Posting opinions, letters and correspondence from far and wide. Even some to/from my elected representatives.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Paul buddy,

As long as you keep the conversation going and don't mind, I'm going to keep posting this on my blog. Now to business.

I don't think there are two America's. There's the left, the right and larger than I thought possible swinging center but the media trys to portray a "bipartisan divide". I don't see it.

The media in the US is very similar to the media in Australia. If you only read the newspapers and only watch 2,7,9 & 10 (OK a little SBS too) then you're not learning what the real Australia is. The same applies to the US. The main stream media actually subconsciously prefers to portray issues as left and right polarised. It makes it easier for them to make their output entertainment rather than put the hard work into teasing out the issues. Also, market forces tend to naturally push the media into polarising everything. Not just politics.

I'm not saying F/911 is completely wrong in all its footage and commentary. But it most certainly is a propaganda movie. The real problem I have with it is not the movie itself. It's the fact that Moore ends up winning an award under the guise of the movie being a documentary. It is not a documentary. Just the same for Bowline for Columbine. One was an anti-gun propaganda movie, the new one is an anti-bush propaganda movie. Neither of them are documentaries and I take issue with Moore for having portrayed them as documentaries. That is dishonest. One of the very things the left accuses Bush of (dishonesty) is exactly what their new poster boy Moore did to promote his movie.

As you mention, I have bad memories of Sept 11. I don't know any other way to put it. Fortunately, I was not actually close enough to feel the full horror. So the bad memories are good in a way, if that's possible. More importantly, I can say that my personal world was permanently shifted by September 11. As a result, I had to investigate just war theory. For too long I was willing to stroll along with sloppy thinking that allowed me to accept the basic premise that all new wars are bad. But in fact, that position is untenable. It implies that things can become far worse than even the horror of war and yet the Nation state won't use it's executive powers and prosecute a war to right wrongs. It also implies that history has somehow become detached from the present and future. No, I disagree with both ideas and left them behind shortly after Sept 11 along with several other flawed ideas. This has inevitably pushed me toward the right. And quite a long way right at that.

Bush did exactly the right thing when he chose to take the US military and remove the broken regimes of Afghanistan and Iraq. Now both countries have a chance to do things a little better. The end result in both Nations may not be Aussie or US or even Malaysian style peace and harmony. Infact, I very much doubt that either country will turn into downtown KL let alone downtown Sydney or New York. Still, it's possible! But at the very least, it would take a few decades. Regardless, what we do know is that whatever happens in those countries will be and is already a whole lot better than what they were before. And those Nations won't be outputing (as many) jihadi terrorists. Those would be the terrorists who are willing to massacre people like and you and me. People who just go to work and expect to be able to come out at the end of the day alive rather than incinerated - or forced to jump out from 1,200 ft to get away from the flames where moments before our laptops and our pictures of our wifes and our cubicles were peacefully enabling us to be productive citizens of a buzzing, humming society.

I find it extremely difficult to understand how the left has become so completely and utterly opposed to unleashing the dogs of war against the most brutal regimes when those two brutal regimes were the most likely candidates for removal to make the world safer from terrorism. Facts on the ground are that Saddam and the Taliban were directly aiding and supporting terrorism. That is grounds for removing them. Direct connection to September 11 or not, there was plenty of terrorist acts beforehand stretching back decades. The UN agreed and has several security council resolutions to prove it. But the UN doesn't intend on pretty much doing anything about it. So the US pulls together a group of allies who are willing to do something about it and they did.

I say - Bravo!

As always, great to be able to talk to you again bud and look forward to hearing from you.


Tuesday, September 28, 2004

My old friend Paul asks:

"Whats your take on the Election now (the US one I mean). I am surprised that Bush is ahead given the situation in Iraq with Americans footing the bill. Is Kerry really that bad or do you think the media play a part in shaping opinions. Did you like Fahrenheit 9/11?"

I replied:

I think this article just about sums up my opinion on the Democrats, John Kerry et al.

I wouldn't see F9/11 on principle but I'll say this: mendacity and paranoia!

I was here on Sept 11 and the planes were real, the fire and destruction were real, and the thousands murdered REAL and it wasn't Mr Bush who did it or conspired to do it. Anyone who suggests such a thing is working from outside of reality.

I guess Mr Bush conspired to kill Australians in Bali, the Beslan school children and the Spaniards too.

I am a strong subscriber to Occams Razor. Bin Laden and Hussein colluded together - see "The Connection - Stephen F Hayes" - Radical Islamic terrorists are waging a war on the West. It began in the late sixties, early seventies. It escalated slowly, was largely ignored in the 80's and 90's and became deadly serious on September 11.

And finally, a majority (slim perhaps but I am thinking Bush is going to win by about 5 to 10 points) of Americans support Liberty and Freedom and the same Americans believe that there is no cost that can be placed upon Liberty and Freedom. It doesn't matter what it costs. It has to be paid for - in blood and treasure.

Otherwise, we might as well all accept that radical militant sharia based Islam is going to send the world back into the dark ages. That's not a condition that most Americans are willing to accept - not for us and not for the rest of the world either. I won't let the western system of governance and justice be turned over to a blunt knife on my own infidel neck.

Monday, September 27, 2004

On beheadings:

Michael Ledeen at NRO finally puts some thinking forward that aligns with my own opinion on Islamic beheadings. This is a point that needs to be made - "This is not about us — it is about them. The beheading films are recruitment tools."

Notice how Islamic groups constantly use the collapse of the Twin Towers in recruitment videos. There are two points I would like to make as an extension to Michaels point.

One, there is simply not enough discussion about the nature of the horror of September 11. Apparently, we creatures are too sensitive and fragile to have to ponder, contemplate and work through the pain and the suffering and the horror, and besides, it smacks of ghoulish behavior - right? Wrong, I have many times pondered the horror that would have been experienced by one of the poor souls who would have faced the choice between having the skin melt off of their back versus taking their chances at surviving a 1,000 ft + fall. Imagine the feelings of those in the north tower who watched the south tower fall and knew it was only a matter of time before they met the same fate. What were people thinking as they made the commitment to jump? From 1,000 feet it would have taken 15-20 seconds of falling before impact. That's enough time for a person who has blacked out with fear as they leapt to come to and realize that they have just moments left to live. Why have we collectively chosen to block out the emotional impact of the pain and suffering of those murdered? Is it perhaps because we might get justifiably angry? Has anger been written off as permanently bad, even when justified? Is it possible to be angry while also remain steadfastly anchored to logic and reality? Ofcourse!

Two, Islam faces a problem when trying to find ways of straddling the justification of beheadings as part of its justice system whereas measured against the brutal summary executions carried out by Zarqawi and his ilk. The executions with a blunted knife demonstrate the tenuous nature of judicial control by any religion. Such religious authoritarion situations lead directly to the brutality that we are witnessing today. What will Islam do with the paradox that is i) promoting religion to a position of supreme judicial power along with endorsment of brutal punishments as compared to ii) political movements that endorse and revel in the brutal execution of innocents.

Or are they one and the same?