Obama and Putin’s Savage World Order

mnWhether it’s Obama sneering “Sue me” to critics of his abuses of power or Putin shrugging at yet another atrocity, we are no longer in the civilized urbane precincts of law and government.

What both men have in common is a hard left background which has taught them that the only defining principle in politics is Lenin’s “Kto-Kovo”. Kto-Kovo or Who-Whom reduced all interactions to warfare. The Bolsheviks ushered in the end of rules, decency or honor. All that mattered was who would be able to destroy whom. It didn’t matter whether you had justice on your side, but what you would do about it.

Obama and Putin have the same message for America. “Kto-Kovo.” “Sue me.” “So what?” “I won.”

Both men are mocking the impotence of their opponents who by failing to stop them have shown that they are weak and worthless. Instead they use them to divert attention from their own crimes.

In a Kto-Kovo world, there are no compromises and no morals. There are no laws and no limits.

If you can do something, you do it. If your opponents can’t stop you, then you have the right to do it. The true radical, the man of destiny, will do anything he wants because that is what makes him great. Lies are constant and utterly shameless. No lie can ever be exposed because the liar moves on to the next lie and then the one after that. Truth is as meaningless in a Kto-Kovo world as law.

Words and laws are just means to power. And in a Kto-Kovo world, power is all that matters.

A Kto-Kovo leader, whether in the 7th century or the 21st century, operates by rallying his followers through bold acts that expand their power and humiliate and destroy the morale of their enemies.

Whether it’s Putin invading Ukraine or Obama unilaterally running his amnesty, a Kto-Kovo leader attacks and challenges his enemies to stop him. He ignores any authority not under his control and does what he wants and by doing so he demonstrates that his power is the only authority that counts.

Kto-Kovo leaders are barbarians. Their actions challenge the framework of civilization. Their coming is a warning that civilization is on its last legs.

Civilization limits power by creating rules, whether in the realm of political power or the realm of ideas. There are means of limiting individual power and collective power and testing ideas and agendas. Kto-Kovo breaks all these limits. It says that if I want to punch you in the face, I will. If I want to force you to buy health insurance, I will. If I want to invade your country, I will. If I want to open your borders to invaders, I will. If I want to lie about everything, I will.

Don’t like it? So sue me.

In a Kto-Kovo world, the most lawless wins. Obama can beat up Republicans who still follow the rules. Putin however can smack around Obama because he follows even fewer rules.

Obama abuses executive power. Putin is executive power. When there are no laws, the dictator beats the abusive elected official.

Meanwhile in Iraq and Syria, ISIS is still winning the Kto-Kovo game because it follows no rules at all. There is nothing that its terrorists won’t do. And that puts them ahead of both Putin and Obama.

When Michelle Obama offered one of the hashtags that work so well against Republicans, Boko Haram laughed in her face. Social media bullying can take down the unarmed. It isn’t a threat to men who have no jobs, lots of guns and who aren’t part of your society’s extended cultural peer group.

Their Kto-Kovo comes down to naked force. Either you kill them or they kill you.

Kto-Kovo is a journey to the jungle floor of barbarism and there is always someone willing to be more of a barbarian. Obama daringly uses executive orders, starts wars and smuggles guns to terrorists. Putin skips right to shooting down planes. Boko Haram and ISIS cut to the suicide bombers and the genocide.

Don’t like it? So sue them.

Terrorism is the final Kto-Kovo. That is the bloody lesson that confronts Israel in Gaza. Fighting an opponent that will commit any crime and tell any lie is impossible except by Kto-Kovo rules. Terrorists use rules to immobilize their opponents while they themselves obey no rules.

Alinsky’s Rule Four, “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules”, is also the credo of Hamas, Putin and Obama. Kto-Kovo attackers have the most contempt for those who follow rules that weaken them. Their favorite tactic is accusing you of something they know to be false, “You are just like Hitler”, “You are a racist”, “You don’t care about human rights”… and then forcing you to disprove their accusations which limits your mobility and makes you predictable, neurotic and vulnerable.

Eventually you begin to turn on your own people at the first sign that they might embarrass you by proving the enemy’s accusation right. Meanwhile the Kto-Kovo enemy is a racist, doesn’t care about human rights and thinks that being compared to Hitler is a compliment.

What the Kto-Kovo enemy fears most is that his opponents will stop playing by the rules. Rules are a consensus, but the habits of civilization teach us that they are inviolable laws. That is why we insist on treating terrorists like prisoners of war even though the codes for the treatment of prisoners were part of a mutual reciprocal arrangement. We bend over backward to protect enemy civilians even when those civilians openly support terrorists whose goal is to kill as many of our civilians as possible.

We act as if Russia is a legitimate state that can be reasoned with when there is extensive evidence that its current leaders, just like in Soviet times, operate only under Kto-Kovo rules and don’t respond to anything else. And we still like to think that Obama’s Kto-Kovo politics can be neutered by the right Supreme Court decision or lawsuit when the only thing he responds to are direct threats to his power.

Obama isn’t worried about being sued. He isn’t afraid of any court. He isn’t even all that worried about losing the Senate. What he fears is another populist wave, like the one that created the Tea Party, swamping his agenda with mass protests and government disruption that even his media can’t ignore.

Putin isn’t afraid of another international investigation or limited sanctions. He’s terrified of losing power in a domestic uprising or of being forced to back up his threats with a shaky military.

Kto-Kovo fights can’t be won by playing by the rules. They can only be won by directly challenging the enemy’s power base and by going outside the rules to create your own power base.

It’s a power struggle that has no rules except that the side that blinks first loses.

In the memory of every civilization is the knowledge that barbarians can only be beaten by being as willing to throw away the rules as they are. Otherwise you end up on the wrong side of Kto-Kovo.

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  • Paddy Xtolpho

    If I didn’t know this was written by a shill journalist, I would have thought it was describing Israel’s intransigent terrorisms. Oh, wait, that says Shillman…

    • liz

      Says the left’s useful idiot.

    • tryingtopickaname

      Still trying to wield Alinsky’s rule #4 like a dull butter knife? Pfffft….

  • liz

    That’s why we should be wiping them off the map before they do it to us.
    You can’t negotiate with barbarians. Or pathological liars.

    • ClaraTMoe

      my buddy’s step-sister makes $83 every hour on the
      laptop . She has been fired from work for 6 months but last month her pay check
      was $18616 just working on the laptop for a few hours. why not look here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

      • http://johnnyangeladvocacygroup.net JohnnyAngel Advocacy Group

        Capitalism, like a silly GaGa tune, can also be used for other purposes as you so insanely demonstrate.

        • Anukem Jihadi

          Unfortunately all the other tunes in the juke box demonstrate the same lesson better.
          Play it again Sam.

    • PATRIOT.WW48

      liz, well said.:-)

  • truebearing

    Stunning clarity. In searching for a way to characterize this gem of an article, I fumbled through words related to optics and discovered a word that describes what you did with this topic, and many others: “lase.” It means to emit a coherent light. You lased Kto-Kovo and left no shadows where it’s evil can hide. The light is coming from every direction. It left no shadows where cowards can hide, either. This was genius.

    You foreshadowed the solution to Kto-Kovo by locking the exits as you charged the gates. The only exit is massive political action…like Sarah Palin has been trying to tell us.

    • hiernonymous

      Good analogy.

      To ‘lase’ is to first exclude all but a singular portion of the spectrum – to filter out most of the available light in order to use the single remaining wavelength as a tool. One then polarizes that remaining wavelength so that all of the emitted waves are oriented in precisely the same direction and phase.

      When one wants to illuminate a subject for the purpose of revealing it to the eye for better understanding, then non-stimulated full-spectrum light is the best tool for the job. If one wishes to use light to destroy the subject, to burn through it, or paint it as a guide for incoming ordnance, then lasers are the tool for the job.

      There are other reasons to like your analogy. Laser light is created by directing energy at a selected set of excited atoms. There’s no use directing the energy at atoms that aren’t already in ‘agreement’ with the desired output. The laser functions by taking an external source of energy, directing it at this group of receptive like-minded excited atoms, and then directing the resultant energy at a target.

      No analogy is perfect, and no doubt one could find aspects of this one to quibble with, but, all in all, I’d say you’ve done well to point this out.

      • truebearing

        Nice try at trying to bend the light analogy. Mine was an analogy on the illumination and clarity in Daniel’s article. It would be more interesting to see your direct response to what he wrote, rather than a cut and paste analysis of what it means “to lase” from a scientific perspective. You may not have noticed, but physics isn’t the primary focus (pun intended) here. Also, the general definition of “lase” is “to emit coherent light.” Certainly one could use the word “elucidation” to describe the effect of Daniel’s writing, but metaphors are more powerful and less ostentatious.

        You’re not upset because I admire Daniel’s work, are you? When one sees genius it is only natural to acknowkedge it.

        • hiernonymous

          “It would be more interesting to see your direct response to what he wrote, rather than a cut and paste analysis of what it means “to lase” from a scientific perspective.”

          Then you need have done no more than cast your glance up the page before you wrote this.

          • tryingtopickaname

            You are missing or evading the point…a simple and functionally apt analogy doesn’t need to be parsed to nonsensical shreds by arcane analysis. The phrase ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ comes to mind…

          • hiernonymous

            Did you find it arcane? I take it you were a liberal arts major?

          • Habbgun

            Stop with the left wing white trash talking points. You don’t like the fact people are sick and tired of your precious leftists than maybe you can start educating the leftists why people hate them.

            Have you ever talked to your own people and tried to guide them into more socially acceptable means of interaction?

            Have you ever tried to fight leftist ignorance and knee jerk responses.

            Have you ever tried dissuading your people that vandalism and crime isn’t legitimate protest?

            Have you ever tried dissuading your people that an idea isn’t brilliant just because a white European says it is?

            We all know the answer is no. Reap the whirlwind. You deserve it.

          • hiernonymous

            “Stop with the left wing white trash talking points. You don’t like the fact people are sick and tired of your precious leftists than maybe you can start educating the leftists why people hate them.”

            Seems that you could substitute some other nouns in there and make some pretty interesting observations about the Middle East.

            “Have you ever talked to your own people…”

            You have no clear idea of who “my own people” are. That’s one of the unsupported but congealed assumptions that all too often substitutes for actual fact.

            “Have you ever tried to fight leftist ignorance and knee jerk responses.”

            Why, yes.

            “Have you ever tried dissuading your people that vandalism and crime isn’t legitimate protest?”

            ‘My people’ don’t engage in vandalism and crime as a form of protest. Or, rather, not crime in the sense that I’m sure you meant it – looting, robbery, assault, etc. I don’t have any major problems with people who violate attempts to restrict free speech by, say, denying march permits or arresting people for failure to keep off the grass or that sort of thing.

            “We all know the answer is no. Reap the whirlwind. You deserve it.”

            I’m not sure what you even mean by this. If you mean you’re going to make sharply worded posts to me, knock yourself out. That’s not much of a “whirlwind.” If you mean you guys are going to take to the streets and do terrible things, well, I’ll believe it when I see it.

          • Habbgun

            You are so full of crap. You know very well what you are. Who you run with and what you’re about. So stop evading.

            “If you mean you guys are going to take to the streets and do terrible things, well, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

            Yup…that is exactly what your attitude is. Which is the whole point of this article. If you thought it would happen you’d be a puckered apologist.

          • hiernonymous

            “You know very well what you are.”

            Yes, I do. You, however, do not.

            “If you thought it would happen you’d be a puckered apologist.”

            I’m not sure what that even means.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Missing or evading the point is Hiero’s chief debating technique.

            That’s what trolls do. They engage you in extended sidebars and waste your time.

          • truebearing

            Discursive destruction is his mehod, whether it is to denigrate you, or re-direct the thread.

            Perhaps your best indicator of how well you made your point in any given article is the vehemence with which he attacks.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            And how much he diverts from the topic.

          • hiernonymous

            Your time is yours to waste. Have you ever been forced into a sidebar?

          • Habbgun

            Blah….blah…blah…..I’m hiero….blah blah blah……

          • truebearing

            Well, that would be a fine solution, if I had a time machine, but you wrote that comment after I left the computer for the night. And it seems to me that you should have written your opinions of the article before your failed attempt to hijack my comment.
            The fact that you look first to see who you can attack, even if it is attacking Greenfield through my metaphor, is a perfect indicator of your purpose. You aren’t interested in honest dialogue, you are interested in intellectual nihilism.

          • hiernonymous

            “Well, that would be a fine solution, if I had a time machine, but you wrote that comment after I left the computer for the night.”

            Both of my initial comments were posted before you posted this.

            “And it seems to me that you should have written your opinions of the article before your failed attempt to hijack my comment.”

            This matters to me because…?

            “You aren’t interested in honest dialogue, you are interested in intellectual nihilism.”

            If you think so, you aren’t reading intelligently.

          • truebearing

            Your discursive method is all about obscuring truths you don’t want others to see. That is destructive.

          • truebearing

            I posted my last comment last night 17 hours ago, according to Disqus. You posted the response in question at approximately the same time, but I didn’t see it until today.

            It doesn’t matter. You had your say. I had mine.

          • hiernonymous

            “It doesn’t matter.”

            Correct – but you insisted that it did. I never understood why you were trying to establish a timetable on which I should publish my thoughts, but since you did so, it was worth pointing out that I had already posted precisely what you were complaining I hadn’t.

        • hiernonymous

          “Nice try at trying to bend the light analogy. Mine was an analogy on the illumination and clarity in Daniel’s article. ”

          Yes, and mine was an explanation of why I agreed that a laser, rather than, say, a halogen lamp, a battery of LEDs, a carbon-arc spotlight, or any number of other sources of bright, full-spectrum light, was actually an excellent choice for your analogy.

          Apropos of nothing in particular, one of my favorite times to observe the pyramids when I lived in Egypt was at sunset. To do so, however, I drove down to Dahshur, because the Pyramids at Giza were the object of a gaudy laser light show, every evening, at sundown. Rather than illuminating or even embellishing, however, the lasers simply distracted and detracted from the ancient dignity of the stone. The warm light of the sun was a better way to see them.

          • Habbgun

            blah blah blah blah……..sucking up to the Obama admin using analogy is still sucking up to Obama admin.

          • truebearing

            Light is a metaphor for truth. Leftists and Muslims abhor the truth and try to obscure it with lies of every type. Laser illumination is superior for penetrating vapor, dust, clouds, or smoke (lies) that would diffuse other wavelengths. Lase is an apt metaphor for Greenfield’s work in general, and specifically his thoughts of Kto-Kovo, because it is a perfectly focused light/truth that cuts through the chaff and flares of the Left’s endless lying.

            And speaking of diffusing light, that is what your discursive method is all about. The word “discursive” was invented just for you. Your attempt to twist the “lase” metaphor for Daniel’s writing is not simply because you seek to diffuse his coherent light on this topic, but his ability to illuminate in general. You are trying to create doubt by suggesting his light is somehow defective or inadequate. You jumped at the chance to not only criticize this article, but debase Greenfield as a source of truth. Textbook Alinsky.

          • hiernonymous

            “Light is a metaphor for truth. ”

            Yes, because light allows one to see what is there in its completeness, banishing shadows. That’s not how coherent light behaves. Most of the spectrum is banished, casting a single color on what it touches. It shines on only a very small portion at a time, so that the eye cannot see the subject in its entirety.

            I absolutely agree that the laser is an “apt metaphor for Greenfield’s work in general” – the laser’s job is to target and cut, not to illuminate and reveal.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        Lasers are about coherency. Any useful study requires coherency and other attributes. Coherency is not bad unless it’s misused or inappropriate.

        • hiernonymous

          Yes, and my post was about the implications of ‘coherency’ when carried to laser-like extremes.

          • Habbgun

            it was shilling for Obama…blah…blah…blah….

            If you want to waste pixels invite Americana. She is much better at it than you are. You aren’t even good for that.


          • truebearing

            That makes no sense. I’ve never heard of something being too coherent. You are straining at stretching the lase metaphor. “Emitting coherent light” does not even suggest extremes.

          • hiernonymous

            “That makes no sense. I’ve never heard of something being too coherent. ”

            Possibly because you don’t understand the difference between ‘coherence’ in its rhetorical sense and ‘coherence’ as applied to physics. Try reading by laser light and get back with me.

          • truebearing

            The discussion isn’t about physics, as already pointed out. You want to torture the “lase” metaphor to any extreme in an attempt to prevent any positive analogy to Greenfield’s piece.

            Try staying on the topic and get back to me.

      • Webb

        Fcuk you.

        • hiernonymous

          I’m happily married, dear, but the offer was flattering.

          • Webb

            I’ll bet she’s a gruesomely ewe-gly old snag.

          • hiernonymous

            Rejection has made you bitter. No worries, you’ll find a man who loves you back someday.

          • Webb

            Yah, if she amounted to anything you wouldn’t have time to espouse your mindless drivel all day long.

          • hiernonymous

            It’s no use. You can’t turn me against her. I’ll never be yours, ma’am, so don’t humiliate yourself further.

      • Habbgun

        How to suck up to Obama in 1,000 words or more….blah blah blah….I’m a government loving shill….blah blah blah……

  • UCSPanther


    Looks like I learned a new term and one that accurately describes many historical leaders, tyrants especially.

    The only way to prevail against such a leader is to utterly crush them and strip them of their power. No other alternative will stop them…

    • hiernonymous

      “Looks like I learned a new term and one that accurately describes many historical leaders…”

      Yes, and that reveals the silliness of the article. It could with equal applicability be used to compare Attila the Hun and Alexander Hamilton, Hitler and Bush (pick one), Lenin and Rockefeller.

      The article is facile in its argument, selective to absurdity in its presentation of example, and risible in its comparisons.

      A President using his own judgment in deciding which laws to carry out and which legal instructions to follow is both the equivalent to ruthlessly murdering one’s political opponents and the harbinger of the end of civilization as we know it? The most charitable characterization of the former is ‘hyperbolic.’ As for the latter, that’s where the selective presentation of facts helps make a silly argument sound reasonable to those without access to other information – hence the applicability of Truebearing’s ‘laser’ analogy. Our constitution was structured with its system of checks and balances precisely because the Founders understood that the impulse that Daniel attributes to Lenin was, in fact, perfectly natural in politics, and represented the reason that aristocratic forms of government were antithetical to human liberty. The whole point of the Constitution was to limit the power of any given politician, and to put mechanisms in place for giving teeth to those limits.

      If Daniel thinks that Mr. Obama has carried disdain for limitations on his power to new heights, he’s demonstrating more about his ignorance of – or, more likely, his “laser focus” on – American history. When the Supreme Court ruled, in Worcester v Georgia, that the states had no authority to restrict access to tribal lands, Andrew Jackson commented “…the decision of the Supreme Court has fell still born, and they find that they cannot coerce Georgia to yield to its mandate.” In other words, Jackson was articulating the principle that Daniel describes as Kto-Kovo – in 1832. Abraham Lincoln employed it in several guises during the Civil War, suspending the writ of habeus corpus, shutting down the publication of newspapers with unsupportive editorial slants, using the military to crush dissent.

      In short, pushing the limits of authority has been common in the U.S. since the beginning. The examples from Mr. Obama’s administration that Daniel is pleased to compare with the brutality of Lenin are pretty tame in comparison with many in our own history. If biased application of the law is “kto kova,” then the barbarians arrived at the gate a century or two ago in our own Republic.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        The American body politic has changed and some pols simply feel they have more “permission” to do abusive things. Look at the behavior of the IRS and the Justice Department.

        If I really wanted to I guess I could try to find some approximate equivalence somewhere but I can only contrast the reaction today with how Nixon was treated. The public doesn’t seem to care as much as it should considering few people today don’t have access to enough of the details to see what is going on.

        Our leaders seem to be changing because society is changing. I don’t think for the better. I think for the worse because “the left” wants to destroy nationalism even if it can’t immediately destroy nations as the ultimate sovereigns.

        • The March Hare

          “The American body politic has changed and some pols simply feel they have more “permission” to do abusive things.”
          The left has been filling up the bureaucracy with their own agenda driven leftists for decades who now, reading the political clime, have decided to boldly do what they set out to do and do it in broad daylight. Upon getting called out on it, they just clamed up and covered up, not caring too much about how it looks, because the press, who is supposed to be the institution that shows how it looks, is helping to hide it. They all, as a whole, thought they were closer than they were and had to draw back a little. We are near end game. Now it’s: what are you going to do about it.

        • hiernonymous

          If you ever really want to, I’ll be happy to read it.

          I think that if Mr. Obama is ever found to have personally directed the IRS to target his enemies, then he will get the same treatment Mr. Nixon did. Until then, there’s really no equivalency between the two situations.

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            Obama doesn’t have to direct the IRS to target his enemies. The IRS is full of officials willing to place their own personal freedoms on the line and do it for him, because they know that he approves. He’s one of them, with the same goals and ambitions. Obama doesn’t have to put his future on the firing line when he has Lois Lerner to do it for him.

            Nixon, on the other hand, had an unhealthy disdain and dislike for the bureaucracies, which was reciprocated.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            JFK directed the IRS to target his enemies. Can we impeach him posthumously?

          • Habbgun

            You read?? snort…snort…..snark…snark….look I can be a leftist too!!!!

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Until then, there’s really no equivalency between the two situations.”

            In terms of proof? We’re not there yet. My perception is that the public was more interested in Watergate as it developed than they are with the IRS or any other scandal. Maybe it’s scandal overload. Obviously the way people get their “news” has changed.

            But what I do notice for sure is that people today care a lot less about scandals than even a few years ago. It seems to me that our body politic is a bit schizophrenic about moral standards, particularly about how much honesty “we” expect from our elected officials.

          • hiernonymous

            I think that what captured the public’s attention with Nixon was the idea of him using the powers of the Presidency to execute personal vendettas. The whole idea of using intelligence and police agencies against a personal ‘enemies list’ is pretty much the definition of the sort of abuse of power that frightens us and which formed the basis of our distrust of aristocratic systems.

            Malfeasance within the bureaucracy, on the other hand, is pretty much par for the course. I think people are as interested in this one as any other, but I think that most people see a difference between a sort of general bias and a specific, personal vendetta.

            In the IRS scandal, for example, the original complaint – that the IRS was auditing conservative groups – doesn’t strike me as all that big a deal. When you look more closely, you find that many of those groups were really stretching the intent of the 501 (c)(4) tax-exempt status, which was supposed to be for nonprofits engaging in social welfare. When some of these non-profits ended up spending over $100 million on political campaigns, some degree of IRS action was probably appropriate. The groups that were audited protested, there was an investigation, the IRS was found to have overstepped itself, there was the requisite bloodletting. So far, so good. Things worked out the way they should, so there’s no reason for further public outrage on that account.

            Where the big problem comes in, to my thinking, is that in the process of investigating whether conservative or Tea Party groups were unfairly singled out, there are indications of a cover-up. Now, cover-ups are news, and so the matter of the disappearance of Lerner’s emails, given the lame excuses so far offered, merit public attention. But, again, as it stands right now, there’s no compelling reason to think that anyone was protecting any hides higher than their own – that is to say, there’s no reason to think that the president was personally involved in this, and that’s what gets Nixon-like focus. That’s not to say it couldn’t yet happen. If he was involved, then we can expect that at some point, either a communication will come to light, or someone on a hot seat will sing, and if that happens, then a Nixon analogy will be perfectly suitable. If the public remains indifferent at that point, I’ll agree that there’s been a change in standards. Until then, though, the situations are very different, not just in terms of proof, but even in broad perception of what is probably going on.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I think that what captured the public’s attention with Nixon was the idea of him using the powers of the Presidency to execute personal vendettas.”

            Right. And it’s difficult for me to gauge, but it seems that people were a lot more skeptical about Nixon than Obama. It seems like the evidence would be a lot easier to pull together and examine. It seems like people react more quickly today than before, but today they’re not reacting much at all.

            It’s difficult to gauge because so much has changed. But the effect is very bad unless we come to conclusion where the facts are discovered and publicized, and people are held accountable as appropriate.

            But already people are willing to measure this president according to a different set of standards. And our nation suffers because of that.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Malfeasance within the bureaucracy, on the other hand, is pretty much par for the course. I think people are as interested in this one as any other, but I think that most people see a difference between a sort of general bias and a specific, personal vendetta.”

            This is malfeasance in service of POTUS and the party, not to mention the fact that the IRS as an institution stands to gain (or at least protect) its own power through these actions. It might be much bigger than Watergate. It looks like it will be.

            In that sense, I guess I could wonder if the public is outraged but unsure who to blame. My biggest concern is that 35% or more of the public think that the IRS was right to do what they did. They think it just makes sense that the IRS would screen parties that want to (legally) reduce the tax burden. Rules of the republic don’t matter. Naked pursuit of power is OK if it seems to serve my interests.

            That’s not what civilization is about ideally. That’s not progress. Progress through the destruction of rule of law? Come on now. But so many people seem to think in terms of progress coming sort of organically by defeating the inferior groups. It’s just another form of “othering” that comes from Darwinism.

            You don’t like the idea that gays want to marry? Obviously you’re from the anti-progress party so it’s just natural that progressive forces will try to destroy you. And that’s a good thing because “progress” should win just as Darwin illustrated. It’s just an organic process to have good progressives at the IRS target people that want to worm their way out of paying their “fair share.”

            I never heard of any Republicans arguing that it was somehow an example of pursuing justice and “rule of law” (natural or other) to break in to the Watergate hotel.

      • wildjew

        hiernonymous wrote: ” In other words, Jackson was articulating the principle that Daniel describes as Kto-Kovo – in 1832. Abraham Lincoln employed it in several guises during the Civil War, suspending the writ of habeus corpus, shutting down the publication of newspapers with unsupportive editorial slants, using the military to crush dissent….”

        “The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it….” (Article 1 Section 9)

        • hiernonymous

          Article 1 deals with legislative, not executive, powers. The Supreme Court ruled in ex parte Merryman that Lincoln’s presidential suspension of habeus corpus was unconstitutional. Lincoln ignored the decision, and Congress eventually acted to suspend it on its authority.

          • wildjew

            Ex parte Merryman was written by none other than pro-slavery (Andrew “Sharp Knife” Jackson) appointee, Roger B. Taney, author of the execrable 1857 Dred Scott v. Sanford decision which held that held that “African Americans, whether slave or free, could not be American citizens and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court.” Jackson is infamous for signing into law his 1830 Indian Removal act whereby the five civilized tribes were forcibly expelled west of the Mississippi River, the Trail of Tears, etc.

            This man is the Democratic party’s icon who they name their annual Jackson Day Dinners and fundraisers after. Not only was Jackson a slave owner (many in the south and the west were) but a slave-trader.

            The Republican press rightly denounced Taney’s opinion as “a new species of proslavery sophistry.”

            According to the historian: “In his message to the special session of Congress on July 4, 1861, Lincoln took note of the Merryman case. The president considered his primary duty to be the suppression of rebellion so that the laws of the United States could be executed in the South. Suspension of the writ was a vital weapon against rebellion. “Are all the laws, but one [the right of habeas corpus], to go unexecuted,” asked the president rhetorically, “and the government itself go to pieces, lest that one be violated?”

            Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era (Oxford History of the United States by James M. McPherson,.

          • hiernonymous

            And yet, unlike Dred Scott, Merryman stands as the law of the land to this day. Whatever you think of Taney, are you going to argue that Article 1 deals with legislative powers except for that one phrase?

            Now consider Lincoln’s explanation in light of the criticisms offered in the article, and tell me to what station your train of thought leads you.

          • wildjew

            I am a supporter of Abraham Lincoln. Democratic party icon, Andrew Jackson was a scoundrel as was Roger B. Taney, his appointee. The Democratic party was and is the party of slavery. In time of war a leader might have to take unpalatable measures which limit some freedoms, like Israel does in order to fight Islamic terrorism. American Muslims complain about potential profiling. Israel profiles at their airports and I support it. Don’t you? Better to limit the freedoms of potential enemies than law abiding Americans.

          • hiernonymous

            “The Democratic party was and is the party of slavery.”

            That’s half correct. The Democratic Party was, indeed, the party of slavery, and of Jim Crow. In order to make the second half of your statement, though, you have to willingly blind yourself to most significant developments in the American parties between roughly 1930 and 1990. I’ll leave you to do that reading on your own or not as you see fit.

            “Better to limit the freedoms of potential enemies than law abiding Americans.”

            Except that profiling will end up limiting the freedoms of some of those law-abiding Americans. With profiling comes acceptance of the idea that some citizens are ‘more American’ than others.

          • Drakken

            Profiling works.

          • hiernonymous

            Sure. So does unlimited police right-of-entry into your home, unlimited wiretapping, preventive detention, curfews, etc, if your only goal is to be safe from terrorists.

          • Drakken

            Sorry to put a dent in your admiration and derision of Andy Jackson , but, Ole Hickory was first and foremost American with deeply held Western Civilizational roots and did what was in the best interest of America and wasn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when push came to shove, unlike our weak and feckless leadership we have today who would faint in the presence of Jackson, and frankly that is exactly what America needs today, more Andy Jackson’s and less Comrade Obummers.

          • wildjew

            Jackson did what was in the best interest of those largely white Europeans who were settling America in his day and later Jackson benefited non-Native Americans who owe him a huge debt of gratitude. I am the beneficiary myself of Jackson’s Indian Removal policies here in Florida. My only beef is the double standard Americans apply to this wonderful land that God bountifully blessed them with against Israel; land that God blessed the sons of Jacob (not Ishmael) with. What gives? Can you explain this lack of appreciation of God’s bountiful blessings on this great nation?

          • wildjew

            PS: do you support slavery?

          • hiernonymous

            If you have a point to make, feel free to make it without trying to draw me into a bit of kabuki.

          • wildjew

            Can you see how government dependency, the kind of dependency Obama encourages, is a form of slavery; voluntary slavery?

          • hiernonymous

            I think that “voluntary slavery” is an oxymoron. There are legitimate criticisms to be leveled at welfare regimes. “Slavery” is not among them.

          • wildjew

            Try Googling the term.

            I got the idea of voluntarily putting yourself in servitude from the eighth chapter of the book of first Samuel when the people asked for a king which is what Americans chose in Barack Obama.


            1Sa 8:9 “Now then, listen to their voice; however, you shall solemnly warn them and tell them of the procedure of the king who will reign over them.”

            So Samuel spoke all the words of the LORD to the people who had asked of him a king.

            He said, “This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots…..

            1Sa 8:17 “He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants (or slaves).

            “Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the LORD will not answer you in that day.”

            Nevertheless, the people refused to listen to the voice of Samuel, and they said, “No, but there shall be a king over us, that we also may be like all the nations, that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight our battles.”

          • hiernonymous

            I didn’t say that the phrase had never been used. I said that it was an oxymoron.

            Economist Murray Rothbard makes a similar argument in “A Crusoe Social Philosophy”:

            The concept of “voluntary slavery” is indeed a contradictory one, for so long as a laborer remains totally subservient to his master’s will voluntarily, he is not yet a slave since his submission is voluntary; whereas, if he later changed his mind and the master enforced his slavery by violence, the slavery would not then be voluntary.

          • Habbgun

            Lincoln….oh wait Obama…Hiero loves Obama. blah…blah….blah blah…….

          • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

            I take Jackson to be a strict constitutionalist: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/2008/06/jacksons-indian-policy.html

          • wildjew

            From your piece: “It was (Jackson’s) belief that George Washington’s policy of recognizing Indian sovereignty was a violation of the constitution’s prohibition against removing land from existing states for the creation of new political entities….”

            Jackson’s, not Washington’s policy of recognizing Indian sovereignty, became official U.S. policy for national security reasons and other reasons. Fine.

            Why has it been U.S. policy for decades to not recognize Israel’s sovereignty and territorial integrity or her security but instead attempting to create a new political entity, a Palestinian terror entity which will threaten Israel’s survival?

          • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

            Imagine if a Jewish Andrew Jackson existed. He say “Arabs should accept Israeli law and assimilate into civilized society. Those who can’t abide by Israeli law can not expect to establish a state of their own with their own laws. If they wish to do so we have an “Arab Removal Policy” where we can accommodate them beyond our borders on the other side of the Mississippi … Jordan River, in their own country.

          • Habbgun

            Article 1 …blah blah blah…

            Article one and always one… I love Obama…I love the government!!!!

      • tryingtopickaname

        ‘A President using his own judgment in deciding which laws to carry out and which legal instructions to follow…’…Good grief, why didn’t you stop right there, rather than continuing in a screed that makes ample use of straw men and logical fallacy in a long-winded attempt to justify moral equivalence? That you are evidently oblivious to the inherent abuse of power you just inadvertently acknowledged in that one phrase is just short of comical.

        • hiernonymous

          Consider it less an exercise in moral equivalence and more a criticism of hyperbole and selective outrage. I happen to think that Mr. Obama is wrong on some of these issues, but it’s not necessary to engage in this sort of shrill calumny. Obama is equivalent to Lenin – and you were complaining about ‘moral equivalence?’

          • Daniel Greenfield

            ” I happen to think that Mr. Obama is wrong on some of these issues, but it’s not necessary to engage in this sort of shrill calumny. Obama is equivalent to Lenin

            That’s your shrill calumnious interpretation of my article.

          • Habbgun

            Keeping sucking up to Obama. Typical you. Many useless words just one motive. I love the government. I love rules….blah blah blah…blah blah blah….

          • truebearing

            Now accuracy is “shrill outrage?” Your comment was shrill outrage and rife with hyperbole.

            Obama is more than merely “wrong on some of these issues. ” He is in gross violation of the constitution, not to mention his oath as the president. He is engaging in criminal activities with reckless abandon, and is actually leading an invasion of the United States by shutting down the border protection apparatus, then broadcasting his intention to unilaterally give amnesty to any crook who crosses the border. His policies and actions are a litany of examples of Kto-Kovo.

          • hiernonymous

            “He is in gross violation of the constitution, not to mention his oath as the president. ”

            It’s not obvious that Mr. Obama is using any more leeway in the execution of his office than his predecessors. I think that “wrong on some of these issues” is a fair characterization.

            “…and is actually leading an invasion of the United States…”

            Oh, dear.

            “His policies and actions are a litany of examples of Kto-Kovo.”

            You’ve learned a new word from a blog post, and suddenly everything is ‘kto-kovo?’ If you’re having trouble distinguishing between the ruthless murder of one’s political opponents and disagreement over enforcement of border policies, it’s not clear that we both have the same understanding of the word ‘hyperbolic.’

      • Daniel Greenfield

        Actually that’s the opposite of Kto-Kovo.

        Andrew Jackson was arguing for the rights of states in this case. Lincoln did extensively abuse executive power, but I would hardly call the Civil War to be a commonplace occurrence.

        • wildjew

          Jackson supported states rights when it came to his Indian policies but he did not argue for states rights over South Carolina’s 1832 Ordinance of Nullification.

        • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

          That’s essentially correctly about Jackson. For those interested I wrote about it in my blog back in 2008: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/2008/06/jacksons-indian-policy.html

          For those interested: Jackson argued that Indians can’t have their own laws and must abide by the laws of their state governments. Jackson was being a strict constitutionalist by following Article IV, Section 3 (even Prof Woodrow Wilson agreed with his interpretation years later). Back in Jackson days, it wasn’t yet accepted that the Supreme Court had final say. The Court staked such a claim but it would not overturn legislation until Dred Scott. Jackson, like Jefferson believed their duty was to the Constitution.

      • Habbgun

        You need all this for a simple comment??? What a waste. Say it don’t spray it.

  • mollysdad

    This is why a re-run of Operation Barbarossa is so important for the peace of Europe and the world. Occupy St Petersburg, encircle Moscow and crush Volgograd. Take the Caucasus and let Ukraine retake the Crimea and Georgia recover South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

    Force Russia to put its oil and gas industries under international control and to take responsibility for the crimes of the USSR.

    Britain, France, Germany, Poland and Ukraine could do it.

    • Ellsworth Toohey

      The smart and hard working Europeans are all for Putin and reject their current socialist gvt. The lefties are all for the US of obama. As far as I am concerned and as a european who lived in the US, has US family, I would prefer to go with Russia to the US of obama. These are not the US I admired. The US died with the liberals in the nineties.

      • The March Hare

        And Russia died before that. You are only attaching yourself to what you perceive as the winning side.

        • Ellsworth Toohey

          I don’t see myself in an obama, on the other hand, a Putin, a Merkel ! :) Winning side ? Be happy Putin act in such a way the US didn’t go to Syria and get an other beating.

          • The March Hare

            It wasn’t because he was doing the US a favor.

      • Vel_Non

        Yes, the US has been in its death throes since the 90s –

        the 1890s – or better, the 1790s.

        Franklin’s prescient admonition at the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, “A Republic – if you can keep it” was – and proved to be – unduly ambitious and merely aspirational.

        There was no possibility of “keeping it”.

        From its very beginning, as forewarned by George Mason of Virginia and by the anti-Federalists, an ever-burgeoning, ever-powerful central government was cast at the expense of the States that no manner of “Bill of Rights” could prevent, with a predictable and predicted erosion of State power and individual liberty and freedom.

        The failure to provide for an orderly secession of States together with the inherent and well-recognized perils of “political democracy” spelled doom for the new “Republic” before it saw the light of day. It was an “experiment” destined to failure.

        The two late 18th Century “Revolutions” have devolved toward and have arrived at the very tyrannies and abridgement of freedom that they purported to avoid.

        Eric Arthur Blair, better known as “George Orwell”, wrote in his 1944 Essay Arthur Koestler, in response to Koestler’s Darkness at Noon, noted keenly that “All revolutions end badly” and continued that why any revolution “ends badly” is the proper subject of study.

        Nevertheless, all revolutions do “end badly” – and that also holds true of the one that began in 1776.

        It is wise to remember that Homo hominis lupus est -

        that man is a wolf to man –

        and nothing has changed regarding human nature since that aphorism was first penned.

  • Judahlevi

    Excellent article. I have seen this spelled Kto Kogo as well which is translated as “Who to Whom.” It is a zero-sum game of politics where only one party wins and can refer to those who are willing to murder their opponents to win.

    Because it is zero-sum, there is going to be a winner and a loser with no middle ground. Taken to its lowest form, as Greenfield does, the stakes are high and rules of engagement will hamper the party who is unwilling to lower themselves to the level they need to be at to win.

    Israel knows, and the West should perceive, that Hamas’ true goal is a zero-sum game, not a two-state solution. Their goal is the total elimination of Israel, at whatever the cost, and its replacement of a Muslim state. Israel needs to respond at that level.

    “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded moral and patriotic feeling that nothing is worth war is much worse.”

    John Stuart Mill

    • guest

      How exactly is it a lowering of oneself to fight and destroy this type of barbarian?

      You never learn, nothing ever occurs to you. You’re hopeless and frankly, untrustable.

      I’ll answer for you, the only way it could possibly be a lowering is if you do not value your own life. And that is disgusting. You’re an attention parasite.

      • WesternCivilization

        In common terms, for those who require a breakdown of or are in need of a simple explanation, Judahlevi appropriately refers, effectively, to the folly of striving to follow the “moral high ground” while your enemy is trying to kill you and place you upon or drive you into the ground.

        • hiernonymous

          And yet, to the extent that we have achieved civilization, that is precisely what we do – stay to the moral high ground. It’s why we have steadily built the rule of law, tried to restrict the exercise of power, and come up with a better way than revenge killing and blood money as a way of responding to violence within our societies.

          If you abandon it every time you feel threatened, you were never on it to begin with, and have no basis on which to call another ‘barbarian.’

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Civilization isn’t unilateral. It’s consensual. It’s a set of mutual arrangements.

            Extending civilization’s privileges to those who refuse to follow its rules or its responsibility is suicide.

            There is nothing uncivilized about treating barbarians on their own terms.

            Being uncivilized means breaking mutual agreements with other civilized states or peoples and abusing them.

          • hiernonymous

            Well, no. We don’t deal with people who rape by raping them or their families. We don’t deal with those who tortured people to death by torturing them to death. Nothing I’ve written suggests pacifism; it suggests that we have standards of behavior that were established for living in a violent world, and we should stick to them when pressed – or there’s nothing to defend.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            If we’re faced with a horde of murderous rapists, we kill them.

            We don’t do presumption of innocence or any of the other procedural rules that apply to a civilized state and to civilized people.

            Civilization is a mutual agreement. Those who choose to be outside it have no rights within it.

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            Hence, Hiroshima and Nagasaki …

            Had the bomb been developed before Germany lost its part of the war, I’m fairly certain that Berlin and other cities would have been targeted.

            As terrible as the civilian losses would have been, civilians were not in control of Germany and Japan. It is those leaders who brought their nations outside the covenant of civilization. Theirs was the blame.

          • Habbgun

            The truth of what Daniel said is proved by hiernonymous panic. He doesn’t like this. Whereas before it was easy for him just to break in and write a word of snark he suddenly finds himself with a motivated opposition that isn’t going to fold at the first sign of ritualized resistance.

            It is interesting to see hiero purely on the defensive. To be the one that is saying society is good and must be obeyed. Who is saying the government isn’t perfect but we must stand by it.

            Kto-Kovo is not fought when you don’t like the fallout when it comes to you. It is fought well before so that the liars and thieves are corrected and learn the rules do apply.

            Sorry hiero but in one party government like NYC. In a world where sharia law is growing and decency is diminishing you can take piousness elsewhere. You created it this with your lies and snark and you can reap the whirlwind. You deserve it.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            That is what liberals have yet to come to terms with.

            They cheer on the radicals, and then act shocked when confronted with the consequences that there is an equal and opposite reaction taking place.

            They treat the process as worthless when it obstructs them, without grasping that the result will be an opposition equally unconstrained by process.

          • truebearing

            “The truth of what Daniel said is proved by hiernonymous panic.”

            Exactly. His vehemence betrays his fear. he went to great lengths to twist my metaphor for Daniel’s clarity. It is always clarity he seeks to obscure, hence his perch on Daniel’s articles. The left fears clarity and no one does it better than Greenfield.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Clarity is ever the enemy of Oceania.

          • hiernonymous

            “The truth of what Daniel said is proved by hiernonymous panic.”

            Seems logical.

            “You created it this…”

            If by “this” you mean “many people expressing disagreement,” it’s not clear how that’s a bad thing. If you have to think about why you believe certain things, rather than simply engaging in a round of mutual backslapping, that seems to be an improvement.

          • Habbgun

            Nah….you’re wrong about what I meant. Just go back to typing pixels. Once you leave deflection and snark you’re on an unfamiliar and lonely road. Don’t go there.

          • hiernonymous

            “Nah….you’re wrong about what I meant.”

            So what did you mean?

          • Daniel Greenfield

            And significantly,

            Germany and Japan were experiencing the types of mass bombings that they had begun the war with.

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            Back then, the “people” cheered on their heroic bomber crewmen …

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Certainly we’re not going to sacrifice our own lives for the sake of “due process” when done is actually due.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Especially since due process ceases to be relevant for those who do not themselves follow it.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            That’s the beauty of the phrase. None due.

          • Habbgun

            Do you send emails of this to all your friends and family trying to show how smart you are. Its spam….blah…blah…blah….

          • hiernonymous

            A strange question, but no.

            I think they’d find it too depressing.

          • Habbgun

            They would.

          • Drakken

            I am always reminded by human nature and history, that those who take the high moral ground are always buried in it by those who don’t.

          • Drakken

            That standard isn’t working out too well is it?

          • hiernonymous

            The Republic hasn’t fallen, and doesn’t appear to be in any danger of doing so.

            Perhaps it’s a sign of our increasing complacency or softness that we were able to face the determined onslaught of some of the most well-trained, well-equipped, and fanatical modern states on the face of the earth, hell-bent on direct conquest through industrial-scale slaughter, and defeated them while remaining true to our ideals. Where we didn’t, we have generally owned up to it and tried to make amends (e.g. the internment camps).

            Fast forward a few decades. On 9/11, 19 men with small knives knocked four buildings down and killed about 3000 people. That was a horrifying crime, no doubt, but as an act of war – as an existential threat – contrast that with the 50,000 civilians who died in the opening 48 hours of the battle of Stalingrad, and the 50 million people who died in that war. As a crime, 9/11 is horrific. As an act of war, it’s small potatoes. Unlike what Britain faced in 1940, or the Russians in 1941, the WTC and Pentagon attacks weren’t followed up by more of the same the next day, and the day after, and the day after, until Mahattan was a smoking ruin. Heck, in WWII, the sorts of attacks that AQ or the Taliban carry out were what marked the safe areas. That was “rear area security.”
            The survival of the Republic has not been in question for a moment – so why are we suddenly prepared to embrace torture, limitations on our civil rights, etc?

            To me, one irony of all the tough talk is that it’s actually covering fear.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “The Republic hasn’t fallen, and doesn’t appear to be in any danger of doing so.”

            In managing risks it’s important to be able to evaluate them before they happen. Before the “tipping point.”

            What risks can you identify?

            “Fast forward a few decades. On 9/11, 19 men with small knives knocked four buildings down and killed about 3000 people. That was a horrifying crime, no doubt, but as an act of war – as an existential threat – contrast that with the 50,000 civilians who died in the opening 48 hours of the battle of Stalingrad, and the 50 million people who died in that war. As a crime, 9/11 is horrific. As an act of war, it’s small potatoes.”

            A better analog would be Pearl Harbor. In many ways. Imperialism driven by religion and material need to attack a stronger enemy in the belief that the enemy is stupid and easy to manipulate.

            We won, but it caused a lot of grief.

          • Drakken

            The irony of it all is, that you treat 9/11 as a criminal act and hence we have been fighting islamic jihad as a law enforcement problem instead of a military problem and that is what makes us weak in the eyes of a muslim. We won WW 2 with material and weren’t adverse to so called atrocities when it suited us. The Russians were notorious for it. Invading Iraq and Afghanistan were a good idea, but the follow up was a disaster, always put a secular General in charge and call it a day. In case it has escaped your notice but, under Obummer things have gotten much worse than what they were under Bush.

          • WesternCivilization

            There is also no universal, everywhere agreed upon and uniformly accepted “rule of law”.

            In many respects, those who operate on vastly different, mutually and radically incommensurate and incomparable “rules” effectively do not inhabit the same universe.

            There is then no possibility to compare standards of acceptable behavior – of individuals or larger collectives – each operates by its own imperatives and tenets.

            There is no possibility of meaningful dialog.

            To survive the destruction of those who seek to destroy, requires resoluteness and determination founded upon one’s own rules and standards – and not upon those of one’s enemies.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Law is universal to the extent that it’s mutually accepted. It can never be truly universal except as an ideal.

            People are people and it’s mutual aspect that makes civilization practical. It creates a common interest in upholding a set of rules.

            Take away that common interest by extending the privileges of civilization to savages and you commit suicide.

          • WesternCivilization

            To qualify a logical universal, such as “universal”, here, is to defeat the very possibility of its being a universal.

            If a term is conditioned upon the assent or acceptance or mutuality of those who employ it then it cannot be a universal, properly understood.

            If a term is conditioned, then it is not a universal. Either a term is universal or it is not.

            Either one is pregnant or one is not.

            Your usage of “universal” here is defeated by your very definition.

            Once again – and emphatically – there is but one truly universal in human affairs: It is, as stated, the principle of Power.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            There can be a universal in the realm of ideas, rather than practice, in that it is held to be universally applicable, rather than that everyone accepts it.

            Whether such universals exist is another discussion.

            Practice however depends entirely on mutuality. The alternative is martyrdom.

          • WesternCivilization

            Do you seriously wish to revisit Plato’s Allegory of the Cave” and “ideals” and “causes” and “realities”?

            That is “the discussion” that you raise and then cravenly put off for another day.

            Doing so is not only craven, it is immaterial and irrelevant – and your raising it at this juncture seriously impairs your credibility and throws your otherwise good judgment into serious question.

            The plain fact is that, as already stated in very unmistakable and clear terms, “There is no universal, everywhere agreed upon and uniformly accepted ‘rule of law'”

            What is at issue here is not a matter of fluffy, open-textured “ideas” or “ideals” – the discussion is about facts on the ground, in your face reality – in particular the standard of conduct and the level of accountability, first to oneself and later, if at all, to others, that is to be or that is required to be followed.

            You compound your folly with the once again inapt and gratuitous and bare notion that “practice”- whatever that is – is tied to “mutuality” – whatever that is.

            Even if this were relevant – and emphatically it is not – then, pace Nietzsche, it is flat out wrong: There is no necessary connection.

            He who has the power writes the rules and writes the history both as it evolves and also afterwards – and, ipso facto, determines what is to be practiced without regard to or even raising a scintilla of concern regarding feathery notions of “mutuality” which beg definition.

            With respect to these matters, I now return to respect the sage advice of Nietzsche and I have no need and no desire to pursue this matter here.

            I strongly suggest to you that you do the same.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            “Your argument, your train of thought, are not only craven”

            That’s unnecessary and over the top.

          • WesternCivilization

            Lieber Daniel, boychik,

            Please do not take any of this personally – I am a loyal fan of yours and I welcome and respect your opinions and your work as found here. I know that you put your heart and soul into your work.

            You have earned my respect and admiration many times over.

            You and I are “on the same side” – and reasonable minds can and do differ.

            There is no “universality” in law nor is there any in opinion, as here.

            Also, “principle” and “mutuality” are not now in play as they also are not in the larger discussion of which they are a part..

            I assure you that my comments serve only to round out the discussion – they are not intended to attack.

            I am especially grateful for your being among the very few writers, both here and elsewhere, who dedicate themselves to following through and who actively and conscientiously engage with their readership.

            Having so much invested in one’s work and thought, here offered so publicly, often brings much in the way of sensitivity to comment or criticism.

            You are an insightful, incisive and brilliant thinker and a gifted writer, heads and shoulders above very many.

            We may disagree – but at the end of the day – once again, we are on the same side.

            Respectfully and With Very Best Wishes.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            I know you’re a valuable contributor here. That’s why I simply said it was unnecessary, instead of responding more sharply.



          • Judahlevi

            Happy you two were able to make up.

            But I agree, “craven” was unnecessary. You simply deferred the debate for another day.

          • WesternCivilization

            I apologize for any hurt or ill will what I wrote may have caused.

            I have struck through the – yes, unnecessary – portions.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            No harm done. I just thought things were getting off track.

          • anotherguest

            Subjectivism is the pathway drug which leads to the full heroin of nihilism. You’ve described your universe completely.

            But none of it is true.

            You’ve lost contact with objective reality. No discussion is worthwhile.

            In reality, the only one; Reason is the method, Reality is the standard.

            Your theory of power is false, America is the proof.

          • WesternCivilization

            Your fanciful and ethereal, pie-in-the-sky allegory is inapposite and unavailing.

            It has no bearing on this discussion and still less merit.

          • hiernonymous

            “To survive the destruction of those who seek to destroy requires resoluteness and determination founded upon one’s own rules and standards – and not upon those of one’s enemies.”

            That is actually a very good summary of the point I am trying to make. Well done.

          • WesternCivilization

            Our views and opinions – yours and mine – have a good deal in common, not unexpectedly.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            We have rules for dealing with peers and other rules for dealing with enemies. It’s not abandoning our values to recognize that rules require adjustment for various contexts.

            However, we run in to trouble when we simply say that we’ll adjust our rules as we go.

            We should have rules for how we treat unlawful combatants. But that does not mean we’re obligated or that we should treat them according to the same rules we follow when treating lawful combatants.

            We should work these things out before we’re in the heat of battle. That’s what makes us civilized. Providing Islamic texts and cable television with halal meals to prisoners taken as unlawful combatants does not make us civilized. It makes us stupid and weak.

            I’ll say that as you’ve outlined them. you’re appealing to conservative principles. But I think that probably if we look at specific cases where we might disagree, I don’t think it’s the conservatives that drove us to changing our methods and rules.

          • WesternCivilization

            There are times when remaining upon “the moral high ground” will get one killed and buried beneath it.

            Principles are availing so long as they are subscribed to and respected by all parties. When one party is faithless, the other parties are absolved of their obligations to abide by them toward the faithless party.

            Facts on the ground count.

            “Principles” are the last refuge of those with flimsy arguments and weak positions.

            When push comes to shove, when reality matters, those who stand on principle – fall on their own swords and die.

            Once defeated and dead, “principle” no longer matters – the victors will write the history – the vanquished will be forgotten.

          • Habbgun

            I support the Obama admin….you bad…you not like Obama…blah blah blah….blah….blah.

          • Anukem Jihadi

            Here you’re trying to lead by example forgetting that that the uncivilized despise your example.

          • hiernonymous

            I think you misunderstand the point. The example is offered, not primarily for the ‘uncivilized’ in hopes that they will emulate you, but for your children and young so that they will understand that the values you’ve been teaching them actually mean something – that they are not burdens to be discarded when ‘real life’ intrudes.

            Not directed at you, but at the conversation in general, it’s interesting to see the cognitive dissonance involved in crowing about the superiority of “Judeo-Christian” civilization on the one hand, and the contempt in which the idea of actually acting in a Christian manner is held on the other.

          • Drakken

            Judeo-Christian civilization has become weak, feckless and devolved in the face of our enemies, and our will to fight them has become an exercise in self loathing and self hating defeatism.

          • Anukem Jihadi

            No, here you’re arguing from the stand point of how people should perhaps behave in their interpersonal relations which is not necessarily how civilized states can or should behave.

            But even there the analogy is not a very good one because there are situations involving self defense for example which may require courses of action that otherwise would not be considered.

            Generally people who argue as you do have a certain hegemonic faith in their culture and values and see them as being somehow transcendental.
            That’s fine but it is a faith position and should be presented as one.
            History has demonstrated that such faith has often misplaced.

          • Drakken

            At the end of the day, it all comes down to who the victors and who the vanquished are, the rest is immaterial as it has been since the dawn of time.

          • truebearing

            Rules can’t be allowed to hold the exigency of survival hostage. That is how Muslims and Marxists paralyze Judeo-Christian culture. They’ve put a tourniquet on self-defense and made war subject to the insane dictates of political correctness.

            “If you abandon it every time you feel threatened, you were never on it to begin with, and have no basis on which to call another ‘barbarian.'”

            Who said anyone is abandoning the rule of law at every threat? That was a classic instance of your sophistry. We are talking about the rule of law itself being not only threatened but attacked by none other than Obama and Holder, the two men specifically tasked with defending it. In the case of Israel, Hamas and the Palestinians have made it publicly known that their objective is genocide. This heinous admission releases Israel from moral restraint and puts upon its leaders the moral responsibility to defend the Israeli people at all costs…to the enemy. Moral responsibility is not something that protects only the enemy, as the Left would have it.

            Your dishonesty — or is it obtusity — on this issue is made all the more ironic by the fact you served in the military. No civilized nation or empire ever existed that didn’t achieve that status without a dominant military. To try to argue otherwise is sheer idiocy. And those militaries necessarily used violence to destroy their enemies.

          • hiernonymous

            “Rules can’t be allowed to hold the exigency of survival hostage. ”

            So rules are more guidelines, to be abandoned when necessary. Yet the article is an attack on Mr. Obama for failing to follow the rules.

            Didn’t I see something posted recently about a Mr. Alinsky and the tactic of insisting that the other fellow play by his rules while you’ve no intention of doing the same?

            “Your dishonesty — or is it obtusity — on this issue is made all the more ironic by the fact you served in the military. No civilized nation or empire ever existed that didn’t achieve that status without a dominant military.”

            Nothing about having a dominant military implies a need to retreat into barbarism. You present a false dilemma, suggesting that our choices are pacifism and brutality.

            One fights fire with water, as a rule.

          • truebearing

            “So rules are more guidelines, to be abandoned when necessary. Yet the article is an attack on Mr. Obama for failing to follow the rules.”

            There is a natural hierarchy to any set of rules. Speed limits aren’t followed by amulances, fire trucks, and police cars, are they. When the rules that protect the rules are being attacked by those intent on overthrowing the basis of all rule, extreme measures are necessary and morally based, since the effort at maintaining the survival of the morally superior civilization serves the higher moral purpose.

            Alinsky doesn’t advicate the defense of a moral civilization. He advocates lying and doing anything necessary to destroy true civilization.

            There is no false dilemma, only a false reading of my point on your part. Bombing cities into rubble and ash would be barbarian if it wasn’t in the context of defeating a ruthless enemy that practiced systematic genocide.

            Dominant militaries don’t become dominant by pulling punches. He who destroys the most first wins, and it is humanitarian to win a war fast. There are entirely different ethical considerations in self-defense than in aggression.

          • hiernonymous

            “There is a natural hierarchy to any set of rules. Speed limits aren’t followed by amulances, fire trucks, and police cars, are they. ”

            Actually, they are. When they are on emergency calls, they have different speed limits or governing guidelines, but the drivers of such vehicles are not simply released from the traffic rules. Similarly, our military might be considered in view of your analogy. When we go to war, our soldiers are on an emergency call, and thus are subject, not to no rules, but a different set of rules. They aren’t unconstrained, nor should they be.

            “…since the effort at maintaining the survival of the morally superior civilization serves the higher moral purpose.”

            Wasn’t that Hitler’s justification for his departures from the rules? The end justifies the means?

            “Alinsky doesn’t advicate the defense of a moral civilization. He advocates lying and doing anything necessary to destroy true civilization.”

            Which makes adopting his approaches seem all the more ironic. And, of course, Alinsky didn’t see his goal as the destruction of true civilization, but the achievement of it.

            “Dominant militaries don’t become dominant by pulling punches. ”

            Disciplined militaries generally dominate brutal but undisciplined militaries. Restraint is a hallmark of civilization. We managed to win WWII without embracing torture, death camps, etc. WWI proved the effectiveness of chemical weapons, yet we didn’t employ them. Even at the height of the war, we sharply debated the ethics of terror bombing.

          • truebearing

            You aren’t refuting what I wrote. Ff course the police, et al don’t race around for no reason, but the speed limits are suspended for them in their efforts to apprehend threats to society, despite the inherent risk and occasional casualties. The benefits outweight the risks and are necessary to maintain law and order.

            You treat this debate as if each side begins on equal moral footing. That is your first mistake. When the stated ideology of a particular group endorses genocide, slavery, murder, etc., they are automatically the bad guys, unless they are fighting another group that adheres to the same evil, which isn’t what we are contemplating. That isn’t the case when making moral judgements about conflicts between the US, or Israel, and various Muslim entities, N azis, or Communists. History has rendered a verdict on all three.
            You can mouth meaningless platitudes about restraint, but ultimately, restraint can’t be allowed to hamstring victory or all of your principles will be buried with you.

          • hiernonymous

            “You aren’t refuting what I wrote. ”

            Well, yes, I am. I take issue with the idea that exigencies absolve one of all restraint, and the example you provided actually demonstrates that even in emergencies, there are restraints imposed. Police don’t simply abandon the rules when confronted with a crime.

            “…but ultimately, restraint can’t be allowed to hamstring victory or all of your principles will be buried with you.”

            The flip side is that if one becomes indistinguishable from the ‘bad guys’ you are fighting, then what, exactly, were you defending in the first place? You brought up my military service without, apparently, understanding the oath that officers take. It’s not to defend the country or its people, it’s to defend the Constitution. If we abandon our ideals in the name of a sort of bent reciprocity, then we’ve betrayed our reason for existing in the first place.

          • truebearing

            I never said that that all restraint had to be abandoned. You keep missing the point that in self-defense, the moral burden for the military and the leaders is weighted in favor of protecting the people of your nation, not agonizing over whether waterboarding is torture…which it isn’t.

          • hiernonymous

            Truebearing: “I never said that that all restraint had to be abandoned.”

            Truebearing: “This heinous admission releases Israel from moral restraint and puts upon its leaders the moral responsibility to defend the Israeli people at all costs…to the enemy.”

            “… not agonizing over whether waterboarding is torture…which it isn’t.”

            MAJ Edwin Glenn might have agreed. He used waterboarding on a prisoner during the Philippines Insurrection and was convicted of torturing a prisoner.

            Yukio Asano was convicted in 1947 at the Tokyo Trials of torture for waterboarding a prisoner and was sentenced to 15 years. Other Japanese prisoners were convicted if crimes that explicitly included waterboarding in the specifications and received sentences of death or imprisonment.

            A 1968 Washington Post photo of a U.S. soldier waterboarding a prisoner reportedly resulted in an investigation, arrest, and conviction.

            Quite apart from international views on the matter, it’s clear that the U.S. stance on waterboarding was thar it constituted a “resort to torture” – until the last administration gave in to its fears and frustrations.

          • Drakken

            We won WW 2 by quantity, not quality. When it came to so called atrocities the allies especially the Russians weren’t adverse in doing so.

          • Drakken

            No, one fights fire with napalm, as the napalm puts out the initial fire. In small fires where building are concerned, one uses water, when fighting full blown wildfires, one uses backfires to starve the fire of fuel and inertia.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            The attack on Mr. Obama is for abandoning the consensus of the rules. Once he does that, the other side is no longer bound by those rules.

          • hiernonymous

            And that is a fundamental difference between us. Where Mr. Obama has violated the rules, he should be called to account – within the framework of those rules. Otherwise, they never meant anything in the first place, and no opprobrium attaches to him for ignoring the meaningless.

            If he has committed a legal violation, then that can be addressed through legal means. There is no shortage of remedies.

            If he has committed a political violation, then the remedy is found in the ballot box.

            The current mood reminds me of nothing so much as the period of Byzantine history when society was passionately divided between the Blues and Greens. What an absurd basis for a fractured polity…

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Now you sound like a conservative.

            One problem is that some factions promote the idea that both the law and morality are flexible and should adapt to the times and circumstances. And this infects everyone.

            “…no basis on which to call another ‘barbarian.'”

            Occupy Wall Street. Barbarians had generally the same kind of democracy in mind.

    • Ginger Li

      This is an unpopular conclusion I reached sometime ago. The left in this country are stopped by no rules. Alinsky’s ‘make them live up to their rules’ is how they operate. For them, the conflict has been reduced to the impersonal. The opponent is no longer seen as a person but as an impediment to what they want. Expedience is the rule of the day – they revel in taking their opponent off guard by the brutal directness of their attacks and using their adversaries’ human decency against them.

      These are the liberal fascists – the lawyers, politicians, bureaucrats, i.e. the power mongers. They’re like a barbarian horde sweeping across this country like the Mongols, Cossacks, Tartars, swept across Europe, pillaging, and wrecking havoc as they go. It’s about time we started using their own ‘winning is the only thing’ approach against them because losing to them will be even worse. This is the only way of dealing with a godless, amoral enemy.

      DG is totally right to include B. Hussein and his Iranian Rasputin, Valerie Jarrett in this MO. .

      • hiernonymous

        “The opponent is no longer seen as a person but as an impediment to what they want.”

        Have you considered the irony of writing this in a post that tries to broad-brush “the left” as a “barbarian horde?”

        • WesternCivilization

          Ginger Li is entirely consistent and cogent.

          Ginger Li literally reads on the writings of Antonio Gramsci and those of many others who come or who came from the same fold.

          Ginger Li is insightful and incisive – restating what has been said and written – with ample and overwhelming justification throughout history – by many.

          What are you smoking?

          • hiernonymous

            Ginger Li may be the most insightful and incisive political commentator to grace the pages of American political discourse, for all I care. I was not offering a personal attack or questioning her writing ability, I was pointing out that she was engaged in precisely the behavior that she professed to take issue with.

            Or do you see her post as an attempt to see the opponent as a person?

          • WesternCivilization

            I have re-read the Ginger Li comment at issue.

            Ginger Li sums up as follows:

            First, regarding what are termed “liberal fascists,

            “[To them] [t]he opponent is no longer seen as a person but as an impediment to what they want.”

            Followed by,

            “It’s about time we started using their own ‘winning is the only thing’ approach against them because losing to them will be even worse. This is the only way of dealing with a godless, amoral enemy.”

            Taken together, Ginger Li made no attempt “to see the opponent as a person” – quite the opposite – and with ample justification.

            Indeed, “seeing” those who have avowed to destroy you, your way of life, your values, your and your children’s future and whose stated purpose is “the radical transformation” of the very fabric of your civilization – is nothing short of suicidal folly.

          • hiernonymous

            Characterizing those who disagree with your politics as “liberal fascists” who have “vowed to destroy you, your way of life, etc, etc” is exactly the sort of base generalization that Ginger was complaining about when directed at those she agrees with.

            Trying to justify it does nothing to suggest that it isn’t happening.

          • WesternCivilization

            Nietzsche wrote in his Zarathustra at the turn of the 19th Century, translated from the original German,

            “It is one thing to insist you are right when you are wrong – that is to insist that you are right when you know you are right.

            After Nietzsche, I will stop here.

          • hiernonymous

            Then let me bit you adieu with a Nietzsche quote as well:

            “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”

          • WesternCivilization

            Honi soit qui mal y pense.

          • hiernonymous

            Oh, my stars and garters!

          • WesternCivilization
          • truebearing

            But if the monster battles you, are you to surrender without a fight? And how does it follow that battling a monster makes you one? Perhaps establishing the definition of “monster” is in order, and the assumption that destroying evil necessarily makes one evil needs to be examined.

            Nietzche was good at false truths.

          • hiernonymous


            I responded to a Nietzsche quote with a Nietzsche quote, and you noticed that both are flawed.

            Now consider the implications for “fighting fire with fire.”

          • truebearing

            I notice that a lot of your comments are flawed, too.

            You really have problems with metaphors.

          • truebearing

            You are trying to obscure the truth again. What Ginger Li wrote was true. Truth doesn’t need justification. It doesn’t require apologies. It doesn’t need to be approved by a leftist obscurantist.

          • hiernonymous

            What Ginger wrote was a gross generalization, and hyperbolic at that. You actually believe that, for example, all Democrats take a vow to destroy everything you love? Seriously?

          • truebearing

            No it wasn’t.

            Did she say they all took a vow? I don’t recall that. They do all goose step in unison, even to the point of using the same keywords supplied by Media Matters, whenever an issue is hot. Most recently they bludgeoned the word “humanely” to death when trying to cast opponents of illegal immigration as inhumane, heartless, racists.

            The Left is a collective. Surely you know that. Group think is their MO. Nihilism is the first stage of any revolution. Yes, they are a rehearsed chorus of bobble-heads, regurgitating the same things, like trained chimps.

          • hiernonymous

            “They do all goose step in unison, even to the point of using the same keywords supplied by Media Matters…”

            There is an awful lot of that online. When one reads “Alinsky,” “Alinskyite,” “moral clarity,” etc, you know that you’re dealing with someone whose opinions have been fed to them through a blog. There’s a lot of that sort of thing on both sides.

            But generalizing to the entirety – isn’t that exactly the sort of thing that Ginger was complaining about when noting that the opponent is no longer seen as a person but as an impediment?

            “The Left is a collective. Surely you know that. Group think is their MO.”

            No, that’s your bubble-think betraying you. First, what you describe as “the Left” generally isn’t any such thing. Most Europeans believe that both American political parties are right-of-center, and when you start ascribing communist characteristics to, say, the Democratic Party, you’re making the mistake of believing your own rhetoric. Nor is the Democratic Party some sort of monolithic collective.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “There’s a lot of that sort of thing on both sides.”

            It’s fine to call anyone on it. In warfare people tend to adjust their tactics.

            I might use similar tactics some times but towards different ends. I’m not doing it to deceive anyone but to jar open their minds. If possible. If I ridicule someone, I’m hoping their muster some pride and put more thought in to what they’re saying. It works some times. I’m not trying to chase anyone away or “silence” them.

          • hiernonymous

            Sure. And I’m calling on Ginger to muster some pride and put more thought into what she’s saying. Cheers.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            I have no problem with that.

          • truebearing

            Who cares what Europeans think? If they could think the continent wouldn’t be at the mercy of Putin or being overrun with hostile Muslims.

            What I describe as the Left is the collectivists who believe in Marxism and oppose Christianity, capitalism, representative government, individual freedom, ownership of private property, and are intent on overthrowing our constitutional republic. Don’t lie to me about who the Democratic Party of today really is. I still have in my documents the newsletter put out by the New Party the day after Obama won his first election as a Democrat, and a New Partian, aka a Communist. As you well know, the New Party was the Communist Party renamed to disguise their plan to employ dual candidacy to take over the Democratic Party.

            The Democratic Party’s leadership is entirely controlled by Soros and the far Left.

            That truly was one of your most patheathetic posts. You are either terminally gullible or unmeritoriously enamored of your powers of persuasion.

          • hiernonymous

            “…that was one of your most patheathetic posts.”

            You could be right. This was the post where you would have been justified in accusing me of “not knowing the meaning of the word.”

            As the left-right spectrum is a European construct that was created to describe a European power struggle, and as Europe was the origin of the political philosophies you are waxing so passionate about, it’s hard to accept an outlook that holds Europe suddenly irrelevant to any understanding of the term. Sure, Americans see things a bit differently, but that was rather my point. A bit of perspective was in order.

            The New Party endorsed Mr. Obama – that doesn’t remotely suggest identity between the New Party and the Democratic Party. That you allowed such a lapse in rudimentary logic to lead you to suggest that disagreeing with your perspective would be “lying” suggests that you are working from emotion again.

            If you are suggesting that you can demonstrate that this New Party effected a takeover of the Democratic Party, and support it so convincingly that disagreement would be lying, now would be the time to do so.

            “You are either…”

            You’re letting your obsession with personality make you write silly things again.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            I think the most crucial thing to note about the Democratic Party is that their entire platform is demagogic. Sure all pols can be guilty of simplifying their message in moments but if you can’t restrain them by referring to a stated platform…that’s dangerous in my view. And that is what we have.

            The only reason I “favor” the Republican Party is because they have a platform that makes a lot more sense for running a modern constitutional republic.

            Are any of them “dedicated to destruction?” No, they’re dedicated to “transformation” that happens to require destruction. If you promise to build an all new home on a certain site that already contains one, it’s strongly implied that destruction is going to be on the to do list.

          • hiernonymous

            I don’t see demagoguery as unique to the Democratic Party. I don’t know what other term better describes an Allen West or Sarah Palin. The whole “secure our borders” drumbeat is demagogic.

            Historically, progressive reforms have helped, not destroyed, the country. The post-Civil War 19th century, prior to such reforms, was punctuated by repeated and escalating economic crises, awful living conditions for most workers, and not much of a middle class. The most prosperous and stable period we’ve ever enjoyed was largely a function of such demagoguery.

            I don’t take exception to supporting the Republican Party. I’ve voted for them more often than I haven’t. What I take exception to is the borrowing of Bismarck’s kulturkampf to portray the give and take of politics as a death struggle between Patriots and Traitors.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “I don’t see demagoguery as unique to the Democratic Party. I don’t know what other term better describes an Allen West or Sarah Palin. The whole “secure our borders” drumbeat is demagogic.”

            The party platform is not demagogic.

            Anyone can be quoted saying something very simple, like fight fire with water, and I don’t think that is what makes a demagogue. Demagogues are fundamentally trying to appeal to the preconceptions that dominate popular opinions. They’re not trying to lead. However, leaders do some times try to appeal to popular opinion. That’s just the complexity of humanity.

            The DP platform itself is demagogic. The leaders like all use demagoguery and deception as their only tools. Their leadership is not based on competency. It’s based on manipulating the body politic.

            As we’ve discussed elsewhere on this page, some times people adjust tactics without changing fundamental values. Finding things in common is not the same as proving moral equivalence.

            “I don’t take exception to supporting the Republican Party. I’ve voted for them more often than I haven’t. What I take exception to is the borrowing of Bismarck’s kulturkampf to portray the give and take of politics as a death struggle between Patriots and Traitors.”

            Maybe you’ve demonized the Germans of that generation and the poor misunderstood barbarians and now you think we’re dehumanizing today’s left. In reality there is more in common than you’ve been willing to admit. The comparisons may be about more than “othering.” There are lessons to be learned beyond emotional appeals.

            The Germans wrote a radical new constitution. The “barbarians” didn’t have constitutions that I know of. The left wants to rewrite our constitution and the reason they don’t start from scratch is that they know they can’t get away with it.

            All of these people think they have some moral imperative to drive the changes they’re working for. This moral code is in conflict with the status quo here in the USA and that includes the constitution itself.

            So drama aside, I think that while some people here clearly do use hyperbolic language to express their concerns, they do have legitimate reasons to be concerned. I think that the best way to defuse that is not to throw “water” on them but to deal directly with the legitimate concerns.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            “Historically, progressive reforms have helped, not destroyed, the country. The post-Civil War 19th century, prior to such reforms, was punctuated by repeated and escalating economic crises, awful living conditions for most workers, and not much of a middle class. The most prosperous and stable period we’ve ever enjoyed was largely a function of such demagoguery.”

            OK. This is where I really want you to contemplate my suggestion. My point is that there are plenty of things we’ve done that might be “good” but were bundled with some things that were “bad.”

            There is a great difference between intention and result. Today people attack FDR’s plans for the failures that are easier to see. But because few people can clearly parse the good from the bad, it just turns in to this tug of war instead of various factions coming together to make rational adjustments.

            The biggest problem in my view is that the way that these bundles were sold, and the what we teach our students. Our students are taught to analyze political movements in Manichean terms while criticizing conservatives as Manichean thinkers.

            And the result is that most of the conversations across factional lines devolve and become unproductive.

            I’ve always said that if you want a safety net or welfare programs and so forth, if you want these benefits, you need to plan for them rationally and not sell them as “rights” and point to ridiculous economic models to “prove” that by giving money away the economy will just grow even faster.

            We’re suffering today as a direct result of FDR’s demagoguery. His failures were masked (and still are) by WWII and the Cold War. Had they not been masked by demagoguery, we probably could have made adjustments already and we’d be a lot more prosperous and a lot less angry at dissenters.

            Those are just a few examples. We can do that for just about every “progressive” demand of 100 years or more. But we don’t do that for the most part because we teach our students to talk past dissenters rather than listen to them.

            So what I’m saying is that the solution to the problem is to first identify it correctly. And that is where we fail.

          • Drakken

            The progressives of today bear no resemblance of yesteryear, today the progressives are nothing but communist with a smiley face, yet just as destructive.

          • truebearing

            Wanting our borders secure is demogogic? Wanting illegal aliens to stop entering the US is demogogic? Wanting to prevent other undesirables to take advantage of the Soros open border scheme is deomogogic?

            You don’t know the meaning of the word.

          • hiernonymous

            Much of the so-called discourse concerning immigration relies on appeals to fear and involve demands for immediate action rather than deliberation. That is about as clear an example of demagoguery as you are likely to find.

          • CosmotKat

            Isn’t that the point? It’s time to fight fire with fire?

          • Drakken

            You fight fire with napalm.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Good point.

          • hiernonymous

            Except that water is generally the better medium for fighting fire.

          • Habbgun

            Only if you overwhelm the fire. OOH….I feel so smart and leftist. I made an objection to an analogy!!!

          • truebearing

            Now learn to lie, re-direct, and lead people on a discursive goose chase and you too can earn Big Macs and cheap wine as a 24 hour-a-day troll!

          • Habbgun

            Big Macs are corporate wingnut!!!!…..I prefer Green recycled meat products!!!!

          • Lightbringer

            If you want to come over to my house for Green recycled meat products, I’ll let you eat out of the cats’ litter boxes.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            In relation to this article, note that the issue with Hiero and many leftists is that they attempt to tie you to rules and standards while they themselves are bound by none.

          • truebearing

            Not always. Water can make some fires worse.

            Your metaphor deficiency is showing, again.

          • hiernonymous

            If you believe that “generally” and “always” are synonyms, your education was deficient. If you don’t believe that they are synonyms, then you aren’t making an honest argument.

          • truebearing

            I was just agreeing with you, with added emphasis. I thought your point was banal, so I reminded you of your low ambiguity tolerance.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            But the idiom simply points out that in war and other “negotiations” one often has to match the tactics of the opponents. The argument is not over countering or “fighting” fire with fire, water, special chemicals etc. but about finding appropriate and effective tactics.

            But if you’ve got a great suggestion as an analog to water…like pacifism…you should just say that.

          • hiernonymous

            Sure. My suggestion is that we conduct ourselves according to our professed ideals. So, for example, we don’t torture prisoners because we are frightened, etc.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            We have to consider fire and water. All professionals are trained to consider the full spectrum of tools and the implications of their use.

            “So, for example, we don’t torture prisoners because we are frightened, etc.”

            I think people agree with you in principle. The problem is today that we have no consensus on what torture is. According to some lawyers, failure to provide adequate entertainment (cable television and so forth) is one definition of torture.

          • Habbgun

            blah…blah…blah….I suck up to Obama ….blah blah blah….

          • objectivefactsmatter

            Barbarians were human.

          • hiernonymous

            But “a horde” is a thing, not a person.

          • objectivefactsmatter

            A body politic is a thing, not a human.

            I mean I see your point, but I have more confidence in people to understand than you seem to have.

        • rebaaron

          The left is a barbaric horde. Govern yourself accordingly.

          • Webb

            And Hernio is a member of that horde.

        • Habbgun

          blah…blah…blah….I’m a clever leftist….blah blah blah…..

        • Crazycatkid

          It’s not irony, dear…it’s exactly greenfield’s point. You can only win by acting similarly. And you lose by sticking to your civilized rules. So, if referring to the left as a lump makes you want to chastise the author, you may be an Alinskyite!

        • cxt

          “ironic”……possibly. “Correct”………absolutely.

          Would you consider it possible that you, yourself are using Alinsky’s Rule # 4?

          • hiernonymous

            No, what really comes to mind when I see “Alinsky” in a post is a vision of a parrot whose owner reads aloud from blogs. It cannot be long before he squawks “taqiyya!”

    • wildjew

      Great quote. Thanks.

    • WesternCivilization

      кто кого is more properly an all or nothing at all “game” – winner takes all; otherwise, agreed.

      Hat tip to you – and – as always, to Daniel Greenfield.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      and it doesn’t take two parties to make it a zero-sum game

      only one

      That’s what many liberals insist on ignoring

      • objectivefactsmatter

        That’s a great observation that a lot of people don’t understand intuitively. All parties must be looking for “synergistic” or “value added” solutions or it becomes zero-sum or non-productive (or destructive) negotiations.

        A lot of neo-Marxist morons have “success” training where some messianic figure comes in with great ideas and if everyone rallies behind the great ideas, the coalition can create value added solutions. But in reality you must first have agreement on values and good faith from all parties or it won’t work.

        And that in a nutshell is why socialism almost always fails without fraud, and fraud always fails at some point. Because messianic leaders can come up with delusional visions about unicorns and so forth, but if they had truly realistic plans that everyone understood and agreed to, you wouldn’t need the messianic aspect. You would not need coercion.

        Which leads to free markets and liberty. Which does work better than anything else, despite its “failure” to deliver Heaven on Earth as promised by the demagogues.

  • Tradecraft46

    Well, when is Israel going to take this lesson to heart? Look at what it takes to win in that part of the world.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      When things get bad enough that it is forced to disregard the world

      • NYgal

        Daniel, things are already bad enough and there is not a sign that Israeli government is ready to disregard world opinion.

        Israel has been slow cooked, like that proverbial frog, by the world powers since 1973, being forced to make at first tiny, and increasingly greater and greater concessions.

        Now, Israel’s right to defend its territory and citizens is being denied. It is very late in the game and Israelis and the Jewish community worldwide either wake up now or it will be cooked to death.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Yes the hour is very late. But Israel’s leaders and people haven’t realized it. Maybe they will soon.

  • http://johnnyangeladvocacygroup.net JohnnyAngel Advocacy Group

    Greenfield has hit the nail on the head AGAIN. Communist/Muslim/radical Presidente’ Obama is a man to NOT be handled lightly. Do not be fooled by his supposed ineptness and his ingratiating smile. This feely-feely type of “thought politik” is deceiving and lulls the zombie followers into the trance of believing they are bettering mankind in all leftist amoral ways. What really is transpiring is these radical gay,lesbian,womyn and other far-left radical groups are being directed to move the zombies down the path of destruction by true communist/Muslim slaughter. Where there is Obama’s communism, disorder can’t be far behind. That is exactly what we’re seeing today !!

    • Daniel Greenfield

      It’s just populism which is a means of overthrowing a republic

  • Lanna

    The World is getting a birds eye view two arrogant dictators….Like what you see?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      If we don’t restore civilization, this is the future.

  • wildjew

    Quote of the day.

    Here is my very unpopular perspective; unpopular among my fellow conservatives. I think we (the Republicans) have sin in our camp….

    Jos 7:11 “Israel has sinned, and they have also transgressed My covenant which I commanded them…

    “Therefore the sons of Israel cannot stand before their enemies; they turn their backs before their enemies, for they have become accursed.

  • gbyrneg50

    Two things come to mind. One is Sir Neville Chamberlain’s appeasement of Hitler and Solzhenitsyn’s Nobel Prize Speech where he speaks of the “The Spirit of Munich”. One can probably download it. How right he was. We can do two things one being to accept whatever is dished out to us or give up our creature comforts to do something about it. I think it comes down to whether we want the law of the jungle or civilization. If we want or accept the law of the jungle we can continue enjoying our creature comforts and hope that nobody takes them off us or we can give up our creature comforts to ensure that our enemies behave the way that we expect them to behave.

    • religious atheist

      And Winston Churchill said in 1935:

      “When the situation was manageable it was neglected, and now that it is thoroughly out of hand, we apply the remedies which then might have effected a cure. There is nothing new in the story. It is as old as the Sibylline books. It falls into that long dismal catalogue of the fruitlessness of experience and the confirmed unteachability of mankind. Want of foresight, unwillingness to act when action would be simple and effective, lack of clear thinking, confusion of counsel until the emergency comes, until self-preservation strikes its jarring gong – these are the features which constitute the endless repetition of history.”

      • gbyrneg50

        Tony Abbott might turn out to be a Winston Churchill in a world of Neville Chamberlains. I’m talking about the Ukraine business. Tony’s favorite sport was boxing. It’s not going to be war but I think that tough sanctions are likely.

      • WesternCivilization

        Sir Winston was brilliant and proved to be the man not of the hour but of the era.

        It is prudent to heed the elephant in the room:

        Man repeats history

        Always has, always will.

        Look back to the future – if it is not already here – it soon will be.

  • rebaaron

    Holocaust survivors, their children and grandchildren are intimately acquainted with Kto-Kovo. Anybody who fought the Nazis and Communists knows Kto-Kovo. You can’t lie to us. We can smell it on you. The rest don’t. But, they are going to find out now.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      They had better learn fast

    • Webb

      Yes, I’ve seen photos of smiling Nazis standing beside carts full of beautiful women and children they had just killed. You are so right. I can smell that on Hernio and the rest of the leftist horde.

  • gbyrneg50

    Something else also. Australians are outraged that 37 of their citizens have been murdered with a Russian weapon. Tony Abbott is no Sir Neville Chamberlain. He might just force Putin to step down if other national leaders support him.

    • RMThoughts

      I’m concerned about the masses of Christians being murdered in the Middle East by ISIS with the weapons we turned over to the Jihadist.

      • Daniel Greenfield

        Let’s not forget that a whole lot of those weapons are Russian.

        • RMThoughts

          I think Russia sent warplanes to help Iraqi fight the Jihadist? Or, am I mistaken? Weren’t we running arms to Jihadist through Benghazi?

          The fact remains while the “media” is full of condemnations coming from all over the planet demanding to (further) sanction the Russians because they have provided the weapons to the rebels.
          Which, ipso facto, it seems that would make the West liable to auto-sanctions for almost all the major African and Middle Eastern conflict and civil wars of the last 50 years.

          The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            There’s more than one sets of Jihadists. Russia is arming one set. The West is arming another set.

          • RMThoughts

            The hypocrisy is mind-boggling.

          • Ellsworth Toohey

            So true ! Same as during the Iran Irak war ! And guess what ? It was a win win situation for the West. As long as they kill each other, they don’t bother other. Beside, they like it, done that for centuries. You know, still this story about who is the real successor of muramard, their guru.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Not really. Because they have high birth rates and meanwhile they’re picking up skills, training and weapons.

            Arab Muslims also usually fight till one side runs away leaving lots of fighters intact.

    • Drakken

      Sorry to burst your bubble but, Putin isn’t going to go anywhere.

      • gbyrneg50

        It depends upon whether or not other world leaders support Abbott. His favourite sport was boxing. There is an old saying that it is not the dog in the fight but the fight in the dog. There is a lot of fight in our dog, He is the opposite to Barak Obama.

        • Drakken

          Well that much is very true, Obummer couldn’t fight his way out of a wet paper bag and Jarret would have to wipe his nose for the decision to do so.

  • RMThoughts

    Associated Press reporter Robert Parry (who broke the Iran/Contra story) has reported he has been told by an intelligence source that the United States is in possession of satellite imagery which shows that Ukrainian
    troops were responsible for the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17.

    In the absence of any proper investigation, media rhetoric over the last few days has firmly pointed the finger of blame for the downing of the aircraft on Russian-backed Ukrainian rebels, but Parry’s source tells a different story.

    “What I’ve been told by one source, who has provided accurate information on similar matters in the past, is that U.S. intelligence agencies do have detailed satellite images of the likely missile battery that launched the fateful missile, but the battery appears to have been under the control of Ukrainian government troops dressed in what look like Ukrainian uniforms.”

    “The source said CIA analysts were still not ruling out the possibility that the troops were actually eastern Ukrainian rebels in similar uniforms but the initial assessment was that the troops were Ukrainian soldiers. There also was the suggestion that the soldiers involved were undisciplined and possibly drunk, since the imagery showed what looked like beer bottles scattered around the site,” the source said.

    And the biggest thing that everybody is missing here is in modern battlefields when you have Russian satellites and US satellites sitting right over the whole area, they know exactly if a plane launched a missile, if it came from the ground, they have computers that pick up the anomalies, so both Russia and the US know exactly what happened and the public should scream that they should release their satellite information so we do not have all this dragged down investigation that goes on for ages and ages and they already know what happened – if it isn’t reported maybe because it goes against the “game changer” narrative?

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Thanks for sharing Moscow’s talking points with us.

      • RMThoughts

        Thank you for the White House and State Dept narrative of events. Amazing, they can’t figure out what happened in Benghazi, where the IRS hard drives are, who is responsible for Fast and Furious and where the guns are, think the border is secure but when it comes to the neo conservative agenda you are all fellow travelers. Seriously, do you really believe a word they say?

        If we are honest and have the strength to face reality, we will realize that the Soviet Union did not collapse. It simply moved, along with Mao and Pol Pot, to Washington and London.

        • Daniel Greenfield


          An article about how Obama is as bad as Putin is the “White House’s narrative”.

          • Wolfthatknowsall

            I’ll certainly be looking forward to that article!

          • RMThoughts

            By their words you will know them. The two are on opposite ends of the culture war.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            The two are both left-wing thugs who use religion to their ends, but who build cults of personality so that people worship them.

          • RMThoughts

            Unfortunately you never get beyond Cold Warrior of us/good, Russia/bad because that is the way it is.

        • Wolfthatknowsall

          Personally, I’ll believe in Obama’s narratives when Putin becomes trustworthy …

        • American Patriot

          Russia was democratic and pro-Western under Yeltsin. Then, when Putin came to power in 2000, he reversed many of Yeltsin’s reforms and re-established a Soviet-style foreign (as well as many domestic issues) policy for Russia. That’s why I refer to modern Russia as neo-Communist Russia and the ruling United Russia Party as the modern-day Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

    • American Patriot

      Robert Parry is a Communist who repeats left-wing propaganda. He supports the Cuban Communist dictatorship, especially when it framed Cuban exile militant Luis Posada Carriles for destroying a Cubana Airlines aircraft that was destroyed by a Castro double-agent (Ricardo Morales Navarette). Yet, he denies the fact that an agent of the Gaddafhi dictatorship in Libya had any responsibility in the Lockerbie airline attack. Parry is simply a Communist propagandist.

      • RMThoughts

        AND, how is he different from any of the Obama administrations spokespeople, the EU, or the Ukrainian neo-nazis as well as those in the media who are making propaganda in the opposite direction that we all believe on this issue as if were written in stone?

        • American Patriot

          Obama is a man of the left, not the right, fool. He simply acts conservative so that the American people don’t understand that the Radical-in-Chief is the same as Putin. Just like Carter boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980. But most Americans knew that Carter was boycotting in order to try and fool them into believing that he had a strong foreign policy when it is obvious that he did not. Plus, American athletes wanted to compete in the Olympic Games. You simply repeat left-wing propaganda.

          • RMThoughts

            When has Obama acted conservative?

          • American Patriot

            I said that Obama pretends to act conservative in order to have the American people believe that he is patriotic. And no, Putin is not the “Reagan of the USSR”. In fact, Putin is just like Brezhnev, especially when it comes to foreign policy.

          • RMThoughts

            Don’t see it. We are more Brezhnevian than Putin with our foreign and our missionary zeal to spead American Excepionalism and “democracy” vassal states, as the Soviet zeal to speak international communism.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Please Comrade, there is no “We” here.

          • RMThoughts

            You are the only one here using the language of communism.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Actual Communists did their work by pretending not to be… while promoting the USSR’s interests.

          • RMThoughts

            Once again, Daniel Greefield “dicit quod est ita” so it must be so. It seems that you base all your animus toward Russia on a priori sentiments based on legitimate hatred of the horror which was the Bolshevik revolution and Soviet Communism. If we are honest and have the strength to face reality, we will realize that the Soviet Union did not collapse. Communism is an ideology that, a “family of soul’ that does has not borders. The ideology of Marx and Engles, Marcus and the Frankfort School as well as Antonio Gramci did not disappear, it simply migrated and it is no longer domiciled on the banks of the Moskva river but in Washington DC and is spead throughout the globe with the American hegemony. Think bigger, get out of the Cold War box.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Putin is the Reagan like Obama is Reagan.

            Both are unprincipled sociopaths in love with themselves and power.

          • RMThoughts

            If only we had a Reagan or if Obama had the same love and concern for his countries welfare and interests as Putin does for Russia. Reagan was a great great admirer of Solzhenitsyn who said: “Putin inherited a ransacked and bewildered country, with a poor and demoralized people, and he started to do what was possible, a slow and gradual restoration. These efforts were not noticed, nor appreciated, immediately. In any case, one is hard-pressed to find examples in history when steps by one country to restore its strength were met favorably by other governments.”

  • Rosasolis

    Today is a very sad day here in Netherlands. Our government has gathered
    about the recent crisis in Ukraine whereby 193 Netherlanders have lost their
    lives. Prime-minister Rutte has spoken for the government that we will not be
    influenced by speculation, only true, proven facts. Our forensic and investigation
    experts are now in the disaster area. As I write this, the families, friends. and
    colleages of the men, women, and children who have lost their lives, are now
    together for condoleance and help by our government and specially trained
    We still do not know who is behind this terrible crime of bombing a normal
    boeing passenger plane which was on its way to Malaysia. One of the first
    people to contact our government was V. Putin! And while some political
    leaders are calling for sanctions against Russia, our government prefers
    not to hastely jump to conclusions, before that we have gotten absolute
    proof of all the details of this terrible disaster. History has proven that
    speculation can cause terrible problems leading to war! This is the
    2nd. disaster with Malaysian Airlines within 1/2 year! The details of the
    1st.crash in the Pacific ocean have not as yet been discovered!
    But we will keep you informed, from Netherlands, when we have
    more information. In the meantime, please listen to the wise words of
    our Prime-Minister who is asking everyone here not to speculate about
    who is behind this terrible disaster, but stay tuned to our national news
    sender (NOS) for the official news reports.

  • Pepe Turcon

    No matter how other “world leaders ” try to get us into confrontation with Russia I do believe that this manufactured crisis will be solved with negotiations. I don´t believe at all that Frau Merkel accepts Putin as a “lost cause”. She probably considers Cameron and Obama instead as fools and lost causes.
    Yesterday Putin gave a very statesman-like speech . A transcript is available on Zero Hedge but here are some words from it : “We have repeatedly called on all parties of the conflict to immediately stop the bloodshed and sit down at the negotiatng table. We strongly believe that if military action in the east of Ukraina was not renewed 28 th June this tragedy most likely would not have happened. However, no one should have the right to use this tragedy to pursue egoistic political wins. Such events should unite and not divide people “.
    So, bring in Lavrov,. a well respected Foreign Minister, and the others and start working. And stop the war mongering.

    • Wolfthatknowsall

      “We strongly believe that if military action in the east of Ukraine was
      not renewed 28 th June this tragedy most likely would not have happened.”

      Translation: If people didn’t oppose me, everything would be better.

      • Habbgun

        Russian foreign policy: We can’t have Russians at the mercy of the Ukrainians. They’re animals who will have no problem killing innocent men, women and children like our guys do with a jet plane.

  • nimbii

    Thanks Daniel. It may be time to take off the gloves or as you say, our epitaph will be “We were civilized…to the end”.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Not even that.

      Civilization doesn’t endure profound suffering. But by then we’ll have gone to one extreme or another.

      • RMThoughts

        Its easy to demonize Putin and Russia and than claim American the last hope of Western Civilization. The current regime wars against Western Civilization throughout the world.

        Unlike Bush who you seem to like, I can’t look into Putin’s eyes and see his soul. But, it would seems Putin sees himself in the tradition of the Tsars and promised to “defend” persecuted Christians worldwide. In a speech to Russian Orthodox hierarchs this summer, Putin gave his word to the Church that he would make the protection of Christians a foreign policy priority.

        As Russia’s leader, Putin has installed “Christian Orthodoxy 101″ of which Russian children are taught the Orthodox Christian Faith in the nation’s public schools.

        Putin has also: Banned homosexual parades; forbids the dissemination of homosexual propaganda; shut down gambling casinos; and has proclaimed Russia’s adoption of the Orthodox Faith in 988 AD as a national holiday. And obviously open homosexuality and trans-sexuality in the military is not allow.

        If words and symbols mean anything, it means something. Just as Obama shows which side of the cultural divide he militates by his words and associations.

        • NYgal

          Putin may declare war against homosexuals, but he will not lift his finger to help Christians in the Middle East and still strongly supports and providing arms to Muslims. He is building yet another nuclear reactor in Iran so that they can wage the ultimate war against Jews and Christians.

          Yeah, Putin sure is a Christian knight. Just like Obama is for civil rights around the world.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          The only Christians Putin cares about are the ones he can use. He’s like Obama in that.

          Any Christians who don’t pay homage to him run into trouble.

          Just ask the Baptists.

          • RMThoughts

            Obama doesn’t use Christians he persecutes them.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Obama uses those Christians who loyal to him. He persecutes those who aren’t.

            Just like Putin.

      • nimbii

        Never thought about it quite like that. Civilization may be more vulnerable than most of us think. Thanks again.

    • Wolfthatknowsall

      If we lose, there will be no epitaph, because there will be no grave-marker.

      • Daniel Greenfield

        And a few centuries from now the history books will read that Abdul ibn Abbas invented the cell phone during another “Golden Age” of Islam.

  • DontMessWithAmerica

    Excellent piece providing perspective that folks tend to forget in civilization even though they learned it by instinct as infants in the sandlot. In a truly civilized world, all nations that share borders with Russia, including China,plus NATO would send troops and arms into the Ukraine to wipe out the rebels to teach Putin that the world is not his exclusive playground and if he wants to take it further, the world is ready.

    • RMThoughts

      There was a time when the USSR was the “evil empire,” a godless Golgotha. But that was then. Now, in 2013-14, Putin has seen fit to say,
      in his December State of the Nation speech, “Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values. …Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sexpartnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan. This is the path to degradation.” Seems he was targeting American cultural foreign policy.

      This roughly coincided with Russia’s enactment of laws prohibiting homosexual propaganda and was a salvo against: moral relativism. (Putin) “Society is now required…to accept without question the equality of good and evil, strange as it seems, concepts that are opposite in meaning.”

      In a document called “Foundations of the State Cultural Policy,” the Kremlin is doubling down and writes, “Russia must be viewed as a unique and original civilization that cannot be reduced to ‘East’ or ‘West.’ …A concise way of formulating this stand would be, ‘Russia is not Europe.’” The document goes on to state that Russia rejects
      “such principles as multiculturalism and tolerance” and “projects
      imposing alien values on society.”

      Our cultural Marxists are on the march, smell blood and will not stop. They will continue spending us into oblivion, perverting us into prone position, relativizing us into risibility and “immigrationizing” us into irrelevance. Even now, not satisfied with placing another great nail in marriage’s coffin, our militant secularists are making moves to legitimize
      pedophilia and bestiality.

      It seems our current administration battle him is Luciferian soldiers. Hadly singing from the same hymnal as Putin.

      • DontMessWithAmerica

        No arguments with your comments but you’ve thrown in a lot of apples and oranges plus dates and nuts which hardly relate to simple facts and facts don’t relate what people say but what they do – and what Putin does is unacceptable.

        • neal

          Domino Theories. Pipelines completed from Gaza, Central America, et al. Politics will not save you, once it is really on. Some try to stop it from happening. Dirty work.

          Soldiers just do not do politics, just try not to get erased in the crossfire. Most out there do not care. Only, if you are good to eat, kill. If you are not, kill.

      • Ellsworth Toohey

        Putin is in line with the opinion of REAL Europeans, not the junkies libtards that seized power by “spreading the wealth” these Europeans produced, to the scum flooding Europe. The voice of european politics, so called “intelingenzia”, socalites etc… is NOT the voice of the PEOPLE. May be the voice of obama and his minions is the voice of the NEW americans, for sure it is not the voice of the founding fathers.

      • Daniel Greenfield

        Please spare us the Putin talking points.

        Putin uses Christianity the same way that Stalin used it. There’s little religious freedom for any religious group that isn’t an arm of the regime and promoting Putin.

        Talking about cultural Marxists while promoting a government of KGB men is downright bizarre.

        • RMThoughts

          Bizarre is Obama and the neo-conservatives as fellow travelers.

          • http://www.themadjewess.net/ The Mad Jewess

            I dont see that at all as much as I see people stuck in 1985

          • Daniel Greenfield

            …those who forget history are doomed to repeat it

        • RMThoughts

          You judge it with cold warrior emotion. It was not Putin who contravened Reagans agreement not to put NATO troops in Eastern Europe, or imposed a coup on Kiev as the EU had negotiated a compromise settlement.
          While in the US we have abortion contraception and abortion mandates imposed on religion. Forced compliance in the workplace giving special status to homosexuals against religious conscious, etc., Unlike Stalin, Putin actually is rebuilding Churches and monasteries destroyed in the soviet era, mandating religious education, chaplains in the military, etc., they are not the same as much as your emotions tell you they are. as well as a multitude of other things that would be consistent with Western Civilization that you seem concerned about.

          You know as well as I do that the Ukrainian imbroglio is not about Ukrainian independence about controlling Eurasian oil/gas, pipelines and infrastructure. Washington’s attitude toward Russia is formed by the Wolfowitz Doctrine which states:

          “Our first objective is to prevent the re-emergence of a new rival, either on the territory of the former Soviet Union or elsewhere, that poses a threat on the order of that posed formerly by the Soviet Union. This is a dominant consideration underlying the new regional defense strategy and requires that we endeavor to prevent any hostile power from dominating a region whose resources would, under consolidated control, be sufficient to generate global power.”

          • Daniel Greenfield

            It’s pre-Cold War actually. Russia is revisiting its old conflicts with Europe.

            And spare us the “Russia is afraid of NATO” nonsense.

            Especially under Obama that doesn’t hold water.

            The only churches that Putin is rebuilding pay homage to him.

            Religious groups that aren’t part of his cult of personality, e.g. Baptists, Mormons, get harassed.

          • RMThoughts

            Vladimir Putin is not a sentimentalist, and has made a lifelong study of Soviet socialism (which failed), and Euro socialism which is incapable of defending itself
            and culturally decadent.

            Russia is not rebuilding a Soviet Union but a Russia something much closer to the old Russian Empire. Putin’s rejection of everything decadent post Christian Western culture as alien to Russia and emphasized the importance of Russian Orthodoxy in Russian life. Those who see an attempt to revive the Soviet Union in get it wrong. It doesn’t mean we must fall into your “unless Russia is remade in our Godless, secular, image and likeness it is evil and must be destroy. You seem more absolutist dogmatic liberalism than Putin ever could be!

            Your right it seems that Putin like his predecessor Nicholas I, whose portrait hangs in his office suite, horror of horrors, is NOT a liberal. I would think it obvious that he does not stand for Western liberalism as a infallible dogma to whom, to use your term we must all pay homage and spread to all the earth with missionary zeal. Do not peoples have the right to believe themselves as “exceptional” as we do.

            As Americans we may laugh and ridicule Putin’s faith in the exceptionalism of his Russia and the Russian people, but consider our own irrefutable. But we only need look inward at ourselves to understand how this rebirth of Russian ‘manifest destiny” it and we can see it reverberates with the Russian people seen in recent polls that she he touches popular beliefs and aspirations.

            We heard him say, the collapse of the Soviet Union was a tragedy. If we look behind the words it was a tragedy for Putin not because it was the death of Soviet Communism, but because it was a setback
            for Russia if you listened carefully to the words and not our cold war passions.

            Putin’s world does not coexist with the moral relativity of the West’s postmodernism and deconstructionism – the current culture of European and American political

            As an emerging anti-liberal Russian autocrat and in mimicry of his tsarist predecessors, Putin has restored prestige to the Orthodox Church. He has restored the quintessential Russian ethnic bond between state and liturgy. Now, secure at home, he has thrown a gauntlet down, challenging the West to a new clash of civilizations.

            Vladimir Putin’s aggression against Ukraine is not an effort to revive the Soviet Union, contrary to the hyperbole many conservative pundits who paint him as the new Joseph Stalin. Rather, he is akin to Nicholas I. Like Putin, Nicholas sought to repudiate the idea that Russia had anything in common with the liberal ideas that came out of the French Revolution. He sought to portray Russia as a sort of moral savior much as Putin has done

          • American Patriot

            Then explain why the radical left supports Putin.

          • RMThoughts

            I was aware the left and Obama were one and the same. I wasn’t aware that the radical left supported him. From what I have read they hate him as a reactionary from his stand on homosexuality, etc.,

          • http://www.themadjewess.net/ The Mad Jewess

            The radical left does not support Putin.
            Putin has anti homosexual propaganda laws.
            The Pussy riot is who the left supports.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Putin’s image is godless. The only religion he is interested in worships him.

            So spare us the godless materialism routine. Putin is a godless materialist building his own cult of personality.

          • RMThoughts

            His deeds and words say otherwise….unlike our own leaders. Once again, I am hearing you say, it is so because I say and want it to be so.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            His deeds show that the only church he is interested in worships him.

            Other churches he persecutes.

          • RMThoughts

            Once again, Putin is not a liberal. As Americans the only political philosophy we know is liberal. For Putin Orthodoxy and Russia are one and the same. I think you are confused as to the definition of worship.

          • Daniel Greenfield

            For Putin, he and Russia are the same.

          • RMThoughts

            I’ve come to the conclusion that the only “weltanschauung” you would find acceptable is the secular liberal variety whose logical consequences are the post-modern deconstructionist elite political order we have ended up with in the United States.

          • http://www.themadjewess.net/ The Mad Jewess

            You need to wake up and take a nice, cold, hard look at the NATO expansion map.

        • http://www.themadjewess.net/ The Mad Jewess

          Mr. Greenfield, Stalin was anti Christian.

          John McCain fomented revolution in Ukraine in 2013 Dec in Kiev, ditto Victoria Nuland and Sen Murphy.
          Had they stayed OUT of Ukraine, I dont believe ANY plane would have been shot down at all.

          (Those are not “Putin” talking points, they are facts.)

          • Daniel Greenfield

            Stalin used the church when he found it useful. Ditto for Putin.

            And yes those are Putin talking points direct from Moscow.

            This is a conflict that long predated McCain or Nuland. Talking about them is a calculated distraction.

          • http://www.themadjewess.net/ The Mad Jewess

            “Talking about them is a ‘calculated distraction’
            How so?

            I was never a fan of Russia or Putin. And, most people who know me on the net know I tell it like it is.

            All I want is an answer as to WHY John McCain, ARIZONA senator was in Kiev, fomenting revolution in Dec 2013. Ditto Victoria Nuland (this is not even a 8 mos ago)

            I want to know why Pierre Omidyar, founder of Ebay donated 500 thous USD to the UKR ‘revolt’

            I want to know why Joe Bidens son secured a position with the largest UKR gas company, ditto John Kerry’s friend.

            I want to know why an ARIZONA senator (John McCain) was in Moldova, 4 mos ago, ditto Hungary.

            I want to know WHY John McCain is photo’d with the Svoboda party leader, who is a NEO NZI.

            I LIVE in Az, Mr. Greenfield, my Senator has NO business in Ukr, Moldova, Hungary, etc. I have a RIGHT to know just WTF MY Senator is doing in UKRAINE.

            If you think these are
            “Putin talking points”Something is wrong with your worldview.

          • http://www.themadjewess.net/ The Mad Jewess

            Stalin was anti Christian, he did not BUILD UP the church in Russia, Putin has.

          • http://grumpyelder.com/ Grumpy

            It gets difficult at times for the Cold War generation, people like Greenfield and Myself to separate what’s become a Second Cold War from the first one….

            The US and Russia are once again the the central players,

            During the 50’s and the first half of the 70’s, the United States had a pretty solid claim on the moral high ground. In most cases, Russia and China were the apparent aggressors in most of the conflicts..

            Today those lines aren’t so clear..

            The United States is becoming similar to the Old Soviet Union, we have a president who was raised, educated and mentored by people who admired the Soviet System, and hated the United States.

            Putin wants to restore Russia to it’s former position of power and he’s a ruthless s-o-b. But his training didn’t come from idealists.. he learned from practical, hard headed military and espionage types,, He sees a practical value in letting the Russian people have some of the freedoms Americans used to have,,but he’ll only go so far.

      • Ginger Li

        RM: Yours is a well reasoned and thoughtful comment with which I largely agree. While it is also arguable, as DG suggests, that B. Hussein’s and Putin’s moral level, or lack thereof, are quite equivalent, there is a significant difference and it has to do with the objectives. Putin is doing his best to rebuild Russia and recapture the glory of the USSR by extending his hegemonic reach over the independent states of the old.Union. B. Hussein is doing his best to destroy the culture, values, traditions, sovereignty and foreign interests of the US. Putin, OTOH, is rallying his people and resisting the import of the corrupting perverse values of US liberalism. B. Hussein is really an enemy alien at war with us.

        Russia has always wanted a Black Sea port and they will get it regardless of the means. The same goes for the Ukraine which has been viewed as contested ground between Poland and Russia for centuries. It is quite rational for Russia to attempt to capture this territory – and the Russians will love him for getting it. The Ukrainians are certainly to be pitied for being considered a Russian slave state and having their self determination interests brutally denied.

        As to the airliner that was shot down, Putin certainly supplied the weaponry and the skill to use it. In the current conflict for that territory, that airspace had become a free fire zone. Several aircraft had already been brought down with loss of life, none of which had hardly raised an eyebrow in the international community. ‘That’s their business’ was the shrug. But now an important passenger jet is brought down with significant loss of life and the outrage is significant.

        The first question to be asked should be ‘who benefits’. Putin certainly doesn’t nor do his surrogates since he and they stand to lose political support for their purpose. Nor do the Ukrainians who really didn’t control the territory from which the missile was launched.

        But there’s another party in this tragedy: Islamism. Have we forgotten MH370 already? There were Muslim pilots of questionable mental stability on that flight. MH17 was also a Malaysian airline. Its flight path was purposely diverted into the free fire zone which was known to be dangerous airspace. Who decided this – and for what reason? Perhaps the focus should be on who was piloting that plane. Were they Muslims of suicidal motivation bent.on compromising Putin who has been waging war with Islam for some decades now? .

        No one, including any media, seems to want to even consider this question. B. Hussein certainly does not want to as his only noises have been feebly directed toward Putin’s culpability. IMO, however, regardless of who supplied the weaponry and pulled the trigger, it is imperative that the question of the pilots’ actions and character be thoroughly investigated.

      • http://www.themadjewess.net/ The Mad Jewess

        People LIKE pretending that it is 1985.
        Act like Ronald Reagan did NOTHING re the wall in Berlin.

        Many Americans also refuse to post how John McCain was in Kiev in Dec 2013, fomenting revolt. Ditto Sen Murphy and Victoria Nuland.

        Putin is not our problem, our govt is with Hussein O in charge.

        • RMThoughts

          You are so right. Our own problems did not origionate with Putin or Russia. The infection is of our own making and Obama is the fruit of a multi-decade war on our own culture and Western civilization.

          • http://www.themadjewess.net/ The Mad Jewess

            It seems to me that Americans spend a LOT of time pointing fingers when we should be looking at our own issues.
            We have a HORRIBLE “leader” in charge who pushes people to the max.
            Putin is not our issue, Obama is.

          • RMThoughts

            RMThoughts • 5 days ago

            Your right, all these war drums against Russia.
            It is not Russia that is dissolving our borders.
            It is not Russia debasing our currency.
            It is not Russia destroying our Economy.
            It is not Russia that is debasing our morality.
            It is not Russia that arms and supports Jihadist.
            It is not Russia that is creating divisions amongst Americans.
            It is not Russia that is targeting American conservatives.
            It is not Russia that spy on US citizens.

          • http://www.themadjewess.net/ The Mad Jewess


        • Habbgun

          Supporting Ukraine is not fomenting revolution. Russia wants it both ways. They want to say Ukrainians are unique enough that they are different from Russians but they want to deny them self determination. There is no reason Ukraine and Russia can’t be like USA and Canada. There is no reason Russians in Ukraine can’t be like Americans in Canada. You have to really believe that Ukrainians want to harm Russians. You really really have to believe it because they actually did disarm.

          • http://www.themadjewess.net/ The Mad Jewess

            You didnt read my post.
            John McCain FOMENTED a revolt in Ukraine.
            Go look it up on Youtube, you can dee his whole speech:
            John McCain, KIEV, Dec 2013

          • http://www.themadjewess.net/ The Mad Jewess

            BTW: The Svoboda party, which has over 30 seats in the UKR govt IS neo-Nazi.

            Thousands of Jews have fled Ukraine and made Aliyah to Israel.
            By you supporting that, shows me that

            #1. You dont know what you’re talking about and naive
            #2. Supporting fascists in Ukraine.

          • Habbgun


            Obviously this is more complicated than you think. What is ultimately important is that there are governments that represent their own people, that are fair to their own people. If they have a successful society they will be fair to the Jew also. If they have a bad society they will deteriorate into Jew hate nobody how tolerant they were before.

            The Left blames NATO and not a former KGB issue for the problem. The Ukrainians tear down statues of Lenin instead. I think I know which side I stand on. Standing with Putin is a non-starter.

            If Jews are forced to run to Israel it is what will happen anyway. Zion is the ultimate solution. Hashem our protector.

  • Gee

    Except when it comes to Jews. We have the ability but are forbidden from using it to end the Arab terrorism directed at us. The entire world rushes to protect the aggressors

    • Drakken

      Well you folks should say with absolute conviction, to h*ll with what you bed wetting do gooders of the world have to say, and do what must be done to ensure your survival.

  • meanpeoplesuck

    Good thing Chimpy W McHitler still isn’t president- there’s oil in Russia so he’d be sending 150,000 of other people’s children to go get killed so he could get that oil.

    • Captlee

      Incredibly stupid comment

      • Daniel Greenfield

        No one ever said liberals were smart

        • meanpeoplesuck

          Are we at war anywhere there isn’t oil?

          • Daniel Greenfield


    • Kruton

      #low info voter

      • meanpeoplesuck

        Did you even know that Russia was a big oil producer? If it wasn’t on Faux I guess you missed it.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          Howard Dean called. He wants his shtick back

        • American Patriot

          Did you know that Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels are battling for cities in eastern Ukraine? If it wasn’t on “PMS”(PMSNBC), I guess you missed it.

          • meanpeoplesuck

            Well aware of what’s going on in the Ukraine, thanks. In fact, it’s another great example of RepubliNaziTard hypocrisy- Chimpy W McHitler said he looked deep into Putin’s eyes and saw what a great guy he was. That Chimpy W McHitler- such great judgement! World in ruins- Mission Accomplished!

  • Anukem Jihadi

    Civilization is a balancing act.
    When a civilization creates too many abstract rules to live up to it becomes vulnerable because those rules insulate many key decision makers from reality.
    Alinsky probably knew that as well as Genghis Kahn did.
    A Kto-Kovo world is a trial by fire that no civilization can ultimately avoid.
    Reagan knew that very well.
    In a Kto-Kovo world the devil you know is almost always preferable to the devil you don’t.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      I don’t know if the left understands entirely where it’s headed. The Bolsheviks ended up being eaten by Stalin. They didn’t see it coming.

      Fanatics tend to think they’re immune from the consequences because of their righteous cause.

      • Anukem Jihadi

        It’s a very strange phenomenon.

        • Daniel Greenfield

          People stop thinking when their emotions are engaged

  • mikeh420

    This is just 0bama being “more flexible”, just as he promised Russia before the ’12 elections.

  • Bobbie_Z

    Daniel Greenfield, could you do a condensed version of this that could be shared on the ADHD world of Facebook? This is a little too long for that. Doing so would also help you learn to express yourself more concisely. Great piece, however. Thank you.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      Obama won’t play by the rules. We shouldn’t either.

      • Bobbie_Z

        Too short. Split the difference and you should be fine.

  • semus

    Great piece again Mr. Greenfield.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      thank you

  • Erudite Mavin

    Great commentary Daniel.
    I see some of the usual Putin apologists commenting as they are on other sites.
    Their talking points are from the recent Ron Paul propaganda, some that has been picked up by the Russian Government’s “Russia Today”
    Putin can count on Paul for love and kisses.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      As long as the money keeps coming in…

  • Daniel Greenfield

    It doesn’t get more radical left than the KGB

  • Daniel Greenfield

    The leftists became a fifth column. Now Putin is using a mix of the far left and far right as his fifth column.

    Weakening the West has always been a plus for Russia. The details don’t matter that much.

  • Captlee

    Amazing. Very well written.

  • William James Ward

    How often are our troops in harms way given orders that tie their
    hands and put them in greater danger or actually cost them their
    lives. Leadership under Obama is a hindrance to prosecution of
    war against the evils of terrorism and Jihadists. Our war on crime
    is hamstrung by a few generations of leftist baby talk and blaming
    society for the evil of the criminal mind. Americans have been
    disarmed mentally and physically to meet the leftist, jihadist,
    Marxist, Democrat subversives. War will come to America soon
    enough, survival will be on the line, freedom or slavery, that will
    be the choice and until Americans stop seeing their easy time
    under government handouts the loss will be greater than we
    can imagine. Bad days are on the way, toughen up………William

    • objectivefactsmatter

      Rules of engagement adjusted for domestic political reasons (or worse). That too. Good reminder.

  • Nick Jihad

    I don’t buy the implication that Putin sees himself in a “zero-sum” confrontation with the West. The collapse of the USSR demonstrates that the USSR must have commerce with the West to achieve a level of prosperity that the populace demand. Russians will not accept the poverty that goes with autarky, so Putin’s political success depends on maintaining commerce, and commerce has to be mutually beneficial.

  • http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/ Jason P

    A sober analysis! It is clear that at some point one can no longer restrict oneself by the rules meant to fight a normally civilized nation in the hopes of a return to normality when peace is restored. The barbarian is fighting civilization itself. There is not return to normality. Back in 2006 I reviewed the original “just war” doctrine of Cicero and found there is not such restraint when fighting a barbarian state and even less when fighting stateless savages: http://libertyandculture.blogspot.com/2006/12/cicero-on-just-war.html

  • cxt

    Interesting article…..in a very real way, our foes, both overseas and domestic, depend on us following the rules…..they count on it and they use it vs. us.

    • Drakken

      That is probably the best summation of it all that there is! Brilliant!

  • Rosasolis

    First I would to thank everyone who have expressed their sympathy, support,
    and understanding to those in our country (Netherlands) who are still in shock
    and grieving for the family members, friends, and collegues, who were lost
    in this terrible offence against an ordinary passenger airline flight! As our new
    king Willem-Alexander said yesterday during the gathering of many bereaved
    family members and associates: “this act of terror cuts right through our soul,
    and the sadness will be felt for many years”. The news report from an hour
    ago has said that the bodies of most of the passengers are now on the way
    to Netherlands and will arrive here tomorrow morning. Along with the 2
    black boxes, which we our hoping will provide more details about this
    terrible disaster…if they haven’t been damaged! In the meantime there are
    many church services and demonstrations being organized all over
    the country. Everyone is supporting and helping the people who are
    still trying to cope with the shock and their grief. The sadness in this
    country is enormous, and is being felt everywhere. But we are hoping
    for more details as soon as possible.

  • RMThoughts

    All this pious indignation. The reality is the neocon game plan needs Ukraine. As uni-polar advocate and neoconservative strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski stated it clearly back in 1997:

    “Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine…would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into debilitating conflicts with aroused Central Asians, who…would be supported by their fellow Islamic states to the south…if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as its access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia”
    No one really cares about the Ukrainian people. Pawns in a bigger game.

    • cxt

      I do.
      Plus, you clearly don’t care either—they are just “clubs” to hit conservatives with.

  • Jeff Ludwig

    Great article. I see the pervasiveness of this distinction not only in politics but in family life, schools, commercial dealings, the workplace….. Playing by the rules is being dispensed with, and a new ethos of doing anything and everything you can get away with and calling that “creativity” or “leadership” or “taking care of no. 1.”

  • RMThoughts

    Russia has been releasing satellite photos showing the presence of Ukrainian Buk anti-aircraft missiles in locations from which the airliner could have been brought down by the missile system and documentation that a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet rapidly approached the Malaysian airliner prior to its downing. What is the American response? Why doesn’t Washington release its photos from its satellite?

    Why are we relying on a YouTube video that seems to be prepared in advance that purports to show a Russian general and Ukrainian separatists discussing having mistakenly downed a civilian airliner. Can anyone say Benghazi déjà vu.

    The reality is the neocon game plan needs Ukraine and needed the downed airliner as the “game-changer”. They get what they want. As uni-polar advocate and neoconservative strategist Zbigniew Brzezinski stated it clearly back in 1997 where all this is going today:
    “Ukraine, a new and important space on the Eurasian chessboard, is a geopolitical pivot because its very existence as an independent country helps to transform Russia. Without Ukraine, Russia ceases to be a Eurasian empire. Russia without Ukraine…would then become a predominantly Asian imperial state, more likely to be drawn into debilitating conflicts with aroused Central Asians, who…would be supported by their fellow Islamic states to the south…if Moscow regains control over Ukraine, with its 52 million people and major resources as well as its access to the Black Sea, Russia automatically again regains the wherewithal to become a powerful imperial state, spanning Europe and Asia”

    As long as they can flood American with illegals, de-construct our national identity and make us a cog in Zbigniew Brzezinski neocon secular liberal globalist world — create a nation of dependents and not citizens, they will have their way with us.

    • cxt

      Insane–and nothing more than an attempt to muddy the waters.

      The “neocons” are not in charge in DC–and have not been for roughly 6 years.

      If your going to go all “black helicopter” then please explain how and why the heavily liberal President and leader of the Democratic party, and all his heavily liberal and Democrat staffers and appointees, etc. would be carrying water for a shadowy cabal of “neocons?”

      Makes no sense.

      • RMThoughts

        Who said the neo-cons weren’t liberals

        • cxt

          Me……but feel free to explain further.

  • Moshe David Tokayer

    This is the reason why looking for every tunnel and destroying it is a waste of time at best and a disaster at worse involving tremendous unnecessary loss of lives. We need to carpet bomb Gaza City (Shock and Awe) and then move in to pick up the pieces.

  • Robert What?

    I have to disagree with two things: first, whatever bad you can say about Putin – and there is plenty – he appears to have the best interests of his own people in mind. You can’t say the same thing about Obama. Second, Putin may be many things, but a commie he ain’t.

  • rangers53

    It’s about time some politicians (Republican especially) read AND adhered to this line of thinking which is exactly. As a friend of mine who is of Lebanese desent once said to me, ” if you want to stop Middle Eastern terrorism, start capturing them and cut their nuts off”. They would think differently about what they’re doing.