Middle East

Did the West Liberate Kuwait So It Could Execute Anyone Who Insults God or Mohammed? The Answer May Appall You.

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Back in 1991, a coalition of international troops led by the United States and put together chiefly by President George H.W. Bush attacked Iraq in response to that country's invasion and occupation of Kuwait. One of the goals of the operation was to liberate Kuwait and hem in Saddam Hussein and Iraq.

The active part of the war lasted a total of about 210 days; following the expulsion of Iraqi troops from Kuwait, allied forces moved into Iraq and quickly took control of the country, or at least of its international ambitions. After a cease-fire, coalition troops (mostly American) maintained no-fly zones, and more, and that seemed to be that (not exactly). Kuwait was free to get on with its life free of Iraqi interference.

The first President Bush justified the move against Iraq by saying, "If history teaches us anything, it is that we must resist aggression or it will destroy our freedoms."

Here's the latest news from Kuwait, the country we rescued:

Kuwaiti lawmakers voted in favour of a legal amendment on Thursday which could make insulting God and the Prophet Mohammad punishable by death, after a case of suspected blasphemy on Twitter caused an uproar in the Gulf Arab state.

Members of Parliament must vote on the proposal again in a second session and it would need the approval of the country's ruler before becoming law.

The amendment was backed by 46 votes, while four opposed it and others abstained. Those in favour included all 15 members of the cabinet.

Blasphemy is illegal in Kuwait under a 1961 publications law and at present carries a jail term, the length of which depends on the severity of the comments and their perceived effect on society, lawyers say.

Islamist MPs proposed toughening the law last month after authorities arrested a Kuwaiti man they said had defamed the Prophet, his companions and his wife on the Twitter messaging site.

More here.

The first Gulf War took place before I had joined the staff of Reason or had a public voice. I remember being against it for many reasons, but I could at least understand the idea of other nations pushing back when an internationally recognized boundary fell (never mind that the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad had told the Iraqis that our country had "no opinion on Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait" and all that).

I'm curious how defenders of the first Gulf War (not to mention the second and hopefully last one) feel about Kuwait these days? Are our freedoms in better shape since we helped out a country that's about to vote to put people to death for insulting religious figures?

Related (from 2010): "Why We're Holding an Everybody Draw Mohammed Day Contest"

NEXT: Food Trucks vs. The Establishment: Attorney Jeffrey Dermer on the Legalities of Mobile Vending

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  1. Why would you revere anyone so apparently thin skinned?

    1. I don’t think it’s the subject of the reverence; it’s the ones who use the subject as their source for power. A big part of Christianity preaches the “god as fear” approach. I can’t get behind vengeful spirits. Then again, I don’t pretend to speak for them, either.

  2. I think Gulf War I was intended to make the Middle East safe for a deity even more powerful than Allah (who alone knows all).

    You can find the sacred symbol of that deity on the penguin poster.

    1. Well, I think it is better to burn oil than to burn heretics. (You ever seen the mileage you get out of them things?)

      But I think many of the people who were outraged by Bush going into Kuwait (imposing our shitty Western values on those poor little brown-skinned noble savages) are the same sort who don’t have a problem with how Muslim countries tend to have some rather 14th-century views of human rights.

      For example, the redneck preacher in Florida who burned the Koran and thereby ignited a furor over his lack of respect for other cultures (and a wave of justifications for the subsequent rioting and killings in Afghanistan) – where were the denunciations of lack of respect for redneck culture? How are Imams burning heretical works in Iran any different than Y’allmams burning heretical works in Florida?

      You aren’t going to find much outrage on the Left.

      1. That guy didn’t burn any Korans. He just said he would. Which shows you nutty the reactionaries were.

        1. Zealots would be very entertaining if the fuckers had no ability to actually kill anyone.

        2. The link given by Mr. Lewis above says he did in fact burn a Koran.

      2. We’re supposed to be the enlightened ones who aren’t bothered by burning bibles and bombing embassies to protest Muhammed doodles.

        1. (P.S.: You filthy ignorant hick.)

      3. You have to refine the heretics first, then they burn much more efficiently.

      4. Well, the moron attention whore in Gainesville was intending to burn one Koran as a pure demonstration of disrespect for Islam. At least the Iranian imams have some understandable reason for wanting to burn non-Muslim religious works — they don’t want their people to be converted by them — even if I think that reason is stupid.

        So basically, they’re both stupid and I disapprove of and choose not to associate with either group of people. Do note also that no American, even on the left, is pushing for war with Gainesville over the Koran burning.

    2. You can find the sacred symbol of that deity on the penguin poster.

      Thank Hugh.

      Oh, wait, you meant Exxon, didn’t you?

  3. Nick, I like you and all, but this post seems slightly nonsensical. Isn’t the connection between the 1991 War and this 2012 piece of legislation just a touch attenuated to draw this kind of connection?

    Secondly, much of the rationale was not that Kuwait qua Kuwait was somehow vastly preferable to Saddma’s Iraq, it was that “He who steals an egg will steal an ox”. The 1991 war was the first true expression of the post-Cold War policy that all of the dictators and other strongmen created during the Cold War were now a problem that needed “cleaning up”. More briefly, it was more about controlling people like Saddman than it was about protecting a shitty little kingdom like Kuwait.

    I do think, however, that this can be used as a object lesson about interventionism. However, we have plenty of modern-day examples that don’t require this sort of 22-year reachback (see: siding with the “rebels” in Libya for a good example).

    1. (see: siding with the “rebels” in Libya for a good example).

      Which should not have been done. Those “rebels” should have either succeeded or failed on their own.

      It seems like a policy of containment, six eggs here, half a dozen the other.

      1. (see: siding with the “rebels” in Libya for a good example).

        Which is instead being used to gear up for military action in Syria. “Gee, if we went into Libya, we’d be hypocrites not to go into Syria. Plus we’d stick it to Iran before we go in there, too.”

    2. Randian is correct – the correlation is kind of thin. That question could be asked of anything and everything the Kuwaitis do.

      Yes it was oil. Not just Kuwait’s oil. If Saddam wasn’t an idiot, he would have kept rolling right through Kuwait and into Saudi Arabia, making himself the richest dictator in the world.

      That is why we had 2 Divisions and half the Navy on the way to Saudi Arabia before the Iraqi’s were even done securing Kuwait.

  4. You know, I really don’t get the point of these types of posts. On one hand, “Sovereign nations should be able to govern themselves however they wish, and we should butt out,”; the other, “They aren’t doing it right, dammit!”

    This was apparent during that fraudulent Arab Spring, when people were gushing their panties about ousting scumbag dictators, then getting pissed off when theocracies and religiously sympathetic poobahs are instilled.

    Make up your damn mind, Reason.

    1. I suppose the pernt of this post is probably to remind us it’s no use helping anyone stop aggression because they’re going to end up just as bad as the aggressors down the line. Everyone’s a douchebag.

      1. The Who said it much better.

    2. Come on, doc. There is a middle ground between “anything goes” and “we must bend the world to our will.”

      Criticizing a country that executes people for speaking the unspeakable is perfectly reasonable, and in no way approaches advocating forcing them to change.

      1. Second this. Doc, it is like telling your cheating friend that cheating is not cool. Does not mean you are going to punch him in the mouth over it, or advocate for a law, but that does not mean that you cannot say something about egregious behavior.

        1. but that does not mean that you cannot say something about egregious behavior.

          Of course not. Now, get enough cuckolded men and women together that have been affected negatively and then you have a crowd that screams, “Do something!”

      2. Criticizing a country that executes people for speaking the unspeakable is perfectly reasonable, and in no way approaches advocating forcing them to change.

        I have problem none with the criticizing of immoral government policy, that is proper and should be encouraged; acting surprised when it happens skews towards concern trolling and gives WarHawkFags more ammo to legitimize forcing them to change.

        See also: Hillary Clinton.

        1. **H&R Internal Memorandum for Record**

          The Warhawks are called Ticks now, because nothing satisifes their need for more blood.

          1. I still prefer “Foreign Explosionists”

          2. Ah, thanks you, ’twas not carbon copied. Once again, TAO, you update my H&R Netiquette 2.0 to 2.1. I’m going to have to put you on my payroll.

            Ticks, and the Queen Tick, HRC.

  5. Yes, as I recall the Gulf War, it was to stop Saddam threatening the oil supply of the Gulf. Helping the Kuwaitis was just a nice side effect, we certainly did not hold up their government up as a model of anything nice.

    1. It wasn’t really about the oil, given that the amount of oil coming from Kuwait is marginal, and that the US gets far more oil from nations like Canada or Mexico than it does from most of the gulf nations, though Saudi Arabia is second in terms of being a supplier. What it was about was protecting American hegemony. If the US did not act then nations would have questioned the utility of US military installations on their territory, the common thought being that the nation in question would benefit from a US presence, or even having some sort of bilateral relationship with the US, for the same reasons. The leadership, and this would be democratic, republican or otherwise, did not want the risk, in their minds, the possibility of Saddam action damaging our hegemonic system.

      1. If oil supply from a nation that doesn’t supply the US–but supplies other nations–is cut off, then those other nations will look for oil from other sources. This will increase the general market price, affecting everyone.

        Simple economics.

        1. Well the conventional wisdom seems to be that the USA gets most of its oil from the Middle East. It is often used as a talking point in rants about our “addiction” to petroleum to stop enriching Middle Eaastern potentates. As usual, the conventional wisdom is wrong, because understanding the nature of commodities does not lend itself to bumper sticker philosophizing.

          1. As usual, the conventional wisdom is wrong, because understanding the nature of commodities does not lend itself to bumper sticker philosophizing.

            Of course leftism lends itself only to bumper sticker philosophizing.

            Money is not speech! Corporations are not people!

          2. …because understanding the nature of commodities does not lend itself to bumper sticker philosophizing.

            The hell it doesn’t:

            BUY LOW, SELL HIGH!

            1. FEAR THE BOOM AND BUST

          3. Well the conventional wisdom seems to be that the USA gets most of its oil from the Middle East.

            It’s a common misperception indeed, though I don’t know if I’d raise it to the level of conventional wisdom. However, it’s fairly irrelevant which foreign country we tend to get oil from for the fungibility reason the good doctor gave.

      2. Your facts are backward. We had no military installations in the Middle East, nor hegemony there prior to the Gulf War. Our relationship with Saudi was strictly a matter of financial and military aid until the Gulf War. Our motivation was an iteration on the Domino Theory. We were concerned with Saddam invading Saudi Arabia, and had legitimate fears of that because the casus belli of the Iran-Iraq war was a) revolutionary anxiety, b) oil grabbin.

        1. Yeah, actually, whenever I hear people say “war for oil” I ask “Isn’t oil as reasonable a thing to go to war over as anything else?”

  6. “…Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be.

    But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy.

    She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all.

    She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

    She will commend the general cause by the countenance of her voice, and the benignant sympathy of her example.

    She well knows that by once enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication, in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy, and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standard of freedom.

    The fundamental maxims of her policy would insensibly change from liberty to force….

    She might become the dictatress of the world. She would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit….

    [America’s] glory is not dominion, but liberty. Her march is the march of the mind. She has a spear and a shield: but the motto upon her shield is, Freedom, Independence, Peace. This has been her Declaration: this has been, as far as her necessary intercourse with the rest of mankind would permit, her practice.”

    John Quincy Adams 1821

    1. Dude, how do you expect me to read that? That’s like 100 years old and shit.

      1. Clearly our Founding Documents and related literature must be converted to text message speak. Perhaps there is a function for Orrin after all.

        1. I’m not even kidding: I hear some girls on campus last month saying basically this. It was all I could do to not flip out.

          1. TSNF, u havnt rd Shkspere til u rd him in the orig txt ~~~ TTLY!

    2. And in 1828 he lost in a landslide to Injun-killer Andrew Jackson.

      So it goes.

      1. He won in 1828 (at least in the EC). Jackson beat him in 1832.

        1. oops, I guess it was 1824 that he won. my bad

    3. Well, as far as the First Gulf War goes, we weren’t there as much more than Saudi mercenaries.

    4. Sounds like an America hating terrorist lover to me.

  7. Any politician who tells you we need to do something so that we can bring democracy to the Islamic World is, of course, lieing. And we know it too, and should give ourselves a dope slap if we fall for it.

    Democracy is just not the default worldview for most of the globe outside of the West (or actually outside of the anglosphere). Tribalism and religion kick its weak ass, and they are as authoritarian as an Oprah Winfrey TV set.

  8. Blasphemy is illegal in Kuwait under a 1961 publications law and at present carries a jail term, the length of which depends on the severity of the comments and their perceived effect on society

    Serious question: How common are “mild oaths” in Islam? By this I mean things analogous to “goshdarnit” and “jeepers creepers” in the West. “Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain.” However, there seem to be many tolerable workarounds. Does screaming “Mo!” when you stub your toe warrant a flogging?

    1. Profanity is very culturally bound. Not all languages use blasphemy to swear. From what I know about Arabic swearing, at lot of it is focused on the fucking of someone’s mother or sister.

      I’m going to have to read this thesis when I get into work on Monday.

      1. This one is the most popular, though more of a discrete insult than a profanity, and not limited to Arabic. Can be used in a profane manner, however.

        1. In fact, “Akhu Sharmuta” (Brother of a Whore) is possibly the most common slur aimed from one male to another, at least in Arabic speaking countries. I have no idea how common it is in Ethiopia or Eritrea.

      2. May the fleas of a thousand camels infest your armpits. 😉

        1. May your camel shit on your dick.

        2. May your sister look longingly at the American soldiers from her window perch.

  9. The only reason the US went into Kuwait and Iraq was to protect Europe’s oil interests and Saudi Arabia.

  10. but they’re just like us. Isn’t that what the left keeps telling us? This is who they are. In a sense, it’s who some in this land used to be (see: Salem, witch trials). We have moved on; they have not. But let’s stop pretending that they have and if we just all pass the talking stick, love and peace will reign.

  11. I wonder if they stone the penguins in Kuwait for failure to uphold salat.

    1. Nah, Exxon covered the dhimmi tax.

    2. I wonder how penguins taste.

      1. More importantly, how does one properly prepare a penguin?

      2. Penguin Cordon Bleu would really hit the spot right now. I guess the Black Forest Ham would make it a last meal in Kuwait.

      3. Supposedly, penguins taste so bad they’re almost inedible.

        1. Then we need a smoker, mesquite, and Tabasco.

          1. Deep fryer. Anything tastes good fried (dentics notswithstanding).

  12. As I recall Gulf War I was in response to the Iraqi’s LOOTING THE BABY INCUBATORS AND LEAVING THE DEAD BABIES ON THE HOSPITAL FLOOR!!! With all the usual pro-war propaganda implications that they had used the Kuwaiti infants for some sort of sport involving tossing them into the air and catching them on bayonets.

  13. “The amendment was backed by 46 votes, while four opposed it and others abstained. Those in favour included all 15 members of the cabinet.”

    Some serious stones on these 4 guys. I mean, if such a law is within the realm of possibility, as it appears to be, then so is its creative application, ex post facto, to their having voted against it.

  14. Didnt some woman legislator in Kuwait recently call for the legalization of the open enslavement of white women. If I remember correctly she was advocating for public slave-block auctions of any women captured in the muslim-russian conflicts.

    1. Former legislator

      An activist from Kuwait has provoked public outrage after calling for the legalization of sex slavery. She suggested that non-Muslim women war captives be sold as concubines to keep men in their families, making them less likely to commit adultery.

      Salwa Al-Mutairi, a former parliamentary candidate, said in an online TV show she hosts, that the sex slave market is the way to protect wealthy Kuwaiti men from being seduced and committing sin, Kuwait Times reports.

      Not quite the New York Times caliber of Paul Kane yet, but she sounds like she is trying.

      1. Amazing how the gods and angels only tell prophets what they want to hear.

        Oh, it’s not adultery if you are having sex with a non believer.

        It is not adultery if you also ‘marry’ this other woman of whom you happened to kill (not murder, they were unbelievers!) her father, brothers and husband. It is not rape now that you are married to her.

        Fuck Mohammed.

        1. Well, if you’re going to kill all her male relatives, the least you can do is give her genome some chance of perpetuating.

          How does being “married” make forced sexual contact not rape? I’ve always been a little fuzzy on that.

          1. Ask mo, or his followers. I was outlining an actual event from the Koran.

            1. I didn’t expect you to. The sarcasm was not directed at you.

              1. Didn’t think you implied anything more than I might understand their rational. So, no worries. Believe me, if I could I would have gave it a try.

          2. From the point of view of law, perhaps it would make it “not rape”. From the point of view of the woman, not so much.

            1. Has Whoopi Goldberg weighed in on this?

      2. She gave the example of Haroun Al-Rashid, the fifth Abbasid Caliph in Iraq, who ruled from 786 to 809 and was said to own hundreds or even thousands of girl slaves.

        The activist added that Muslim clerics she had talked to in Mecca had said nothing against the idea. “There was no shame in it and it is not haram (forbidden) under Islamic Sharia law,” she claimed.”

        It has been said that Islamic culture was very enlightened for the Middle Ages, this woman is a data point that it still is.

        1. Odo of Aquitaine is one of my favorite people in history, because if not for him, that sort of thing would be widespread in the west, too. He (along with Charles Martel later) was the only thing keeping France (and then the rest of Europe) from being conquered.

        2. Metropolitan Arab society was and is among the most sophisticated the world has ever produced. That was true before Mo. That is true today, and that will be true after Mo. To understand the disruption in the normal course of things that is Mo, imagine if you will that the sleaziest most backasswards hillbilly chicken fucker in America, Larry Flynt, dominated both our tribal politics and our religious belief system, and you have the historical tragedy that is Islam in a nutshell.

          1. This cannot be repeated enough.

            Arab =/= Muslim.

            1. Yep. My point. The advances in mathematics, basic sciences, demi science like alchemy that gave rise to modern science, scholarship, historical preservation of fundamental cultural resources, eye fucking glorious architecture (my personal favorite http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral?Mosque_of_C?rdoba), post modernist irony rich literature a thousand years before our own and much more had nothing or very little to do with Islam and occurred in spite of that creed.

              1. Cool. Now do Torquemada and Vlad the Impaler vs. Metropolitan European culture.

          2. Mohammed was a product of that Arab society. That Arab society both produced and came to embrace his theology and philosophy say that Islam was not a disruption but an organic development of that culture.

            1. Karl Marx creed was an organic development of Western Europe but would you argue that it has not been disruptive?

              1. I would argue that couching the description of those developments in terms that suggest they were a kind of alien influence on the culture is misleading.

                1. I’m not being misleading. Your reading comprehension fails if that is what you take from what I wrote.

                  In my example I compared Mo a product of the Middle East to Larry Flynt a product of America. I stated that Islam is what you get when the worst aspects of a culture dominate the over all culture.

                  At least admit that you are wrong now that it has been outlined for you, don’t embarrass yourself by claiming duplicity on my part. It is not necessary for me to be; I rarely indulge in printing out my thoughts until I get them right.

                  1. If a supposedly sophisticated culture embraces the worst aspects of that culture then perhaps it is not as sophisticated as is claimed.

                    “Your reading comprehension fails if that is what you take from what I wrote.”

                    Yeah, blame your reader.

                    Get bent.

                    1. Get bent.

                      What I expect of a lying blackguard. Even after I gave you the benefit of the doubt and a means to redeem yourself you prefer the low road. The record is right here for anyone to see. You are not going to persuade anyone but yourself that I was attempting to mislead.

                    2. Got the petulant temper tantrum over what a good writer you are out your system?

                      Saying that Islam was abnormal to the culture that birthed it and came to accept it as its defining philosophy is misleading. I am saying that the forces that led to Islam’s development was part and parcel of Arab culture and you cannot segregate the aspects of that culture you admire from Islam without it becoming a caricature.

                    3. Got the petulant temper tantrum over what a good writer you are out your system?

                      Another baseless attack.

                      Saying that Islam was abnormal to the culture that birthed it and came to accept it as its defining philosophy is misleading.

                      And another baseless attack.

                      I claimed from the start that Islam was part and partial to the culture of the Middle East. Since you can’t back up that I ever said ‘alien influence’ you are going with the weak sauce of ‘abnormal.’

                      . I am saying that the forces that led to Islam’s development was part and parcel of Arab culture and you cannot segregate the aspects of that culture you admire from Islam without it becoming a caricature.

                      Yet another baseless claim, and rich coming from someone who stated this nuance free caricature:

                      If a supposedly sophisticated culture embraces the worst aspects of that culture then perhaps it is not as sophisticated as is claimed.

                    4. Killaz, at the very least you were claiming Islam was from the “outskirts” of Arab culture. You compared it to Larry Flynt taking over Western culture, and Hustler is very much at the outskirts.

                      On the contrary, Mohammed’s early activities in Medinah and Mecca were very much in the central vein of Arab culture at the time.

                    5. You see your error now, Mickey Rat? You have masturbatory contrarian Tulpa taking your side. There in lies your ruin, boy! Don’t compound that mistake with further disagreeable behavior. Do your King Henry penance pronto and let’s see you soil those knees.

                      No shit, Sherlock that Mohammed operated in Mecca. Oh my, he was everyday people and not some burnt out lunatic that got driven from the city a time or two!

                      My soul buddy Alinsky operated in Chicago, does that mean he was mainstream? No, doofus. To effect the culture in a revolutionary manner he had to be operating where it was taking place. You suggest, Mo didn’t, wtf, it was at the very least the equivalent of trashing the joint on the scale of Larry Flynt taking over America. The Muslims even have a word for their corruption of Middle Eastern culture, ‘Hijrah.’ I know documentation of facts annoys you, but to avoid you repeating a common mistake in rebutal, I shall do so here:

                    6. http://www.islamicity.com/mosque/ihame/sec2.htm

                      This was the Hijrah – anglicized as Hegira – usually, but inaccurately, translated as “Flight” – from which the Muslim era is dated. In fact, the Hijrah was not a flight but a carefully planned migration which marks not only a break in history – the beginning of the Islamic era- but also, for Muhammad and the Muslims, a new way of life. Henceforth, the organizational principle of the community was not to be mere blood kinship, but the greater brotherhood of all Muslims. The men who accompanied Muhammad on the Hijrah were called the Muhajirun – “those that made the Hijrah” or the “Emigrants” – while those in Medina who became Muslims were called the Ansar or “Helpers.”

                      Incidentally, it was taking place in several other localities as well, Tehran, Baghdad, Damascus, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Byzantium, and Bukhara were not exactly bush league in the sixth and seventh centuries, dubious knowledgy one.

                    7. Killaz, at the very least you were claiming Islam communism was from the “outskirts” of Arab Tsarist Russian culture. You compared it to Larry Flynt taking over Western culture, and Hustler is very much at the outskirts.

                      On the contrary, Mohammed’s Lenin’s early activities in Medinah St. Petersburg and Mecca Moscow were very much in the central vein of Arab Tsarist Russian culture at the time.

                      Fits to a fucking ‘T’. See how you have no argument?

                    8. One last comment because there is an aspect of your argument that I did not refute but is itself wrong like the rest of what you stated.

                      On the contrary, Mohammed’s early activities in Medinah and Mecca were very much in the central vein of Arab culture at the time.

                      The Mohammed period followed three significant periods where European culture dominated the Middle East; the Hellenic, the Roman and the Byzantine Christian eras. The mores of metropolitan Arabs were more in common with those influences than their tribal brethren. Islam represented a breakdown of that influence and the dominance of the later and began the cultural schism between the West and the Middle East that continues to this day.

      3. the sex slave market is the way to protect wealthy Kuwaiti men from being seduced and committing sin

        I’m probably one of the most steadfast defenders of respect for Islam around here, but a religion that considers adultery with a willing woman a worse sin than sex-slavery (ie, rape) is seriously messed up.

  15. “but I could at least understand the idea of other nations pushing back when an internationally recognized boundary fell (never mind that the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad had told the Iraqis that our country had “no opinion on Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait” and all that).”

    Whatever the ambassdor said, I think it is reasonable that circumstances alter cases when a border conflict becomes a full scale war of conquest.

    The idea that the UN should not allow a fascist regime to absorb another sovereign nation gainst that nation’s will is respectable principle. It has nothing to do with whether that sovereign nation is particularly nice. Is Gillespie suggesting that Kuwait as a province of Ba’athist Iraq would have been a more just place than under it’s current rulers?

    1. This “what the ambassador said” bit is one of my pet peeves from that period. Not that she said it, but that various anti-war and conspiracy types took it as some sort of go-ahead signal for war. Bull. It’s the equivalent of Mom telling two kids squabbling over a toy to settle it between themselves. It’s not a message that she wants one to shoot the other.

    2. The idea that the UN should not allow a fascist regime to absorb another sovereign nation gainst that nation’s will is respectable principle.

      Then let the UN’s army take care of it.

      The US military is for the defense of US borders and US shipping. That’s it.

      1. I’m really tired of these interventionists not understanding what blowback is.

        Stop starting civil wars that don’t accomplish jack shit, and cost us money, time, and/or resources.

        Also pure anarchy is often worsen than living under a despot.

  16. Kinda scary when you think about it man. WOw.

    http://www.Give-Me-Anon.tk

  17. So wait, Reason is now being critical of Islamic Fundamentalism? I thought they were just poor misunderstood people who were upset by Western Imperialism, yada yada yada. So there’s a cause for it that doesn’t involve the West doing something mean to them? My golly, who would have thought…

    Or worse, are you saying we should have followed the old “realist” policy of appeasing brutal dictators?

    While Kuwait is not a democracy, this clearly seems to be something the people of the country want. Is it despicable? Yes. But they should have the right to make their own decisions because it’s their country. Not

    1. So wait, Reason is now being critical of Islamic Fundamentalism?

      Yup. And hold onto your hat for this one: they are critical of Republicans during a Democrat administration.

      Why, it’s almost as though they aren’t mendacious partisan dickweeds. Can you imagine what that’s like?

      No, I imagine you can’t.

      1. “Why, it’s almost as though they aren’t mendacious partisan dickweeds.”

        They can indeed be partisan dickweeds, it just the side they are partisans of is not one of the Big Two. It is a strange complaint Giilespie makes that because we liberated Kuwait, we should feel responsible for any injustice thst nation commits.

        1. Nope. No sophistication there.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Damascus_steel

          Just a bunch of barbarians.

          1. Yes.

            Of course, I do not think there is a Medieval era culture that 21st century westerners would not consider barbaric if they existed today.

            1. Comparatively speaking to the likes of Avicenna,

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avicenna

              you are the barbarian.

              1. Thanks for providing the links to wikipedia pages, never would have found them myself.

        2. It isn’t strange at all, we liberated a country and now we find out that we should mind our own business.

  18. I think a lot of people simply don’t want to accept the reality that even wise politicians can’t control the world as though it were a big machine.

    And have any of us seen a wise politician during our lifetimes?

  19. “If history teaches us anything, it is that we must resist aggression or it will destroy our freedoms it teaches us nothing at all.”

    FIFY

  20. This is a stupid question. The West and its intentions. Like is was some sort of real fucking thing or something instead of a simple nameplate for one side of a bunch desert dickwaving.

    Strategically speaking, what we got in 1991 was a military base from which we could launch additional foreign adventures. If you would have told me in 1986 that we’d have army bases in the Soviet Union, with their permission, I would have told you that you were crazy and to share your weed.

    1. But…
      Did the Founding Fathers Rebel Against the King So the U.S. Could Tax the Rich and Send Bureaucrats to Las Vegas? The Answer May Appall You.

      It’s fun asking these questions.

  21. If the veneer of islam is so fragile that death is the penalty for skepticism, there truly must a stinking rot contained within which must be hidden at all costs.

  22. An important detail that may have been overlooked . . : A primary point of contention between Sunni and Shia is their regard (or conversely, their contempt)for Mohammad’s child bride Ayeshya. Because Ayeshya supported Umr’s succession over Mohammad’s blood relatives, Sunnis, like those in power in Kuwait, tend to really like her while Shias do not. I suspect the “blasphemer” in this case is a Shia who may have had some choice words for Ayeshya, Mohammad’s wife, while any insult to Mo was secondary.

    Perfect example of how blasphemy laws are often used as a tool to suppress political – as opposed to religious – enemies.

  23. “Dont stick it in crazy” seems like good advice for more than just penises.

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