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Orson Scott Card: The War of Stories [the story that we must tell to Muslim world]
The Ornery American ^ | August 8, 2004 | Orson Scott Card

Posted on 08/17/2004 7:15:15 AM PDT by Tolik

Orson Scott Card critically reviews 4 very different authors that try to explain our current situation, highlights some of their best points and comes with some very interesting conclusions.

Orson's Observation: For every expert, there is an equal and opposite expert.

Card's Corollary: There is no subject on which anybody knows everything.

I recently read a valuable book called Civilization and Its Enemies: The Next Stage of History.

The back-flap bio of the author, Lee Harris, talked about how he entered Emory University at age fourteen and graduated summa cum laude. Well, I entered BYU at age sixteen and graduated with high honors with distinction -- while on academic probation. He's got me by two years, but I think my academic probation thing trumps his summa cum laude.

My point is, it's always kind of sad when somebody's bio still has to point to things he did when he was fourteen. What matters is how smart, wise, and/or informed you are now.

And even if you're the smartest person in the world, it doesn't mean that your judgment is immune to distortion. We all bring our previous assumptions and expectations to every bit of data or experience we acquire, and see it all through the lens of our own minds.

Lee Harris is indeed a very smart guy. And there are two key insights, delivered early in the book, that made it, for me, well worth reading.

1. Osama bin Laden, like Hitler and Mussolini and many other more minor figures before him, is acting out a "fantasy ideology."

As Harris says, "It is a common human weakness to wish to make more of our contribution to the world than the world is prepared to acknowledge; it is our fantasy world that allows us to fill this gap."

Most of us keep this fantasy world hidden; but some act it out on a broader stage. The peril to the world is that for those consumed by a fantasy ideology, everyone who is not actively supporting the fantasy becomes a prop whose only value is to be a prop as the fantasist makes his dream come true.

His clearest example is the nation of Ethiopia when it was invaded by Mussolini's Italian army in the 1930s. The League of Nations tried to persuade Mussolini to stop. Ethiopia tried to behave in ways that might persuade Mussolini to stop.

What nobody recognized was that there was no behavior on Ethiopia's part that could prevent Mussolini's invasion, because Ethiopia was not a player in Mussolini's fantasy of a reborn Roman Empire with himself as conquering Caesar.

We are in a similar situation, not just with Osama, but with radical Islam: They have an all-consuming fantasy ideology, and our actions are irrelevant. Everything we do will be interpreted according to their fantasy, and all our actions will be construed so as to support it.

Here's a quote from the current (Sep. 04) issue of Atlantic Monthly, where an article by Alan Cullison ("Inside Al-Qaeda's Hard Drive") reproduces some of the correspondence taken from a captured Al-Qaeda computer. In a letter to Mullah Omar, Osama bin Laden wrote:

"Keep in mind that America is currently facing two contradictory problems:

"a) If it refrains from responding to jihad operations, its prestige will collapse, thus forcing it to withdraw its troops abroad and restrict itself to U.S. internal affairs. This will transform it from a major power to a third-rate power, similar to Russia.

"b) On the other hand, a campaign against Afghanistan will impose great long-term economic burdens, leading to further economic collapse, which will force America, God willing, to resort to the former Soviet Union's only option: withdrawal from Afghanistan, disintegration, and contraction" (p. 70).

Whether Osama's predictions come true or not, the point is that he stands ready to interpret all outcomes as supporting his fantasy ideology.

In effect, then, what we are fighting is not a particular group of men, but a group of stories, and while armies can do a great deal against stories (the story of Nazism, for instance, was rather thoroughly done in by the combined military strength of many nations, as was the story of Japanese superiority and imperial destiny), a story can keep an enemy alive long past the point of military defeat.

The 9/11 attacks, then, were theatre, not a military action with concrete goals, says Harris. Whatever the military or economic (or architectural!) consequences, Osama was bound to "win" because his fantasy ideology converts all outcomes to proof that he is right.

Look how all of America's actions are interpreted by the Arab/Muslim world: When we want to save the non-Muslim blacks of Sudan from the genocidal campaign of the Islamicist government and its surrogates, the story told throughout the Muslim world is that this is all a lie, there is no such campaign, and America simply wants to control ... and here the story breaks down just the tiniest bit ... the nonexistent resources of Sudan.

And the places were we intervened for Muslims -- Kosovo, Bosnia, Kuwait -- are ignored or explained away. Nothing we do can be seen as good. They cannot see us, except as props in their own internal drama.

2. Harris's second insight is a simple one: Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are dangerous to us, not because they have great weaponry, but because they are ruthless.

It is ruthlessness -- being willing to perform even the most terrible acts in service of a cause or campaign -- that triumphs.

Here's the obvious example: In Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government brought in out-of-town troops to put down the peaceful, unarmed citizens' revolt. They fired on civilians and killed them, without qualm.

But in the old Soviet Union, when Russian tanks confronted Yeltsin and his fellow demonstrators on the streets of Moscow, they did not fire. The hardline junta that was in the midst of a coup against Gorbachev had qualms. They would not give the order; or the soldiers would not fire. In that moment, because they were not ruthless, they lost; just as, in Tiananmen Square, because they were ruthless, the Chinese Communists remained in power.

Another example: General McClellan utterly failed against General Lee because McClellan could not bear to risk anything. He could not move until victory was guaranteed -- which it never is, so he never took any decisive action. Grant, on the same terrain, ground the armies of the Confederacy down until he won -- because he understood that only the ruthless prevail in war.

This does not imply that to win, America must be as wasteful of human life as Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. What it does mean is that we cannot defeat them by means short of absolute destruction of them and their armies of "martyrs," because any appeasement, any forbearance, will be interpreted by them as victory and proof that God wants them to continue.

These are important insights, as far as they go. Sadly, Harris spends most of his book in support of a weird and baseless theory that all of civilized history can be interpreted as a struggle between "family" (which he defines as what I would call "tribe" or "clan") and "team," which he treats as a state cooption of the adolescent gang.

There is a tiny shred of truth in this, though it's merely a part of a far larger tension between the reproductive unit (the mating couple and their offspring) and the larger community (which can be tribe, clan, city, state, or, yes, gang).

The result is that Harris puts his powerful intellect in the service of a fundamentally shallow and unworkable idea. The rest of his book is still valuable and I'm glad I read it, but he has fallen into the common error of intellectuals: the belief that because an idea excites them, it is the "key."

I call this the "everything theory," and most intellectuals, when you scratch them deeply enough, have one. The smart ones, though, keep it to themselves. Rather like a fantasy ideology.

Other Voices

If you read only Harris, you might have one picture of the world. But you can't read any source and think you have "the" truth.

For instance, in that same issue of Atlantic Monthly, there is a review of Imperial Hubris, a book "written anonymously by the former head of the CIA unit devoted to assessing and tracking Osama bin Laden" (p. 123). The same author wrote the prescient Through Our Enemies' Eyes, which was published before 9/11 but ignored by almost everyone.

According to the review, the author rips into the current administration but offers no comfort to Democrats, either. "He's scornful of liberal notions that the campaign against al-Qaeda should be pursued as a law-enforcement problem (he argues persuasively that al-Qaeda is a worldwide Islamic insurgency, not simply a terrorist organization, and that America must pursue a 'savage' military policy against it); ... and he favors a less multilateral approach to national-security policy and a far more ruthless use of military power than the Bush administration embraces" (p. 123).

Reading Harris's book, if you get caught up in his worldview you can start to see everything through his eyes. He's right! you say to yourself. But reading even a review of Imperial Hubris, you start to think, But this guy really knows Osama, he's right!

Well, not necessarily. Because (unlike Harris) he believes that Osama has specific war aims, he advocates a "dramatic foreign policy change" (p. 124) that essentially undercuts those war aims by giving Osama what, according to Osama's letter to Mullah Omar, he wants: A much-reduced global role that amounts to giving up our support of the regimes that Osama hates: Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and, above all, Israel.

The fact that this would result in a holocaust, as the ruthless Islamicists carried their fantasy upon the bodies of Israeli Jews, seems irrelevant to those who think that only American lives and American freedom and prosperity matter.

(Isn't it odd that those who insist that we have no right to intervene abroad call themselves "internationalists," even though what they're really saying is that it's OK for foreigners to be slaughtered, because that's just their way. The truth is, as President Bush says so clearly, there are no peoples on earth who do not aspire to be left alone to raise their families in peace and freedom; there are no peoples who wish to be oppressed or have their families starved or slaughtered. True internationalists recognize that with America's great power comes the duty to help ordinary people lead better lives, wherever we can -- the limiting word being "can".)

What the author of Imperial Hubris has apparently forgotten is that appeasement does not work. Harris is right about this: If we give Osama what he claims to want, his wants will expand until he wants things we cannot give him. In this respect, Osama is Hitler.

There are other books that give us powerful insights, and unfortunately I will not be able to give them a full discussion here and now. For instance,

Thomas P. M. Barnett, in The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century, spins a marvelous story of how military policy and doctrine are generated and transformed. It's a great read.

But ultimately, the value of his book, as the title implies, can be distilled down to a map of the world that shows the clear division between nations that are included -- in the process of globalization and the generally increasing prosperity -- and those that are disconnected.

His case is unassailable: Almost all the troubles in the world right now are generated from within the disconnected, unincluded nations. Where we are successfully exporting the global economy, the Pax Americana generally prevails; where that economy does not reach, for whatever reason, there is no peace. And now those disconnected nations are exporting their conflicts abroad.

Contrast this with Marc Sageman's brilliant Understanding Terror Networks. Sageman's book examines known terrorists to try to find out who they are.

And to everyone's surprise, they are not the victims of poverty and oppression. In fact, the vast majority of them are recruited from the rising (and previously nonexistent!) middle classes.

They are educated -- often in the West (so much for sharing our "values"). There is no way to classify them as "hopeless," or to view their seeking of martyrdom as the result of "desperation."

It would be easy to see Sageman's and Barnett's works as reaching opposite conclusions: Barnett that terrorism grows out of poverty and despair; Sageman that terrorism grows where magical stories energize bored or perhaps guilty young men who are desperate, not for food and shelter, but for meaning and nobility.

But there is no contradiction at all. In fact, there can't be contradiction among any of these books -- insofar as they describe the real world, they must agree, because there is only one real world.

Putting It Together

How do we reconcile it all?

Believe me, I don't have the answer. And if I did, I wouldn't have the space here to explain it all.

But some reconciliation is not only possible but obvious.

Card's Law: No event has just one cause, no person has just one motive, and no action has just the intended effect.

Osama is a true believer in the story he tells, as are his followers. Al-Qaeda is composed of people who believe they will make the world a better place, even for Americans and Jews, by destroying all powers in the world that are not subservient to Islamic law (as interpreted by them).

Their story is a resilient one, adaptable to almost any reasonable response; and their story allows them to be ruthless toward anyone whose death becomes useful to them.

But it is vital to remember that they do not live in the same world as us. They live in the Muslim world, and the Muslim people are the audience for whom they put on their theatricals.

Osama is not the selfless servant of Islam that he purports to be. Like Hitler and Mussolini, he is profoundly ambitious. He aspires to nothing less than the Caliphate -- Osama sees himself as the leader of all Islam.

That is why he must destroy the government of Saudi Arabia, which has control of the holiest sites of Islam -- they are his most dangerous rivals for the Caliphate.

That is why he hates Jordan's royal family, because the Hashemites have a legitimate hereditary claim, which Osama does not have.

That is why he hates Egypt, because the current secular government has successfully put down the Islamicist Muslim Brotherhood and maintains a secular government in power.

That is why he must coopt all the causes of Islam -- destruction of the West that has thrust the Muslim world aside; destruction of the Israeli "crusader state."

So yes, Osama has motives that seem noble in the eyes of all Islam; but he also has personal ambitions that, if they were exposed, would discredit him in the eyes of many.

No matter what we do, the Muslim world spins our actions by making up fantasy motives that explain even our most noble actions as having evil motives.

We need our own stories -- and ours will have the enormous advantage of being true.

Here's the story we need to tell:

Every action of Al-Qaeda is part of Osama's cynical plan to become the Caliph of Islam. He is persuading young Muslim men to kill themselves in order to further his own climb to absolute power over all Muslims, and then (he hopes) over the whole world.

These young Muslim men, Osama says, are "martyrs," but every Muslim knows that martyrs are killed by the enemy, not self-murdered in order to kill innocents.

Because they believe Osama's teachings, these young men cut themselves off from a lifetime of service to God, a lifetime of fathering children who would grow up to serve God. Instead they die in service of Osama's ambition.

They are, in effect, suffering the same fate as the eunuchs who served as loyal slaves in the court of the Sultan in Istanbul. Cut off from the hope of having families of their own, their lives were spent in the service of Sultans who claimed to be religious leaders but were really nothing more than vicious exploiters and oppressors of the Muslim people.

It is a cruel trick that Osama plays on these brave young men. He takes their faith in God and their willingness to die in the service of Islam, and he twists their beliefs so that instead of serving God and following the Koran, they give up their own families and defy God in order to make themselves eunuchs in Osama's future palace.

The same can be said of the Palestinian suicide bombers, only they are eunuchs for Yasser Arafat, whose ambitions are as small as his mind: They are dying so that Yasser can be dictator of Palestine. At least you have to give Osama credit for grandiosity.

Why do you think Iran is not just developing nuclear weapons, but proclaiming that they are doing so? Because the ayatollahs are jealous of Osama and want to do something to take the leadership of radical Islam back from him. They also encourage and train young men to kill themselves in order to murder non-Muslims -- all in the service of their own ambition.

But ultimately, all these self-murdering "heroes" are not martyrs at all, they are victims of the trickery of ambitious, selfish, ruthless men.

That is the story that we must tell, over and over again. And, unlike the vile stories they tell about American motives, this story has the great advantage of being obviously and relentlessly true.

Telling this story is not enough, of course. We must also show that we are relentless in our pursuit of these ruthless enemies of civilization, and that we will allow them no shelter. The combination of our true story and their endless series of defeats will, eventually, be this:

They will no longer be able to persuade young Muslim men to become eunuchs in the service of their ambition.

Instead, the Muslim world -- which consists, after all, of mothers and fathers who want their children to grow up and have families of their own -- will recognize that if they stop these fanatics from killing non-Muslims, the rest of the world would be glad to help them get better governments and rise out of the poverty and oppression that make their lives so miserable.

But military victories without a powerful story ultimately create more recruits to give up their future in service of Osama's ambition.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Israel; Philosophy; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; civilization; leeharris; orsonscottcard; osama; osamabinladen; osc; thomasbarnett; waronterror; wot
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Links to 4 authors mentioned:

1. Lee Harris: Civilization and Its Enemies: The Next Stage of History

Lee Harris essays posted here: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=leeharris  His archive is at the TechCentralStation

Lee Harris classics. If you have time, read these articles:

essay Al Qaeda’s Fantasy Ideology By Lee Harris (FR post)   "Al Qaeda's Fantasy Ideology," (original)

The Clausewitz Curse (FR post)             The Clausewitz Curse (original)
Given our uncertainty, what alternative does this, or any, administration have? 

 Our World-Historical Gamble  (FR post)           Our World-Historical Gamble (original)
The collapse of the liberal order and the end of classical sovereignty.

 The Intellectual Origins Of America-Bashing  http://www.policyreview.org/dec02/harris.html

America-bashing has sadly come to be “the opium of the intellectual,” to use the phrase Raymond Aron borrowed from Marx in order to characterize those who followed the latter into the twentieth century. And like opium it produces vivid and fantastic dreams.

2. Imperial Hubris, a book "written anonymously by the former head of the CIA unit devoted to assessing and tracking Osama bin Laden"

Through Our Enemies' Eyes

3. Thomas P. M. Barnett: The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century

His website: http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/published/pentagonsnewmap.htm  Interesting conversation: http://www.thomaspmbarnett.com/pnm/conversation.htm

FR discussions: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/keyword?k=thomaspmbarnett

4. Marc Sageman: Understanding Terror Networks

Statement of Marc Sageman to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States
 


1 posted on 08/17/2004 7:15:16 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; danneskjold; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; A Longer Name; Aggie Mama; Alamo-Girl; ...

Orson Scott Card:

...But ultimately, all these self-murdering "heroes" are not martyrs at all, they are victims of the trickery of ambitious, selfish, ruthless men.

That is the story that we must tell, over and over again. And, unlike the vile stories they tell about American motives, this story has the great advantage of being obviously and relentlessly true.

Telling this story is not enough, of course. We must also show that we are relentless in our pursuit of these ruthless enemies of civilization, and that we will allow them no shelter. The combination of our true story and their endless series of defeats will, eventually, be this:

They will no longer be able to persuade young Muslim men to become eunuchs in the service of their ambition.

Instead, the Muslim world -- which consists, after all, of mothers and fathers who want their children to grow up and have families of their own -- will recognize that if they stop these fanatics from killing non-Muslims, the rest of the world would be glad to help them get better governments and rise out of the poverty and oppression that make their lives so miserable.

But military victories without a powerful story ultimately create more recruits to give up their future in service of Osama's ambition.

Orson Scott Card

Orson Scott Card - PING  [please freepmail me if you want or don't want to be pinged to Orson Scott Card political articles]

2 posted on 08/17/2004 7:16:54 AM PDT by Tolik
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If you want to bookmark his articles discussed at FR: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/k-orsonscottcard/browse

His own political website: http://www.ornery.org/index.html  is heavily populated by American- and other Leftists who are delightfully annoyed by Mr. Card's conservatism. He does not post on that site and its moderated by somebody else. He is a registered Democrat upset with hijacking of his party by the Left.

His literary, non-political website: http://www.hatrack.com

His fresh articles appear in the Rhinoceros Times, Greensboro, NC: http://www.rhinotimes.com/greensboro/  (before being posted permanently on his The Ornery American website http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/index.html ). He has 2 columns in the RhinoTimes: one on political/international events, and the second one: reviews on movies, books, and anything he wants (!). I check his and  Michael Medved's  reviews and found myself reliably relying on them.

3 posted on 08/17/2004 7:17:40 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik
because any appeasement, any forbearance, will be interpreted by them as victory and proof that God wants them to continue

Are you listening JFnK?

4 posted on 08/17/2004 7:22:38 AM PDT by crusty codger
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To: Tolik; All
Left out of all these links is one that shows the history of Muslim Terrorists and the "direct" link to Nazi Germany and Hitler. LINK
5 posted on 08/17/2004 7:29:36 AM PDT by stockpirate (Kerry and The Taxocrates must be defeated! "Kerry wasn't in Cambodia before he was in Cambodia.")
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To: Tolik
The story we need to tell them--over and over again: "We have atomic weapons and are not afraid to use them," That is the ruthlessness that is required.

--Boris

6 posted on 08/17/2004 7:31:43 AM PDT by boris (The deadliest weapon of mass destruction in history is a Leftist with a word processor)
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To: Tolik

> They are educated -- often in the West (so much for sharing our "values"). There is no way to classify them as "hopeless," or to view their seeking of martyrdom as the result of "desperation."

He misses this point - of course they are educated, usually at US universities (think Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, Berkeley etc etc) with ultra-liberal leanings. What their education is in is socialism, the victicrat mentality, along with the "blame America for all wrongs" worldview.

Have you ever heard of any radical who studied for a degree at, say, Grove City College ???


7 posted on 08/17/2004 7:32:05 AM PDT by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: Tolik
These all appear to be books well worth reading. But they may be making too much of Osama as the prime mover of it all.

I would be interested to know what their authors (and Card) would suggest our next move be if Osama is found (as I suspect to be the case) to have been under six feet of dirt, somewhere in Afghanistan, for some time now.

8 posted on 08/17/2004 7:32:47 AM PDT by Charlotte Corday (I don't burn the flag because I can. I will burn the flag if I can't.)
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To: Tolik

bumping a great article


9 posted on 08/17/2004 7:34:56 AM PDT by Teacher317
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To: stockpirate

Like they care. Mein Kamph is mandatory reading for Palestinians. Muslims embrace intolerace, bigotry, and murder as a way of life. You can't convince them of being associated with evil when they embrace it!

10 posted on 08/17/2004 7:35:27 AM PDT by Bommer (John Kerry is a Vietnam Traitor)
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To: Tolik
Great article!

This is great:

In effect, then, what we are fighting is not a particular group of men, but a group of stories, and while armies can do a great deal against stories (the story of Nazism, for instance, was rather thoroughly done in by the combined military strength of many nations, as was the story of Japanese superiority and imperial destiny), a story can keep an enemy alive long past the point of military defeat.

This is great:

Almost all the troubles in the world right now are generated from within the disconnected, unincluded nations. Where we are successfully exporting the global economy, the Pax Americana generally prevails; where that economy does not reach, for whatever reason, there is no peace. And now those disconnected nations are exporting their conflicts abroad.

This is great:

But military victories without a powerful story ultimately create more recruits to give up their future in service of Osama's ambition.

But this:

the Muslim world -- which consists, after all, of mothers and fathers who want their children to grow up and have families of their own --

is the moment where own Card's "story" gets in front of his eyes and makes him see what is not there.

These Muslim parents, in fact, want their children to be in paradise forever, hailed by Allah as martyr/heroes, in accordance with their Muslim "story".

Other than that one lapse, perhaps from fatigue, a brilliant piece!

11 posted on 08/17/2004 7:36:16 AM PDT by Taliesan (fiction police)
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To: Alouette; Salem; SJackson

Ping!


12 posted on 08/17/2004 7:41:00 AM PDT by Slings and Arrows (Am Yisrael Chai!)
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To: Tolik

Thanks for the ping!


13 posted on 08/17/2004 7:45:58 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Taliesan
These Muslim parents, in fact, want their children to be in paradise forever, hailed by Allah as martyr/heroes, in accordance with their Muslim "story".

That's what they say for public consumption. What do you think they'd say if they weren't worrying that if they don't toe the party line in public, they'll get slaughtered?

14 posted on 08/17/2004 7:46:29 AM PDT by RonF
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To: Charlotte Corday
I agree that importance of Osama persona is overemphasized. But if we talk about the idea instead of persona, all stays. Looks like that the Jihadist movement is well decentralized, but acts with the common idea in mind.

I think it is very important to kill Osama (or prove that he is dead already), but it won't be the end of the fight by a long stretch.
15 posted on 08/17/2004 7:52:18 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik
But ultimately, all these self-murdering "heroes" are not martyrs at all, they are victims of the trickery of ambitious, selfish, ruthless men.

Bump.

Now we just need to institute "Ender's Game".

16 posted on 08/17/2004 7:55:18 AM PDT by 4CJ (||) Men die by the calendar, but nations die by their character. - John Armor, 5 Jun 2004 (||)
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To: Tolik

Card's Law: No event has just one cause, no person has just one motive, and no action has just the intended effect.

BINGO! WE HAVE A WINNER.


17 posted on 08/17/2004 7:57:47 AM PDT by Valin (Mind like a steel trap - rusty and illegal in 37 states.)
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To: RonF
You don't understand how a religious culture works. They believe what their religion teaches. They believe in paradise. They believe in the virgins. They BELIEVE it.

They VOLUNTEER their children. Those who don't volunteer are not "slaughtered".

18 posted on 08/17/2004 8:00:25 AM PDT by Taliesan (fiction police)
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To: Taliesan

If you do not believe Orson Scott Card (as well as President Bush) that a most basic desire common to all human beings is to have children who grow up and have their own children, what do you propose we do about it?

I tend to agree with Mr. Card and Pres. Bush because passing along genetic material is an instinct or drive common to all living things. You can train people or animals to overcome their instincts, but the basic instinct is still there.


19 posted on 08/17/2004 8:01:46 AM PDT by RebelBanker (Negotiate? [BANG] Anyone else want to negotiate?)
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To: stockpirate

If I may, you might want to take a look at
Occidentalism
(The west in the eyes of it's enemies)
by Ian Buruma, Avishai Margalit
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1594200084/qid=1092754857/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/103-0308205-9579009?v=glance&s=books

Book Description
A pioneering investigation of the lineage of anti-Western stereotypes that traces them back to the West itself.

Twenty-five years ago, Edward Said's Orientalism spawned a generation of scholarship on the denigrating and dangerous mirage of "the East" in the Western colonial mind. But "the West" is the more dangerous mirage of our own time, Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit argue, and the idea of "the West" in the minds of its self-proclaimed enemies remains largely unexamined and woefully misunderstood. Occidentalism is their groundbreaking investigation of the demonizing fantasies and stereotypes about the Western world that fuel such hatred in the hearts of others.

We generally understand "radical Islam" as a purely Islamic phenomenon, but Buruma and Margalit show that while the Islamic part of radical Islam certainly is, the radical part owes a primary debt of inheritance to the West. Whatever else they are, al Qaeda and its ilk are revolutionary anti-Western political movements, and Buruma and Margalit show us that the bogeyman of the West who stalks their thinking is the same one who has haunted the thoughts of many other revolutionary groups, going back to the early nineteenth century. In this genealogy of the components of the anti-Western worldview, the same oppositions appear again and again: the heroic revolutionary versus the timid, soft bourgeois; the rootless, deracinated cosmopolitan living in the Western city, cut off from the roots of a spiritually healthy society; the sterile Western mind, all reason and no soul; the machine society, controlled from the center by a cabal of insiders-often Jews-pulling the hidden levers of power versus an organically knit-together one, a society of "blood and soil." The anti-Western virus has found a ready host in the Islamic world for a number of legitimate reasons, they argue, but in no way does that make it an exclusively Islamic matter.

A work of extraordinary range and erudition, Occidentalism will permanently enlarge our collective frame of vision.


It's a small densely packed book.


20 posted on 08/17/2004 8:06:11 AM PDT by Valin (Mind like a steel trap - rusty and illegal in 37 states.)
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To: Tolik

Reference bump.


21 posted on 08/17/2004 8:07:44 AM PDT by Rocko (John Kerry: "Standard bearer for the unbearable.")
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To: RebelBanker
If you do not believe Orson Scott Card (as well as President Bush) that a most basic desire common to all human beings is to have children who grow up and have their own children, what do you propose we do about it?

I offer you the evidence of history, and Card's OWN ARGUMENT, that fantasy ideology can and does overcome "basic desires" for entire swaths of the population and entire generations.

It is empirically unassailable that MANY religious people actually value the next life more than this one, and make life-changing and life-ending decisions based on that belief. I'm not asking you to agree with said belief; I'm asking you to apply Occam's Razor to an observed phenomenon.

Simplest explanation: they believe it. For them, they no longer desire grandchildren; they desire the best end for their children, which, in their view, is martyrdom. Their parental love is intact; their story re-directs that love to an erroneous end.

22 posted on 08/17/2004 8:13:21 AM PDT by Taliesan (fiction police)
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To: RebelBanker; Taliesan
I also think that the basic instinct is there for the most part.

It took decades for the World to look another way to allow conditioning of Palestinians (for example) to proceed to the point where they celebrate death. If the West held any help until they stop suicide bombing and did not invent excuses why it may be ok in their case, we would not have a successful tactic of suicide bombing on our hands.

There is a billion and a half of Muslims in the world. Even if only a small percentage is indeed so fanatical as to celebrate the death of their own kids, its still a large number of people. But the most of them... I don't think so.

The real sickness is why they stay quiet. The longer the problem is not confronted by the West and the Muslim world, more people will be successfully brainwashed.
23 posted on 08/17/2004 8:15:15 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Valin
>>>al Qaeda and its ilk are revolutionary anti-Western political movements<<<

No the roots are found in Islam and we had to fight Muslim terrrorists at the beginnning of our country! "To the shores of Tripoli"

>>>>In this genealogy of the components of the anti-Western worldview, the same oppositions appear again and again: the heroic revolutionary versus the timid, soft bourgeois; the rootless, deracinated cosmopolitan living in the Western city, cut off from the roots of a spiritually healthy society; the sterile Western mind, all reason and no soul; the machine society, controlled from the center by a cabal of insiders-often Jews-pulling the hidden levers of power versus an organically knit-together one, a society of "blood and soil." The anti-Western virus has found a ready host in the Islamic world for a number of legitimate reasons, they argue, but in no way does that make it an exclusively Islamic matter.<<<<

This is just more Socialist propaganda. Our struggle with Muslims is not about these precepts and has no foundation in the leftist BS.

I do not buy any of these statements concerning "Western civilization".
24 posted on 08/17/2004 8:16:49 AM PDT by stockpirate (The issues surrounding Kerry in Vietnam is a smoke screen! The real issue is VVAW and the FBI docs!)
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To: Tolik

Superb article. I'm emailing it to some people who need to read it.


25 posted on 08/17/2004 8:20:51 AM PDT by MizSterious (First, the journalists, THEN the lawyers.)
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To: Taliesan

You make a compelling argument, but my question remains: What do you propose we do about it?


26 posted on 08/17/2004 8:23:17 AM PDT by RebelBanker (Negotiate? [BANG] Anyone else want to negotiate?)
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To: Tolik
" I think it is very important to kill Osama (or prove that he is dead already), but it won't be the end of the fight by a long stretch."

You're right. History has shown than a leader like bin Laden can have almost as much power when dead as when alive. And, new leaders also arise.

27 posted on 08/17/2004 8:24:58 AM PDT by MizSterious (First, the journalists, THEN the lawyers.)
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To: stockpirate

No the roots are found in Islam

The author never say that. What they do say is there is a link in the thinking of OBL and his gang of thugs between their thinking and 19th century (german) romantic thought.


28 posted on 08/17/2004 8:26:21 AM PDT by Valin (Mind like a steel trap - rusty and illegal in 37 states.)
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To: Tolik
the story that we must tell to Muslim world

I vote for: "Look up."


29 posted on 08/17/2004 8:28:38 AM PDT by KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle (I feel more and more like a revolted Charlton Heston, witnessing ape society for the very first time)
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To: Tolik
Perhaps we need another Sheridan, Sherman, or Pershing. Someone who will make the present so horrible, that the fanatics forget about the promises of the afterlife.

Pershing should be studied in detail as he stopped a muslim revolution in the Philippines. He would take captured terrorists to their home villages, kill them, bury them facing west upside down in pig skin, and generally made the Maui Maui realize they had angered the wrong American.
30 posted on 08/17/2004 8:36:18 AM PDT by redgolum
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To: stockpirate
I do not buy any of these statements concerning "Western civilization".

The authors of this book do not claim that these statements are true, although I think we would all agree that they are all partially true.

The point is that for 200 years the opponents of western civilization have believed them to be true. It isn't really relevant to me whether your beliefs are accurate if you believe them so strongly that you are willing to kill me for them. The relevant factor is the fervency of belief, not its degree of truth.

It is also highly relevant that these exact same criticisms of western civilization are behind the core anger and hatred for it seen among liberals/leftists. Socialism, environmentalism, racism and other "issues" of western civilization are not and never have been the real problem for leftists. The real problem is that they hate our society. The issues are merely a convenient club, which is why when one is discredited (as with Communism) they merely drop that club and pick up another without breaking stride.

IOW, they don't hate America because it isn't socialist, they promote socialism (environmentalism, animal rights, feminism, etc.) because they hate America.

31 posted on 08/17/2004 8:37:13 AM PDT by Restorer
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To: RebelBanker
What do you propose we do about it?

What we did with the Japanese culture of martyrdom in 1945: kill them till the culture is exhausted.

I don't like that answer, but that is the answer.

32 posted on 08/17/2004 8:49:08 AM PDT by Taliesan (fiction police)
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To: Tolik
So, the problem is that the West's hedonistic story is too realistic to include virgins?

If only they'd been promised 72 women-of-easy-virtue in the after-life, we could've trumped them with a trip to the Bunny Ranch in the here-and-now!

But ultimately, all these self-murdering "heroes" are not martyrs at all, they are victims of the trickery of ambitious, selfish, ruthless men.

That is the story that we must tell, over and over again. And, unlike the vile stories they tell about American motives, this story has the great advantage of being obviously and relentlessly true.

I don't think this story will be good enough. I believe that truth is seldom sufficient to break a really good, (even partially) internally consistent fantasy. The problem here is that their story is that the ambitious, selfish, ruthless men are doing the work of Allah, so their personal attributes do not matter, nor does the individual sacrifice count against the Jihad story.

The communist story was an economic one, to be played out in the here-and-now. We beat them with a better here-and-now story.

The Nazi story was one of supermen, and supermen don't listen to stories from lesser men.

I'm afraid we'll need to tell the Islamic world the same story we told the Nazi's, and like the Nazi's, they won't believe it until our boots are on their necks. And maybe not even then.

I like the analysis, I don't think the proposed story is going to work. But then, I'm not in sales, so what do I know?

33 posted on 08/17/2004 8:57:26 AM PDT by slowhandluke
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To: RebelBanker

We have to undermine and destroy their culture and replace it something similar to our own. We did this for Japan, if I am not completely misinterpreting the occupation.


34 posted on 08/17/2004 9:00:43 AM PDT by Little Ray (John Ffing sKerry: Just a gigolo!)
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bump for later


35 posted on 08/17/2004 9:03:40 AM PDT by Lyford
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To: slowhandluke
I don't think you and OSC are in disagreement:

Telling this story is not enough, of course. We must also show that we are relentless in our pursuit of these ruthless enemies of civilization, and that we will allow them no shelter. The combination of our true story and their endless series of defeats will, eventually, be this:

They will no longer be able to persuade young Muslim men to become eunuchs in the service of their ambition.

But military victories without a powerful story ultimately create more recruits to give up their future in service of Osama's ambition.

He said that one is not enough without another. I tend to agree. It's not enough to just destroy those ruthless fanatics. They offer an attractive (for now) alternative to their youngsters. We need to disillusion them that this alternative is attractive by making it painful. But we need to show light in the end of the tunnel as well. The reasons are many, the cynical and pragmatic one is that there are so many of them and our culture won't allow us to kill them all.

36 posted on 08/17/2004 9:34:36 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik
It is ruthlessness -- being willing to perform even the most terrible acts in service of a cause or campaign -- that triumphs.

5000 years of recorded history proves that "Peace" cannot be something that is "negotiated"; the losers must beg for it.

"Peace" occurs when one party of a conflict conclusively defeats the second party and imposes it's conditions of surrender. "Peace" is not the absence of war but rather, the result of it.

Any other belief is self-delusion.

37 posted on 08/17/2004 10:48:44 AM PDT by 10mm
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To: Tolik
"O you who believe! Do not take for intimate friends among others than your own people; they [unbelievers] do not fall short of inflicting loss upon you; they love what distresses you; vehement hatred has already appeared from out of their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater still...." - Koran, Surah III: 118, "The Family of Imran."

Mohammed, The Mad Poet Quoted....

38 posted on 08/17/2004 12:25:00 PM PDT by PsyOp (Men easily believe what they want to. Caesar, De Bello Gallico, III, 18.)
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To: Tolik
Thanks for a very insightful article.
39 posted on 08/17/2004 1:24:09 PM PDT by happygrl
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To: cinives
Have you ever heard of any radical who studied for a degree at, say, Grove City College ???

That's because Grove City doesn't have a highly ranked engineering program, especially at the graduate level.

Islamic terorrists are *not* poorly educated. Many of their leaders are PhD and MS engineers. There are doctors and scientists in their ranks. The vast majority of them have studied in the US - and they don't major in wimmin's studies or English lit, where the real liberal wingnuts hang out. Working on an MD, or a PhD in electrical engineering leaves NO time for campus liberalism.

40 posted on 08/17/2004 1:29:40 PM PDT by valkyrieanne
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To: Little Ray
We have to undermine and destroy their culture and replace it something similar to our own. We did this for Japan, if I am not completely misinterpreting the occupation.

Before the MacArthur occupation came Hiroshima & Nagasaki. Before the Marshall Plan came the fire bombings of Dresden and Hamburg. We can't even subdue Fallujah, because of our stupid rules of engagement.

41 posted on 08/17/2004 1:32:35 PM PDT by valkyrieanne
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To: Taliesan
You don't understand how a religious culture works. They believe what their religion teaches. They believe in paradise. They believe in the virgins. They BELIEVE it. They VOLUNTEER their children. Those who don't volunteer are not "slaughtered".

And they kill people who *don't* believe it anymore, and no longer want to be Muslims - where and when they can get away with it.

42 posted on 08/17/2004 1:35:27 PM PDT by valkyrieanne
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To: valkyrieanne

Well, I have said it before, we didn't kill enough Iraqis to get the point across that they lost the bloody war - I think some of them think we paying them reparations. Then there was the idiotic response to Abu Ghraib, then we let Sadr run around instead of killing him.

I read somewhere that we are applying lessons learned by the Russkis in Chechnya, but I still think we need to be more ruthless. Sadr should be dead in ruins of the Shrine of Ali, and Falujah should be marked on the map as a ruin.

Then again, maybe we let Sadr gather up his militia then go and kill 'em. Repeat until he runs out of recruits. Be a heck of trick.


43 posted on 08/17/2004 1:51:47 PM PDT by Little Ray (John Ffing sKerry: Just a gigolo!)
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To: KentTrappedInLiberalSeattle
Exactly. Card himself came close to the only answer possible:

"... we cannot defeat them by means short of absolute destruction of them and their armies of "martyrs," because any appeasement, any forbearance, will be interpreted by them as victory and proof that God wants them to continue."

The answer is absolute military defeat of our enemies which in this case means a lot of destruction not only in Iraq, but in Syria and Iran and Lebanon, too. I like the recent analysis by Norm Podhoretz published online in Insight Mag. The future of America, the time-line for victory, and the length of World War IV, depends partially upon the outcome of this November's Presidential election. The endgame is not in doubt - the only question is how expensive (in terms of US lives and money) its going to be and how long its going to take. The latter depends on the courage of US leadership and the determination of the US citizenry.

44 posted on 08/17/2004 2:59:12 PM PDT by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: Restorer
I don't concern myself with why someone hates the US or me. And personally don't care why they do.

It is when they decide that they want to kill us or me that I become concerned. Then my concern is not based on why do they hate the US or me and want to kill us. My concern becomes how can I render them unable to not carry out their plans. Then they can get to the point where they can't carry out their plans. Sometimes in life it may mean killing alot of them. They can think whatever they want, I can not change what they think or why they think it.

But I can protect those I love and myself!
45 posted on 08/17/2004 3:08:13 PM PDT by stockpirate (The issues surrounding Kerry in Vietnam is a smoke screen! The real issue is VVAW and the FBI docs!)
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To: Tolik
Link to Podhoretz
46 posted on 08/17/2004 3:09:00 PM PDT by 45Auto (Big holes are (almost) always better.)
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To: redgolum

Claim: General John J. Pershing effectively discouraged Muslim terrorists in the Philippines by killing them and burying their bodies with pigs.
Status: Undetermined.

http://www.snopes.com/rumors/pershing.htm

Origins: The
desire for simplistic solutions to complex problems has spawned several widely-circulated messages of late which seek to transform a fight against terrorism to the easily-manageable level of a horror film or a comic strip. Today's popular notion is the concept that a pig is to a Muslim as a crucifix is to a vampire — simply arm yourself with a porker, and you can use it to render even the most fanatical terrorist helpless, sending him cowering in fear lest he come into contact with anything porcine.

Such notions reduce an extremely widespread and diverse religion — and the people who follow it — to a monolithic entity with a single set of beliefs and rules to which everyone adheres. Islam has a variety of sects and sub-sects just as Christianity has a multiplicity of denominations; assuming that all "Muslims" believe and behave identically is like assuming that all Catholics and Baptists believe and behave identically because both of the latter groups are "Christians." In one sense, messages such as the ones quoted above could be considered as silly as Muslims' proclaiming that a good way to throw the USA into disarray would be to "bomb" America with juicy steaks on Fridays, because "Americans are Christians," and "everyone knows Christians who eat meat on Fridays go to Hell." Never mind that not all Americans are Christians, that not all Christians are Catholics, that not all Catholics believe in exactly the same things, that not all Catholics are equally religious or faithful, and that even the "rules" of Catholicism have changed over time.

Also implicit in this type of reasoning is the notion that "terrorist," "Muslim terrorist," "fanatical Muslim" and "devout Muslim" are all synonymous. They aren't — just as not all Muslims are terrorists, not all terrorists are Muslims; one need not be devout to be fanatical, and not all religious fanatics are devout. Religion can be just as much about politics and power as it is about faith, and counter-religious behavior is often justified or sanctioned in the service of a "greater cause." The terrorists who hijacked American Airlines Flight 11 were reportedly seen partaking of alcohol and engaging the services of naked lap dancers, activities which should have been anathema to true Muslims. Perhaps they were Muslims in name only, maybe they weren't all that devout, or possibly they rationalized that Allah would overlook their transgressions with booze and women since they were about to die in the service of Islam. Whatever the case, concerns about the afterlife probably wouldn't have dissuaded the hijackers from their plans to crash Flight 11 into the World Trade Center had a few pigs turned up on board the plane. If Allah was a concern, well, the hijackers could choose to believe that Allah would understand and make allowances for true warriors of the faith — after all, the Koran teaches against suicide in the first place.

Nevertheless, the idea of subduing militant Muslims by threatening to bury them with pigs has held currency for many years. Just a few weeks before the September 11 terrorist attacks on America, Deputy Israeli police minister Gideon Esra suggested in the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot that Palestinian suicide bombers be buried in pig skin or blood. In the 1939 film The Real Glory, Gary Cooper portrays Dr. Bill Canavan, an American Army doctor in 1906 Manila who "tries to protect the native population from ruthless invaders" (i.e., "Muslim fanatics"). At one point in the film, the Dr. Canavan character drapes a captured Muslim in a pigskin and proclaims that henceforth that all slain Muslim rebels will be buried in pig skins, thereby discouraging their "savagery" by threatening to prevent their entry into paradise. And, of course, the above-cited anecdote about General Pershing's handling of terrorists in the Philippines has been circulating widely ever since September and has been making the rounds even at the top levels of government in the USA:


[Drogin, 2001]
Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Bob Graham (D-Fla.) cited as an example a dinner he attended last week with people who work on intelligence issues and have connections to the intelligence community. The dinner conversation ranged in part on how U.S. military commander "Black Jack" Pershing used Islam's prohibition on pork to help crush an insurgency on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao after the Spanish-American War at the turn of the last century.

In one instance, Graham explained in an interview, U.S. soldiers captured 12 Muslims. They killed six of them with "bullets dipped into the fat of pigs."

After that, Graham said, the U.S. soldiers wrapped the Muslim rebels in funeral shrouds made of pigskin and "buried them face down so they could not see Mecca. Then they poured the entrails of the pigs over them. The other six were forced to watch. And that was the end of the insurrection on Mindanao," Graham noted.

The history of the American administration of the Philippines between the Spanish cession of the islands at the conclusion of the Spanish-American war in 1898 and the attainment of full political independence in 1946 — including American attempts to "pacify" various independence-minded groups through military means — is too long and complicated to explicate here. Suffice it to say that General John J. "Black Jack" Pershing was part of the process as Governor of the troublesome Moro Province between 1909 and 1913. We haven't yet found any references to this alleged incident in Pershing biographies, however, nor does it match the way Pershing is generally recorded as having dealt with the Moros in 1911. When they refused to obey Pershing's order banning firearms by surrendering their weapons, his response was to draft a letter to the Moros expressing sorrow that his soldiers had to resort to killing to enforce the order:


I write you this letter because I am sorry to know that you and your people refuse to do what the government has ordered. You do not give up your arms. Soldiers were sent to Taglibi so that you could come into camp and turn in your guns. When the soldiers went to camp a Taglibi, your Moros fired into camp and tried to kill the soldiers. Then the soldiers had to shoot all Moros who fired upon them. When the soldiers marched through the country, the Moros again shot at them, so the soldiers had to kill several others. I am sorry the soldiers had to kill any Moros. All Moros are the same to me as my children and no father wants to kill his own children . . .
When negotiations stalled and matters came to a head, Pershing was still reluctant to be responsible for any more loss of life than was necessary:


[Vandiver, 1977]
[Pershing] went to his offices on [14 December 1911] only to hear a message from the Sulu district governor: hundreds of hostiles gathered on Jolo's Bud Dajo! The message had dread portent. Mount Dajo, awesomely high and capped with the creater of an extinct volcano, meant sacred things to Moros. It was the refuge against fate, the last bastion of the hopeless, the place where their ancestors stood off great waves of enemies. Once on the mountain, esconced in its big cotta, Moros would die gladly, as Leonard Wood had grimly learned. Retreat to Dajo meant a clear declaration of war.

Sobered and depressed, Jack wrote of an overriding worry: "I am sorry these Moros are such fools, but . . . I shall lose as few men and kill as few Moros as possible." Memories of Wood's massacre of men and families on Dajo rankled in the army and still bothered the chief of staff. Obviously another such slaughter in the winter of 1911 could adversely influence the 1912 elections in the States.

Pershing's strategy was to surround the Moros and wait them out while attempting to induce them to surrender, a strategy that worked effectively: the Bud Dajo campaign ended with only twelve Moro casualties. But in his report Pershing seemed keenly aware that the best approach was not to take any action that would encourage religious fanaticism:


There was never a moment during this investment of Bud Dajo when the Moros, including women, on top of the mountain, would not have fought to the death had they been given the opportunity. They had gone there to make a last stand on this, their sacred mountain, and they were determined to die fighting . . . It was only by the greatest effort that their solid determination to fight it out could be broken. The fact is that they were completely surprised at the prompt and decisive action of the troops in cutting off supplies and preventing escape, and they were chagrined and disappointed in that they were not encouraged to die the death of Mohammedan fanatics.
Other anecdotal accounts attribute Pershing's success to his merely threatening to do as described:


Col. John J Pershing threatened the mullahs with . . . "splattering of pigs-blood on your houses and families and any who attack us and are killed will be buried in pig-skins." Consequently the mullahs made Pershing an Honorary Chieftan with little if any more trouble in his area of command.
Yet another account, from the 1938 book Jungle Patrol, attributes the deed to someone other than Pershing:


It was Colonel Alexander Rodgers of the 6th Cavalry who accomplished by taking advantage of religious prejudice what the bayonets and Krags had been unable to accomplish. Rodgers inaugurated a system of burying all dead juramentados in a common grave with the carcasses of slaughtered pigs. The Mohammedan religion forbids contact with pork; and this relatively simple device resulted in the withdrawal of juramentados to sections not containing a Rodgers. Other officers took up the principle, adding new refinements to make it additionally unattractive to the Moros. In some sections the Moro juramentado was beheaded after death and the head sewn inside the carcass of a pig. And so the rite of running juramentado, at least semi-religious in character, ceased to be in Sulu. The last cases of this religious mania occurred in the early decades of the century. The juramentados were replaced by the amucks. .. who were simply homicidal maniacs with no religious significance attaching to their acts.
We haven't eliminated ruling out the possibility that Pershing at some point chose to deal with a group of "Mohammedan fanatics" in a manner similar to the one described above, but so far all we've turned up are several different accounts and nothing that documents Pershing's involvement.

Nonetheless, the "discouraging Muslim terrorists by burying them with pigs" concept is still invoked today, even if the evidence of its use (or success) remains nebulous:


[Philps, 2002]
JEWISH settlers have come up with a new way to deter Palestinian suicide bombers - wrapping their corpses in pigskin to deprive them of the fruits of paradise.

The settlers believe that contact with a pig, an unclean animal for Muslims and Jews, will rob the bomber of the reward of martyrdom, traditionally said to be 72 virgins.

Settlers at Gush Katif, in the Gaza Strip, were the first to claim to have defiled the body of a dead Palestinian with "pigskin and lard". Residents of Efrat, a Jewish settlement near Bethlehem, said they did the same to a Palestinian building worker who tried to blow up their supermarket on Friday, but was shot dead before most of the explosives detonated.

Shlomo Riskin, chief rabbi of Efrat, defended the practice: "If burial in pigskin will deter suicide bombers, then it is incumbent on us to do this. We should do anything to save life."

There has been no photographic evidence of daubing with lard and no one has come forward as the supplier of the pork, leading some to suspect that the settlers are trying to scare off future suicide bombers, who are mainly impressionable young men.

But the rabbi said: "I truly believe it happened. The pigskin was supplied by someone with a good sense of initiative. The body was lying by the supermarket for three to four hours. There was plenty of time."

Pork is considered an abomination by observant Jews, but is produced at one kibbutz and enjoyed by secular Israelis.

Palestinian Muslims reacted with scorn to the idea, saying the soul went to paradise and was unaffected by any taint to the body.

"The keys to heaven are not in the hands of settlers," said Sheikh Hassan Youssef, for Hamas, whose military wing has sent dozens of suicide bombers into Israel.

Islamic reference books say the body of a martyr who dies for the faith is so pure that it does not need to be washed before burial, in contrast to the usual Muslim practice.

Last updated: 26 February 2002


47 posted on 08/17/2004 8:59:39 PM PDT by Valin (Mind like a steel trap - rusty and illegal in 37 states.)
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To: Heuristic Hiker

Ping


48 posted on 08/17/2004 10:17:39 PM PDT by Utah Girl
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To: 45Auto; Little Ray
Podhoretz's article is remarkable. I printed it our a few days ago and still going through. Thanks for the link. (BTW, there is a better not pdf link deeper in the thread)

Interesting reminder of the recent history there regarding Russians and ruthlessness. When Ayatollahs took over and US embassy was taken, the Russian embassy nevertheless was protected. Ayatollahs, no friends of communists they are, did not want to mess with Russians, but expected no danger from Carter. Telling, isn't it?
49 posted on 08/18/2004 5:09:53 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik
There is reason for this.
Some personnel from the Soviet Embassy in Lebanon were kidnapped. The KBG apparently had a pretty good idea who was responsible. They kidnapped family members of the folks they suspected. Then they started leaving body parts in places where the suspects or their cohorts could find them.
The Embassy personnel were returned post-haste. And even the "Revolutionary Guards" of Iran wouldn't mess with the Soviet Embassy.

That is the sort of ruthlessness we need.
50 posted on 08/18/2004 6:50:12 AM PDT by Little Ray (John Ffing sKerry: Just a gigolo!)
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