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Thursday, January 4. 2007
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Another thing we should remember about the Barbary Wars, is that the pirates had a centuries-long accomodation deal with most of Europe, which was paying "tribute" for sea-way in the Mediterranean.
The brand-new USA, after an initial mistep, wouldn't conform ("Millions for Defense, Not One Cent for Tribute"), and when the pirates--which were actually government-sponsored organized units (sound familiar?)--had sufficiently provoked us (murder, enslavement, destruction and robbery of our commerce sailors & vessels), we won the long, two-part war, which stretched over 20 years, with a broken treaty (their bad) in between.
We started wrong, in 1785 when we did buy-back a couple of captured ships. It had the effect of worsening the depredation, and then fixing the error took until 1805, when the bad guys finally quit, under attack by the US Navy & Marines.
The pirates even then had a sophisticated media defense, including the claim that we were imperializing the Mediterranean Sea. This gave rise to another famous motto, combat hero Admiral Stephen Decatur's rather frustrated "My Country, Right or Wrong!"
I plan to recommend to Bird Dog that we raise your pay, Buddy.
Oops, back down the pay grade for me--next time i'll google first and shoot off my mouth second.
The thing actually lasted until 1815, the broken treaty being ignored during the troubles around the War of 1812. The war-winner was the 1815 combined-arms attack on Algeria.
1815--we were winning our 30 year war against radical Islam the same year that Wellington took on Napoleon at Waterloo. Makes Rummy look a little less disasterous, don't it?
Feisty little banty rooster of a country, weren't we--slugging it out with the 18th/19th-century British Borg, and the damned Pirates at the same time? Not to mention the Indian Wars all over the western frontier.
Maybe Pelosi has a point, and we should simmer down and tend to our knitting.
OTOH, if the bastids would leave us alone, we would, wouldn't we?
Wonderful historical insights from J. London and Buddy.
There certainly is the external threat, which we in fits and starts try to address, but what about the potential to legally menace us from within?
Given radical mega-mosques slated for construction in the West, Islamist proselytizing among prison populations, and Muslims getting elected to office, all legit enterprises acc to western law and habit of tolerance, what if Muslims also, en masse, started enlisting or being commissioned as officers in our armed forces? By our law and custom, there would be no objection. But by instinct and the realization that an increasing number (not all!) of devout Muslims accept no separation of their church and state, we would have to worry mightily over dual or even misplaced loyalties, about the undermining of our very defenses.
Could we watch over each and every Muslim recruit? No, and we’ve already been having problems with some of them. The surprise is that our enemies haven’t thought of infiltrating our system more thoroughly because it’s there for them to abuse. We have to wonder, can we only afford democracy and liberal civil liberties with a (diverse) population disposed toward secular government? Is there a tipping point wrt the number of Islamists or anti-government radicals that an otherwise tolerant western government can host? But how would we deal with the problem and still maintain the conceit of our identity based on individual freedom, conscience and tolerance?
I remember thinking, about noonish on 9-11-01, that we could probably kiss the forward edge of those civic ideals 'goodbye' for awhile.
But, as we all see, they won't go easy--only under great burden--which thankfully we have mostly avoided since that ghastly day (pat on the WH & Pentagon's back).
Yes, what you say if right, but what if Muslim "participation" in our institutions is just beginning, or should we count on Islamists not going that route?
In perusing the commodious library here at Castell Skookumchuk, a.k.a. the living room, I pulled 3 books of the shelf that people might want to read:
"The Sultan's Admiral - The Life of Barbarossa" by Ernle Bradford. Guess which European power often allied itself with the Turks. Yeah, it was that one, all right.
"The Barbary Wars" by Frank Lambert and "Victory in Tripoli" by Joshua London. It is said that Nelson saw from Gibraltar the little Yankee fleet and remarked on how well they were sailed, adding that he saw in them "a nucleus of trouble" for the Royal Navy.
C, i think we have two fascisms gliding thru the fog toward the Constitution--our homegrown angry left, and the jihadists.
They'll continue to work together, and if they ever get too successful, they'll have it out like the SS and the SD in Nazi Germany--with a "night of the long knives".
Well the old Islamic question huh. Soldiers entering our armed forces, large portions of the country taking on a Dearbornesque odour. All within the framework of our legal system.
Well allow me to point out that our legal system isn't a suicide pact. We've altered our laws ten thousand fold to make THE LAW conform to the society we want. It is entirely within our power to bar all Islams from the United States. But you say, what of freedom of religion? Well we already control that so that's a straw man argument. We don't allow Haitian ritualistic killings or native American Indians unfettered practice of their centuries old religions,even on thier reservations.
The Koran is clearly an ideological manifesto for domination by conquest. Death of infidels applauded. Muslims under this ideology,not religion, are bound to it first and foremost, no exceptions. They should be barred from this country period. Islams entire, ENTIRE history is one of preparation for and execution of war against all other non believers.
Like I said, our laws are not a bound sclerotic suicide pact and it is time we removed what is clearly a clear and present danger, Islam.
Signs point that way, habu--it's anathema for Americans to read them, tho. So far.
...to the shores of Tripoli..a little history on the U.S. Marine Corps Officers Sword.
United States Marine Corps
A sword of this type was presented to Marine Corps Lt. Presley O'Bannon by the Turkish viceroy, Kurchet Ahmet Pasha, on December 8, 1804, during the First Barbary War, as a gesture of respect. Perhaps due to the Marines' distinguished record during this campaign, including the capture of the Tripolitan city of Derna after a long and dangerous desert march, Marine Corps Commandant Archibald Henderson adopted the Mameluke pattern for the Corps' official dress sword in 1825, with initial distribution in 1826, and except for the period 1859-75 (when Marine officers wore Army M1850 foot officers' swords) a continuing history of use as of 2006.
If you want to read about a desert crossing that made T.E. Lawrence look like a piker read about the marines assault on Derna after an little trek across the desert.
Habu, I hear what you're saying and all, but don’t see any inclination to politically inhibit the possibility of Islamist incursion into our institutions. If it doesn’t happen, whew. Were it to occur, then what, legally and politically? I think nothing and denial, for a long while.
Do you really think the body politic sees Islam as a clear and present danger with which to deal and harshly?
T.E. Lawrence. A conflicted soul- multiculturalist actor or "pretender" and geo-political exploiter in certain ways and sexually exploited and geo-culturally ambiguous in others.
His big problem was Britain's using him to promise the Bedou along the Red Sea coast--the area of Mecca and Medina--autonomy, in return for a fight against the Ottomans. Lawerence knew it was a false promise, and he hated himself for it, having "gone mufti" as he had.
Seems he was sorely abused and somewhat abused others himself for 'reason'. No black and white hats or flowing robes here.
One interesting thing from reading those books I mentioned above is that you see how Islam takes advantage of the permeability and factionalism within the West to gain access to technology and to win its wars. All those 16th century Germans selling their artillery secrets, the Venetians teaching them to build galleys, renegade Dutchmen serving as admirals. Some things never change.
The questions are - who will take up the fight and how? The Left, both in Europe and in the US, wants to do it by quashing all religion. That way they can eradicate Christianity, which is their true goal, and coincidentally curb radical Islam, which is gravy. Or the elites can do nothing at all. Either way, we will see much more division, perhaps permanent division, within the West before we are done. The response to a big attack - not a pinprick like 9/11 - will tell the tale.
The greatest generation we've been talking about, was great because of the way the people saw things alike. The power of the hive mind at common purpose. Evidently 20th century fascism was just a lot scarier--or easier to focus on--than this 21st century model.
I do not believe a majority of American citizens could draw a parallelogram if they had to do so. But recognising dangers is not their job it is the job of our elected officials. So far they are loathe to sound the tocsin on the immisibility of Islam and Chrisitanity.
But make no mistake if allowed to develop a large population in this country the introduction of shiara law will start to appear in legislation. The Minneapolis Imam airport episode was political theater, the template taken from the civil rights movement of the early 1960's.
One does not have to be a Bernard Lewis to know that the civilization we have and the Islamic civilization cannot coexist. It is there for all to read and know. The history of Islam is one of constant aggressson against all who are not Islamic.
Recently during the Etheopian/Somalia kerfuffle an Ethopian officer was asked how they defeated the AQ so easily. His response was, "All it takes is the will". He further went on to explain to the reporter that Americans were too nice in fighting and few clicks up on the ferocity scale might get the job done for them.
We will rue the day when we allow Islams to continue coming to this country, even to visit.
Agreed, Habu, except for the fact that the electorate's job IS to recognize dangers and to vote accordingly.
C, that be "civic duty" --and if enough of it is tranced-away by good haircuts and straight tv teeth, we're screwed--and rightfully so, Mother Nature demands it.
I believe you are correct. In reflecting on (using a threadbear mind) the Federalist Papers it echoes in my brain that Madison mentioned several times in his writings that a "well informed citizenry" was needed dah dah...
I guess what I'm lurching toward is that we usually coalesce around a "leader", one who gives voice to our own knowledge,prejudices, etc.
It would be my hope that instead of being PC'd some of our Reps/Sen would simply give the history of Islam to the citizenry straightforward, without the caveat that it is a religion of peace. It's history plainly shows it is not a religion of peace.
We have a conundrum. I believe a well informed citizenry, like Madison is vital to a well governed nation, however, did the citizenry know of the Cuba Missile crisis? The assassination of Diem? The number of 9-11's twarted since that day? They can't. The tocsin must be sounded by those with the intelligence and courage to do so. This does not preclude the citizen from blogging, writing, protesting in the streets, but we only get to vote every two years and in the interim an alligator monster can slip under your bed.
Then how ya gonna get to bed before the room gets dark after you hit the switch?
Habu, when alone, I sleep with a .22, 9mm, and cell phone under the pillow. If that's not enough on top of voting GOP, then I might buy an island instead of the farm I was looking at.
What do you think?
Americans are never gung-ho about war. Always reluctant -but dutiful and effective - warriors. Even Pearl Harbor didn't eliminate the WW2 anti-war movement, but FDR did exploit it to the max in order to get into the fight.
These days, if 100 Jihadist troop carriers appeared in NYC Harbor, I would expect to see, at the piers, half the people with guns and half the people with flowers to offer the invaders.
Security-wise, the problem with an island is like the problem of the shark statistics. You know a shark is statistically unlikely to get you, but if it does, it sux really an awful lot.
Same with an island--security is absolute, unless some serial killers, pirates, or hungry democrats happen to motor up in the dead of night.
So, on an island you'd have to keep guard, with a partner, on 4 hour rotations. But if you're willing to do that, then y'all'd be plenty secure just living under a bridge down by the river.
So all in all, you're probably fine the way you are, C, unless the phone rings and you accidentally answer the 9 mm.
Or some jerk breaks in and you take aim and page him.
The 9mm stays on safety, so no worries, but an island sounds like fun. Happily misanthropic here and all that.
Well, Antigua, or Bermuda, sound good, but the li'l desert island sounds like warm beer, stale water out of a barrel, lots and lots of Spam and Vienna Sausage with soggy crackers, and a volleyball named "Wilson".
I mean, look at Easter Island. Pretty soon they were all carving Giant Heads, and then suddenly they ate each other.
I've gone the farm direction. I lived in Hawaii for awhile and Pago Pago..gave me island fever.
I figure Montana's not gonna have a population explosion before I expire especially since all the Hollywood types have bought up most of the state.
I can become a rustler or stage coach robber if things get tough. I can also visit some of the largest toxic waste sites(mining industry) in the country. You're all welcome to come visit. Go east on SR12 out of Helena. Go 20 miles to Townsend, turn right on Old Widow Road. Go up the mountain about five miles. Take a right at the"Grizzley Bear Crossing" sign........
Oh, man, no romance. Now, it's gonna be a cistern retreat out in the continental wastelands. Maybe survival is overrated.
Lots of room after I erect the yurt. They're really cool with oriental rugs, snuggly space age compost toilets and indoor running water. They're bear proof, except for the full grown hungry ones.
The classic yurt is so landscape harmonius, it is not so much seen as felt.
Townsend - that is near Lombard and Maudlow. I once followed the Milwaukee Road from Puget Sound to Harlowton and I know I drove through Townsend.
You are in harmonic balance. My wife doesn't understand my love of yurts but they are soul satisfying.
I'm gonna have my very own 25 footer built on a platform so I can do my Tai Chi, listen to the music I like and contemplate Rembrandt's Aristotle Contemplating the bust of Homer.
The simple joys are the best.
Townsend, the epicenter of the no stoplight world.
I will enjoy driving my sportscar sans top all over the state.
I think I'll by an old WWI leather flying helmet and goggles, just because this is America and I can. People will point and say things but I'll be in my Sopwith Camel.
My experience of Montana was working the drilling rigs along the Gillette, Wyoming/Miles City, Montana axis, whenever funds ran low or I was said to have 'flunked out', back when I was cramming 4 yrs into 7 @ UT. That iron was mighty cold by morning, wicked on fingers and toes, even in the early fall before I'd run back south where there was a sun sometimes and a few reliable BTUs in the air.
One thing I never saw but would surely have remembered is habu on his raised platform doing Tai Chi while contemplating all that High Renaissance iconography. That would've made a lingering if somewhat disturbing impression I'm sure.
Buddy's drilling rigs and Habu's cold warrior doings- good on ya both! Suppose our current young men are proving themselves in similar fashion, in the oil industry and military. Western civ: hoo-ah!
harriet in ozzie,
I'm sure many have the stuff to get the job done but the governmental constraints are now suffocating. When I joined the CIA in 1971 it was never in the news,never. Then WaterGate and the whole world changed. I watched the "Company" change, and every change wasn't for the better.
Having said that there are a number of mercenary outfits that offer a real exciting life for a young man. Most of them are just extensions of the military or intelligence agencies without the regs.
But I'd like to see our young men doing a bit more PT and less XBox or whatever it's called.
It also wouldn't hurt if we had a Douglas MacArthur,George Patton or Chesty Puller around.
harriet, Oz is--my impression--as go-get-um as the America we all hope still exists--and does I'm sure, far away from all this communications gear.
Chesty Puller, beloved Marine commander of the Invasion of Peleilu, damn near had a breakdown during the battle, so many of his boys were being cut down.
Well, I suppose you're right, Buddy Larsen. Less hoo-ah than sacrifice. More like hardship and a lot of heartache. And great wins at great cost.
harriet, I was just remarking on habu's mention of Gen Puller. i think hoo-ah is right on, and just what we all need more of.
But your second thought is right on, too, I think. The long-haul attitude.
BTW, the locals hereabouts (central Texas) are greatly enamored of your Messrs Howard & Downer, and heartily wish that our own officials were so well-spoken and clear-minded. Thank you for electing them!
Appreciate that. This 73 year-old granny down under will think fondly of all central Texans.