Fear of Clowns

"Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurrence of the improbable."
- H. L. Mencken

Thursday, May 19, 2005

1,346 days vs. 11,780 days: Lt. Hiroo Onoda and the struggle against Islamist extremism 

"[Today is] the 1,346th day since the attacks of 9/11. That is the same length of time from the attack on Pearl Harbor to the end of WWII on V-J Day. (Dec 7, 1941 to Aug 24, 1945)."

- CalculatedRisk

"We can't run ... If you live in an interdependent world where you cannot kill, jail or occupy all your enemies, you had better spend some of that money to make a world with more friends and fewer enemies."

- Bill Clinton

"Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated."

- George W. Bush

"On December 26, 1944 (age 23), [Japanese Army 2nd Lt.] Hiroo Onoda was sent to the small island of Lubang Island, approximately seventy-five miles southwest of Manila in the Philippines ...

Despite the efforts of the Philippine Army, letters and newspapers left for them, radio broadcasts, and even a plea from Onoda's brother, he did not belive [World War II] was over. On February 20, 1974, Onoda encountered a young Japanese university dropout named Norio Suzuki who was traveling the wold and told his friends that he was "going to look for Lieutenant Onoda, a panda, and the abominable snowman, in that order." The two became friends, but Onoda said that he was waiting for orders from one of his commanders. On March 9, 1974, Onoda went to an agreed upon place and found a note that had been left by Suzuki. Suzuki had brought along Onoda's one-time superior commander, Major Taniguchi, who delivered the oral orders for Onoda to surrender. Intelligence Officer 2nd Lt. Hiroo Onada emerged from the jungle of Lubang Island with his .25 caliber rifle, 500 rounds of ammunition and several hand grenades. He sureendered 29 years after Japan's formal surrender, and 15 years after being declared legally dead in Japan."

- Justin Taylan

One terrorist (or more likely a small group) can wreak a lot more violence than a Japanese holdout with 500 rounds in a palm tree. As implied by CalculatedRisk and Clinton, terrorists are still being born today and they'll be born tomorrow and the next. Onada was still fighting WW II 11,780 days after it ended for the world at large.

Echoing Clinton, our long-term strategy at some point inevitably has to shift focus from destroying things, killing and jailing people to building things and educating people. Terrorist acts are a symptom of fundamentalist Islamic extremism - we have to begin nursing the cause as opposed to mitigating the symptoms.

"Want a university? Sure, we'll build a university, but it has to be secular." This shift ought to have come alongside the time the Taliban lost control of large Afghani cities and the longer we wait, the harder it will be to make up for the propaganda we hand to the Islamist's for each raid on an innocent's home and each civilian caught in the way of our bullets.

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This comes from a true Idealist.

Actually, it's a damn good idea.
War sucks. One need not be an idealist to to seek alternatives to what is obviously a failure in strategy. Building secular Universities is a brilliant plan. So is providing medicine, clean food and water and stopping the bombong and raiding of the innocent. In fact it would be nice to put the Afghans and Iragis in a position where they actually apprecciate what is being done for them that they will want to give u their terrorist neighbors and bring stability to the area. Instead I imagine we'll just continue to rain down death from above and sow another fine crop of potential terrorists. And who knows with a new and improved department of homeland security, (not that Mr. Ridge didn't do a wonderful job)maybe some of that port-o-call protection money will make it to Kansas where they need it a lot more than Montana.
Of course depending on the quiz I'm an idealist too. So maybe it does take an idealist. When I observe some of my friends I begin to think it takes an idealist to get as absolutely rip raoring, fuckin' pissed as I do.

And Eric, I actually visualise Eric spmetimes when I'm reading him. Turning red, and shouting at the computer while he types like a man posessed. Ocasionaly buttons go flying.


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