Thursday, March 31, 2016

This Civilized World of Ours

DDGD March 31, 2016

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Today’s Post is brought to you by…  The Cabal of Krakens’ Releasers: To clarify “We just release them. We don’t tame them.”

Featured Quote

The Maté Monologue: “When I was in college, I read a lot of Argentinian literature.  And I am proud to announce that I just tried maté for the first time.  (Laughter.)  Because when I was in college, I would ready Borges or Cortázar -- these people, and they were drinking maté.  And I didn't know what this was.” --Obama in Buenos Aires

The Delirica

Outreach Not Apologies: No, Muslims should not apologize for what terrorists are doing in the name of Islam. What they should do, however, that is, if they truly believe that these terrorists are hijacking their faith, twisting its teachings, misrepresenting it globally, and are using the vulnerabilities of some young men and women to swell their ranks and carry out attacks, and considering the facts that these terrorists pose more threats to Muslims worldwide, as individuals, communities and countries, is to shoulder the primary responsibility of the ongoing fight against these terrorists, at least as far as internal awareness-raising is concerned. Regular practicing Muslims, not governments, Muslim or non-Muslim, should help fund and conduct campaigns against extremism, explaining what’s wrong with extremist beliefs, warning against the machinations of extremist proselytizers, launching outreach programs to help families and individuals dealing who see be embracing extremist beliefs.

The Daily Delirynth

Oh Vladdie, oh Vladda, oh Vladda, aaah, the Occupation goes on! It was a premature… announcement, it seems. There was indeed no Russian withdrawal from Syria. The country does continue to wallow under the occupation of Russian forces, Iranian forces and fighters from 86 countries, playing for the Assad team or the Islamic State. But don’t take my word for it:

I'mfrom Palmyra, and I can tell you after what I've seen that the Assad regime isno better than Isis

Meanwhile, there are those who are currently arguing that because Russia and Assad have managed to “liberate” Palmyra from IS, then, Russia and Assad must have really been fighting IS all along. These are the same people who argued, when Al-Qaeda finally made its appearance on the Syrian scene, that Assad must have been right all along when he said that the babies and civilians he was bombing were actually terrorists affiliated with Al-Qaeda. This is also the same logic used by President Obama himself and his Realist advisers, namely that because Syria turned into a quagmire, then, they must have been right about choosing not to intervene all along. But, and as Tom Nichols argues here “The situation in Syria today is not a vindication of President Obama’s decision, it is the result of that decision.” But some people, these days tend to confuse cause and effects, because it is convenient and beneficial.

Because, you know, no one in his right mind would argue that, because the Syrian refugees depicted below having some fun along the Greek-Macedonian borders, seem to be indeed having fun, then, all is right with them and nothing horrific has happened in their lives. Or would they?

Neo-conservativism in a Nutshell: I don’t care about neo-conservatism. But I find it strange to see a Realist mocking it when Realism has delivered results that are even more disastrous than anything the Neo-Cons did. Neo-Cons did fuck up big time, but they also tried to own up to it, in deeds if not in words, - and pray what politician would own up to anything in words! But realists fucked up by proxy, by letting the dogs loose and sitting on the sidelines pretending it’s none of their business. Meanwhile some idiots in the Far Left think that the end of capitalism and imperialism is coming while singing the praises of Assad, Putin, Rouhani and Castro, and still blaming America for all the vile things in this world.

Anyway, perhaps, it’s about time we set the record straight about the difference between Neo-conservatism and Realism.

Neo-conservatism according to Jim Lobe
Realism according to me
A Manichean view of a world in which good and evil are constantly at war and the United States has an obligation to lead forces for good around the globe.
A worldview that’s so complicated that, at end of the day, good and evil becomes totally indistinguishable, hence irrelevant, thus absolving the United States and its leaders from having to give a fuck about other peoples.
A belief in the moral exceptionalism of both the United States and Israel and the absolute moral necessity for the U.S. to defend Israel’s security.
A belief in moral relativism that ends up equating the United States with an Iran, a Russia and a Cuba, thinks Israel sucks, but has no idea what to do with the Palestinians except smile at them every now and then in an insincere show of sympathy.
A conviction that, in order to keep evil at bay, the United States must have—and be willing to exercise—the military power necessary to defeat any and all challengers. There’s a corollary: force is the only language that evil understands.
A conviction that considers use of military force to be an expensive proposition, and as such, the United States should pick where and when to intervene on the basis of financial costs involved not strategic interests. There’s a corollary: if fighting a certain treat calls for an expensive intervention, then, the threat is minimal an can be safely ignored.
The 1930s—with Munich, appeasement, Chamberlain, Churchill—taught us everything we need to know about evil and how to fight it.
There is absolutely nothing in history that can ever teach us anything, because we are simply too smart and omniscient to have to learn anything.
Democracy is generally desirable, but it always depends on who wins.
Democracy is a completely irrelevant consideration, and who really care who wins outside these hallowed borders.

Tweet(s) of the Day

Syrian Cartoonist Ali Ferzat's take on the Syrian Parliament 

Featured Video(s)

Warni Warni: The Economist: Omar Souleyman, not a debaser but an Arab conduit to the West. “Mr Souleyman may be far from the cultural ambassador most Syrians had in mind for their most successful musical export. Yet his “cool” status can be more than just a fad. It represents an opening of musical trade routes between two often discordant sides of the world.

Cartoons: The Cauldron

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