Why We Fight, Part XXIV

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Clerics insist on execution of convert

Senior Muslim clerics demanded yesterday that an Afghan man on trial for converting from Islam to Christianity be executed, warning that if the government caves in to Western pressure and frees him, they will incite people to "pull him into pieces."…

The 41-year-old former medical aid worker faces the death penalty under Afghanistan's Islamic laws for becoming a Christian….

"Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die," said cleric Abdul Raoulf, who is considered a moderate and was jailed three times for opposing the Taliban before the hard-line regime was ousted in 2001.

Whole thing here. Earlier Hit & Run mention of President Bush being "troubled" by it all here.

Where is Islam's Roger Wiliams?

NEXT: Attn, Denver Reasonoids: Fun Fun Fun Tonight, 3/24

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  1. So WTF are all these AK-47’s I keep hearing about that everyone and their brother owns in the nebulous “over there” of the Middle East?

    It doesn’t take a mass uprising. All it takes is one bullet for Abdul Raoulf. Then one for the next, and the next.

  2. Hey – but they have DEMOCRACY now!!!

    Boy, that’s working out great…

    JMJ

  3. Exterminate! Exterminate! Exterminate!

  4. With “moderates” like these…

  5. “Rejecting Islam is insulting God. We will not allow God to be humiliated. This man must die,”

    Not too impressive for an all-powerful god, needing human clerics to do his dirty work.

  6. Unlike Iraq, we didn’t invade Afghanistan to make it “safe for democracy”, but to get rid of the Taliban. The rather uncomfortable question now is, what are we willing to do to make sure the Taliban doesn’t make a comeback?

  7. “We will not allow God to be humiliated.”

    What a primitive idiot. Clearly the ragheads are incapable of maintaining a civilization worthy of the name.

  8. Someday, people will accept that the cheap and easy route of going in, deposing a government, and withdrawing immediately, works far better than making every military aggression an exercise in nation building.

  9. MP,

    “Someday, people will accept that the cheap and easy route of going in, deposing a government, and withdrawing immediately, works far better than making every military aggression an exercise in nation building.”

    Spoken like a true American – cheap and easy.

    JMJ

  10. “Not too impressive for an all-powerful god, needing human clerics to do his dirty work.”

    Reminds me of the SP episode, ‘Cartmanland’, which I watched on DR just last night. After Cartman inherits $1m, he’s followed by various leeches trying to get his money. Father Maxi says, “Eric, God needs that money to build a new church!”, to which he replies, quite succinctly, “I think God has enough money…”

    I mean, come on. If this Moo-Hammid fella can’t even smite one dude without the help of some flesh-n-blood henchman, then, well, I’d venture to say that that is more insulting than one guy converting to Christianity.

    Furthermore, isn’t it a bit curious that, as technology has progressed and allowed more accurate record-keeping, God’s smiting abilities seem to have waned correspondingly? Now, the zealots have been relegated to latching on to random disasters and calling them “God’s Punishment”. Riiiight. Where’s the vengeful God of the Old Testament, who smote motherfuckers for even thinking the wrong way? Now that’s a God I can respect, goddamnit!

  11. I am the one true God, and am infinitely compassionate and merciful. Peace be unto you.

    But if you even think about looking at Me cross-eyed I will roast your babies. If you draw a funny picture of Me I will kill everyone dear to you including your pets. Their suffering will be beyond measure.

    That being said, though, I love you.

  12. Allah,
    The issue is: Have you been humiliated?
    You don’t sound like it.

    Up you, by the way.

  13. JMJ,

    So, what is your answer to this problem? Installing a democratic govt hasn’t helped, because the vast majority of Afghans do not support freedom of religion. Leaving Afghanistan alone would not have helped, as I’m sure the Taliban would have executed him immediately.

    The only way I can see to avoid such an outcome is to install a colonial government to enforce our ideals on Afghanistan. Given your political leanings, I don’t think you’d support imposing liberal beliefs by force in Afghanistan, however much you and your ilk like to do it in the US.

  14. Ruthless: I fail to see how Moo-Hammid would be “insulted” by any of this. Isn’t the whole deal, “believe in me, worship me, and I’ll send you to heaven”? Well, then, if someone chooses not to believe in him, that means that he’s going to get left behind on the Heaven Train. He gets his in the end, according to their myth, so why should Moo-Hammid care?

    For example, let’s say that the entire world was infected with some disease, and it killed you within 3 months. I happened to be the only one with the antidote. I was nice enough to offer it up for a nominal fee to anyone who wanted it. If some ungrateful chump decides that the disease is bogus, and he doesn’t need my antidote, should I give a shit? Of course not. It’s not an insult to me. At the most, I should laugh heartily at his foolishness.

    But, then again, I’m positing logic in the face of an illogical system—

  15. Allah,

    Hey Buddy, John Paul II was asking when You were going to get around to giving him the sponge bath you promised. And when You were tongue-washing My heavenly throne the other day, You forgot to lift up the armrests and get underneath, You incompetent Fool! Start pulling Your own weight!

  16. Ruthless one: I suffer not from humiliation. To Me belong the Names Most Beautiful. All that is in the heavens and the earth magnifies Me.

    You are the humiliated one. All who stand before Me are to surrender to Me. Those who love Me shall fear Me.

    If not.. well.. how about that sweet Grandmother of yours? Surely such a kindly soul is not to suffer the troubles of this world.

    She’s dead. Okay? So dead. And I will burn down her house.

    But that’s besides the point. Peace and joy come to you. For there is no beginning and no end to My love and mercy.

  17. What really concerns me is how many people may be nodding their heads in agreement at the wisdom of the clerics here.

    What ever happened to the good ol’ days when psychotic cults eventually offed themselves en masse? I’ll ship some Kool Aid if they are running low.

  18. None of you saw me. I wasn’t here, okay?

  19. Evan,
    Well put.
    Allah is sellin’ heaven.
    If you ain’t buyin’, I’m not only not humiliated, I’ll get your mangy ass of a soul in the end.
    Would that big corporations had that kind of power.
    (Some hippy-types think they do.)

  20. Jason, son of Ligon:

    We are not a cult. We are a club.

    Peace.

  21. install a colonial government to enforce our ideals

    I think imperialism got a bad rap and needs a second look. Things seemed so much better in the 50s and 60s when Whitey was running things. I’m not saying these third world nations are incapable of civilized conduct…wait, yes I am.
    Bring back the Brits and Frenchies and a little Western discipline!

  22. Crimethink,

    “So, what is your answer to this problem? Installing a democratic govt hasn’t helped,”

    What “democratic government”? We haven’t installed shit. We only control a couple of major cities. Afghanistan is the lawless badland it always was. Heroine production, thanks to the cheap, half-assed way we invaded, will kill more Americans than the terrorists ever could! All we did was install a paper president.

    “…because the vast majority of Afghans do not support freedom of religion. Leaving Afghanistan alone would not have helped, as I’m sure the Taliban would have executed him immediately.”

    Help what? What’s the difference? I guarantee you that Afghanistan will return to it’s Taliban-roots before too long.

    “The only way I can see to avoid such an outcome is to install a colonial government to enforce our ideals on Afghanistan. Given your political leanings, I don’t think you’d support imposing liberal beliefs by force in Afghanistan, however much you and your ilk like to do it in the US.”

    Yes, me and my ilk do impose our belief that sicko religious extremists should not wreck havoc on the nation. Sorry about that. No, we can’t impose our will in Afghanistan. All we could have done is what all successful invaders do:

    * Invade with a massive and overwhelming force.

    * Pacify and disarm the populace.

    * Police the streets until a government settles in.

    * Leave.

    The Bush “administration” is not competent enough for that.

    JMJ

  23. * Invade with a massive and overwhelming force.
    * Pacify and disarm the populace.
    * Police the streets until a government settles in.
    * Leave.

    Cheap and easy. At least someone is listening.

  24. MP,

    That’s cheap and easy??? (Am I missing some well-placed sarcasm here?)

    JMJ

  25. Someday, people will accept that the cheap and easy route of going in, deposing a government, and withdrawing immediately, works far better than making every military aggression an exercise in nation building.

    Er…that’s close to what the US/NATO has done in Afghanistan, as compared with the full-blown nation-building exercise attempted in Iraq. There are only about 1/6 as many foreign troops in the former country relative to the latter, even though the populations are similar, and Afghanistan has a somewhat larger land mass. Whereas the US basically decided to dismantle the existing power structure in Iraq, it did so only partially in Afghanistan, kicking out the Taliban but leaving most of the warlords and tribal chiefs in place (albeit with new, democratic-sounding titles), and making sure that the country’s President came from the same ethnic grouping that produced the Taliban.

    Personally, I think the Afghan approach has worked much better from an American standpoint, as reflected both in the lower levels of violence in the country (which would be even lower if Taliban remnants couldn’t use certain Pakistani tribal regions as virtual safe harbors), and the much higher levels of public support regarding the presence of foreign troops. Yes, it’s no bastion for liberal democracy at this point, but neither’s Iraq.

  26. ED,

    Colonialism was a lot more complex than the old “white man oppressing the brown man” PC cartoon we get. There was a lot of that for sure, but there was also a lot of good old fashioned Victorian Christian do gooderism as well. Places like Africa, and the Punjab were not very pleasant before colonialism, mildly livable during colonialism and downright barbaric afterwards.

    The question is are we fighting radical Islam or are we just fighting whoever happens to attack us and don’t really care if some moonbats in Afghanistan or wherever want to practice a barbaric form of Islam as long as they don’t attack. The U.S. is very bipolar about this. Had Bush come in 2002 and told the Afghans “look assholes you cannot have a government based on Islam and you cannot enforce some loopy version of the Sharia regardless of how badly you want to” the liberals would have destroyed him for being a cultural imperialist and enforcing our values and starting a war of civilizations. He didn’t do that and now we get this and everyone’s panties are in a wad over the fact that the Afghans practice a pretty fucked up version of Islam. My only question is what do people want? If you are really upset about this and want the U.S. to do something, fine, but at least be honest enough to admit that the U.S. is making war on radical Islam and don’t have a fit the next time the U.S. puts a stop to some country practicing it. If you don’t want the U.S. telling other countries what religion to practice, then don’t demand that the U.S. do anything about this and let the Afghans kill him. It has either got to be one or the other.

  27. Colonialism = profitable nation building

    I’d vote for it.

    Then again, the non-Arab British colonies and protectorates did much better than the Arab ones. Seems that the experiment has already been done.

    On the other hand, would we be much better off now, if we’d simply bombed the Sunni triangle into submission? We’d eliminate 95% of the trouble, without harming the oil fields. Let the Kurds and Shi’ites govern themselves.

    I think our primary mistake in Iraq was our failure to understand how much the Sunnis had invested in the system. We were willing to blame Saddam for the oppression, but we didn’t extend this blame to the Sunni tribes who supported him and benefitted from him.

  28. Eric II,

    You’re right, except we still have a large presence there, with no exit plan. We should be gone already.

    That’s cheap and easy??? (Am I missing some well-placed sarcasm here?)

    It’s all relative. Relative to Iraq? You bet.

  29. The Founding Fathers would have had you colonialists shot.

    JMJ

  30. I think our primary mistake in Iraq was our failure to understand how much the Sunnis had invested in the system. We were willing to blame Saddam for the oppression, but we didn’t extend this blame to the Sunni tribes who supported him and benefitted from him.

    Bubba,

    You are exactly right. We bought into this bizaro PC idea that nations can never be evil, just their leaders. The idea that we could just dipose of Saddam and everyone would be happy about it, was crazy. Most people were happy about it, but a small but significant minority got over pretty well under Saddam.

  31. “We bought into this bizaro PC idea that nations can never be evil, just their leaders.”

    I find it interesting that an idea that George Bush has personally endorsed over and over and over again in his speeches is being characterized by a supporter of his as “bizaro PC”.

  32. Furthermore, isn’t it a bit curious that, as technology has progressed and allowed more accurate record-keeping, God’s smiting abilities seem to have waned correspondingly?

    Your technological advancements, such as they are, have allowed me to contract-out the smiting while I’m working on Universe v2.0.

  33. From the venerable fafblog (the world’s only source of fafblog) comes this bit on Iraq, but it applies to the Afghanistan as well.

    Q. Why are we in Iraq?
    A. For freedom! Recent intelligence informs us it is on the march.
    Q. Hooray! Where’s it marching to?
    A. To set up a government of the people, by the people, for the people, and held in check by strict adherence to the laws of Islam.
    Q. Huh! Freedom sounds strangely like theocracy.
    A. No it doesn?t! It is representative godocracy, in which laws are written by the legislative branch, enforced by the executive branch, and interpreted by an all-powerful all-knowing deity which manifests its will through a panel of senior clerics.
    Q. Whew! Is democracy on the march?
    A. Democracy was on the march. Sadly, freedom and democracy were caught in a blizzard and freedom was forced to eat democracy to survive.
    Q. It died as it lived: saut?ed in garlic sauce with a side of scalloped potatoes.
    A. Democracy is survived by sectarian violence and fanaticism. In lieu of flowers, please send a coherent exit strategy.

    http://fafblog.blogspot.com/2006/02/frequently-asked-question-q.html

  34. Crimethink,

    The answer you are looking for is smallpox blankets.

  35. “We bought into this bizaro PC idea that nations can never be evil, just their leaders.”

    Because the complexities involved in a real assessment of the situation couldn’t fit into a scrolling ticker at the bottom of the news networks’ screens. The idea that Iraq would be a free democracy if not for the evil deeds of a few scapegoats was a relatively simplistic, and therefore easily sold, idea. It’s not so much that it was ‘PC’, as it was a simple-assed soundbyte that Joe T. Sixpack could fit on a bumper sticker.

    “I think our primary mistake in Iraq was our failure to understand how much the Sunnis had invested in the system.”

    Yeah, if only we had anticipated that, they’d be a shining beacon of freedom as we speak. Harumph.

    No, John, our “primary mistake” in Iraq was that we actually believed that we could waltz into a nation where several factions have been at war for longer than Iraq has been around, and who hate one another unequivocally…and which has no institutional or political foundations upon which to build a democracy, and just, well, install a democracy. That was the “primary mistake”.

  36. Anone care to guess who wrote this and when?

    The Jordan journey being approved, our dragoman was notified.

    At nine in the morning the caravan was before the hotel door and we were
    at breakfast. There was a commotion about the place. Rumors of war and
    bloodshed were flying every where. The lawless Bedouins in the Valley of
    the Jordan and the deserts down by the Dead Sea were up in arms, and were
    going to destroy all comers. They had had a battle with a troop of
    Turkish cavalry and defeated them; several men killed. They had shut up
    the inhabitants of a village and a Turkish garrison in an old fort near
    Jericho, and were besieging them. They had marched upon a camp of our
    excursionists by the Jordan, and the pilgrims only saved their lives by
    stealing away and flying to Jerusalem under whip and spur in the darkness
    of the night.

  37. Wow – Evan really hits it on the nose there!

    JMJ

  38. It’s at times like this when I remember the words of some wise men:

    Some things in life are bad,
    They can really make you mad,
    Other things just make you swear and curse,
    When you’re chewing life’s gristle,
    Don’t grumble,
    Give a whistle
    And this’ll help things turn out for the best.
    And…

    (Altogether now!)

  39. “Your technological advancements, such as they are, have allowed me to contract-out the smiting while I’m working on Universe v2.0.”

    I’d say it’s time to reign in your subs, G-man! Either they kill indiscriminately (which h’aint exactly your “will”), or they’re prohibited from engaging in Smiting or smiting-related activities by the abstract laws of man. Man, if this was the O.T., you’d lay the smite-down on a motherfucker for even thinking about not going to church. Now, your subcontractors smite an entire region of the world at once, while Your kooky mouthpieces claim that it was punishment from You for whatever sins conveniently happen to have been committed by the smoten. But most folks aren’t buying it, G. We need to have a bunch of that Book of Job shit, man. A nigga says, “I’m tired, I ain’t goin to church today”, and a few seconds later, he’s fried by lightning.

  40. Evan,

    No Evan are primary mistake was thinking that we could do it easily and go home in six months. Everyone said you could not have an election, they did. Everyone said, they could not write a constitution, they did. Everyone said they couldn’t form a government, they have. Everyone said that the Iraqis could never form an army, they have and the number of American troops is going down and the attacks on American troops are going down. It has been very hard, but the U.S. adapted and it is getting there. When the U.S. leaves in a couple of years, the Iraqis will still probably be fighting Al Quada, but they will be doing on their own and the country will be a lot better off than it was under Saddam. Further, there are and will be more 1000s of dead jihadists who would have otherwise been in Europe, Chechnya or the U.S. causing problems. The U.S. will also never have to depend upon Saudi Arabia or Kuwait for bases in the middle east again and will be able to confront Iran with them basically surrounded by hostile nations in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Iraq.

  41. Anon,

    It’s times like these when I remember the words of another wise man…

    This sucks, but, well, Snakes on a Plane

  42. John,

    These individual pieces do not make a functioning democracy any more than putting a bunch of body parts together makes a functioning person. You list some sort of abject item that “everyone said couldn’t be done”, then note that it has been done, and point to this as evidence that democracy is on the march. With enough bullets and money, anyone can force an “election” to take place. Anyone can insert a “government”. If you think that piling up enough of these items will create a lasting democracy amidst the hatred-laden backdrop of Iraq, you’re sorely mistaken. But, then again, Dr. Frankenstein did it, didn’t he? That worked out well, no?

    “It has been very hard, but the U.S. adapted and it is getting there.”

    Getting where? Civil War?

    “When the U.S. leaves in a couple of years, the Iraqis will still probably be fighting Al Quada, but they will be doing on their own and the country will be a lot better off than it was under Saddam.”

    Yes, well, that’s good to know. WHAT? Sorry to rain on your little parade of optimism, but, a couple things to point out: 1) Saddam’s secular dictatorship was probably the best way to keep the warring religious factions from descending into Civil War. Yes, it was brutal, and I’m not justifying it, I’m just saying, sometimes, nasty brute force is the only thing that works. As for “fighting al qaeda”, c’mon. They’re gonna be fighting each other.

    “Further, there are and will be more 1000s of dead jihadists who would have otherwise been in Europe, Chechnya or the U.S. causing problems.”

    I’m not even gonna touch the oft-debunked flypaper theory…

    “The U.S. will also never have to depend upon Saudi Arabia or Kuwait for bases in the middle east again and will be able to confront Iran with them basically surrounded by hostile nations in Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and Iraq.”

    So, the hundreds of billions of dollars we’re spending on this debacle is for, um, a new base from which to wage war on Iran and spend even more of our money and blood. Excuse me for not celebrating this (dubious) assertion.

  43. I’d say it’s time to reign in your subs, G-man! Either they kill indiscriminately (which h’aint exactly your “will”), or they’re prohibited from engaging in Smiting or smiting-related activities by the abstract laws of man.

    My will? Einstein was a smart boy, but he was wrong about the dice; and very few of My subcontractors are of your species.

  44. The question is whether we can invade a country, kill a common enemy and set up a new goverment without imposing our values on the citizenry. I say it can’t be done. It’s a half-measure doomed to failure. Experience shows that the “saved” citizens will thank us very much then tell us to get the hell out and stop meddling in their “internal” affairs.

  45. We need a heavy duty nam-shub, ASAP.

  46. We need a heavy duty nam-shub, ASAP.

  47. Afghanistan is enjoying the same kind of liberation as Eastern Europe did post-WW2.

    – Josh

  48. Afghanistan is enjoying the same kind of liberation as Eastern Europe did post-WW2.

    This may be the dumbest thing I’ve seen here all week.

  49. Every time some news comes out of Afghanistan, it reconfirms my belief that we should have left it in the hands of the Commies.

  50. Wild Pegasus,
    Don’t let RC Dean get you down.
    I liked what you said. ‘Course I’m in the running for dumbest poster here.

  51. Mark,

    That is so ironically and tragically true. The great irony here is that the Soviets were trying to do exactly what we are. If they had succeeded – no 9/11. Reagan created, funded, trained, and emboldened the same terrorists who attacked us on the fateful, but utterly expected, day. The Cold Warriors made sure the wars would never end, and our tax dollars would be theirs to kill with forever.

    Americans are so, so, so, so STUPID.

    JMJ

  52. You’re right, except we still have a large presence there, with no exit plan. We should be gone already.

    Sure – if you want the place to become a safe-harbor again for Al-Qaeda and like-minded souls. That didn’t work out too well the first time, as I recall.

    Things haven’t worked out perfectly in Afghanistan, but you can’t say it’s been a huge disaster either in terms of American strategic interests; and unlike Iraq, it’s not hard to argue that the current outcome is better than not having gone in at all.

  53. The great irony here is that the Soviets were trying to do exactly what we are. If they had succeeded – no 9/11.

    I’m inclined to agree. In those circumstances, Afghanistan probably would’ve ended up looking a bit like Tajikistan – a dirt-poor, tribalized, mountainous country ruled by some ex-Soviet strongman or another, but not very fertile soil for Islamist fanaticism.

    Only thing is, there’s no guarantee that the Soviets would’ve succeeded had the US not interefered. It’s entirely possible that the Saudis and Pakistanis, aided by warlords and Islamists from within Afghanistan and by jihadis from without, could’ve still derailed the project. In my mind, it’s a little bit like asking whether North Vietnam would’ve succeeded had they not been getting Soviet support.

  54. What ever happened to the good ol’ days when psychotic cults eventually offed themselves en masse?

    I dunno, sounds a lot like these are the good ol’ days. Pardon my Carly Simon.

  55. * Pacify and disarm the populace.

    That’s a great way to ensure that whatever strongman religious nutjob who gains power will be able to keep it until the next time the U.S. comes in and rains fire from above.

  56. I guess no one ever told these folks that “Allah” means the same thing as “God”…

  57. Evan,

    99% of what you say has been beaten to death to such a point that I am just tired of pointing out the obvious. Stop reading the NYT and get your head out of the sand. This is not a civil war. A civil war involves rival governments within the same country and varous factions controling different parts of the country. You want to see a civil war go to Columbia where the FARC controls half of the country, that is a civil war. A group of lunatics blowing random unarmed civilians is not a civil war. You and the other lefties on here repeat the same crap day after day without any regard to the facts. Your lefties overlords told you last fall the insurgency was winning, now that even they can’t say that with a straight face, its a civil war.

    Of all the things you say, this is worth responding to:

    ” Yes, well, that’s good to know. WHAT? Sorry to rain on your little parade of optimism, but, a couple things to point out: 1) Saddam’s secular dictatorship was probably the best way to keep the warring religious factions from descending into Civil War. Yes, it was brutal, and I’m not justifying it, I’m just saying, sometimes, nasty brute force is the only thing that works. As for “fighting al qaeda”, c’mon. They’re gonna be fighting each other.”

    In case you haven’t heard, Saddam was meeting with Bin Laden in 1995 and discussing possible cooperation with him. Now, there is no evidence that he actually did, we just don’t know. He was however meeting with him and open to cooperation. The idea that Saddam was secular is one of the biggest lies of many put out by the left. AFter the first gulf war Saddam became very religous. He changed the Iraqi flag to include a verse from the Koran and started building mosques everywhere. He openly proclaimed his religous purity and commitment to the jihad. Further even if he wasn’t really committed, since when does ideology prevent people from working together against a common enemy. The Syrians are Bathists to yet allies with the Mullahs in Iran and supporters of islamic terrorists in Lebenon. It is completely rediculous and ignorent to argue that Saddam would never have worked with Al Al Quada because he was secular.

    Even, it would be one thing if you were just ignorent and knew nothing about the middle east. That would be forgiveable. Instead, you are willfully ignorent and that is just sad.

  58. John – ok, it’s not a civil war, but I’m with Evan…none of your justifications for going to Iraq make one bit of sense to me.

    We really stepped into one big, steaming pile of shit by going to Iraq. I wish we weren’t there now so I could join the goddamn Army Reserves, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to get my legs blown off or killed for that dipshit Bush and his little nation-building experiment.

  59. Y’all might want to read today’s Krauthammer column:

  60. I’m sorry, you’re all wrong. It’s a civil police action.

  61. Mr. F Le Mur,
    I was hoping someone would answer because I was curious, but I had to look it up myself. I thought that sounded like Twain. The Innocents Abroad

  62. This is not a civil war. A civil war involves rival governments within the same country and varous factions controling different parts of the country. You want to see a civil war go to Columbia where the FARC controls half of the country, that is a civil war. A group of lunatics blowing random unarmed civilians is not a civil war.

    Technically you are wrong. According to globalsecurity.org a civil war is defined as:
    A war between factions of the same country; there are five criteria for international recognition of this status:
    1)the contestants must control territory
    2)have a functioning government
    3)enjoy some foreign recognition
    4)have identifiable regular armed forces
    5)engage in major military operations.

    FARC is not a government, nor is it internationally recognized as being such. FARC does not have ‘regular armed forces’ being that FARC is a guerilla movement and most of the members of the movement are themselves fighters. By that definition the civil conflict in Columbia is no different than the one in Iraq, except that FARC is attempting to wrestle control away from an existing government whereas Iraq has no internally recognized government.

    That having been said, the sectarian violence in Iraq is in no way ‘random’. Sunnis are targeting Shiites, Shiites are targeting Sunnis, Kurds are targeting everybody that won’t give them Kurdistan and everybody is targeting the ‘foreign colonial invaders’ for good measure.

    As an aside: If you can’t discuss the issues at hand without calling other posters names like ‘leftie’ or ‘right-wingnut’ or other such colorful euphemisms, please go join the folks over at RedState or DailyKos. Just because someone doesn’t buy the current administration’s assertions about the military action in Iraq hook line and sinker does not make them a ‘leftie’ and I would emplore you to look at Evan’s posts on other threads before calling his political bent into the argument.

  63. Regardless of whether you want to call it a civil war or a frat prank, it’s clearly a big bloody mess that threatens stability.

  64. At the risk of being labled a ‘leftie’ I’d like to point out a lovely bit of media frenzy I stumbled upon. Normally I try to stay away from sensationalist media whores like Michelle Malkin but seeing how she is typically vocal about the ‘evils of Islam’ I thought I’d see what she had to say about the case of Mr. Rahman. Amazingly although she has it plastered all over her site about what the blogs are reporting on and what the MSM is not reporting on she personally doesn’t condemn the Afghan government. She quotes other bloggers and MSM quite extensively however she doesn’t type much to make her feelings known.

    What I wanted to know is how she (and other memebers of Judaism) reconcile the current actions in Afghanistan with the old Testament verses that declare an apostate to be stoned?

    Deuteronomy 13:6-10

  65. John, how do you respond to the many conservatives, the many military officers, the many mid-east experts who believe that there is most definitely a civil war in Iraq? I’m not saying they’re necessarily right, but you can’t exactly accuse them of being ignorant, can you?

    And when it comes to being “willfully ignorant,” I hope you’re as hard on our newspaper avoiding president as you are on the posters here.

  66. Topics like this end up being gathering places for armchair Nixon/Kissinger types.
    1. B. F. Skinner proved to my satisfaction, that punishment doesn’t work. Only positive reinforcement does.
    2. Governments will never, ever engage in positive reinforcement.
    3. The solution to conflicts between ethnic groups involves digging through mountains of pony shit deposited by governments.
    4. The pony itself is acknowledgement that each and every person has value.
    5. Each and every person could have greater value, if each and every person were valued in the first place.
    6. Recalcitrant tribes are like black holes.
    7. Even black holes eventually evaporate.
    8. They could evaporate faster if everyone could grasp what I’m saying here.

  67. I don’t think there is a civil war here. I think a civil war is the goal of some. But they are far from succesfull.

    The bombing of the mosque in Samarra had as a goal to start a civil war, and it was succesfull in getting a lot of retrobution from the Shia majority, and a few sunni’s were killed.

    But the civil war did not happen. I’m not saying a civil war can’t be sparked, but right now there is no desire by a minority of the populace of either side for a civil war.

    Word I hear is that the Syrians are pushing hard for a civil war in Iraq, they think that will save them from us.

    I still think Iraq will be a prosperous relatively free country. The most so out of any of its neighbors. And I have yet to see any of the major criticisms of the war that I agree with.
    I don’t think we could have not should have kept the Army and police in place. I don’t think we should have used a larger force.

    I think it is going to be a bloody mess for a while and I don’t think there is a cheap and easy way of doing it.

  68. I think it is going to be a bloody mess for a while and I don’t think there is a cheap and easy way of doing it.

    I agree with this. Can we also agree that that’s the exact opposite of how the Bush administration sold the war? I hope we can because it’s really well documented.

  69. John: You said

    **Everyone said you could not have an election, they did. Everyone said, they could not write a constitution, they did. Everyone said they couldn’t form a government, they have. Everyone said that the Iraqis could never form an army, they have and the number of American troops is going down and the attacks on American troops are going down. ***

    I hate to dampen your enthusiasm but after World War I there were a lot of new European nations who
    a) got democratic elections b) got constitutions written c) got new democratic governments and d) got a functioning army.

    Ten years after that, only three of them remained democratic: Finland, Ireland, and Chekoslovakia. The rest were fascistoid dictatorships (except of Germany and Italy which had nothing of “oid” to it).

    Sadly, elections, consitution, government, are no guarantees in themselves.

  70. Everyone said you could not have an election, they did. Everyone said, they could not write a constitution, they did. Everyone said they couldn’t form a government, they have.

    If by “everyone,” you mean “everyone against the war,” it’s a categorically false statement. Even if you mean “most of the people against the war,” (in which case, why not say that?), I’ll believe it when you provide some link or reference to a reliable poll of people against the war (I’ve certainly never seen any information suggesting that the majority of people who thought invading Iraq was a mistake also thought the Iraqis couldn’t form another government or have elections or raise a new army).

    If you want people to take you seriously at all, you have to think about what you’re writing before you write it.

  71. Below is the letter from my friend:
    See if you can bring up this piece. It is a real player piece with video.

    Subject: Al Jazeera television

    Here is a powerful and amazing statement on Al Jazeera television. The woman is Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American psychologist from Los Angeles. I would suggest watching it ASAP because I don’t know how long the link will be active. She’s skating on thin ice on their pond.

    http://switch3.castup.net/cunet/gm.asp?ai=214&ar=1050wmv&ak=null

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