[lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience

  • From: "Simon Ward" <sedward@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2006 17:43:27 +0100

So the dead in the London bombings is mere anecdotal evidence. Or is just that 
they weren't Americans and so didn't matter. And that's to say nothing of the 
thousands that are dead in Iraq and those from Madrid.

I didn't think you were that heartless Lawrence. Is it a case of my country and 
no other?

"What do oil interests have to do with Iraq?"

Priceless! I'll bring this out again I'm sure.

As for Pakistan, it exposes the hypocracy. In some messages you're shouting 
about the importance of liberal democracy, and in the next you're apologising 
for Pakistan, a military dicatorship. If it was all about democracy and 
terrorism, Pakistan would have been close behind Afghanistan on Bush's list. 
But no, suddenly, Bush is happy to have a dictatoriship on his side, one that 
has harboured the same terrorist organisation that it claims to be responsible 
for 9/11. And within it a security organisation that was shown to have cabled 
Atta money before 9/11. 

I can hear Lawrence now: 'you know I'm tired of this conversation. I think I'll 
leave it.'

Simon
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Lawrence Helm 
  To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
  Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 5:01 PM
  Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience


  Simon, Simon, Simon.  Didn't you know that anecdotal evidence is the weakest 
kind?  Allow me to illustrate:  The War in Iraq has decreased terrorism.  How 
do I know?  Well just look at the facts.  The US was attacked how many times 
before Iraq?  Lots of times.  There was the Cole.  There were 241 Marines 
killed in Beirut.  There was the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and 
then the second that killed about 3000, but then we had the war in Iraq and 
zip.  Not one attack against the US; so it is pretty obvious that the war in 
Iraq has decreased terrorism.



  The rest of your note is a bit incoherent.  What do "oil interests" have to 
do with Iraq?  American oil interests?  What are you talking about?  We get 
only a small percentage of our oil from the Middle East.  I think you are 
remembering one of the earliest Leftist taunts; subsequently given up by most 
Leftists because it is so absurd.  



  As to Pakistan, time passes.  We needed cooperation in chasing Al Queda 
because Pakistan ISI agents reported that Al Quaeda had two suitcase bombs; so 
we threatened to bomb them into the Stone Age using Armitage and giving the 
president deniability.  But Musharaff picked his time, a time when it wasn't 
possible for the US to bomb Pakistan into the Stone Age, a time when Bush 
seemed to be on the defensive in regard to the war against Militant Islam and 
blew the whistle: "do you know what Armitage told us?  He said he would bomb us 
into the Stone Age."



  "What," Bush said.  "Nonsense.  Not me."



  And so Musharaff exposes the threat and makes it difficult for the US to 
initiate military action in Pakistan; which it has considered doing if it knew 
exactly where Osama was.



  I don't know how the subsequent meetings between Musharaff and Karzai went.  
Musharaff has problems at home: lots of support there for the Taliban and 
Militant Islam.  I think the recent meetings were a good thing if they didn't 
make things worse between Musharaff and Karzai.  Both nations have problems, 
but they aren't out of hand.  Karzai continues to need direct US support.  
Musharaff doesn't want US troops storming into Pakistan going after Al Quaeda 
strong holds.  India is laughing.



  Lawrence




------------------------------------------------------------------------------

  From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] 
On Behalf Of Simon Ward
  Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 4:58 AM
  To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience



  It's not just the extremists in the middle east that are the problem. It's 
also the home grown ones. How do I know there are more extremists. Because they 
blew up trains in London and Madrid and because I've heard interviews with 
muslims in Britain who cite the Iraq war as a major contributing factor in the 
formation of their views. 



  And yes, there are moderate muslims all over the world. They're the ones 
trying to explain that the extremists don't represent Islam, they're the ones 
saying how they never knew that their friend was involved. But they're also the 
same ones pointing at Iraq and saying how they understand why this is going on.



  Whilst I can believe that there were undisclosed reason why the US went into 
Iraq, I can't believe that if they hadn't been there, the decision wouldn't 
have been made. And if there are reasons such as Saudi cooperation, isn't it 
reasonable that there are reasons such as oil markets. As for Pakistan, one of 
the people recently arrested in the UK decided to stop giving evidence in court 
because the ISI were threatening his family. Work that one through and then 
tell me that Pakistan is cooperating.



  Simon





  ----- Original Message ----- 

    From: Lawrence Helm 

    To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

    Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 1:56 AM

    Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience



    Assertions are cheap.  They don't cost anything and if there isn't a hint 
of rationale, they mean less.  In one of my previous notes I described how 
difficult it was to get information about whether there were some, many, or no 
moderates in the Middle East, but you have no trouble in asserting that Iraq 
has increased the number of Islamists in the Middle East.  Upon what do you 
base this assertion of yours?



    I see you are assuming the existence of moderates in the Middle East.  Do 
you have any evidence that they exist?  Quote me one moderate writer writing 
from within the Middle East.  If you can, you'll be one up on Omar.



    That the war in Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 is simplistic.  The same 
person who told us we threatened to bomb Pakistan into the stone age (I 
reported this while reading America's Secret War, by George Friedman in January 
2005) reported that going into Iraq was absolutely necessary if we wanted to 
get cooperation from the Saudi's in our pursuit of Al Quaeda members.  At the 
time the Saudis would not cooperate with us because they were more afraid of 
Saddam than they were of us.  Saddam's story was that he had backed down the US 
so everyone in the vicinity needed to forget about the US and pay attention to 
him.  After we went into Iraq we got cooperation from the Saudi's.  At the time 
it was believed (Friedman is the source for this also) that Al Quaeda had two 
suitcase bombs; so cooperation in tracking down Al Quaeda members was not 
considered an option.  That wasn't the only reason we went into Iraq, there 
were many reasons, but it was an important reason not mentioned; just as we 
never mentioned we got the cooperation we wanted from Pakistan by threatening 
to bomb them into the stone age.



    Lawrence




----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Simon Ward
    Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 4:50 PM
    To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
    Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience



    Lawrence, my assertion is a simple one. The war in Iraq has caused moderate 
muslims to be attracted to fundamentalist ideology. Because of the war (which, 
it should be noted, had nothing to do with 9/11), there are now more 
fundamentalist muslims than there were before. Because of the war in Iraq, 
people died in Madrid and London. 



    Now, you'll be blaming Qutb for coming up with the ideology, but of course, 
the moderates wouldn't be interested in it without them perceiving western 
wrong-doing. 



    Do you accept that the war in Iraq has created more fundamentlists than 
there were before? 



    Simon









      ----- Original Message ----- 

      From: Lawrence Helm 

      To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 

      Sent: Friday, September 29, 2006 12:13 AM

      Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience



      Simon:



      You forget that this all stated with Judy quibbling over my reference to 
Sayyid Qutb's ideology being the root cause of modern Militant Islam.  What on 
earth did I mean by "root cause," etc., etc.  Well, I explained that.  But, 
said someone who hadn't read Qutb, what about what the West did to the Middle 
East in modern times?  Well, said someone who had read Qutb, Qutb deals with 
that in some detail.  So this quibble seemed to dwindle into whether there was 
something the West had done to the Middle East that Qutb hadn't covered, but 
you, who had not read Qutb persevered in asserting that there was much, much, 
much that Qutb hadn't covered that the west had done to the Middle East that 
had caused the Islamists to behave as they do.



      Yawn



      And then when I introduce something real, something not the vague 
speculation you have hitherto engaged in, something going on right now in 
Germany, you sniff, "sorry, but I'm not playing hypotheticals . . ."  Gosh, 
Simon, what do you think you have been playing?  Not fact because you haven't 
read Qutb and haven't all this time known what you were talking about.





      Lawrence




--------------------------------------------------------------------------

      From: lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 
[mailto:lit-ideas-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Simon Ward
      Sent: Thursday, September 28, 2006 3:57 PM
      To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
      Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Ideology vs Experience



      Sliding out of it again Lawrence? Wouldn't expect anything else, but then 
I suppose I did give you the opportunity. More fool me.



      Sorry, but I'm not playing hypotheticals and also reject you're 
accusation of wishful thinking. Do you really think I'd be pleased to note that 
the Iraq War has served to turn so many moderates into fundamentalists. I can 
imagine how that might please you, but not me I assure you.



      Simon

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