Sep 19 2012

The violence in the Middle East……..

Published by at 5:21 am under Mark Steyn Sucks!,More Useless Muslims

I was in Israel when the attacks on the embassies occurred-and rather busy. I did not learn of the actual event until I got home to my hotel and had a chance to digest both Haaretz and the TV news. Thanks be to God-one cannot watch Fox at my hotel. But it absolutely appalled me how quickly all the usual suspects in the Liars Club came out to pounce on this tragic set of events-and as is typical,  misrepresent it. So I have waited till I came home to comment on it.  I regret the tragedy that occurred-but truth be told-I am not very surprised by it.  It was going to probably happen eventually and was inevitable-especially as long as the United States persists with the myth that it can somehow change the course of history among a group of people who have proven themselves so unworthy of help as the Arabs. 

By and large-your average American, and in particular your average conservative douchebag commentator-like Mark Steyn, is pretty ignorant about the long and short term history of the Middle East. That, by the way, is one of the things that makes Steyn so called"great writing" so hard to tolerate. In particular what is hard to accept that Americans have such a one sided view of events, decrying the violence which is right to do, while being perfectly ignorant of the American actions that lit the fuse. As Connor Friedersdorf points out,  imagine what it would be like if the shoe was on the other foot:

If a dozen French-Algerians gathered in Paris next year on Easter Sunday, erected side-by-side crucifixes painted red, white, and blue, flew a remote-control plane into them to evoke the 9/11 attacks, and afterward gave a press conference about how American Christians are filth who orchestrated the attack on the Twin Towers as a pretext for a Crusade-like campaign against Muslims, I wouldn't want the organizers of the protest arrested or charged with a crime. I wouldn't want them harassed by police either, being a partisan of free-speech rights, though I can't imagine that American conservatives would be bothered if French police questioned them.

(Am I wrong, conservatives?)

I myself wouldn't be bothered if the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., released a statement saying, "Although the right to free speech is inalienable, the insensitive jerks who conducted that anti-American protest on the Champ de Mars yesterday don't reflect the beliefs of the French government, or the vast majority of French people." Those conciliatory words would be accurate. It might still be a bad idea to release a statement like that. Once French diplomats establish the precedent that they render value judgments about the speech of French citizens, they might be pressured to do so in instances when the truth would not in fact prove conciliatory. 

Americans would be outraged-or at least conservatives would be. Whether they would riot or not, is probably another matter. They probably would not for not only with being in the aggregate quite ignorant-are mostly to lazy to take the streets. They didn't even do so in large numbers when their own civil liberties were being stripped from them in the last decade.

Which is where the good Mr Steyn comes in. Issuing his talking points and marching orders to the wingnuts-he asserts that the violence is….wait for it………..all Obama's fault. Because he too was "lazy". And as is usual for him and the rest of his ilk-was perfectly content to get an insinuation in that the President does not care what happened. Even though he does and its been clearly demonstrated. That's never good enough for Steyn and his sycophants. They start from the premise that everything is always Obama's fault. Its a ludicrous proposition and down the page I will tell you why. But lets hear the little asshole say his piece: ( I won't link to him as a matter of principle-go read over at the National Review Online yourself-if you can stomach it).


The president is surrounded by delirious fanbois and fangurls screaming “We love you,” too drunk on his celebrity to understand this is the first photo-op in the aftermath of a national humiliation. No, no, a filmmaker would say; too crass, too blunt. Make them sober, middle-aged midwesterners, shocked at first, but then quiet and respectful.

The president is too lazy and cocksure to have learned any prepared remarks or mastered the appropriate tone, notwithstanding that a government that spends more money than any government in the history of the planet has ever spent can surely provide him with both a speechwriting team and a quiet corner on his private wide-bodied jet to consider what might be fitting for the occasion. So instead he sloughs off the words, bloodless and unfelt: “And obviously our hearts are broken . . . ” Yeah, it’s totally obvious.

And he’s even more drunk on his celebrity than the fanbois, so in his slapdashery he winds up comparing the sacrifice of a diplomat lynched by a pack of savages with the enthusiasm of his own campaign bobbysoxers. No, no, says the Broadway director; that’s too crude, too ham-fisted. How about the crowd is cheering and distracted, but he’s the president, he understands the gravity of the hour, and he’s the greatest orator of his generation, so he’s thought about what he’s going to say, and it takes a few moments but his words are so moving that they still the cheers of the fanbois, and at the end there’s complete silence and a few muffled sobs, and even in party-town they understand the sacrifice and loss of their compatriots on the other side of the world.



Interesting-albeit more than a little untrue. First of all -not that Steyn would note it-but Libya is 6 hours ahead of the United States. The attack in Benghazi occurred in the evening on Tuesday, Libya time — about midafternoon on the East Coast in the United States. This is important because it plays into the later events that followed.  I suspect there was a lot of misunderstood reporting that goes on-and no prudent President reacts immediately to the first reporting. However only about 6 hours elapsed between the attack and the first Statement by the White House.  Which was followed up by a statement the very first thing the next morning.  Contrary to Steyn assertions its a quite respectful tone:


I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America's commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya's transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.

The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.

And subsequent to that event a whole host of violence has broken out all over the Middle East-somehow Steyn thinks that Obama could have prevented all of that himself. Well I hate to tell you something, you arrogant little prick, they may see it coming, but for the most part they are powerless to prevent it without the cooperation of the local government.  And to put it simply the local government in Libya is not that strong. And contrary to Steyn's logic-that has very little do with us, and everything to do with how truly worthless your average Arab is.  Or it also ignores the corrosive effect of 30 years of a way too large presence in the region.  Even Reagan recognized that for the most part we needed to give the area a wide berth.  And contain it. Not so Mr Steyn and current crop of neocon cheerleaders. It  is kind of sad they are so ignorant of the region's history

The success or failure of a democratic experiment is almost wholly reliant on the historical circumstances under which it is carried. Egypt's recent history, like that of the entire Middle East, is ghastly and suggests that democracy can only produce more war, terrorism and hatred, not less.

After the war, the British adopted the monarchy as a figurehead government and trained and funded its secret police to destroy their enemies, among them, the then-moderate Muslim Brotherhood. After the 1952 revolution toppled the monarchy, the Soviets filled that role for Nasser. And then Sadat and Mubarak became the puppets of the Americans.

One thing that never changed was the foreign sponsorship of government terror and the regime's political enemies. Any organized, democratic opposition was jailed, tortured, murdered or exiled years ago, which was not only tolerated by the West, but funded by it as well. That leaves the dangerous radicals as the only organized alternative to the Mubarak regime.

The example of the Iranian Revolution is also instructive. The Revolution was actually a coalition between the Islamists and various Marxist groups. Within a year of the Shah's exile, the Mullahs simply had the democratic Marxists killed. Organization isn't just the most important thing in the aftermath of a revolution, it's the only thing.

Assuming that what's happening in Cairo and Alexandria is a democratic revolution, it almost certainly won't stay that way for very long.

For the moment both Egypt and Libya seem to be proving that statement wrong-but only just. Steyn seems to forget the turbulent forces that are in play in both Libya and Egypt. And the mechanics by which people get themselves elected. And the simple truth its not American "weakness"-but its rather, so called American strength that have gotten the Arabs all stirred up. And they all started before Obama became President:


 As the Muslim protests subside, more and more people have come to realize that what seems to have sparked them–one of the worst YouTube videos ever, which is saying something–isn't what they were mainly about.

But what were they about? Here theories differ, and some of the best theories haven't been getting much attention, because they're not on the talking-points agendas of Democrats or Republicans–which means they won't be occupying much airtime on network or cable TV during an election campaign.

Ross Douthat, writing in Sunday's New York Times, embraces a theory that's true insofar as it goes: these protests often got a boost from local political jostling. For example, in Egypt the struggle "between the Muslim Brotherhood and its more-Islamist-than-thou rivals" is what led those rivals (Salafis) to call protestors onto the streets.

Fine, but since people aren't sheep (though they sometimes do a good imitation), we have to ask why the protestors responded to such calls in Egypt and elsewhere–and why sometimes the crowds swelled.


…..when a single offensive remark from someone you've long disliked can make you go ballistic, the explanation for this explosion goes deeper than the precipitating event. What are the sources of simmering hostility toward America that helped fuel these protests? Here is where you get to answers that neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney wants to talk about and that, therefore, hardly anybody else talks about.


Below are three examples, but first the customary disclaimer: I'm not excusing any violence that American policies may have helped cause and I'm not blaming America. But when American policies have bad side effects, Americans need to talk about them.  

1) Drone Strikes

2)Israel Palestine

3) American troops in Muslim countries.

 (Skippy-san note:Robert Wright goes into more detail on all of these-read the link for more details).

Of the last bullet, most long time readers know where I stand. In the Middle East-less is more. Our presence there is provocative in its numbers and appearance. Just ask anyone who has been to Ft. Apache in Bahrain.

Furthermore-Steyn, as usual, misses the obvious point-there is no evidence whatsoever the government of any of the nations are involved in this. Certainly not in Libya, not in Egypt or any of the other nations in the Middle East. So what exactly does he expect to gain by his so called "get tough" approach? They are still going to hate us-and as I suspect is the case-quiet efforts to strengthen our security posture in the area are being undertaken.  People like Steyn are talking nonsense.

I saw a post up on another blog pointing out that when Americans died in 1986-the President bombed Libya. Yea,  he did.  But that same said Ronald Reagan also endured over 7 incidents of violence at the hands of extremists where he bombed no one. And he only bombed Libya after there was clear cut evidence the government was involved and thus had certifiable targets to go after.  And in hindsight there is a clear cut link between his funneling arms to terrorists and the harm inflicted on US citizens in 1988. Steyn and his little band of moronic followers forget that.

But I'm not surprised. Steyn cares for no one but himself. And he makes money and fame for himself by being an ill informed liar. He does not care about Libya or the people who died. All the little prick wanted was yet more stupid way to attack the President. Steyn is as much a part of the problem as any Muslim-only he gets a free pass on his stupidity by the moronic conservative set. In a perfect world-Steyn deserves to suffer as much as any Muslim does.

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7 responses so far

7 Responses to “The violence in the Middle East……..”

  1. Richardon 19 Sep 2012 at 7:08 pm

    According to Wiki there are 2,303 "troops" in Baharin as of 2011. I ASSUME they mean troops  that are permanently deployed and less than 5,000 "troops" TOTAL in all the Mideast except for Afghanistan, though I concede there are always naval and air TDY's etc etc. Indeed, there are 1.4 million ACTIVE duty DOD folks and 196,000 are permanently stationed overseas in about 700-900 "bases" Drone strikes are an issue to be sure but its either that or nothing as we AIN't gonna deploy troops to the tribal areas or Somalia or YEMEN..
    yes, I know we have "trainers" in various countries..
    I am not a particluar fan of Tom Friedman but he said something the other day that i hadn't thought about. 20,000 Syrian dead and yet Muslims have NOT killed Syrian diplomats or attacked their diplomats etc. and yet an obscure video sends them into a frenzy. and now the French have to close THEIR consulates etc because of a cartoon.
    There is something about the Muslim mindset that is quite irrational.
    But I do agree with the tenor of your comments. We should get out of the Mideast, abandon the Jews to the tender mercies of the Arabs(or the other way around?) and let the Muslim and Jewish chips fall where they may. 400 million Arabs, 7 million Jews..seems like a fair fight to me.

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  2. Skippy-sanon 20 Sep 2012 at 1:04 am

    Richard, first of all I can assure you there are more than 2000 people in Bahrain. That number sounds like those attached to NSA. When you take folks who are "temporairly"  assigned to the place the number is much higher. I'd also point out our overall numbers throught the CENTCOM AOR are too high-and it bodes to yet another reason why we should get out Afghanistan.
    Second, if we took a lower profile in the Middle East that doesn't mean abandoning Israel. It means supporting them-emphasis on the word support. As Peter Beinart pointed out the Israelis are doing a fine job of hurting themselves with the occupation. Solve that one problem and the rest of the problems go away.
    Finally, Syria and this event are apples and oranges. They have no bearing on each other whatsover.
    And no matter what-Mark Steyn is still a piece of shit.

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  3. Richardon 20 Sep 2012 at 7:19 am

    Right, as I said when one tries to ascertain "troop strength" its somewhat complicated with naval and air forces that are deployed for "training" etc and of course, contractors…
    But one of your points, at least what I understand you are trying to say, is that we have a "big footprint" which causes animus with the locals for various reasons. I take your word for it since you have been there.
    But perhaps you can educate me on this? Do US troops interact with the local populations OFF base? is there acrimony? are US troops told how to behave etc? (in the ME, places you have been too)
    My point about Syria was that the "blame" for the Arab hatred of the west is NOT just the things you mentioned, indeed there are a plethora of articles about the recent events in Libya etc from "experts"
    and the explanation as to why these things STILL occur.
    Actually I was kinda serious about Isreal( I am a SECULAR JEW)_not because I want to see the Jewish state snuffed out but because the problem THERE is not only unsolvable but unmanageable and everyone seems to know it, except American pols.
    NO way can the Jews get out of the west bank. I am sure you have been there and you know yourself how its a nightmare of vilages/towns scattered hither and yon. and THOSE  JEWS ain't gonna leave peacefully. Yeah, I read Beinhart and Miller and the rest.
    Eventually demography will settle the issue. More isreali ARABS and the ultra orthodox will culminate in a solution to the state of Israel. 
    I agree, the sooner we get out of Afghanistan the better. They are a race of child rapists, a besotted people, except for the women and children, who deserve to rot in Islamic hell for their actions, which is culturally.(yes, I know about the tribal culture in that region, where raping  young boys is commonplace)

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  4. Richardon 20 Sep 2012 at 7:24 am

    On another note, as a military veteran, can you explain to me why the US and its NATO allies still need to be trainers for the Afghans? after 11 years we haven't be able to train Afghans to do the job?
    Cause it seems like the green on blue violence, in part, is due to hatred between Afghans and the western trainers, who, we are told, treat their afghan troops with ..hmm..disdain,  and the AFGHANS, SURPRISE,
    take umbrage at said treatment(IF true)

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  5. Granton 20 Sep 2012 at 7:41 am

    Richard,  to some extent we are still considered trainers in sKorea even though the ROK army can and is able to stand on its own.  The training in the ROK is mostly C4I though and not tactical.  For Afghans, it is like raising children and as a parent I continue to train my kids even though they have been on their own for years.  I have no idea where the treat Afghans with disdain comes from.  It certianly was not the way the PRTs treat the Afghan partners.  We do need to get out of there though!  Green on Blue still makes me shudder…I used to get awas from armed Afghans immediately whey I was there last and the time before that.  In 2005 I ate in local establishments when traveling between base and project sites.  In 2006 that changed. 

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  6. Richardon 20 Sep 2012 at 11:08 am

    Thanks Grant.
    The "disdain' comes from polling data of Americans and Afghans.
    How sophisticated does the training have to be, after all the Taliban have no artilerry, no tanks, no planes, I 'd think training akin to american AIT would suffice and surely Afghans could do that ?
    By the way are we training Afghan trainers?
    I spent four years in Korea in the early 70's, three as a Peace Corps Volunteer and ONE as a UNIV of Hawaii TESOL/CLEP instructor for American soldiers.. for three months I was literally on top of a mountain at a Hawk missile base(thats how long ago I was there) and I was appalled at the continuing ignorance of the American soldier and his treatment of KATUSAS and the Korean people(though my perspective was obviously totally different)
    and reading GI korea and other  Kblogs, the ignorance of expats, both military and civilian continues..sigh….

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  7. Granton 20 Sep 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Richard, the problem is slightly more than pointing a gun in the right direction…there is some technical stuff, but it is mostly leadership and that that takes years to develop.  We had what was called "Shake and Bake" school that the US military used to train leaders for so they could fill the leadership void in combat units stationed in Vietnam.  The problem with that approach in Afghanistan is the communications skills and tribal culture.  So once you get them trained they now have to fight their tibe at sometime or another which leads to a high rate of desertion as tribe always wins in Afghanistan.  As a result in high rate of desertion, you are always having to start over again….that is why we need to get out of there.  Or at least that is my humble take on the problem.   

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