War On Terrorism
January 22, 2003
Peace Movement or Appeasement?1. Is the term "peace activist" accurate regarding Saddam Hussein's regime? Is "peace movement"?
In a Front Page article yesterday, a good left-wing columnist asked --- Christopher Hitchens, has denounced his former radical colleagues at The Nation and elsewhere as American-hating dupes of reactionary and Islamo-fascist terrorists and terrorist-supporting state --- why we call the leaders of the protest movements opposed to President Bush's and Prime Minister Blair's jointly coercive policy towards Iraq "peace" activists when, after all, especially in retrospect, we don't call the British and the French appeasers of Hitler in the late 1930s peace activists. A good question, yes? Which, you'll recall, we've dealt with repeatedly the last 16 months here in our listserver commentaries.
And for that matter, a perfectly good question to raise back in the lat 1930s era of fascist appeasement. There were far more prescient, clearheaded observers and even politicians at the time who foresaw the disasters inherent in such appeasement, recognizing that it only delayed an inevitable war that would come when Hitler was far more powerful . . . the resulting war itself destructive on a vast monstrous scale, some 50 million people left dead around the globe by the time it ended in 1945. Among those opponents of appeasement was Winston Churchill, a Conservative MP (Member of Parliament), kept out of office in the Conservative-Liberal governments of Stanley Baldwin and Neville Chamberlain throughout the decade . . . Churchill, in their illusion-charged views, too much of a rambunctious agitator for war; and too strong-headed and independent to boot. A very unreliable chap, better left on the backbenches in the House of Commons.
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 5:58 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
January 24, 2003
From Captain Michael Evans: Follow-Up on "Peace-Marchers or Appeasers?" The Buggy Prof's Reply
Our thanks to Captain Evans, US Army armor, for the following excert from the January 22nd op-ed column in the Washington Post by Michael Kelly: "Marching with Stalinists".
Click on the link for the Kelly article, and the Buggy Prof's reply.
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 4:25 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
January 26, 2003
FASCISM, ESPECIALLY IN THE WAR ON TERRORISM, CLARIFIED AS A CONCEPT
1) FASCISM AND THE WAR ON TERRORISM
A little clarification about "fascism" and its meaning is in order, particularly since our commentaries here refer repeatedly to Islamo-fascism, Islamo-fascist totalitarianism like Iraq's, Syria's, and Iran's regimes, and Islamo-fascist fundamentalism of the militant sort that flourishes in Shia Iran, Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, Taliban Afghanistan, and in movements like Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad and Hamas.
Note in passing that the concept of fascism for analytical purproses, as opposed to stigmatizing political opponents for propaganda purposes, has been called into question the last two or three decades by certain specialists in interwar European history. Why? The more they studied specific fascist-like countries ---Mussolini's Italy, Hitler's Germany, reactionary and clerical Spain under Franco or Portugal ruled by Salazar, and a half dozen to a dozen more fascist-like states in East Europe both before and after WWII --- the more they found noticeable differences. So what? Specific historical inquiry
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 2:6 AM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
January 28, 2003
A WIDELY TOUTED ARTICLE CRITICAL OF THE BUSH POLICY TOWARD IRAQ:PART ONE1) Introductory Comments:
Written by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, the article in question --- "Iraq: An Unnecessary War,"
--- has been widely regarded as the most effective criticism to date of the Bush administration's policy toward Iraq . . . . especially its alleged shift away from a containment and deterrence policy of Saddam's regime and his WMD programs as risky and futile and to a goal instead of toppling that dangerous, Islamo-fascist regime, a pre-condition of its complete disarmament. Not surprisingly, the article's argument has not only been seized on by moderate and informed critics of the Bush policy, but touted widely in radical and appeasement circles as evidence that war or even vigorous coercive diplomacy aren't needed for dealing with Saddam and his regime. That seems odd, this enthusiasm in radical and pacifist circles. M&W, as it happens, are well-known realist theorists: they take power politics for granted, believe in active armed balancing as essential for the US, and take essentially a managerial view of dealing with conflicts among states, with war, presumably, not needed except in extreme cases as an instrument for dealing with major security problems
What would justify war these days in W&M's view? It isn't clear in the article. Maybe nothing.
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 4:7 AM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
February 14, 2003
Mark Steyn: "It's Not Really About Saddam"
The inimitable Mark Steyn, a Canadian journalist with long years of service in the EU who now resides in a New Hampshire village from which he reports daily, with a sharp sarcastic edge, on the follies of the world --- especially those lavishly generated daily by EU politically correct types: journalists, intellectuals, politicians, and maneuvering governments like France and the current German one (as well as their equivalents in Canada and the US) --- has a go at the hamfisted self-righteousness of Schroeder's foreign policy, "hotblooded amateurism" carried to extremes according to the Berliner Zeitung . . . and, no less pointedly, how he and the starry-eyed anti-American panderers in his government are being used by the far more experienced, cynically opportunistic French for their own nationalist purposes. As usual, at one and the same time, Steyn's on target and briskly funny.
Keep in mind when you read this that the ONLY EU country --- or for that matter in NATO---to support the new Berlin-Paris axis is tiny Belgium, a country of 10 million racked by almost as many political
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 9:13 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
March 1, 2003
From a recent visitor to UC Berkeley: The Fatuity and Intellectual Idiocy of Anti-War Protestors
From Michael Jabbra, who recently graduated from UCSB, where he was a top-notch, powerfully motivated student . . . who, among other things, learned in the course of his four years of study how to shape a rigorous and well thought-out argument --- something, he says, totally absent in the sloganeering and mindless raucous cat-calling that pass for brainy grist in the anti-war crowd always on display in Berkeley, whose campus he just visited. His email message about his jaunt there appears at the end here. Meanwhile, here's Prof Bug's reply.
Well, Michael: you're right. And you have to understand why. Leave aside the middle-of-the road person who's confused about the Iraqi problem. Most people are confused and not well-informed, on either side of the debate --- not just in the protest movements. Most of the vocal leaders and avant-garde fist-shakers in those movements, to be more explicit, couldn't tell you what the population of Iraq is, its ethnic breakdown, the nature of the Baath Party that rules, Saddam's background or why he has spent over $100 billion for decades now on his weapons of mass destruction, even at the cost of tremendous economic suffering for his nation as a result of 12 years of tough sanctions. Nor do they how to make sense of Jerrold Post's informed book, based on his years as a CIA analyst specializing in psychological profiling of dictators, especially Saddam Hussein himself.
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 12:20 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
March 7, 2003
SAMUEL HUNTINGTON'S CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS: Viewed in Perspective since 9/11 and the Imminent Destruction of Saddamite Iraq
Published in the mid-1990s and reprinted several times, The Clash of Civilizations
--- written by Samuel Huntington of Harvard, one of the two or three most creative political scientists of the last two generations (he's in his late sixties) --- has generated more controversy than any scholarly book over the same span of time . . . not just in academia, but in the popular press and on television world-wide. It is also one of the most misunderstood books, while turning out to be the most prophetic. True, as we'll see, Huntington erred at times. No surprise. His book, along with Francis Fukuyama's End of History
, another important ground-breaking study --- were the only two publications of import that tried to provide a new analytical framework for making sense of the broad politically charged trends at work in international relations in the post-cold war era.
Huntington's book was not just more profound than Fukuyama for all its pioneering missteps, it helps us make much more sense of the triple-layered threat that this country confronts in the world these days (along with other governments abroad, including in the Arab world, that share President's Bush's policies in dealing with them):
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 6:28 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
March 10, 2003
As a Follow-Up to Our Buggy Commentary on Huntington, the Clash of Civilizations, and Radical Islamist Fundamentalism: Also David Horowitz, the scourge of the PC-Left
A well-organized, highly informative forum on the subject of Islam --- in particular, whether it is a religion of peace or violence --- is energetically recommended, especially if you've read the commentary posted a couple of days ago on Huntington, Islamo-fascist fundamentalism, and the clash of civilizations uncoiling with raw, rippling force in the Islamic world. A 3-part forum, the first two parts have already been published at David Horowitz's website, The Front Page
. And like all the forums there, it features a well-balanced panel with a wide range of views, this time four specialists:
"Ibn Warraq, the author of Why I am Not a Muslim; Hussam Ayloush, the executive director of the Southern California chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR); Robert Spencer, an adjunct fellow with the Free Congress Foundation and author of Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World's Fastest Growing Faith; and As`ad AbuKhalil, a professor of political science at California State University at Stanislaus, and adjunct professor at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. He is the author of Bin Laden, Islam, and America's New War on Terrorism."
The published parts are Part I
and Part II (go to Front Page
But who is David Horowitz, and why is he so widely and extravagantly hated by the politically correct left, on and off campus?
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 12:39 AM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
March 12, 2003
Why Continued Containment and Deterrence of Saddam, Besides Not Being Effective, Have Been and Will Be Far More Costly Than A Quick War and Regime Change
These comments are prompted by an email from Dr. Edward Trevelyan, an employee of the US government and a former Olympic Gold-Medalist . . . a specialist in international relations.
Michael: The article linked here by Walter Russell Mead --- a justifiably gifted specialist on US foreign policy --- may exaggerate the costs of ongoing containment of Iraq compared to the use of war, but it's a vigorous argument: containment's problem isn't that it doesn't work, but that it produces resentments that brought us 9/11 (perhaps the only "link" between Saddam and Osama), and huge costs in lives and to the surrounding political climate in the Middle East. My question is: will those resentments be any less if war is the choice?
---Edward Deadlier Than War
By Walter Russell Mead
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 3:34 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
March 18, 2003
REFLECTIONS AND PREDICTIONS ABOUT THE IMMINENT WAR WITH SADDAMITE IRAQ
Issued last night --- aimed above all to the Iraqi people and military commanders --- President Bush's ultimatum to Saddam Hussein to quit Iraq with his family or face war has brought 6 months of efforts at the United Nations to an end, something already clear in the US-British-Spanish statement made after the three heads of government met in the Azores on Sunday. It has also brought to an abrupt halt 12 years of Saddam's cunning ability to outwit and disgrace the UN and UN inspectors, even as he obtained influential patrons abroad as his defenders --- especially the French, but also the Russians and even the German left-wing government.
Here, in response to about a dozen emails the buggy prof has received today --- mainly from his listserver subscribers --- are some quickly jotted down thoughts and predictions
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 2:32 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
March 26, 2003
The War in Iraq So Far: A Brief AnalysisIntroduction: Be Wary of Media Hype or Excessive Criticisms:
Several emails have reached the buggy prof from various points around the globe, all essentially asking for his views about the conduct of the war and its likely course over the next few days. Not an easy thing to do; for the buggy prof, or for that matter anyone else . . . including all those brisk and busy arm-chair critics in the media, pontificators to the end . . . mainly TV anchormen and print-journalists who, coming alive on Monday, indulged in a furor of criticism and doom-doom stuff. Look! Look! The coalition's strategy was going astray, wasn't it? And operations were bogging down, and not enough boots on the ground, and obviously not enough armor, the silly twits in Central Command and the Pentagon. While, simultaneously --- The sky's falling! Run, Chicken Little! Run! Run!--- huge and unexpected resistance developing as if Fedayeen terrorists dressed in civvies, mainly recruited from Tikrit, Saddam's home-base, to terrorize the Iraqis, were the equivalent of the German panzer divisions that attacked the US forces out-of-the-blue at the battle of the Bulge in late 1944 in Belgium, and on on; an orgy, it seemed, of cluck-clucking on a vast scale reminiscent of the same gabbling outbursts that raged in the media in October 2001 as the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan started.
A simple question prompts itself here. How would the pundits and doom-sayers know any of this? Only a handful of men or women are in a position to assess the war's actual unfolding, or the progress made so far according to the timetable originally set --- which always, in any war, has to be adjusted for unforeseen contingencies, including sharp changes in weather (the fog and frictions of war, remember?) --- or the obstacles and threats in the way to the battle plan being successfully executed, let alone the various alternative military resources for dealing with them. That handful of analysts is at command central, headed by General Fra
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 7:40 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
April 6, 2003
IRAQ AND THE ARAB WORLD'S FUTURE: Best Journalistic Summary of the UN Arab Human Development Report 2002 on the Home-Grown Causes of Arab Backwardness --- political, economic, and knowledge-based
Hint: It will help, before you look at this crisp, to-the-point summary of the lengthy UN report that came out last year --- written by a group of Arab scholars and intellectuals --- to have looked at the two previous articles published here, one on Thursday and the other yesterday.
appeared last July in the outstanding British weekly, The Economist
--- a magazine over a 100 years old, which roams widely across US, European, and generally global politics and economics . . . the writing always effectively readable and highly informed (if judgmental as good journalism of this sort is supposed to be), its journalist contributors numbering in the hundreds around the world as part-timers, with a core staff of well-educated professionals. Its sales in the US make it far and away the most important market of the magazine, and believe it or not, a survey a few years ago showed that the average subscriber was not just university-educated but had an average income of over $200,000 a year . . . the buggy prof's income dragging that figure sharply downwards. Available online, you can read about half to two-thirds of the articles with a free registration, but you need either to pay a small sum or be a subscriber to the print edition in order to access all of them.
What follows here is a brief excerpt, within copyright limits I trust, and you should click on the link and read the entire article . . . including the very illuminating charts. First, though, a few brief theoretical observations: The Iraqi War: A Defining Moment
The relevance of the UN study to the future of Iraq --- plus this and our earlier two commentaries on the Arab world compared to Israel and the rest of the industrial democratic countries --- should be self-evident. Gradually, as events unfold, the buggy prof will build on these commentaries in order to try shedding
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 10:39 AM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
April 17, 2003
ISLAM'S PROBLEMS WITH MODERNIZATION: An Updated Exchange with JFM
JFM, a visitor to the site, left a few critical remarks at the end of the buggy prof's April 6th commentary that dealt with the backwardness --- political, economic, intellectual --- of the 22 Arab countries. In particular, he disageed with some of buggy's historical analysis. Fine. Always happy to respond to specific, detailed criticisms.
An earlier reply to JFM's was set out on April 13th, though too briefly and schematically --- or so it now seems, what with the pounding pace of events unfolding rapidly in Iraq and their politically charged spillovers to the rest of the Middle East. What follows then is a more elaborate reply, mainly because of the topic's far-flung political significance right now, today and tomorrow . . . something of a key item in the background of the ongoing war on Islamofascist terrorism
, including, note carefully, one of the major reasons for the Bush administration's ongoing diplomatic offensive to try through various means --- starting with the war to topple Saddamite Iraq --- to encourage the restructuring and modernization of the surrounding Arab states and Iran.
Sounds ambitious, no? Well, read on. It shouldn't be hard to infer how the argument here hooks up with the Bush administration's policies in the region. See neocons
For that matter, remember, the buggy prof has detailed much of the background here
already --- including the numerous handicaps
that have held back economic development, science, modern philosophy, and modernizing forces in general (AKA globalization) in the Arab world. All of which handicaps and failures have left --- amid all the festering psychological upheavals, emotional dislocations, and envies and resentments --- a rife sense of "humiliation an
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 5:32 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
July 15, 2003
IRAQ AND WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION: ARE BLAIR AND BUSH AS STUPID AS THEIR WORST CRITICS IMPLY? Final Version
Three lengthy articles were published by the buggy prof on this site in June, just before it crashed on July 1st, on the problem of finding Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction in post-Saddamite Iraq: biological, chemical, and nuclear. Unfortunately, until we get the archives back, you won't be able to access these articles. One dealt at length with the practical side of intelligence --- US, UK, German, French (it doesn't matter: all were and are convinced that Saddam had WMD in violation of 17 UN Security Council resolutions) --- and two were systematic study of the moral rights and wrongs of the Bush's and Blair's strategy to go to war and the alleged motives and subsequent moral and political justification for destroying the cruel, mass-murdering system that Saddam, his family, and his Tikrit tribal clan had imposed on 25 million Iraqis for decades . . . complete with a secret-police state that ruled by means of pervasive fear and systematic terror. When we get back our archives, we'll return to the moral side of the US-UK strategy here.
For the moment, concentrate on the charges now being raised around the world --- including in the US and UK (with greater shrillness there than here) --- that Bush and Blair deliberately doctored
intelligence reports and then systematically lied
to their publics and the world in order to launch a war against Saddam's regime. "Yes, yes, we know how cruel and destructive the regime was", the critics say . . . including now the French government, whose President, Jacques Chirac, told the New York Times
reporter who interviewed him in February that he had no doubt Saddam loved the Iraqi people. "But the weapons of mass destruction, old man: where are they? Or . . . or did you lie to us from the start? Eh, where are they, the weapons? Come come Bush! Come come, Blair! Fess up, like men. Look everybody: Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire . . . naughty, naughty boys!
What, Bush and Blair lied, and repeatedly? Then in that case, we m
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 2:6 AM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
July 16, 2003
EXCHANGE WITH A VISITOR ON IRAQ'S WMD AND BUSH (AND BLAIR): ARE DEMOCRATS WISE TO ATTACK BUSH HERE? Final Version
Our thanks to Ralph, a visitor, for leaving this comment at the end of the previous article. It seems sufficiently important to deserve being singled out in a stand-alone article, followed by the buggy response.
Note that Ralph's comment has a link to a Los Angeles Times
article. The background here? Essentially, an observation made by prof bug in our previous article to the effect that two prominent Democrats, about 3 weeks or so ago, had written an op-ed article in that paper --- or maybe the New York Times
--- warning Democrats to be wary of supporting Presidential candidates who are mainly appealing to party activists, themselves far to the left of Democratic voters on key issues . . . not least security and foreign policy ones. The buggy prof lamented that he couldn't find that article with either a google search or a more direct effort at The N.Y. Times
or L.A. Times.
Tried; tried again. No luck. Prof bug himself, recall, is a registered Democrat and naturally concerned about the behavior and future prospects of his party. He worries that pc-radicals and Paleoliberals --- the hard-core of the party activists around most of the country (not all) --- will overwhelm the Clintonite moderates and force the party back into near Presidential-oblivion: save for the ill-starred Carter years of the late 1970s, its fate between 1968 and 1992.Buggy Prof:
Regarding the article in question, check out (an L.A. Times web page address).
It's a column by Lawrence J. Haas and Richard Klein titled, "Democrats Will Have To Hop Onto Security Wagon." I'm not certain if it's the same one that ran in the NYT or not, but it's at least quite similar in theme and in the credentials of the writers. If the link isn't good any more, let me know and I can email you a PDF copy.
Keep up the great blog. THE BUGGY REPLY:
Ralph, many thanks for the comments and the link to the L.A. Times
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 3:55 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
August 13, 2003
SOME CURIOUS PROBLEMS WITH CROSS-COUNTRY COMPARISONS OF LABOR PRODUCTIVITY: Especially between the EU and the US. Second VersionThis article is actually a composite of four sets of comments that the buggy prof left at another web-site, run by Professor Brad DeLong --- an economics professor at UC Berkeley, who brings to his impressive academic work an unusual historical perspective that helps illuminate contemporary economic trends, both within the US and globally. That perspective shows up in his daily commentaries left on his site, most of them stimulating even when you don't agree with him . . . and a source of extensive and vigorous comments by others. Three of the four sets of comments that I left on his site, yesterday and today, were prompted by DeLong's commentary entitled "Some Optimism in the Forecasts" for the US economy, and in particular by some speculation about job- and productivity trends afoot for three years now. The fourth set --- actually the earliest --- was left in response to a DeLong commentary called "Productivity Growth Trends" (August 9, 2003), which has a nifty chart of the growth of productivity since the early 1970s and how unusual it is for productivity to grow so rapidly in a recession and for two years after.
Revised and extended, it's these comments, which deal with productivity trends in the US economy --- and some comparisons with other countries --- that you'll find here.First, Some Lead-In Remarks To Those Comments
In effect, what we're experiencing in the US economy --- as three earlier buggy prof articles noted for July 21st, 23rd, and 26th --- is a curious short-term conflict between the surging growth in labor productivity and the poor performance of the economy in employment matters since the end of the short-lived shallow recession of 2001 almost two years ago. Unemployment continued to grow for a good 21 or 22 months aft
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 12:4 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
February 28, 2004
The Head of Australia's 300,000 Muslims Calls for More Heroic 9/11 Jihads and Mass-Murder #1 of 3 articlesThere are 300,000 Muslims living in Australia, a democratic country of 20 million people and a good friend and ally of the US for decades now. The head of that Muslim community there, a Sheik Taj el-Din Al Hilaly, recently gave a speech in Lebanon where he vented a massive flow, in full-throated manner, of paranoid, boiling-hot hatred, praising terrorist jihad and demanding that Arab men follow their example and carry out similar mass-murdering assaults against Islam's enemies: the US and . . . well, you can guess the rest.
Part I: Introductory CommentsWhy Did the Sheik Disgorge His Non-stop Malice and Calls
Obviously, first and foremost, because the crackling hatred in the speech corresponds to his deepest beliefs. And apparently, no less important, because --- knowing he was in a despotic Arab country --- the Sheik thought that the international media wouldn't pick up and broadcast his raging, hysterical vitriol and calls for further terrorism against the extremist fundamentalist's favorite targets: all those fantasized culprits --- conspiratorial and full of malevolence, string-pulling behind the scenes --- who are held reponsible for the Arab people's problems and psychic dislocations . . . the failed states in which they live, the omnipresent dictators, the pervasive secret police, and the economic backwardness of the entire Middle East outside Israel; not to forget, to complete the list of grievances and resentments, rampant unemployment, mass illiteracy, and the plunge in power and prestige of Islamic and Arab countries on the world scene for centuries now. In the upshot? The GDP of the 300 million Arab peoples across 22 countries totaling less than that of Spain, whose population is a mere 40 million . . . Spain itself one of the poorer members of the EU,
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 1:8 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
March 1, 2004
THE MUFTI, THE WAR ON TERRORISM, AND ISLAMIST RADICALISM: #2 of 3 ArticlesThis, the 2nd installment of a 3-article series on murderous Islamist fundamentalism --- the argument in both prompted by the kill-crazy rant of the Mufti of Australia, the spiritual head of that country's 300,000 Muslim citizens, who recently dubbed 9/11's massacres "God's work" and called on all Arabs to emulate the 9/11 terrorists' wondrous sacrifice --- should be read only after you've at least run your eye over the first installment.
At one point, recall, the Mufti bemoaned 'the lack of "real men" in the Arab world.' He urged them all to harden, adopt murderous jihad terrorism as their chief weapon in the war against the diabolical infidels and enemies of Islam --- almost everybody in the world, other than true-believing Islamist fundamentalists it appears --- and emulate the "true boy" in Arab life who urged his mother not to cry if he went sky-kabooming to Paradise in a suicidal assault. "Oh mother," the boy in a Mufti parable is led to say, "jihad has been imposed on me and I want to become a martyr . . . ."
If you've read the argument in the first installment here more thoroughly, not just run your eye over its argument, all the better. INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS The Argument Summarized, With Lots Of Foreshadowing
That argument, recall, documented 1) the Sheik's homicidal lunacy; 2) noted that it isn't out of line with most extremist Islamist fundamentalisms, full of rippling hatred and urges for revenge against fantasized enemies --- the paranoid projections of dislocated minds; and 3) then --- more ambitiously, a major point of the two-article series --- sought to gauge how extensive the support for such Islamist movements seems to be, especially in the Arab world. No less ambitiously, the other major point of this series that is fleshed out here, the argument also 4)
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 8:41 PM CST [continue]
March 5, 2004
THE MUFTI, THE WAR ON TERRORISM, AND ISLAMIST RADICALISM #3 of 3 ArticlesTo follow the argument unfolded here --- the 3rd and final installment in a three-part mini-series on the rapid spread of both radical Islamist fundamentalism and the use of a conspiratorial paranoid style in the Arab world --- you need to have read the previous two installments or at least to have run your eye over them. At a minimum, glance over the 2nd article in the series. It sets out a lengthy introductory section that simultaneously summarized the initial article in the series and foreshadowed in broad outline the argument and analysis that were then uncoiled at length.
The current article picks up the various threads of the argument left hanging loose at the end of the 2nd installment and ties them together to complete the lengthy mini-series discussion. By the time you finish it, you should have a good working idea of two related and pivotal developments in Arab life the last three decades or so: the multiple shaping causes behind . . .
- The bursting appeals of radical Islamist extremism in the 22 Arab countries, with some variation across them (though not much) to psychically unhinged people, some 300 million in number living in failed states and backward economies who are full of bewilderment, rage, and resentments and simultaneously --- as an added source of distress ---are swept up in a demographic explosion, the worst in the world . . . half of the 300 million Arabs less than 15 years of age;
- And the pervasive use of a mental style full of extravagantly fantasized paranoid projections onto scapegoated foreign devils --- Jews, the US, Israel, and now and then the West or Hindu India --- to make sense of the swarming host of the Arab dictators' home-grown failures and fiascoes on one side and, on the other side, an almost uninterrupted stream of Arab setbacks, military defeats, and declining influence and prestige abroad for generations now; or longer.
The analysis here resumes t
Posted by gordongordomr @ 1:4 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
March 14, 2004
#1 of 2 Articles: Will Appeasement of Islamo-Fascist Terrorism Work? The Spanish CaseAfter a brief interlude with no articles published here --- the buggy prof taking off a few days to roam around Santa Barbara and its matchless beauty, natural and man-made --- here's a buggy commentary on the horrors of the Madrid bombings last week, the Spanish reactions, and the likely terrorist-perps: Al-Qaeda fanatics, full of frenzy to strike out at helpless civilians. Since the bombings, the Spanish population has voted; it has exercised its right to punish the Aznar conservatives, heavily favored before the bombings, and bring to power the socialists whose head has promised to do what Al Qaeda apparently wanted it to: to acknowledge that Aznar's government and the Spaniards, including apparently little children and babies, should be killed or punished, and to promise that it will withdraw Spanish peace-keepers from Iraq this summer.
A trio of question prompt themselves here: 1) Will such appeasement work its magical promise and buy Spain freedom from future Islamist-fascist terrorism? 2) More generally, what are the historical and theoretical conditions that might justify appeasement, and 3) do those conditions apply to Al-Qaeda fanatics and other militant Islamist radicals?
Part 1: WILL APPEASEMENT WORK ITS PROMISE FOR THE SPANISH OR OTHERS?
Start With An Astute Journalist's Views
Mark Steyn, a Canadian journalist living in New Hampshire --- a libertarian, who spent years in the EU, then found Canada was beginning to look like it after almost 4 decades of uninterrupted Liberal Party rule dominated by French-Canadian Prime Ministers (Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chretien, the latter just retired) --- is one of the most trenchant, knowledgeable observers of the international scene, whose writings are all the more impressive and readable because of an uncommonly lively style . . . complete with some humorous jibes.
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 9:46 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
March 15, 2004
# 2 of 2 Articles. The Madrid Bombings: Will Appeasement of Islamo-Fascist Terrorism Work?This is the 2nd of a two-part mini-series on the Madrid bombings and the Spanish electorate's decision to cave in to terrorism and elect a new government whose Prime Minister not only criticized the Aznar government's diplomatic support of the US-UK led war against Saddamite Iraq, but has openly pledged to withdraw Spain's 1300 peacekeeping force from Iraq as soon as its' feasible. True, he's already waffling now that the election is over. He has said that he will withdraw them unless the UN returns to Iraq this summer, assuming sovereignty has been handed over to some transitional Iranian political authority --- which is likely to happen --- but the damage has been done: out of fear and picque, appeasement has gripped the Spanish electorate, and it appears to have rewarded a huge terrorist attack launched by Al-Qaeda extremists on the Madrid citizenry.
Yes, done --- the damage. Whatever the Spanish government decides to do utlimately about its peacekeepers in Iraq, Al Qaeda's heads --- and for that matter probably home-grown European terrorists --- will have already absorbed the lesson: it's possible to cow and bully an entire European country into a political somersault that rewards vicious terrorism. "What won yesterday was the pitiful option of surrendering to an adversary … a thousand times worse than Nazism," wrote columnist Gabriel Albiac in El Mundo newspaper. "This is what was elected yesterday: renouncing the fight; accepting death. Al Qaeda won."
Will Spain itself be spared further terrorist attacks? Not likely, and for reasons set out in the first article in this series. If you haven't read it, you should at least run your eye over its argument.
More generally, that initial article asked whether any countries that seek to appease rancorous, hate-filled Islam
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 5:53 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
April 5, 2004
Saudi Bribe Money in US Academia, Plus Attacks on Free Speech & CivilityThis will be a fairly straightforward article, with two key links --- both to articles published at Frontpage online in the last few days. It deals with the assaults on free speech and civility on campus practiced by certain politically correct students, including, it appears, a fair number of foreign students from the Middle East.
The argument is then fleshed out with some added comments about Middle East Studies in this country, Saudi influence, the ideological and scholarly travesties that mark the Middle East Studies Establishment --- full of self-deception before 9/11 about militant Islamist fundamentalisms (seen as heralding democracy in the Arab world) --- and the mainstream scholarly inability in that discipline, dominated by politically correct types and political agendas, to come to terms with Islamist terrorism ever since. No, not just before 9/11; in the nearly 3 years after it. Such is the set of delusive, self-conning views toward Islamist fundamentalisms, and what inspires the militant frenzied terrorism that feeds on them, in these bankrupt scholarly circles, enjoying US tax dollars for their research . . . never mind, continued Saudi thug-o-cratic largesse.
(i.) INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS
The Evidence for These Claims?
You'll find it in a few moments. For the time being, note that a good year after 9/11's massacres in the fall of 2002, the members of the Middle East Studies Association assembled for their annual conclave, at which hundreds of papers were read. Only two dealt with terrorism, and then obliquely, with the term put in quotation marks. Don't want to upset the terrorists, you see; victims, apparently, of American imperialism. Believe it or not, our tax money goes to support the research of many of these politically activist in scholarly garb.
Posted by Michael Gordon @ 5:47 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
July 28, 2005
JIHAD TERRORISM AND RADICAL ISLAMIST FUNDAMENTALISM: 1st of 5 pr 6 ArticlesFor several days now, prof bug has been meaning to write about Islamist terrorism, especially in the aftermath of the recent London transport bombings and those in Egypt; but what with one thing or another --- including another project that keeps bugging at the prof's mind --- he's not had time until today.
Not that it's such a bad thing. By now, he's had a chance to look at the journalistic reports and op-eds in much of the European and US media, and so he has some inkling how he might be able to say a few original and maybe useful things about the causes of the London terrorism, and what it portends for European developments in the years and decades to come as well as for US-European relations. For that matter, maybe even say a useful point or two about how to continue prosecuting the war on terrorism.
FIRST, SOME BACKGROUND COMMENTS
Earlier Buggy Articles
Prof Bug is no specialist on terrorism, far from it --- not that he's a wet-behind-the-ears ingénue on the subject. Consider the ways we've tackled the subject of Islamo-extremist terrorism since 9/11:
(i.) For one thing you might recall that he has written extensively on the growth of alienated and increasingly radicalized young men in the Muslim communities all over West Europe, angry, frustrated, and emotionally adrift --- noticeably at odds with the larger cultural and social currents around them in post-modernist European countries --- until they find a new mental anchor in extremist forms of Islamist fundamentalism. Desperate for an end to their confused, drifting lives --- torn, too, by guilt that derives from their aroused and irrepressible sexual desires amid the fleshpots and temptations of contemporary European life --- they are searching for a new, meaningful identity to end their inner anguish, and they find it in becoming "born-again" Mus
Posted by gordongordomr @ 9:9 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
August 24, 2005
JIHAD TERRORISM CONTINUED: ROBERT PAPE'S DYING TO WINThe buggy series on terrorism, which started at the end of July, continues in this article, the second of probably a good three or four such articles. Today's exposition is something of an interlude in the buggy series, at any rate as originally planned --- not that it's unimportant; just the opposite. Devoted entirely to an analysis of a recently published book by a University of Chicago political scientist, Robert Pape --- Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism --- the buggy article grapples at length with Pape's argument and views . . . which, as it happens, have caused a big splash in numerous circles, especially those highly critical of the Bush administration's war on terror. Some reviewers --- all non-specialists in the field of jihad terrorism, it needs to be added --- have called the Pape book groundbreaking and profound. Well, maybe groundbreaking if that means an entirely new perspective on Islamist terrorisms of the sort represented by Al Qaeda; but not necessarily profound if that means the basic Pape argument and views on the topic aren't without serious problems and flaws.
It doesn't follow, though, that the book has no merit at all. If it didn't, there'd be no reason for prof bug to dissect and criticize it at length.
The book's merits and what they amount to can quickly be set out here in the remarks that unfold in part one of today's buggy article. In part two, Pape's argument will be summarized first in conventional capsule form, then in a series of pivotal propositions that set it out argument in a more systematic manner. The latter, propositional way of presenting Pape's ideas, evidence, and logic has a double advantage for us: it will enable you, the buggy visitor, to follow more clearly the overall thrust of Pape's argument and more specific ramifications; and --- no less important --- it will allow prof bug in parts three and four to probe and lay out clearly the problems and shortcomings of that argume
Posted by gordongordomr @ 9:33 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
September 3, 2005
ROBERT PAPE'S DYING TO WIN: 2nd of a 4-article SeriesA buggy series on jihad terrorism --- bombings and other attacks carried out by Al Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups --- started at the end of July 2005 and continued in a 2nd article on August 24th. As you'll see today, there have been over 2800 individual jihadist terrorist attacks world-wide since 9/11 and Al Qaeda's suicide-terrorist attacks on New York and Washington D.C. Yes, over 2800 such attack . . . almost all aimed at civilian targets in dozens of countries around the globe
Enter Robert Pape and Suicide-Terrorism
That 2nd buggy article on jihad terrorism was devoted entirely to probing the ideas and analysis that appeared in a recent book by Robert Pape, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, on suicide-terrorism --- Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism its title --- and that have evoked a large favorable response in the popular media . . . especially on the political left.
The surprising thesis of the book is that all the organized suicide-terrorist attacks that erupted between 1980 and the end of 2003 --- or at least 95% of the 315 total, some 301 --- were carried out by well-organized terrorist groups, 9 in all that unfolded in 18 different suicide-terrorist campaigns that were all directed against the militarized occupational policies of democratic governments on their homeland territories. That's no less true of Al Qaeda than any of the other 8 terrorist groups.
In particular, its motives and those of the other 8 groups have been overwhelmingly nationalist, a desire for national self-liberation and autonomy from the alien occupier; and their suicide-terrorist attacks against the hated enemy have evoked popular support from their national and ethnic communities. (Pape, as the article showed, isn't sure whether bin Laden and Al Qaeda aim at
Posted by gordongordomr @ 4:7 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
September 16, 2005
ROBERT PAPE'S DYING TO WIN: 3rd of a 4-article Series
The Buggy Series on Terrorism Marches On
In late July 2005 a new prof-bug series began on jihad terrorism, especially of the sorts that Al Qaeda and either its affiliates or imitators among radical Islamists embody on a world-wide scale . . . a global threat these days that rightly worries a hundred or more countries, whether democratic or authoritarian or for that matter Muslim or non-Muslim. The threat is all the greater because of the clear evidence that these jihad terrorist groups have been seeking to obtain WMD --- nuclear, chemical, and biological. As it happens, even the book by Robert Pape that the buggy series started focusing on in the 2nd buggy article in the series --- Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism --- agrees that Al Qaeda and other suicide-terrorist groups could acquire nuclear weapons in the future (p.6).
That fear of his, as it also happens, is about the only thing that his book’s arguments have in common with the buggy professor’s understanding of jihad terrorism, whether suicidal in nature or not. Pape's fear, though, is odd. It clashes with his policy-advice, which was set out at length in the two previous buggy articles. After all, were the US and its allies to follow his advice, then al Qaeda's nationalist goals --- basic and overarching in the terrorist group's motives and behavior, says Pape --- would be satisfied, wouldn't they? And so bin Laden and his "altruistic" colleagues would have no incentive to acquire either nuclear, biological, or chemical weapons, let alone use them against the US and others, yes?
Of course, if Pape had said in his last chapter (where he is generous with his policy-advice) that it mi
Posted by gordongordomr @ 9:21 PM CST [continue]
October 22, 2005
ROBERT PAPE TESTS HIS THEORY OF SUICIDE TERRORISM STATISTICALLY: 4th of a 7-article SeriesThis is the 4th article in an ongoing series --- now several weeks old --- on an influential book on suicide terrorism that Robert Pape, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, has written. What with the length of the argument that unfolds here, note that it will be divided into two separate articles. Today's argument ends at the start of Part Three, which will be published on this site in a day or two.
Pape's Book and Argument
Published earlier this year, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism examines the total number of suicide terror attacks that occurred between 1980 and the end of 2003 --- or so Pape argues; it divides these into 18 different suicide terror campaigns carried out by 11 different organized terrorist groups --- 9 of which are Islamic, just as 14 of the 18 terror campaigns are Islamic in nature; Pape contends nonetheless that religion per se, let alone Islamist groups, have no direct motivating force in suicide terrorism . . . the main motivation behind all 18 of these terror campaigns being clearly nationalist instead. In particular, suicide terrorism is a rational if desperate last-resort of the weak and oppressed to force a alien occupying military power off its territory.
On Pape's view, then, the urge to nationalist liberation and self-determination is the driving force in the suicide terror practiced by these 11 different terrorist groups. Religion, to the extent it play any role here, does so indirectly and with secondary impact. Tersely put, if the religion of the occupied people happens to differ from that of the occupying power, then the stakes in nationalist rebellion against the occupier are raised, the citizenry of the occupying country is demonized, and suicide terrorism becomes much more likely.
How Today's Buggy Article Unfolds
Today's article divides into into four parts, each briefly outlined here to help you keep track of the various twists
Posted by gordongordomr @ 1:23 PM CST [continue]
November 10, 2005
Robert Pape Tests His Theory of Suicide Terrorism Statistically: 5th of a 9-article Series
What Today's Buggy Article Is Up To
In this, the 5th buggy article in a strung-out series on Professor Robert Pape's nationalist theory of suicide terrorism, our focus narrows and attaches itself determinedly, with single-minded thrusts, on the statistical effort by Pape to test his nationalist theory of suicide terrorism by means of a logit regression model.
Pape himself makes various claims for the data-base that he himself gathers, codes, and organizes and for the estimated effects of the logit models that he then specifies to analyze the data-set. It's on pages 96 and 97 of Dying to Win that these claims first appear:
To test my theory, Pape writes, I employ a methodology that combines the features of focused-comparison and statistical-correlative analysis using the universe of foreign occupations, 1980-2003. Correlative analysis of this universe [by means of a logit model] enhances confidence that my theory can predict future events [of suicide terrorism] by showing that the patterns predicted by the theory actually occur over a large class of cases. Detailed analysis of historical cases enhances confidence that the conclusions found in the larger universe are not spurious --- that is, that my theory accurately identifies the causal dynamics that determine outcomes.h
Note Pape's Words Carefully
The correlative analysis of what he identifies later as a logistic regression model using logit analysis --- the two terms are roughly interchangeable --- will do two things: it will enhance confidence . . .
That his nationalist theory of suicide terrorism has accurately identified the causal dynamics of suicide terrorism that occurred during all foreign [military occupations] between 1980 and the end of 2003 --- which turn out to be 58 such cases in all, or so he later insis
Posted by gordongordomr @ 4:16 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
December 14, 2005
Robert Pape Tests His Theory of Suicide Terrorism Statistically: 6th in a 9-Part Series
This, the 6th article in an ongoing buggy series that probes Robert Pape's recently published book --- Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism --- focuses with doggedly single-minded determination on Pape's effort to test his nationalist theory of suicide terrorism statistically with logistic regression.
Pape's Logit Modeling Is a Disaster from Start to Finish
It's in chapter 6 of Dying to Win, which starts on p. 79 and ends on p. 101, that Pape explains his nationalist theory of suicide terrorism in detail, culminating in what he claims are its very likely causal pathways. These causal pathways are then diagrammed on p. 96, followed immediately by Pape claiming how they will then be tested by his logit modeling.
The diagram is set out below, and needless to add, the preferred causal pathways --- running left to right --- are those that Pape's logit models, run on a data-set that he himself creates from scratch. In particular, the data-set that he codes, organizes, and classifies adds up to a data-set of 58 cases of military occupation . . . all carried out by democratic governments of either alien populations or of national or ethnic minorities on their own territory. This data-set, in turn, becomes the sample selection that he runs on his logit models to test his nationalist theory's alleged causal pathways. Note that the sample selection is equivalent to the total universe or population of all such relevant cases of military occupation . . . or so Pape claims, and misleadingly so as we'll see.
Pape's Model of Suicide-terrorism
Posted by gordongordomr @ 6:41 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
December 20, 2005
Robert Pape Tests His Theory of Suicide Terrorism Statistically: 7th in a 9-Part SeriesPrologue Comments
It was in the 6th article that the buggy series began probing the numerous flaws and mishaps that ripple and swell throughout Pape's statistical work.
The buggy analysis there moved at a fast, fairly top-skimming approach, exactly as prof bug observed it would. Today's article is different. It slows down the pace and intensifies the scrutiny of Pape's statistical ship-wreck, which reflects, as it sinks bow-first into some dark deep miasma, the teeming blunders, glitches, and fallacies that swarm throughout Dying to Win and wear away its theoretical understructure and guidance-systems. Those flaws aren't confined to theoretical generalizations and statistical work. They also haunt almost all of Pape's major data-sets, starting with the very first table on p. 15 and on through subsequent chapters, including the one concocted for use in logit modeling in Chapter 6.
And what does this ship-wreck leave in its tow? Well, whether intentionally or not, this clear impression: both Pape's theory and the statistical work add up to a whitewashing of the dominant role of Islamist extremism in the rash of suicide terrorism that has erupted on the world scene since 1980.
One Final Point
1. Today's buggy argument begins with Part Four. That's purposeful, a clear indicator that it's a direct follow-up of the previous article in this series on Robert Pape. It sets out in detail what were presumably Pape's logit-models, including the final . . . well, final "two" fitted models that p. 99 and fn. 43 on p. 294 refer briefly to.
2. Part Five probes the various technical problems that beset Pape's data-set of 58 cases.
The previous buggy article, recall, examined the biases, glitches, and havoc-making howlers that riddled the data-set in substantive ways --- above all, its to
Posted by gordongordomr @ 6:56 PM CST [continue]
December 22, 2005
Robert Pape's Odd Mixture of Power-Realism, Appeasement, and PC-Inspired Apologia Examined: 8th in a 10-article SeriesBe what you would seem to be - or, if you'd like it put more simply - never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise. --- Lewis Carroll
This 8th article in the long-running buggy series on Robert Pape's Dying to Win is something of an interlude, although an important one. It responds to some requests sent by buggy visitors asking that prof bug, to the extent possible, lay out and analyze what he thinks are the underlying ideological beliefs and convictions that have motivated Pape's arguments and theoretical work in his book. Happy to respond here to those requests.
But note. To do so at this point is to interrupt the logical order of the current buggy series --- which has been probing Pape's efforts to test the soundness of his nationalist theory of suicide terrorism by statistical means (logit modeling), a task that has already required a good 4 buggy articles. No matter. The requests make sense; they deal with a weighty topic; and they deserve a response. Then, too, what harm can ensue if we hold off a few days before plunging back into the miasmic depths of Pape's statistical marshland? None, no? On the flip-side, there are lots of solid reasons to peek into the dark mental basement and sub-structures that underpin Pape's worldview and theoretical understanding of international life . . . just as they do, it's clear enough, his current whitewash job of Islamist extremism and the ways in which it has held a near monopoly-role in the outbreak of suicide terrorism since 1980.
Just to clarify in passing for the umpteenth time, note how silly and
Posted by gordongordomr @ 2:29 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
January 27, 2006
Robert Pape Tests His Theory of Suicide Terrorism Statistically: 9th in a 10-Part SeriesIntroductory Comments
This, the 9th article in a long-running series on Robert Pape's Dying to Win , continues its recent scrutiny of his efforts to test his theory's causal pathways by use of logistic regression. Aside from a few introductory comments that follow, the article is wholly concerned with analyzing all the bugs, errors, glitches, blunders, and rippling misinterpretations that envelope Pape's statistical work for his stated purpose . . . or, come to that, any purpose under the sun except those hatched and admired by the denizens of the funny farm.
The Necessary Background
Recall that the 4th, 5th, and 6th buggy articles in this series set out the basics of linear regression and of non-linear logistic regression, and the use of logit modeling or analysis that enables a researcher like Pape to estimate the coefficients of his independent variables and monitor the behavior of his dependent variable's outcomes --- whether suicide terrorism occurs or not in each of the 58 cases in his data-set or sample selection –-- as a linear regression in logged odd terms.
No need to say anything more about these technical basics. If you find that you're unable to make sense of today's buggy analysis, you'd be well advised to look over those earlier articles again.
Pape's Disastrously Small Sample Size
The 6th and 7th buggy articles also set out the severely flawed nature of Pape's data-set, both substantively and for its itty-bitty sample size . . . too small for the reliable use of maximum likelihood estimation, the normal and most effective way logit modeling estimates the coefficients of the independent variable and the behavior of the outcome or dependent variable.
Summary and a Pointer to Parts Two and Three Today
We'll say a little more today about the huge problems that Pape apparently was unaware of cause
Posted by gordongordomr @ 11:52 AM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
March 13, 2006
Robert Pape's Whitewash Work and Intellectual Betrayal in Dying-To-Win Examined: 10th Article in a Series.
Today's buggy article, the 10th in a long-running series on Robert Pape's blunder-ridden book, Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism --- a work that has caused a big splash (mainly in the usual suspect circles) --- continues our analysis of its numerous foul-ups: a teeming multitude of goofs, errors, flaws, make-believe data-sets, tangled logic, and a silly and garbled misuse of logistic regression.
From start to finish, these thronging foul-ups infest the book's data, analysis, and theoretical work. They shoot up and multiply in every direction; they swarm through the pages in bevies of mangled arguments, both quantitative and qualitative; they're so numerous and so varied that, in the end, you're left in a state of topsy-turvy wonder . . . Pape, in prof bug's view, winning the prize hands down for god-awful scholarly pishposh --- at any rate outside the circles of shallow, self-righteous, and barely literate post-modernist theorists.
What About the Big Splash the Book Has Provoked?
That's an easy question to answer: its favorable reception has been limited to three circles of critics, readers, and commentators: in particular, among left-wing critics of the War on Terrorism, on the xenophobic, isolationist right-wing of the Republican Party, and in power-realist circles that dominate much of American international relations theorizing. Small wonder for the brisk hand-clapping in these circles. The wonder would be that the book's botched, special pleading --- AKA arguments backed by mangled and specious data from page one on and ending with a plea for appeasing the "legitimate" grievances of wronged suicide terrorist zealots --- wouldn't evoke a jubilant response in those circles' activist, disgruntled members.
Among other things, to return to Dying to Win, Pape --- besides whit
Posted by gordongordomr @ 12:54 PM CST [continue]
March 22, 2006
Robert Pape's Whitewash of the Two Islamo-Fascisms: 11th Article in a SeriesINTRODUCTORY COMMENTS
The Link with the Buggy Series on Pape
Some clarifying comments about the use of "Fascism" and its meaning seem very much in order at this point, particularly since several earlier buggy article in this series on Pape's Dying to Win --- a whitewash laundry-job of Islam's almost total monopoly (94%) of dozens of suicide terrorist groups since 1980 --- have referred numerous times to Islamo-Fascism and to Fundamentalist Islamo-Fascism . . . or just plain Jihadist Islamic fundamentalism.
The two Islamo-Fascist ideologies, it goes without saying, obviously share something basic and significant in common --- a thrust toward totalitarian control over a country's political, administrative, legal, military, and economic systems, with little room, if any, for a civil society of vigorously independent non-state groups and organizations. And both encourage the use of terrorism on a large scale, but differ for the reasons behind the use. At the same time, as you'll see in Part One, they differ in some other ways even as they both draw on the key credos and traditions of European Fascism of the interwar period.
How Today's Article Unfolds
1) In Part One, we'll set out a fast-moving survey of the two dominant kinds of Islamo-Fascism. The aim here is to give you a working idea, nothing more, of what they are and some concrete examples of them.
2) In Part Two, the buggy argument will look at interwar European Fascism, noting the varieties and differences among them with some precision and abundant examples and show how --- despite the varieties --- there was a shared core of ideological tenets that the two contemporary forms of Islamo-Fascism share too despite their own differences about totalistic control of all social, private, and religious life in the name of Islamic purity and revitalization.
3) In the third part, we'
Posted by gordongordomr @ 5:56 PM CST [continue] [ Comments? ]
April 11, 2006
Robert Pape's Whitewash Work of the Jihadist Roots of Islamic Terrorism: 12th Article in a Series on Dying to Win.INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS
‘Chanting "God is Greatest" after the 71-to-36 vote, Hamas lawmakers hugged and kissed Ismail Haniyeh, their teary-eyed prime minister-designate who vowed to not to abandon the fight against Israel.
"The Koran is our constitution, Jihad is our way, and death for the sake of God is our highest aspiration," Hamas lawmaker Hamed Bitawi said. [Bold-emphasis added by prof bug]
'Tuesday's comments stood in contrast to a more conciliatory speech by Haniyeh on Monday in which he stressed the new government's push for peace and dialogue'. (Reuters' Dispatch, March 28, 2005, with Italics added by prof bug)
Can't be! No, doesn't really mean it! . . . this Ismail Haniyeh, the new teary-eyed PM-designate of Hamas.
And why can't it be true?
Well, because Professor Robert Pape has spent 335 pages of white-splashed work assuring us that suicide terrorism has nothing to do with any substantive religious creeds or traditions, let alone --- as he tells us in chapter 7 of his stupendous excuse-making cover-up book, Dying to Win --- to do with any specific varieties of Islam whatsoever, including radical fundamentalism Islam and notions of Jihad. And to prove it, he does two things that we'll look at in today's buggy article --- itself, please note, a direct continuance of the previous article in this lengthy series on Pape's extravagant cover up of Islam's almost total monopoly of suicide terrorism since 1980: specifically, a good 94.4% of all the suicide terrorist groups active between that year and the start of 2004.
And remember: in this, as in all the other buggy articles on Pape's book, the views and criticisms unfurled in this series are strictly those of prof bug's --- even as he as striven each time to back them up with plenty of e
Posted by gordongordomr @ 7:23 PM CST [continue]
April 21, 2006
The Religion of Peace Spreads More Love and Good-Will Among All Peoples: No. 1 in a 2-Article SeriesZionists, Zionists You will pay!
The Wrath of Allah is on its way!
Israeli Zionists You shall pay!
The Wrath of Allah is on its way!
The mushroom cloud is on its way!
The real Holocaust is on its way!
We are not your average Muslims,
We are the Muslims of Was al Sunnah
We will not accept the United Nations, they are the criminals themselves
They get paid by the Israeli and the US government to do their job.
We don't recognize United NaFRtions as a body
We only recognize Allah
Israel won't last long…
Indeed, Allah will repeat the Holocaust right on the soil of Israel
Response: Allahu Akbar!
* * *
No wonder they call you sons of apes and pigs,
because that's what you are.
* * *
Islam will dominate the world
Islam is the only solution
Islam will dominate the world
Islam is the only solution
Source: Islamic Thinkers Society Poster Announcing Forthcoming Demonstration
Another peace-loving photo at the Islamic Thinkers Site
Posted by gordongordomr @ 9:6 PM CST [continue]
May 2, 2006
The Causes of Contemporary Islamic Conspiratorial Lunacies and Jihad-Infested Rage: 2nd in a Series of Articles
FROM AN 8th GRADE SAUDI TEXTBOOK USED IN ALL SAUDI SCHOOLS . . . THE SAUDI ROYALS THE BIGGEST EXPORTERS OF RADICAL ISLAMIC HATRED AND RACISM IN THE WORLD:
"As cited in Ibn Abbas: The apes are Jews, the people of the Sabbath; while the swine are the Christians, the infidels of the communion of Jesus."
"God told His Prophet, Muhammad, about the Jews, who learned from parts of God's book [the Torah and the Gospels] that God alone is worthy of worship. Despite this, they espouse falsehood through idol-worship, soothsaying, and sorcery. In doing so, they obey the devil. They prefer the people of falsehood to the people of the truth out of envy and hostility. This earns them condemnation and is a warning to us not to do as they did."
"They are the Jews, whom God has cursed and with whom He is so angry that He will never again be satisfied [with them]."
"Some of the people of the Sabbath were punished by being turned into apes and swine. Some of them were made to worship the devil, and not God, through consecration, sacrifice, prayer, appeals for help, and other types of worship. Some of the Jews worship the devil. Likewise, some members of this nation worship the devil, and not God."
"Activity: The student writes a composition on the danger of imitating the infidels."
FROM A 12th GRADE SAUDI TEXTBOOK USED IN ALL SAUDI SCHOOLS
"Jihad in the path of God -- which consists of battling against unbelief, oppression, injustice, and those who perpetrate it -- is the summit of Islam. This religion arose through jihad and through jihad was its banner raised high. It is one of the noblest acts, which brings one closer to God, and one of the most magni
Posted by gordongordomr @ 4:55 PM CST [continue]
May 6, 2006
The Causes of Contemporary Islamic Conspiratorial Lunacies and Jihad-Infested Rage: 3nd in a Series of Articles
"Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases.
Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants . . ." -- Justice Louis Brandeis
"Mother! I've just killed my Jew, I'm going to Paradise!" A French Muslim youth, joyous --- his hands still bloodied after he gouged his Jewish neighbor's eye out, then beheaded him --- informing mama in November 2003 of his rapturous religious act
"Osama bin Laden Hiding Out in the USA Say 51% of Dubai Respondents"
In the Gulf News online survey done on May 7, 30 per cent of the responders [in Dubai]said Pakistan was the terrorist's likely hiding place. Only 12 per cent said Afghanistan, while 51 per cent said it was the United States.
"To double check whether people on the streets are equally paranoid and think on the same lines, Gulf News caught some unwary shoppers and asked them the question. While some people said they would rather not comment on the subject, a large number also believe he is in the United States, as according to them, Bin Laden was once "created" by America. A Dubai resident said people think he is in the United States, "because he was working for them before", said Daniella Paderi. "And now he has gone back home." The expatriate said catching Osama was not important. "There are more important things to worry about, as the war in Iraq," she said.
"Hassan Ali, an Egyptian expatriate in Abu Dha
Posted by gordongordomr @ 9:12 PM CST [continue]
June 21, 2006
CAN AN IRANIAN NUCLEAR FORCE BE RELIABLY DETERRED TO PREVENT AGGRESSION AND THE USE OF STEPPED-UP JIHADI TERRORISM? 1st in a Series of ArticlesHere, by way of a preliminary jolt --- intended to jar your mind into thinking about the high-coiled nature of this topic --- are some raw revealing words on Islam, the religious duties of violent jihad it imposes on its followers, and the belief in an endless war against infidels and the world of darkness until Islam triumphs globally, no exceptions anywhere . . . all voiced in the 1980s by the Grand Ayatollah Khomeini, the pioneer leader of Iran's Islamic Shi-ite revolution back in 1979, and the first Supreme Leader of its clerical-fascist totalitarian regime.
Like his successor after his death in 1989, the Grand Ayatollah Khameini, Khomeini embodied the same political and spiritual position in Iranian life as Hitler did in Nazi Germany: the Fuehrer Prinzip . . . the leader who is above all law, and whose own word on any subject was and is the indisputable final word on it. Almost two decades after his death, Khomeini remains the most influential cleric in Shi-ite Islam since the early Middle Ages.
"Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of other countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world.. .. But those who study Islamic Holy \War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. . . . Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that Islam counsels against war. Those who say this are witless.
"Islam says: Kill all the unbelievers just as they would kill you all! Does this mean that Muslims should sit back until they are devoured by [the unbelievers]? Islam says: Kill them [the non-Muslims], put them to the sword and scatter [their armies]. Does this mean sitting back until [non-Muslims] overcome us? Islam says: Kill in the service of Allah those who may want to kill you! Does this mean that we should surrender [to the enemy]?
"Islam says: Whatever goo
Posted by gordongordomr @ 5:29 PM CST [continue]
July 5, 2006
Can an Iranian Nuclear Force Be Reliably Deterred to Prevent Aggression and Stepped-up Jihadi Terrorism? 2nd in a Series of Articles
"Iran will resume uranium enrichment if the European Union does not recognize its right to do so, two Iranian nuclear negotiators said in an interview published Thursday"
This is the 2nd buggy article in a new series on Iran and nuclear weapons, and more specifically, on whether a nuclear-armed terror state like Iran --- headed by a fist-shaking, apocalyptic spouting president, who publicly boasts that he expects the Shiite messianic Mahdi to reappear imminently in a warlike Judgment Day-scenario for infidels and apostate Muslims --- can be reliably deterred the way, say, the Soviet Union was in the cold war by powerful democratic states and their allies.
The Truth? On This and Related Matters, Speculation Is Inescapable
As the 1st article in the new series showed, it's not easy to be certain in this and related matters --- just the opposite, and for an overwhelming reason: any analysis of Iran's future behavior at home and abroad in a nuclear era encounters some massive information-gaps about the way in which power is currently distributed at the top in the clerical-fascist totalitarian system and whether Ahmadinejad's manic, wildly loony Islamic beliefs and holocaust bombast are shared by the other power-holders in contemporary Iran. The same information-Black Holes hamper any and all predictions as to whether Iran's leaders at the head of a nuclear-armed terror-state, whether in the next few years or decades into the future, could be expected to behave rationally as all deterrence theory postulates . . . something clarified in the previous buggy article.
What follows? Tersely put, all discussion of these matters is bound to be speculative, pure-and-simple; and you need to be wary of what you see published in the print- media or what you hear on TV or the radio.
Note Quickly Though
Posted by gordongordomr @ 6:40 PM CST [continue]
July 18, 2006
Can A Nuclear Terror State Like Iran Be Reliably Deterred from Aggression and Stepped-up Support of Terrorism?
"Not all actors in international politics calculate utility the same way in making decisions. Differences in values, culture, attitudes toward risk-taking, and so on vary greatly. There is no substitute for knowledge of the adversary's mind-set and behavioral style, and this is often difficult to obtain correctly in assessing intentions or prediction responses." -- Gordon A. Craig and Alexander L. George, Force and Statecraft (3rd ed., Oxford), p 188.
"Our revolution's main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi," Ahmadinejad said in the speech to Friday Prayers leaders from across the country.
"Therefore, Iran should become a powerful, developed and model Islamic society."
"Today, we should define our economic, cultural and political policies based on the policy of Imam Mahdi's return. We should avoid copying the West's policies and systems," he added, newspapers and local news agencies reported.
"Most serious criticisms of deterrence theory came from those troubled by doubts about the assumption of policymakers' rationality on which it heavily depends . . . The leading figure in this group was Robert Jervis [a political scientist at Columbia), who found it odd that so many analysts tended to rely on deductive logic while ignoring the emotions and perceptions of decision makers. Participants in international rivalries and conflicts, he warned, seldom have an adequate understanding of each others' perspectives and goals. The receiver-state [targeted by the deterring state], therefore, often misses or misinterprets signals that appear perfectly clear to the deterrer.
Jervis raised s
Posted by gordongordomr @ 7:36 PM CST [continue]
July 18, 2006
Can A Nuclear Terror State Like Iran Be Reliably Deterred from Aggression and Stepped-up Support of Terrorism? No. 3 in a Series1. "Not all actors in international politics calculate utility the same way in making decisions. Differences in values, culture, attitudes toward risk-taking, and so on vary greatly. There is no substitute for knowledge of the adversary's mind-set and behavioral style, and this is often difficult to obtain correctly in assessing intentions or prediction responses." -- Gordon A. Craig and Alexander L. George, Force and Statecraft (3rd ed., Oxford), p 188.
2. "Our revolution's main mission is to pave the way for the reappearance of the 12th Imam, the Mahdi," Ahmadinejad said in the speech to Friday Prayers leaders from across the country. Therefore, Iran should become a powerful, developed and model Islamic society. Today, we should define our economic, cultural and political policies based on the policy of Imam Mahdi's return. We should avoid copying the West's policies and systems," he added, newspapers and local news agencies reported."
3. "Most serious criticisms of deterrence theory came from those troubled by doubts about the assumption of policymakers' rationality on which it heavily depends . . . The leading figure in this group was Robert Jervis [a political scientist at Columbia), who found it odd that so many analysts tended to rely on deductive logic while ignoring the emotions and perceptions of decision makers. Participants in international rivalries and conflicts, he warned, seldom have an adequate understanding of each others' perspectives and goals. The receiver-state [targeted by the deterring state], therefore, often misses or misinterprets signals that a
Posted by gordongordomr @ 7:38 PM CST [continue]
August 1, 2006
What Explains President Ahmadinejad's Wild Acclaim in the Islamic World: 4th in a Series on Iran
(i.) "Destroy! Explode it! Your weapon restores my country's honor.
Resist! Explode! Shake! Destroy!
Your weapon restores my country's honor."
-- Hezbollah Celebrates Civilians' Casualties
(ii.) "I will not enumerate the instances of our humiliation," Mr. Mahathir said. "We are all Muslims. We are all oppressed. We are all being humiliated. . . . Today we, the whole Muslim [community], are treated with contempt and dishonor. . . . There is a feeling of hopelessness among the Muslim countries and their people. They feel that they can do nothing right . . . Our only reaction is to become more and more angry. Angry people cannot think properly." -- Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia in the Keynote Speech at the Islamic Summit Conference of 2003
(iii.) "For most shame societies, even the mildest insult must be avenged with death, because now everyone knows that you have been insulted, and without the death (or blood) to wipe it out, honor cannot be restored.
"When a culture determines that the avoidance of shame is necessary no matter what the cost, the result is a culture of fanaticism, bizarre behavior in the name of "honor"; and simultaneously within the culture, the oppression, subjugation, and humiliation of women and others perceived as "weak" (and therefore "shameful") is a high priority. Additionally, the shame culture will always perceive the guilt culture as "weak" and inferior."
Posted by gordongordomr @ 12:12 PM CST [continue]
August 18, 2006
Iran's Ahmadinejad and Why His Dogmatic, Politically Charged Religious Worldview Strikes So Many Resonances in Global Islam: 5th in a Series"I will not enumerate the instances of our humiliation," Mr. Mahathir said. "We are all Muslims. We are all oppressed. We are all being humiliated. . . . Today we, the whole Muslim [community], are treated with contempt and dishonor. . . . There is a feeling of hopelessness among the Muslim countries and their people. They feel that they can do nothing right . . . Our only reaction is to become more and more angry. Angry people cannot think properly." -- Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia in the Keynote Speech at the Islamic Summit Conference of 2003
"Speaking at a graduation ceremony in Haret Hreik, Nasrallah announced on October 22, 2002: "if they [Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide." The New York Times qualifies this as "genocidal thinking", whereas the New York Sun likens it to the 1992 Hezbollah statement, which vowed, "It is an open war until the elimination of Israel and until the death of the last Jew on earth." Michael Rubin qualifies his goal as genocide too, quoting Nasrallah ruling out "co-existence with" the Jews or "peace", as "they are a cancer which is liable to spread again at any moment."
"If we searched the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew. Notice, I do not say the Israeli. (New Yorker, Oct. 14, 2002)
"Islam makes it incumbent on all adult males, provided they are not disabled or incapacitated, to prepare themselves for the conquest of other countries so that the writ of Islam is obeyed in every country in the world.. .. But those who study Islamic Holy \War will understand why Islam wants to conquer the whole world. . . . Those who know nothing of Islam pretend that
Posted by gordongordomr @ 1:3 PM CST [continue]
September 11, 2006
Why President Ahmadinejad's Frenzied Views Resonate Intellectually and Emotionally in the Islamic World: 6th in a Series on Iran
A Psycho-Ward Portrait of the Pope carried by Palestinian protestors on this day of rage and church-burning in Islam: Bet none of you ever figured that the Pope is really a Jewish Pirate planted right in the heart of the Vatican by the Jew-Fiends themselves: yes, what a brilliant revelation . . . the Supreme Pontiff of Catholicism, with a global following much larger than Islam, turns out to be at the center of the world-wide Jewish conspiracy to keep Islam down and out and full of fast-burn fruitcake rancor and violence.
"A Palestinian protester holds an unflattering picture showing Pope Benedict XVI during a demonstration against his recent speech about Islam, following prayers in front of the Dome of the Rock mosque in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, Friday, Sept. 22, 2006. Thousands of Muslim worshippers staged anti-pope marches in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza on Friday, waving green Hamas banners and denouncing the pontiff as a coward. The Arabic writing on the poster reads, ‘There are many lies that go out of their mouths. ‘ "(AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen) Source
Prof bug added comment: Believe it or not, the eye-patch on the depicted Jewish-Papal Demon actually has theological significance in Islam. The Dajjal, or the Anti-Christ, is a one-eyed monster who will unite all the infidel world to try crushing Allah's on
Posted by gordongordomr @ 9:12 PM CST [continue]
October 21, 2006
Can A Nuclear Terror State Like Iran Be Reliably Deterred from Agression and Stepped-up Support of Terrorism? No. 7 in a Series
The Unifying Thread
The strung-out series on Iran's nuclear ambitions, now in its 7th installment, continues to pound along in its quirky offhand way . . . a few more articles still to come before the series reaches the finish line.
As the shrinking handful of buggy aficionados might recall, the series started back in June (2006) . . . prof bug always uncertain, whenever he starts a single-theme sequence like it, when it might end: in three articles or maybe twice that or even in a baker's dozen. It all depends, you see. Even now, in the 7th article on Iran, it depends on unpredictable moods and the ups and downs in buggy knowledge. Still --- despite some scuttling digressions, intended mainly to place Iraq's current clerical-fascist regime in the wider context of politicized Islamic revivalism (AKA, jihadi extremism ) --- what holds the series together should be evident to all its readers: for all the twists and turns of its arguments, each installment has determinedly sought to illuminate our chief concern: whether a clerical-fascist terror-state --- led now led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a frenzied enthusiast of an imminent apocalyptic showdown with the infidel world that all Shiites and Sunni Muslims believe is inevitable --- can be reliably deterred from major threats to key US interests in the Middle East and Persian Gulf region, not to mention much further afield on a global scene.
The most ominous of these regional and global threats?
Posted by gordongordomr @ 8:40 PM CST [continue
January 3, 2007
Prof Bug Posting Very Soon
The buggy professor thanks those of you who have inquired of late why he hasn't posted anything on this site since late October 2006.
Nothing serious this time, happy to report: no big bouncy mood-swings, no major problems of any sort; just some sore hands, wrists, elbows, and upper arms that required a lot of massages, acupuncture, and careful stretching, starting some time in early November. As luck had it, the treatment took a lot of time --- more, anyway, than prof bug had hoped it would; but then it took years of work at the pc to create these sore muscles and joints, and in the end, when you get down to it, a couple of months of physical therapy of this sort isn't much compared to the lengthy time that went into the inflamed tissue.
And the therapy, as luck also had it, has helped. A lot. To the point anyway that the inflammation has now dwindled to a tolerable level, and so prof bug has been briskly busy the last few days writing a new article in the series on Iran and its nuclear ambitions --- specifically, whether a nuclear-armed terror-state led by clerical-fascists, whose top-dog president is a religious fanatic of massive megalomanical dimensions, can be deterred and contained the way the Soviet Union was in the cold war. That article will be posted here soon, most likely this week. Given its length right now, it's probable that the final commentary and analysis will have to be divided into two separate, closely linked write-ups.
When they're finished, these two write-ups will complete the strung-out series on Iran that began in early July 2006 . . . or was it, come to that, 1906? Hard for prof bug's mind, charged with fitful moody quirks --- at any rate, nearly always around its edges and now and then at its very core --- to be clear at times.
PART ONE: WHAT TO EXPECT
Among the New Topics?
Well, among them, these soon-to-appear buggy think-pieces will set out o
Posted by gordongordomr @ 6:7 PM CST [continue]
January 11, 2007
Can a Nuclear-Armed Terror-State Like Iran Be Reliably Deterred? 8th Article in a Series
"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad --- who has sparked international outcry by referring to the killing of six million Jews in World War Two as a "myth" and calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map" ---told delegates at an international conference that the Jewish state would be extinguished. 'Thanks to people's wishes and God's will the trend for the existence of the Zionist regime is downwards and this is what God has promised and what all nations want,' he said.' Just as the Soviet Union was wiped out and today does not exist, so will the Zionist regime soon be wiped out.' " [The prose in this Iranian dispatch --- at any rate, the first sentence --- has been slightly altered by prof bug to correct its illiteracies. Ahmadinejad's quoted words in italics appear here exactly as in the original dispatch.]
This, the 8th article in a series on Iran and its nuclear ambitions --- more specifically, on whether a nuclear-armed Iran could be effectively deterred from aggressive foreign and military policies, not least massively stepped-up support for jihadi terrorists worldwide --- nudges the lengthy series fairly close to its end with a fistful of conclusions, each and every one tentative, alas. Why the proviso? Veteran readers of the buggy series will immediately understand the reasons why. In a few moments, those of you new to the series will find some fairly long clarifing remarks, and hopefully they will prove illuminating for you veterans too.
How Today's Article Will Unfold
Specifically in four distinct parts, not all of which, come to think of it --- once prof bug's hands start banging away at the keyboard with bursting energy --- will fit into the space allotted for today's argument . . . or so we can safely wager.
1. In the first part, prof bug will elaborate on some key points that appeared in the series' first article that were posted on the buggy si
Posted by gordongordomr @ 4:7 PM CST [continue]
February 28, 2007
Can a Nuclear-Armed Terror-State Like Iran Be Reliably Deterred? 9th Article in a Series
'In 1980, Ayatollah Khomeini proclaimed "We do not worship Iran, we worship Allah. I say, let this land [Iran] burn. I say let this land go up in smoke, provided Islam emerges triumphant." 'The Ayatollah Rafsanjani said that "the use of even one nuclear bomb inside Israel will destroy everything. However, it will only harm the Islamic world. It is not irrational to contemplate such an eventuality." Rafsanjani ---[a former Iranian president, who's regarded as a moderate clerical-fascist these days!] --- also noted that 5 million Jews would die in an Iranian nuclear strike, while a mere 15 million Iranians would perish in an Israeli retaliation as a small "sacrifice" considering the over one billion Muslims worldwide. 'In February of last year , a fatwa was issued in Qom allowing the use of nuclear weapons in war." ' For the Frontpage source, click here
The series on Iran --- on its nuclear ambitions and what the prospects are likely to be of the US and friendly countries deterring and containing a major terrorist-supporting clerical state once it's armed with nuclear weapons --- continues its casual loafing pace toward the finish line: not quite at tortoise speed, mind you, but not kicking up dust like a skedaddling loose and limber hare either. No matter. Can't be helped. Prof bug busy, you see, on a couple of other writing tasks that have deadlines like billboards flashing madly in front of his eyes.
Today's Overarching Theme
So far, since last summer, the Iranian series has unfolded a good 8 articles . . . all ranging widely, with lots of warning signals posted every so often that writing about a highly secretive regime is bound to be speculative. That was true of the Soviet Union during the cold war; it's no less true of Iran these days. Enter our theme in this 9th article, dealt with, as buggy visitor
Posted by gordongordomr @ 4:56 PM CST [continue]
March 2, 2007
Please Use Only Internet Explorer or Opera for the Buggy Site
Added March 28th, 2007: The buggy site is being reorganized by a talented web developer to solve a variety of problems --- including browser incompatibility with Firefox; and it will look a little messy for a few days until the reorganization is finished.
Added April 6th, 2007: The talented web developer who has been reorganizing the buggy site has done sufficient work to ensure that the buggy articles now show up just as well in Firefox and Netscape as in IE or Opera. There are a few kinks that still need to be worked out, but within a few days now, all the complex recoding of the site by strict W3C XHTML standards --- W3C referring to the World Wide Web Consortium --- should be finished, and everything look proper. In case you're interested, the reason why the site needed recoding is explained in the text that follows.
For a number of reasons, those of you accessing this site with Netscape or Firefox won't see it properly. Different size fonts and colors that the site uses for each article just don't show up correctly, unlike in IE or Opera, in these Mozilla-based browsers. Worse, the margins in those browsers create a line of text that's way too long for the eye to take in easily.
Posted by gordongordomr @ 8:22 PM CST [continue]