that Jefferson is among those with tyranny quotes. I could have used several of his (my favourite being “All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent” – Thomas Jefferson) or Madison’s or Paine’s (I would be interested to see some one try and square Paine’s views as argued in ‘Common Sense’ with today’s policies)but I fear they would all be spinning in their graves if they could see where their ancestors have taken their dream. This antagonistic position, vis-à-vis the rest of the world, is fairly recent; President Wilson would not of approved of a unilateralist position or sending Bolton to the UN.

  35. JJohnson, the antagonist view of the rest of the world is a frequent theme in both American policies and foreign views of America; it is driven by many things, which are typically bundled as “American Exceptionalism”. To suggest that the view of “The Ugly American” is somehow a product of the Bush era is a denial of how much of the world viewed us in the 1950’s, 1960’s and with the exception of the Carter years, when they saw us as feckless and helpless, the rest of the post-WWII era.

    But people thought those things in the late 19th Century as well. And probably a few other times I could think of if I scanned my bookshelves.

    If you start with a bad understanding of the facts, you’re going to come to bad conclusions.

    A.L.

  36. A.L

    Not sure which facts you think I have wrong and I am not saying it is a new – as in a Bush – thing. The focus is now Islam and Muslim countries rather than Central and South America and the perceived dangers of communism. I do not think it is just America either it is a side effect of the impunity that comes with power and can be easily seen in the arrogance of the British in days of Empire (OK to turn the Chinese into opium addicts if it is good for the business of the East India Co.?) and in every other dominant race. I am saying this is happening now, on our watch, and we should not let it. Nor should we take the attitude that big powers have always behaved this way it just happens to be our turn now. In another couple of generations it may be the Indians or Chinese ‘turn’ and we may not be keen on their interpretation of the norms of international behaviour we are establishing now. I would like to think that we are living in a more enlightened age than Genghis Khan and human civilisation is slowly making progress – although sometimes in a two steps forward and one step back way. The problem is this enlightenment is paralleled by technological advancement that means that while our leaders may not be as nuts as Nero they can do far more damage, how ever good their intentions.
    With great power comes great responsibility and all that.

  37. JJ, I would posit that if you start from the premise that a Neutered States of America would be a good thing, you’re not actually going to convince anyone who doesn’t already share that sentiment of anything else you have to say.

    But just for the sake of your edification, the “free riding welfare states” are those who have in effect outsourced their own national defense to the United States for the last 60 odd years. Naturally these states had more to spend on social programs. (Whether this is a long-term good or not is also open to question, but hey.) Oddly enough, these nations are much more likely to view the United States as too belligerent than those that didn’t enjoy our protection. (I’m thinking specifically of Poland, the Czech Republic, Georgia, the Baltic States, etc.)

    As soon as the generation in charge in those countries forgets the feel of the boot on the neck, I expect them to start resenting the U.S. too.

  38. Jjackson – interesting point you make when you say that: “In another couple of generations it may be the Indians or Chinese ‘turn’ and we may not be keen on their interpretation of the norms of international behaviour we are establishing now.”

    One fast question – do you think for a second that the Chinese care a whit for the ‘norms of international behavior’? That somehow if we’re more EU-like in our behavior, the Chinese, when they have their day, will be so as well?

    How in the world do you think we’d have reacted to Tibet as opposed to how they are?

    A.L.

  39. In an interview with Tarek Heggy that I found at his Wikipedia site, I watched with interest as he speaks of the Anglo Saxon mindest. In your post JJackson, you state
    “bq” _I do not think it is just America either it is a side effect of the impunity that comes with power and can be easily seen in the arrogance of the British in days of Empire (OK to turn the Chinese into opium addicts if it is good for the business of the East India Co._

    None of us is clean here, OK? However, we Anglo Saxons, both in the UK as well as the good ole U.S.of A. do not advocate a utopian ideology such as that of political Islam whereby the belief exists (as with other utopian political ideologies) that as long as the people live under their prescribed belief system (in Islam’s case under Sharia law), all conflict will be overcome.

    Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, however that is able to manifest in lands where capitalism and democracy reigns, seems to be a more humane model by which to conduct the messiness of free will and human liberties. It is far from perfect and brings with it many pitfalls. Nonetheless, it seems the best model to date to ensure the greatest freedoms for the most people. Show me a better way and i will gladly listen.

  40. OK, I’ve seen the English version at Dailymotion. (link)

    This is simple truth. It shouldn’t be controversial. There is what the Koran says. There are our very good Muslim friends explaining it in their own words. That’s the theory, this is the practice, it’s not mysterious.

  41. #48: Re: Deut 25:19… Wait. What? I can never remember if I’m supposed to remember Amalek or blot it out or remember to blot it out. It’s sort of like not thinking about a white stallion. Damned translations into the vernacular!

    AJL, Please get back to me when contemporary people are beheading people or assassinating them in the street over that Bible passage, OK?

  42. #48 from Andrew J. Lazarus: “Is anyone making a movie about Deuteronomy 25:19?”

    Rest assured, such a movie will eventually be made, either when someone figures out how to damn Christians and conservatives with it without touching modern liberal Jews, or like Valley of the Wolves Iraq (2006) with Muslim money and outright Jew-hatred.

    The one thing there’s never any shortage of is movie-town hostility to conservatives and Christians.

  43. I’m interested to hear Andrew’s interpretation of Deuteronomy 25:19. Especially since he seems to think it’s so obvious.

    Amalek refers to an ancient tribe of Sinai that attacked the Hebrews during the Exodus, and were later destroyed by King David. They were neither Arabs nor Egyptians and their relation to any modern nation is unknown. Is there some obvious modern relevance here that is supposed to take us aback?

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