July 24, 2006


Fight a democracy, kill the people (Spengler, 7/25/06, Asia Times)

Conventional armies can defeat guerrilla forces with broad popular support, for it is perfectly feasible to dismantle a people, destroy its morale, and if need be expel them. It has happened in history on occasions beyond count.

The British did it to the Scots Highlanders after the 1745 rising, and to the Acadians of Canada after the Seven Years' War; Ataturk did it to the Greeks of Asia Minor in 1922; and the Czechs did it to the Sudeten Germans after 1945. It seems to be happening again, as half or more of Lebanon's 1.2 million Shi'ites flee their homes. To de-fang Hezbollah implies the effective dissolution of the Shi'ite community, a third of whom live within Katyusha range of Israel. [...]

"Fight a dictatorship, and you must kill the regime; fight a democracy, and you must kill the people," I warned on January 31 (No true Scotsman starts a war), meaning that one turns a proud and militant folk into a deracinated rabble. Sometimes it is not necessary to kill a single individual to crush an entire people. When a warlike people rather would fight, eg the Chechens, the result is butchery.

Blame George W Bush for this grim necessity in Lebanon, where the refugee count already has reached 15-30% of the total population. In the name of Lebanese democracy, Washington brought Hezbollah into mainstream politics, and the newly legitimized Hezbollah in turn became the focus of life for Lebanon's 1.2 million Shi'ites. To uproot Hezbollah, one has to uproot the Shi'ite community.

The Shi'a aren't the enemy and we aren't going to kill the 150 million of them, are we?

and certainly not via an antiseptic air war, U.S. doubts Israeli figures about damage of air war (Rowan Scarborough, July 22, 2006, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

Israel is overstating the damage its air war has inflicted on the Hezbollah militia, which hides its weapons in tunnels and civilian neighborhoods throughout Lebanon, Bush administration and intelligence officials said yesterday.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 24, 2006 10:26 AM

Fortunately we're not fighting democracies, so there's no need to kill the people.

You skipped the best part of Spengler's article, talking about the alternatives facing Syria.

Posted by: pj at July 24, 2006 11:36 AM

But note the despicable "blame George Bush (well, a given, I suppose. Can they just save type and write "BGB..." in their ten thousand articles to follow?) for bringing Hezbollah into mainstream poltiics...."

Note the flat out and undeniable racism in that statement. Hezbollah cannot be responsible for ANYTHING it does or does not do... like choose governing over peace, etc. Silly brown-skinned wogs, what can you expect from them. Bush's blame of course is not assuming them to in fact be barbarians from the get-go, but ones that, like Siberian tigers I suppose, have just as much right to hunt Jews as the tigers have to hunt rabbits. All part of the mosaic, I suppose.


Posted by: Andrew X at July 24, 2006 1:05 PM

"In the name of Lebanese democracy, Washington brought Hezbollah into mainstream politics, and the newly legitimized Hezbollah..." So it's better to leave the Syrians in control of Lebanon?

Posted by: ic at July 24, 2006 2:05 PM

Popular sanity is a prerequisite of democracy.A beligerent majority entranced by an aggressive ideology who wants war will have war.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at July 24, 2006 2:34 PM

And will win it.

Posted by: oj at July 24, 2006 3:09 PM

which is why everyone in the the former Anglo-sphere starts the day by singing 'Duetschland Uber Alles' in Japanese?

Posted by: Chris B at July 24, 2006 4:59 PM

In general, where are the launching sites for these rocket attacks on Israel? Are they coming from within civilian populations? I know that's where they are basing themselves. But what of the launches?

Posted by: RC at July 24, 2006 5:29 PM

Before we even deal with the BDS of the statement about Washington bringing Hezbollah in, etc., let me challenge the factual basis of the statement.

Did we (e.g., GWB) in fact bring Hezbollah into the Lebanese government? They've been there since the 1980s doing what they do, and I seem to recall they managed to worm their way into government by winning seats in the Lebanese election. I hadn't realized that GWB had brought them in. But I could be wrong.

Posted by: Steve White at July 25, 2006 1:41 AM

Deterministic idiological paradigms have not done very well against aroused industrial democracies lately. Imagine an all-out war between the US and the Islamic world fought as if we truly understood the enemy. How long would it take? The intellectual, industrial and economic power of the Islamic world is not even a factor. Political Islam would cease to exist.Western habits of multi-culturalsim, ethical relativism, historical revisionism and moral equivocation have let things go on longer than they otherwise would.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at July 25, 2006 7:20 AM


Applied Darwinism was weak, a mere rationalism. It was never a serious threat.

Posted by: oj at July 25, 2006 11:26 AM

Islam's war isn't with the U.S. We're too similar.

Posted by: oj at July 25, 2006 11:27 AM

Islam is not now nor has it ever had any similarity to the American idea. Where do you come up with this stuff? Karen Armstrong? Elijah Muhammad? John Esposito? Some basis for your opinion would be nice.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at July 25, 2006 1:25 PM

Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Indonesia, Bangladesh, afghanistan, Palestine.... Left to their own devices the Islamic nations uniformly adopt the Anglo-American system. The Muslim preference for democracy has been demonstrated too often now to be debatable.

Posted by: oj at July 25, 2006 1:37 PM

Left to their own devices they are talabani.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at July 25, 2006 10:17 PM

Even the Afghans got rid of the Taliban.

Posted by: oj at July 25, 2006 11:02 PM

They had some help. Something about 9/11, training camps and the American military.

Posted by: Tom C.,Stamford,Ct. at July 26, 2006 6:46 AM