Saturday, April 23, 2005

Rumble In Europe: 2019

Europe is different than America.

European history and culture often moves in a dialectic - thesis, anti-thesis, and synthesis.

America does not.

America moves inexorably forward, with mini-reversals, but with twin pistons of Good Cop and Bad Cop endlessly chugging.

It does not matter if you look at the left or the right, once you start looking for the Gothamimage Good Cop/Bad Cop dichotomy/paradox, you will see it in all American affairs, past and present. You cannot escape it. It's like the FOX news swoosh.


Granted, you can and will argue over who is the Good Cop and who is the Bad Cop, in any given situation. Fair enough. But you will see what we mean. Those two Cops are always there- even on TV shows, like COPS.

This theory and analysis is overlooked by American Euro-centric intellectuals (in part because gothamimage just recently invented the theory), who mistakenly try to apply European dialectic or Asia-Confucian analysis to the USA's GC/BC reality.

However Rupert Mudoch understands. When he sets up a channel for immoral TV shows, he also sets up another channel to criticize moral decline.

In GOP operations, for every Rumsfeld there is a Powell.


In Democratic circles, there are many equivalents of this.

GC/BC is omnipresent in all aspects of our culture and history. It's symbolized in our two-party structure, with roles determined, by where you sit.

Usually , from abroad, the Democrats are the Good Cops, unless your are the leaders of Italy, Japan, or Russia- all of whom endorsed Bush.

Incidentally, that was a fury of foreign meddling that would had the monkey handlers in the right-turn- only blog-o-roads foaming banana spit if it had been Kerry who received such assay.

Anyway, Europe is different.

Right now the cliche among the insta-book snipers, keyboard Partisans, garrulous gigglehawks, and the bellowing blowhards is that 'Murica is from Mars, and Europe is from Venus.

Ofcourse, we are refering to Bob Kagan's overrated book, written in a precious Venus-like style, by a Venus-type guy, who advocates Mars-like behaivor for 'Murica, while he was living in cosy temporarily Venus-ish Belgium.

The book has a superficial, albeit misleading plausibility.


In some ways Kagan theories of relative martiality among the nations sound similar in limited ways to those characters who proffer theories about the relative quality of various racial groups sporting skills. Sometimes they might sound clever, until they is proven wrong and racist.

Not all of France is like Paris. Not all of Paris is like Paris. Humphrey Bogart would rather cower in Rick's Place than visit some neighborhoods surrounding Paris.

The dialtone-like secular quiesence one now hears in Europe, from the cafe's of Seville to the Brandenberg gate, is very real, but misleading because it will not last. The dilalectic will change. The Opera will commence. Now, Europa is in the the eye of the demographic storm. The Venus-days have started ending as Kagan went to press.


Dialtones always end, if you leave the phone off the hook.

You cannot forever not have children, then import workers to do your work.

This is especially so when you do not like them and they do not like you, and you do not melt with them, nor share religion. This will end -first with a whimper, followed by a bang(s).

Prediction:

In less than a generation, after Muslim pluralities are achieved in major cities in the Low Counties, you will see a right wing reaction all accross Europe that will make Tom DeLay's most fevered dreams look like Alan Alda-type chin scratching by comparison.

There will also be the emergence of a new Christ Militant - operating against Ecclesiatical approval, but ostensibly on behalf of European Christian heritage. They could be a a far more serious version of "The Minutemen" on the Mexican border, who were denounced and denied (while seemingly inspired and provoked) by their hero Bush.

Last year, the gristly murder and the hard-ass populist Dutch reaction, to the murder of Christopher Hitchens-like provocatuer Theo Van Gogh, was a early indicator of what's to come. This was in Europe's most liberal city- no less. A canary in a coal mine.

Two drinks, rather than than the previous six, is now the number of drinks a liberal European male needs to consume before he will tell you how much he hates many of the foreigners who are taking over his country and dreaming of Sharia law.

In America, the Muslim man can be a American man. In Europe, in European eyes, the Moslem Thee will never be Thou, only It. Nationalism still exists.

The Muslims know it and the hatred is mutual. It can be heard in all the great cities, away from where tourists walk, and spend.

When the rumble happens, and it will, it will be bad.


Europe is now pretending to be considering Turkey for membership, but this is being matched by a series of parallel measures that are being put in place, that will make admission of Turkey almost impossible.

A small example of this was M. Chirac coming out in favor of Turkey's admission in public, while supporting a referendum on the question because he knows "his" position will be defeated.

The pro-Turkey (for now) neocons in the USA immediately spotted this, because that is the kind of trick they use. Chirac is like a neocon, albeit with a military service record, a true sense of history, and a taste for municiple corruption. We digress.

Just wait til Turkey is finally rejected from the EU. Just wait.

Maybe the Kurds may brake away from Istanbul. Kurds do have these dreams. It took Ireland a long time before Dublin Castle stopped flying the Union Jack. Maybe the Kurdish split will happen before Turkey is snubed by the EU. What will be left for Turkey? Pan-Turkic identity politics will take it's place. Insurrection in Bosnia? Re-birth of Armenia, in response? Kurdish Iran joing the Kurds? Central Asian manuevers? Pipeline politcs? Breakup of Iran? Rebirth of Persia, with alliance with Israell? Israel's current alliance with Turkey has serious strains.

Watch what happens when Israel acknowledges the Armenian genocide, which they must do as soon as the feel secure to do so, in the wake of Turkish fury. That will hurt their alliance with Turkey. Over to Serbia- whither Kosovo? You think that war ended? Think again. Read your Rebecca West.

In the Europe this is all old news -as old as the conservative German Pope. But he knows what's about to happen, and so do many European statesmen, throughout the spectrum. Yet, with the Church, the liberal west is sort-of understandably occupied with social issues. However, that may not be the big picture.

"Who gives a s--- about the minimum wage?"

That's what President Kennedy said during either the Berin crisis or the Cuban Crisis , when the specter of all-out thermonuclear war was a very real possibility.

In the vast reaches of the world, where people earn only a dollar a day, where the Church is growing fast and behind and close to Muslim lines, the social issues are inevitably seen as boutique abstraction. Whether wrong or right, that's just a fact. Not among the elite, or the internationals, but among the great mass of humanity, not just the faithful.


The most conservative Pope is far more liberal than leaders of rival religions, like Islam. Various church policies are just not a big deal compared to basic theology. Just isn't.

The war that is now going on in Africa and Asia between Islam and Christianity, will increasingly reverberate back in Europe (and Latin America), and we predict that will be a big deal in coming years.


The Church is now getting its Game Face on. The Zamboni is clearing the ice.

Even Frenchmen will start going to church again once they feel existentially threatned, which they will. This will be combined with the non-relgious revanchist sentiment, that you have already seen, in the respectable poll showing of the unrespectable nationalists.

Just speculating. We may be wrong, and if we are, we'll admit it. Check back in twenty years, or less.

34 Comments:

At 2:39 PM, Blogger Copeland said...

I've been trying to digest the Ratzinger Captivity, and what it all means for the Church and the secular world. Many thoughtful people now sense that history is moving backward. Moreover, the neo-cons have slammed the whole business into reverse gear, and are hitting the accelelerator.

I have written about this process and speculated how far back we might be headed. Would this mean that America is returning to the 1950s and a dangerous new McCartyism? Would we be going back to the 1930s?--economic collapse?--incipient fascism?. Or farther back to a stern Good Cop (?) like Woodrow Wilson, to the Espionage Act, the Palmer Raids, when good old-fashioned law enforcement out of the Attorney General's office would be used to imprison thousands of dissidents and break the back of real political opposition?

But no. Your article raises the possiblity that I was thinking too small here. Fundamentalist Islam and the hyper-insane American Christian Fanaticism may have thrown us into a real race to the bottom.

But I don't want to take issue with what you wrote; but rather would suggest a different interpretation of what you laid out. The crucial difference between European leaders and the Bund of neo-cons who have highjacked this country, is that Europeans have no interest in pointless cultural war with Islam. And while you are perhaps right, that things will end in tears in Holland; the Dutch are not alone and they have the rest of the EU to help them through the crisis. I don't think Europe's liberal, secular institutions will be overturned by the crisis. There won't be huge insurrection or a colossal pogrom, where the Dutch pile up the bodies of their muslim neighbors. Nor will there arise the draconian measures of mass deportations, such as the Nazis used. A compromise will be worked out, that involves and requires economic justice for the newcomers; but will also exact a concession from them, that they recognize certain secular traditions within a constitutional framework of society and government. On the other hand, democratic governments may not use punitive measures to make citizens give up culture, religion or language.

I'm afraid that before this is all over, we will wish that we were Europeans, and had their problems instead of our own. Seymour Hersh has recently said that President Bush is unreachable. Hersh also has said that if we had gone into Iraq for cynical reasons (like the oil fields or for propping up Israel) it would be possible to cut our losses, now that things have gone so badly. But Hersh is convinced that Bush and his confederates in the government are true believers. Consequently, evidence, reversals, and body bags will present no barrier to them. This is because they are on a real crusade, and nothing will shake their faith; and in their minds, there is no substitute for the mission.

So we can all start pissing in our pants right now, because America's Good Cop/Bad Cop is on a mission from God.

 
At 4:02 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

We disagree, respectfully. Clearly, Bush is a setback, but we all have setbacks. But we can easily move ahead again, and we are lucky to have Mexico on the border. You are correct to say that Europe's leaders do not want a Kulterkampf with Islam. Too bad, they have no choice. The political platforms and the beliefs of rising Muslim oriented political parties makes that point. In due time, cities like Rotterdam will be Muslim. The idea that ordinary Europeans are just going to sit back is less realistic than the Columbia U. literature department voting for Ralph Reed for President. It all comes down to demographics in Europe and the fact that Muslim immigrants do not want to assimilate- and I mean that in a different way than in the USA, where people can assimiliate and retain identity. What I am saying is odd, because things look great in Europe now, but I am talking about long term trends. Also, you have a rising China and India. This will add to feelings of anxiety among Europeans sensing slippage. That can happen to us too, but America is in a better position to adapt to new realities once we have some leadership - more of a Great Society, and less of a Gruesome Society President.

Glad you mentioned Wilson. The GOP is now adopting him after several generations of hatred. Once a liberal fades in memory and becomes an image, the Heritage-types only see sepia tones and they try to claim it. As far as I am concerned, they can have him. He was a racist and his pig headed approach to post war diplomacy was a disaster for 20th century history.

One last thing- check the voting trends of far right parties in Europe. They are mostly on an upward trend. In Europe, far right parties play for keeps - they mean business and they are far more virulent than anything viable here. Here, they inevitably become lobbyists and drop ideology in favor of things like Gaming or 'whatnot.'
RE: Sy Hersh- We see his point. We hope that we are in Iraq for oil and strategy because at least that is something we can understand, if disagree with. If we are really there for ideology, that is insane. Mixed motives, wethinks. WMD?

 
At 4:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Zamboni is clearing the ice?

 
At 5:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting, Have you notice that the American righ wing is now rejecting Western Civ? While the left, like Copeland is embracing it? Recall the late 80s and 90s, when the left was protesting Western Culture? Now you have DeLay-types upset because conservative Justices like Anthony Kennedy cite current European history - which is relevant. Funny, because it used to be Boss Scalia who cited Western Civ - now the right wingers no longer like citing Europe(unless Euro-Disney)

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

WC, for once I have to agree with your analysis. The situation in Europe looks pretty bad... I think it's a little too late to speak about economic concessions.

 
At 6:18 PM, Blogger Myrtus said...

Hmmm very interesting post. There are a lot of things that I would like to camment on, but just came home from a long day at work...I gotta keep moving. (:

As far as your "good cop bad cop" kind of America, I think if you started looking at America from an empire kind of perspective, you'd form a slightly different opinion.

 
At 6:58 PM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Thanks Myrtus (I love that name) - You have a point. It is true that America has many characteristics of an Empire, and dark forces are trying to make the USA officially embrace that terrible role. Yet Americans still shake our heads at when we look to England- Everone know applauds Ike when he told the Brits to bug out of Suez in 1957, thus officially ending the British Empire- do we want to now repeat British mistakes? Anyway, for now we are still a Republic. True, the Constition is under seige, etc. GC/BC applies to everything - politics, culture, religion, within religions, secular life, etc. It even applies to American police departments. It's a Gothamimage theory, so we are pushing it, but we do believe it to be a valid way to try to understand USA on it's own terms, as we do with Europe.

Also, more on Europe- because Europe is dialectic, there will be forces now not seen, that will come into being to respond to these trends- that is why you cannot look at current Euro-liberal polity to predict how they will act in 10-20 years. Europe always reacts. It never has not.

 
At 9:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

WC- ON your previous piece about Lincoln and the monkey, you failed to mention Bush's speech at the Lincoln library. He tried to mug Lincoln's legacy and tie Limcoln to his weirdo Mesopotamian adventure. One could hear the entire Lincoln family turning over in their graves. Lincoln would have despised Bush's policies- ask anyone who know - that Bush defender in your prev. post tries to elevate Bush, by trashing figures in the past- won't work. As far as Europe goes, F-'em, they cause all the problems in the world anyway.

 
At 9:42 PM, Blogger TrueJerseyGirl said...

Thanks for visiting me - and I am glad I came to visit you. Your theories are quite interesting and I will be back to delve more deeply into your past posts and to see what you have in store for the future.

On another note - if you live in/around NYC, you already think the world revolves around it and that everyone sees things the way we do ;)

 
At 9:48 PM, Blogger Copeland said...

"In Europe, the far right parties play for keeps--they mean business and they are far more virulent than anything viable here."

Yes, WC, I take your point about virulence, when considering Austria's Joerg Haider or France's Le Pen. Right wing extremism is an ancient evil and it seems to ooze out of the woodwork at certain moments in history. One of Camus' characters in The Plague describes the plague bacillus as being able persist even in the bindings or between the pages of books for long periods of time.

I was a bit startled when I came to that sentence in your comment, where you described Bush as a "setback" in our present context. I would submit to you that Bill Clinton was a "setback"; and if I use a word like "catastrophe" to describe George Bush's Presidency, it seems not strong enough or apt enough of a term, except in the strict, understated sense of the Greek from which it is borrowed--"a change of fortune".

It's not just that virulence is in the eye of the beholder in our American scene; but that it has been morphing before our eyes in the Frankenstein body of the Republican Party. The analogy that has spread around the internet lately, is that of the frog that is being ever so slowly boiled in a kettle. The temperature is raised so gradually, and by the time the danger seems imminent to him, it is too late.

"The frog" is watching corporate television, ABC News. Martha Raddich reports that the smoldering hulk of Fallujah somehow contains a germ of hope. There's a film of the convoy in which she is riding; but she has to explain that the loud gunfire, the RAT-A-TAT-TAT that you hear at the end of the piece, is another poor Iraqi bastard, sliced-and-diced by an American machine-gun, because his car blundered into the intersection, just as they were turning. Another heart and mind splattered on the seatcovers.

Time Magazine is flirting with that monster, Ann Coulter, plastering her on the cover, with disingenuous drivel and full page photos on the inside. And Randall Terry was described in hushed and reverent tones during the Schiavo fiasco, as though he were just another of the concerned lambs of God. And consider the virulence of a John Bolton, the misanthropic churl who is Bush's nominee to UN ambassador. What does it mean when extremists are linked into mainstream discourse, as is happening now?--or when Republicans in Congress nakedly strike at the Separation of Powers or make implicit threats against sitting judges?--or try to flatten the filibuster rule in order to pack the court with their fundamentalists?

Tomorrow is "Justice Sunday" at a huge church event in Kentucky, where Republican Senate Leader, Dr. Frist, is supposed to be a featured speaker. There is a political flier which will be distributed to the congregation, "the image of a young man with a Bible in one hand and a gavel in the other".

 
At 10:43 PM, Anonymous John said...

Excellent post, Gotham. You're speaking realistically.

And yes, Europeans are waking up to that reality.

After all, "The real is rational and the rational is real."

You know what I mean.

Mr. Copeland engages in typical liberal inversion. It may be from looking in the mirror too much, and seeing inverted images, and making a heaven of hell and a hell of heaven.

Note how he views the 21st Century Western world--engaged in an endeavor to confront and eradicate a toxic Medieval mentality that has explicitly declared war on the West and modernism, and has millions in its hypnotic thrall --as moving "backwards."

Note, too, how he refers to the hyper-insane terrorist fanatics as "Fundamentalist (Moslems)" and American Fundamentalist Christians as "hyper-insane American Christian Fanatics."

You actually believe that "Praise the Lord" Fundamentalist Christianity is of the same nature as "Allah Akbar" Wahabism?

What, Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and "One Nation Under God" and some "It-ain't-right-for-a-man-to-stick-his-pee-pee-in-another-man's-poo-poo" shtick is comparable to a readiness, willngness, and demonstrated ability to cut your weeping, pleading fool head off on videotape for your family and entire country to see?

Yeah. Billy Graham, Pat Robertson, the Pope, and Mel Gibson, too. The American Taliban.

Oo! Be afraid, be very afraid!

Have you gone mad, sir?

 
At 10:52 PM, Anonymous John said...

P.S. Not just your entire country to see (you're decapitation), but the whole world.

And forgot the Pope part. He's not American, although-- I'm sure an object of scorn for Mr. Copeland.

Who are you, the Antichrist? Jay-sus!

 
At 11:02 PM, Blogger Copeland said...

Ahem John,..aren't you forgetting Oklahoma City? They cut a few heads off there.

 
At 11:44 PM, Anonymous John said...

Mr. Copeland! Surely you're not comparing an unhinged, multi-murdering anarchist like McVeigh--who became disillusioned after a military stint in Desert Storm (no fan of Bush 41!)-- to flag-waving boyscouts like Falwell or Robertson who wouldn't even kill a zygote!

Or are you?

 
At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two drinks , not six? Holy Baklava Batman, I thought it still took four drinks for a Eurolib to admit he hates his neighbors, and five drinks to admit he doesn't really hate America. Pretending to love Israel is done one drink, while pretending to hate Israel is done only on cocktails.

 
At 12:14 AM, Blogger Copeland said...

Don't pretend to be naive, John. People are assassinated at womens' clinics. One such serial killer was just convicted in our courts. And Tim McVeigh wasn't acting for Falwell or Robertson, but he had lots of help. It's disingenuous of you to try and hang that "lone gunman" anarchist jacket on him. You know better; you're not even being honest. His partners in crime were all very devout people, you can be sure.

And stop trying to project your psychosis on me.

And you're so horrified by the videotaped beheadings. On the other hand, there are the tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians, killed at the hands of our military. Long and protracted and agonizing deaths, burned alive by napalm and white phosphorus, bodies blistered and shredded by cluster bombs. Too bad we don't have video of that.

 
At 1:23 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

This sort of beside the point, but I think it should be pointed out that McVeigh was not religious- he was a confimed atheist, in life and at death.

 
At 3:00 AM, Anonymous John said...

That's not beside the point at all, W.C., that IS the point.

This began with Mr. Copeland's likening of the American Religious Right with Wahabist terrorists. I correctly asserted that there is no comparison. Mr. Copeland referred to Timothy McVeigh's terrorist bombing of an American governmental facility as a confirmation. I pointed out that Timothy McVeigh had nothing to do with the American Religious Right. You added that he was an atheist.

I rest my case.

Anon's cryptic language of alcohol, Batman, Eurolibs, and Israel are the babblings of a drunk. Come back tomorrow when you can clarify.

P.S. Drink LOTS of water.

Murderous abortion-clinic bombers are as vile as partial-birth abortion providers.

Both deliver death.

I don't care for either one of them.

Are we still using napalm, or are you having a sixties flashback, Mr. Copeland?

I refuse to believe that we intentionally target innocent civilians, a refusal based not on stubborn naivete, but a certainty of the mission.

We want to Westernize the region and make it inhospitable to terrorism.

That being said, it's taking a war to do it, and wars are always--ALWAYS--ugly.

This began as a contrast--or a comparison-- between Lincoln and Bush.

Gotham has acknowleged Lincoln's tortured concience and even moral ambiguities on what he launched. Whether Bush has the same depth of scruples or not as a depressive like Lincoln did is irrelevant to the undisputable ugliness of war.

What is relevant is whether the goal is worthy of the ugliness required to get there.

Lincoln thought it was, and he wasn't sending our men to fight some "foreign monster," but their own American brothers.

Bush is sending our men and women over for the sake of a vision that is no less than a yearning for world peace.

Enough's enough.

P.S. I'm most certain that the upcoming Ridley Scott flick "The KIngdom of God" will stimulate and inspire MUCH dialogue.

It's about the Crusades.

Tell your friends. Gothamimage is where it's at.

 
At 3:25 AM, Blogger Jack's Shack said...

I have to agree that I expect to see some very nasty things happening in Europe.

This is a war of ideology and there is not a doubt in my mind that the continent that spawned two world wars is going to be able to avoid getting sucked in to it.

 
At 11:00 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Ridley Scott's film will upset you-Lincoln made many mistakes, whwich can be forgiven- But Bush is not learning from those mistakes, rather the Bushbots uses Lincoln's mistakes as justifcation for bad things Bush is doing. At least they do this up north.

 
At 11:47 AM, Blogger Khalij-Khazar said...

Reagan & company was just as willing to murder jesuit priests in El Salvador...neocons dont just want change in the Middle East, but as Barrington Levy says: "all over the world"

 
At 1:02 PM, Blogger Copeland said...

I stand corrected on McVeigh's personal religious beliefs. But the fact remains that he was the point man for the Oklahoma City operation. The Bush Administration is giving increasingly short shrift to domestic terrorism. This issue is downplayed and the connections to far-right , Christian fundamentalist nuttery should not be ignored. Journalist David Neiwert has covered this beat for years, and his blog, Orcinus has a wealth of background information on these issues.

John, who whines at the slightest trace of an ad hominem barb aimed in his direction, opens up on me with a double-barreled attack of innuendo and slander. He accuses me of drinking while driving my keyboard, of insanity, of mirror-gazing and inversion, of having flashbacks: and the seeming desperation of his attacks do not paint a very pretty picture.

John's certitude about the mission seems to place him in a kind of psychological comfort zone, where he can ignore all the nastiness, the absurdity, the reversals and humbug of this war in Iraq. But most of all he ignores the civilian casualties and our complicity in those deaths. Also missing from his radar is the irreversible ill-will that our torturing, war crimes, and general indifference to suffering have created.

 
At 4:28 PM, Anonymous John said...

I didn't accuse you of drinking, Mr. Copeland. I was talking about anon ("Anonymous").

And yet you accuse me of:

"John, who whines at the slightest trace of an ad hominem barb aimed in his direction...He accuses me of drinking..."

That wasn't even aimed at your direction.

Gotta watch that chronic paranoia, there, Mr. C!

No, seriously, I find myself having to frequently bat away attempted labelings of callousness and inhumanity from the anti-war Left when supporting the war effort, and I went out of my way to assure you that I understand the ugliness of war and have my own issues of conscience, because of that very ugliness and because it so divisive among my own people.

That being said, I believe the IWOT is neccessary and that the removal of Saddam and the Westernization of Iraq is a key component in the strategy of winning the overall war on terror.

Period. I believe in the fight, we're in the fight, and I want us to win the fight.

You don't believe in the fight, and you want us to lose the fight that we're in (or cut and run, which will make us lose).

I beg to differ. That's all this is about, sir.

Besides, you started the chair-throwing by suggesting that the quality and zeitgeist of American life has waned and darkened, of which I heartily disagree.

And then you called me Frank Burns.

Gotham can't help but engage in temple-twirling clairvoyance and sham fortune-telling by predicting, "I see it in the tarot: Ridley Scott's film will upset you!"

Did I ask you how you think I will--or should--feel after seeing the movie?

No.

I simply said the Kingdom of God will inspire MUCH discussion. I then added: "It's about the Crusades."

So what gave you the right to jump into my face and point that, "It'll upset you"?

What makes you think you know what will "upset me" and what won't?

You have no idea, otherwise, you'd stop doing that, because THAT is what upsets me!

You don't think I know about the Crusades and how they can--and quite likely will--be juxtaposed with our own "Crusade?"

Do you think that sort of thing "upsets me", as if I'm some kind of neurotic, Bush-hating liberal who gets "upthet" and needs therapeutic counseling everytime some disagreeable political propaganda is splashed across the big screen?

You insult me, Gotham, and this after I provided a plug for you!

But anyway, don't be so sure that it will reflect on Bush and the war in the Middle East badly across-the-board. And if it does, well, that's Hollywood.

But Scott has yet to disappoint me in the direction his blockbusting epics take.

"Lincoln made many mistakes, whwich can be forgiven- But Bush is not learning from those mistakes."

I never said that Lincoln's suspension of habeus corpus during wartime was a "mistake."

 
At 4:37 PM, Anonymous John said...

Right on, Jack Shack.

 
At 5:23 PM, Anonymous John said...

"Now that John Paul II has been buried, Catholic voices are sounding the alarm about the coming Islamicization of Europe."

From "The Crescent and the Conclave," Thursday in Asia Times Online.

 
At 12:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A couple of things:

1. The effect of 9/11 on America is not understood by Eurocentric intellectuals, and indeed by much of the Democratic Party, locked into it's Kennedy-esque blue-blood elite (or wannabes, like Kerry). That event, not all at once, radically transformed most of the Republican Party and Bush in particular into someone determined to "fix the world and go home."

Copland is right that Bush is far more radically ambitious than any President since FDR, but wrong to paint it as some Crusade. For Bush (and some of the Republican Party, absent the paleocons like Powell, Scowcroft, and Baker) the problem is that the Middle East generates all these madmen, and the fix is to first demonstrate our real strength and consequences (rather than appear weak and invite attack) and secondly create some form of consensual governments throughout the region on the theory that they'll distribute the graft at home rather than engage in radical attacks against the US abroad. This may or may not work but that is what Bush is trying at any rate.

Yes, this is a completely radical response, a rejection of more than thirty years of bipartisan policy of ignoring terrorist attacks in the hope they'll just go away. It is, however, inevitable and has no characteristic whatsoever of a crusade or religious aspects. Bush is perhaps the most conservatively religious President since LBJ, but even he talks about civil unions for gays, rather than marriage, showing how far the debate has moved (and somewhat undercutting Good Cop / Bad Cop IMHO). Most Republicans drool over the theoretical Rice candidacy the way the (very few) Centrist Democrats drool over the new, National Security tough Hillary. I would argue Synthesis is strong in America as it is in Europe.

2. Not only is America not regressing, the very idea of Palmer Raids is the sort of Leftist persecution fantasy that marginalizes them from the political debate and ignores (for ideological reasons) the real fault lines in political America. Real Wages have fallen in the 2000's and outsourcing and illegal immigration have depressed wages and limited job growth to an extent not seen since the Seventies. Leftists are not unhappy to see jobs and money go to people of color from other countries, flowing out from the white middle class, and this limits them to the blue blood boutiques of Beserkely or Ann Arbor. Meanwhile, conditions exist for a "Radical Centrist-Populist" who could be strong on National Security, and kill/stop outsourcing and illegal immigration. A sane-appearing Ross Perot Independent, in other words. This doesn't mean it WILL happen just that it could, unlike in 1992. Economics rules, trivial issues of gay marriage or Spongebob's sexuality are unimportant compared to not meeting your mortgage or car payment. Sneering at middle class folks as evil rubes isn't going to win their support, a populist economic and security patriotism will (if tried).

3. There is no middle ground between Sharia ruled European cities and sovereignty. I agree that Europeans are not going to give up their countries without a bloody fight. For now Muslim Immigrants feel that with just enough strength and terror they can "win" and impose by the sword the rule of Islam just as prior jihadis did in centuries past. However, the bloody struggle to eject Muslim conquerors from Spain, southern France, southern Italy, and Sicily says to me that Europeans do not just roll over, and tend to kill their conquerors back. The EU is frankly in tatters and not likely to get the vote for the new Constitution in France, much less any place else. People like their local governments, their languages, religions, and don't want to be ruled by unelected bureaucrats in Brussels or the Imam down the block.

4. Seymour Hersh is not god. His book on the Kennedys was excellent, but he did get taken by a con man offering Marilyn Letters to JFK for sale (which thankfully didn't make it into the book). When he writes in the New Yorker it's fact checked up the wazoo, when he does his own stuff particularly when he talks, he just repeats various Washington gossip from his sources which comes with it's own agenda. Among other things, Hersh has been a CIA conduit for decades, and that body bears little resemblance to the evil coup-sponsoring CIA of movies. Most recently, the CIA warned all summer long in 2001 that Al Qaeda would NOT strike in America, only abroad. The CIA is mostly a bunch of CYA Arabists, defending the old bipartisan consensus (akin to say "America Firsters" in 1940).

5. Domestic Terrorism? Given that much of the Militia groups are disbanded or in jail, following Oklahoma City, there's not much of a target left. It would be IMHO the height of irresponsibility to focus on THEM instead of the Muslims around the world following JIHAD intent on killing as MANY Americans as possible, here in America. This includes Al Qaeda but also many other loosely affiliated Islamic groups (see the LAT article on Ahmed Ressam and his info), which present a grave danger to the US and it's people. Which city are you prepared to lose Mr. C? Political Correctness has it's problems, not the least of which is a refusal to face reality when threats arise that don't conform to ideology. The idea that the loathesome Abortion Clinic bomber is the same threat as Egyptian Islamic Jihad, or Jemiyahh Islamiyah, or the various loosely defined Algerian groups (many lacking names) or Hezbollah is laughable, representing the sad tendency for Leftists to excuse evil when it's anti-American and magnify the moronic criminals like Eric Rudolph (who isn't any different from "Monster" Williams, celebrated by Leftists around the world). Come to think of it, Williams killed more people than Rudolph, yet he has Mike Farrell and other Hollywood celebrities begging for his life to be spared.

6. Scalia was correct to rake Kennedy over the coals for basing decisions on laws outside the US. Sharia mandates stoning to death for "adultery" which is carried out by Sharia courts in Iran and many other Islamic countries. Will we follow THAT? Kennedy's path leads to madness, or personal whims of judges, not the law of which the Constitution is the fundamental basis for every interpretive decision. Not some bureaucrat in Brussels or Imam in Riyadh.

 
At 1:16 AM, Anonymous John said...

Thank you. Please return often.

 
At 2:13 AM, Anonymous just clearing up a mis-understanding said...

Instead of trying to dream up all sorts of far out reasons for Bush, Republicans and even Neo-Cons to behave the way they do...
Consider them Jacksonian and review what Jacksonain means in US life and international policy here:

The Jacksonian Tradition
by Walter Russell Mead


Note that Ronald Reagan completed the capture of the remaining Jacksonians in the Democratic Party.

 
At 9:25 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...

The American Empire - Japan, Poland etc. is an empire of independent states.

It is an empire of business.

And business is good. Join up and 50 or 60 years later you can be rich. Not a bad deal. No need to change language or culture.

 
At 5:35 AM, Blogger Gothamimage said...

Scalia was not correct. Kennedy, by mentioning Int. Law, was invoking Western Tradition, not Sharia Law, which is closer to Scalia anyway. Scalia often speaks of Western Values animating the debate, but he thinks such values can only be cited if they are uttered before the Napoleonic Wars.
It's interesting to see the right wing, like anon, is now turning against upholders of the west, like Kennedy.
What's next>denouncing baseball?
Many other mistakes also.

 
At 4:52 PM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

WC, Scalia is not the only one concerned about the use of foreign sources in interpreting the Constitution. There's a real debate about this issue in legal cirlces. Who you consult can make all the difference in the decision of relevance to the entire nation.

 
At 3:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gotham-you are wrong about everything. Or maybe not.

 
At 1:52 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...

To the last Anonymous (with the numbered points).

I mostly agree with your point of view but you have made some errors.

1. It is spelled Bezerkeley. :-)

2. Dennis Williams was exonerated. That means he was found not guilty of the murders he was accused of. Illinois has a long history of quetionable murder convictions.

3. The best cure for the outsourcing problem is lowering the cost of doing business in America. That can be accomplished by lower wages or lowering taxes. Choose.

Taxing business means less business. We see the outsourcing problem acutely here in Illinois. Businesses are moving to other States because of high taxes and state wide corruption. Bush's lowering of taxes is good for business. His Federal Spending Rampage is bad for business.

In any case the only cure for outsourcing is to lower the cost of development and production.

Regulations cost businesses lots of money to comply. Every law put in place to stop the few Enrons costs the economy more than is saved. It amouts to punishing the 99% honest businesses for the crimes of the 1%. When we become intolerant of losses we also prevent gains.

All these laws are also an impediment to the one man business. Because you cannot start a one man business without a posse of lawyers and accountants.

Think of all the regulations that must be complied with. EEOC. EPA. OSHA. etc. And compliance is not just doing the right thing. If your paperwork is not in order that is counted as serious a violation as actually harming your employees. Nuts.

 
At 2:07 AM, Blogger M. Simon said...

On the Crusades.

The crusades were caused by Islamic expansionism and intolerance.

Look up "dhimmi" and "dhimmitude" to learn more about the Islamic attitude towards towards pagans and people of "the Book".

Pagans are open to out right slaughter.

The people of "the Book" must submit by paying higher taxes and practicing their religion in private only. Any break in this observance opens the whole community of dhimmis to slaughter.

Ole Mo started the Islamic Jew hatred bit by killing the Jewish community in Medina (I think) all 900 or so men, women, and children slaughtered. It was considered an honor to kill the prisoners.

And so today. The Islamics especially honor the Jew killers among them.

The current attitudes towards Jews in the Middle East can be traced to Hitler's efforts to stir up the Islamics to revolt against the British Empire during WW2. Look up especially Arafat's cousin the Mufti of Jerusalem.

BTW "Mein Kampf" is a best seller in the Islamic world. Still. Today.

 

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