Thursday, May 13, 2004
I'm still ill over the beheading of Nick Berg. I'll hopefully blog tonite about poker (yes, I have plenty of kickass poker content) and get my mind off this shit.
Plus, I'll update everyone on the tourney status.
But for now, I'm gonna post this editorial that a friend sent me. And one of my pet peeves is poker bloggers who post about politics. But this isn't about politics, my friend. This is about a War of Cultures.
But these are poker journals, not Political journals. If you wanna write about politics, start a different blog, damnit.
That being said, I just read in StinkyPants (link removed because the coward deleted his blog) blog that he thinks the beheading was done by the Bush adminstration and it's all a cover-up.
Fuck you, Stinky. Do you think the Jews orchestrated 9/11 too, or was it just Bush?
Oh the insanity.
On the advice of several of other bloggers, I'm deleting Al-Habib Stinky Pants blog forever. Feel free to follow suit. It just makes me sick and I'm not even a right-winger.
Great, he deleted his post. Fucking coward.
Anyway, here's a few thoughts and I swear to never discuss this crap again.
Terrorism is not an enemy. It is a method. It is the most sinister, brutal, inhumane method of our age. But it is nonetheless just that: a method. You cannot, and you do not, make war on a method. War is made on an identified - and identifiable - enemy.
In the here and now, that enemy is militant Islam - a very particular practice and interpretation of a very particular set of religious, political and social principles.
Now that is a very disturbing, very discomfiting thing to say in 21st-century America. It is very judgmental. It sounds very insensitive. It is the very definition of politically incorrect. Saying it aloud will not get you invited to chat with Oprah. But it is a fact. And it is important both to say it and to understand it.
We have a rich and worthy tradition of religious tolerance in America. Indeed, in many ways our reverence for religious practice and tolerance is why there is an America. America was a deeply religious place long before it was ever a constitutional democracy. That tradition of tolerance causes us, admirably, to bend over backwards before we pass judgment on the religious beliefs and religious practices of others. It is an enormous part of what makes America great.
It led our government, within hours of the 9/11 attacks, to announce to the world that Islam was not and is not our enemy. Repeatedly, the president himself has said it: "The 19 suicide terrorists hijacked a great religion." The message from all our top officials has been abundantly clear: "That's that; Islam off the table; no need to go deeper."
But we have the ostrich routine way too far. A commitment in favor of toleration is not the same as a commitment against examination. We have been so paralyzed by the fear of being portrayed as an enemy of Islam - as an enemy of a creed practiced by perhaps a billion people worldwide - that we've lost our voice on a very salient question: What will be the Islam of the 21st century? Will it be the Islam of the militants, or the Islam of the moderates? That's the reality we need to grapple with.
What cruel, sick bastards.
Indeed, you can't get much more barbaric than the filmed beheading of 26-year-old Nick Berg that splashed across a terrorist group's Web site yesterday.
In case the world needed a reminder of why America is waging its War on Terror, it got one yesterday.
It's hard to imagine the terror that must have filled Berg in those final moments as he realized his hooded captors really were going to kill him.
It wasn't enough that they slaughtered the young Philadelphia businessman like a sheep and held his severed head aloft as if it were a trophy. No, they filmed the whole thing for the world to see.
Soldiers don't behave like that.
Only cowards and thugs do.
Now it's time to ratchet up the response to this war.
Forget Abu Ghraib.
The abuse committed there by a handful of soldiers was not typical; nor is it acceptable.
But the beheading of Nick Berg is par for the course for al Qaeda.
Of course, the terrorists of Muntada al-Ansar, an al Qaeda offshoot, claimed they were acting in retaliation for the Abu Ghraib abuses.
There were no known abuses at Abu Ghraib when Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl and Italian hostage Fabrizio Quattrocchi were murdered by Islamic terrorists.
And the events at Abu Ghraib had not yet come to light when frenzied crowds in Fallujah burned and mutilated the bodies of four Americans and strung them from a bridge.
No, the massacre of Nick Berg had nothing to do with Abu Ghraib.
Instead, this slaying was about the war against the West in general - and America, in particular. Indeed, the beheading may have been carried out personally by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a top aide of Osama bin Laden.
Some people - some Americans - have forgotten about 9/11.
That attack should have been enough to justify all-out war. But the hand-wringing over the war in Iraq - and over even the steps America took to defend itself, like the Patriot Act - suggests that folks truly have lost sight of what the war is about.
Yesterday they got a shocking reminder. And now they know: This war cannot be waged with half-measures.
It can end only with the total annihilation of those who practice butchery and barbarism. Those who have set as their goal the destruction of America.
There is no negotiating with such people. There can be no compromise with those who mean to destroy us.
Yesterday, the White House promised to "pursue those responsible and bring them to justice." That's the least of it.
America has to come out swinging.
And not stop until every last one of the savage thugs is dead.
If that means a resumption of major combat in Iraq, so be it.
Would it mean another division or so of combat troops to get the job done?
Turn to our garrisons in Europe, or Korea, to get them.
In sufficient numbers to get the job done.
To hell with political sensitivities in the region.
To hell with negotiating with radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in Najaf and the Sunni insurgents in Fallujah.
To hell with handing Saddam Hussein over to Iraqis, as some want to do, and risking some reverse - perverse - kangaroo trial that results in his survival.
Evil, cutthroat terrorists need to be eradicated.
Let's face it: This is a job that's going to take overwhelming - yes, brutal - force. There is simply no "nice" or painless way to accomplish this.
As yesterday's slaughter showed (yet again), the enemy is bound by no moral compunctions.
America won't go that far.
But it had better steel it's backbone and get ready to fight like it means it.
It's the only way to win this war.
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