Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Sun Also Rises

Memes are cheap. I'm Scottish, so here goes.

1. When was the last time that you watched a sunrise? Who were you with?

Hard to remember. It might be on a church retreat as a teen. I can't say.

2. If President Obama promised he'd do one thing you asked, what would you ask him to do?

End the wars.

3. What is one experience that has strengthened your character the most so far?

If you mean tested, parenthood. Strengthened? I don't think I have a very strong character.

4. What is the first thing that you usually do after completing Saturday 9?

This is the first time. I'm probably going to shut the laptop down and go back to reading.

5. Tell us about someone either in your life or in the blogosphere that you think is extremely funny.

Lots and lots of candidates here. My wife, though, (@djswebb on the Twitter) is the funniest person I know.

6. Where was the last bed that you slept in that was not your own?

A hotel room.

7. Have you ever been too drunk to remember anything?


8. Have you ever licked something to clean it?


9. Who, outside of family or a S/O, has influenced your life the most?

Gosh. A former coworker named Fred Turner has had a lasting impact on me, pushing me (sometimes in vain) to be more optimistic in my outlook.


  1. I want Obama to end the wars too, but by defeating the remaining terrorists, and not by running away at some arbitrary date. If the latter is done, the wars will surely continue.

  2. There isn't any way to "defeat the terrorists". All we can do is strengthen our defenses to make it harder for them to hit us. All we're doing over there now is making more terrorists by antagonizing the people who live there.

    Every successful anti terror campaign has been won by law enforcement, not military action.

  3. "We" have singificantly reduced the number of terrorists, actually.

    There is a way to defeat them. After all, the Axis powers in WW2 were defeated.

  4. Different story.

    The Axis powers were organized armies representing nations. There was a negotiated surrender, with commanders able to order combatants to stand down. Most significantly, we spent the time and money to rebuild the nations after the war so there wouldn't be partisan guerillas and so they would reenter the world as productive citizens.

    None of this applies to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They aren't going to surrender, they don't want to build factories and build cars and become happy little capitalists.

    I don't know how to win them-because I dont think they can be won. But I am positive what we are doing is NOT working. We are pouring good money, and blood, after bad because we don't want to lose face and/or because the President thinks Bill O'Reilly will say something mean about him. That's insane.

    We should declare victory and leave.

  5. Most of it applies (nations, rebuilding, etc). But the surrender part clearly does not.

    "They aren't going to surrender"

    I've done quite a bit of reading about Japan in WW2. That was the common thought about the Japanese Empire.

    I believe that declaring victory without achieving it would be folly, and it would come back to bite us in the a** as the terrorists keep attacking.

  6. That's the point. The terrorists will keep attacking-whether we keep fighting or not-because they are terrorists. That's what they do.

    There's an old routine by comedian David Cross where he says that his theory is that 9/11 was caused by less "they hate our freedom" and more Al Queda being offended by our military presence in Saudi Arabia. He continues that he feels that way because that is what they f&*king said.

    Now, that's a joke, and I seldom take geopolitical advice from comedians.

    My point is that it doesn't matter what we do-attack, withdraw, buy them off-they're going to keep attacking. It's what they do. They are permanently aggrieved against the West, and the only thing that will work, the only thing that has ever worked, is law enforcement.

    In Japan, we beat them on the battlefield, and then we stayed to rebuild their economy, making sure there was no cause to rebuild their military force and become angry with the West again. Remember that a key feature of Japan's surrender was the retention of the emperor- yielding to some demands of your enemy is not necessarily the end of the world. Would they have continued to fight if we insisted he be deposed?

    Even Napoleon cracked down on dissent-but he also tried to improve the places he ruled with new laws and public works projects. Winning hearts and minds, combined with law enforcement actions against criminal terrorists-what we failed to do in Vietnam and are continuing to fail to do in Iraq and Afghanistan-is what works.

  7. Also interesting, since we're talking about it, that the US Strategic Bombing Survey argued in 1946 that the atom bomb was unnecessary to bring Japan to the negotiating table.


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