Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Trial of the Generals: Poison Politics

After long years of war between Athens and Sparta, the Athenian Navy won a battle on stormy seas. The ten generals who had commanded the victory returned to Athens expecting a hero’s welcome. Instead they were thrown into prison and put on trial for their lives. Because of the terrible storm the fleet had been forced to withdraw before it could pick up soldiers who had fallen overboard during the battle.

For political reasons, enemies of the generals accused them of murder, delivered stirring speeches in the assembly; played on the sorrows of those who lost loved ones; stirred the ignorant and angry masses and demanded death by hemlock for the saviors of the city.

Not only did they sway the masses in this outrage, they convinced the people to set aside the Constitution of the City and try the Generals all together and in one day, lest reason return and thwart their scheme.

We know of only one man who spoke out against this idiocy, one voice raised in defense of justice and of the city, Socrates. He warned the assembly of the immorality of their vengeance driven attack and warned of the dire nature of the precedent they would set. But he was only one voice in a maddened multitude. The generals were poisoned, Athens’ war effort decimated, and the deadly precedent of mass trial and summery execution established.

These political poisonings precipitated Athenian defeat. Their armies killed, their empire destroyed, their long wall of defense pulled down, their citizens enslaved, their children murdered, their freedom taken; the people paid the price for political pollution.

Under the oligarchy established by the Spartans; mass trials and summery executions, legitimized by the murder of the generals, took the lives of over 4,000 innocent Athenians. Now to the present:

Week after week the political enemies of President Bush plot to poison and pollute. The dangers of partisan injustice can only be averted by wisdom. As wisdom is knowledge of truth let me present some truths for your consideration:

1. The present problems with Iran and much of Islamic terrorism can be traced to Jimmy Carter’s naive or pernicious politics. Finding the Shah of Iran’s methods of governance unacceptable to his politically popular “rose colored glasses” pacifism, Carter allowed the monster Khomeini to seize Iran and establish the “Islamic” dictatorship that spawns and supports terrorism throughout the world and seeks nuclear weapons and world domination. For over a year Carter broadcast American impotency by allowing Islamic fanatics to hold American hostages and humiliate our nation on a continuing basis. The election of Ronald Reagan cowed Khomeini, but fanatic Islamic-fascism found its home in a former American ally. The consequence of Carter’s cowardice is the Long War we must now fight. For political gain, Carter played to the mob; his lack of leadership has murdered millions.

2. Bill Clinton’s bungling gave hope to al Qaeda and purpose to bin Laden’s quest to become the new Caliph of an Islamic Terror State.

The fruits of George Bush I’s world-wide coalition against aggression were realized when American Marines ended years of Islamic Warlord imposed famine in Somalia. Twenty thousand U.S. Marines brought hope to a brutalized people and the world after tens of thousands of deaths by starvation and terror. But Bill Clinton came to office through the insane politics of Ross Perot. To appease his anti-military political base and perhaps in fruition of the anti-war infatuation of his youth, Clinton began the destruction of U.S. military might. Pillaging the Pentagon provided the “Peace Dividend” Clinton needed to purchase political power.

His anti-military pension led Clinton to withdraw the Marines from Somalia. It was his plan to conduct a low key “unnoticed” action through a few Special Forces troops (Rangers and the hither to secret Delta Force). As conditions on the ground got worse, commanders pled for armor and the force necessary to fulfill their mission. Clinton ignored the requests; choosing to play the role of American pacifism and rely on Pakistani troops from the U.N.

Clinton, having hamstrung U.S. forces in Mogadishu, then demanded a super human task of capturing a group of warlords in the city center. When helicopters went down and U.S. forces were pinned down, there was nothing to do but work the miracle. U.S. forces brought the captured warlords out and the wounded to safety; but not before the naked bodies of American soldiers were dragged and mutilated through the streets of Mogadishu and before the cameras of CNN.

Clinton rewarded the sacrifice of American heroes by releasing the terrorists our troops had died to capture and deserting the people of Somalia to starvation and tyranny. America watched in shame; others were watching too!

Osama bin Laden marked American weakness and postulated that faced with even minimal losses America would turn and run. The remaining years of the Clinton Administration validated Osama’s belief.

Clinton did nothing as the Taliban devoured Afghanistan.

Clinton did nothing as Rwanda drowned in blood, 500,000 to a million people hacked to death by machetes.

Clinton sat back until 250,000 Yugoslavs were slaughtered in a religious genocide. When at last Clinton did act, it was with high altitude bombing and casualty “free” confrontation.

Osama watched as a mob of thugs drove the U.S. Navy out of Haiti.

Osama watched as Saddam murdered hundreds of thousands of his own people in his bid to reestablish his despotic control of Iraq.

Osama watched as Saddam ignored Clinton’s hollow threats and bribed his way into control of the U.N.

Then Osama went on the offensive – to test his hypothesis: U.S. embassies across Africa were destroyed and nothing but ineffectual cruise missiles and cowardice from Clinton, from America.

A direct attack on a U.S. warship and Clinton called the Yemeni Police for help.

Now Osama “knew” the kind of enemy he faced. What could an American election have meant to Al Qaeda? Osama thought that when he took the measure of Bill Clinton, he understood America. So he crafted and carried out the 9/11 attack, confident that America would abandon Israel and the Islamic world to Osama’s rule.

How telling that within days after 9/11 Bill Clinton delivered a speech blaming the attack on America!

But Bill Clinton was gone, and Al Gore never came, and Osama soon learned the difference!

3. Under George Bush II, America’s response was swift, successful, and decisive. Within months Afghanistan was free, al Qaeda on the run and freedom on the march in West Asia. The WMDs that would have been bin Laden’s only hope were denied him in the four week removal of Saddam Hussein from Iraq. Mission accomplished!

Saddam is gone, bin Laden in hiding, constitutional governments allied with the United States surround Iran, but the Long War is not over. The infection of Islamic Fascism and terrorism still threatens the world. However, in the four plus years since Osama’s big mistake, the American homeland has remained secure. Osama’s threats come out on scratchy audio tapes crafted in caves, and have never yet come true.

But in the face of so much success, in the very hour of victory, a new enemy appears. President Bush’s success itself makes him vulnerable. As Americans who no longer live under the threat of attack, they open their ears to the political poison of those seeking power at the expense of their country. The very enemy that aided Sparta in its struggle with Athens now threatens America. Determined to gain power at any cost, politicians motivated by self-serving ambition launch unfounded attacks on America’s war effort. Counting on ignorance, prejudice, fear, and hate to propel them to power. Americans are not as foolish or as uninformed as the Athenian mob, but aided by their powerful allies in the “antique” media, power seekers spread their poison:

1. In a painful parallel to past perversion, Cindy Sheehan and her crowd count corpses and chant blame. Appealing to sorrow and loss they seek Senate seats and presidential power.

2. Seeking gain in the 2006 election, Democrats and their media masters shark up a “disaster” a week to attack the President and those who serve the nation.
1) Misrepresented photos of criminal conduct at Abu Grab are blamed on the President and the military, though the discovery and prosecution of these crimes was by the very military that the media and the terrorists try to blame for the actions of fools. 2) Lies about torture chambers and secrets prisons fill the press, though not a fact is to be found, nor a reason for anger articulated. 3) Crooked lobbyists are dug up to scandalize until the search uncovered Harry Reid. 4) Deception and misreporting over NSA surveillance endangers the nation and sows confusion, and then is proven unfounded. 5) Dick Cheney’s hunting accident is called a metaphor for Administration failures though all that happened was an accident, properly reported to the authorities, but not taken to the press. 6) And now, relying on racist fears and ignorance a phony attack against the Administration is concocted over the sale of a company to a valuable U.S. ally in the war on terror.

Week after week, the Democrat office seekers concoct a tissue of events that exist no where but in their lies, and lacing the poison of half truths about hurricane relief and economic trends they poison the nation.

Some would say that President Bush needs to get ahead of these attacks. construct a “bullet proof” policy for every action taken. Such a process would endanger America. That was Clinton’s way; finger in the air, Billy was always dancing ahead of every issue; carefully polling his way to nowhere.

Bush’s method is more direct and is the only real option he has; the only real course to lead America. He goes forward and waits for his enemies within to take their shot of the week. His time is better spent continuing to combat terrorists rather than spinning and researching every possible lie that might attack him. When the lies come, he deals with them by showing the truth. So far he has been able to rely on the wisdom of the American people to comprehend the truth and recognize the folly.

Wouldn’t it be tragic if America, like Athens, could defeat its enemies in battle only to be poisoned by politics at home?

34 comments:

Aeneas said...

Lysis –

Another great post. In my opinion, Jimmy Carter planted the image of an impotent America in the world’s mind back in the 70’s and like a seed, Bill Clinton’s ineffectual responses to terrorism during his 8 years in office provided the care and nurturing those same seeds needed to grow to fruition, thus helping to legitimize terrorists’ hope and belief that Americans are not only weak, but evil. As an employee of the State Department during the mid 90’s, I saw Bill Clinton not only gut our military but also undermine his Secretaries of State by refusing to support them and their comments overseas. (I believe this is why Warren Christopher left his job so early.) This one – two punch of Carter doing nothing to standup to radical Islam and Clinton’s desire to look like he is doing something, but in fact, not, did much to strengthen the resolve of our enemies. I too am grateful that GW is in the White House. I can’t imagine the awful state of affairs of this country would have been in if Al Gore had won the presidency in 2000. Carter wagging his finger at America, Clinton’s finger in the wind, and Gore’s finger up his nose, would have been a one – two – three punch that America may not have survived.

Strategos said...
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Strategos said...

At my school I spend a lot of time between classes studying in the foreign language building. The foreign language department shares its building with the Air-Force ROTC. So I often sit with men and women in uniform who are also studying. Last week was dubbed by an on campus organization, “Tortured American Values Week.” This group hung posters up all over the building that show prisoners being “tortured” by American military personnel. Along with the posters the group sponsored many anti-war presentations throughout the week. I was disgusted, of coarse, by the images on the posters, but I was far more disgusted at this group’s attempt to link these incidents to American values in general, and to use them as a weapon against the administration and the military. I felt terrible sitting together with my friends while, glaring from every wall, were posters calling them immoral liars and criminals.
It is amazing to me that these people, who openly claim that morality is strictly “a list of arbitrary regulations imposed by a religious elite to control the masses,” would attach American morality by pointing out these isolated incidents.
A few weeks earlier this same group sponsored a guest speaker Paul Rusesabagina; the man whose real life story was portrayed in the movie Hotel Rwanda. He told us that when his country was tearing itself apart the world stood by and did nothing. How discouraging it must have been for the sponsoring group when Mr. Rusesabagina expressed his admiration for the U.S. and it’s military’s current intervention in the Middle East, and condemned those who would prefer to remain neutral.
War is not immoral, the atrocities of Abu Grab where not committed by America, and as Dante said, “the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who when faced with a moral crisis maintaintheir neutrality.

Dan Simpson said...

Mr. Rusesabagina's story is one that I hope the U.S. never relives.

Lysis said...

Strategos, thank you for the perspective. It is amazing to me that so many are so determined to portray the great service America seeks to do in such a negative light. I am confident the reason for this propaganda offensive is explained by the “Trial of the Generals” There was an interesting editorial in Sunday’s “Ogden Standard”, it was by Cal Thomas. I will quote some points:

In a letter from the mayor of Tall Afar in the Iraqi province of Nineveh, Najim Abdullah Abid Al-Jubouri wrote to express his gratitude to American soldiers.

“To the courageous men and women of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life”

“To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.”

“To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days and stole our confidence e in our ability to reestablish our city.”

“Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were cl0osed. Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city. Their savagery reached such a level that stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young.”

“This was the situation of our city until god prepared and delivered . . . the courageous soldiers of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of al-Zarquwi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3rd ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabian, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.”

“God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women. From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. This sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. . . . Let America, their families and the world b e proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.”

The power of truth is the only way to silence those who gain from deceit. I hope you will share this praise with the cadets you study with, and that we all seek to do our part in countering the lies. Socrates was ridiculed and even impeached from his judgeship for challenging those who attacked the generals. We could not lend him aid, but we can stand with those who serve today. The killing in Rwanda should serve as a stark reminder to us all of what can happen when good men, and good countries, fail to act.

Aeneas, that you were in the State Department in the 90’s and that you continue to serve on the front line of our nation’s defense, adds such power to your prospective and strength to this cause. Thanks for the insight and your service to our country.

Anonymous said...

In 1989, with the world's eyes focused almost exclusively on the historic events in Eastern Europe, and on the vivid image of a young demonstrator staring down a Chinese tank in Beijiing's Tiananmen Square, the drama unfolding in AFGHANISTAN received SCANT attention by the Senior Bush Administration. Though there were heroic efforts by relief agencies to provide humanitarian aid, and assistance to the Afghannys the senior officials of President George H. W. Bush's administration did not look back to the Afghanistan war zone! -- their energies instead were consumed by the stunning denouement of the Cold War and with Republicans' blindly patting themselves on the back and taking credit for their "peace in our time"..
In the turn away from Afghanistan, the United States would also dismiss its staunch ally, Pakistan. No longer able to stave off congressionally mandated sanctions triggered by its nuclear weapons development program, Pakistan fell out of Bush admistration favor. As the 1990s began with great hope elsewhere in the world, in Afghanistan a new post-Cold War construct started taking shape: the FAILED STATE of Afghanistan, abandoned by the Bush administration, it began to spin into anarchy. Afghanistan became the home of a new and little understood threat: the aggrieved Arab extremist/terrorist in the form of Osama bin Ladin.

Years earlier it had looked to the optimistic Soviets that their prediction of being in and out of Afghanistan almost before anyone noticed would prove correct. Certainly, President Jimmy Carter was too preoccupied with the hostage crisis in Iran to give much thought to Afghanistan, or so the Kremlin believed.
To Moscow's surprise, however, Carter reacted quickly and decisively. He cancelled a large number of pending agreements with the Soviet Union, ranging from wheat sales to consular exchanges; he set in motion the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olynmpics; and much more quietly and decisively, he signed a presidential finding that tasked the CIA with the organization of aid, including ARMS AND MILITARY SUPPORT, to the Afghan people in their resistance to the Societ occupation, which some ten years later ended with the DEFEAT of the Soviets in Afghanistan and a MAJOR contribution to the downfall of the Soviet Union, hastening the end of the Cold War.

So we can easily see, that it was the IGNORANCE, INDIFFERENCE, and INCOMPETENCE of the Bush One Administration that brought Terrorism to the doorsteps of the United States. Long before Clinton, BUSH paid no attention to the dangers of Osama Bin Ladin and it was THAT ADMINISTRATIONS' acts of arrogance and indifference that brought out the Pandora's box of terroristic curses that plagues the world today!!!!

Lysis said...

Anonomouse –boy, did you ever have to stretch to misrepresent your way to placing any blame on President Bush I. That you must rely on half-truth is telling. I, on the other hand, need only related simple facts. The failure of Soviet Power in Afghanistan was empirical proof that the “Evil Empire” was built on a lie. The collapse of the USSSR ended the most oppressive and dangerous despotism in the history of mankind. Carter’s Olympic boycott, the most aggressive action of his presidency, was a joke to all. Under Carter, Communism spread throughout Latin American and Africa and Iran was taken over by terrorist Islamic fascists. It would be well for you to remember that it was Reagan not Carter that provided the real support of the Majahadin (sp); the Democrats protested that support. All Carter did was play games and give the USSR propaganda points at the Olympics, Reagan brought down the wall.

It was Bush I that presided over the liberation of Eastern Europe. Soviet Communism dwarfed the threat of Islamic terror, Carter ran from it and appeased it, even admired it; Reagan and Bush I ended it. What ever seeds may have been sown in the back waters of Islam while communism was in its death throws were planted and fed by the Iranian government that came to power by Carter’s failure. These seeds, though admittedly always dangerous, (we cannot forget the Beirut bombing), were, for the most part, held in check by Reagan. Under Carter there was a hijacking a week. Under Reagan there were successful and consequential air strikes against Libya, and the hijackings subsided.

Under Bush I, Panama was freed, Kuwait rescued from Saddam, and the famine in Somalia ended. Bin Laden was cowed until Clinton inspired him to world conquest. Under Carter and Clinton we got games and girls, the Bushes have spread freedom, ended tyranny, and fought terrorism.

Words, words, words, that’s all Anonomouse gives us. From Reagan, Bush, and Bush we got deeds. Capitalizing your words against Bush does not make them true. Osama himself has told us which U.S. administration inspired him to world conquest – Bill Clinton’s. We have all seen which administration has reduced his dream to a nightmare in a cave – Bush II. Anonomouse – you make refutation too easy.

Lysis said...
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Anonymous said...

As the CIA became more deeply involved in its covert proxy war with the Soviet Union, it became clear to President Ronald Reagan's new CIA director, William Casey, that the conflict had stalemated under Reagan's leadership. The United States was fighting the Soviets to the last Afghan in a confrontation that could run on indefinitely. By 1985 Soviet air tactics had been refined, and the mujahideen suffered increasing casualties from the growing Soviet fleet of heavily armored MI-24d attack helicopters. The Afghans had nothing in their arsenal adequate to defend against this equipment and so, after HEATED DEBATE AND HEAVY PRESSURE FROM CONGRESS, the White House decided to provide them with Stinger antiaircraft missils. (typical)

The death toll from the horrible 1983 Marine Beirut barracks bombing was 241 American servicemen: 220 Marines, 18 Navy personnel, and 3 Army soldiers 60 Americans were injuureed. In the attack on the French barracks, 58 paratroopers were killed, and 15 injured.

This was the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marine Corps since the Battle of Iwo Jima of World war II. The attack remains the deadliest post-War II attack on Americans overseas.

President Ronald Reagan called the attack a "despicable act" and pledged to keep a military force in Lebanon. Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger said there would be no change in the U.S.'s Lebanon policy. On October 24 French President Francois Mitterrand visited the French bomb sigte. It was no an official visit, and he only stayed for a few hours, be he did declare: "We will stay." U.S. Vice President George Bush toured the marine bombing site on October 26 and said the U.S. "would not be cowed be terrorists".(Of course this all became the Presidential lion that roared LIKE A MOUSE!!!! However it was Reagan whose words didn't cover his COWARDLY bluff and that left with his tail between his legs. Carter saved the lives of the hostages -- Reagan WAISTED the lives of those Marines in the face of the Iranians when he "cut and ran" --The Iranians laughed at the American President's whimpiness

In retaliation for the attacks, France launced an air strike in the Bekka Valley against Iranian Rebvolutionary Guard positions. president Reagan assembled his national security team to devise a plan of military action, and planned to target the Sheik Abdullah barracks in Baalbek, Lebanon, which housed Iranian Revolutionary Guards believed to be training Hezbollah fighters. However, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger aborted the mission, reportedly because of his concerns that it would harm U.S. relations with other Arab nations (probably our good friend the UAE). Except for a few shellings from the USS New Jersey, there was no real military response from the United States in response to the barrack bombings and never has been!!!!

In May of 2003, it was declared that the Islamic Republic of Iran was responsible for the 1983 attack, on the grounds that Iran had originally founded Hezbollah and financed the group throughout the years.

It is amazing to me how the "flatulent Mullah" and Hush Bimbo can so guilefully make up ALL the "facts" they need -- I agree, it is INDEED such easy refutation to do so.
Hush at least has an excuse, because of the constant oxy-contin haze that confuses him so dreadfully.

On the Civil War in Iraq -- Bush tells us 11 million voted!

In William Goldings novel "Lord of The Flies" the very first thing all of the desparate, frightened boys did was VOTE -- then shortly they all became victims in a CIVIL WAR -- THAT'S called a "literary analogy" Mr Flatulence!!!!

"One chirping bird does not make a springtime", just like one desperate vote does not make a Democracy.

Lysis said...

Flaccid:

I appreciate your verification of my position that it was under Reagan, not Carter, that the actions that would lead to Soviet defeat in Afghanistan were put into place.

I read with interest your critique of Ronald Reagan’s failure to deal with the terrorists in Beirut. I see that even you see the folly of running from terrorists. Had this retreat been the sum of Ragan’s action on the subject or had he not brought down a much more dangerous “evil empire”, I would rate him as the failure that Carter and Clinton are. There is a great difference; your flaccid attack on Reagan doesn’t hold up in the face of history. Reagan did “cut and run” from a Lebanon crawling with terrorists armed and motivated by the Iranian monsters Carter helped into power. But that was not the sum total of Reagan’s accomplishments. I would point out that it was the success of the Bush II policies in Iraq and Afghanistan that have at last emboldened the people of Lebanon to throw out the Syrians and the Iranian backed terrorists. It will be difficult to undo the disaster that was the Carter Presidency. Reagan dealt with the growing threat of Soviet Communism that Carter allowed, and as you, Flaccid, have pointed out, Bush II is dealing with Islamic terror.

The great disappointment that Flaccid faces today is that there is no civil war in Iraq. As with the predictions of 25,000 dead in New Orleans after Katrina, the disaster following the destruction of the Golden Dome did not materialize. This past week, the city of New Orleans, that the left claimed destroyed by raciest hate, celebrated its rebirth. In Iraq the people who the “nay sayers” predicted would erupt into civil war are uniting against the terrorists and building a multi-ethnic, multi-denominational democracy.

Thank God for Ralph the adults showed up to save him from the Democrats under Jack’s rule. Remember, in *Lord of the Flies*, it was Jack who used fear and lies to seize power, kill Simon and Piggy, and - with Rodger’s help - go hunting for Ralph. Flaccid’s weak attempt to create a Beast in the actions of Reagan and Bush I is easily dispelled by those of us who will walk to the top of the mountain and look fear in the face.

As always, it is knowledge of truth that is the foundation of wisdom, Socrates tried to warn Athens; Simon to save the “lost boys”. Now there are voices that call on the media, the Democrats, and their ignorant and fear driven adherents to act, not on prejudice, and fear, and political ambition, but on the facts. I add my voice to that call.

The facts presented above still stand. Flaccid’s limp assault has only proved their veracity. Carter and Clinton lead us to the brink of destruction by their politics and hollow words, Reagan and Bush II acted in defense of life, liberty, and happiness for a world turning toward rebirth. Flaccid’s fixation on “his winter of discontent” will not turn back the spring!

Anonymous said...

The "Evil Empire" that was brought down occurred because of the policy decisions of MANY DEMOCRATIC Administrations that had gone before -- Carter formulating for U.S. policy a "standing firm" in Afghanistan and subsequently standing fast to the Carter wisdom by other administrations following HIS LEADERSHIP made the Afghanistan defeat instrumental in the toppling of the "Evil Empire" -- Carter FIRST provided weapons with which to fight the Soviets!

Evil Empire part two (Revenge of the Afghanny Terrorist) was created when Senior Bush created, with his disinterest and lack of resolve, the "Failed State" of Afghanistan, by not continuing U.S. commitments and defaulting to Osama/Taliban leadership.

Reagan made the U.S. look weak to the Iranian terrorists by his inaction in the cause of the slaughtered marines MUCH MORE than Carter's patience by saving the lives of the Iranian hostages!!!!

Taking credit for the fall of the
Soviet Union is the ONLY thing remarkable about the pedestrian leadership of Ronald Reagan's administration. Other than giving the schemes of Oliver North complete White House sanction (You know the guy who said, "It takes a real genius, someone like Norman Einstein to come up with an idea like that.")and the Iran contra debacle, which set U.S. foreign policy back decades, his REAL accomplishments are "Tear down this wall, Mr. Gorbachev."-- words, words, words.

"Thank God for Ralph, the adults showed up to save him . . . "

If Lysis were to give Golding's great book more than the customary "skim" he does to the postings here at the Agora, he would learn that Ralph was NOT RESCUED by adults -- Golding wants, at least attentive readers, to realize that the horrors of the boys' island is also the horror of the whole world at war from which NO ONE can truly be RESCUED. It's called literary IRONY and Lysis missed the whole point!!!!
Am I surprised????

Bryan Hickman said...

Wow, anonymous...you really love the sight of your own prose.

I commend you for pointing out the failing of the Reagan administration when it withdrew troops after the bombing of the barracks. In addition, I must critique Lysis a little for not at least acknowledging some of the other failures of recent Republican Administrations (Bush I's decision to leave Saddam in power; Bush II's poor planning for post-invasion Iraq).

However, for you to claim that the fall of communism can be attributed in any way to any Democratic administration is foolhearty beyond belief. Foremost because, since 1968, there have only been 2 Democrats elected President, and one took office after the end of the Cold War. Simple historic fact keeps your claims from being true.

In addition, if you view history through the proper lenses, you'd find that from the end of WWII on, Democrats were extremely soft on communism. From Roosevelt's Yalta decision (aided by convicted Soviet spy Alger Hiss) to give half of post-war Europe to the Soviets, ushering in an era of tyranny far surpassing that of Nazi Germany, thereby all but negating the very reason WWII was fought. To Truman's early praise for the Soviet legal system and his condemnation Churchill's famous Iron Curtain speech (he actually offered "Uncle Joe" Stalin the opportunity to come to the US to refute the speech). Oh yeah, let's not forget that the Truman administration sat idly by while the communists took over China, allowing for the greatest genocide in modern history.
Even Democrats who openly professed to have anti-communist, pro-western beliefs (JFK, LBJ) were impotent to stop the spread of Soviet-sponsored communism into Latin America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Let's not even talk about Jimmy Carter, who has expressed nothing but admiration for the brutalist of dictators. Indeed, anyone who claims that Carter was responsible for the fall of communism is indeed a moron as the only time it even appeared to the world that the Soviets had the upper hand in the Cold War struggle was during the malaise of the Carter years.

Indeed, from circa 1950 to 1980, the United States had a stated policy of "containment" with regard to the spread of Marxist government. But every admistration, Republican and Democrat alike, presided over the expansion of communism, especially in "Third World" nations.

It was Reagan who replaced the concept of "containment" with victory. It was Reagan who finally put pressure on the Soviets to compete in the arms race and, later, negotiate on reasonable terms the elimination of arms (reasonable, in this case, meaning that, under the circumstances, the Soviets had more to lose in a continued course of mutual military build up -- a novel concept, especially given the policies of the Carter Administration). Indeed, it was Reagan who eventually made it impossible for the Soviet Union to sustain its empire, leading to the liberation of hundreds of millions of people.

If you've got an example of a Democratic President doing all that, I'd like to hear it. But, at the very least, I'd like to hear an example of how a single Democratic President contributed to the destruction of the Soviet Union (note: besides of course the crippling blow issued when Carter...gulp...boycotted the Olympics).

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

I appreciate Bryan Hickman’s history lesson. He was far more articulate than I ever could have been. Though they can be synonymous, being articulate and accurate do not necessarily go hand-in-hand. Bryan’s post, however, was an example of synonymy (rhymes with anonymy, who has recently not been very accurate), where both do go hand-in-hand.

My only critique, you post: “Reagan made the U.S. look weak to the Iranian terrorists by his inaction in the cause of the slaughtered marines MUCH MORE than Carter's patience by saving the lives of the Iranian hostages!!!!”

Amazing! One man’s “patience” is another man’s “inaction”? You crack me up. You can do better.

Lysis,

You’ve hidden in the shadows long enough! How does it feel to be on the same side of an argument as Jimmy Carter! Got to love his support of the port deal! I speak his name only in the most reverential tones! If the port deal doesn’t go through could you join with him in a push for the boycott the Bejing Olympics?

Lysis said...

Flaccid,

Your just say things like, “the policy decision of MANY DEMOCRATIC Administrations” doesn’t make those “administrations” appear. Bryan Hickman has shot that howler down for us. It was “fish in a barrel”. If Ronald Reagan made the U.S. look weak in Lebanon, he more than made up for it by real actions not by words, think Libya, think Granada, think El Salvador, think Nicaragua, think “Star Wars defense . . . Reagan regained the Western Hemisphere for Democracy. The greatest failure of Carter’s many failures is that he couldn’t even keep the Communists out of North America. Talk about your Bay of Pigs.

You can say what you want about Reagan, you cannot rewrite history to those who lived it and can read it.

As for reading, you may interpret the battleship that rescued Ralph as a metaphor for Jack’s gang hunting Ralph, but please show me where Golding ever did. The message of “Lord of the Flies” is not that “war is always evil”; “and that men are always warlike”; it is that stupid people; manipulated by ignorance, fear, and hate; are incapable of reasoned action. Only the truth can save man from himself. Your continued misrepresentation of history does not bode well for your escape from the violence of ignorance nor your interpretation of literature. Golding, who fought the Nazis, knew perfectly well what happens when there is no one to bring the rockets to bear (He commanded a rocket launching ship.) on the bullies of the world. Your post-Vietnam, all war is bad no matter what the need” is the broken glass through which you choose to interpret *The Lord of the Flies*. It is one common in Jr. High classrooms. Good luck on graduating to the real world. Your stilted view of history to support your own politics is presented in a book the rest of us read in the 8th grade, *1984*. Catch up!!!

Bryan;
I appreciate you deft handling of the miss-represented history from Flaccid’s post.

I will gladly admit that neither Bush I nor II were perfect in their actions. I was all for the removal of Saddam the first time around. I do believe that Bush I was counting on four more years in which to do that in. Clinton dropped the ball, big time. As for “poor” planning for post-invasion Iraq”; first, what plan would you have suggested. Even with 20/20 hind sight that might be a difficult call. Secondly, I suggest that even the success of D Day had to wait until after the “hedge rows”, and the Battle of the Budge.” Let victory and history have their say on Bush's efforts.

Lysis said...

Rumpole;

I’ll come out of the shadows. My reason in referencing Carter was simply to point out the flip-flopping, limp, and impotent stand of the Flaccid crew. Carter was right on this one. Just goes to show that every DOG will have his day.

Rumpole said...

Lysis,

Thanks for letting me have some fun at your expense. At least we can agree about the general nature of the DOG! As you have clearly pointed out in the topic, those who can read and think will regard Carter as being one of the worst Presidents of all time!

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here,

Lysis, My Daughter said that she enjoyed chatting with you last week. (Side issue for a proud Dad, she was accepted to Harvard this summer for their early (secondary ed) entrance program, sorry, bragging a bit)so I get to send my conservative raised think for yourself daughter into the liberal Mecca. She is excited and so am I.

While we are on the subject of liberal bias in school. Have you heard this one from Denver. Quoting from yesterday's Denver Post:

"An Overland High School teacher who criticized President Bush, capitalism and U.S. foreign policy during his geography class was placed on administrative leave Wednesday afternoon after a student who recorded the session went public with the tape.

In the 20-minute recording, made on an MP3 player, teacher Jay Bennish described capitalism as a system "at odds with human rights." He also said there were "eerie similarities" between what Bush said during his Jan. 28 State of the Union address and "things that Adolf Hitler used to say."

The United States was "probably the single most violent nation on planet Earth," Bennish also said on the tape. "


The teacher is on administrative leave. The superintendant didn't want him to be under too much stress. Still under investigation.

Anonymy, you accuse Lysis of indoctrinating students. So what is this? Patriotism?

Have a great day?

Lysis said...

Vegimatic:

Well done to your charming child. She was very pleasant at the tournament. You are perfectly within your rights to brag of her most impressive accomplishment. I am proud of you as well. I am sure she will do fine at Harvard. Keep us informed.

As for the teacher in Denver; I would, of course, support that teacher’s right to present his opinions on Capitalism, President Bush, and the war. I am confident that any student who cares, as obviously some did - enough to get him in hot water, are capable of finding the truth for themselves or from their other teacher. In a forum were truth and lies are in direct competition, the truth will out! To follow our literary metaphor – If “Simon” gets a chance to speak, reason will prevail.

Anonymous said...

Hickman:
I have given you THAT example TWICE before in my previous posts (Carter's intervention in Afghanistan) -- It's not MY fault you've chosen to not rebuttal. In fact you haven't rebuttaled ANYTHING that was posted. You've made counter CLAIMS and "bared your testimony" without the benefit of even ONE FACT about the "heroic deeds" of RR -- You probably suffer from Mullah Lysis syndrome and don't even know what a FACT IS -- No Man, that's NOT
history!!!!

Instead you post the same old tiresome "tail gunner Joe" McCarthy rhetoric about "weak Democrats", that sold well 'till Eisenhower was elected, (who himself was afraid of the McCarthy Communist witch-hunting thugs) It took the good sense of Edward R. Murrow and the TRUTH to appeal to REAL American Patriotism and GOOD SENSE and stiffle the INSANE HYSTERIA that Hickman seems so partial to resurrect now!!!!

Reagan's victories? Libya, Granada, El Salvadore, Nicaraugua? --now there is a real murderers row!!!! While RR was neglecting a MEANINFFUL victory against the SOVIETS in Afghanistan -- for which the Congress had to cajole him into action -- he was taking flights of fancy with "Star Wars" schemes that had ZERO chance of ever comming to fruition. Star Wars was ALWAYS no more than unworkable fancy, but the billions spent ON and BY Republican fat cats were VERY real. In fact, Bush the second was fixated on making it a mainstay of his new administration -- his distraction and preoccupation with rejuvinating "Star Wars" made his DISINTEREST in the forewarned "small potatoes" terrorism that was to befall on 9/11 terribly fatal. Watch and listen to Bush' indifference, being forewarned about Katrina a day before THAT disaster -- same outcome!!!! (It's newley available on the internet)

Macrocosm and Microrosm

The island of boys is a microcosm of the macrocosm world of men.

Simon does TRY to bring the truth down from the mountain (metaphor) but ALL the boys participate in his killing because of fear that HE is the beast. Microcosm

The adult world macrocosm of this is the Christ or Cassandra that pays the ultimate price for bringing others TRUTH they don't want or cannot know. (To Lysis that's GWB not Christ, if I understand his CURRENT theology)

The boys use fire to signal for help and for cooking, but end setting the whole island on fire because of HATRED. Microcosm

Lysis' "adult rescuers" are not rescuers at all, but agents of a military and waring factions that have ALSO set THEIR whole world on fire with atomic war because of hatred. The officer cannot be a rescuer because he shares an equal fate with the boys. Macrocosm and irony

The boys begin with rules and a kind of democratic, at least elected, government with Ralph as "Chief". However, Jack and the choir despoil everything because of human needs that are much more seductive than working --"hunting" and "having fun". Golding makes these "needs" in the boys, (ie; everyone) seem very primative and atavistic and, within Goldings world view, the forces that will ALWAYS destroy Government and the rule of law. For Golding and LOF the TRUTH DID NOT SET THEM FREE.

Orwell's thesis is quite the opposite -- The rule of law and powerful Government in the world of men, with the assistance of technology, will make itself ALL POWERFUL and destroy both individual rights and human dignity for power and only power for the party (no not Democratic party nor Republican neither).

I alluded to LOF because I saw it as a precursor for a society that finds it "fun to vote", but then finds it too hard to work for a Democracy of rules that has to survive over the long haul. "Nation building it like Orchid building" -George Will

Sometimes I agree with Golding sometimes with Orwell -- right now, mostly with Orwell!!!!

Veg:
Congratualations to your daughter -- not every nut falls close to the oak -- I guess.

Lysis -- please find the direct quote where I contend "All war is bad no matter what the need."

You know, if you keep making things up, people will continue to call you a liar!!!!

Lysis said...

Flaccid, it is only too obvious you get all your thoughts from the movies. Ed Murrow and Macarthy are up for an Oscar isn’t it? You and Hollywood do fine at making things up to fit your agenda, just not the truth.

Don’t take to much credit to yourself. My “”All war is bad no matter what the need” comment was revelatory of the general group of misinterpretors of *Lord of the Flies* to which your shallow posting subscribed. That you believe that ““primitive” forces always destroy government,” (that is a direct quote) shows you lack of hope, or your political agenda; not any grasp on either literature or reality. I predict on a safe homecoming for Ralph and crew – with only two casualties. Your inability to tell the difference between “might makes right” and “might for right” ought to send you back to the movies.

Orwell predicts the rule of ignorance and terror – not of Law. When Winston loses hope and subscribes to the relativism of Big Brother’s world – then he is lost. Neither Orwell nor Golding prophesied accurately – no true prophet there. Thanks to Ronald Ragan we ducked Big Brother; Bush will save us from Jack and Rodger.

Flaccid, for you I suggest a “re-watch” of Lord of the Flies. It might put some starch in your limpness. This time, get the classis “black and white” form 1963. It’s closer to the book the rest of us read than the Hollywood version you seem to prefer.

Strategos said...

Let me first comment on our Lord of the flies analogy. Anonymous is wrong if he believes that war is inevitable because people are warlike he is even more wrong if he thinks that was Golding’s message. The book is full of non-war like people, Ralf represents the democratic compassionate leaders of the free world, Simon represents the religious leadership, only Jack, with his lust for power is war like.
Jack only succeeds because he sways the masses with fear and food. Goldberg presents instance after instance where war could have been avoided if the good people had stood up, faced their fears, forgotten their hunger, or known the truth. Golding’s message is that war is childish, brought on not by human nature but by fear, and lust for power, and that war can't be avoided by ignoring the threat. The solution to war is not passivism and anti-war protests, but truth, and good people seeking out the truth.
This latest blog has been filled with posts blaming democrats for this, republicans for that, it’s all just fluff. First of all with our constantly changing and diverse system of government it is naïve to blame all of the worlds problems on any one person, administration, or party. Secondly drawing a line between parties is difficult enough today, if we try to draw it through the past it will be a completely crooked if not incoherent. Lastly blaming ex-pressidents will solve none of our problems today.

Both sides of the argument seem to favor action as apposed to inaction.
Let us draw the line right now between those who will act and those who will not.

The division is the same as it was before WWII let us draw the line between the Isolationists and the Activists. Let us divide those who will help make the world safe and those who will not, between those who would cover their eyes and ears to the danger of dictators and the oppression of peoples, and those who will come to the aide of our oppressed brothers and sisters.
I am not partisan enough to pretend that this line will run directly between Republicans and Democrats. From their posts Lysis is obviously on the side of action anonymous is often on the side of action (though he supports those who are not.) From their histories, Bush is and has remained resolutely on the side of action; Clinton, Kerry, and France have all been on the isolationist side.

Bryan Hickman said...

As I don't have time to respond in depth at the moment, I'll say this...Anonymous should probably not rely on George Clooney for your historic accounts.

I didn't say anything about McCarthy...and, oddly enough, neither did Murrow until basically the entire media establishment had already openly criticized the McCarthy investigations. Murrow was, in fact, one of the last to chime in on the matter. Honestly, Clooney's depiction of the Murrow story has about as much to do with reality as his portrayal of Batman.

Of course, my actual examples of Democratic weakness went unanswered (FDR at Yalter, Truman and China, LBJ and Vietnam). The only example you gave was Carter "standing strong" against the Soviets in Afghanistan. This seems odd as the Soviets remained in Afghanistan until 1989...so, I'm not sure how you can say Carter "won the Cold War" there...but, it's a nice thought.

Anonymous said...

No, I haven't seen the recent movie about Edward R. Murrow, but I hear it is excellent. I hope it is accurate to the HISTORICAL FACTS from which I based MY account of the Joe McCarthy debacle.

Again, I find much ridicule of the arguments, but not a peep about how they are wrong -- OBVIOUSLY because they are not!!!!

Lysis chooses to "piggy-back" onto the Hickman ridicule by attacking, not my account of the novel, but my "video illusions/delusions" -- of course, he/they know NOTHING about what I've seen or read.

Strategos:
I very plainly DID NOT suggest nor agree with the idea that "war is inevitable because people are warlike" -- that was a Lysis misrepresentation which I corrected in my last posting -- did you read THAT????

Jack provides MEAT. There is plenty of OTHER food on the island.
Why would ALL of the boys be so attracted to MEAT? Might it have something to do with the atavism of tribal hunting and killing that calls very INSTINCTIVELY in ALL MEN -- even the very civilized ones. Please re-read the chapters "Huts of the Beach" and "Painted faces and Long Hair" and deny Goldings description of the atavistic degeneration of the boys.

"Only Jack is warlike"???? Does Ralph ever hunt? Do Ralph and Piggy help KILL Simon? And what about the MOST evil and degenerate Roger? Please explain the Chapter "Gift for the Darkness" (that is not depicted very accurately in the '63 version, Lysis)

Lysis:
"I predict a safe home-coming for Ralph" is not consistent with ANY Golding thesis in the novel -- it's just dumb and you know it is!!!! Where did you find the Republican "Politically Correct" parody of the novel anyway????

Lysis tries to infer something about my politics because I allude to "LOF" and "1984"? That's just dumb too!!!!

Anonymous said...

Murrow's love of common America led him to seek out stories of ordinary people. He presented these stories in such a way that they often became powerful commentaries on political or social issues. SEE IT NOW consistently broke new ground in the burgeoning field of television journalism. In 1953, Murrow made the decision to investigate the case of Milo Radulovich. Radulovich had been discharged from the Air Force on the grounds that his mother and sister were communist sympathizers. The program outlined the elements of the case, casting doubt of the Air Force's decision, and within a short while Milo Radulovich had been reinstated. This one edition of SEE IT NOW marked a CHANGE in the face of American journalism and a NEW AGE IN AMERICAN POLITICS. (which prety much gives the LIE to Hickman's account of Murrow bandwagoning onto the "Red scare"/McCarthy issue -- it's just the FACTS Hickman, just the FACTS)

Soon after the Milo Radulovich program aired, it was learned that Senator Joseph McCarthy was preparing an ATTACK ON MURROW!!!! As it happened, Murrow himself had been collecting material about McCarthy and his Senate Investigation Committee for several years, and he began assembling the program. Broadcast on March 9. 1954, (let's celebrate the anniversary, OK Hickman?) the program, composed almost entirely of McCarthy's own words and pictures, was a damning portrait of a FANATIC. The combination of the program's timing and its persuasive powere broke Senator
McCarthy's hold over the nation. Perhaps more than any reporter before or since, Murrow captured the trust and belief of a nation and returned that trust with honesty and courage. His belief in journalism as an active part of the political process and a necessary tool within democracy has forever altered the politics and everyday life of the American people!!!!

Though, it took me a long while to figure out who George Clooney was . . . .

Strategos said...

Anonymous:

You may want to consider that the reason you are constantly being misunderstood is that your post are incoherent and inconsistent, or I guess you could stick with the "everyone is stupid but me!” Hypothesis. (Though that frame of mind didn’t work well for John Kerry.)

Let me try to piece some things together. Correct me if I’m wrong (Though I’m sure you’ll correct me even if I’m right.) You originally presented the Lord of the Flies analogy to support your claim that civil war in Iraq is inevitable, or at least probable.

“In William Golding's novel "Lord of The Flies" the very first thing all of the desperate, frightened boys did was VOTE -- then shortly they all became victims in a CIVIL WAR”

That’s a direct quote though I did correct your spelling.

Then in your most recent post you affirm your argument that all the children are war like.


Only Jack is warlike"???? Does Ralph ever hunt? Do Ralph and Piggy help KILL Simon? And what about the MOST evil and degenerate Roger?

If your point is not “War is inevitable because all people are warlike,” Then what is your point and how does it relate to Iraq.

My point is that only Jack is innately war like. In the case of Ralf, I do not equate hunting to war. All the children take part in the murder of Simon not because they are war like but because they are scared and fall victim to the Jack's hype and indoctrination, Ralf, Piggy, the twins, and most of the other boys feel remorse as soon as day comes. Analogy may be drawn to the otherwise peaceful Germans, Italians, Russians, Japanese, committed atrocities under Dictators before and during world war two, or more relevantly to the Iraqis who committed atrocities under Sadam and now in the day of democracy can begin to change and feel remorse. Jack immediately has to tell the children that they did not kill Simon, (that Sadam was not so bad.) otherwise there innate humanity would have driven them to repentance. Surely if Ralf had had the force of the American military behind him he could have over thrown Jack, exposed the murder of Simon, and saved even Roger from becoming a monster.

The adults do save Ralf and his Friends, as soon as they show up the war is over, Ralf is instantly the true leader, Jack is a child in a torn choirboy’s cap, and they can all begin to look at the inhumanity of past actions.
You’re right it is ironic that the adults continue in the same childish state they saved the children from, but thanks to people like Golding, we can begin to act like adults, save ourselves, and realize that War is avoidable, people like Jack, Sadam, Hitler, Stalin, can be overthrown, peace can be achieved in the middle east.

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

So now you admit that you haven’t even gotten you talking points from watching a movie, but from what your spin-masters in the media have told you was in the movie.

I have not countered your McCarthy comments because they were not arguments. Your claim that our pointing out that Democrats are weak is “McCarthy Communist witch-hunting”. Bryan and I have given many proofs that Democrats were weak; particularly Carter and Clinton. We have demonstrated the terrible consequences of that weakness and pointed how Reagan and now Bush II have had to deal with the misgoverance of the previous Democrat Administrations. We have provided plenty of facts; you retort by squealing McCarthyism and quote from your sources in Hollywood. McCarty was taken down by Vice President Richard Nixon, not Ed Murrow; while Bobby Kennedy worked for McCarthy. Go figure!! You can call presenting the facts INSANE HYSTERIA if you choose, but that does not change those facts. It does not remove your reliance on talking points; not from history you don’t know; but from movies you haven’t even watched.

McCarthy went too far – he was wrong to unjustly “become” what he justly despised, but that doesn’t change the FACT that Communism killed more people that any other “ism” in history. I does not change the FACT that Communism needed to be fought, and that the long suffering of the Cold War was worth it. Nor does it deny the fact that “leftists” defended the atrocities of Communism by screaming McCarthyism when there was no unjust action being taken, and continue to do so in an attempt to sully just criticism of their hurtful anti - Bush/pro - terrorist propaganda.

Srtategos explained *Lord of the Flies* in a way that all who have read it can understand. Piggy and Ralph’s actions on the beach are testimony to the danger of fear, but in the light of day they felt guilt for the murder of innocence. Piggy died and Ralph was hunted for their defiance of Jack’s irrational lies and Roger’s terrorist power.

Saddam “Jack” Hussein hunted 400,000 innocents to their deaths in order to maintain his rule of the tribe. The adults have put him in the brig. Today, in Iraq, innocent people are hunted and murdered by the terrorist, whose only hope at power is ignorance and fear. To have left Iraq to “die on the beach” would have been folly indeed.

Flaccid goes on misrepresenting Golding, misrepresenting Bush, misrepresenting the goals and successes of the War on Terror and the liberation of Iraq, and sharpening his stick at both ends. It’s still limp!

Lysis said...

Good job Strategos: wouldn’t it be amazing if Flaccid could get past his “Cliffs’ Notes” analysis of *Lord of the Flies* and actually read the book in the contest of the world in which Golding wrote it. I enjoyed your ability to draw strong connections between the universal truths Golding presents and the truths of history and of current events.

How about it Flaccid? Can you come up with equally as powerful, and cogent applications to your position, (Strategos has already blown your first attempt and application out of the water) or do you have to wait for the next George Clooney movie to get some talking points?

P.S. to Strategos – please feel free to correct my spelling.

Anonymous said...

Strat:
"Your claim that civil war in Iraq is inevitable or at least probable."

Yes, I feel a solution to religious dissension in that part of the world is like trying to square the circle; it will sooner or later unresolve the best "democratic" impulses. I am not rooting for religious dissension, I just think THERE it's the nature of the "beast".

However, when I originally alluded to LOF, I meant to ONLY ONLY ONLY point out the similarity of "the toy of voting" (Golding's words)that seemed so natural and innocent to the boys and the FAR MORE BURDENSOME responsibilities, work and faith that must exist to make a Democracy workable. When the choir(army) gets to hunt and "have fun" with Jack, while Ralph is left having to enforce rules(laws) and build shelters(the real nuts and bolts of Democracy), Golding reveals to the reader that one vote, or a series of votes, does not a Democracy make -- not for the boys, nor for Iraq either.

Overall, I think, Golding wants to look at this process as a continual attrition for any Democracy. I do not know if I agree with THAT thesis, but the "Jack" problem will ALWAYS be a struggle for Democracy.

Bush has pointed out that 11 million Iraqies voted, and to him and Lysis that seems to justify the sacrifice. However, I agree with George Will's quote that Nation building is like orchid building -- what does it mean when Hamas is elected to run a Democratic state????

To extend the literary analogy to find a Kerry/Jack or Bush /Ralph behind every partisan metaphor YOU CAN FABRICATE is an entertainment you and Lysis must have ALL to yourselves.

I was at the Bookshelf once and two customers were nearly at blows arguing whether Batman or the Silver Surfer would win a battle to the death . . . ugh!!!!

Anonymous said...

Lysis:
Why do you need Stats help with your spelling? I've noticed that you spell "Ralph" perfectly!!!!

Anonymous said...

Lysis:
Now I am "Pro terrorist"???? -- I wonder that you do not feel "guilt" for all your lies. What a simple minded world you live in -- Bush equals Good -- EVERYTHING and ANYTHING else equals PRO TERRORIST. I am having to add more and more to the pseudonym Sir flatulence Mullah McCarthy Lysis!!!!

Strategos said...

Lysis I’m always happy to correct your spelling and I am just as happy to be corrected by others.

Anonymous I am happy to correct you arguments, and to have my arguments corrected by others.

Now that Anonymous has backed off his absurd position we can leave Golding to the English majors. For the record I never compared Jack to Kerry (Kerry lacks the charisma leadership.)

I had an interesting discussion with my Anthropology professor she claimed that we could not bring democracy to the Middle East because the people prefer to live under and oppressive religious theocracy. I simply reminded her that democracy is the only governmental system that allow people to live under an oppressive religious theocracy if they want, while people in the same country can be liberal and go to college and believe in Christ or be atheists, all without killing people. Look at Utah half of the people live under a Totalitarian theocracy, but I have no fear that a civil war will break out between Mormons and Liberal professors. Democracy is not only a possibility for the Middle East it’s their only hope.

Rumpole said...

Strategos,

I have greatly enjoyed your recent posts. Much of what you have written seems to be reasoned and well-thought. I do have a few questions. If I may . . .

You post: “This latest blog has been filled with posts blaming democrats for this, republicans for that, it’s all just fluff. First of all with our constantly changing and diverse system of government it is naïve to blame all of the world’s problems on any one person, administration, or party. Secondly drawing a line between parties is difficult enough today, if we try to draw it through the past it will be a completely crooked if not incoherent. Lastly blaming ex-presidents will solve none of our problems today.”

In my estimation, tracing a problem to its root is critical in gaining a complete understanding of that problem, and hence, the best opportunity for a solution to that problem. We do not trace to that root to “lay blame”. Rather we trace to comprehend. Perhaps we can agree that defining the root in a partisan manner is counter-productive; nevertheless, the problem is more clearly understood when its root is defined. That definition better positions for positive resolve.

I will tell you that when it comes to President Carter I do have trouble separating my emotions in that process. As I posted to Lysis: “As you have clearly pointed out in the topic, those who can read and think will regard Carter as being one of the worst Presidents of all time!”

If I may illustrate the importance of “tracing”, the Anonymy’s failure to recognize the root of the problem of modern terrorism against America is telling. During his administration, Jimmy Carter demonstrated great weakness with his handling of Iran. That weakness emboldened the terrorists. His attempt at “patience”, or diplomacy, whichever you prefer, was a miserable failure. He, as the Anonymy, lacked a clear understanding of the enemy.

In my estimation, history bears out this thesis. Diplomacy and negotiation only served to embolden our current enemy. That forced President Bush into the position of having to act forcefully and decisively.

Could we have come to this conclusion without history? Yes, we probably could have. But President Carter didn’t. President Clinton didn’t. President Clinton had Bin Laden offered to him and he turned away. Both are “ex-presidents” who are representative of the modern Democratic Party. At the risk of sounding partisan, is it, therefore, “fluff” to lay these problems at the feet of the Democrats?

By doing so are we saying, in the immortal words of Veg., "na na boo boo", and then we feel better? No! What we have done is raise awareness so that we won't make the same mistakes again!

I must also disagree in that it is NOT difficult to “draw a line between parties” either now or in the last 25 years. Especially on issues of defense, there is a clear line between Republicans and Democrats. Perhaps we could agree the shades are grayed when considering economic issues (I threw that in to get Lysis going), but I see it as black and white when considering national security.

On another subject, could you expand on your comment that in Utah “half the people live under a Totalitarian theocracy?”

Enough for now! The Republicans-who-would-be-Olympians want to watch a movie, and the Littlest Republican tells me it’s “pudding time”. You are right, Lysis, we are wealthy beyond measure!

Lysis said...

Flaccid, (Anonymous) I have aspirations in art, and though I have not yet mastered anything; I have learned that in order to present a three dimensional view, one must learn to square the circle. Our discussion here attempts that, and I am grateful for your contribution to this demanding task.

We pray, of course, that there will be no civil war in Iraq. That the “worst” effort of al Qaeda has not yet brought on the configuration in which they must place all their hope, is heartening. America is once again the beacon to the world on this. As Strategos has pointed out, in this nation, in this state of Utah, powerful – even fanatical- - religious fervor can coexist with a plethora of opposing positions without destroying the nation. I believe that this is the “natural” state of man. Beelzebub (The Lord of the Flies for our non-readers) is a force without, not within man.

As to your comment on “the toy of voting” presented in Lord of the Flies; the majority “naturally” chose right, it was only ignorance, fear, and ambition for power that turned “paradise” into hell. What we must do is help “Simon”. I am pleased to see that the U.S. military continues to pay for positive news stories to be printed in Iraqi news papers. These stories are true, but those who will benefit from the failure of Iraq – terrorists, the American mainstream media, the Democrat party, - do not want the truth out there. They plot and scheme to kill “Simon” before he can deliver his message. If we would be worthy friends to Ralf, we must climb to the mountain top and counter the lies with the truth.

Anonymous, I have greater faith in Democracy than you, or than you claim Golding does. I am glad to see that you “do not know” if you agree with that thesis. I agree with you that there is ALWAYS a struggle for Democracy. “Jack” can only be dealt with by Reason and Truth.

I did not call you a “Pro-terrorist”. What I said was: “leftists defended the atrocities of Communism by screaming McCarthyism when there was no unjust action being taken, and continue to do so in an attempt to sully just criticism of their hurtful anti-Bush/pro – terrorist propaganda.” Anonymous, if you recognize yourself in that description, so be it.

Strategos,

Your Anthropology professor is typical of many in the University world who substitute their agenda for their responsibility. Democracy may not be the only system that allows people freedom of religion. The ancient Romans were actually very good at that. (Christians and Jews who sought to subvert the empire eventually became exceptions to an otherwise tolerant and successful system). What is hopeful in democracy is its propensity to allow the goodness in the natural man to come to the fore. But this can only be done if the truth is made available. One of the great truths in the *Lord of the Flies* is that people can only be saved from tyranny by knowledge.

Rumpole;

I also believe that an understanding of history is essential to understanding the present. It is the knowledge that keeps us safe from the “Jacks” of the world. That is the “reason” for studying history I always give my students. What I think we must learn from Carter’s abominable failure, from Clinton’s impotency, is that theirs is not the way to freedom. The example of Reagan and Bush are instructive, in that they show how “long wars” can be won.

I am not completely against diplomacy, especially as practiced by Reagan and Bush II. What the Democrats in this country must “remember” is that if international diplomacy is to succeed, partisanship must stop at the boarder. What is painful to see is the alliance between al Qaeda and the anti-Bush mob in America. Bin Laden’s only hope remains in getting another Clinton, (actually or effectually) into the White House. To hear Nancy Poloci and al Zawahiri quote each other in “press releases” is shocking.

I feel the Democrats have chosen to make this link; they, like the partisans who executed the Generals in Athens, have put their power before their country. This was indeed the message of this web-posting. Thanks, Rumpole, for bringing us back to it.

Rumpole said...

Lysis,

You post: “I am not completely against diplomacy, especially as practiced by Reagan and Bush II. What the Democrats in this country must “remember” is that if international diplomacy is to succeed, partisanship must stop at the boarder.”

I am also not completely against diplomacy. Nixon did great things through his dialogue with China: Regan wisely kept communications open with Gorbachav (sp); additionally, I think it was Bush 41 that was phenomenally successful in conversation with Sadat.

However, with our current enemy, an enemy that uses terror perpetrated on innocents, there is no negotiation, and there is no diplomacy. I would suggest that this is an enemy sworn to destroy us, independent of any agreement that may be proposed at the “table”. The sooner we all recognize that the sooner this nasty business can be completed.