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They Are Out Of Their Minds

From BBC: Israel attacks Beirut’s airport.

This is around the bend and will start a major war. Ehud Olmert had better be given a reality check by the other parties, because things have gotten out of hand. There is no justification for this.

July 12, 2006   2 Comments

Infallibility

Shakespeare’s Sister, among others, is rather nonplussed by the statement of Administration toady attorney, Steven Bradbury, that: “The President is always right.”

Of this is not the same as Papal infallibility which was defined by the First Vatican Council of 1870. Heavens, no, that would be entirely too confining for the President, who has to deal with the important issues of the Global War on Terror. There can be no limits on the power of the President to always be correct.

Only counter-revolutionary forces would mention posters saying: “Der Führer hat immer recht.” There is no need to talk about Khrushchev [Хрущёв] and the speech to the 20th Party Congress about Stalin’s “cult of personality” [Культ личности Сталина].

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July 12, 2006   Comments Off on Infallibility

Bad To Worse

Apparently distracted by Gaza, the Israeli army was surprised by a raid in which two Israeli soldiers were captured. In response Israel launches raids on Lebanon, losing a tank and four crew members almost immediately to a mine, so more raids continue.

Israel claims it was an “act of war”, but the lack of any settlement, other than between Egypt and Israel, since the 1967 Six-Day War makes it more accurately an “act during war.”

The reports call the Hezbollah raid a “cross-border raid”, but that would only be true if you think the Shebaa farms area belongs to Syria, rather than Lebanon, which is still in dispute. What is not in dispute is that it is occupied by Israel and Hezbollah wants them out.

Hezbollah regularly sends rockets into what it considers to be part of Lebanon. The rockets are directed at Israelis occupying the area. These actions are considered “liberation” activities, not terrorist attacks by the Lebanese government. The Shi’ia of Lebanon, as well as the Shi’ia governments of Syria and Iran, consider the actions of Hezbollah reasonable and praiseworthy.

Like many things in this area of the world, a little more attention to detail by the bureaucrats of the foreign ministries in London and Paris after World War I would have clarified these things.

July 12, 2006   3 Comments

History Is So Dull

From my 12/03/2004 post Talking to the Opposition:

In every age the common interpretation of the world of things is by some scheme of unchallenged and unsuspected presuppositions; and the mind of every individual, however little he may think himself in sympathy with his contemporaries, is not an insulated compartment, but more like a pool in a continuous medium – the circumambient atmosphere of his time and place.


F. M. Cornford
Foreword of Thucydides Mythistoricus

This was an amazing insight for me personally when I stumbled across it in research on a paper regarding heroes in literature. This is a truth: if you are a rebel, what you oppose is determined by your time and place.

We are all biased, but if we recognize the existence of the bias we can adjust for it when looking for the truth. Don’t judge history by modern standards; judge it by its own standards.

This concept is vital in the intelligence field. You must see your opponent as he sees himself to understand what he may do. What is insane for you; may be eminently reasonable according to his “circumambient atmosphere”.

It isn’t bad enough that the US government is blundering around blindly making no effort to figure what’s going on and why the world hates us, but the contagion is spreading. Japan is talking about a preemptive strike against North Korea.

If you have never spent any time in Asia, you are totally unaware of the divisions among the various nations and ethnic groups. About the only thing they all, and I do mean all, have in common is Japanese occupation during World War II, and no one is apt to forget about it in any near century. Young Japanese are about the only Asians who don’t know what happened and that is dangerous. If Japanese aircraft attacked North Korea, the response would probably come from South Korea and China, only because they are closer than Australia.

Asians do not want military action of any kind by Japan. Don’t try to tell them it’s a new century.

July 12, 2006   2 Comments