Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stratfor: The Emerging Obama Foreign Policy

This post was written by Stratfor, a geopolitical strategic planning think tank. I enjoy their reports, and use the data provided, for analysis.

By Rodger Baker
February 16, 2009 | 1913 GMT

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is making her first official overseas visit, with scheduled stops in Tokyo; Jakarta, Indonesia; Seoul, South Korea; and Beijing. The choice of Asia as her first destination is intended to signal a more global focus for U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration, as opposed to the heavy emphasis on the Middle East and South Asia seen in the last years of the Bush administration. It also represents the kickoff of an ambitious travel plan that will see Clinton visiting numerous countries across the globe in a bid to project the image of a more cooperative U.S. administration.

Clinton’s Asian expedition is not the first overseas visit by a key member of the new administration. Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Germany for the Munich Security Conference, where he faced the Russians. Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell has finished his first trip to his area of responsibility, and is already planning a return visit to the Middle East. And Richard Holbrooke, special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, has visited both South Asian countries in addition to making a “listening” stop in India.

The Emergence of a New Foreign Policy



As with any new U.S. presidency, there will be a period of reshaping policy, of setting priorities, and of balancing internal differences within the Obama administration. The various individuals and visits cataloged above in part reflect the Obama administration’s emerging foreign policy.

A two-pronged Obama foreign policy approach is unfolding. The first prong, relating to the general tenor of foreign relations, involves a modern application of the “speak softly and carry a big stick” approach. The second prong, relating to the distribution of power within the administration, involves a centralization of foreign policy centering on a stronger and expanded National Security Council (NSC) and relies on special envoys for crisis areas, leaving the secretary of state to shape foreign perceptions rather than policy.

The Obama administration faced mixed expectations as it came into office. Perhaps the most far-reaching expectation on the international front was the idea that the Obama administration would somehow be the antithesis of the previous Bush administration. Whereas Bush often was portrayed as a unilateralist “cowboy,” constantly confronting others and never listening to allies (much less competitors), it was thought that Obama somehow would remake America into a nation that withheld its military power and instead confronted international relations via consultations and cooperation. In essence, the Bush administration was seen as aggressive and unwilling to listen, while an Obama administration was expected to be more easily shaped and manipulated.

Anticipation of a weaker administration created a challenge for Obama from the start. While many of his supporters saw him as the anti-Bush, the new president had no intention of shifting America to a second-tier position or making the United States isolationist. Obama’s focus on reducing U.S. forces in Iraq and the discussions during Clinton’s confirmation hearing of reducing the military’s role in reconstruction operations did not reflect an anti-military bias or even new ideas, but something Defense Secretary Robert Gates had advocated for under former U.S. President George W. Bush. A reshaping of the U.S. military will in fact take place over the course of Obama’s term in office. But the decision to reduce the U.S. military presence in Iraq is not unique to this administration; it is merely a recognition of the reality of the limitations of military resources.

Diplomacy and Military Power



The new administration has applied this decision as the basis of a strategy to refocus the military on its core competencies and rebuild the military’s strength and readiness, using that as the strong and stable framework from which to pursue an apparently more cooperative foreign policy. U.S. diplomatic power needs a strong military, and operations in Iraq have drained U.S. military power — something highlighted by the U.S. inability to act on its policies when the Russians moved in on Georgia.

It is not only U.S. political power that is reinforced by military power, but U.S. economic strength as well. Control of the world’s sea-lanes — and increasingly, control of outer space — is what ensures the security of U.S. economic links abroad. In theory, the United States can thus interdict competitors’ supply lines and economic ties while protecting its own.

Despite globalization and greater economic ties, physical power still remains the strongest backer to diplomacy. Ideology alone will not change the world, much less the actions of so-called rogue states or even pirates along the Somali coast. The first principle of Obama’s foreign policy, then, will be making sure it has big stick to carry, one freed from long-term reconstruction commitments or seemingly intractable situations such as Iraq. Only with an available and effective military can one afford to speak softly without being trod upon.

Rebuilding U.S. military readiness and strength is not going to be easy. Iraq and Afghanistan remain to be taken care of, and there are years of heavy activity and at times declining recruitment to recover from. While there are substantial benefits to a battle-hardened military accustomed to a high deployment tempo, this also has its costs — reset costs will be high. A very real domestic military shake-up looms on the one- to two-year horizon in order to bring the Pentagon back into line with fiscal and procurement realities, coupled with concerns about midlevel officer retention. But the Pentagon’s thinking and strategic guidance already have moved toward cooperative security and toward working more closely with allies and partners to stabilize and manage the global security environment, with an emphasis on requiring foreign participation and burden-sharing.

A Greater Security Role for Allies and a Centralized Foreign Policy



Obama will also work on managing the U.S. image abroad. Opposition to Bush and opposition to the war in Iraq often became synonymous internationally, evolving intentionally or otherwise into broader anti-war and anti-military sentiments. Rebuilding the military’s image internationally will not happen overnight. Part of the process will involve using the sense of change inherent in any new U.S. administration to push allies and others to take on a greater role in global security.

In Asia, for example, Clinton will call on Tokyo and Seoul to step up operations in Afghanistan, particularly in reconstruction and development efforts. But Tokyo and Seoul also will be called on to take a greater role in regional security — Seoul on the Korean Peninsula and Tokyo as a more active military ally overall. The same message will be sent to Europe and elsewhere: If you want a multilateral United States, you will have to take up the slack and participate in multilateral operations. The multilateral mantra will not be one in which the United States does what others say, but rather one in which the United States holds others to the task. In the end, this will reduce U.S. commitments abroad, allowing the military to refocus on its core competencies and rebuild its strength.

A strong military thus forms the foundation of any foreign policy. Obama’s foreign policy approach is largely centralized in a bid for a wider approach. Taking China as an example, for the last half-dozen years, U.S. policy on China was based almost entirely on economics. The U.S. Treasury Department took the lead in China relations, while other issues — everything from Chinese military developments to Beijing’s growing presence in Africa and Latin America to human rights — took a back seat. While the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue (or something similar) will remain a major pillar of U.S.-China relations under Obama, equally important parallel tracks will focus on military and security issues, nontraditional threats, politics and human rights. This multifaceted approach will require close cooperation among numerous departments and divisions to avoid the chaos seen in things like U.S. policy on North Korea.

This coordination will take place in an expanded NSC, one that brings in the economic elements on equal footing with security and political concerns. Combined with the appointment of special envoys for critical regions, this is intended to ensure a more unified and complete approach to foreign policy. This way, Obama retains oversight over policy, while his erstwhile rival Clinton is just one voice at the table. The State Department’s role thus becomes more about image management and development.

Accordingly, Clinton’s foreign travels are less about shaping foreign policy than shaping foreign images of the United States. She is demonstrating the new consultative nature of the administration by going everywhere and listening to everyone. Meanwhile, the hard-hitting foreign policy initiatives go to the special envoys, who can dedicate their time and energy to just one topic. Holbrooke got South Asia, Mitchell got the Middle East, and there are indications that managing overall China strategy will fall to Biden, at least in the near term.

Other special envoys and special representatives might emerge, some technically reporting through the State Department, others to other departments, but all effectively reporting back to the NSC and the president. In theory, this will mitigate the kind of bickering between the State Department and NSC that characterized Bush’s first term (a concern hardly limited to the most recent ex-president). And to keep it busy, the State Department has been tasked with rebuilding the U.S. Agency for International Development or an equivalent program for taking reconstruction and development programs, slowly freeing the military from the reconstruction business.

As Clinton heads to Asia, then, the expectations of Asian allies and China of a newfound American appreciation for the Far East might be a bit misplaced. Certainly, this is the first time in a long while that a secretary of state has visited Asia before Europe. But given the role of the vice president and the special envoys, the visit might not reflect policy priorities so much as a desire to ensure that all regions get visits. Clinton’s agenda in each country might not offer an entirely accurate reading of U.S. policy initiatives for the region, either, as much of the policy is still up for review, and her primary responsibility is to demonstrate a new and more interactive face of American foreign policy.

Clinton’s Asia visit is significant largely because it highlights a piece of the evolving Obama foreign policy — a policy that remains centralized under the president via the NSC, and that uses dedicated special envoys and representatives to focus on key trouble spots (and perhaps to avoid some of the interagency bickering that can limit the agencies’ freedom to maneuver). Most importantly, this policy at its core looks to rebuild the sense and reality of American military strength through disengaging from apparently intractable situations, focusing on core competencies rather than reconstruction or nation-building, and calling on allies to take up the slack in security responsibilities. This is what is shaping the first priority for the Obama administration: withdrawal from Iraq not just to demonstrate a different approach than the last president, but also to ensure that the military is ready for use elsewhere.

To get free Stratfor reports click here.

RENEGADE EYE

142 comments:

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I await the shit to be thrown at a piece written by one of the most knowledgeble outlets for foreign policy strategy, by people who know fuck all and wouldn't be let within 100 miles of policy making...

The Pagan Temple said...

I still can't help but think that the State Department is a stepping stone for Hillary. I am reasonably sure she made a deal with Obama's people to the effect that when he runs for re-election in 2012, Biden will step aside and Hillary will be his running mate. Biden will probably be amenable, and for that matter may have already privately agreed.

Hillary as Obama's running mate this last election would have been untenable at the time the matter was being decided. Biden was the best choice at the time given the circumstances. Of course once the financial crisis hit, he could have pretty much picked anybody and it wouldn't have made much of a difference running against the likes of McCain.

The only thing I questioned about the article was the statement about Biden running China policy in the short term, but then again, there is some merit to that. There has been some question about conflict of interest regarding Bill and Hillary, and running the China policy might reignite that debate in an uncomfortable way. Still, their connections to China does make it seem as though she is more than well suited for the task, and I'm sure she's be actively involved in at least the long-term.

I'm also reasonably sure she will take a hands-on approach as far as initiatives with Iran. Maybe not right away, and doubtless not to the exclusion of George Mitchell, who will probably be the public face of any such initiative, but Hillary will I think be at the helm, and it will very definitely be a priority.

FJ said...

Whoda thunk that all of America's "image" AND foreign policy problems abroad could be solved with a Hillary Clinton listening tour and a couple of Chinese media buys.

Besides, any "image" turnaround achieved by this president will be strictly limited to the domestic media front when the radical-chic Left finally stop all their whining about Bush's REAL foreign policy building for a change.

Obama's "big stick" is also predestined by the current economy to stay in his pants (now stop lickin' your lips poofter, boy) for the indefinite futeure. And the recently announced deployment of 17,000 additional combat troops to protect 1 million miles of empty Afghan desert and a 1 square mile "green zone" is nothing but a paper tiger "false image creation" move to cover our VERY REAL foreign policy impotence in dealing with our adversaries in the WoT for domestic media consumers.

So, in summation, the Obama foreign policy is to look tough for the audience at home while Holbrook, Mitchell and Biden go behind closed curtains, drop to their kness and suck terrorist c*ck.

Hmmm. I guess some sh*t always sticks, don't it coprophilia boy?

Gert said...

I think the "new" foreign policy tendencies are a great step in the right direction. Question is, how will they sit with an American public that for far too long has been made used to a position of "we lead from power and domination? Judging by Fuhrer John there's a lot of work to be done in "deprogramming" that mindset. A people that up to recently in droves accepted torture as a valid tool in the War of Terror has some growing up to do. And foreign players could do a lot to make the American mindset revert back to fear and loathing...

"Keep'em fearful and obedient" is any politician's favourite tool, worked very well for 'our Tone' when he wanted to 'stand shoulder to shoulder' with the Shrub.
Unless Americans start to see through some of the fear mongering as nothing but a tool for social control, policies are bound to fail or revert to old form.

But if the new policies work, it could be the beginning of a New America (or rather the return to a past and far more noble America).
Here's hoping...

On Israel, I can see there being no significant shift (Mitchell or not) unless awareness of Israel's crimes and self-stated non-intention of peace grows to a critical mass and public opinion starts influencing DC.

Word verification: DOVETE: Italian for "you must"... Indeed.

Larry Gambone said...

Didn't take long did it, Daniel?

nanc said...

from what i understand, he's going to send her heinous into every situation to talk them to death.

it'd work for me.

Renegade Eye said...

Daniel H-G: I also like The Economist.

Pagan: I think Obama gave Clinton that position, so she couldn't raise $$ against him for a future run.

Nanc: Probably true. In addition to have her constantly travelling.

FJ: The tough US policy didn't work. The US lost in Iraq, and needs Iran and Syria, to help get the US out. Obama's moves were started by Bush.

Gert: FJ's views are minority views in the US.

Larry G: I think we come from a generation of leftys, who dealt with polemics.

FJ said...

I take back every thing I said about the US being behind and funding the Taliban on the other thread. Evidently, funding the Taliban is the new Clinton-Obama foreign policy.

The deal, under which Sharia law will be introduced in the Malakhand and Kohistan districts of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province if Taliban militants end their armed campaign in the Swat Valley, has been met with alarm by Nato chiefs and British and American officials.

Nato fears the deal would create a new "safe haven" for extremists, said a spokesman on Tuesday night, while a statement from Britain's High Commission in Islamabad said: "Previous peace deals have not provided a comprehensive and long-term solution to Swat's problems. We need to be confident that they will end violence, not create space for further violence."

President Barack Obama's special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan voiced the greatest concern about the strength of Taliban militants in Swat as he ended his first visit to the region since taking up his post.

"I talked to people from Swat and they were, frankly, quite terrified. Swat has really deeply affected the people of Pakistan, not just in Peshawar but in Lahore and Islamabad," he said, while a Defence Department official described the deal as a "negative development".

On Tuesday night however, US officials in Islamabad privately backed the deal as an attempt to drive a wedge between Swat's Taliban, which is focused on its demand for Sharia law, and the al-Qaeda-linked Taliban led by Baitullah Mehsud, the notorious commander who controls much of North and South Waziristan and other tribal areas along the Afghan border.

While they expressed fears that the deal might yet be sabotaged by some Swat Taliban militants who support al-Qaeda, they said that if successful, the deal would break up the alliance between the two groups, which has caused alarm throughout Pakistan and in Washington.

Of the two Taliban groups, Mehsud's is the most feared – he has been accused of masterminding the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and trained Osama bin Laden's son as one of his commanders – but it is the alliance with Swat Taliban leader Maulana Fazlullah which alarmed Pakistanis in the country's main metropolitan centres.

Swat is less than 100 miles from Islamabad, just a few hours from where Fazlullah's men have bombed girls' schools and murdered opponents and those who have defied its fatwas against "immoral behaviour". They included a popular dancing girl whose body was dumped in the main square of the valley's largest city, Mingora, last month.

Fazlullah, who is known as "Maulana Radio" for the illegal FM stations he uses to broadcast his latest fatwas and justify recent Taliban murders, is the son-in-law of Maulana Sufi Muhammad, the leader of Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Mohammadi (TNSM), who once led thousands of militants to fight US forces in Afghanistan. Mr Muhammad has negotiated the Sharia law deal with local government officials and was on Tuesday night meeting Maulana Fazlullah to finalise their ceasefire.

Some senior Pakistan People's Party leaders have privately condemned the deal as "surrender", but government sources last night said it needed to bring peace to the valley, so that girls could return to school and business return to normal.

The valley had a long history of Sharia law, and its introduction was a popular measure among Swat's long-suffering people, they said.

American officials in Islamabad said they hoped it would divide Fazlullah's Swat Taliban and his father-in-law's TNSM from Baitullah Mehsud's Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

"The strategy has to be to divide the two groups. The TNSM and Baitullah's TTP found some common cause briefly, but a peace deal will separate them," said one US official, who explained that while Mehsud's TTP is part of the global jihad, Maulana Radio is regarded as more focused on local issues and the campaign for Sharia law.

One source suggested it reflected the "smart power" thinking outlined by Hillary Clinton in her Senate confirmation hearing as secretary of state.

Mehsud's Taliban on Tuesday night appeared unruffled by the prospect of a peace deal in Swat.

"If a true Sharia was enforced, we shall fully support it," said Maulvi Omar, a spokesman, adding that the group backed the involvement of TNSM chief Maulana Sufi Muhammad in any deal.


The US surrender in the WoT is now complete.

FJ said...

That's what I like about a foreign policy that's all about "image" and devoid of any "policy" other than appeasement. You don't have to do anything, all you've got to do is have "good intentions". America's "image" wins, actual Pakistani's suffering under the Taliban lose. Simple.

I guess the old saying's true. Democrats create and push all problems off to Republicans administrations who then address them and are "hated" for being "mean" or "mean spirited".

FJ said...

Yep, we're in full retreat with the Democrat's in charge.

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan – Kyrgyzstan's parliament voted Thursday to close a key U.S. air base in the country — a move that could hamper President Barack Obama's efforts to increase the number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Deputies voted 78-1 for the government-backed bill to cancel the lease agreement on the Manas air base, a transit point for 15,000 troops and 500 tons of cargo each month to and from Afghanistan. Two deputies abstained.

If President Kurmanbek Bakiyev signs the bill and Kyrgyz authorities issue an eviction notice, the United States will have 180 days to vacate the base.

"The decision to shut the American base reflects the will of the Kyrgyz people," said Nurbyubyu Kerimova, a deputy with the pro-government party that overwhelmingly dominates parliament in the former Soviet bloc nation.

Bakiyev unexpectedly called this month for the closure of Manas, complaining that the United States was not paying enough rent for the base.

His announcement of the base closure was made in Moscow, shortly after Russia offered his impoverished country $2.15 billion in aid and loans. Analysts say the closure and the aid appeared to be linked, although officials deny any connection.

However, Communist deputy Ishak Masaliyev said the decision on Manas could help improve ties between Kyrgyzstan and Russia.


Who knows, Ren...

Maybe the Russians will throw some support behind your Trotskyites in the Swat Valley now.

troutsky said...

The multi-polar approach breathes new life into FJ, now we are being attacked on multiple fronts! And always the enemy within.

I like the bit about "focusing on core competencies" which must refer to the selling of arms to third world dictators, apartheid client states, etc..I can't think of much else the US has been competent at?

Gert said...

"Gert: FJ's views are minority views in the US."

I know. Still, surf around the Right US blogosphere and the idea "US = SuperCop" is very much alive.

FJ said...

Right...

With Gordon Brown in tights as the indomitable "Robin" playing to America's Batman.

Gert said...

Something like that, FJ, something like that (lol)...

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Thread rot on every post now.

It is boring here.

FJ's trolling has to be controlled otherwise no debate exists, at all.

Pointless.

FJ said...

...and you're all about "debating" the issues, aren't you poofter-boy.

Larry Gambone said...

I think we can ignore the clown, Daniel.

Back to the grown-ups discussion. I think that anyone who was naive enough to think that the Obama govt. would in anyway begin the process of winding down the empire is going to be sorely disappointed after reading this analysis. While the multi-polar approach may lead to a bit more sanity, the US still remains free to ignore that approach when it wishes. Consider back in the pre-GWB multi-polar days, the US and its attacks upon, and embargo of, Cuba, its attacks upon Nicaragua, etc. all contrary to the wishes and practice of its allies. The question also needs to be asked as to why it is so difficult for the US to give up its imperial ambitions. It needs a Macmillan or de Gaul to say enough is enough and let the colonies go their own way. Of course, contemporary imperialism does not involve colonies, all the dominated are, at least on paper independent states, but an empire built and controlled by military might exists nonetheless.

Gert said...

Larry:

I tend to disagree with you to some extent. I think the change/hope message from Obama was successful because a lot of post-Iraq Americans filled in the blanks as they saw fit. It's clear many Americans want change also on the foreign policy front (many of course don't and it'll be another wedge issue for some time to come).

Torture may have been popular in certain circles but lots of decent American folk don't want it done in their name.

The US is also suffering embarrassing home-goals on the domestic front: there's no denying the global financial crisis started here. All that is going to have a humbling effect, IMHO. Many must wonder if the US's phenomenal defense budget isn't partly a waste of money when the US government will have to go cap in hand to the Communists to keep financing these adventures. How much do these drones cost again?

The "why do they hate us so much?" is also slowly sinking in, I believe.

See also the BDS campaign against Israel which really is gaining ground also in the US and has far from floundered yet.

So I can't see a 180 degrees change of course but 20, 30 degrees, perhaps more, should be possible.

Another small telltale sign: never before have I seen so many eloquent American critics of US foreign policy participating in interesting debates, interviews, op-eds etc etc on Al Jazeera and Press TV. Mostly ex-this or ex-that of course but to speak so openly against past policies, live on satellite TV? That's breaking another media barrier, if you ask me.

FJ said...

Yes, it has always been so difficult prior to this date to find a Leftist to denounce America for a reporter's hot microphone... LOL!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

No, ignoring the cunt is not the best thing, comment modding him out of the blog until he stops using homophobic & racist language is the right action to take. It is effecting the quality of debate & providing a forum to hateful views.

The Pagan Temple said...

Ren-

"I think Obama gave Clinton that position, so she couldn't raise $$ against him for a future run."

Very possible. That doesn't conflict with my view at all. In fact, Hillary could have very easily derailed Obama if she had wanted to, and it wouldn't have been very hard for her to do it. Still, it was easy for her to see she would endanger her future prospects in the party if she did so, so it was in both her and Obama's best interests to come to an accord.

She agrees to support him in return for an appointment to the State Department, which would give her even better credentials to run when it came "her time". Of course the only way that would work is if Obama has a successful presidency. Therefore, she has a second reason not to stab him in the back.

I disagree with those who say she is just going to be a symbolic Secretary of State, and that the main power will be with Biden, Mitchell, etc. They will all have vital roles to play, no doubt about that, but I seriously doubt that Hillary Clinton will sit back and allow herself to be marginalized.

She has already sent shock waves throughout the Korean peninsula with her assessment of Kim Jung Il. This is going to be a hands on Secretary of State. The only danger is her propensity to overplay her hand, but I doubt she will go so far as to do that here.

If I'm right, and she replaces Biden as Obama's 2012 running mate, and they win-or even if they don't-then 2012 promises to be a real Presidential cat fight.

I actually tend to think Hillary will be a decent Secretary of State (for a Democrat, all things considered), much better than she would ever be as President.

Look for her to make Iran a major priority over the coming two years. I think she might make some serious headway with them.

Hmmm-seeing as who she is married to, perhaps "headway" is an unfortunate choice of terms, but oh well.

Renegade Eye said...

Pagan: She has more backup like Mitchell, than Rice had. Rice ran around like a chicken with her head cut off. A diplomat who didn't believe in diplomacy.

Hillary was much more dirty against Obama, than McCain. Amazing how she transitioned on to her job.

She will be attention seeking to be sure.

Larry G: I hated at the start of the Iraq War, the liberals saying unilateral attack is not American policy. What revisionism. See Dominican Republic.

Gert: Obama was given the job to change some of Bush's policy. Remember that the tactics are different, but the goals are the same.

The US military is overextended. Privately Bush recognized that. He started sending messages to Iran and Syria through couriers. Bush's rhetoric locked him in.

I don't think the Israel boycott matters. The one against South Africa was bigger, and didn't bring down apartheid.

FJ: In the end whether Democrat or Republican, they will sit down with the Taliban. You said yourself it is unwinable.

Troutsky: The hatred towards Bush, makes everything the GOP does, bounce off Obama like a teflon shield. That is time limited.

Daniel H-G: FJ's Pakistan comments were short sighted and reactionary, not particularly offensive. I think in the end Bush and Obama are on similar paths in Afghanistan. Bush downplayed it because he knew early it was hopeless.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Ren:

I'm very disapointed that you think that, I think that it may be best if I keep clear of what passes for debate here for a while.

FJ said...

Good, because the only thing that you contribute are charges of racism at every turn.

And yes, the war being fought "as it is" is entirely unwinnable. But there is another way to fight it and so far, neither the Bush nor Obama Adminsitrations are willing to step up to the plate and address the problem "comprehensively". We didn't win the first round in the Cold War by fighting a single "country" at a time. We won it through "containment" and opposing force with counterforce. What we failed to do, however, was "follow-up" with a cavalry pursuit. And in the Middle East, we're making that same mistake again.

The Pagan Temple said...

It seems to me we've been fighting the War on Terror the same way we basically fought the Cold War, though there is one glaring omission in the overall strategy, which Obama seems to want to address-dialogue with the enemy, something that was lacking in Iraq up until the time of the Surge. That dialogue, which led to the so-called "Awakening" in Iraq, was in fact a vital component of making the Surge the success it has been up to this point.

Otherwise, there has been little if any dialogue, which the Bush Administration perceived (not without some merit) would be taken by our enemies as a sign of weakness.

Otherwise, it has been the same policy of containment, of empowering some regimes, some of which are themselves of dubious natures, also as in the Cold War.

It is the same basic ideological battle for "hearts and minds", which in the present case has not enjoyed anywhere near the level of success as in the Cold War.

And, it is the same basic formula of test wars, of establishing theaters of combat. In the Cold War the most obvious examples were Korea and Vietnam. Now we have Afghanistan and Iraq.

I could win the Afghan War in a yeas time. Just buy up all the opium crop, pay top dollar for it, and resell it to the pharmaceutical companies for cost for the purposes of experimentation, research and development.

That would be half the war right there, at the very least. Phase-over to newer crops could still continue, but at a slower pace, one more acceptable to the average Afghan farmer who makes a great deal more money from opium than he could ever hope to make from beans or whatever else can grow there. There is absolutely no reason to totally end the opium industry, just help the Afghan farmer diversify.

Gert said...

Ren wrote:

"I don't think the Israel boycott matters. The one against South Africa was bigger [...]"

Course it was bigger, how long did it take to build up to? We're only at the start here. It might fizzle but if it doesn't it will grow exponentially (quite literally, I know my math). BDS is only one part of pressure that can be applied. It should be seen in part as something that will generate more PR, part of a greater snowball. Of sufficient size, such multi-pronged pressure will have its effect. When politicians and multinationals start taking heed, that's when the avalanche starts to move.

Do you think the Kerry/Baird/Ellison trip to Gaza/Israel would have taken place if it hadn't been for cracks in the US media barrier on I/P? There you have a few politicians that are taking possibly career changing actions. Let's hope Hasbara reacts predictably because nowadays even that kind of counter-PR tends to backfire for them.

I'm not trying to hijack this thread for I/P, but US I/P policy is an important part of overall US foreign policy, possibly a litmus test even...

Gert said...

FJ wrote:

"Yes, it has always been so difficult prior to this date to find a Leftist to denounce America for a reporter's hot microphone... LOL!"

Once again you're just being flippant.

The numbers are increasing and the outlets are changing, FJ, that's undeniable. They're not all "Leftists" either, nor is it all "denouncing". I see people on Jeera and Press who'd never have thought accepting such invitations ever before. That's a sign of detente, whether you like it or not...

Ducky's here said...

I think the news that Netanyahoo (sp?) is being asked to form a government is distressing but I doubt any government they form would be capable of sincere negotiation.

Meanwhile we support Obama's willingness to talk with Arabs and Muslims and not demonize them like that deranged Calvinist that just left the White House.

nanc said...

by all means, pluckster - let's now dazzle the arabs with some liberation theology...

Ducky's here said...

I'm afraid radical Jesuits have limited prospects in Arab countries, nanc.

Graeme said...

Sometimes sites that cater to business give a good analysis huh Ren. I read the WSJ, as they give a fairly decent reports.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Fj: that is plainly not the case, what is the case is that when I see racist or bigoted terms bandied about I prefer to flag them as they cheapen the discussion & make it hard for the user's arguments to be taken seriously & in context. Simple as that.

Renegade Eye said...

Daniel H-G: FJ made a political argument, that needed to be addressed.

I've been surfing blogs, trying to add new people to discussions. I want more moderates. I guess most bloggers are saner than I'am.

In earlier days, only Ducky was giving FJ grief.

Nanc: Dazzle the Arabs, by bringing them the WWE.

Ducky: No substantive differences between Israeli candidates, as far as the Palestinians are concerned.

Gert: I agree the Kerry/Ellison trip is a response to the visceral hatred around the world of the Gaza incursion.

I hated that people this week in Minneapolis, picketed the Batsheva Dance Company. Every single dance they perform is abstract, without characters. The boycott hurts artists, leftys and workers.

Pagan: I agree there is no strategy to the War On Terror. That is because capitalism is friendly to Islamists. The center of terror is Saudi Arabia.

FJ: I'm not sure what is meant by fighting terror comprehensively. To start terror is a tactic. It has been used many times for many causes, good and bad.

Renegade Eye said...

Graeme: I like The Economist better. I find it more readable.

FJ said...

I see racist or bigoted terms bandied about I prefer to flag them as they cheapen the discussion & make it hard for the user's arguments to be taken seriously & in context. Simple as that.

Please. You're just a PC enforcer whose interruptions are what make it hard for conservative arguments to be taken seriously. The "context" you add to every discussion is that so-and-so is a conservative ergo racist and therefore cannot be making a valid point.

"Paki" may be a racist term to a Brit oppressor of the Indian and Pakistani people, but to an American it's simply a quicker word to type than "Pakistani" and still convey information regarding the subject.

So call me "stupid" for not being up on British cultural slurs if you like, but don't call me or PT an insensitive "racist" for using the term.

FJ said...

In earlier days, only Ducky was giving FJ grief.

Grief? The man is a veritable Achilles!

Achilles' name can be analyzed as a combination of ἄχος (akhos) "grief" and λαός (Laos) "a people, tribe, nation, etc." In other words, Achilles is an embodiment of the grief of the people, grief being a theme raised numerous times in the Iliad (frequently by Achilles). Achilles' role as the hero of grief forms an ironic juxtaposition with the conventional view of Achilles as the hero of kleos (glory, usually glory in war).

Laos has been construed by Gregory Nagy, following Leonard Palmer, to mean a corps of soldiers. With this derivation, the name would have a double meaning in the poem: When the hero is functioning rightly, his men bring grief to the enemy, but when wrongly, his men get the grief of war. The poem is in part about the misdirection of anger on the part of leadership.

FJ said...

FJ: I'm not sure what is meant by fighting terror comprehensively. To start terror is a tactic. It has been used many times for many causes, good and bad.

Comprehensively means realizing that terror IS merely a tactic in a vastly larger geopolitical context AND game. And that context is a proud and resurgent Arab population with an extremely high birth rate, an idle wealthy aristocracy and religious aspirations that include restoration of a seventh century Islamic caliphate.

But the Left is so eager to paint "racist" labels on anyone who might vocalize an objection to global Islamic jihad that they have been essentially co-opted and made intellectual allies in the struggle for Islamic unification, infiltration and domination of neighboring societies.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ you're talking to yourself again and in doing so exposing yourself, again.

PC does not exist as a movement or ideology, it is a right-wing invention to place a negative tag on common sense and good-spitied thinking that exposes xenophobic and mean-spirited thought.

There is no such thing as a PC enforcer but there is such a thing as people using negative, hateful language about others based on race or sexual choice.

Using such language does weaken arguements and points and that is the point of using it, becuase if too much focus goes into the point then it is mostly exposed. Best to hide it behind language smokescreens and move the debate to that.

If I was to replace "Paki" with "Nigger" a word with limited and very little historical use in the UK, I would still be using a racist term whether I liked it or nor, same goes for "Paki".

We all need to be up on racial slurs and rather than attacking when brought to all attention, we accept and move on rather than behaving, as you and PT have, like pig-headed morons basking in the use of the offensive term, as if by being spiteful some how makes you articulate.

The Pagan Temple said...

DANIEL HOFFMANN GILL!!!!

WHEN YOU USE THE WORD N-----R YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO SPELL IT OUT YOU BIGOTED FUCKHEAD YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO REFER TO IT AS "THE N WORD". DO YOU READ ME YOU PREJUDICED RACIST PIECE OF SHIT? DON'T MAKE ME BREAK YOUR ASS!!

The Pagan Temple said...

Ren-

"I agree there is no strategy to the War On Terror. That is because capitalism is friendly to Islamists. The center of terror is Saudi Arabia."

I tend to agree somewhat with that, though it's more complicated than a mere designation such as terrorist center or "axis of evil". If there were such a thing as the later as described by Bush, he misidentified the three major members, with the exception of Iran. The other leading members of such an entity would have to be Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Even that designation would be problematic. Afghanistan when completely ruled by the Taliban (for the most part) was little more than a satellite of a faction within Pakistan. Yet, they were despised by the Iranian mullahs. They only had diplomatic relations with Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

But for sure, the Saudis are a major component of the radical Islamic problem, far more so than Saddam ever could have been. North Korea was way too isolated and had no relationship to the problem. Bush took an actual real-world problem of potentially severe ramifications and turned it into a regional power game.

I still say he was right to depose Saddam, however badly the performance of the action up until the Surge, but he never addressed the Saudi problem to any satisfactory degree. I have little hopes of Obama doing any better. SOmebody needs to address the issue of the Madrassas, and somebody definitely needs to grow a spine and apply strict conditions to any future weapons sales.

Renegade Eye said...

Pagan: The way you replied to Daniel, was only to agitate him.

These last few threads are unecessarily filled with ridiculousness.

I think the discussions will have to be strictly to the topic. I'm not only talking to you.

It's a strawman argument, saying you're glad Saddam was overthrown. Are you also glad there are 2 million Iraqi refugees outside Iraq, and 2 million onside?

Obama and Bush have the same policy. Bush opened the door, for Obama's initiatives.

The Pagan Temple said...

Ren-

"It's a strawman argument, saying you're glad Saddam was overthrown. Are you also glad there are 2 million Iraqi refugees outside Iraq, and 2 million onside?"

Of course not. My point was that Saddam needed to be taken out. I didn't approve of the way the war was conducted, however. I have always said that. It was a mess almost from the very beginning, up until the Surge, and most of the Iraq War supporters don't really even seem to understand how complex that is, or how tentative that "success" is.

The point I was making here was that Saddam's importance in the overall scheme of things-call it War on Terror or whatever designation you like-was greatly exaggerated. He wasn't a part of any "Axis of Evil". He was actually relatively isolated, although not quite to the extent North Korea was and still is.

I will leave Daniel alone from now on. I was only trying to make a point as to how he looks when he says some of the things he says.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Pagan: it's not a case of leaving me alone, it's a case of not reacting as if you've been shot when I highlight your use of offensive language at this blog.

You'll notice that I only resort to the name change and name calling when all other avenues have been exhausted to make the point, which I think you and FJ miss, that certain language is very hurtful.

I think that both you and FJ are very lucky that Ren is so tolerant, on most blogs you'd be comment modded or deleted away.

Finally, I see that you skipped over my "nigger" "paki" comparison and just used CAPS LOCK.

Well done on that one.

The Pagan Temple said...

I used the word "Paki" once, and when you pointed out the offensive nature of it, I explained why and how I was mistakenly led to use it and from that point on I never used it again. Nor will I use it again, here nor anywhere else. Yes, this is including my own blog.

Despite this, you keep bringing it up and slamming me with it, when it was clearly a mistaken use on my part, which I clearly admitted. So, what's the use?

I was only trying to make a point with the above. You didn't really do anything wrong using the word "nigger" as a reference, but "the N word" is how most sheepish Americans refer to it, though possibly Brits are unaware of this use. If you were aware of this commonly accepted practice, and I used the word "nigger" merely as a reference point, I am sure you would point it out to me, and call me half a dozen objectionable names in the meantime. Not the way to change anybody's mind and heart, certainly not mine.

Anyway, like I said, I am done, but first, one more point. Despite what another commenter on here asserts, when I give my opinion as to what I believe, it is not intended to mean this is what everybody else should or must believe, just what I believe and why I believe it. Nor do I engage in name calling such as racist or bigot when somebody expresses a different view.

So, well, that's just it. Again-done, finished, finito. Don't get me wrong, I'll be happy to reply to you if you say something to me by the way of disagreement in a rational and non-hateful way, but otherwise, I'll just let you spew on your on.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

It's not just "Paki" though, it is the use of raghead and then the descent into homophobia, this is obviously not just you but also FJ.

All of this was and is an honest reflection of my feelings on the use of such language.

FJ said...

PC does not exist as a movement or ideology.

It doesn't? Good, because my particular movement/ ideology frowns upon enforced mandatory periodic genuflections in the general direction of altars located in either Sodom or Mecca.

FJ said...

I think that both you and FJ are very lucky that Ren is so tolerant, on most blogs you'd be comment modded or deleted away.

Yes, you've a lot in common with Girolamo Savonarola, Danny boy. Ren isn't as inclined to burn the blaspheming heretics as you are.

Renegade Eye said...

This thread is dead.

It's not unreasonable to ask, at the next political thread, not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic.

I was shocked when I researched the term political correct, I found out Trotsky invented it, to mean "Bolsheviks opposed to Stalin."

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

As Ren has kindly pointed out this thread is dead and has been for some time.

FJ: your movement is the bowel movement that you dump here on a regular basis. And as always you are way off base with the Girolamo Savonarola ref, tyopical of you to take 2+2 and make it 5, I quote your own blog at you:

"This is an open, yet selectively censored forum."

As Ren has asked: "not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic."

We shall see.

FJ said...

You call my movement a "bowel movement" and then admonish ME about personal attacks? Yes, the literal definition of an actor REALLY is "hypocrite".

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

That won't wash FJ, it is you that intiate's personal attacks and now you cry out that I use them too?

As I said above, let's try and follow Ren's sensible and correct rules regarding blog conduct, rather than abusing a non-censored forum.

FJ said...

Moi? I'm a strict tit-for-tat player, Danny Boy. And if you were to ever be on topic in a thread rather than berating others as insensitive racists, Ren wouldn't need any rules regarding blog conduct.

I'll now direct your attention to the very first post on this thread... hypocrite boy.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

As evidenced in my Pakistan thread rebuttal, you start it, in this thread you said the following in your FIRST comment: "Hmmm. I guess some sh*t always sticks, don't it coprophilia boy?"

My comment that opened this thread was a reaction to the many, many numerous threads that have descended into nonsense and contains no specific personal attacks but is a reference to the pattern that has been depressingly common over here hence my withdrawal from commenting on this blog for now, that is, on new posts.

How typical of you, remove context and then point the finger.

And to be clear, you're more of just a tit player, you need no tat to start your vitrol.

Ren's comment was directed at you, I quote it again so that perhaps it is clearer to you:

"It's not unreasonable to ask, at the next political thread, not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic."

Cheers.

FJ said...

Well if yours wasn't a personal attack, then it's perfectly obvious that mine wasn't either. You must have either had a guilty conscience and took it as one... or you enqage in copraphilia on a regular basis.

It's not only the blind who cannot see...and dat's alkl i have to say 'bout tat!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I've already explained the context of the first comment. which gives no justification for your insult whatsover and the continued inference in your latest silly comment.

You obsession with sex acts is a little worrying but what you get up to is your business alone, as long as minors are not hurt.

As for seeing, I let your own words do the damage to yourself.

Cheers.

FJ said...

You're a legend in your own mind, Danny boy. Justification lies in the mind's eye of the beholder.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I've never classed myself a legend, I think that your delusional old self is forgetting who and what you're talking to.

Mind's eyes don't exist, much like you sense of justification.

To repeat again:

"This thread is dead.

It's not unreasonable to ask, at the next political thread, not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic."

FJ said...

btw - glad to see you taking a stand against sadistic paedophiles. Perhaps one day you'll condemn them all.

FJ said...

...and when this blog belongs to you, I'll listen to you... otherwise you'd be well advised to take your own admonitions to heart.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

To repeat:

"This thread is dead.

It's not unreasonable to ask, at the next political thread, not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic."

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

"This thread is dead.

It's not unreasonable to ask, at the next political thread, not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic."

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

"...and when this blog belongs to you, I'll listen to you"

The listen to Ren:

"This thread is dead.

It's not unreasonable to ask, at the next political thread, not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic."

FJ said...

'ditto. But if you race-bait, you've no rrom to whine and cry racism when the shark takes your head off.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I have not race-baited, that is you and to a lesser degree PT, so then I quote you back at yourself.

"you've no rrom to whine and cry"

And to repeat:

"This thread is dead.

It's not unreasonable to ask, at the next political thread, not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic."

FJ said...

You just admitted to baiting on the Academy Award thread, hypocrite.

FJ said...

Oh, gay-baiting is different? How?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

No, I never admitted baiting on that thread, I have already outlined what happened there and for brevity will nto reapeat here aside to say, you are wrong, yet again.

Brilliant!

And once again to correct another of your mountain of errors, I have not baited anyone based on sexuality choice.

I have no didea how you justify your 'laaast-word' trolling but it will nto wash with me or anyone with a sense of decency.

To repeat:

"This thread is dead.

It's not unreasonable to ask, at the next political thread, not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic."

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

"This thread is dead.

It's not unreasonable to ask, at the next political thread, not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic."

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

"This thread is dead.

It's not unreasonable to ask, at the next political thread, not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic."

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

"This thread is dead.

It's not unreasonable to ask, at the next political thread, not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic."

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Got it yet?

FJ said...

The fact that you are a very boring poofter boy? Yep, got it!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Nope, you've still not got it, you're a bit slow aren't you? Bless you little man.

So again:

"This thread is dead.

It's not unreasonable to ask, at the next political thread, not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic."

FJ said...

Poofty, poofty, poofty... I can't cure you of your problem, so please stop asking. Thanks in advance.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

My problem is you and you have the cure in your webbed hands, end it now before you start to hate yourself even more.

All the breast and kindest wishes to you and your seeds.

FJ said...

You really do love me, poofty! Ain't you sweet. :*

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Yes I am sweet, whereas you are a fuck face.

FJ said...

Now that wasn't very nice. But don't worry, poofty, I don't take it personally. And you can't help being a tedious poofter, it's hard coded into your swishy-hipped nature.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

you nearly forgot abou this one didn't you, you tit-for-tat fuck?

FJ said...

Poofty, that would neglectful of me. And I'd hate to be accused of neglecting the great contributions you've made to this board and this thread discussion in particular.

Insults. Name calling. Noxious vapours. Obscenities. The list goes on and on...

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ, fully paid up member of the Know Nothings.

FJ said...

Poofty, the only member of the Wobblies that's not allowed in the hot tub due to his flatulence problem.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Spoken like a true Know Nothing.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

"I love the Pope, I love seeing him in his Pope-Mobile, his three feet of bullet proof plexi-glass. That's faith in action folks! You know he's got God on his side."

~ Bill Hicks

FJ said...

So then Cadillac I and the Secret Service detail represent a true testament to President Obama's popularity as well...

At least I'm not the one who's arguments go all Wobblie on them.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

That's about bigots like you not respecting skin colour, nevermind the issue of faith.

You get my drift Know Nothing.

FJ said...

Your drift, Poofty? I smell it every time I flush the toilet.

As for the Pope, one Muslim's already taken a shot at the Pope. Another Muslim killed one of our Presidential candidates back in the 60's. But then, they're part of the religion of "peace"...

FJ said...

Catholics trust in G_d. But it's hateful anal obsessed *ssholes like you that they've got to worry about now. Just look what happened after the California vote.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Know Nothing FJ spouts forth more racist bullshit, like the true cunt he is, keep defending your god, he left you long ago.

FJ said...

Since when are homosexuals a "race". You idiots are too stupid to breed. MY G_d made sure of that.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

FJ please read, I know it's a struggle and no doubt your kids find it hard to read also but do please wuote me where I say gay, lesbian bi-sexual people are a race.

You're addled old chap, have a brew and calm it down a bit then return when you're coherent.

Poor chap.

FJ said...

You're the one who said I was "spouting more racist bullsh*t". Islam isn't a race, so I could only conclude that you musta thought I was commenting on your obvious swishyness.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Your fear of Islam is stemmed in the roots of your racism, you tar everyone with the same brush and forgive me if I dismiss you as a bigot, your stance on racist language, homophobic language and the idiocy of Intelligent Design marks you out as a fringe player when it comes to serious debate and thought.

I'm glad to see that I force you to pull up your socks though and get more specific about your claims, I'm sure I cause you much distress but at least I'm doing you a favour.

You can thank me now.

FJ said...

LOL! You are truly a legend in your own mind, BY Gott!

You can bite me now.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Nice of you to say thank you, I know it's hard for you but I'm sure you feel better now.

Well done.

FJ said...

Is that what I said? And I thought bricks were thick...

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

It's okay, no need to stop thanking me.

(I'm reading between the lines, catch up FJ, you're too slow)

FJ said...

Taking another Texas dip, I see. Best stop now, you haven't the legs for it.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

At 6ft 6in I've got plenty of legs for you old man.

Failing so often, it must be hard on you, do try and keep up.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

To remind you:

"This thread is dead.

It's not unreasonable to ask, at the next political thread, not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic."

FJ said...

Just to remind you, this isn't your blog, poofty.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

And to remind you..again:

"This thread is dead.

It's not unreasonable to ask, at the next political thread, not to use racist lanuage, stay away from personal attacks, and focus on the topic."

FJ said...

Poofty, perhaps you should paste that across your own monitor, as you're the only one unable to abide by it.

FJ said...

A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject.-- Winston Churchill

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

sounds like you.

heh.

FJ said...

Does it, poofty?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Yes, otherwise I wouldn't have said it.

DO keep up old man.

FJ said...

Yes, I guess it is too much to suppose that you might have glimpsed a bit of your own reflection in that comment.

But there I go again, giving you far too much more credit than you deserve. I have a far too overgenerous nature.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

From the old man who can't see that he is destroying this blog?

Funny little chap.

Tell you what, stop now while you still have some dignity left...

Oh wait, that point has long gone.

KEEP 'EM COMING!

And you are far too overgenerous but only when it comes to sharing your empty little thoughts.

Next!

FJ said...

Well I'd like to thank you for playing your part as pawn in my vast right-wing conspiracy. You're doing an admirable job, my little hecantoncheire.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

You over sell yourself with the use of vast.

He he, you nearly missed this one, must be hard keeping up. Poor old chap.

To repeat:

As fun as this besting of you two is, the serious matter is that Ren will not post again until this stops, to quote him:

"I'm not posting anything, until its safe to."

How soon is now?

FJ said...

I've no control over what Ren does or does not post. I can take responsibility only for my own actions, which to date has consisted merely of encouraging your over-obsessed need to dominate this forum.

But I suppose that temperance is a bit too much to ask of the "righteous".

FJ said...

We've all our demons to chase and destroy, don't we poofty?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Ren has asked for this to stop.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

As fun as this besting of you two is, the serious matter is that Ren will not post again until this stops, to quote him:

"I'm not posting anything, until its safe to."

How soon is now?

FJ said...

Then stop, poofty. It's just that simple.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

As fun as this besting of you two is, the serious matter is that Ren will not post again until this stops, to quote him:

"I'm not posting anything, until its safe to."

How soon is now?

FJ said...

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. --Albert Einstein

Welcome to my world, poofty.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

As fun as this besting of you two is, the serious matter is that Ren will not post again until this stops, to quote him:

"I'm not posting anything, until its safe to."

How soon is now?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

To be clear:

Ren has aksed for this to stop otherwise he doesn't blog, so the nub is, how much do you two want this blog under and to silence views you don't hold?

The irony is, by Ren not silencing the trolling and letting it have air he is putting his blog at risk.

The responsibility is yours, act now.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I've spoken to Ren about you FJ and the honour of his beliefs, ie: letting your comments stand is much more than many would afford you.

You abuse this trust and postion.

Why?

You should be grateful he lets you comment here, many others would not be so lenient and liberal, yourself included, who would shut down any opposing voices.

FJ said...

Indeed, I would shut down a conversation like this at my own blog. I wouldn't let any politically correct primadonna such as yourself interrupt a reasoned and well presented argument with something as stupid as a personal insult, cry of racism or hypersentive protectionism preventing criticism of an historically oppressed group, especially if true.

As a conservative, I believe in Joseph d'Maistre's sentiments expressed in his St. Petersburg letters about the need for every social order to have "an executioner" who can preserve the social order. But you, poofty, are not him. The executioner has to be Ren... for this "State" is his property, not yours.

And unless an executioner steps forward, this anarchy will last so long as you and I have the will to power to maintain our respective ideological positions.

Like I said before, "nothing to excess"... not even "free speech."

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

You abuse the freedom of discussion here when Ren finds your viewpoints offensive and ridiculous but at your own place you silence any voice that disagrees.

Nice job there tit face!

And as you go further and further, absuing the kindness he shows you, the more you expose your own conservative values for what they are: mean-spirited, backward thinking and harmful.

Cheers for that.

The pompous talk of executioners on your part illustrates the high sense of pomp you hold yourself in and the pointless tit-for-tats here that you clearly invenst much time and effort in to sustain.

I have to burst your sad little bubble and tell you this means nothing and if you think that somehow you have a lofty position in the worlds matters you're as deluded as those that which to expound prejudiced views but not have the courage to take the punishment that comes with those views.

Dear me old boy, do keep up!

Like I said before, I will win.

FJ said...

You've have won, poofty. This blog has been destroyed! You've done it! Woo-hoo!

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

No.

FJ said...

All it takes is a couple of assholes. It does take two to tango.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

smashing

FJ said...

Looking to reprise your role as Asshole #1?

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

whatever

FJ said...

...fine w/me.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

k

FJ said...

.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

as in okay, not just k.

FJ said...

m-kay, Mr. Mackey.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Whatever.

FJ said...

'xacty.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Whatever.

The Pagan Temple said...

What was that about last word-ism? HaHaHaHa

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

you don't say?

FJ said...

Ain't the new Obama buddy up with terrorists policy wunnerful...?

Nazia Iqbal, a singer from Peshawar who is known as much for her beauty as her popular melodies, retired this week from singing and joined the Tablighi, a conservative religious preaching group.

She was just one of a group of singers to make the enforced transformation.

Wagma, another Pashtu-language woman singer, said that she had also received death threats and joined the group of preachers.

"In the initial stage, I joined the group under threat, but now I have realised that this is a noble way of life and I shall stick to it and shall never return to singing," she said.

The death knell for Peshawar's once vibrant cultural life is one more indication that the Taliban has infiltrated the gates of Peshawar, a strategic frontier city close to the border with Afghanistan.

Peshawar, the capital of the troubled North West Frontier Province (NWFP), is a staging post from where the US is attempting to embark on development projects to counter the "Talibanisation" of the region.

But its citizens are increasingly bitter that the federal government has left them at the mercy of the Taliban and fear that the provincial capital could become the "next Swat" which will fall under the sway of the militants.

In the Valley of Swat, a former tourist destination in NWFP, militants embedded in the local population have forced the Pakistani army to agree to a peace deal and to impose sharia, or religious, law.

The same symptoms of Talibanisation that first surfaced in Swat have now appeared in Peshawar.

When militants killed a woman dancer in Swat several months ago, her murder forced scores of other dancers and their families to take refuge in Peshawar, Lahore and Karachi.

Shahenshah Bach, a singer from Peshawar who is an icon among young rural Pashtuns, has also joined the group of preachers.

With a black beard and a white turban wound around his head, the singer who was once known for his emotional love songs is now moving with groups of preachers from village to village and city to city to spread the message of hardline Islam.

The singers are reluctant to admit they have been forced to abandon their livelihoods to become "missionaries".

But a comic actor's public renunciation of his craft left locals in Peshawar in no doubt that most were forced to adopt religious garb.

A month ago a prominent stage and TV comedian, Alamzeb Mujahid, announced his departure from acting at a press conference.

He had been kidnapped beforehand by unidentified people and was kept in captivity for almost a week.

Mr Mujahid announced to the media that he would be joining the Tablighi and would never return to TV or stage shows again.

The 35-year-old, who appeared cowed and exhausted, said he would grow a beard and would pass the rest of his life in the way of Allah.

Lying in a broad, open valley, Peshawar is flanked on two sides by the mountains of Pakistan's lawless tribal areas, from where militants have recently staged forays into its outskirts.

At the end of last year up to 200 tribal militants ransacked Nato and US supplies in depots in Peshawar, setting fire to hundreds of vehicles carrying supplies destined for coalition forces in Afghanistan.

In December a huge bomb blast ripped through Peshawar's crowded Storytellers bazaar, killing 30 people and wounding over 100 people.

Tariq Hayat Khan, the civil servant in charge of the neighbouring Khyber tribal area on the city's outskirts, has enlisted the army to launch limited operations in his area.

A militant group in the name of Lashkar-e-Islam, or the Army of Islam, which operates in the Bara area of Khyber Agency, is believed to have targeted the musicians.

But it is just one of many Taliban groups operating in the area.

At the end of last year the army claimed that it had expelled militants from 22 out of 25 villages around the city.

But tribal militants have continued to hit Peshawar with a spate of kidnappings and murders as well as assassinations and bomb blasts.

In Swat, militants have prosecuted a highly effective campaign of assassinating local politicians, among them even conservative religious leaders who had spoken out against their reign of terror.

The same tactic is being employed in Peshawar. On Wednesday, Bashir Bilour, a leading figure in the province's ruling Awami National Party (ANP) escaped a gun attack on his life.

Alamzeb Khan, a party member in the NWFP assembly, was killed in a roadside bomb attack in Peshawar on Feb 11.

Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Dead thread.

dinoibo said...

Really trustworthy blog. Please keep updating with great posts like this one. I have booked marked your site and am about to email it to a few friends of mine that I know would enjoy reading
Sesli sohbet Sesli chat
Seslisohbet Seslichat
Sesli sohbet siteleri Sesli chat siteleri
Sesli Chat
Sohbet Sesli siteler
Sohbet siteleri Chat siteleri
Sohbet merkezi chat merkezi
Sesli merkezi sesli Sohbet merkezi
Sesli chat merkezi Sohbetmerkezi
Sesli Sohbet Sesli Chat
SesliSohbet Sesli chat siteleri
Sesli sohbet siteleri SesliChat
Sesli Sesli siteler
Seslimuhabbet sesli muhabbet
sesli sohbet sesli chat siteleri
sesli sohbet siteleri sesli chat
seslisohbet seslichat
seslikent sesli kent
sesli sohbet sesli sohbet siteleri
sesli chat sesli chat siteleri
seslisohbet seslichat