Sunday, November 25, 2007


Somehow, I'm on the President's Office's Jewish Public Liason mailing list. Now usually, I don't bother reading it, but this time I did. It was about the Annapolis Conference, scheduled to take place this coming week. Other than a perfunctory introductory and and closing paragraph, this is what the letter said:

This conference will signal international support for the Israelis' and Palestinians' intention to commence negotiations on the establishment of a Palestinian state and the realization of peace between these two peoples.

It will also provide an opportunity for the Israelis, the Palestinians, and their neighbors to recommit to implementing the Roadmap, with the U.S. monitoring their progress by the parties' agreement. Finally, the conference will review Palestinian plans to build the institutions of a democratic state and their preparations for next month's donors' conference in Paris.

I remain personally committed to implementing my vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security.

This, I thought, fit in perfectly with last week's rant. See, Bush is "personally committed" to the "vision of two democratic states, Israel and Palestine." How nice for him, since he's not the one who has to live with the neighbors.

Once again, we're dealing with a country; an administration; a President who just don't get it. You simply cannot make peace with people who just want you dead.

Ironically, I'm watching the movie The Siege, and one of the characters, the terrorist Samir, has just explained that, "You believe that money is power. What you don't realize is that belief.. belief is power." Yes, that's the crux of everything I've been trying to say. What we don't understand is that belief is power. Belief... religious fervor. American's have largely lost their ability to truly believe in anything. So they no longer really understand what that sort of belief can do. I would have thought that, after 911, they would have begun to figure it out, but they haven't.

God save us.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Real Americans and The War - A Rant

This evening, I was listening to WCBM (AM 680). I don't remember the name of the host, but he was talking to some families of soldiers who have died during the war. He then went on this mini-rant about how sick he is of all the war protesters, sitting in their BMWs, and bad talking his country. He said that his next guest was another "Real American," like the previous caller, and that he wanted us to all hear from Real Americans.

Now please forgive me, but I thought that one of the things that make us "Americans" is that we can say things against the government. So, kind of by definition, the folks who protest are Real Americans, right? It really bothers me that some people on the Far Right seem to have forgotten that it's our liberties that make us what we are! Let's not become a dictatorship, in the interest of preserving our American way of life, shall we?

And as long as I'm on the topic, I want to tell you that I am personally against the war - but probably not for the same reasons most people are. I am against the war because I don't believe we can win it - at least not right now. I am against the war because I don't think we truly understand our enemy, and until we do; until we're willing to do what is really necessary to beat the enemy, we are doomed to failure.

The Muslims understand the situation far better than we do. They say this is a war against Islam itself, and their fight against us is a Defensive Jihad. They are fighting a holy war; a war with (in their eyes) God backing them up. Any brutality they commit, or lies they tell in defense of Islam is sanctioned by God. And they are very willing to commit those brutalities, as Muhammed himself had no problem committing what we would, today, term atrocities, in service of his beliefs. They will behead our soldiers, as Muhammed beheaded his enemies, and as he sanctioned in the Quran. They commit acts of terror because they know that Muhammed himself committed them. They know that committing such acts will psychologically weaken us and our resolve. They believe us to be an enormous paper tiger, and at the moment, I fear they may be right.

I don't mean that as a slam against our service men and women, who daily put their lives on the line in service of our country. They have heart and ability, but they are hampered by political realities at home. People here have no stomach for having soldiers beheaded, so they protest against the government. They insist that the soldiers be brought home now, as if that were possible or even really desirable. They elect weak-willed representatives, who also don't understand the nature of the enemy or the war we're fighting, and make it hard for our soldiers to do their jobs. They think that cutting funding to the soldiers will make us bring them home sooner, but the reality is that it just results in more soldiers dying, which, frankly, also serves their cause.

So what should we do about it? I say we bring the mountain to Muhammed, as it were. Let's take the gloves off and show them what it really means to pick a fight with us... That's what I think we should do, but the Pentagon hasn't called me for advice yet.