Friday, November 30, 2001
An interesting question from an old copy of the New Statesman.

The new "terrorist" groupings are markedly different. They are global in their reach and aspirations. Brought together through a global medium (the internet), the unit they are trying to influence is no less than the whole of humanity. The members of these new movements are shedding the old imagined communities of the nation state. Neither anti-globalisation activists nor jihadists feel that their identity is bound by the territorial nation. The anti-globalisation protesters affiliate themselves to non-corporate humanity; the jihadists stress the unity of the umma (the Muslim people), whatever national boundaries it may cross.

Realists like myself have always pointed out that almost every "alternative power" is actually aiming for a particular nation state, or to control one. It is merely diplomacy by other means.

But are anti-globalisation protesters, Islamic fundamentalists and cross-border executives something different?

I say probably not, for as when Marxism quickly changed nature in 1917 from "workers of the world unite" to "defend the worker's state" (that was from Trotsky in exile) so will the other ideologies change when a fairly thorough-going regime comes into power somewhere substantial. As, it can be argued, multinational capitalists push for greater American influence. They will then fall back into being agents of another power, ideologically charged certainly, but their dreams of changing the world will soon become dreams of pushing forward their chosen power.

And the world will keep on turning.
Tuesday, November 27, 2001
And yet another one rolls in. I think that it stands all on its own:

I do confess. Your columns have me rolling with laughter, talk about cheap entertainment! I listen to talk show hosts and marvel at how some are so skilled that they defeat one caller after another with swordsmanship like moves. They parry all intended blows and somehow come through endless debates unscathed. I see the same power in many columnists editorials. They provide powerful thought provoking ideas that often times seem impregnable to debate. Your columns are somewhat different.

You package a bunch of and try and sell it as gospel, then you have the nerve to print the responses you receive from the readers who seem to be far more articulate than yourself. You must feel somewhat by all the readers who have one up'd you in their response to some senseless wrangling over subjects you appear to know little about. I do take my hat off to you for one of your ploys, you ask for money at the end!! I tell you I'm howling. Ever the proper Jew..

As misguided as you are I want you to know that I support your right to post your views and hope you realize that this right was bought and paid for by brave mens blood.

Some questions on this "prison riot" in Mazar-e-Sharif:

1) If they all wanted to die a martyrs death, why did they surrender on the battlefield?
2) Is it true that none surrendered? Not one out of hundreds?
3) How did they get arms into a prison? A few guns, I can understand, but enough for a three day uprising, together with some reputed heavy arms?
4) Is this in any way connected to Donald Rumsfeld's comments that he would prefer to see the foreign fighters dead?
5) Alternatively is it connected to their treatment by Dostum, who ties soldiers to tank tracks as punishment?

This is giving off an awful smell. The only thing thay argues against this is the idea that our government could not be so stupid as to allow the special forces to be seen to be co-ordinating a massacre of POWs. Oh, help.
This is from a proud son of Dixie:

Aw quit complaining. You want hate mail? Try disputing the state religion of Darwinism or dare to mention that abortion terminates a human as well as a "mass of cells." I can tell you from experience, that is where the hate mail lurks.

Although I've had a few lately (on who have noted that I am "a coward, traitor, pussy, America Hater" and much else. Silly me - I thought I was a veteran, a strict constitutionalist and a patriot. But then, I tend to be anti-war and anti-government so there it is. See ya in the gulag - "When the role is called up yonder I'll be there!" (I guess I've been listening to the opinions of the man on the street too long- funny how "camps" keep coming up!)

Keep speaking the truth as God gives you to see the truth, and your mail box will always be full!

But I'm not complaining about the attention I'm getting. I'd still like to know which "national radio show host" read my column out.
This particularly worrying piece came in today:

What to do if you happen upon a peace rally by stupid naïve hemp-shirt-wearing college idiots, to teach them why force is sometimes needed:

1) Approach dumb rich ignorant student talking about "peace" and saying there should be, "no retaliation."

2) Engage in brief conversation, ask if military force is appropriate.

3) When he says "No," ask, "Why not?"

4) Wait until he says something to the effect of, "Because that would just cause more innocent deaths, which would be awful and we should not cause more violence."

5) When he's in mid sentence, punch him in the face as hard as you can.

6) When he gets back up to up to punch you, point out that it would be a mistake and contrary to his values to strike you, because that would, "be awful and he should not cause more violence."

7) Wait until he agrees that he has pledged not to commit additional violence.

8) Punch him in the face again, harder this time.

Repeat steps 5 through 8 until they understand that sometimes it is necessary to punch back.
Afghan FAQs

1. What are the Afghan FAQ’s and why are you doing them?

Basically I’ve been asked the same questions and have had to send out the same replies to a number of correspondents on the Afghan adventure. While I welcome the feedback I am doing this to save time, and also answer any other questions that correspondants have. I will update this as and when I get in more of the common queries.

2. Do you oppose the American military action in Afghanistan?

No. I think that this is entirely a matter between America and Afghanistan. I only oppose Britain’s involvement, as I believe that Britain has no involvement in the quarrel.

3. Will my feedback be put in the weblog?

First time almost always, subsequently probably not.

4. Are you Jewish

No, it's a pseudonym.

Anyone heard anything on the story in Pravda:


Its not on the BBC site, is that because its not true or because its unhelpful?
Oh no, not more bloody feedback on last week's article! 'Fraid so:

Mr. Goldstein get some help! Everything is blamed on the west. No matter how good we are, there will always be blame and the west will receive it. I well say this, if Tony Blair was running for President right in the US he would have my vote. He is a man of action with defined goals. He is not afraid to stand up and be heard. The UK should count itself lucky to have him. Stop bring paranoid.

I also got forwarded an article entitled "Despite Grim Predictions, U.S. Battle Toll Still Zero", from the LA Times.

And now for some criticism from the left:

I am sorry, but I cannot go along with your cavalier attitude of "fry Bin Laden", "get Bin Laden and get out". I do despise this war with a passion, but "extrajudicial killing" is for thugs, bullies and sub-humans. You will lose the moral high ground and the support of a goodly number of fine people if you continue to characterize murder as perfunctory. This is a countermovement against barbarism in all of its forms -- even the cavalier slogans which don't seem to offend your particular sensibility.

Don't be a moron.

And this, hilarious message is a must read:

Those are not boys in Afghanistan, at least not from the United States. They are not conscripts either, they are professional troops and more than a match for the Taliban rabble. These are men whose personal characteristics of bravery, honor and willingness to sacrifice for their nation is wasted on people like you. You were born with hands up and pants down in the sexually receptive manner designed to appease anyone who is aggressive. People like you want to be abused by anyone with a hatred for America. You are a bed wetter who cannot understand the response of real men. Do us all a favor, if you ever have a heterosexual impulse, wear a rubber so your DNA doesn't pollute the gene pool!

And some (sort of supportive) mail:

I just ran across your web site while checking the news on the Internet, and I have to say that I don't like Mr. Blair fact, I think he's nothing but a Bill Clinton clone, and that in itself is totally revolting, but...
It is my understanding that once this event in Afghanistan is over, that we (the Americans--I don't know about the British)--will get out.
I'm not sure, but I seem to recall reading a statement by President Bush that once this Taliban/bin Laden business is over with and the country has stabilized (if that's possible), that we, the Americans, will leave Afghanistan.
Our motives (because of the WTC destruction) are good, I think, and most of my friends and family do want us to clean up that mess, get out of that country and let them "govern" themselves--if they are capable of doing so.
Anyway, I surely do understand your feelings...I don't want even one soldier--British or American--to be a casualty in that miserable place. But are we simply supposed to forget what happened at the WTC?
Even worse than that, to me, is the fact that in America, 4,000-5,000 people are being killed EACH DAY through abortion...but no one seems to remember that!
I read somewhere not long ago that when the British were in Afghanistan years ago, that one of your commanders made the statement to the effect that..."I wouldn't wish this place on my worst enemy..."
I wish you the best in your campaign, even though I don't entirely agree with you.

And this thoughtful little piece:

i am an american so you will probably not be shocked that i totally disagree with your stance. your troops are helping in the war because your great country and mine are allies. also there were decent british citizens killed in the attacks on september 11th. not to mention numerous other victims from many other countries. you dont have to have an intrest to help a friend because your friend is your intrest. i have no doubt if your nation were attacked or threatened as ours has been there would be hundreds if not thousands of american troops sent to help. this would not bother me in the least as i have a great respect for your country. you are complaining about your leader Prime Minister Blair and showing no regard for the pressure he is under. all of the leaders of the coalition are under a great deal of stress right now and they need our support not our barbs. i am sure you have your gripes about your leadership and its probably often warented but try to understand that he nor George W. Bush started this. and it is their duty as leaders of two great nations to make sure this does not happen again. next time it may be in london or berlin or perhaps moscow. if we dont try to eliminate this now then it will be allowed to fester and build as the nazis did before. i know you will not be swayed by the rantings of a patriotic american who happens to respect your leader as well as his own but at least think about what i have written

It's that appeasement anology again:

You are of the opinion that we should ignore throughout the world terror and genocide because it is of "no conceivable national interest."

Since when is it not in the interest of a free and democratic society to take the strongest possible stand against terror and genocide?

Thank God Mr Blair doesn't share your weak will.

You are no more a voice of reason than was Neville Chamberlain.

And this challenging idea of what freedom is:

Freedom for you to broadcast your feelings did not come free and neither will the freedom for our children and grandchildren.

It is a pity that people like you had enough influence for the terrorist to get a foothold to begin with.

Tolerating your opinions is an unfortunate byproduct of the freedom umbrella that many pay a dear price for. And, one that you hide under.

And some more:

I'm replying to your editorial of 11-19-01, Bring our boys home. I only reply because 30 years ago I was one of those "boys" that
the so called peace actifists wanted to bring home. In retrospect I think all can agree that their efforts prolonged the very war that history now says claimed the life of the Soviet Union. If it were not for these misaligned efforts the job could have been done more
efficiently with a far less total of lost lives. The economic advances the world has made since the demise of the USSR has brought a higher standard of living to most all of the world's population, even those in China and other dictatorships. The threat of nuclear war has been more diminished by the outcome of this conflict than any act the peaceniks ever dreamed of. All men MUST conclude that our creator endowed us with a free will, and history is replete with examples of those who used it for evil. We must never concede to evil and if that takes our "boys" being somewhere other than home then so be it. As a veteran I more than anyone want to see peace and an end to hostilities. This is my only reason for taking the time to reply to that ridiculous editorial of yours.

Another complaint about the use of the word "boys":

If they are old enough to serve their country in a foerign land,or anywhere for that matter ,they are old enough to be called men and women.
Monday, November 26, 2001
Before you say it, no my last column is not wrong already. The fact that Americans are now in Kandahar does not mean that its an open ended operation (although it could develope that way. Also note that British troops have been taken off their 48 hour alert, although it was not the result of American unwillingness to get involved in this particular quagmire, it was "a direct result of the situation being better than anyone could have predicted" said Mr Blair's spokesman. So much for remaking the world about us, eh Tony?

I got this nice little bit of feedback already:

Thank you for the good portion of laughter over your very last piece.
Saturday, November 24, 2001
Some late feedback, first on the other feedback:

Can these people read properly? You seemed to me to be saying that we should get Bin Laden and get out-wipe out the terrorists and bring our troops home. What's their objection to that? Because frankly I wouldn't take Afghanistan as a gift.We must of course have the intelligence necessary to guard against any terrorist resurgence-but otherwise, who rules Afghanistan ain't our war!

And this on my column:

The Kosovo adventure had a truly worrying side to it as Blair committed 50,000 troops, more than half the British army, to an operation with no conceivable national interest. That turned out OK as the Serbs surrendered without a land invasion. Has the man's luck run out?

I'm surprised that you seem to be supporting Blair's interpretation of the outcome of the 1999 war against Serbia, saying that the Serbs surrendered. Perhaps you're being ironic?

From Blair's 2 October speech:
I have long believed this interdependence defines the new world we live in. People say: we are only acting because it's the USA that was attacked. Double standards, they say. But when Milosevic embarked on the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Kosovo, we acted. The sceptics said it was pointless, we'd make matters worse, we'd make Milosovic stronger and look what happened, we won, the refugees went home, the policies of ethnic cleansing were reversed and one of the great dictators of the last century, will see justice in this century.

AAUI it was Nato that gave up the Rambouillet Appendix B demands that caused the war - the demand for a referendum on independence for Kosovo and for the military occupation of all of Serbia (the latter, as the Spectator pointed out at the time, very like the demand by Austria-Hungary in 1914 that started the World War). If Serbia loses Kosovo then Milosevic can say it wasn't he who gave it away (if he's ever allowed to speak from his prison cell).

The failure of Nato quickly and decisively to defeat a small impoverished country in the Balkans can't but have encouraged the Taliban and other regimes to defy the US, ISTM. Who's next, I wonder?

I personally think that as the west did achieve its main stated war aim, the evacuation of the Serbian armed forces from Kosovo, it is fair enough to use the term "surrender, although it may be a bit sloppy as the Serbs did not agree to be occupied as was envisaged at Rambouillet. Where did Blair get this idea that Milosovic was one of the great dictators of the twenty first century?
Thursday, November 22, 2001
A late addition from "Republican Catholic and Parent":

I am guessing by your last name that you are of Jewish background how you can host or write a page like this is unreal to say these things about the British and one only makes me think you feel this about the USA and if not for the USA your [Expletive deleted] would be toast would you please stop this [Expletive deleted] with get our boys out yadda yadda yadda damn I would love to take you on one on one in a debate on what you really have as views cuz none of what you say makes any damn bit of sense.......grow up and see the world as it is and quit your [Expletive deleted] [Expletive deleted]......

This is a fairly centralised point for the responses to my article on Afghanistan, "Get our boys out now":


You can also go to my Afghan FAQs for some of the common answers.

The rational debate continues:

Came across your website and I have one word for you: "[Expletive Deleted]." People like you should be hung for treason.

This is even better. I thought that the isolationists were smeared as anti-semites:

GO fight for Israel, hypocrite.

This is from a previous correspondant, obviously taking optimism pills:

Don't worry about it , we as the policemen of the world (sic) will find Bin Laden and he will kill himself. And we, in the USA, are better for it after 9/11 because now we have a purpose,in our madness, to face up to a common enemy, terror. I can't say how you Brits feel but until you have had someone you know die, say a sister or father, then tell us what you would do. What you think this can't happen on British soil, think again. Talk to some of the ones from WW l l about bombs from across the Channel . Terror will strike again , Paris, London, or Rome take your pick. We all must find them and root them out, evil hates all of us, everywhere.

And here's from the French, unusually polite for that nation:

You can consider yourself lucky that your parents were not stupid pacifists as yourself otherwise you would be speaking German
or Japanese right now.

he goes on

I read the article again. . But it reads as an pacifist pamphlet. Are you a bunch of isolationists who don't want to get involved with anything outside your living room ? I hope the WTC made clear to you that this is not possible. What is the point you are trying to make ? Why are you against fighting terrorism ? You like terrorists ? You want to convert them to christianity ?

and in his last e-mail:

It seems your group is concerned with only "vital national interests". Wake up fellows. Killing as many terrorists as possible is a vital national interest. I hope 9-11 at least taught you that. Even an ex-isolationist as George W got the message.

You guys claim to be right wing conservatives. If I read a few more of your articles I am going to start believing that socialists are not that bad after all.

Wednesday, November 21, 2001
The responses keep coming.

First a question, who is the "national talk show host" that this chap mentions:

Next time you crawl out on that limb make sure it will support your body weight. Predictions from and by amateurs are taken seriously by few people. But some solace may be forthcoming as a national talk show host today commented on it and your military expertise!

This response particularly focussed on the web log:

I have had a look at the hostile responses on your web-site, & most of them seem, either not to notice that you were *in favour* of American action against al-Qa'eda, merely against the mad plans being mooted for the colonisation of Afghanistan, or to come from unintelligent I.R.A. apologists with no knowledge of history. Round One to you!

He had earlier said this:

"Get bin-Laden & get out." Yes, I think that very neatly sums up the most sensible attitude to the war. There is patently no possibility of a Western-style government in Afghanistan: the only solution would be full-scale colonisation, which would cost millions of pounds & thousands of lives, & end in the colonial power's withdrawal & the same old anarchy in Afghanistan. Blair's incomprehension of difference is terrifying. Imagine the evil lunatic as President of the United States. Or President of Europe...

But that was about the only positive response, although a couple were non commital. So here's for the nasty responses:

Surely an educated Brit of all people would allow the lessons of history to pave the way for some enlightened thinking. Did you not read your history books? Does the name Neville Chamberlain ring a bell???

And then there was this from the Marine:

"Strategic Interest" -are you kidding me or yourself. There are frames in history that show a picture of good or evil, right
and wrong. But there are some frames of time that show a blur and that is because sometimes things are not always black and white but gray. Sometimes you have to walk down the center of the road rather then the left or right before you see the traffic coming.
You give up certain freedoms sometimes to keep your freedom. The soldier gives up many of her/his freedoms to protect you, what makes you any better?
Why should you complain about some of your freedoms being sacrificed for the betterment of the world?
Oh I get it now! Freedom is great as long as it doesn't interfere any way shape or form with your live!
We - that's right mate - we are so damn lucky to live a life as we do in these countries compared to others around the world! You my friend have every right to say what you wish and I have every right to thing you wrong!

Continuing the military theme, I got this from a Vietnam vet:

I am a Vietnam era veteran, I was involved in a war that I didn't understand, what we expected
to do, or why we were doing it. I could understand the protesters, as I didn't understand the war, but being 19 years old at the time I did what I thought was the proper duties for an American soldier. Because I thought (at the time) that our powers to be would order us into battle only if it was our countries benefit to do so. Now I am older and understand things a little more, I wish that I could have refused to participate.

But now there is a totally different perspective, we are under attack by a very dangerous enemy, that if left alone endangers the entire world, inviting a total holocaust upon all living things (namely) with chemical weapons, nuclear weapons and a bunch of loyalist that don't give a damn about themselves, they can't wait to get to Allah. This is a just campaign, win or lose this is worth the effort to try and stop this madness. I am not a war mongel, a republican, a leftist or a radical. I am a Proud Loyal American Citizen who believes that there are some thing worth fighting for, as well as dying for.

We are under attack, this is not a dream, this is not TV, this is not a playstation game, dammit this is for real, and yes if all of the leaders in the world were sane we could intelligently settle all disagreements in a civilized manner, but they are not, some are hell bent on destroying whatever it takes for them to gain power and change the world into the slaughter houses that they call Holy,
depriving the people of this world it's freedom, choice of religion etc..

I didn't vote for this president, and may not next election, BUT you can be sure that while he is president, HE HAS ALL OF MY SUPPORT. And if you stop to think, maybe yours.

Is the next guy trying to scare me:

Let the angels of death go and all will be better in the world! Get out from under your bed, the mosters are not in the closet but on the world stage. It must be hard to be afraid of the dark all the time. That is why we have laws, by men and by nature,against crime. When crimes are commeted, one doesn't look the other way, you take a stand and call the police. Because if you don't you will be next on the list that misfortune awaits. You not only give in but you have giving up your soul to the devil. Stop with this and do something for yourself an grow-up. The world is very big and bad but along with that is allot of wonderful people that given the time are not afraid to make a stand against terror and evil. Stand up and be counted upon to fight against evil but I forgot you won't fight so be afraid, very afraid. Oh, don't open that closet door.

What is it about the anti-semites, are they really unable to understand the word "pseudonym":

Another Liberal Jew screaming pacifist propaganda. Now if our boys were protecting Jewish interests it would be an entirely different message . You make me sick .World War Two was a classic example . Pacifist screamed about the U.S. entry into the War but when atrocities toward Jews was discovered the charge was we did not move fast enough. Go to Normandy you creep and visit the cemetary . By the way you will see VERY few Star of David markers .

I hate it when they call me a Liberal.

Now spot the facts that this guy's quoting, I couldn't:

They are not your boys, they are grown men in the military. They are obviously not your "boys" since they could never have grown up under the roofs of peaceniks who use misleading information and innuendo to write the so called "news". You can demean your own government this way as your right, but right is only right when you present honest, real facts.

This is quite a good one, and the first female comment I've got in the avalanche:

What i find ironic regarding the title of your 11/19/01 article is this:

I don't think you could get them to come out. It seems clear to me from all I have seen and heard regarding our armed forces, that they want to be there. Good luck.

Now back to the strong stuff:

As far as I am concerned you are nothing but a left wing commie jew disease. Wait until the terrorists start putting bombs up your [Expletive Deleted] then see how you scream for protection. You and that English [Expletive Deleted] Chamberlin would have made great team. Wait until the enemy is powerful then waste even more lives trying to eradicate it. You can't see what is in front of you because you are stupid and have never studied history.
The world today is way too small to be isolated, but you wouldn't understand that. Cause you be STUPID.

At least the next one was polite:

Fine. Pull your troops out. Let everyone pull their troops out. Then London is the new site for terrorist activity. Is that what you want. Pull your troops out and the terrorists run free.

Use your brain man

And another supportive e-mail (sort of):

I think most people in the "West" realize that Afghanistan and the "Middle East" in general is a mess and I'm sure we will get Bin Laden and get out. A lot of people will starve and or freeze to death afterwards. I believe that the majority of the people in the US would like not to be involved in the Middle east at all, but I'm not really sure our own government here really cares any longer what we think economically or politically.

The dictators and rich oil emirates in the Middle East have brought this havoc upon their own people. The Israelis and Palestinians need to start dealing with their own problems. Blatant ignorance, lack of education and employment doesn't help matters either.

I mean when you have a situation in one country where 80% of the population is young men under the age of 20 and 65% of them are unemployed, they probably have nothing better to do all day than envy and hate America.

You have fundamentalist people who do even understand the basics of their own religion much less the philosophical/spiritual principles involved. All of the foreign engineers I work with left their own countries because their is no opportunity where they once lived and they have no desire to go back.

The Middle East willingly sells us oil and they willingly accept our money and our culture, nobody is putting a gun to their heads.

The people and the leadership in the "Middle East" need to get their act together and learn how to live together.

I believe we are as a country are humane and forgiving and probably so to many who don't deserve it.

Where is appreciation for all the good we have done in the world? l

What we did in the past, the Cold War, our retched foreign policies, etc.. that is gone.

Where is the forgiveness for America?

I'm sure what ever we do as a Country it will never be good enough.

But I guess it will always be our responsibility to carry the cross and yes, the big stick as long as others refuse to accept responsibility for their actions.

Have a good Thanksgiving

Here's a succinct essay on the relationship of hope and experience:

This whole mess will be solved within a year. Don't be such a pantywaist, stand up and say who you are and give the world a reasonable solution. Because of the U.S. strength and reasonableness, there will be some form of coalition government and no terrorists hiding out to wipe out the US or Great Britain.
Use some common sense!

Not to be confused with this chap:

You whiny little prissy [Expletive deleted], liberal Commie pinko. Bend over and stick your head where the sun don't shine. Wake up and smell the coffee!! This is war and we will win, or die proud trying!!!
How would you like to have one of your loved ones crushed or burned to a crisp and lost forever in the NY Trade Towers?!! You sniveling little trouble making
[Expletive deleted], !! Go crawl under a rock with Osama or Saddam and deplete the surplus population, you worthless agitator and scum!!

This "US Citizen" is more civilised, although it is rather worrying that he starts off as if Britain and America are one country:

It is people like you that keep the world in turmoil. We have had almost 5,000 innocent civilians killed here in the United States and you want us to just to walk away from this tragedy? Shall we allow the terrorists to strengthen their forces so they can wreck further havoc on our society as well as yours? Would you like to walk through the caves of Afganistan with your anti war signs. I'm sure they would give you great protection. Why don't you support getting rid of these terrorists? Your govenment has been a great help to our goverment. I hold Mr. Blair in the highest esteem. What would have happened had we not fought Adolph Hitler? I suspect
you would be speaking German as your native language right now. Find something better to do with your time than to critize our

Where did this come from?:

I enjoyed your article. Your side bar next to the column was interesting, as well. However, it’s an illusion to suggest that you don’t “sponge” off of taxpayers or that you otherwise pursue some “honest” profession and means of earning an income. At the very least, I would imagine that some of your customers have jobs in politics, journalism or civil service. So you really do sponge off of taxpayers.

This about Indiana schools:

I can't speak for education for New York, but in the state of Indiana, USA, we weren't taught as you said "In New York schools, they teach that the British government launched genocide on the Irish, when hundreds of thousands died due to the predictable failure of the state to feed a starving population."

We were taught the potato famine was caused by crop failures. I believe it was weather and insects both (but I'm not certain about the insects). Please be advised that your belief in "mis-information" may be misinformed.

This coming from the descendant of an Irish immigrant because of the famine.

Now some more on Afghanistan:

I pray that you are not in the next building those crazy's from the world of camels and sand blow up or fly an airplane into. Not only must bin Laden be brought to be judged (either by military court or Allah), but we must also bring those "bullies of women", the Talaban, to be judged by the same criteria for sheltering this mad, deranged bin Laden for all these years.

Yea Donald Rumsfeld, yea Tommy Frank USA, USA, USA, USA!!!

Finally some sub-fascism to keep you going:

Have you read last week's newspapers, which all ran stories about the Taliban literally shitting their tunics and running like mama's boys from the Northern Alliance and US bombing? Quagmire? Your article was moot before it ran. And another thing, when, if ever, does your silly e-rag ever think that the use of military force is justified? Foreign invasion of US soil? Get a grip on human reality- only the strong survive, the emotionally strong, the morally strong, and, last but notleast, the physically strong.
A late addition. Is this what NORAID say behind closed doors about a certain semitic people originating from the Middle East? If it is, it's no different from the boys they fund:

Dear Mr. Emmanuel Goldstein:

I just read your article about getting the British boys home from Afghanistan. It was, however, an aside about the Irish potato famine that caught my eye. Yes, indeed, the British didn't give a damn about how many Irish died, and they(the British) effectively were the state in those days, with their landlords owning so much of the land.

By the way, this is not taught in New York schools. All they teach there is how the poor Jews have always suffered from the hands of every country they've ever entered. Well, maybe they deserved it, just like the 1.5 million Irish deserved to die, hmm?

Don't expect sympathy for your own tribe if you won't extend it to others. Tolerance is a two-way street.

Let me say that I don't think that all Irish-Americans are anti-semites.

I'm not sure why, but I've got a flurry of responses to my latest column. Now it could be because I'm widely read and respected among American conservative circles or that I have been picked up by a group of keyboard warriors whose idea of fun is to try and talk an anti-war columnist out of his errors. Please don't hurt my ego by suggesting the second option. Well here goes:

The media's other lament--you must have heard the trembling, reedy tone in the questions asked in Washington briefings a few weeks ago--was the belief that we were getting into another Vietnam.

These suggestions, laced with fear, came from a few journalists who only a year ago had ambitiously attached themselves to stories about the grit of the Greatest Generation, our parents and grandparents who fought their enemies over year after bloody year, not weeks, in World War II.

"I know a lot of people have been running around saying, `Oh my goodness, the United States is in a quagmire. The Soviets were defeated [in Afghanistan]. And how can you get into that same mess?'" Rumsfeld said.

"The differences between the Soviet Union's situation and ours are dramatic," he explained. "The Soviets wanted that country. We don't. They lived in the neighborhood. We don't. They had a superpower opposing them. We don't."

So we don't want it and we're still in. Is that supposed to be good?

And there was this:

you are utterly out to lunch

Succinct and to the point, and about as well argued as this:

Where were you on September 11th? I can not believe that you are serious in your writings and in today's world, no country can be an island and play the isolationist card. Why don't you start reading and trying to comprehend what the current world is about?

There were some that were better argued like this missive to an ungratful civvy:

Before I begin, yes I am an ex Marine of the USA and yes I did serve in Vietnam, and yes I have killed people in my life! But does that shape my thought pattern today, yes of course. The ability of you and I to print what we wish was paid for by someone else's blood! The right to free speech and to worship how we wish was a gift to us all by someone else dying! The ability of you not having to
adhere to someone else's whims - where do you think that came from, diplomacy?

Many women and men have died for your rights you take for granted! I'm sure the amount of innocent people caught in every conflict and war is staggering! The amount of resources used to even wage war in astronomical! People should get along and there should never be a conflict between people, but guess what, were not perfect!!!! You sit back and condemn the very ideas that allow you to be free in the first place! You enjoy this freedom and don't have the first idea where it came from! I would not want to sacrifice any of my children for my own freedom - but I would for yours and the millions of others that live free in this not so perfect world. Where do you think freedom comes from, books, movies, plays, painting, politicians, the corner pub, where? News flash - from someone sacrificing there very lives for you! Now you may say "I didn't ask for that sacrifice!" your right you didn't. But it's painfully obvious someone was a lot smarter and a whole lot less self centered then you and gave you this gift anyway! So it is your free right to write what you wish and I for one will defend that till my last breath! I just wish you could see that in this world only two things really matter, GOD and Freedom!

And then there was an appeal to History:

no one ever said that war was a good thing.
But being afraid of war, and yes isolationism can lead you to far more trouble. Before WWII, France acted like a country that had no interest in fighting, and was pushed around until it finally got pummeled. And the United States was isolationist right up until Pearl Harbor. If the United States and France had been willing to face evil, instead of running from it, the war might never have happened. So here we have people again, who say we should not fight. In 10 years, if Osama had gotten the bomb from Pakistan, or from leaks in Russia, then you might change your tune. But the cost now would be greater.
Just like Hitler was a few years off from having the bomb himself. Then what would have England paid in blood.

Can you spot the theme? I'll give you another clue:

I was ready to defend the stationing of troops in Afghanistan, but with such weak argument on your part ... why bother.

I will give one reason why we should be involved and an analogy. Hitler and the Third Reich = Present day Terrorism. I don't want war or bloodshed any more than you do, but how should countries defend themselves? All the best to you and your endeavors, but please remember to support the men and women that are in the military and protecting our freedom.

It seems that fact is now an irregular possesive noun, I have facts, you have opinions:

I disagree with a couple of factual issues on your web site:

1. I am an American of Irish ancestry (at least in part). We were taught very little about the Irish/English conflict in school. I attended a Catholic School and believe that they actually had more of a inclination to reflect on this history, but the schools are mostly silent on the issue. What I learned myself came from a British newspaper site (Times of London I think). Most Americans, except a few radicals, are neutral with regard to Irish English relations. With a population of close to 300 million, you will find a few extremists who don't represent the majority view. Most people, including myself, are simply interested from a historical perspective.
[oh yeah?]

2. I'm not sure why you believe America doesn't want your help. I believe our two countries have a very close relationship which is unlike any other 2 countries in the world. I don't understand what basis you formed this judgement on...

3. You seem to acknowledge a benefit to getting Bin Laden at the end of your article. How can this be accomplished absent troops in the country? I believe that Bin Laden, and his network, represent a clear danger to both the US and Britain. If you accept this, doesn't engagement in Afghanistan make sense?

Tuesday, November 20, 2001
Some feedback on my last article:

Your artical has hints that you are mildly educated, or at least read the newspaper. Perhaps, during your education, you learned a bit about this group called the "Allies" you speak of... Well, since you choose to write on historical matters, perhaps you could read about a time when London was under attack.... yes, Mr. Goldstein, do you know who they were coming for back then??? I dare not hint that Afghanistan has that type of power, or that the Talban order to wear arm bands was anything like the nazi era. Simply that 4,000+ americans were killed on our own soil, going about our daily life...that is cause for great alarm to people who have historically bailed you out. I understand that you write from an isolationist point of view, but, there is a time and a place for everything... Believe me, I am very conscious of social politics and went to college in Washington DC, before september 11th, I would have been as anti-war and isolationist as possible. What you should read up on, and possibly consider before writing is the simple fact that, we bailed your country out years ago... our grandparents fought with and for your grandparents... its time for you to return the favor, at least with support-
Monday, November 19, 2001
Information gratefully received

My mailing list has a surprising number of subscribers who are influential in some way or another within the Conservative Party. This is of course to the good. The coverage is, as you would expect of a single subject e-mail bulletin sent by an anonymous author, rather - erm - patchy. I expect this to grow organically, but I could do with some help.

Here's a list of Conservative front bench spokesmen on foreign policy and defence, and Conservative members of those select committees. If you have e-mail addresses of either their researchers or people active in the Conservative Party in their constituencies I would be grateful. Don't worry I'm only going to invite them to subscribe.

Bernard Jenkin Essex North
Desmond Swayne New Forest West
James Gray Wiltshire North
Lord Vivian

Michael Ancram Devizes
Alan Duncan Rutland & Melton
Richard Spring Suffolk West
Lord Howell of Guildford
Baroness Rawlings

James Cran Beverley & Holderness
Gerald Howarth Aldershot
Patrick Mercer Newark

Patrick Cormack Staffordshire South
John Maples Stratford-on-Avon
John Stanley Tonbridge & Malling

Saturday, November 17, 2001
For more on the dangers of Pakistan going nuclear, see PAKISTAN: A NUCLEAR ROGUE STATE? by Srdja Trifkovic
Friday, November 16, 2001
On some previous questions on Iain Duncan Smith this is from one of his former campaign aides:

First things first: if you're going to keep harping on about the poor man, you may as well remedy one of your notable deficiencies. His name, as every media outlet in the country will subtly suggest by virtue of reading them, is Iain Duncan Smith. There is no hyphen.

Next: he doesn't have two houses in London, just one, in Fulham - an artisan's cottage, bought when they went for rather more sane prices than they do now. Though even today, we're hardly talking about a 7 figure sum.

Only one of his children goes to a public school, and he attends Eton on the basis of a music scholarship, hence the cost is £0.00. The remainder trot off to state RC primaries.

It seems that he doesn't have a home in his constituency, and I apologise for the mistake. Thank you for the clarifications.

Tuesday, November 13, 2001
So they've taken Kabul and all's right with the world. Not in Pakistan it's not. To Pakistan, the Taliban may have been nutters but they were indebted to the Pakistanis and not the Russians, Iranians and Indians. Now what's going to happen to Pakistan? To its nuclear detterent?

Monday, November 12, 2001
If bemoaning moral and cultural decay is your thing, then check this out Monsters thrive in modernity. It's keeping cheerful wot keeps me going.
I'm not an Anglosphericist, and I don't think I've ever forwarded a speech from a member of the Royal Family, but this came to me today through an e-mail. I find it surprisingly compelling (completely without fact checking):

These words were spoken by Queen Elizabeth II in Philadelphia in 1976 and are today relevant to the Campaign on the Nice Treaty 25 years later.


Here on July 6, 1976, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain presented the Bicentennial Bell to the people of the United States, in these words:

I speak to you as the direct descendant of King George III. He was the last Crowned Sovereign to rule in this country, and it is therefore with a particular personal interest that I view those events which took place 200 years ago.

It seems to me that Independence Day, the Fourth of July, should be celebrated as much in Britain as in America. Not in rejoicing at the separation of the American Colonies from the British Crown, but in sincere gratitude to the Founding Fathers of this great Republic for having taught Britain a very valuable lesson.

We lost the American Colonies because we lacked that statesmanship "to know the right time, and the manner of yielding, what is impossible to keep."

But the lesson was learnt. In the next century and a half we kept more closely to the principles of Magna Carta which have been the common heritage of both countries.

We learnt to respect the right of others to govern themselves in their own ways. This was the outcome of experience learned the hard way in 1776. Without that great act in the cause of liberty performed in Independence Hall two hundred years ago, we could never have transformed an Empire into a Commonwealth!

Ultimately peace brought a renewal of friendship which has continued and grown over the years and has played a vital part in world affairs. Together we have fought in two world wars in the defence of our common heritage of freedom. Together we have striven to keep the peace so dearly won. Together, as friends and allies, we can face the uncertainties of the future, and this is something for which we in Britain can also celebrate the Fourth of July.

This morning I saw the famous Liberty Bell. It came here over 200 years ago when Philadelphia, after London, was the largest English speaking city in the world. It was cast to commemorate the Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges, but is better known for its association with the Declaration of Independence.

Today, to mark the 200th anniversary of that declaration, it gives me the greatest pleasure, on behalf of the British people, to present a new bell to the people of the United States of America. It comes from the same foundry as the Liberty Bell, but written on the side of this Bicentennial Bell are the words "Let Freedom Ring."

It is a message in which both our people can join and which I hope will be heard around the world for centuries to come.

Jonah Goldberg says our loyalty to America is "peerless" and then goes to compare us to ... dogs. Thanks Jonah.
Sunday, November 11, 2001
And another thing. According to The Telegraph, Bin Laden has nukes:

In his first interview since the September 11 attacks, bin Laden told Hamid Mir, a Pakistani journalist who is working on a biography of the terrorist: "We have chemical and nuclear weapons as a deterrent and if America used them against us we reserve the right to use them."

He refused to say where he had got the nuclear weapons from although it is suspected that they might come from Pakistan where two nuclear scientists with links to bin Laden were arrested last week.

Now let me get this straight, Bin Laden can't be believed when he denies having anything to do with this (OK, I wouldn't believe him either), but when he's claiming to have nuclear weapons we take his word for it? What's less likely, an Islamic suicide attempt is conducted without this chap in a cave, or that this non-Governmental organisation has nukes? Occam's razor anyone.

Myself I think he's bluffing.

Any Islamic theologians out there (or anyone out there at all)? Would lying to a Muslim journalist qualify as lying to one of the Umma (bad) rather than lying to the ultimate audience, who are infidel (and so good).
So Osama did it all along, according to the Telegraph. As they title it Bin Laden: Yes, I did it.

Is that what he actually said? There are two things that Bin Laden says:

1) That his organisation is terrorist
2) That the bombing of the Twin Towers was legitimate in his eyes

What is interesting is that, despite the Telegraph's best efforts,
the two are nowhere linked. Both of these motives are despicable,
and item (1) alone would justify the US hunting him down.

Maybe the Telegraph has missed something damning on the video,
although I doubt it. Almost certainly he's trying to skirt the
issue, but the evasions are still there.

I don't think that most moderate Muslims will accept this as proof
(the Fundamentalists won't anyway - but other Muslims may at some
point). And that's the important thing.

I hope that Blair has something better than a boastful propoganda
video in his "damning indictment" on Wedensday.
Has Romano Prodi finally gone mad? You be the judge.
Saturday, November 10, 2001
Has anyone noticed an, ahem, hostility from the BBC towards Al Jazera. Surely this is not because Al Jazera is now more trusted in the Middle East than the Beeb?
Another piece that's a bit late on here is this from Robert Fisk in The Independent pointing out the weakness of our public case against Bin Laden. (May I say that I do think it was done in his knowledge - but I can understand that others predisposed to distrust us would not see it this way.

An old but interesting piece in The Spectator by Julian Manyon, about the divisions in the Northern Alliance. Apparantly the only thing that unites them is a hatred of Pakistan.

Does it still seem convincing? 10 Downing Street - Prime Minister's statement to Parliament

And this from Eric Margolis, on how Britain aided Iraq in getting Anthrax.
Friday, November 09, 2001
Anthony Howard's piece in Times is headed The Government has lost the war and is an analysis of the Parliamentary debate. His conclusion:

If I had to sum up the message from Westminster last week it would have to be that the Government has not only lost the propaganda war, it has been routed on the intellectual front as well.

He also mentioned a lecture given by the military historian Sir Michael Howard to the Royal United Services Institute, which I should get hold of. Does anyone know where I could get an online version?

Does anyone know how Iain Duncan-Smith keeps two houses in London and manages to send three children to (expensive) Public Schools on a backbencher's income? I realise that there might be money in his wife's family (Cottesloe) - but are they rich as well as posh?

His entry in the register for Members Interests reads (for remunerated interests):

Occasional journalism, broadcasting and lecturing.
Business consultant to Arlen PLC; sale and marketing of manufactured goods.
Business consultant to Wicksteed Engineering.

Am I missing something here?

For a retraction, click here.
Thursday, November 08, 2001
How to work my links

I have changed the way the links work on this web log, which means that you the way you reference individual entries has changed.

How to link

At the end of this little piece you will see a link which will show the time like this:


To be able to reference this article in your own web page, or to send a reference to your friends simply click on this link with your right hand mouse button and choose copy shortcut. You can then paste the shortcut on to your web page or e-mail at will.

From now on you will be able to reference all these insane ramblings.

What price for Poor David's survival?

Poor David Trimble lives to fight another day.

This is a particularly daft way of dealing with Ulster Prods. They have always been keen on promises, after all the largest bunch of them are Calvinists who seemed to be remarkably keen on keeping their word. I really don't think that the re-designating of the Alliance politicians soured the Unionists - after all they are keeping to the letter of the law - it was the fact that the 60 day rule wasn't kept to. What I found fascinating in the heated press conference was the plaintive cries of "cheat". They really felt hurt. David Trimble is going to pay for that sense of hurt.

It was a bit like the Portillo escapade. Everyone says that it was his support for marijuana legalisation or gay rights that did it for him. Nonsense. What did it for him was when he suggested imposing all women short lists on Tory associations. This was when the chairmen and activists went bonkers, they weren't going to have any dodgy Spaniard interfering in their patch.

Wind Change?

Word has reached me that the "Westminster Campsie Club of the Apprentice Boys of Derry" are going to be holding a seminar on the history of Ulster Protestants. This is intriguing, as these people are basically right wing English Tories with a few exiled Ulstermen. As you would expect they are of the Powellite "Integrationist" school of Unionism rather than the Paisleyite Stormont variety. Scottish devolution saw off the integrationist argument, that once Ulster was integrated with Britain then the Republicans would know that any attempt to overthrow the majority will by violence would be futile. Talking about the history of Ulster Protestants is to recognise them as a seperate culture (which of course they are to all except the integrationists and the Republicans). To recognise them as a seperate culture is to fumble towards the ultimate justification for Unionism (or rather non-unionism with Eire), self determination.

Its taken five years to realise it, but this staunch and influential outpost of integrationism seems to be realising the futility of this course. Lets hope that the intelectual dead end of integrationism has left the stage. Unionism without the Union is the best course for Ulster, lets hope they realise it.

Wednesday, November 07, 2001
Discussion Groups

Here's some of my favourite groups on the yahoogroups service:

My column, of course, is sent every week by e-mail a couple of days after appearing in You can also subscribe to my "daily" e-mail service, which is an erratic series of daily e-mails on British foreign policy, usually in the form of articles. Basically its the most interesting e-mails that I come across.

If you want to discuss any of this further you can go to the AirstripOne Forum, anyone can read but only members can post. I have two specialist forums, one on European Union Law which is a legal discussion group, and the other on British immigration, which is set up as a forum for all comers. It must be said that I am in a liberal minority on the latter group.

The Libertarian Alliance Forum, run by the British Libertarian Alliance is often worth a look, although ironically they are immensely fond of censoring people. This can be a very heavy traffic list. For those intersted in the American "school" of Paleo-Conservatism, this list is of interest, and if you want to follow Tom Fleming's advice to "forget politics, read books" you may want to try their Great Works reading group (which seems to be in abeyance at the moment). An interesting variant on this theme is a reading group on Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy, starting from next Friday we will be reading and discussing one chapter of this work a week, something that should take us two years.

Finally VDare's Steve Sailer has got a list for his columns, if you like his style you could do worse than sign up.
Odds and ends

Some Links I kept on meaning to post, but never got round to it. Naturally they will not be covering the war:

Culture Wars - Discussion and Resources Jim Kalbs excellent web presence. Strong meat for most of us.


A review on Leo Strauss

A discussion program on America's NPR on different types of Conservatism

The headline says it all EU Goes Global As Patten Chases Superpower Role

An odd set of articles, but I've finally put them on the web.
Monday, November 05, 2001
These are the MPs who spoke out against the bombing on November 1st. If they are your local MP a friendly letter may be a good idea.

Robert Marshall-Andrews MP

Jeremy Corbyn MP

Harry Barnes MP

Tam Dalyell MP

Mike Gapes MP

Paul Flynn MP

Peter Kilfoyle MP

Harry Cohen MP

Diane Abbott MP

Andrew Turner MP

Andrew Tyrie MP

Denzil Davies MP

Elfyn Llwyd MP

George Galloway MP

Lynne Jones MP

These MPs didn't speak against the bombing but voted against it.

or for acted as tellers.

Adam Price MP

Angus Robertson MP

Alan Simpson MP

Michael Weir MP

Hywel Williams MP

Mike Wood MP


Paul Marsden MP

Kerry Pollard MP

John McDonnell MP

Simon Thomas MP

Sunday, November 04, 2001
Poor David Trimble has been saved! Hurrah for the nice guys. Well not so fast. Firstly he could only be saved by the switch of a number of the non-sectarian Alliance Party to labelling themselves as Unionist, which may be strictly correct as they want to maintain some sort of link with Britain, but they are not a solely Protestant party. So the idea that the Unionist community is behind the peace process has been shattered.

Then the Alliance demanded that the whole position that brought this shambles be dismantled, meaning that the whole idea of "power sharing" - meaning that both communities would have to agree to any decision - is now thrown out. It may suit the nationalists this time, but the Prods are still a majority in Ulster. And finally it has missed a legal deadline, meaning that this will be challenged by the courts.

Better get Plan B dusted down.

Historical Document's speech

Blair's speech to the Welsh assembly

The Duncan Smith article, on which he was accused of "wobbling" on the war. If only. Obviously they hadn't read it.

And the Parliamentary debate on the war. Good contributions from Bob Marshall-Andrews, Gerald Kaufman and Andrew Tyrie. Note the threat of menace when the Conservatives dare to question the conduct of the war.

Prize for silliest suggestion must go to Joan Ruddock who says that we should fight for Afghan women cabinet ministers. It must be noted that she used to be chairman of CND, so she's obviously changed her mind on questions of war and peace.
Saturday, November 03, 2001

Some classic doublethink from the Commons Debate on international terrorism:

Paul Flynn (Newport, West): My question arises from an earlier intervention. Will my right hon. Friend now kill the myth that the conflict will have some effect on the flow of heroin to this country and confirm what the United Nations has just said--that the Taliban have reduced their poppy cultivation by 91 per cent, but the Northern Alliance has increased its poppy cultivation threefold? A great deal of the heroin coming to this country comes from Burma, Pakistan and other countries. Whatever the outcome of the conflict, it will have no effect whatsoever on the flow of heroin into this country.

Mr. Hoon: I am afraid that I do not agree with my hon. Friend, and I caution him against relying on the argument that, somehow, the Taliban regime had reduced the supply of heroin. In fact, the Taliban regime prohibited others from producing heroin so that they could exploit substantial stockpiles of heroin. Indeed, they were seeking to raise the price to derive further cash from that appalling trade. So I do not accept that there would not be a significant disruption of the heroin trade; it would certainly prevent the regime from trading in other people's lives to sustain its own appalling activities.

So, let's get this straight - the Taliban have stopped the vast majority of opium production because they want to drive up the price. Furthermore their stockpile was built up as a business assett, rather than from confiscating the stuff in a major crackdown funded by the United States. Sheer madness, and yet we are expected to believe this.

In my opinion the effectiveness of the drug eradication policy shows that the Taliban regime were far more susceptable to Western pressure than we are told.
Looks like poor David Trimble is about to be chucked out of his position of power. My feelings on this are split. On the one hand I think that Trimble is a decent man on the other the peace process is a farce which tries to paper over the fact that Northern Ireland has two mutually antagonistic tribes both of whom will be deeply unhappy if the other rules them. But our leaders, responsible as always, have decided that there should be "no plan B". Back to the drawing boards?
Two new web logs, one by Natalie Solent, which should be good judging by her contributions to the Libertarian Alliance Forum. And another by Perry de Haviland which looks quite glitzy. Hopefully they will update their web logs more frequently than I do. Welcome to anorak land.

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