We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Hitchins: Jihadists aren't in Afghanistan - or Iraq - because we are there. A quote:
"No end in sight" is another favorite mantra of the anti-war mentality. And how true that melancholy reflection seems to be. The latest news is of a very nasty Islamic insurgency in southern Thailand, butchering Buddhist villages (remember the Taliban assault on the Buddha statues at Bamiyan?) and making demands for the imposition of sharia law. Perhaps someone will identify for me which Thai and Buddhist—or Western imperialist—crimes have led to this sudden development. Or perhaps it will be admitted, however grudgingly and belatedly, that there is something sui generis about Islamist fanaticism: something that is looking for a confrontation with every non-Muslim society in the world and is determined to pursue it with the utmost violence and cruelty. It is also seeking a confrontation with some Muslim states and societies.
Read the whole thing. Jihad is a world-wide movement of violence and oppression in the name of their god: they say so themselves. Pretending it ain't so does no good whatsoever. This will go on for a long time, in many places.
Verily, jihadi's (who fly Muhammad's banner "And fight them until persecution is no more, and religion is all for Allah. sura 8:39) first and foremost seek to bring the muslim (sic) states to submission.
How easily they have accomplished it in Pakistan which is now effectively under sharia law. Curiously the west calls it martial law.
The solution isn't sending US ground troops (Jihadists aren't in Afghanistan - or Iraq - because we are there.) but turning the Swat Valley into glass.
PITTSBURGH - It might take as long as half a century before U.S. troops can leave the volatile Middle East, according to retired Army Gen. John Abizaid .
"Over time, we will have to shift the burden of the military fight from our forces directly to regional forces, and we will have to play an indirect role, but we shouldn't assume for even a minute that in the next 25 to 50 years the American military might be able to come home, relax and take it easy, because the strategic situation in the region doesn't seem to show that as being possible," Abizaid said Wednesday at Carnegie Mellon University.
Abizaid, the former commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, stepped down in March as the longest-serving commander of U.S. Central Command. He retired from the Army in May and now is at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.
The rise of Sunni extremism, burgeoning Shiite extremism, the Arab-Israeli conflict and the world economy's dependency on Mideast oil will keep Americans in the Middle East for a long time, he said.
"I'm not saying this is a war for oil, but I am saying that oil fuels an awful lot of geopolitical moves that political powers may have there," Abizaid said. "And it is absolutely essential that we in the United States of America figure out how, in the long run, to lessen our dependency on foreign energy."
He reiterated comments made in September that the U.S. needs to do a better job of coordinating economic, political and diplomatic means so the conflict can move from a military to a political issue.
"I would characterize what we're doing now as 80 percent military, 20 percent diplomatic, economic, political, educational, informational, intelligence, etc.," Abizaid said. "You've got to take that equation and change it. Make it 80 percent those other things."
Abizaid, who has dubbed the current conflict "The Long War," told The Associated Press in September it will take three to five years before Iraq's government is stable enough to operate on its own.
Despite the strain on the armed forces, Abizaid said Wednesday it is important to maintain a professional military without re-establishing a draft.
Spencer's jihadwatch is partly a product of it's author religious practice(Christianity),and partly the result of an understanding of Islam that is lacking in the atheist/moral relativist/tu quoque crowd,imo.
the Quran is repetitively clear on the what the script is about :
an "Us vs. Them" ideology("Dar al Islam vs Dar al Harb")...
and an admonition to War,Without Ceasing ,until there is no longer a "Them"( Dar al Harb,aka "House of War" aka "the land of the Infidels").
the events catalogued by jihadwatch.org
(and dhimmiwatch.org) offer plenty of empirical evidence of actions that fit the script of "War,Without Ceasing",
and also catalogue the nature of that war,ie "Terror",
as the preffered mode specified by the Quran.
in light of that, 50 years is more than a little optimistic.
Gen. Abizaid mentions we must find a way to become less dependent on oil..nothing new there, but I believe it is in England where they have a no graduate from high school, no drivers license.
We should raise the current driving age and make the license dependent on graduation or a GED within a year.
Of course it'll never happen. The auto industry and gas industry lobbyists would castrate any politician who even brought it up. I wonder how much gas would be saved by kids not driving until they were 18?
not very libertarian an idea, but one with a lot of benefits--if one assumes that the kids that would not drop out only because they wanted a DL would not hinder the classrooms of kids who would not drop out in any event.