July 22, 2005

Michael J. Totten: The Logic Of Pacifism

Michael Totten has penned (pixeled?) a brilliant essay on the "Logic of Pacifism over at Tech Central Station. A sample:

Several commenters blamed the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London, in one way or another, on regime-change in Iraq. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga (Daily Kos) described the attacks as consequences of the war. Professor Juan Cole characterized them as blowback. Paul Reynolds at the BBC said they were Britain's punishment.

Only those who opposed the invasion of Iraq trot out this argument, though. Many of them either minimize or entirely ignore the fact that the invasion of Afghanistan and the toppling of the Taliban enraged Islamists as much if not even more so. The Taliban, after all, are fellow Islamists. The Baathists, from the point of view of Islamists, are socialists and infidels."

It's real simple. If invading Iraq was a bad idea because it enraged Al Qaeda and handed them fodder for recruitment propaganda, then invading Afghanistan was likewise a bad idea because that, too, enraged Al Qaeda and handed them fodder for recruitment propaganda. If military action provokes retaliation, and retaliation must be avoided, then any and all military action must be avoided always and everywhere. Fighting the enemy anywhere at all will produce exactly the same result: they won't like it and will want to fight back. That always happens in war. Otherwise it wouldn't be war."
Totten ends with:
Those who think invading Afghanistan was wise and invading Iraq was a mistake can and will have pacifist logic thrown at them by others (like British MP George Galloway) who also opposed removing the Taliban. If you know how to argue with pacifist opponents of regime-change in Afghanistan, then you know how to argue with pacifist opponents of regime-change in Iraq."

Those that fail to understand that we cannot, must not abandon this war will also be those that can't understand why the Islamo-Fascists will, if you will allow the bloodythirsty phrase, have lined them up against the wall. This war is not about nice, not about understanding motivations, not about differences in culture. This war is about a mindset held by the Islamo-fascists that we will be conquered and either submit (dhimitude) or die.

Further evidence that this war preceeded 9/ll and both Afghanistan and Iraq is provided by The Anchoress (caution, strong photographic evidence that may shake a pacifists belief) who writes:

Let’s not forget bin Laden’s own words in 2001 rallying against the West and trying to convince the world that our efforts in Afghanistan were unjust because, “there is no evidence of the involvement of the people of Afghanistan in what happened in America.” (H/T Glenn Reynolds) Rather like those insisting the same about Iraq, today."

Tell us some more how terrorists are only responding to regime change in Iraq, and how if only we would obey the “insurgents” there and leave Iraq, all of this would end. Tell us that some more, Mr. Galloway, tell us that some more, ladies and gentlemen of the press. Tell us all about it you tired, phoney, so-called intellectuals and sophisticates. Tell us how terror that has existed for decades is all the fault of George W. Bush and his poodles Tony Blair and John Howard (Trey Jackson has a terrific video of Howard telling it like it is here."

The Anchoress could also have included the bombing of the Moscow Metro here:
aaa moscow metro explosion.jpg

The Marine Barracks bombing

aaa Beirut9.jpg
followed only seconds later by the bombing of the French Paratroopers headquarters
and the US Embassy bombing 6 months earlier

aaa us-embassy-beirut-bombing.jpg

Posted by GM Roper at July 22, 2005 06:55 AM | TrackBack

Excellent post, GM. This will really help get the home team into the mood. Here are some of my own favorites, and here ... are ... some ... close-ups.

Jeremiah didn't have digital video at his disposal; the fun is only just beginning.

Posted by Jassalasca Jape at July 22, 2005 09:38 AM

J.J., thanks for making more clear the distinction between the left and the right.

Isolated incidents of enemy POW's being humiliated is of greater concern to the left than then continuing, senseless, random, mass terrorist murders of innocent civilians in the West. Also, your presentation makes clear that the left doesn't understand cause and effect, except to the extent that they they attack the home team (cause) believing that they can get the the manager fired (effect)--and that, to the left, is the important goal.

This isn't a case of who's right or wrong, but a case of what you belive versus what others believe. I think that you laid out your case nicely for people to make their choice as to which side is right and best qualified to lead. To me, it is confirmation that last November's presidential election had the best outcome and that we need to continue in that direction.

The left can continue siding with the enemy and the left can hurl spit balls and throw at the head. But, remember one thing--the hometeam gets to bat last.

Posted by Woody at July 22, 2005 11:09 AM

JJ, thanks for proving my point. Most of the "bombing pictures" were of either WWII or the Afghanistan conflict with one or two protest art pieces regarding the bombing of serbian forces who were committing genocide. In the WWII pictures, we were in a declared war following an attack on the United States. Of all the pictures you linked to, the only truly tragic one was of the little girl whose parents were killed when they didn't stop even after warning shots were fired. Tragic and regrettable to be sure, but not the same as deliberate terrorist bombing. No doubt, the little girl might understandably disagree with that, but the facts are still the facts regardless of the spin you try to put on it.

I guess you came by the name "Jape" honestly. To you, this is doubtlessly a "joke or quip."

You are welcome to comment here any time you wish, but I do wish that you would go away if you don't have anything constructive to say other than your incessent cheerleading for pacifism. Perhaps if you re-read Totten's column and thought about the meaning.......

Posted by GM Roper at July 22, 2005 02:37 PM

G.M., I have a slightly different view of J.J. than yours. I welcome visitors from the left. If they can't change our minds, at least they make us think; and, they help us to clarify our understandings of how they process information and of what they want. Even if J.J. is here to just hit-and-run, that teaches us something.

At worst, J.J. confirms what we already suspect about the left and confirms that our own positions are right. At best, we learn something and the other readers learn something.

For J.J.'s benefit--you can see that not all conservatives agree on things and that we can make up our own minds rather than waiting for the talking points. Maybe others from your side need to understand us better as we're trying to understand you, so invite them along for polite discussions.
Point taken Woody!!

Posted by Woody at July 22, 2005 03:08 PM

Greg Pierce writing in the Washington Times quotes National Review Online: ""The aftermath of the London terrorist bombings has demonstrated that the antiwar Left is severely afflicted by the political equivalent of battered-wife syndrome," Ted Lapkin wrote yesterday, before the new attacks in that city, on National Review Online (www.nationalreview.com).
"With each new beating, the scarred and bruised victims of spousal abuse tend to excuse and rationalize the actions of their tormentors. A stubborn unwillingness to accept the proposition that their partners are violent louts plunges these woeful women into a morass of self-deception that spawns only further violence," said Mr. Lapkin, director of policy analysis at the Australia/Israel and Jew Affairs Council, a Melbourne think tank.
"The far Left has similarly proved unable to liberate itself from the web of rose-tinted delusions that it has spun about the nature of Islamic extremism. After each al Qaeda outrage, leftist ideologues are quick to castigate their own countrymen for a catalog of sins, both real and imagined. With a perverse combination of self-loathing and adoration of the enemy, the radical Leftist mantra preaches that if only we were nicer, the jihadists could not fail to love us. It's our own fault if Osama bin Laden doesn't realize what good people we are.
"And all the while, these 'progressive' academics, pundits and politicians engage in ridiculous intellectual contortions designed to mitigate the guilt of the terrorist perpetrators. When push comes to shove, some intellectuals believe that Islamism is simply an understandable reaction to what they describe as 'Western imperialism.' "

Posted by Rafael at July 22, 2005 04:18 PM

On the contrary, I do believe in cause and effect. If you teach people to speak and give them enough food and free time to appoint leaders over themselves, it is only a matter of time before they start killing one another in large numbers. I'm don't know whether the Republicans or Democrats are going to turn out being better at it, but I can sure tell it's going to be some contest. And don't you worry; no matter how many people get poisoned or incinerated, I'll be working real hard to make sense out of the carnage so you folks can concentrate on what you do best.

Posted by Jassalasca Jape at July 22, 2005 04:26 PM

"The left can continue siding with the enemy ..."

Puh-leeze! Silly statements like that are what comes from listening to Coulter, Woody.

You're right. That was a little over the top. That statement was meant to reflect the obsession of the left over the treatment of prisoners who tried to kill us versus what is best for this country. So, they are not siding with the enemy. However, they often take up for and take the same positions of our enemies--but, not for them but for purely political purposes. Ann Coulter won't have to look over her shoulder at me replacing her.

BTW, I was going by the Atlanta airport today just as Air Force One was schedule to arrive. Street and air traffic were blocked, police were monitoring bridges and the approach path, and I was thinking, "Great! I get to see it!" My son, whom I was bringing back from the doctor, was sick and was asking to go home so he could get to bed--right then. What's a dad to do? I skirted around the traffic and took him home. Friends told me that the plane came two minutes later and it was exciting--and, I missed it. But, being a dad is more important than being a Republican.


Posted by jim hitchcock at July 22, 2005 08:43 PM

Bloody hell, the Arabs themselves have said it 1000 times, and here we all are still saying that this or the other thing is responsible for terrorists. They just don't approve of any other countries being on what they think of as Arab soil, be it bloody Iraq, Saudi, anywhere, whether we think they like each other or not.

Say that the US had a falling out with Australia. Fair enough. Now say that Saudi Arabia sent a few thousand Arab troops over there to Aus. The Americans depsite their differences are still going to not particularly like that.

Now say we were all powerless to remove those troops, and that they had been there for years. What would we do?

But no, cos everyone's so bloody smart, and everything is either that reason or another. It seems very simple. And considering all these other reasons have been thought of, argued over, and we're still being blown up in subway tunnels and the like, perhaps the simple reason really is the reason.

Whether we mean anything bad overseas or not doesn't matter. They just don't like us being there, and they've bloody well said so enough times.

Posted by nx-01 at July 23, 2005 09:44 AM

nx, UR a moron. Bali had nothing to do with Westerners in the ME. The jihadists are humiliated by the debased state of their culture, and long for the days of long ago when they were top dogs. The goal is the Global Caliphate, not an undisturbed patch of desert (or jungle).

Posted by Brian H at July 23, 2005 11:56 AM

The leftist, Democratic writer Michael Totten asserts:
"Only those who opposed the invasion of Iraq trot out this argument, though."

This is the type of inaccurate statement that those of us on the Right have come to expect from the Left.

It's odd - I just posted a comment at another weblog, about how supporters of the Iraq war could be the ones asserting that British intervention in Iraq was the pivotal factor that motivated this month's terrorist attacks in London. That's what war supporters did with regard to the 3-11-04 terrorist attacks in Madrid, in an attempt to back up their case for the Iraq war:

Posted by Aakash at July 23, 2005 04:15 PM

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