Thursday, January 26, 2012

Attack on 9/11 Existential Threat to Western Civilization

The following piece was written on November 2003 and it is republished here for the readers of this new blog.

By Con George Kotzabasis

September 11 has placed open societies and their democratic freedoms at the crossroads of victory or subjugation. No intellectualist quibbling or obfuscation can cover and evade this historic fact. Fanatic Muslim terrorists pose a threat to civilized societies of biblical proportions, especially if they acquire weapons of mass destruction through rogue states.

Yet the liberal intelligentsia in its necrophilous stance attempts to shift the blame from the terrorist perpetrators to their victims. In their mind's eyes, September 11 was the comeuppance of America for the ills the latter had "rained" upon the oppressed of the world by spreading its rapacious eagle's wings over the globe in its pursuit of dominance and empire. Thus the terrorist’s threat is subordinated and replaced by the liberal invention of its own "evil empire". Turning logic on its head, fanatic terrorism becomes less dangerous and is transformed into a "lesser evil". In an ironic twist, the threat posed by terrorists against the West, is turned into the threat of the "Lone Avenger". But that the latter might ride through the canyons of America, in his pursuit of punishing evil, not with six caliber pistols in his holsters but with nuclear weapons, is of no concern to them. Hence, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse are all liberals. Foreordaining the destruction of Western societies by a fanatic horde of religious barbarians.

People, who have studied history in the sublime pages of Thucydides, Gibbon, Hobbes, Machiavelli, Meinecke, and Huntington, can only rally one answer to this great threat. Fight it to the death with no quarter given to it. History has transparently shown, that the greatest atrocities against mankind were committed by religious fundamentalists, and by all omniscient purist ideologues. Examples are the religious wars of 17th Century Europe, which decimated almost two thirds of its population, and the Nazi and Communist ideologies that massacred millions in the 20th Century in their pursuit to breathe life, like God, to their misplaced and displaced utopias. Muslim fundamentalist inspired terror, is also set in among these dangerous misplaced utopias. But it is even more dangerous, in that its proponents and its fanatically blind activists unshakably believe are guided by the invisible hand of Allah and that they are His instruments.

This is the reason why all diplomatic overtures in this war against terrorism and its state sponsors, are doomed to failure. It is just impossible to negotiate any set of compromises of give and take, which is the substance of diplomacy, with these Muslim fundamentalists. It would just be as futile an attempt, as it would be to argue against God.

My first paper, 'Unveiling the War against Terror' presages precisely the above. The Bush Administration would not enter into this course of diplomatic failure and it would not be lured by the United Nations' siren songs. While it was wise of the Administration to forge a notable coalition against terrorism, the latter would not be indispensable in its fight against terror. The same paper predicts the unconventionality of the war against terror, i.e., the primary role Special Forces would play in this war - and the splendid performance of the Australian SAS Forces in Afghanistan and especially in Iraq, exemplified this role - as well as the defeat of the Taliban and al Qaeda, in contrast to the conventional wisdom of most media commentators, who asserted that the American forces would not win and would be bogged down in Afghanistan, just like the Soviet forces. It was also prescient in its finding that strategically it would be a pre-emptive war, hence, anticipating the Pentagon's new strategy against terror and against rogue states. (This paper was sent to the Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in November 2001 ).

The second paper titled 'U.S. Unilateralism only Alternative to Multilateral Weakness', responds to The Open Letter of the former Governor General Bill Hayden, and of three former prime ministers, Fraiser, Whitlam, and Hawke, and condemns their un-historic and populist stand against America's impending war in Iraq. Their 'un-heroic cunctation', to quote John Maynard Keynes, is another monument of folly build with the debris of Munich. To await for the more and more evanescent imprimatur for the war in Iraq by the UN Security Council, would have been the ultimate inanity. The paper also predicts, that the 'missing star in this constellation of darkness' (the signers of The Open Letter), Paul Keating, would also take an anti-American stand, which soon afterwards he did, but as is his wont as primo uomo, he would give his performance as a "soloist".

The third paper titled, 'How to Legitimize the Interim Government in Iraq’ ... is a strategic proposal and was sent for this purpose to both President Bush and vice-President Cheney in late August 2003. As is shown by subsequent events, the Americans put on a fast track the formation of both the Interim Government in Iraq, as well as the arming of the Iraqis, two of the suggestions that I had made in this paper. I am confident, that my third suggestion, which is the axis of my proposal in this paper, the master plan, i.e., the Iraqi people should be given the equity of the nation's oil wealth, will also be adopted. And the Interim Government of Iraq at its formation in July 2004, will make this historic pronouncement to its people, and by doing so will confer 'unassailable legitimacy' to itself.

All the other papers emphasize that the war against global terror is a two front war, that is, one also has to fight the rogue states if one is serious in defeating this terrorist menace. As these rogue states have the potential of becoming the suppliers of weapons of mass destruction to terrorists. Moreover, one of them predicts that the defeat of one rogue state, in this case Iraq, will have domino effects upon all other rogue states. And the dominoes have already started falling, as the recent capitulation of Libya has shown.

'The war against global terror and its state sponsors is an existential war, a war of survival, and cannot be fought on humane grounds'. All wars brutalize their combatants and under their immense pressures 'can break the strongest of wills, the best of disciplines'. The war against global terror and its state sponsors magnifies this brutality. Its combatants are fighting, and are threatened by a shadowy enemy and cannot distinguish easily friend from foe. In Iraq, American soldiers are giving candy to Iraqi children, but as soon as they turn their backs to them, the latter are throwing stones at the soldiers in place of thanks. It is due to the heavy pressures of terrorist warfare that the American soldiers' discipline is buckling and, while regrettable and even deplorable, one can see and understand the torture of prisoners in Iraq and in Afghanistan as one result of this. It should also not be forgotten that most of the prisoners were and are terrorists who could provide vital information to their American interrogators about their networks that could save thousands of lives, as well as lead to the defeat of terrorists in the field of battle. 'In such a setting, the torture of prisoners is the tragic price of such a war that statesmanship must pay'.

The papers are not written in the suave language of diplomats nor in the smoothing words of the gentile classes. In times of war, a writer has to mobilize his words, as a general has to mobilize his troops for battle, forcefully. They are written for the purpose of rallying people behind their governments, as a call to arms. They are also written to provoke people to search for the truth and debunk all those who claim to possess it. And last but not least, to salvage the truth of the war from the politically designated distortions and fabrications of its liberal and leftist critics, that has been so characteristic of much Western thinking and so ubiquitous throughout most of the media since 9/11.

P.S. The above text is the Introduction of my book “Unveiling The War Against Terror: Fight Right War or Lose The Right To Exist”, that was published in May 2004, and which is available at Readings Bookshops at Hawthorn and Port Melbourne, in Melbourne.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Arianna Huffington's Aristophanean Wit against the War

I'm republishing the following piece for the browsers of this new website.

A retort: By Con George-Kotzabasis to:

 Bush and the Truthiness Taliban By Arianna Huffington
Huffington Post-February 27, 2006

Arianna, coming long ago from an ancient philosophical stock, always presents her arguments with cogency and “tinsel town” wit. But whilst her Aristophanean wit has the power to lift even a great philosopher, the basket - laid Socrates into the clouds, she is no Athena, and lacks wisdom to bring the great philosopher down to earth from her politically idealistic clouds. . She argues that the Bush administration “sold us the invasion of Iraq” with false claims and half-truths, which she satirizes as “truthiness”, and she jeeringly says that the “’Saddam unleashed mushroom clouds’ could be the logo for the truthiness society”, i.e., the Bush administration. But after the lethal attacks on New York and Washington, the Bush administration, or any administration, would hardly need to sell the war to Americans by sleek and crafty Madison Avenue techniques, as a majority of Americans would have bought the war, and did, at any price.

The fact is, that Bush invaded Iraq not because Saddam had a link to the 9/11 attack but because of the high probability of his link with a future 9/11, that would have been more devastating than the first one. No responsible and insightful political leadership could disregard and discount this probability of a connection between terrorists and rogue states in the near future, and do nothing about it. The war in Iraq had as its primary aim the prevention of this ominous coupling of suicidal fanatic terrorists with rogue states, the latter being willing and able to furnish the former with the lethal weapons that would mortally endanger America and the rest of the West. Only someone who was living in a state of pathological complacency and moral and intellectual indifference, enjoying the stupefying and ephemeral glittering comforts of ones narrow and egotistical existence could have mocked and lampooned the above “truthick” threat as “truthiness”. In times of danger, it’s utter foolishness to indulge in the rambling diversions of witty political satire or in gloomy broodings instead of taking firm action.

Moreover, to bring in Halliburton’s corporate shenanigans, which for many Americans is justifiably an emotional issue, is to bring into the debate of the war the American public “roaring like an oak on fire”, to quote Aristophanes, when more than ever, in face of some US strategic errors, cool deliberation is needed. Especially when, the question as to whether the US should stay the course in Iraq or should cut and run, must be answered by the public and its leaders from the Congress and the House, soberly and wisely. Probing to the highest possible degree whether a premature withdrawal from Iraq would bring in its wake dire and catastrophic consequences for the people of Iraq and of the region in general, and whether it would also embolden the terrorists to perpetrate even more deadly attacks against the US and the West in general. With such high stakes in place, Arianna’s insinuation that corporate greed is a major cause of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq is ethically and intellectually irresponsible. It’s also, historically and economically benighted. In all economic systems of demand and supply economic units prosper. In war when the demand reaches astronomical heights only the biggest and the most possibly efficient corporations can supply these huge demands. And by the irreversible laws of economics they are the biggest beneficiaries. But does this economic reality in any way impugn a just war? If I’m allowed to remind Arianna, Themistocles (I’m using this historical event as an illustration not as a comparison in respect to the personal merits of Bush or Cheney to those of the great Athenian), the victor of Xerxes invasion of Greece that saved the latter from despotism and slavery, was subsequently accused of peculation and was banished from Athens. Did this accusation in any way diminish Themistocles’s illustrious standing as one of the greatest generals of his era of whom Thucydides so admirably had written about?

It maybe, that all the above examples are for Arianna seeds sown in a barren intellectual soil and she will never reap their invaluable lessons. It seems she is more concerned in vying with comedian Stephen Colbert - whom she calls the “godfather of truthiness” – for the first prize of truthiness, and it’s more likely than not that she will win the Dionysian Oscar for truthiness in this contest of wits.

I rest on my oars: your turn now...