Să învăţam geografie cu CNN

    48

    Plăcile tectonice din Orientul Mijlociu s-au bulversat peste noapte şi Tripoli a ajuns în Siria. Nu e de mirare că nu reuşesc să-l găsească pe Gaddafi. Întrebare pentru comentacii tobă de mass-media: cine era Faux News?

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    Articolul precedentZiduri
    Articolul următorMomente Sputnik
    Emil Borcean
    În 1985 am absolvit facultatea de geologie din București. După trei ani de stagiatură la mina de cărbune din Anina, în Banat, am renunțat la geologie și am învățat să fiu programator software. Am plecat din România în 1990, toamna. Am trăit patru ani în Anglia, 19 ani în Canada și aproape doi ani în Germania. M-am întors nu demult în țară. În 2007 am creat blogul Patrupedbun.net, care în 2010 a fuzionat cu blogul Dreapta.net. Din această fuziune s-a născut ILD.

    48 COMENTARII

    1. Emil, merci pentru cintec, este unul din preferatele mele… Don’t know much about algebra… But I do know I love you… Excelent!

      Cu CNN-ul, s-ar putea sa bata ei undeva (sanchi! :mrgreen:). Daca nu-l gasesc pe Gaddafi in Tripoli-ul in care trebuie, poate il gasesc in celalalt… O fi vreun apropo f.f. subtil? Sa fie ei oare asa de subtili? Nah, nonsense! it’s too far fetched!

      Ceea ce se intimpla aici este ca ei se bazeaza pe masini (programate de birdie-num-num…(*)). Adica pe ceea ce le este furnizat de un programator incult. Daca ei baga la search „Tripoli” ce le iese, aia e! No question asked! Ei nu-si inchipuie ca s-ar putea sa existe doua Tripoli. De fapt cine sa ask questions? Cine sint editorii, corectorii, redactia? Daca searchul vine si cu vreo harta, e perfect! Ca ei, saracii, nu mai stiu sa arate pe harta nici America! Adu-ti aminte de Hitler-bacul de acum citeva saptamini.

      In acelasi timp tot astia sint aia care-ti explica despre ce e vorba-n propozitie in Siria! (CNN’s pet project, daca i-ai urmarit in ultimele doua saptamini, si-ai bagat de seama unde bat si ce vor)

      Se prea poate sa searchul sa le fi zis ca sint doua choice-uri, dar cine sa stie pe care s-o aleaga? Au luat-o pe prima, pe principiul ca aia o fi cea mai populara, deci aia e!. Pentru ca ei cred ca notiunile pe care ei le imping ca „populare” sint si alea pe care lumea le considera automat drept „populare”. Sint asa de increzuti si de plini de ei incit cred ca Tripoli-ul lor este Tripoli-ul tuturor. De-aia iau plasele astea, din ignoranta proprie si din pacatul trufiei: ei cred ca ce zic ei este acceptat de toata lumea.

      Ignoranta asta si pacatul trufiei sint generale! Sa nu crezi ca blondinele de la Fox News sint mai acatarii.

      Pun aici un citat de-al meu preferat, care, in curind, va implini si el venerabila virsta de 20 de ani:

      The irony of the Information Age is that it has given new respectability to uninformed opinion.
      (Michael Crichton – Airframe)

      P.S 1.: M-am reautentificat acum (nu stiu unde naiba mi s-au dus my cookies) si de-abia acum bagai de seama ca voi lucrati cu WordPress. Ati auzit de scandalul de mai deunazi? Ca WordPress a compromis parolele la nu stiu citi membri?

      P.S. 2: Am cautat Faux News pe google da’ nu m-am lamurit. Hiturile care mi-au iesit au fost toate comentarii rautacioase la adresa lui Fox News. Impinse de google! Ca noi stim cu totii in ce echipa joaca google, nu-i asa? Tu la ce Faux News te referi?

      (*) birdie-num-num: notiunea asta trebuie sa le fie familiara fanilor lui Peter Sellers, daca au urmarit The Party.

    2. This is off-topic. Este pentru DanCanada:

      M-ai intrebat mai de mult ce parere am despre Ann Counter, si ti-am raspuns. Si ti-am zis ca Ann Coulter lucreaza, cu carte de munca in regula, la Human Events. Lucru pe care il stiu de la ea insasi, l-a pomenit intr-o carte de-a ei, si pe care poti sa-l verifici daca te duci pe http://www.humanevents.com. Vezi comitetul de redactie. Am observat ca tu o citezi cu linkuri din Town Hall. Eu, care stiu ca articolul ii apare prima data si intiia oara pe Human Events, miercuri seara, acolo ma duc sa-l citesc. Cind ii apare coloana pe Town Hall, n-am nici o idee. In fine, Human Events, Town Hall, tot un drac.

      Ultimul ei articol, de saptamina asta, este: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=45893

      Ce parere ai tu despre el? Ma intereseaza in primul rind relevanta zicerilor lui Perry, nu Darwin si teoria evolutiei.

      Iti atrag atentia ca Perry a mai zis si alte chestii in ultimele zile, n-a vorbit numai de teoria evolutiei. Principalele chestii pe care le-a zis au fost:
      a) Ca Bernanke trebuie spinzurat pentru ce face el la Federal Reserve.
      b) Ca America nu trebuie sa se mai lanseze in, citez, „aventuri militaristice”.

      Intrebarea mea catre tine e: De ce Coulter nu discuta despre aceste ziceri ale lui Perry? De ce ea gaseste drept cea mai importanta chestie despre care sa scrie in saptamina asta, sa apere pozitia lui Perry fata de darwinism?

      Daca-mi raspunzi, te voi asigura de toata stima mea si-mi voi scoate palaria cu amindoua miinile in fata ta.

    3. Lockerbie Case: Libyans Won’t Deport Bomber


      New York senators last week asked the Libyan national transitional government to hold Abdel-Baset al-Megrahi fully accountable for the bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people.

      „We will not hand over any Libyan citizen. It was Gadhafi who handed over Libyan citizens,” he said, referring to the government’s decision to turn Mr. Megrahi over to a Scottish court for trial.

      the new allies.

    4. un articol pe blogul frontpage mult mai interesant si consistent: Lockerbie Bomber Betrayal

      The same day, a CNN journalist discovered the fugitive from American justice sick in bed at his family’s villa in Tripoli, apparently “near death.”

      in siria.

      Al-Megrahi was convicted in Great Britain in 2000 of the 1988 bombing of Pan-Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland that killed 270 people, including 190 Americans. He served only eight years of the life sentence he received from a British court before his controversial release on compassionate grounds in August, 2009.

      The public was told he had cancer and would die within three months. That was two years ago. The families of al-Megrahi’s victims were angered by the British decision to free the murderer of their loved ones, especially when they saw him receiving a hero’s welcome when he returned to Libya.

      dupa ce a ucis 270 de oameni – a fost eliberat „din compasiune”.
      dude!
      explicatia a fost ca mai avea doar trei luni de trait.
      acum doi ani.

    5. ps

      As the appeals court judge for the case, Abdel-Jalil twice confirmed the death sentence for five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor who had been falsely accused of injecting 438 children in a Libyan children’s hospital with the HIV virus on the orders of the United States and Israel.

      During their eight and a half years of imprisonment, the nurses also accused their interrogators of rape.

      cinci asistente medicale din bulgaria si un doctor palestinian au fost acuzate ca au infectat cu sida 483 de copii la comanda statelor unite si israelului. au ispasit opt ani si jumatate ( mai mult decat criminalul de la lockerbie) timp in care au fost violate constant.
      in acea perioada, ministrul justitiei era nimeni altul decat Abdel-Jalil, ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-14613679) care acum este conducatorul rebelilor.

    6. @roadrunner#4: Sorry, de-abia acum am vazut mesajul. Deci de ce? numai pot sa speculez, nu stiu for sure: probabil Ann a cazut intr-o „groapa de potential” evanghelista. Mai are perioade de-astea cind o ia la vale. Si saptamina trecuta s-a lansat intr-un fight fara rost (Evolutionismul si Democratii). Mai comentez acolo citeodata si o sfatuiam saptamina trecuta sa nu se bage in chestii de astea – Evolutionismul si Stinga e „the last straw” she could pick, sint atitea alte probleme mai serioase. Probabil nu citeste comentariile 🙂
      Personal, consider ca scrie uneori funny – sarcastic, acid, often outrageous si de multe ori are dreptate cind plesneste Stinga peste fata. Dar mai si sare calul, bineinteles.
      Cit despre Perry, cred ca e o greseala politica sa se bage in asa ceva. Parerea mea – dupa cum merg republicanii, s-ar putea sa piarda la anu’.
      E adevarat, pare incredibil, dar nu cred ca americanul de rind o sa aiba la inima asa curind un alt guvernator texan – e prea vie imaginea lui W.

    7. @ DanCanada #11

      Hmm… „Groapa de potential evanghelista”? Aproposito de evanghelism, o stim pe Ann Coulter cit de mult face parada de crestinismul ei. Bine, bine, dar cum sta ea cu „valorile”? Este deja la o virsta mai mult decit coapta si nu tu barbat, nu tu copii… Si nici sa fi facut-o pina acum pe calugaritza n-o vad.

      Nu, a o considera pe Ann Coulter o exaltata religioasa (chiar si temporar) inseamna a-i insulta inteligenta. Si sintem amindoi de acord ca femeia este extrem de inteligenta. Sint doua premize prin prisma carora trebuie sa interpretam incidentul cu darwinismul. Prima, ca (a)-ul si (b)-ul pe care Perry le-a scos pe guritza reprezinta cea mai fundamentala contestatie a sistemului actual. A doua, ca Coulter este o creatura a establishmentului.

      (a)-ul si (b)-ul ataca baza sistemului. Un fundament cu care agreeaza ambele partide, si stinga, si dreapta. Si a carui valabilitate nu a fost contestata niciodata, nici de stinga, nici de dreapta. Ce fac ei la suprafata este ca se cearta pe cum sa divide the spoils. Insa de fundament nu te iei niciodata, nici daca te cheama Ann Coulter, nici daca te cheama Chris Matthews. In fundamentals bi-partisanship-ul si agreementul sint totale!

      Subiectul ales de Coulter ne arata cit de frustrata, iritata, agasata, angoasata este ea de unele lucruri care se intimpla acum in politica americana. Pentru ca ceva se intimpla, daca o urmaresti (politica) indeaproape.

      Newt Gingrich este intrebat la ultima dezbatere republicana despre FED si raspunde ca trebuie auditat! Mitt Romney zice si el ca America nu mai trebuie sa se angajeze in intreprinderi de gen aducerea democratiei in Afganistan! Perry zice ca vrea sa-l spinzure pe Bernanke. Sarah Palin, cind aude asta, da un tweet in care zice ca ea a criticat FED-ul cu 10 (zece!) luni inaintea lui Perry, si ca Perry este doar un Johnny-come-lately!

      Sarah Palin si Rick Perry se bat pe cine a avut anterioritatea ideii „End the Fed”! Daca tu-mi arati ceva mai caraghios decit asta, nu stiu ce ar putea fi. Nu degeaba se zice ca politica americana te distreaza mai bine decit orice sitcom!

      Perry zice de „millitary adventurism”. Sarah Palin a zis si ea pe undeva ca ar trebui sa ne gindim mai mult cind ne bagam in aventuri straine. In general, toti candidatii emit, de vreo citeva saptamini, niste chestii pe care, cu citeva luni in urma, nu le-ar fi zis nici in somn.

      Diferenta dintre politicieni si Ann Coulter este ca politicienii isi pot lua libertatea de a zice orice, numai alesi sa fie! Iar establishmentul nu se va supara pe ei, pentru ca establishmentul stie ca ei sint oamenii lor si ca vor inceta sa mai vorbeasca despre „acele” lucruri a doua zi dupa ce vor fi cistigat alegerile. De ce s-au apucat politicienii, din senin, sa vorbeasca, toti de-odata, despre „acele” lucruri? Pentru ca au si ei pollsteri, strategisti care afla ce idei fierb la ora actuala prin electorat.

      Coulter nu poate sa faca ce fac politicienii. Nu ca nu i-ar da voie establishmentul, ci pentru ca pur si simplu nu poate! Coulter este guru pentru un pack of followers iar acestia nu au voie s-o vada confuza, contradictorie, s-o vada ca a pierdut controlul discursului, ca nu mai este ea on top of things, ci dimpotriva, lucrurile au depasit-o complet.

      Nu-i usor sa fii guru. Ce sa faca Coulter? Sa atinga si ea „acele” lucruri? Pai asta, pe linga faptul ca i-ar contrazice discursul ei de decenii, ar mai reprezenta si acknowledgement-ul adevaratului proprietar intelectual al „acelor” idei, si asta nu poate s-o faca nici in ruptul capului! Sa se faca ca nu vede? Nu prea merge, pentru ca followers-ii ei sint mai inteligenti decit ai altora si-si dau seama imediat ce face.

      Sint absolut convins ca Coulter, la ora actuala, nu-si doreste altceva decit ca perioada asta sa treaca cit mai repede, sa ajungem mai repede la acele nenorocite de alegeri din 2010, si sa iasa cineva, oricine, Perry, Palin, Romney, Bachmann, hell! si Obama sa iasa!!, numai sa nu se mai discute despre „acele” lucruri iar ea sa fie fortata sa se prefaca ca nu le aude! Sa ne intoarcem cit mai repede la „normalitate”, sa fim iarasi invitati in fiecare zi la televizor, sa ne fie citite articolele cu aviditate, si cartile sa ni se vinda ca piinea calda.

      Iar followers-ii sa uite cit mai repede de acel incident din luna de gratie August 2011, cind am scris acel articol ciudat si absolut irelevant despre darwinism, si sa nu se mai intrebe de ce am facut-o.

      P.S.: Nici eu nu citesc comentariile care apar la articolele ei. Ceva interesant pe acolo?

    8. Roadrunner.

      Daca tu-mi arati ceva mai caraghios decit asta, nu stiu ce ar putea fi.

      Clovnul perenial al catindatilor:

      WINTERSET, Ia. – Two weeks away from the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, presidential candidate and Texas Rep. Ron Paul says that U.S. intervention in the Middle East is a main motivation behind terrorist hostilities toward America, and that Islam is not a threat to the nation.

      At a campaign stop on Saturday in Winterset, one man asked Paul how terrorist groups would react if the U.S. removed its military presence in Middle Eastern nations, a move the candidate advocates.

      “Which enemy are you worried that will attack our national security?” Paul asked.

      “If you’re looking for specifics, I’m talking about Islam. Radical Islam,” the man answered.

      “I don’t see Islam as our enemy,” Paul said. “I see that motivation is occupation and those who hate us and would like to kill us, they are motivated by our invasion of their land, the support of their dictators that they hate.”

      Regarding 9/11, Paul said that attacks against the U.S. from Middle Eastern groups at home and abroad can be traced to the foreign presence of U.S. troops, as well as America’s relationships with dictator regimes.

      Paul referred to a military base in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, as a key motivator in the Sept. 11th attacks. Osama bin Laden viewed it as an American desecration of holy land.

      “After 9/11, (people said) ‘Oh yeah, it’s those very bad people who hate us,’ but 15 of (the hijackers) came from Saudi Arabia,” said Paul. “One of the reasons they attacked us, is we propped up this Sharia government and the fundamentalists hated us for it.”
      (punch line in sitcomul Ron Paul…. se rade in hohote)

      The congressman particularly decried U.S.-led bombings in foreign nations, saying that “almost always those individuals that they are trying to kill did not have any direct relationship” with threats to the U.S.

      Accordingly, his expectations for the rebels in Libya, who were assisted by American-led bombing efforts, aren’t very bright.

      “Remember ‘Mission Accomplished’? That’s probably about where we are right now,” Paul told The Des Moines Register, “and (the U.S.) better be very cautious about bragging about anything.”

      The crumbling of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime wouldn’t amount to a significant victory because al-Qaeda forces would arise there soon, Paul said.

      “As bad as Gadaffi was, he didn’t like the al-Qaeda,” Paul said. “He kicked those people out.”

      Paul cited a University of Chicago professor, Robert Pape, whose research argues that most of the suicide terrorism in the past 30 years was caused by military occupation. Pape’s research, funded by the Defense Department, shows that suicide bombings in Afghanistan went up one third after the Obama administration surged 30,000 troops into the country.

      “(9/11) was one of the main motivations for getting your attention on why they hate us and want to kill us,” he said. “You could send 20 million people over there and all it would do is make our problems worse.”

      Si despre iexpertul Robert Pape, mentorul lui papa Ron pe probleme de razbel si pace. (Pape i-a consiliat in 2008 atat pe Ron, cat si pe Obama.)

      Suicide by Bomb

      Ah, social science. All those numbers. All those technical terms. How comforting. How reassuring.

      How definitive.

      If only.

      Case in point: Robert A. Pape, a political scientist at the University of Chicago, who made a big splash with Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (2005). He began with a sweeping claim to scientific certitude, informing readers, “I have compiled a database of every suicide bombing and attack around the globe from 1980 through 2003—315 attacks in all.” And what did all those numbers prove? That “there is little connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism. .  .  . Rather what nearly all suicide terrorist attacks have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland.”

      His premises validated to his own satisfaction, Professor Pape then segued into what (to him) was surely an unassailable conclusion: “that the sustained presence of heavy American combat forces in Muslim countries is likely to increase the odds of the next 9/11.” Rather than embrace “any strategy centering on the transformation of Muslim societies,” he lectured policymakers, “We need to recall the virtues of our traditional policy of ‘offshore balancing’ in the Persian Gulf and return to that strategy.” In other words, withdraw our troops from the countries where they have been stationed—countries such as Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—in order to “find a lasting solution to suicide terrorism that does not compromise our core interest in maintaining access to one of the world’s key oil-producing regions.”

      Dying to Win was such a big succès d’estime that Pape has followed up with a second book—this one coauthored by James K. Feldman, a professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology—which restates the thesis of the earlier work and extends the research up to 2009. Cutting the Fuse comes with even greater trappings of social science than its predecessor. The very first page announces that the research was generated by something called the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism, which of course has its own acronym (CPOST) as well as a long list of financial backers: “Over several years, funding for these efforts was provided by the University of Chicago Division of the Social Sciences, the U.S. Department of Defense (the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the Office of Naval Research), Argonne National Laboratory, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York.” An impressive list, which only makes one wonder at the absence of the Ford and MacArthur Foundations and one or two other blue-chip endowments.

      The authors then thank a long list of “exceptional young professionals” for (you can almost hear the back-slapping) going “the extra mile to ensure the high standards required for the CPOST database development, campaign research, and analysis.” Nor is that all. Pape and Feldman claim that “this book is not written from a specific worldview, ideological orientation, or Democratic or Republican program.” Rather it is motivated solely by the “assumption that dispassionate consideration of the facts can create consensus and hope for a new future in American foreign policy.” Unlike the rest of us, Pape and Feldman are totally devoid of any worldview or orientation; they are simply servants of The Truth as determined by the Scientific Method.

      This conceit is undermined a bit by the fact that the acknowledgments contain a glowing tribute to John Mearsheimer, who “inspired Bob Pape to pursue a career in social science to better the world, and continues to challenge him to do so.” That would be the same John Mearsheimer who, along with Stephen Walt, authored that notorious anti-Israel—bordering on anti-Semitic—tract known as The Israel Lobby, which accused pro-Israel Americans of being Fifth Columnists. While Pape’s books are not nearly as egregious as his mentor’s, he does share with Mearsheimer a proclivity for disguising inflammatory political arguments behind a thin patina of social science which breaks down upon the slightest critical examination.

      Start with Pape’s most fundamental claim: that suicide bombers are not the product of Islamic ideology but rather are frustrated nationalists who emerge “from communities resisting foreign military occupation.” If this were the case, it would be hard to figure out why suicide bombing only became a common terrorist tactic in the early 1980s. Why wasn’t it used before by nationalists in Vietnam, Algeria, or other colonial battlefields?

      What Pape’s narrative glosses over is the fact that suicide bombing in the modern context was first employed by Hezbollah and its immediate precursors in Lebanon. The very first suicide attack in Lebanon occurred in 1981; the target was the embassy of Iraq, a country that, to the best of my knowledge, was not occupying Lebanon at the time. Perhaps for this reason the attack goes unmentioned in Pape’s database, which lists only attacks by Hezbollah committed on the U.S., Israeli, French, and Lebanese armies. The next major attack occurred in 1982. The target was an Israeli military headquarters in Tyre. The fact that Israel was occupying part of Lebanon at the time gives superficial support to Pape’s analysis, but we must still ask why Hezbollah resorted to suicide attacks while other terrorist and guerrilla groups also resisting Israeli occupation—for example, the Palestine Liberation Organization prior to the 1990s—did not.

      Surely the answer is that Hezbollah was (and is) a fanatical Shiite movement that was inspired by the Iranian revolution, which itself became known for the use of suicidal tactics. During the Iran-Iraq war, tens of thousands of Iranian boys, some as young as 10, were sent to run through minefields in human-wave attacks. They were even given plastic keys to ensure their entry into heaven. Only a political science Ph.D. could doubt that it was religious zeal which inspired them to sacrifice their lives.

      While suicide bombing started with Hezbollah, it soon spread to other organizations, including a few secular groups, such as the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. Pape makes much of the Tigers’ record of suicide attacks to deny any Islamic orientation to this tactic. But by his own count the Tigers killed 1,501 people in suicide attacks over 21 years (1987-2008). That works out to an average of 71 victims a year. The only other major campaign of suicide terrorism mounted by a secular group that Pape cites is the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which killed all of 43 people in Turkey between 1996 and 2008. Contrast this with the far bloodier record of Islamic suicide bombers from Chechnya to Israel. Pape’s database reveals that, since 1981, Muslim groups (not counting the PKK) have accounted for 93.7 percent of all deaths caused by suicide bombers—24,631 out of 26,277. This statistic isn’t cited in Pape and Feldman’s book, presumably because it is so at odds with their main argument.

      The deadliest campaign of all occurred in Iraq, where suicide bombers murdered 10,655 people in just five years (2003-08). What could have motivated the killers who turned Iraq into a charnel house? If Pape’s logic were to be believed, they must have been Iraqi nationalists outraged by American occupation. But Pape’s own data show that only about a third of all suicide bombers in Iraq were actually Iraqis. The rest were Saudis, Kuwaitis, Syrians, Jordanians, Yemenis, and other foreigners. Surely they could have had no devotion to Iraq as a national entity. In most cases the first time they ever visited Iraq was on their way to self-immolation. The only conceivable reason they could have sacrificed themselves to slay others was because they saw this as a religious obligation.

      Moreover, the vast majority of their victims were not Americans, Britons, or other “occupiers” but, rather, Iraqis: either members of the security forces or innocent bystanders. For many of the dead, their only crime was to be of the Shiite faith. Abu Musab al Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born head of Al Qaeda in Iraq, nurtured a fanatical hatred of Shiites, whom he referred to as “crafty and malicious” scorpions, snakes, rats, and “devils in the bodies of men.” He saw it as a religious duty to kill these “apostates.” Al Qaeda in Iraq and more secular Sunni insurgents also targeted American troops, but this was mostly by employing improvised explosive devices, not suicide bombs. (Shiite insurgents preferred to use rockets and mortars.) In other words, those who fought the U.S. military most directly did so by employing nonsuicidal tactics. It was only fanatical Salafists who were willing to blow themselves up to make a point, and most of their victims were co-religionists.

      This is rather damaging to Pape’s thesis. So is the fact that the suicide bombers in Iraq were not defeated by his preferred strategy of offshore balancing. If taken seriously in the Iraqi context, that would have required a withdrawal of U.S. troops in the face of vicious attacks. One might even argue that, prior to 2007, Generals George Casey and John Abizaid were pursuing a “Papist” approach by trying to move U.S. troops out of population centers. The result, as we know, was more carnage, not less. The suicide bombing threat in Iraq, along with the threat from other types of terrorist tactics (which Pape and Feldman utterly and mysteriously ignore) was reduced more than 90 percent by the application of time-tested counterinsurgency principles. The solution involved not a reduction of U.S. forces (as Pape would advocate) but, rather, an increase in their numbers and a change in their tactics to move into the middle of population centers, thus presumably heightening Iraqis’ sense of being “occupied” which, in the Pape worldview, is the root of all evil.

      Israel is another case that resists the pigeonholes into which Pape tries to stuff it. In the first place, Pape and Feldman cite the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade as evidence that suicide bombing is a secular, not an Islamic, phenomenon; but while the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade was set up by Fatah, a secular nationalist organization, it was explicitly religious in orientation. It was named, after all, in honor of the Al Aksa mosque. This was Yasser Arafat’s attempt to co-opt the religious extremism that was being harnessed by Fatah’s rivals in Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad; the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade’s adoption of suicide bombing was very much influenced by their example.

      A second error that Pape and Feldman commit is to claim that the Second (or Al Aksa) Intifada was ended by “Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza and part of the West Bank.” Actually it was more nearly the opposite. Israel was able to defeat the suicide bombers because, in April 2002, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and the security cabinet made the decision to send the Israel Defense Forces into areas of the West Bank that had been ceded to Palestinian control under the Oslo Accords.

      As part of Operation Defensive Shield, Israeli troops fought difficult battles in Jenin and other cities. They even besieged Yasser Arafat in his Ramallah compound. These operations were remarkably successful in uprooting terrorist cells that were sending suicide bombers into Israel proper. But those cells would have regenerated themselves if Israeli troops had simply pulled back—as has happened with Hamas and Hezbollah after Israeli troops pulled out of Gaza and southern Lebanon, respectively. Instead of retreating, however, Israeli soldiers and intelligence operatives have remained in the West Bank, and although their presence is less intrusive than it used to be, they still conduct raids every night to arrest suspects. They also actively share intelligence with Palestinian security forces—intelligence they would be hard-put to gather if they did not have a ground presence. The erection of the separation barrier between Israel proper and most of the West Bank also helped by impeding the movement of terrorists. But such a purely defensive response would have proved inadequate were it not for Israel’s continued willingness to stay on the offensive against the terrorists.

      Having succeeded in quelling the threat from suicide bombers, the Israeli government then decided to pull out of the Gaza Strip in 2005. Ariel Sharon would never have retreated under fire; so, contrary to Pape and Feldman’s claims, the Gaza disengagement was the result—not the cause—of Israel’s defeat of the suicide bombers of the Second Intifada.

      What about Israel’s pullout from southern Lebanon in 2000? Wasn’t this proof of Pape’s thesis that only the end of military occupation can stop suicide bombing? Nope. Suicide bombing had ended long before Israel’s pullout. Hezbollah all but abandoned this tactic after the 1980s, carrying out only three suicide attacks after 1990. By the late 1990s it was strong enough to revert to traditional guerrilla warfare, including the use of IEDs similar to those that would later take a toll on U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

      When the Israelis once again invaded Lebanon in 2006, Hezbollah did not respond with suicide attacks but with rockets aimed at Israel proper and with skillful guerrilla ambushes aimed at Israeli troops. If suicide bombing is the natural result of military occupation, as Pape seems to imagine, why did Hezbollah give up this tactic which it had practically invented? Surely it was not for lack of suicidal volunteers. Rather, it was because Hezbollah recognized that suicide bombing is not the super-weapon Pape imagines it to be. It is one tool in the terrorist’s arsenal, and not a particularly effective one at that—especially after its initial shock value has worn off.

      If the experience of Iraq and Israel punctures holes in Pape’s leaky thesis, the case of Pakistan sinks it altogether. Since the decline of violence in Iraq, Pakistan has emerged as the biggest terrorist killing field in the world—more deadly, even, than Afghanistan. Pape’s own database shows 196 suicide attacks in Pakistan from 2006 to 2010 resulting in 2,622 deaths. But this is only a small part of the tragic tale of a country under sustained assault from vicious jihadist groups. According to the Pak Institute for Peace Studies, over 12,000 people were killed in terrorist attacks in Pakistan between 2006 and 2010. More are dying all the time.

      How could this possibly be the case if, as Pape has it, foreign military occupation is needed to spur suicide bombers into action? I am not aware of any foreign army occupying Pakistan. Far from it; much of that country’s frontier region is unoccupied, even by Pakistan’s own army. But Pape is not daunted by a logical obstacle that would send lesser scholars scurrying back to the drawing board. Rather than concede that Pakistan is an exception to his all-encompassing thesis, he gamely tries to shoehorn it in by claiming that, in 2006, when suicide bombings began on a large scale, “the alliance between Pakistan and the United States evolved into—what is better termed—an indirect occupation.” Got it? Pakistan is occupied by the United States indirectly—so indirectly, in fact, that the occupation is not perceptible to anyone other than Robert Pape and James Feldman.

      To justify this astonishing claim, they define “indirect occupation” as any instance where one country “dictates .  .  . strategic priorities” to another country. Since, they claim, “U.S. pressure has shifted Pakistan’s strategic priorities” to turn against the militants, then Pakistan must be under U.S. occupation. To which one can only reply: It would be nice if the United States actually had shifted Pakistan’s strategic priorities. But the fact that Pakistan continues to support terrorist groups such as the Haqqani Network and the Taliban which are killing American soldiers—not to mention the probability that elements of the Pakistan establishment winked at Osama bin Laden’s presence in a military garrison town—suggests otherwise.

      Pape and Feldman’s problems with defining “military occupation” extend beyond Pakistan. To account for the fact that so many leading terrorists come from countries that haven’t been occupied by the United States (al Qaeda’s longtime number-two, Ayman al Zawahiri, for example, is a native of Egypt), they are compelled to claim that any U.S. military presence is tantamount to “occupation.” Thus they offer a list of the following “Sunni countries with U.S. combat operations”: not only Afghanistan and Iraq but also Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, Pakistan, and Jordan.

      This only makes sense if you adopt the late Osama bin Laden’s definition of “occupation” to mean any infidel military presence in Muslim lands. Yet even this expansive definition hardly fits countries such as Libya, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Morocco, which have given rise to numerous suicide bombers in spite of the total absence of American troops on their soil. Libya and Syria are not even American allies but, rather, our enemies: How could our “military occupation” be responsible for the creation of their terrorist groups?

      Pape and Feldman respond that suicide bombers are being driven around the bend by “the implementation of U.S. foreign policies aimed at controlling Muslim countries.” Again, this is to adopt Osama bin Laden’s perspective as reality. Is the United States actually trying to “control” Muslim countries? Isn’t it more accurate to say that we are helping to defend Muslim nations at their own invitation? By focusing so heavily on America’s supposed “occupations,” Pape and Feldman take a very narrow and selective view of terrorist motivations. They thereby ignore the dismal conditions in most of the Middle East, including the lack of political, social, and economic opportunity, which has a lot to do with the making of terrorists.

      Most terrorist groups are primarily concerned with toppling homegrown regimes. Isn’t it possible, even likely, that fighting American “military occupation” is only an excuse or a means to an end—as shown by the fact that al Qaeda did not end its attacks on us after we pulled all of our troops out of Saudi Arabia? Alan Krueger, a distinguished economics professor at Princeton (and liberal Democrat), also studied What Makes a Terrorist—the title of a nifty little book he published in 2007. He concluded that the single most important risk factor was not poverty or occupation or anything else but rather “the suppression of civil liberties and political rights. .  .  . When nonviolent means of protest are curtailed, malcontents appear to be more likely to turn to terrorist tactics.” This explanation is not all-encompassing because some terrorists have arisen in countries such as Britain and France where civil liberties are not suppressed. But on the whole, Krueger’s explanation is a lot more convincing than Pape’s.

      I do not mean to suggest that Pape’s work is entirely worthless. The online database of suicide bombings he and his team have assembled seems useful, if limited, insofar as it does not account for the vast majority of terrorist attacks which do not involve suicide bombers. The problem is that the analytic spin he puts on the data is unconvincing and misleading. Even worse, his policy prescription—a shift to a strategy of “offshore balancing”—is just plain dangerous. If the United States were to remove our forces from the Middle East, as he advocates, the result might very well be a short-run decrease in suicide bombings aimed at American personnel. But it would mean an increase in tyranny and violence because it would cede the political playing field to extremists, both Sunni and Shia, from al Qaeda to Iran’s Quds Force. In fact it was the very crumbling of the previous policy of “offshore balancing,” brought about by events such as the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait, and al Qaeda’s 9/11 attacks, that compelled greater American engagement in the Middle East.

      Pape and Feldman are welcome to make the case for their preferred policies, but they should have the honesty to admit that there is nothing remotely objective about their views. Having read their polemical tome, one might even suspect that their policy prescriptions are the result of—gasp—a “specific worldview” and an “ideological orientation” rather than of a “dispassionate consideration of the facts.

    9. Nu, a o considera pe Ann Coulter o exaltata religioasa (chiar si temporar) inseamna a-i insulta inteligenta. Si sintem amindoi de acord ca femeia este extrem de inteligenta.

      ce vrea sa zica roadrunner aici?

    10. #14 @emil b.

      Nu am vrut decit sa discut cu DanCanada ciudatenia articolului lui Coulter. Nu vreau sa-l discut pe Ron Paul. Stiu ce zice (nu-mi aduci nimic ce nu stiu in cearceaful pe care l-ai pus), si stiu ce parere aveti. La ce bun sa discutam?

      Eu, in #13, am scris despre ce-au zis Perry, Romney, Palin, Gingrich.

    11. sondajul era un raspuns pentru afirmatia lui dancanada

      E adevarat, pare incredibil, dar nu cred ca americanul de rind o sa aiba la inima asa curind un alt guvernator texan – e prea vie imaginea lui W.

      sunt curios totusi ateule ce inseamna electoratul moderat in conceptia ta.

    12. oricum, asta mi s’a parut tare:

      Mitt Romney e singurul cu prestanta necesara pentru a-l bate pe vicleanul Obama si a castiga alegerile. Este singurul din trupa care are si o fata de presedinte. Asta fiind zis, eu unul sunt pro-Ron Paul, cu retineri: datorate pozitiei sale fata de islam si teama ca ar putea retrage sprijinul militar acordat UE, lasandu-ne vulnerabili santajului islamic. In orice caz, este singurul care poate repune (in cat de mica masura) USA pe calea cea buna si a stopa declinul Americii.

      mitt romney e un rino, fost guvernator de massachusetts care a implementat statului un fel de obamacare.

      ce ti’e si cu ronpolistii astia, cum le stie ei pe toate.
      ca niste oameni mari.

    13. @20 dr pepper: Da! Romney e un alt republican de carton. E mormon si asta nu cade bine cu americanul de rind. Nu e un „show stopper” , da’ nici nu e ceva bun. Mai rau e cu health care reform-ul lui din Massachusetts si cu pozitia lui fata de „climate change” aka „global warming”. Daca l-a laudat Al Gore, e clar…
      Ron Paul n-are nici-o sansa: e prea batrin, in plus ba libertarian, ba republican. WTF? Cea mai mare prostie din partea lui mi se pare declaratia „“I don’t see Islam as our enemy”. Deci ca republican e RINO. Ca libertarian, vorba lui roadrunner: e in afara establishmentului.
      Probabil o sa vedem inca patru ani de Ovomit…

    14. nu cred ca mormoneala e problema. sunt totusi foarte curios ce inseamna pentru ateu electoratul moderat.
      si nici nu cred ca Obama va avea un al doilea termen – pentru a ajunge la aceasta performanta, economia ar trebui sa inceapa sa duduie.
      si dupa atatea veri in care s’a tot pus pe picioare, ne asteapta un double dip recession, Carter care a jucat la juniori fata de Obama si tot a pierdut la scor.

    15. mitt romney e un rino, fost guvernator de massachusetts care a implementat statului un fel de obamacare.

      Stiu f. bine, si eu am spus asta mai demult. Nu-l simpatizez, Romney e doar o imbunatatire superficiala fata de Obama. Eu doar am zis ca e singurul care poate aduna cat de cat moderati pentru a castiga alegerile. Ceilalti n-au nicio sansa daca stati sa priviti prin prisma votantului de rand, care nu merge in fiecare duminica la biserica si nici nu vede cu ochi buni orice promisiune de a spori rolul acesteia si de a baza politica SUA pe baza Bibliei (chit ca eu unul acum nu cred ca nici Bachmann sau Palin ar avea puterea de a schimba lucrurile mai mult decat pe timpul lui Bush, eu cred ca perierea alegatorilor religiosi e mai degraba o tactica politica, pentru a castiga nominalizarea).

      In Canada, conservatorul Harper, un politician adevarat, din cate am citit n-a suflat o vorbulita despre creationism sau alte subiecte religioase controversate in randul populatiei care nu face parte din nucleul dur al republicanilor, a mers puternic pe subiecte economice, acolo unde de fapt este punctul forte comun al tuturor conservatorilor si libertarienilor. Este singurul punct comun al tuturor miscarilor de dreapta. Si asa a castigat bine-mersi alegerile! Si canadienilor cred ca le e mult mai bine cu el decat cu altii. Dupa mine, un Harper american ar fi candidatul ideal, cu sanse serioase de castig. Sau un Netanyahu (desi nu stiu cat de similare sunt Likudul si partidul Republican)

      Din pacate, chiar si daca ai idei economice solide si concordante cu realitatea, cea mai mica impresie de fundamentalism poate costa o gramada de voturi in randul oamenilor relativ neimplicati in politica si care in mod normal ar inclina spre idei de dreapta, cel putin economic. Perceptia populatiei conteaza foarte mult, iar republicanii nu pot castiga doar cu voturile nucleului dur si crestinilor practicanti. Eu as sprijini acum si un crestin veritabil daca as fi sigur ca poate repara economia SUA, stopa imigratia ilegala de forta de munca necalificata, si taia ajutoarele externe pentru Hamas si altii, insa mai demult nu as fi facut-o sub nicio forma. Asa cum am gandit eu mai demult, asa gandesc inca multi americani. Din pacate asta e realitatea: prostia democratilor cand vine vorba de economie poate fi machiata foarte usor fiindca nu oricine are minime cunostinte de economie, dar cand spui ca pamantul are 5000 de ani, deja devii subiect de glume si ai pierdut o groaza de voturi fiindca oamenii educati vor ignora orice altceva ai spune, indiferent de cat de corect ar fi. Iar in democratie, castiga cel care atrage cat mai multi votanti. Iar Obama cu platitudinile sale charismatice si cu evazionismul sau a demonstrat ca poate face acest lucru.

    16. Ateu, hai sa iti mai dau un citat din link-ul pus de mine:

      For the first time this year, Texas Governor Rick Perry leads President Obama in a national Election 2012 survey. Other Republican candidates trail the president by single digits.

      In momentul asta Perry conduce in sondaje.
      Obama va castiga cel de’al doilea mandat doar daca va reusi sa redreseze economia, ceea ce eu nu cred.
      Bine, e adevarat ca pana la anul se pot intampla multe, sa ne atace extraterestrii sau sa vina sfirsitul lumii prezis de mayasi.
      Poti te rog sa pui dovada video cum ca Palin ar fi zis ca pamantul are o vechime de 5000 de ani?
      eu am cautat pe net si tot ce am gasit au fost articole leftiste din ziare de genul huffpo sau bloguri.
      problema, asa cum o vad eu, nu vine din minciunile presei leftiste ci din partea unora proclamati de dreapta care le propaga.

    17. 🙂 stiu. era doar un exemplu.

      Jobs Added in August – 0, Zip, Zilch, Nada; Unemployment Holds at 9.1%; Obama Headed to Camp David for Weekend

      Really, really, really bad news anyway you cut it.

      daca vara nu a adus nici cea mai vaga crestere a locurilor de munca, atunci cand „economistii politici” se autoaduleaza pe motiv de cresterea locurilor de munca pe baza celor de part-time, la iarna o sa fie jale.

      Employers stopped adding jobs in August, an alarming setback for an economy that has struggled to grow and might be at risk of another recession.

      am citit un sondaj in care 75% din americani cred ca suntem deja intr’o alta recesiune, media o sa explice insa cum creste PIB-ul si duduie economia.
      cu toate acestea – se discuta de un al doilea stimulus.
      pana si abc a realizat ca americanii platesc preturi foarte mari la pompa cu toate ca pretul barilului a scazut dramatic: Bad Jobs Numbers Reported Fourth By ABC World News

      Labor Day Gas Prices Soar
      US drivers face high gas prices despite low cost of oil

      titreaza aceasta.
      de unde altundeva sa scoata miile de miliarde pe care le’au investit in programe fantoma cum ar fi solyndra?
      spreading the wealth around is good
      for them.

    18. Jobs Added in August – 0, Zip, Zilch, Nada

      De fapt realitatea e putin altfel: jobs added by private sector = 18.000. Concedieri in sistemul bugetar = 18.000. Totalul e zero (nada, zilch etc), insa ce diferenta. 🙂

      In plus, scopul nu este niciodata crearea locurilor de munca ci PROFITUL pe cai JUSTE. Ca altfel oricat se pot sapa gropi care sa fie astupate mai tarziu.

    19. John Galt, habar nu am despre ce vorbesti. Cum adica Concedieri in sistemul bugetar = 18.000??? Care sunt alea??
      Poate ai ramas proptit pe anul trecut de cand cu recesiunea.

    20. Highlights

      Apparently, the recent federal debt ceiling debate fiasco and stock market decline spooked businesses to put a hold on hiring. Payroll jobs were unchanged in August, following a revised 85,000 increase in July, and revised 20,000 in June. The market consensus (updated Thursday afternoon) called for a 60,000 increase for the latest month. Revisions for June and July were down net 58,000. As in recent months, private sector employment was a little less weak since government jobs pulled down the total. Private nonfarm payrolls edged up 17,000 in August, following a 156,000 gain in July and 75,000 increase in June. The August figure came in sharply lower than the median estimate for a 75,000 increase.

      In the private sector, goods-producing jobs edged down while service-providing jobs rose modestly. Goods-producing jobs slipped 3,000, following a 52,000 rise in July. Manufacturing jobs dipped 3,000 after a 36,000 boost the month before. Construction employment declined 5,000 after increasing 7,000. Mining expanded 6,000, following an 8,000 gain in July.

      Private service-providing jobs rose 20,000 in August, following a 104,000 increase prior month. The August gain was led by health care (up 29,700) and professional & business services (up 28,000). In the latter category, temp services rose 4,700. Telecommunications led on the downside, falling 47,300 and with about 45,000 due to striking Verizon workers. Looking for any bright spot, adjusted for the Verizon strike, private payrolls rose 62,000 in August-which is still very anemic.

      The public sector continued to contract as government employment fell 17,000, following a 71,000 drop in July. The drop was led by a 20,000 decrease at the local level with the federal government down 2,000. The return of about 22,000 Minnesota government workers from a partial government shutdown offset declines elsewhere as state employment rose 5,000.

      Earnings growth fell back from the auto-sector induced jump in July. Average hourly earnings slipped 0.1 percent after jumping 0.5 percent in July. The market median estimate was for a 0.2 percent increase. The average workweek for all workers in August edged down to 34.2 hours from 34.3 in July. The consensus had called for 34.3 hours.

      From the household survey, the unemployment rate posted at 9.1 percent, equaling the prior month and expectations.

      Today’s report clearly shows that momentum in the labor market has stalled. The curiosity is that while hiring has come to a standstill, layoffs have not picked up. Still, today’s news is not good news for the economy and places more emphasis on the importance of President Barack Obama’s upcoming plan for job creation and on whether the Fed will engage in QE3. The odds of another round of quantitative easing just went up.

      ..

      My bad. Trebuia sa verific mai in detaliu. Era vorba de 17.000 (20-3 vs 22-5). Vazusem stirea intamplator si in fuga pe ProTV si ma miram de ce zicea prezentatoarea ca e ceva rau, ca si cand 18.000 de job-uri taiate in administratie (orice administratie) ar fi ceva tare negativ.

    21. doc, m-au înfuriat idioții aia de Brian Williams și tipul de la Politico, colac peste pupăză au mai adus și un mexican de la Telemundo. Perry a fost bun, secondat de Herman Cain și, surprinzător, Newt!

    22. # 41

      Right! Daca dai la o parte bara cea mai lunga, proportionalitatea barelor devine corecta.

      Seara trecuta a avut loc la noi, in America, o dezbatere intre candidatii republicani pentru 2012 organizata de reteaua de televiziune NBC (de care apartine si postul MSNBC) si de ziarul Politico (www.politico.com). Obiceiul pamintului este ca, dupa dezbatere, sa se puna pe site-ul organizatorilor un sondaj de opinie in care vizitatorii sint intrebati cine a cistigat dezbaterea. Poza pusa de mine arata rezultatele la ora 11:00 Pacific time.

      Si nu asta ar fi cea mai nastrusnica ghidusie a mass-mediilor americane apropo de dezbaterile prezidentiale.

      Acum 3 saptamini, pe data de 11 August, a mai fost o dezbatere, organizata de postul de televiziune Fox News. Fox News a contractat (probabil pe bani grei) un third party sa le faca sondajul. Dupa doua ore insa, linkul catre sondaj a disparut de pe http://www.foxnews.com. The third party, negustori cinstiti, au tinut pagina deschisa (conform contractului: pentru aia au fost platiti, aia au facut!) chiar si dupa ce Fox a sters linkul, si o tine deschisa si azi: http://www.topix.com/issue/fox/gop-debate-aug11

    23. Pataphyl ( 39) Newt a fost singurul care si’a dat seama de jocul „moderatorilor” – si se poate vedea asta la sfirsitul primei parti din video-ul de mai sus.
      This guy is old school, and I like that.
      In rest, in mare toti vorbesc aceeasi limba, pentru Mitt, insa, ii atarna greu Romneycare.

    24. Ce nu mi’a placut la Perry a fost cand l’a atacat degeaba pe Ron Paul, in schimb a punctat foarte bine. Social security, americanii ar trebui sa trateze situatia cu maturitate pentru ca este ceea ce este: un ponzi scheme – cei de la baza platesc pentru varful piramidei, pedeapsa cu moartea ( nu ca in cazul teroristului de la lockerbie din scotia care a omorat 270 de oameni si in mai putin de opt ani a fost eliberat si primit ca un erou in tara natala) si inselaciunea secolului – global warming transformat in climate change.
      Huntsman mi’a placut pana la un punct: Jon Huntsman: GOP „can’t run from science”

      „Listen, when you make comments that fly in the face of what 98 out of 100 climate scientists have said, when you call into question the science of evolution, all I’m saying is that, in order for the Republican Party to win, we can’t run from science,”

      via wiki: Jon Huntsman, Jr.

      Environment and energy

      In 2007, in response to the problem of global warming, Huntsman signed the Western Climate Initiative, by which Utah joined with other governments in agreeing to pursue targets for reduced production of greenhouse gases.[67] He also appeared in an advertisement sponsored by Environmental Defense, in which he said, „Now it’s time for Congress to act by capping greenhouse-gas pollution.”[67] In 2011, however, Huntsman said, „Cap-and-trade ideas aren’t working; it hasn’t worked, and our economy’s in a different place than five years ago. Much of this discussion happened before the bottom fell out of the economy, and until it comes back, this isn’t the moment.”[68]

      eu asta nu inteleg: cum poti fi conservator si in acelasi timp un fervent fan al minciunii secolului care distruge economia.
      cum poti sa sustii ca esti pentru relansarea economiei, in timp ce vrei sa pui rules and regulations care sufoca economia de piata.
      si peste toate astea sa adaugi taxe enorme verzi?

    25. O sa pun dezbaterea separat si o sa te rog sa imi spui acolo de ce RP nu ar trebui atacat. 🙂 Tipul este un nebun periculos… Din pacate pentru el si pentru aceia care ii sustin, macar partial, ideile.

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