Friday, May 22, 2009

"...is it always wrong to make decisions based on fear?"

David Harsanyi: Fear: Our national pastime:

In a speech defending his detainee plan this week, President Barack Obama brandished his now-famous Spock-like wisdom by claiming that "Our government made decisions based upon fear rather than foresight" after 9/11.

Whether you agree with the president's account of the nation's post- 9/11 policy, you might still ask yourself two questions:

First off, is it always wrong to make decisions based on fear?

Having been in New York on 9/11, I would contend that fear was not only a logical reaction to what was happening but also an unavoidable one. As John Podhoretz of Commentary magazine recently noted, "Fear was an entirely responsible response to September 11. Indeed, it was, in some ways, the only responsible response."

....Fear, as philosopher Hannah Arendt observed, "is an emotion indispensable for survival."


Read the rest.

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52 Comments:

Blogger Cham said...

Sure, you can make a short term decision based on fear, humans are designed to protect themselves in dangerous situations. But longterm decisions should be based on intelligence, logic, fairness, impact and empathy otherwise we are doomed to fail.

9:22 AM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger jamused said...

It would be easier to swallow coming from Obama if he wasn't so prone to use fear-mongering in pursuit of his own policy goals. I would welcome a coolly rational approach to the trade-offs involved in, say, global warming versus economic growth, increased CAFE standards vs increased highway deaths, and so on.

9:25 AM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Obama's comments are laughable in light of Obama's fear-mongering on the economy, etc, as jamused pointed out. This is Obama's typical sociopathic blather, saying whatever he feels necessary to get what he wants.

As Aesop said, "It is easy to be brave from a safe distance." Obama is the most protected man in the world. Financially and materially he is set for life to enjoy the best there is. Once again, we see the arrogance of hope.

Fear serves a real purpose. Decisions made in panic are not to be trusted but fear can be a guide.

10:10 AM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger MJ said...

"First off, is it always wrong to make decisions based on fear?"

Obama obviously feels it is acceptable to make decisions based on fear, hence the "stimulus" package.

10:30 AM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger TM Lutas said...

On 9/11 and the following maybe 72 hours, we responded based on a fear of 9/11. After that we were responding based on a very different fear, the fear of the second strike coupled with a horrible lack of intelligence. For years we had failed to gather the information necessary to understand Al Queda sufficient for our defense needs. That culminated on 9/11 but it was not a situation that was going to go away immediately.

That information void was a perfectly rational fear and we made policy based on that fear until we'd done what was needful to fill the void. You don't want fear based policy? Don't permit information voids like that to develop. Obama and Pelosi are doing a bad job of it right now.

11:02 AM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger fred said...

If we put aside the usual anti-Obnama riffs, fear, as noted, is a very human reaction to a traumatic situation; it is not useful later in shaping long-term policy. If we do so, then we have "nothing to fear but fear itself."

11:41 AM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger Miles said...

I don't think you are getting what Obama said. He never said all decisions based upon fear are bad. He said our response after 9/11 was bad because it was based upon "irrational fear" (i.e., it was over-reactive and disproportionate) which is exactly how terrorists want governments to react. Overreaction and disproportionate force legitimize terrorist ideologies which seek to overthrow or undermine a hegemony of power.

12:56 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

As Cham noted, making short-term decisions based upon fear is simply human nature. However, if you're making long-term decisions based upon fear, the problem isn't so much what you're afraid of but why you're constantly in a position that causes you to be afraid. If there is absolutely no way to avoid what you're afraid of, then by all means, be afraid and plan accordingly. If, however, there is a way to avoid what you're afraid of, then it's time to examine why it is that you are putting yourself in harm's way.

Should we have been afraid shortly after 9/11? Sure. I think that's perfectly reasonable. However, the problem with 9/11 (and all other similar acts of terrorism based upon the same ideology) is that it was entirely avoidable. The long-term threat of terrorism is of our government's own making. It's been going around the world swatting at hornet's nests for generations.

The choice, then, isn't simply to defend ourselves against future acts of terrorism and to not defend ourselves against future acts of terrorism. We also have the choice to alter our foreign policy so that our government isn't inviting terrorism upon us.

If that's not clear enough, think of it this way. If you're a woman who was violently attacked, you have every reason to be afraid in the short-term and planning accordingly is probably justified. Your immediate survival depends upon your being afraid.

For the long-term, however, you have to take a look at why it was that you're attacked and determine whether or not you can do anything about it. If you were randomly attacked in the inner-city, you have few choices: to move; to switch jobs; or to hire a body guard. There are just things that are entirely out of your control.

If, however, you were attacked by your constantly abusive boyfriend, husband, or lesbian partner, you have a different problem. Your problem isn't finding ways to avoid a problem that is out of your control. Your problem is finding a way to avoid a problem that is entirely in your power to fix. The only reasonable option is to leave.

1:36 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

Miles --

Underreaction and a lack of sufficient force causes terrorists to see one as weak and then they seek to overthrow or undermine the trepidatious. There is no strategy that would make them cooperative and rational. That's why they're called terrorists.

J.Bowen --

"We also have the choice to alter our foreign policy so that our government isn't inviting terrorism upon us."

Please describe just how that would be done with someone who views all others in the world as either thralls or infidels worthy of extermination.

3:09 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger Roci said...

Fear can help you make a choice that you would never have considered in the absense of fear. Have an abortion. Attack an armed man who is bigger than you with your bare hands. Jump from a tall flaming building. Ignore speed limits to rush your injured child to a hospital.

you don't always get the best decision. Nor do you always get a decision at all. Sometimes fear paralyzes.

Sometimes it works out, sometimes not. Preparation helps you avoid those situations where fear is required for survival.

3:11 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger Kevin M said...

Making decisions based on fear is not only logical and inescapable, but damned intelligent.

As long as you're not a liberal who can't make the distinction between courage and denial. Show me someone who has no fear and I'll show you a corpse with nothing to lose.

3:29 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger Francis W. Porretto said...

Fear soundly rooted in the accurate knowledge of objective reality can be vitally important. But some fears spring from ignorance. This latter sort should be dispelled rather than catered to.

That having been said, it is wise to fear Muslims and Democrats: the former for their desire to deprive you of your life; the latter for their desire to deprive you of everything that makes life worth living.

4:06 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger Mitch said...

I think Obama is actually begging the question. Why does he think the dominant emotion arising from the 9/11 attacks was fear? Projection, perhaps? Mine was fury. I got into a terrible argument with a leftist idiot (but I repeat myself) who said we should show restraint in the aftermath. I said that failing to reduce Afghanistan to a lifeless molten radioactive wasteland within hours of the attack was about as much restraint as I was willing to tolerate.

4:22 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger Larry J said...

Left unchecked, fear can feed on itself and paralyze you. We have to respect our fear but not be controlled by it.

That said, fear has its uses. When I was training to be a paratrooper in 1975, the last training we received before our first jump was on how to handle malfunctions. We sat in bleachers and watched our instructors as they taught us how to handle different problems. There was a big sign behind the instructors that read, "Fear is the foundation of safety."

As a graying private pilot, I've learned to listen to that little voice when it asks, "Do you really want to fly in these conditions?" Upon reflection, the answer is almost always no. I fly for fun, and getting into conditions that are beyond the capabilities of my plane or me is not fun. Some might call that being fearful but I call it prudent.

A fearless person is a reckless person, liable to kill himself or others. To me, that's the definition of a fool. It's a good idea to avoid such people. It can be entertaining to break out the marshmellows for when they inevitably go down in flames.

4:40 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

Please describe just how that would be done with someone who views all others in the world as either thralls or infidels worthy of extermination.Well, for starters, we could mind our own damn business. We are the only nation in the world with troops in over 130 countries. We account for half of the entire world's military expenditures. We could stop sending tens of billions of dollars of weapons to places like Saudi Arabia and Israel. We could stop sending covert ops into countries to affect policy and governmental changes. We could stop torturing people. We could stop the eradication of drug farms (heck, we could end the War on Some Drugs altogether). We could stop spending hundreds of billions of dollars on an offensive foreign policy and instead spend a fraction of that on a defensive foreign policy. We could scale back our conventional military and beef up our humint resources. We could be neutral towards everyone (how credible is our government when it rails against the human rights abuses in some countries and then goes about sending billions of dollars in financial and military aid to prop up some of the most tyrannical governments in the world just so that we can save a couple bucks on oil?).

There are any number of things that we could do that would positively affect the way we are viewed around the world. If you've noticed there are many countries around the world that aren't being targeted by radical Islamic fundamentalists. There are many countries around the world that do, in large part, mind their own business and that aren't being targeted by radical Islamic fundamentalists. When was the last time radical Islamic fundamentalists attacked Paraguay? When was the last time they attacked Finland? When was the last time they attacked Iceland? When was the last time they attacked Lithuania? Luxembourg? Cuba? Chile? Bulgaria? Poland? Norway? While many nations do have their own unique problems with crime and civil unrest, many aren't being targeted by groups that are targeting those nations that have interventionist and oppressive foreign policies. Many of the groups that carry out attacks deserve to be watched, but if they're not harming us, then I see no reason to go swatting at hornets.

4:56 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger GawainsGhost said...

Fear is a natural and necessary response to a traumatic event. I'm much more concerned about denial.

In 1995, I was in graduate school, living in Austin. One day I was reading the Austin American-Statesman newspaper, and there at the centerfold was a two-page, full-color map of the United States that showed planes flying into 20 landmarks across the country. It was essentially the attack plan for 9-11, six years before the event. That information had been taken off a laptop discovered in a terrorist training camp.

Why were more stringent safety precautions not taken then? It wasn't because people were afraid terrorists might fly planes into buildings. It was because they were in denial that such an event could actually take place.

5:42 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger Miles said...

Oligonicella --

Can you please cite a peer-reviewed article which backs up your claims?

Moreover, I don't think your statements really apply to my comments. I never spoke of under reaction or lack of sufficient force. Again, my view is that, after 9/11, the Bush administration overreacted and that over reaction increased global terrorist activity. A proportional targeted response should have been used instead. The Iraq war was not a proportional response. It was an over reaction.

As for your comment about terrorist cooperation and rationalism, no is suggesting we make them cooperative or rational. We are trying to reduce and eliminate potential and actual terrorist attacks.

5:45 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger Oligonicella said...

J. Bowen --

"Well, for starters, we could mind our own damn business."

Won't work. Unless you're a Muslim radical, you're a target. Unless you've missed their continual pronouncements, these people want you dead. It matters not if you engage or stand aside.

"If you've noticed there are many countries around the world that aren't being targeted by radical Islamic fundamentalists."

Nice, bland statement. I'll make one too. All of which are small enough to be of no concern to the terrorist's existence. Any and all countries capable of dealing with them have been attacked.

And, I see by your list you agree with my bland statement. Lithuania? Luxembourg? That you even compare a major country to them undermines your point.

Appeasement? Doesn't work. Spain?

"Many of the groups that carry out attacks deserve to be watched, but if they're not harming us, then I see no reason to go swatting at hornets."

Well, our main difference of view, I suppose. I'd just as soon get rid of terrorists, even if they haven't killed my personal kin. Global village and all.



Miles -

"Can you please cite..."

I'm using the same standard you yourself employed, personal opinion.

As with Bowen, we disagree. Saddam was a mass murdering monster. He needed to be rid of. Meh, I'll lose no sleep over him.

You will never eliminate terrorist attacks. They are by definition insane people.

6:55 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Fear? Kicking ass and taking names is the first thing that came across my mind.

But just as in Vietnam, our military is operating under great restraint. Without smart weapons, they would not be as effective as they have been. The bleeding heart liberals would not have put up with it. And of course, another Cambodia would have ensued.

Only three terrorists have been water boarded. You'd think the entire race has been waterboarded at Gitmo by the rhetoric.

9:44 PM, May 22, 2009  
Blogger Joe said...

However, the problem with 9/11 (and all other similar acts of terrorism based upon the same ideology) is that it was entirely avoidable.

That's utter rubbish. It is based on the absurd theory that a nation plays on a causative role in everything that happens to it. The argument also hinges on the terrorists motivations being the same as those being attacked. They aren't. (It also avoids the icky issue that some terrorists aren't actually motivated by ideology, but because they enjoy being terrorists--I think most terrorists get a deep visceral thrill out of it very similar to that of a mass murderer, the question is how much is that a motivating factor.)

1:15 AM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Tether said...

Miles sez: "Can you please cite a peer-reviewed article which backs up your claims?"

----------

Quit being silly.

You do sound very authoritative and academic when you ask that, and I'm suitably impressed (LOL), but in other ways it's just silly on message boards.

3:01 AM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Selective amnesia. It brings me much laughter. The reason the U.S. entered Iraq first and second time were because the U.N. conditions were ignored, and Saddam kept it up.

The U.S.is the only "acceptable" nation with the means and the nads.

It would have been unacceptable to the rest of the world had China done it, or Russia. Not to mention Saddam's military was furnished with almost all Russian equipment. No other individual nation has those means, or those nads. Had either of those nations done the "dirty work", who believes we'd have ever seen purple fingers on Iraqi's? By the way, the U.S., as far as I know, doesn't purchase one drop of Iraqi oil. We import more oil from Canada than from any other individual nation.

The history channel, since the NBC coup, no longer shows the many films (shows) of the goings on in Iraq showing just how evil Saddam and his sons were. As a matter of fact, since the big O got elected, the MSM has forgotten Iraq exists.
My take is it no longer suits their agenda, so is no longer news. Even Fox.

J. Bowen, I feel the same way about welfare moms, GM, Chrysler, AIG, people who are upside down on their mortgages, etc. as you do about the international neighborhood. Those people's problems are not my problems, and I don't feel I should have to pay for them.

7:04 AM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Laura(southernxyl) said...

"When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and threatened Saudi Arabia, bin Laden informed the royal family that he and his Arab Afghans were prepared to defend the kingdom. The offer was spurned. Instead, the Saudis invited in U.S. troops for the first time ever. Like many other Muslims, bin Laden was offended by the Army's presence, with its Christian and Jewish soldiers, its rock music, its women who drove and wore pants. Saudi Arabia has a singular place among Islamic countries as the cradle of Islam and as home to Mecca and Medina, which are barred to non-Muslims."

The Most Wanted Man in the World"IIRC, it was repeatedly expressed that our presence in Saudi, home of Mecca and Medina, was a continuing irritant to the Muslim world. The Saudis wanted us there b/c they had a (valid) fear of Hussein. We knocked Hussein down, the Saudis said they were ready for us to leave, and we did. Magically, our presence in SA was no longer the issue. Other grievances sprung up to replace it.

Don't understand the sneering one sees everywhere about us wanting their oil. Our wanting their oil is what keeps money flowing into those countries. What else do they have to offer, besides pretty beaches? Look at pictures of downtown Dubai - if we didn't want oil, would they have all that?

9:38 AM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger David said...

Woud you want to fly with an airline pilot who had no fear of thunderstorms, or of hitting obstaces on approach, or of mid-air collisions? I wouldn't.

Would you want to fly with an airline pilot whose fear of these things was so pervasive that it caused panic--for example, trying to stretch a glide and make an unreachable airport rather than facing the uncomfortable reality of landing in the Hudson River? I wouldn't.

Obama has things exactly backwards. On terrorism policy, we long engaged in failure to face reality--in dangerous glide-stretching--because of too little *fear* of the consequences of terrorism and too much *fear* of them uncomfortable things we would have to do when we faced it.

9:52 AM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Miles said...

Tether--

I have a number of academic books on terrorism. I have taken terrorism courses in college. When someone says that under reaction causes an increase in terrorist activity, I would like to see a citation and reference. Although, you are right...to ask for a citation on a message board probably a good idea. It won't happen. However, I thought this message board might be different.

10:39 AM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: Dr. Helen, et al.
RE: Fear THIS!

First off, is it always wrong to make decisions based on fear? -- David Harsanyi, cited by Dr. Helen

I refuse to take counsel of my fears. Rather, I take counsel of my observations.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. And then I take pro-active measures, accordingly.....

4:13 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

P.S. Almost forgot this....

[One of the greatest blessings of virtue is the contempt of death. -- Montaigne]

Oh...oooooh....

....there's that christian 'bs' again....

4:16 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Soooo....

....how do we deal with 'terrorists'?

I was asked that by a fellow shortly after 9/11. An Islamophile.

He asked me, "How do you deal with an entire race of people bent on destroying you?"

I replied, "One well-placed bullet at a time."

He shut up and walked away....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. I recommend the Pershing Technique.

It is reported that 'Blackjack' Pershing, when serving as a captain of infantry in the Philippines during the Moro [Muslim] revolt, captured a number of the 'terrorists'.

They were found guilty—by military tribunal—of murder and mayhem and sentenced to death by firing squad.

As part of the procedure of execution, the 'celebrants' were tied to posts and a pig was brought before them.

The pig was slaughtered before their eyes. And the firing detail slathered their bullets in the blood of the pig. Then they loaded their weapons with the pig-blooded bullets and the ceremonies continued.

The revolt collapsed.

Captain Pershing was recalled to Washington and promoted—ahead of his contemporaries and a number of others ahead of him—to General.

[Nothing succeeds like success.....]

4:26 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: On the Other Hand....

....we have Dr. Helen's previous item about....

"There has to be a relationship between the police and the community that has to be one of faith in each"In it she discusses the problem of people being fearful of being honest witnesses.

On the third hand, we have fear on the part of the police to trust the honest citizens to do what they need to do in order protect themselves, their families, their friends and society as a whole.

And therein lies the proverbial, eternal threat.....FEAR. Fear that suppresses and inhibits rational thought and rational action. Fear that comes from a lack of {HORROR!} 'Faith'.....in each other....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[Welcome to Hell.....]

4:39 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: br549
RE: Indeed

The history channel, since the NBC coup, no longer shows the many films (shows) of the goings on in Iraq showing just how evil Saddam and his sons were. -- br549

Well....

....as the old, tried-and-true saying goes....

If you can't beat them, buy them.Not that I pay any 'believing' attention to the so-called 'MainStream Media'. I've learned, long ago, i.e., 1997, they were a bunch of liars and propagandists.

I killed the television that year. And, I'm better for missing the 'brain-washing', which I had occasion to watch in the two months before the last General Election. It was oh-so blatantly obvious which way the media was propagandizing the election.

So I say, "To Hell with the MSMs."

And the sooner everyone else disconnects from them, the better for US all. The these bastard corporations 'die'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[They [corporations] cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed nor excommunicated, for they have no souls. -- Sir Edward Coke, Lord Chief Justice of England, 1628]

P.S. Just found THIS item from almost two-hundred years ago....

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country. -- Thomas Jefferson

And I think it oh so apropos.....

4:47 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

Larry J wrote: "We have to respect our fear but not be controlled by it."

I think many posters are conflating accurate and inaccurate fear. Accurate fear is necessary for survival. Inaccurate fear leads to mistake from unnecessary caution or overreactivity.

Trey

5:44 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger TMink said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:44 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

Unless you've missed their continual pronouncements, these people want you dead. It matters not if you engage or stand aside. Unless you've missed their continual pronouncements, these people want you dead because of what our government is doing. They aren't simply picking out non-Muslims around the world and targeting them because they like killing people for absolutely no reason whatsoever. They want Americans dead because of what the American government is doing. Read a book once in a while. Heck, you could start with the 9/11 Commission Report (I'll make it easy for you; just go to page 48 and start reading at 2.2).

Nice, bland statement. I'll make one too. All of which are small enough to be of no concern to the terrorist's existence. Any and all countries capable of dealing with them have been attacked.Those countries don't have to deal with radical Islamic fundamentalists because they aren't provoking them. In addition, many of those countries do have militaries (albeit, small ones) and have sent their troops abroad (including to Iraq). Many of those countries are far more susceptible to terrorist attacks simply because they do lack the adequate resources to combat terrorists. And yet, the people in those countries live without fear, for the large part, of being targeted by radical Islamic fundamentalists (the tri-border region between Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil is filled with Muslims who support Hezbollah and Hamas, and yet, the people in those countries aren't suffering the attacks that you believe they should be suffering from (as you obviously believe that terrorists are just a bunch of unthinking savages hell bent on killing everyone who isn't a Muslim).

That you even compare a major country to them undermines your point.So, because we're bigger than they are, we should be the world's police and we should be free to romp around the world without the expectation that our actions will generate widespread hatred based upon your kindergarten-level belief that terrorists are simpletons?

Appeasement? Doesn't work. Spain?I see we don't have the slightest clue about what the conflict in Spain is about.

6:45 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

As with Bowen, we disagree. Saddam was a mass murdering monster. He needed to be rid of. Meh, I'll lose no sleep over him.So, why haven't we invaded Sudan? Why haven't we invaded North Korea? Why haven't we invaded Israel? Why haven't we invaded Saudi Arabia? Why haven't we invaded Somalia? Why haven't we invaded China? Why haven't we invaded Russia? Why haven't we invaded any number of other countries rule by despots and oppressive governments? Could it be that the US government cares less about the suffering of a bunch of poor brown and Asian people than it does about the stability of governments that it's friendly with, even though those governments have atrocious human rights records? Could it be that your simplistic view of why our government does what it does doesn't match reality?

You will never eliminate terrorist attacks. They are by definition insane people.That's preposterous. Terrorists are some of the most sane people out there. They are, in large part, intelligent, rational, politically-aware people. If terrorists are insane because of the means that they employ, then so are the bulk of all politicians (by the way, you could argue that point and I wouldn't disagree with you). After all, what's the difference between the planning and execution of the attacks of 9/11 by the political organization known as al-Qaeda and the planning and execution of tactical bombings strikes by the political organization known as the United States federal government? Perspective. Each of the targets in the 9/11 attacks were tactical objectives. The deaths of innocent civilians (not all of the people were innocent) were no worse than the deaths of innocent civilians in the attacks carried out by the US government. Because the US politicians regularly kill innocent civilians and use murder and fear as weapons to affect public opinion and public policy overseas, they, too, are, according to your logic, insane. That being said, they, too, should all be "dealt with".

It is based on the absurd theory that a nation plays on a causative role in everything that happens to it.So, you actually believe that we didn't play a huge role in inciting the hatred that drove people to actually commit suicide in furtherance of their politically-motivated agenda? You actually believe that? You actually that people don't respond to incentives; that things just happen for no reason whatsoever? Do you also believe that the conflict in the Middle East has nothing to do with Cold War politics and colonialism? Do you also believe that our relationship with Cuba has nothing to do with our prior interventions there? Do you also believe that our relationship with Iran has nothing to do with our prior interventions there? Do you also believe that the US embargo against Japan had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor? Do you honestly believe in that ridiculous nonsense about us being the good guys and "them" being the bad guys; that things just happen for no reason whatsoever? Are you serious?

6:50 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Say WHAT?!??!?

Unless you've missed their continual pronouncements, these people want you dead because of what our government is doing. -- J Bowen [Note: Emphasis added....]

Heh....

....another 'Islamist' county heard from. Or, more likely, one who takes counsel of HIS/HER 'fears'.

Bowen's part of the problem. Not the 'solution'. Islam insists that everyone kowtow to it.

You don't think this is true? Try visiting Mecca....if you're NOT a believer in 'Islam'.

Write us when you get out of prison....IF you get out.

On the other hand.....

.....go visit the Vatican.

See if they'll arrest you for just passing through.

A bunch of farging idiots, we have here.....

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out....]

7:03 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

P.S. TO: All

I wonder that if we did a trace on J. Bowen, where we'd end up.....

7:07 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

The argument also hinges on the terrorists motivations being the same as those being attacked. They aren't.Actually, they are. The motivations of the Republicans and Democrats aren't the same on their face, but when you delve deeper you will find that they are. Both the Republicans and Democrats share the same goal: the control of the government, and thus the people under it. The goals of al-Qaeda and the US government might be very different in many respects, but there is one main goal that both share, and that is control; control of the hearts and minds of the people. Both the US government and al-Qaeda are fighting a battle for control over hearts and minds. History is pretty clear: in any political contest, whether it is fought peacefully or militarily, if you don't win the hearts and minds of the people you will lose (the Revolutionary War was, at its core, a battle for the hearts and minds of the majority of Americans who hadn't given their support to one side or another).

It would have been unacceptable to the rest of the world had China done it, or Russia.Have you forgotten Georgia already?

J. Bowen, I feel the same way about welfare moms, GM, Chrysler, AIG, people who are upside down on their mortgages, etc. as you do about the international neighborhood. Those people's problems are not my problems, and I don't feel I should have to pay for them.It's interesting that you should mention those things. Take welfare moms. Does anybody still believe that the no-dad-in-the-home policy that was once in place didn't have a dramatic effect on the out-of-wedlock birth-rate in this country, particularly among the black community where black mothers had to choose between receiving regular government paychecks and the irregular, often times small, private-sector paychecks of black men who faced widespread state-supported discrimination that prevented them from competing with the government for the support of their children's mothers? Look at GM and Chrysler. Does anybody believe that decades of meddling by the government via regulations and tax policies and the manipulation of the interest rates over the years by the Fed didn't have a dramatic effect on the business practices of the automakers and the consumption patterns of consumers? And what of the mortgage mess. Does anybody believe that decades of meddling by the government via regulations and tax policies and the manipulation of the interest rates over the years by the Fed didn't have a dramatic effect on investment decisions and mortgage consumption patterns?

Why would anybody believe that the same wouldn't principle - namely, that all people respond to incentives at all times - wouldn't hold true with our foreign policy? People only act because of some dissatisfaction with the status quo. When you change the incentives that people face, people's behavior changes in response, and not necessarily in a way that reflects the intentions of those who changed the incentives in the first place. It is arrogance to believe that other people don't have different aims in life than you do. Adam Smith's lessons (in The Theory of Moral Sentiments) can be appropriately applied to more than just the economic sphere of human behavior.

7:07 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

P.P.S. Should we turn the results over to the FBI? The CIA? Or the NSA?

7:07 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

P.P.P.S.....

....or maybe to a fire-team from the Rangers in country?

7:08 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Just a Demonstration....

(the Revolutionary War was, at its core, a battle for the hearts and minds of the majority of Americans who hadn't given their support to one side or another). -- J. Bowen

....of how 'ignorant'....or more likely worse....J. Bowen is....

....the Revolutionary War was fought by one-third of the population (revolutionaries) against another third of the population (loyalists) and the other third sat it all out.

The 'hearts and minds' of the third that sat it all out followed who won.

Anyone getting a 'clue' here?

So. What would you rather be?

[1] Living in the freedom we've enjoyed for the last 200+ years?

[2] Kowtowing to Islamists like J. Bowen and living as second-class 'citizens'?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out....]

7:19 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger J. Bowen said...

Islam insists that everyone kowtow to it.There are literally millions upon millions of Muslims all around the world who could care less about you and I. If you'd actually stop listening to Limbaugh for a second and actually get to know a Muslim or two, let alone actually visit a Muslim nation, you'd actually know that what you're saying is preposterous. Do Muslim nations actually have different customs that they expect you to follow while in their country? Sure. So does every nation. Try walking around in almost every single neighborhood in this country without clothes on and see how far you get before you get arrested. So what if they expect you to follow their customs while in their countries. If you don't like their customs, don't go to their countries. Problem solved. If you find yourself living in one of those countries, try to change the laws of that country. At the very least, shut the hell up about how other people in other countries expect you to behave while in their countries. You have the same illness that caused Tony Blair to declare that western values are shared by everyone in the world. If you haven't figured out by now, not everyone in the world believes in the same things that we do. Some believe in religious solidarity. Some believe in ethnic solidarity. Some believe in national solidarity. Some believe in communism. Some believe in capitalism. Who's more right?

You don't think this is true? Try visiting Mecca....if you're NOT a believer in 'Islam'.I visited the United Arab Emirates during Ramadan one year. Guess what? I followed their customs because I knew that I was in a foreign land where people didn't share the same values that I did. I didn't put my feet up, didn't eat or drink during the daytime, and showed respect to the locals during prayer time. I did all of those things because I am intelligent enough to know that I, as an American, do not represent the height of humanity; that I am not the center of the universe. When I was in Turkey, I likewise avoided doing certain things that I had reason to believe would offend the people living there (because I read books about fitting into local cultures before visiting).

On the other hand.....

.....go visit the Vatican.

See if they'll arrest you for just passing through.
I've been to the Vatican. If you do certain things in the Vatican, you will be arrested. Is the Vatican more tolerant than some places? Sure. Is it less tolerant than others? Absolutely.

My suggestion to you is that you travel outside of the borders of the United States and learn a little about what the world is like. There are things that you would get arrested for doing in the US that you would never be arrested for elsewhere. Likewise, there are things that you are perfectly free to do here that you would be arrested for in a heartbeat in other countries. So what?

P.S. TO: All

I wonder that if we did a trace on J. Bowen, where we'd end up.....
Well, you'd probably end up in Kalamazoo, MI since that's the closest hub for my ISP. You wouldn't be too far off, though.

7:24 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: All
RE: Proof of Obfuscation

There are literally millions upon millions of Muslims all around the world who could care less about you and I. -- J. Bowen

But, oddly enough, they aren't the ones who are trying to kill US.

We're talking SERIOUS evasion here, people.

RE: Another 'Evasion', Folks

I visited the United Arab Emirates during Ramadan one year. Guess what? -- J. Bowen

Since when is Mecca located in "the United Arab Emirates"?

I'm talk'n about a REAL 'LIAR' in J. Bowen.

And a very clever one at that.

RE: Heh....

I've been to the Vatican. -- J. Bowen

....and they DIDN'T 'ARREST' him/her.

How 'indicative'.

But he/she has NOT visited 'Mecca', just yet.

Anybody else here getting a 'clue'?

Regards,

Chuck(le)
P.S. Tracing to 'Kalamazoo'. As IF we REALLY need to go THERE? I think NSA is better equipped than THAT.

Sheesh....PULEASE....come up to the 21st Century.....

7:37 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger Chuck Pelto said...

TO: J. Bowen
RE: Heh....

Well, you'd probably end up in Kalamazoo, MI since that's the closest hub for my ISP. You wouldn't be too far off, though. -- J. Bowen

I knew a David Bowen as a fellow XO in my battalion of paratroopers in the 82d Airborne Division in the mid-70s.

You any relation?

He was murdered on his way into 'work' one day. He and I were company XOs in that battalion. He one company. Myself another.

I ask in order to afford you some form of 'deference', as I respected the man as a 'comrade-in-arms'.

Regards,

Chuck(le)

8:20 PM, May 23, 2009  
Blogger br549 said...

Well, J. Bowen, you're an entrenched America and American hater. That much is obvious. What's your cure for our evil nation? What would you have America become? I don't know of a single, solitary person who can't poke holes in anyone's decisions and performance on Monday morning after the game has been played. You have no answers, just complaints. The world would be a much different place without America in it. It is doubtful blogs that allow us our opinions would exist without America. As much as I think you're an idiot, you have the right to be one. And I stand beside you in support of that right.

You've read a few books by some opinionated authors. There are many other books by many other authors with totally different points of view than those you have absorbed and taken to heart.

Miles, who has a "number of academic books" on terrorism, has complained that no one here has cited sources, and has recognized his folly in expecting it on this blog. While offering none of his own. Love the standards.

In an off handed remark above, you allude to the fact that somewhere within twin towers there were, evidently, guilty people worthy of death by airliner. The towers were occupied by people working for companies from around the world. There were people from many nations within those towers. Even a few martyrs.

7:40 AM, May 24, 2009  
Blogger Doc_Savage said...

Wait, what?

We're supposed to be unafraid of people willing to fly jetliners into skyscrapers in order to kill us?

I see one whit even trotted out the old 'fear itself' saw. Here's another.

'If someone tries to kill you, you try kill 'em right back!'

10:42 AM, May 24, 2009  
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11:31 AM, May 24, 2009  
Blogger 9988 said...

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11:37 AM, May 24, 2009  
Blogger 9988 said...

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11:38 AM, May 24, 2009  
Blogger Bill Dalasio said...

The pretense that somehow long-term decisions can be based on "intelligence, logic, fairness, impact and empathy" distinct from fear is a litle silly. Logic, fairness, impact, etc. are only means to address the ultimate goals and aims set by fear and greed.

10:16 AM, May 25, 2009  
Blogger davod said...

Was it fear or is Obama fearmongering?

2:33 PM, May 25, 2009  
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4:29 PM, May 27, 2009  
Blogger 1charlie2 said...

As one who visited the Kingdom long ago, as well as many other places in southwest Asia, comparisons to Qatar, Dubai, and Kuwait (to name a few) are facetious.

Just try visiting Mecca or Medin. For that matter, visit Saudi Arabia in general, paying particular attention to what is NOT allowed into the country. Don't believe me -- see http://travel.state.gov/travel/cis_pa_tw/cis/cis_1012.html.

So, who is to say who is right ? Well, I am. One culture promotes freedom, choice, and equal rights. The other promotes second-class citizenry for half the population based on gender.

I'm not trying to change Saudi's -- they can run their own country as they wish. As can the other gazillion peaceful Muslims around the world. But you bet your bippy I am convinced our way of life is far superior to Saudi's, if only because it allows muslims in America far more freedom than christians have in the Kingdom.

So stop comparing apples to oranges.

And unless the object was solely terror, I do not concede that the Towers were a tactical target (though the Pentagon certainly was). In contrast, the US today bombs base infrastructure only rarely, and then in support of other military strikes -- i.e. precision bombing a power-grid chokepoint to turn off power to another particular target.

But all of this is drifting off-topic. Fear should not tell you how to react. But it's great at telling you what you should be paying attention to :)

8:49 AM, May 28, 2009  

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