May 21, 2017

Trump isn't telling them what to do, but he is telling them what to do.

Here's the full transcript of Trump's speech in Saudi Arabia, which I listened to live. I want to pick out a few things:
I stand before you as a representative of the American People, to deliver a message of friendship and hope....
Trump selects a theme of hope — not, say, carnage, which some people think was the theme of his inaugural address. He doesn't think that, of course. In fact, he brings up his inaugural, as if its theme was also hope:
In my inaugural address to the American People, I pledged to strengthen America's oldest friendships, and to build new partnerships in pursuit of peace. I also promised that America will not seek to impose our way of life on others, but to outstretch our hands in the spirit of cooperation and trust.... Our goal is a coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future that does honor to God.
3 things there that will recur throughout the speech: 1. He's not going to tell them what to do, 2. We all have children and our children are the future, and 3. He knows something of what God thinks.

Idea #1 repeats:
We are not here to lecture—we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship.
Here's some more of Idea #2:
Young Muslim boys and girls should be able to grow up free from fear, safe from violence, and innocent of hatred. And young Muslim men and women should have the chance to build a new era of prosperity for themselves and their peoples....

The potential of this region has never been greater. 65 percent of its population is under the age of 30. Like all young men and women, they seek great futures to build, great national projects to join, and a place for their families to call home. But this untapped potential, this tremendous cause for optimism, is held at bay by bloodshed and terror. There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it, no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it....
He's not going to tell them what to do, but that last line — "There can be no tolerating [terrorism], no accepting it, no excusing it, and no ignoring it" — is more or less telling them what they must do.
Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.
That's Idea #3. He takes the position of a religious authority. He makes a straightforward pronouncement that the terrorists' religion is not real religion. It's fake, he's telling his audience. He doesn't leave it to them to follow their own understanding of what religion is.
If we do not act against this organized terror, then we know what will happen. Terrorism's devastation of life will continue to spread. Peaceful societies will become engulfed by violence. And the futures of many generations will be sadly squandered.
That's Idea #2.
If we do not stand in uniform condemnation of this killing—then not only will we be judged by our people, not only will we be judged by history, but we will be judged by God.
And there's the implicit refutation of Idea #1. He is telling them what to do. And — Idea #3 — he knows what God thinks about it. Now, he's quick to merge his knowledge of God with the acceptance of all the Abrahamic religions. They stand as equals (but the terrorists are not included as authentic believers):
This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects, or different civilizations. This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life, and decent people of all religions who seek to protect it. This is a battle between Good and Evil. When we see the scenes of destruction in the wake of terror, we see no signs that those murdered were Jewish or Christian, Shia or Sunni. When we look upon the streams of innocent blood soaked into the ancient ground, we cannot see the faith or sect or tribe of the victims -- we see only that they were Children of God whose deaths are an insult to all that is holy.
That last part —  "an insult to all that is holy" — is Idea #3.
But we can only overcome this evil if the forces of good are united and strong -- and if everyone in this room does their fair share and fulfills their part of the burden....
That seems like another implicit refutation of Idea #1, but it's followed by this very strong statement of Idea #1:
America is prepared to stand with you -- in pursuit of shared interests and common security. But the nations of the Middle East cannot wait for American power to crush this enemy for them. The nations of the Middle East will have to decide what kind of future they want for themselves, for their countries, and for their children. It is a choice between two futures -- and it is a choice America CANNOT make for you.
That sets up the strongest part of the speech, which sounds as though he's yelling what to do at them:
A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities.
DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and
DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.
"Drive them out" is an imperative, repeated, with brutal Trumpian emphasis, 5 times. And yet, it's technically a choice: There's that "if": "A better future is only possible if..."

Trump gives a name to his approach: "Principled Realism":
Our partnerships will advance security through stability, not through radical disruption. We will make decisions based on real-world outcomes -- not inflexible ideology. We will be guided by the lessons of experience, not the confines of rigid thinking. And, wherever possible, we will seek gradual reforms -- not sudden intervention. We must seek partners, not perfection....
So he's not telling them what to do, but inviting them to see the shared interest. It's rather mellow and forgiving, even as the 5-times-repeated DRIVE THEM OUT still echoes in the room.

He speaks next of some of the progress the various countries represented in the room have already made. But more must be done, and here he is telling them what to do (except for that "if"):
Muslim nations must be willing to take on the burden, if we are going to defeat terrorism and send its wicked ideology into oblivion. The first task in this joint effort is for your nations to deny all territory to the foot soldiers of evil. Every country in the region has an absolute duty to ensure that terrorists find no sanctuary on their soil.
If there is an "absolute duty," he's telling them what to do.
Of course, there is still much work to do.That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamist extremism and the Islamist terror groups it inspires...
He makes a subtle change from "Islamic" to "Islamist," which seems to matter.* I think the key difference is in whether you think the terrorists have an ideology that comes from Islam or whether they falsely invoke Islam and are getting it wrong. If Trump is purporting to know that they're getting it wrong, then that's another example of Idea #3.

And here is a very clear example of Ideas ##1 and 3:
Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory -- piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.
I was stunned by the direct statement of knowledge of who will go to hell. (Is it even consistent with Christianity? I thought murderers can be forgiven.)

Trump ends very clearly on Idea #1: It's up to them to make a decision:
We in this room are the leaders of our peoples. They look to us for answers, and for action. And when we look back at their faces, behind every pair of eyes is a soul that yearns for justice. Today, billions of faces are now looking at us, waiting for us to act on the great question of our time. Will we be indifferent in the presence of evil? Will we protect our citizens from its violent ideology? Will we let its venom spread through our societies? Will we let it destroy the most holy sites on earth? If we do not confront this deadly terror, we know what the future will bring—more suffering and despair. But if we act—if we leave this magnificent room unified and determined to do what it takes to destroy the terror that threatens the world—then there is no limit to the great future our citizens will have. The birthplace of civilization is waiting to begin a new renaissance. Just imagine what tomorrow could bring....
He said he'd come "to deliver a message of friendship and hope," and he did. He said he wasn't going to tell them what to do, and he never said what he's so often said to us Americans: "We have to do it, we have no choice." But he laid out the case for them, so they'd think it on their own: We have to do it, we have no choice.

________________________

* From the NYT report on the speech:
While he has criticized President Barack Obama and others for not using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism,” his staff sought to ensure that he not use it in the speech here to this Muslim audience. The advance excerpts sent out by the White House had him instead embracing a subtle but significant switch, using the term “Islamist extremism.” Some experts say the word Islamist reflects extremists without tarring the entire religion.

But when that moment in the speech came, Mr. Trump went off script and used both words, Islamic and Islamist. “That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds,” Mr. Trump said. It was unclear whether he stumbled over the different word or consciously rejected the change suggested by the text.

213 comments:

1 – 200 of 213   Newer›   Newest»
Original Mike said...

The whole world knows what they need to do.

Michael K said...

"The potential of this region has never been greater."

If you stay home and build it.

I'm surprised you missed that message,

Sebastian said...

Appreciate the fisking (trumping?).

"He takes the position of a religious authority." Several US presidents have done that now--both Bush and O declared "real" Islam the religion of peace.

Trump is telling them what to do. What he tells them to do is also the right thing to do. But will they do it? Do they even want to do it -- really, seriously, once and for all? Islamic history makes me a pessimist.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Ann, were you as "stunned" when HRC called a quarter of the electorate "irredeemable"? Because she's a good Methodist, and knows exactly what "irredeemable" means: You're damned beyond any hope of redemption.

MayBee said...

Islamist terror groups

Huh.
Yesterday the news was all about how Trump was not going to dare to say "Islamic Terror". In hindsight, an excellent use of the news cycle.

n.n said...

If you stay home and build it.

Emigration reform. This is what Gaddafi was doing before Obama's elective war aborted his government and forced immigration reform.

MayBee said...

Islamist extremism.

The bigger difference is terror(ism/ist) vs extremism. Did the NYT notice that?

MayBee said...

The complaint about Obama was that he wouldn't call them Islamic/Islamist extremist/terrorists, but instead called them violent extremists.

So it seems NYT is over parsing and completely missing the point.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2015/feb/22/punditfact-why-obama-wont-label-isis-islamic-extre/

Ken B said...

I never listen to speeches but this one seems to have been good, from those excerpts. ISIS is the issue of our time. I will forgive Trump a lot if he destroys ISIS -- drives them out.

Need more than speeches though.

He is less pontifical on religion than that lovely, lovely man Althouse, cruelly neutral all the while, pre-missed.

Kevin said...

The theme of the speech was choice. It's only after you choose to join the coalition that he tells what you must do to participate.

The religious parts link to the parts about the hopeful future in encouraging them to choose to join.

traditionalguy said...

NB: Christian murderers can be forgiven, as the Professor said.

But Muslim murderers have no substitutionary sacrifice to pay the price for their " debts" to God. Which is why they have to work so hard to balance the scales in the heavens by commiting multiple torture murders of infidels, which they are told pleases allah and Mohammed.

mockturtle said...

Why do people keep looking for meaning and substance in speeches?

buwaya puti said...

Arab rhetoric is notable for its embrace of contradictions. It's the feel of the thing that applies, not the logic. They aren't American law professors.

Also, no doubt, he ran this past his hosts.

MayBee said...

Does anyone else here occasionally think about Obama at the UN saying "The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam" and think "WTF was that?"

traditionalguy said...

Now that Presbyterian Trump has splained it to Muslims, he has to splain things to religious Jews, which should not be that hard to do. The challenge will be splaining real religion to an environmental con man Jesuit playing World Pope.

traditionalguy said...

Incidentally, DJT did not tell Comey what to do with the Russian-Collusion Crimes of Flynn after Trump fired him. He just expressed hope Comey would do the right thing.

Then DJT drove Comey out.

FullMoon said...

Every time a terrorist murders an innocent person, and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death

From what I read, I assume terrorists are like folk heroes to many Muslims.
Revere and elevate the family of suicide bomber, or mass murderer.

If the reverence becomes disgust, shame, and revulsion, it would help slow terrorism.



rabornmd said...

I thought this was an outstanding Presidential Address which the Saudis who set up the Conference fully endorsed. A very unifying position and recognizes that Peace in the Middle East must come from the Islamic World who must share the majority of the effort to minimize Radicals who bring Death to innocents.

jimbino said...

No, we don't all have children, and those of us who have escaped that curse by choice or chance resent having to subsidize the children, grand-children, etc., ad infinitum of those who made the wrong decision and who continue to burden us with taxes for public education, health care and carbon that mostly serve to secure the future of their progeny.

Fernandinande said...

AA said...
"YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED." I was stunned by the direct statement of knowledge of who will go to hell.


Section 26-13. Designation of unfit souls and unsafe nonresidential souls; condemnation.

B. Section 26-14. Repair or removal of condemned souls.

No person shall continue to use any soul that has been condemned as unsafe and posted with a warning placard except for the purpose of making the required repairs or of demolishing the same.

Saint Croix said...

Thank you for this excellent analysis Althouse! I might even listen to the speech. Based on what you've written so far, it seems very impressive to me.

Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory -- piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED. I was stunned by the direct statement of knowledge of who will go to hell.

You don't actually think terror is the path to heaven, do you? I don't know any serious religious scholars who argue that terror is a path to heaven. It clearly rejects what Christ teaches.

What Trump is saying here is very compatible with Judeo-Christianity.

Whether Islam thinks terror is a path to heaven is debatable. He's throwing down a gauntlet to Islamic believers and asking them, honestly and openly, if murdering innocent people is a path to heaven. He is sowing doubt into the idea of the holiness of jihad. This is exactly what leaders need to do. Based on your analysis, this seems to me an amazing speech. Very brave, very good, very righteous, very important.

Is it even consistent with Christianity? I thought murderers can be forgiven.

Yes. All sins can be forgiven. Acknowledging your sins, your wrong-doing, and asking God for forgiveness for our sins, that is the path to heaven. Terror is not the path. If you're going down the anti-Christ path, murdering innocent people, trying to scare and butcher and impose force on everyone, you are going to hell. Not only are you going to hell, you are creating a hell on earth as you go.

Can you stop, turn around, and atone for your sins? Of course! Stop going down the wrong path. Go in the opposite direction.

Trump is referencing a binary world of good and evil. This is the way you talk to people who believe in good and evil. Excellent job. Fantastic speech. (I might not listen to it, as Trump's voice and delivery usually annoys the crap out of me. But the written words on the page? Very impressive).

Michael K said...

burden us with taxes for public education, health care and carbon that mostly serve to secure the future of their progeny.

Boy, what a cheery fellow you must be. I'm sure you will be pleased to know that all my kids went to private school, most from Kindergarten.

Just don't apply for Social Security to keep your self virginal from the money of other people's kids paying your sorry ass.

Ann Althouse said...

"You don't actually think terror is the path to heaven, do you? I don't know any serious religious scholars who argue that terror is a path to heaven. It clearly rejects what Christ teaches."

Of course not, but as the link I put in the post shows, a person who has committed murder can be saved, according to Christianity.

I also think a person can have a sincere religious belief that some killings are what God wants from you. There are many examples in history of people believing that.

I don't like such beliefs, but they do exist and I think it's taking the easy way out to designate them as not religious beliefs.

Fen said...

Happy he called out Islamic terrorism.

Consider that the dishonest traitorous cunts who present incompetence as an impeachable offense supported a diversity hire who claimed global warming was the greatest threat we faced.

buwaya puti said...

Terror is a path to heaven in Islam, in tradition and in very common practice, that is not in question. This was SOP going back to Mohammed himself. There are tons of Islamic heroes who had a pretty extensive line in terror.
This goes back, to be directly relevant, in recent Saudi history, to the Ikhwan (proto-ISIS) that made the clan prominent back in the 18th century, and won Ibn Saud his kingdom in the 20th.

David Begley said...

Great analysis by Althouse. It should be on the front page of the NYT. NYT analysis was typical slop with snark and praise for Obama the great. I bet Limbaugh uses Ann's analysis on Monday. "Ann Althouse blogged about the speech. She's from Wisconsin...."

Trump doesn't need to know what God thinks about terrorists. What he did is that terrorists think God approves of their murdering ways. Trump turned the tables on the terrorists.

rcocean said...

Its nice Trump made a speech, but I don't think many Muslims or people in the Middle East care that much.

Seriously, if Theresa May came here (let alone the King of Saudi Arabia) and started talking about the Duty of Americans to do XYZ - would anyone care?

Leaders both UK, Irish, and Americans made speeches for years, but some Irish-Americans continued to support the IRA.

rcocean said...

And is the Koran *really* against violence? The Muslims used the Koran as justification for conquering Jerusalem, all of North Africa, most of Spain, not to mention Turkey and a lot of the Balkans.

Saint Croix said...

Now that Presbyterian Trump has splained it to Muslims, he has to splain things to religious Jews

I liked seeing his daughter and son-in-law in the background of the photograph Althouse linked to.

Did you know in Israel there is a shrine where Jews are not allowed to go, only Muslims?

It's called the Dome of the Rock.

So imagine a Jewish state, founded to protect Jews, and within that border in the city of Jerusalem, there is a shrine where Jews are not allowed to go. That is a great and beautiful humility.

Tommy Duncan said...

"Then DJT drove Comey out."

Trump didn't drive him out. He threw him out.

Comey was in California when he heard on the news he had been fired. That allowed the Justice Department personnel to clean out his office and collect his papers, computers, logs, notes, e-mail and files for internal examination.

There is more to Comey's being sacked than the media is telling us.

rcocean said...

Great analysis by Althouse.

mockturtle said...

No, we don't all have children, and those of us who have escaped that curse by choice or chance resent having to subsidize the children, grand-children, etc., ad infinitum of those who made the wrong decision and who continue to burden us with taxes for public education, health care and carbon that mostly serve to secure the future of their progeny.

Jimbino, I am glad you and your partner will not be passing on your genes.

Caroline Walker said...

Killing is justified according to Christian teaching to the degree that it serves to protect innocent life. This is why, contrary to prevailing accepted opinion, the death penalty is permissible in catholic teaching. The assassination plot against Hitler by Dietrich Bonhoeffer is another classic example of a properly reasoned response.
The kind of killing affirmed in Islam, jihad, doesn't pass the Thomas aquinas smell test.

Inga said...

Trump says "Do as I say, not as I do."

"CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS

THEN: During his 2016 campaign, Trump frequently ripped into Hillary Clinton’s ties to the Clinton Foundation, which received millions in donations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and several other Mideast nations. In a June 2016 posting on Facebook, Trump said, “Saudi Arabia and many of the countries that gave vast amounts of money to the Clinton Foundation want women as slaves and to kill gays. Hillary must return all money from such countries!”During an October debate in Las Vegas, Trump called the Clinton Foundation “a criminal enterprise.” ”Saudi Arabia giving $25 million, Qatar, all of these countries. You talk about women and women’s rights? So these are people that push gays off business — off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly. And yet you take their money.”

NOW: The World Bank announced Sunday at an event with Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and White House adviser, that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had pledged a combined $100 million for the bank’s proposed Women Entrepreneurs Fund, which was first proposed by Ivanka Trump. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said the pledges, along with ones by the U.S. and other countries, would allow the World Bank to announce the creation of a $1 billion fund for women’s economic empowerment at the G20 summit in July. In his speech, Trump called Saudi Arabia’s vision for 2030 “an important and encouraging statement of tolerance, respect, empowering women, and economic development.”"

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/saudi-visit-trump-contradictions-campaign/

cubanbob said...

I didn't listen to the speech, I can't stand any president's speeches since Reagan. Based on the extract posted here it simply is a case of Trump sugar coating a warning if they don't Get Right With The Lord there will be Consequences but if they do heed the warning then Good Things Will Happen. It appears to be a version of Al Capone's premise of a kind word will take you a long way, a kind word and a gun will take you further.

Jimbino, for your sake I do hope you have a very healthy retirement plan and investment account with a very decent long term care plan unless you plan to mooch off other people's children.

Saint Croix said...

I also think a person can have a sincere religious belief that some killings are what God wants from you.

Yeah, Satan clouds the mind.

Christ will set you straight.

mockturtle said...

Of course not, but as the link I put in the post shows, a person who has committed murder can be saved, according to Christianity.

Of course, being forgiven for murder is quite different from believing that murder will get you to heaven, as in killing Jews or unbelievers. And, without Christ, no sins are forgiven.

Saint Croix said...

The guy to read on non-violence is Tolstoy.

From Christ to Tolstoy to Gandhi to King.

cubanbob said...

Inga you never miss an opportunity to make a fool of yourself. Here is a clue: a real bank, one with transparent operations funding micro-loans to women versus a tax scam. They are not equivalent. If the IRS wasn't so corrupt it wouldn't be the World Bank that would be subject to an audit.

Comanche Voter said...

Nothing wrong with the Trumpster going down to Saudi Arabia and speaking a few home truths.
What Trump has done in Middle East is to switch the team the USA is playing for. Obama was over there on one sideline huddling with the Iranians. Trump walked across the field and said he would prefer to huddle with the Saudis. You pick your teams.

Now some might say that it would be best if we just walked off the field and ignored both sides. But somehow I don't think that's going to happen.

mockturtle said...

Caroline, not only do we know that the death penalty is sanctioned by God, it is sometimes mandated [there are many examples]. Sentencing judges used to say to the prisoner condemned to death, "May God have mercy on your soul". There was an interval of time for the prisoner to get right with God before his execution. Salvation is from God. Earthly justice is through man.

Drago said...

Inga apparently does not understand that it's called The World Bank, not The Trump Global Initiative World Bank.

That's okay. She's a lefty so our expectations were never that high forher.

traditionalguy said...

What happens when the 9/11 conspiracy roles of the Faisal and Bush families
comes out. Just wondering. Is it 50 years hidden or longer.

Inga said...

Cubanbob, you completely missed the point, which makes you appear stupid, or willfully ignorant. Trump just made a huge arms deal with SA. Voila! The Saudi's donate $100 Million into Ivank's Fund, exactly what he criticized Hillary for.

Inga said...

It has nothing whatsoever to do with where the pay for play money was deposited. I'm sure the funds will be used for good, just as the funds from the Clinton Foundation were. We already had this discussion earlier on another blogpost. The Clinton Foundation got very high marks by several Charity monitoring groups.

The Godfather said...

Good speech, particularly for Trump. It was pretty disciplined.

@Althouse: I assume your remarks about Trump claiming to know what God thinks were intended to stimulate discussion, rather that being actual commentary. If the former, very successful. If the latter, very silly (but I'm sure that's not the case).

Right after 9/11, GWBush famously spoke of the terrorists as not being true Muslims, because Islam is a religion of peace, and ever since then some American commentators on both right and left have mocked him for doing so. But Trump is following in that same path, with his own rhetorical style, and a decade and a half of experience. W was right and Trump is right.

Michael K said...

Inga, come on. I agreed with you on something. Try to look smart.

Read "Shattered." My wife is reading it.

Otto said...

"I thought murderers can be forgiven.'Mocking Christianity again. Just can't let go of her first car with that Nihilism engine.

Michael K said...

"But Trump is following in that same path"

I don't think so but did not watch the speech.

I think he is telling them they had better get terrorism out of Islam if they expect to be accepted as a cultural equal.

Now that my books are mostly unpacked, I have to get back to Tom Holland's books. He's been pretty much in hiding since his book on Islam came out, I read part of it but never finished before the move.

Saint Croix said...

I don't like such beliefs, but they do exist and I think it's taking the easy way out to designate them as not religious beliefs.

I don't say there are no bad religions or bad ideas or bad philosophies.

Christ warns us against false prophets.

I simply agree with the idea that terror is not the path to heaven. I agree with it because it comports with my understanding of Christianity and what the holy spirit reveals to me.

I see what Trump is doing as attacking the moral certainty of murderous jihad terrorists. He is attacking the idea that murdering innocent people is the path to heaven. This is a righteous and brave thing to say. You don't think he should bring religion into a speech in the holy land. You think he ought to keep things secular. I commend him for his bravery in speaking on spiritual issues. And I am delighted and relieved in what says.

Very good speech.

Inga said...

Michael K, let me give you some advice. You'll catch more flies with honey. Don't insult someone and then try to get them to read something you're pushing. I've tried to be civil to you, but if you insist on being insulting when you address me, expect me to reciprocate.

Hammond X. Gritzkofe said...

If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.

But there are those 72 virgins for consolation.

cubanbob said...

Inga said...
Cubanbob, you completely missed the point, which makes you appear stupid, or willfully ignorant. Trump just made a huge arms deal with SA. Voila! The Saudi's donate $100 Million into Ivank's Fund, exactly what he criticized Hillary for."

Inga right on cue you prove me right. You see what you want to see, not what is actually there. Trump Industries isn't the beneficiary of the huge arms deal. And the charitable contributions are going to the World Bank not some tax fraud foundation.

Inga said...

"Trump Industries isn't the beneficiary of the huge arms deal."

Did I say it was? But I'm sure somebodies got their backs scratched.

"And the charitable contributions are going to the World Bank not some tax fraud foundation."

The Clinton Foundation got top ratings from groups that monitor charities. I don't buy into the Breitbart bullshit. That's for people like you who believe this nonsense.

Fen said...

If you wanted to get on Sec State's schedule for a meeting, you had to donate to Hillary's slush fund at the Clinton Foundation. Inga is cool with that...

Lauderdale Vet said...

I thought that Steve Deace, not a great fan of Trump, pointed out something interesting:

https://twitter.com/SteveDeaceShow/status/866372989520158725

"The beauty of this speech is Trump essentially went Moses on these Muslim leaders. Telling them..."

"..I have set before you blessing and cursing, life and death. Choose life so that you may continue to live."

Bruce Hayden said...

The Saudis are going to be interesting to watch over time. On the one hand, their brand of Wahabi Sunni Islam seems to have been driving a lot of Islamist terrorism over the last several decades, at least. And, of course, at one point, Saudis were bankrolling OBL and al Quaeda. But the Saudi royal family is now the establishment there, and have a lot to lose with continued terrorism. Complicating this, Iran and the Shiite world are contesting for regional dominance (including, probably obtaining nuclear weapons, thanks to the help of and financing by Obama) and a newly religious Turkey is beginning to vie for dominance of Sunni Islam, talking about reestablishment of the last real caliphate. They desperately need our arms, and our trading in their use (in particular, to protect themselves against Persian aggression), but risk having militant Sunni Islamist terrorists turn against them.

buwaya said...

Actually, hating someone is the best possible reason to read their books. Or perhaps this is conservative male psychology, if so it explains why conservatives pay obsessive attention to the left. Sun Tzu had it as one of his famous tenets, "know your enemy".

To explain with examples, both Rommel and Guderian had popular books (in Germany) out just before WWII. Because of their victories, in which they were most impolite to the French, British and Americans, the allies issued huge numbers of copies of their translated works, thereby making them international bestsellers.

Thats what behind the "I read your book!" scene in "Patton".

So try to take the advice of Patton, and Sun Tzu, and know your enemy. This may be difficult advice I think, as women are ruled much too much by emotions, and it is a rare woman who can overcome wounded feelings sufficiently to take it.

stever said...

They want kill us and rape our women (and young boys)

Hagar said...

If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.

I suspect this is more or less a quote from the Koran.

rhhardin said...

In a voluntary deal both sides come out ahead, is what he's saying.

Also a stressed silence about how you won't like it if you don't make such a deal.

Saint Croix said...

Caroline, not only do we know that the death penalty is sanctioned by God, it is sometimes mandated

Do you have any examples of God mandating that we kill people?

There is Abraham and Isaac, one of the more troubling passages in the Bible. Was Abraham crazy? Was it Satan? Was it holy to kill his own child? (Remember that God sacrificed his own child for us!) Also who sent that goat to interrupt the sacrifice?

The entire history of the ministry of Jesus strikes me as one that is distrustful of Caesar and authorities in general. So the idea that God is on board with state executions is doubtful, to put it mildly. How did Christ feel about the beheading of John the Baptist? Is God okay with abortions mandated by the state, or wars mandated by the state, or slavery mandated by the state? You think God is impressed with human authority?

We might say that a war, or an execution, or violence, is a necessary evil. That's the best I would say about it. I would never say that these are holy acts. I would never say that this is the path to heaven, to murder our enemies. It was not the message of Christ. Jesus tells us to love our enemies, to be non-violent, and to give all our money to the poor. You want some rules to follow? There you go.

We shrink from these rules because we feel that it will leave us vulnerable and we will suffer (like Christ himself). And so, out of fear, our various states murder our enemies and threaten people and act like worldly people. To step outside of these worldly threats and fears and say, "this is not the way to heaven" is a brave and righteous (and smart) thing to do.

buwaya said...

The Saudi clan has been the power there since the 1920s, and its not the first time that they have sent their radicals abroad to get them out of the way.

The first time was when Ibn Saud, after he had consolidated his victory over the Hashemites, sent the Ikhwan to massacre Shiites in Iraq, and not coincidentally to get them out of his business.

Stopping that was J.B.Glubbs first Arab assignment, and the subject of his book "War in the Desert".

AReasonableMan said...

Why Is Any Republican Spreading The Conspiracy Theory About Slain DNC Staffer Seth Rich?

Michael K said...

Don't insult someone and then try to get them to read something you're pushing.

Inga, if I thought you would read anything, let alone something I recommend, I would be more polite but you're a dingbat.

Michael K said...

ARM just loves NeverTrumper sites if they agree with him.

buwaya said...

Because Newt Gingrich just chimed in.
The whole business smells, it is way too suspicious, and its not been taken seriously enough.

mockturtle said...

St. Croix asks: Do you have any examples of God mandating that we kill people?

Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind. Genesis 9:6, for starters.

Saint Croix said...

Sherman: "War is hell."

Althouse: "I don't know about that! It might be heavenly."

Inga said...

Michael, you're just a half senile old curmudgeon. I'll not give you the benefit of a doubt anymore.

Inga said...

Hey ARM, I'm cured. I'll never feel guilty for beating up on Michael K again.

Inga said...

And Michael K, go peddle your propaganda to your liberal children.

YoungHegelian said...

Religious leaders must make this absolutely clear: Barbarism will deliver you no glory -- piety to evil will bring you no dignity. If you choose the path of terror, your life will be empty, your life will be brief, and YOUR SOUL WILL BE CONDEMNED.

While I agree with commenters above that Islam is okay with expansion of the Ummah by military means, I don't think that means that modern terrorism, with the deliberate targeting of non-combatants, & especially committing suicide in the process would be permitted under traditional Islam. As such, when Trump speaks this way, he stands upon solid ground, Shariah-wise.

Before modern Islamic terrorism, there was no Islamic tactic of suicide warfare, as there was, e.g. in Japanese martial culture. Even the Egyptian cult of Assasins, after they killed their target, fell by the hands of their target's bodyguards, & not by their own hand.

Islam means "submission", & submission to the Will of God. There is no greater way to upend the Will of God than to commit suicide, which is why it is even more disapproved of in Islam than even Christianity or Judaism. Bernard Lewis quotes a Hadith about a Muslim warrior who, mortally wounded in battle, falls on his sword to end his suffering. On the other side, he is rebuked by an angel, who tells him that his life was never his to take, but belonged to God alone.

AReasonableMan said...

Inga said...
Michael, you're just a half senile old curmudgeon. I'll not give you the benefit of a doubt anymore.


I think with the 'half senile' you are still giving him the benefit of the doubt.

mockturtle said...

That's the best I would say about it. I would never say that these are holy acts. I would never say that this is the path to heaven, to murder our enemies.

Of course not. As I was trying to explain, the difference between Christianity and Islam in this regard isn't between killing and not killing but between killing as a means of redemption and killing as an act of earthly justice.

I would have used the term 'killing the innocent' but, as we know, we see non-Muslims killing thousands of innocent unborn babies every year.

buwaya said...

But suicide bombers dont die as an isolated act, but die in "battle", and moreover most of those characters dont end up as suicide bombers, no matter how fundamentally suicidal their short careers of massacre actually are.

And a culture that fundamentally disagrees with this tactic or strategy does not manage to generate tens of thousands of suicidal volunteers.

rhhardin said...

Islam is about perfection in the next world, the others about perfection in this one.

Saint Croix said...

Whoever sheds human blood, by humans shall their blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made mankind.

I would read that to mean that violence begets violence (and more violence, and still more violence). It's a sad prediction about the nature of sin and human beings, and a reminder that we are children of God, made in the image of God, and we are better than this.

mockturtle said...

You think God is impressed with human authority?

The Apostle Paul tells us:
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. 2 Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. 4 For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. 5 Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience’ sake. 6 For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor. Romans 13 [emphasis added]

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Happy he called out Islamic terrorism.

Yeah. Seems like it must have been a really hard call to make.

Actually, the less-easy-to-bullshit call would be if he requires action from his Saudi/Wahhabi friends (who bestowed quite the kingly tribute to him) should they continue to remain the largest exporters of terrorist ideology and support - which they undoubtedly will - in exchange for this display of friendship to the old autocracies we used to buddy-up with so much before 9/11, and that we're apparently all to happy to continue buddying up with for the sake of isolating the less puritanical Iranian mullahs who have never brought terrorism to America. (Even if they do to Israel).

buwaya said...

And as for suicide, by the acts of ones enemies, in Christianity martyrdom for the faith gets you on the road to sainthood. The diff vs Islam is there isnt an emphasis on battle, or dying in battle, or killing the infidel as part of the deal.

But there are interesting cases.
Look up the Franciscan St. John Capistrano - yes, it was he after whom was named the famous California mission, the one of the swallows.

Saint Croix said...

I got in a lot of fights when I was a kid, Mockturtle!

traditionalguy said...

God was strict about slaughtering the Amelikite Tribe, and their women, children and livestock. Those guys had preyed on Hebrew stragglers during the 40 years in Sinai following Moses. But a liberal Hebrew always pardoned them. Until an Amelikite resurfaced in Persian Empire talking Esther's husband into a Holocaust on a day certain of all Jews. But good old Esther turned the tables and got Haman and family hung on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai.

Then King Xerxees ask what else Esther wanted, and she said another few days of slaughtering Amelikites. She got it.

Michael K said...

"The diff vs Islam is there isnt an emphasis on battle, or dying in battle, or killing the infidel as part of the deal."

Islam is about battle and has been since the beginning, whenever that was.

Christianity was about peace and "turning the other cheek." That's why the Christians lost.

Until Ferdinand and Isabella and Charles Martel

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Hey ARM, I'm cured. I'll never feel guilty for beating up on Michael K again.

Nor should you.

He's the type of decrepit troll of whom the best could be said (as my father once did to a distant acquaintance) following heart surgery:

"I didn't know they could do that as a micro-surgery."

The guy seriously has a little black stone the size of what you'd find in a hummingbird beating inside his unappealing and matted old chest. It's interesting how closely tied together meanness is with narrowed arteries and other shrinkages of the heart. Just look at Dick Cheney. That guy had been having heart attacks for decades (even another one while awaiting vote tallies in the disputed 2000 election) until finally they just said, fuck it, and removed the thing altogether.

For a good year or so, this gross individual - who got a friend to apologize to him after he shot him in the face - was bouncing around and losing weight with an artificial heart that didn't pump, but continuously cycled blood through his nasty body.

Ironically, such a device left him without a pulse. Which observers of vampiric literature found fitting and appropriate.

mockturtle said...

I would read that to mean that violence begets violence (and more violence, and still more violence). It's a sad prediction about the nature of sin and human beings, and a reminder that we are children of God, made in the image of God, and we are better than this.

In context, I would read it differently. Not the same as 'He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword'. There are numerous OT examples, of course, as God was carving out a nation for his people, mass slaughter of the Canaanites, e.g. and a host of other -ites.

Inga said...

Trump fondles Wahhabism, while the Iranians are working on reform.

https://theintercept.com/2017/05/21/landslide-win-irans-reformists-doesnt-fit-trumps-script-ignores/

"The hypocrisy of America’s support for unelected despots in the oil-rich Gulf states is not new, but Donald Trump’s lavish praise for them on Sunday, as allies against “Islamist extremism” and “the oppression of women,” was particularly striking, coming one day after Iranian voters danced in the streets to celebrate their reformist president’s landslide re-election."

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Is it asking to much to expect Althouse's interpretation to be sturdier?

Rather than having to include all sorts of acknowledgements that parts of the speech conflict w/ her interpretation of the speech, why not come up w/ an interpretation that is actually compatible w/ the entirety of the speech?

I know, crazy idea.



Carry on.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

If taking the entirety makes it impossible to suss out a coherent fully consistent message.

Well, it is what it is.

Best to acknowledge that instead of grabbing an edit pen to revoke the stuff that doesn't make sense re the other parts.

Presumably a former lawprof could have done better than we see in this post.



I dunno.

mockturtle said...

Michael K asserts: Islam is about battle and has been since the beginning, whenever that was.

As descendants of Ishmael, of whom the Bible said that, while he would become a 'great nation', "He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward all his brothers." Gen 16:12.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

It's more idiotic Trumpstuff. Call out ideology (Wahhabism, American lobbying payola) while sucking up to the powerful interests that further and support and promote it (KSA, fossil fuel industries and the other corporatists that have captured his cabinet).

Republicans can't continuously complain that everything's going to hell in a hand basket unless they're there to carry and pack everything into that hand basket they carry with them into hell.

It's just how they operate. Create the problem, then complain about it.

They live to make sure things don't get fixed. And if things are in danger of being fixed, break them again!

They're the kind of folks who would rob you of money to pay for their Viagra before they rape you.

Just totally disgusting people on every remotely moral level.

YoungHegelian said...

@Buwaya,

And a culture that fundamentally disagrees with this tactic or strategy does not manage to generate tens of thousands of suicidal volunteers.

If that's the case, then why didn't this suicide tactic appear in Islamic warfare before now, as it did in Japanese warfare? It's not like there was any shortage of opportunities to use it.

No, Islamic terrorism, in its deliberate targeting of innocents, murder of hostages, & use of suicide as a weapon of war needs to be called out for what it is -- a fundamental break from traditional Islamic practice of warfare. It is a new-fangled religious invention that does what every new fangled invention does in traditional cultures -- it creates a myth that it is a return to the purer ways of the original faith. I mean, that sure as hell happened in both Western (Protestantism) & Eastern (the Old Believers) strains of Christianity multiple times, Hassidic Judaism, & I'm sure the other major faiths.

That traditional Islam has so little voice to speak out against these corruptions shows just how theologically moribund it is. Islam lost its struggle with modernity, & Salafist terrorism is just one effect of that intellectual collapse.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Maybe this is the best Althouse can do re pointing out that DJT didn't make sense.

She's gotta keep the con chumps happy, for traffic.

+

She spent time listening to this thing, so she gots to get bloggability outa it.

+

This thing was senseless

=

Relay the facts

=

State the incoherence, but don't label it.

=

win:win

=

the rubes can't put two and two together if ya don't spoon feed them, so alls good in the Althood.




Got it.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Althouse should re-title her blog: The Following Awesome and Magical and Un-Criticizeable Things that Trump Did Today!

Hell. I even thought portions of King Trump's speech made sense and may have hit the right note. Even been spot-on.

But the devil's in the details. Propping up KSA makes me nauseous. It didn't do a thing for us pre-9/11 and it won't do a thing for us now.

The Israelis seem to think that KSA will be an Arabian power broker in their semitic region that can prove a strong front against Iranian meddling.

But I'm skeptical of that (even if it's where Trump got his suck-up sensibilities). Islam is Islam, Shia Sunni, whatever the fuck, and the Saudis are at least as medieval in what they're promoting as the Iranians. Let this all be an internal Mohammedan thing, and just get the fuck out of it. We can make treaties, but propping up one of those buffoons against the other is a fucking fool's errand.

Let them both implode and continue to be their own worst enemies. If they want things to change, that's on them. Not us.

sinz52 said...

Althouse: "He makes a straightforward pronouncement that the terrorists' religion is not real religion."

Sure it is.

It's a sect of a religion. A sect that believes in waging violent jihad. Just like all of Islam used to do.

Guess what: No sect of Islam has ever permanently disclaimed violent jihad. Not even the Sufis.

The best they can do is not wage violent jihad right now. But this particular sect is waging violent jihad right now.

We've had a succession of Presidents tell us that violent jihad isn't "real" Islam. That stuff is for Western consumption, for folks who have never actually read the Quran--as I have.

Saudi Arabia was the source of Wahhabism. They know better.

sinz52 said...

Trump: "The true toll of ISIS, al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas, and so many others, must be counted not only in the number of dead. It must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams."

In supervised elections, the Palestinians in Gaza *elected* Hamas to represent them.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

It's just like Trump to puff breath into things that are dying. Coal, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, sexism. He's like the, Let's Give This Horrible Thing that's Fortunately in Decline Another Chance. Pollution is under-appreciated.

I wan't someone who cares about the future to make America great again. For every bad idea that Trump is trying to revive, he goes back to the decade in which it was in its heyday.

It's like being on a merry-go-round operated by an organ grinder, or one of the monkeys that piloted the early space missions. If America is a car this guy's talent is to make everyone car sick. Hey, we just past my favorite diner from 60 years ago that just closed down! SCREEEECH! (Turns car around 180 degrees on the highway). C'mon! Let's get in there!

He operates the levers of American government and global leadership like an untreated manic depressive with vertigo.

Saint Croix said...

You have heard that it was said, "Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth." But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also.

You have heard that it was said, "Love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

"The hypocrisy of America’s support for unelected despots in the oil-rich Gulf states is not new, but Donald Trump’s lavish praise for them on Sunday, as allies against “Islamist extremism” and “the oppression of women,” was particularly striking,..

It was nauseating, retarded, and it won't work. But hey! They gave him a shiny medal and 70-course dinners (virgins optional) and a state reception fit for a king. So there you have it. He wants to be a king and enjoyed himself immensely in the lavish petro-kingdom.

It's Trump's head we all have to live in now. You just call it a "world." We're just renting headspace inside the lazy mind of the nation's chief realtor. And what an ugly property it is.

mockturtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mockturtle said...

St. Croix, I believe that. Putting to death a serial murderer has nothing to do with that. And, as Jesus used war in analogies, I think it safe to say he considered war an evil but a sometimes necessary one. YMMV. ;-)

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

I don't know who said what to the Saudis but this reminds me of a nasty old Lebanese (or Chaldean?) lady who shrieked at me as I innocently cut across her yard once in high school. I gave her the finger. (I'd never done that to an elder before but then again I'd never experienced an elder in any neighborhood I lived in being so nasty).

A couple nights later, a tray of baklava, namoura, and other Arabian sweets arrived.

It was the wrong lesson for me to learn, I thought, in my adolescence. But that's just how it was.

I guess there are worse forms of multiculturalism. But sucking up to someone who wasn't all that nice to you has its downsides. Even if it was your fault.

FullMoon said...

AReasonableMan said...

Inga said...
Michael, you're just a half senile old curmudgeon. I'll not give you the benefit of a doubt anymore.

I think with the 'half senile' you are still giving him the benefit of the doubt.
5/21/17, 5:32 PM


You two talking about the seventy-something year old surgeon who teaches doctors? The guy who wrote two books? The old "senile" rich guy still working because he wants too?
That guy?
The guy who has a bigger boat than ARM? The guy who has done more traveling and sailing than ARM? The one who has done stuff ARM wishes he could do, but cannot afford? That guy?

Anyway, off topic, what have you two genius's done lately. or in the past that has even minimal consequence?

holdfast said...

Trump didn't "tell them what to do" - he told them ONE THING that they must not to (accommodate or succor terrorists). He
didn't tell them to let women drive, or get rid of the veil or stop chopping off hands for theft. He said, essentially, that as long as you don't do that ONE THING that taints the world for EVERYONE, we can be friends and allies.

Perhaps not ideal, but a realistic approach in a time of war.

Ann Althouse said...

"@Althouse: I assume your remarks about Trump claiming to know what God thinks were intended to stimulate discussion, rather that being actual commentary. If the former, very successful. If the latter, very silly (but I'm sure that's not the case)."

I don't know what you mean. Several times, Trump took the position of knowing what God thinks. I certainly think I accurately perceived that he made the claim.

If your question is whether Trump believes his own claim, I would say it's unlikely and more of a figure of speech or effort of persuasion.

But it might be that he believes it, and then there's the slight chance that he actually is in touch with God.

It's also at least possible that he doesn't believe he is divinely inspired but he actually is.

Maybe I should put up a poll.

These are, to me, very interesting possibilities.

Spiros Pappas said...

The Saudis are screwed. If ISIS is being deflected out of Syria and Turkey and Iran, then it only has one place to go. Home! And no chance the U.S. will lift a finger to help.

exhelodrvr1 said...

St Croix,
He was referring to how we should live our personal lives, not how governments should act.

Inga said...

"But it might be that he believes it, and then there's the slight chance that he actually is in touch with God."

Oh yes, he's touched all right. Seriously though, this speech was written for him. I doubt he spent even a minute helping write it or thinking about it, he delivered it without a drop of conviction.

Inga said...

What he said on the campaign trail about Muslims were his thoughts. None of that was expressed in this speech.

James K said...

In context, I would read it differently. Not the same as 'He who lives by the sword shall die by the sword'.

I would read it in context quite simply as requiring capital punishment for the crime of murder. The previous few verses are usually interpreted as forbidding cruelty to animals

FullMoon said...


Blogger Inga said...

What he said on the campaign trail about Muslims were his thoughts. None of that was expressed in this speech.

5/21/17, 7:02 PM


Perhaps he has evolved, as your idols Barry and hitlery did re gay marriage. Trump had no prob with gays, ever, unlike the two you worship

Brookzene said...

"But it might be that he believes it, and then there's the slight chance that he actually is in touch with God.

It's also at least possible that he doesn't believe he is divinely inspired but he actually is."

Horses. Not zebras.

Brookzene said...

"Perhaps he has evolved"

Perhaps he will evolve himself out of a job.

FullMoon said...

Then what?

Freeman Hunt said...

The soul of a murderer is condemned without repentance, so at the point of the murder, yes, I think the murderer's soul is condemned.

And repentance doesn't mean magic words. If a man flees the light and allows so much darkness into his heart that he murders another, he may find that his desire to seek the light is totally eclipsed.

(But if he thinks on that idea and desires the light, then his desire cannot be totally eclipsed, and he should run for the light to save himself in time and be welcomed! Who knows how far each man might pursue darkness before he forgets the light? The difference might be of a moment!)

Freeman Hunt said...

Not that I think any of that is what Trump meant.

I think he meant, "Tell them they're going to hell if they murder people so that they'll stop doing that."

Jon Ericson said...

Lie
https://youtu.be/P_6vDLq64gE

Jon Ericson said...

O, hi jerks.

Jon Ericson said...

Not you, "normal commenters".
*Smooch*

Jon Ericson said...

This is not my first saber dance.

MadisonMan said...

No, we don't all have children, and those of us who have escaped that curse by choice or chance resent having to subsidize the children, grand-children, etc., ad infinitum of those who made the wrong decision and who continue to burden us with taxes for public education, health care and carbon that mostly serve to secure the future of their progeny.

Perhaps you should find a Country where you can be King and where your word can be law so you won't be so horribly burdened. As it is, you live somewhere where a Majority (ish) decides who gets what kind of benefits.

mockturtle said...

Freeman, you are assuming the murderer had the light before he committed the murder. My point was that most murderers don't but can seek and find Christ's repentance after the fact.

As a Calvinist, I believe a person is preordained to salvation. But I know many believe differently. The main thing is that He is 'the way, the truth and the life'.

buwaya said...

Jimbino, as sometimes, is in a fit of his own sort of madness.
There is no point to a human society without children.
It would be simply a waiting-room for death.
A band of people doing pointless things to stay off boredom until they go.

Michael McClain said...

I've thought that even Satan might achieve eternal salvation if he earnestly and honestly repented of his sins against God. God will forgive all those he sincerely repent of their sins.

I've no idea what the Moslem view of repentance and the forgiveness of sins is. As Christians, we are enjoined to forgive those who have wronged us so that we, in turn, may be forgiven of our transgressions by God.

That said, its difficult to forgive those who swear that it is their holy mission to kill you.

Jon Ericson said...

It's nice that they give the trolls Sunday night off.

Brookzene said...

"That said, its difficult to forgive those who swear that it is their holy mission to kill you."

You can't stop there.

Brookzene said...

"It's nice that they give the trolls Sunday night off."

That's insulting. We're all trying.

Fen said...

Thing is, our culture is heavily invested in the Christian concept of turning the other cheeck, of passive resistance and nonviolence even in the face of evil. I think we've taken it too far.

Just look at how we portray both sides in our entertainment - Evil is always edgy and sexy and cool, Good is usually cute little cherubs that wouldn't hurt a fly. There are no angels of goodness and light that are terrible to behold.

And then there's the mythology of the End Days. From what I read, Christ is not coming back full of sweetness and light, he's coming back to lay waste to the wicked.

mockturtle said...

Angels in the Bible are fierce creatures often wielding swords. I've never understood where the cherub concept came from.

Jon Ericson said...

Some trolls gotta stay on duty.

Jon Ericson said...

Volunteer trolls are the best!

Jon Ericson said...

Where's Toothless Jerkoff?
She's always amusing.

Ann said...

Ann, it is consistent with Christian teaching to call out sinful behavior and warn the sinner that his immortal soul is in danger of being condemned to hell. "Admonish the sinner" is one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy. President Trump is in solid theological ground here. He is warning, not condemning them.

mockturtle said...

Solid theological ground is telling them that they are condemned without Christ but that would be diplomatically risky. After all, he is our President, not our Evangelist in Chief.

AReasonableMan said...

FullMoon said...
The guy who has a bigger boat than ARM?


He doesn't have any boat at the moment so I win this one easily.

You seem in a very dyspeptic mood recently, maybe you need to adjust your meds.

Michael K said...

Just got back from a dinner party and spent a good amount of time with a guy who lived in Saudi Arabia most of the time since 1979.

He also spent time in Afghanistan. His two sons are Naval Academy grads and nuclear engineers serving on fast attack subs.

We agreed pretty much on everything about the Saudis and he had a few stories I had not heard.

During the Iran-Iraq War, the Kuwaitis and Saudis built a 56 inch pipeline through Saudi Arabia to the Red Sea to allow Iraq to sell oil. The Iranians had destroyed their oil terminal in Basra,

After the war, The Saudis and Kuwaitis wanted to be paid for the pipeline. Saddam refused to pay saying he had protected them from the Iranians and didn't owe them anything.

So he invaded Kuwait. He made the fatal mistake of stopping at the border of Saudi. Bush sent the 101st Airborne to proptect the Saudis but the 101st had nothing to stop tanks.

This guy had some soldiers from the 101 over to his house for dinner.

We agreed that, had Saddam invaded Saudi, there was probably little or nothing we could do. He probably would still be there,

Interesting.

John said...

Inga,

You do know that up to a few years ago Charity Navigator gave the Clinton Global Initiative a very poor rating and GuideStar, the other big charity rating agency, refused to rate it at all. (Or maybe it was vice-versa)

Then the Foundation donated a few million to them. Voila! Gold plated, triple A, top of the mark ratings ever since.

You do know this, don't you?

Why not tell us what their ratings were before they gave the "donations"?

John Henry

MaxedOutMama said...

Well, how is what Trump said so different than what Al-Sisi said, in his address to the imams? This was a somewhat indirect way of telling them that the funding/supporting of terror must stop, or it will destroy them. All anyone can do is make the choice clear. He did a good job of that.

I think the speech was good. I think it was realistic. I also think it is possibly effective now, because the Saudis are in deep financial trouble and those in power realize they cannot stay in power without change. For more than a century, the ruling house of Saud has had a belief system that their power (and wealth) is derived from Allah on condition of their adherence to Wahabism. Not PERSONALLY, but culturally. They believe they have to enforce Wahabism or they will fall.

Now they must realize they have lost the mandate of heaven. This is an absolute hammer blow to their belief system. They have to develop their own cultural way of dealing with this. The loss of oil hegemony is a dire test for the Saudi regime. Their entire social setup is threatened, BUT IT IS ALSO A RELIGIOUS CRISIS for their ruling clan. That's who Trump was addressing.

The beast the Saudis have fed for so long will rise up and engulf them unless they can change their culture. They know it. The hardliners among them will argue that they have to double down and become even MORE Wahabi. So the internal struggle must be between those who see the need to change and those clinging to the old promise. Trump went over there to try to support those who would opt to change and deal with the new reality.

As for Christian beliefs and forgiveness of sins, per Christian theology Trump was correct. For a dire sin of murder, the reason we can escape the condemnation of God's law (which operates for all men of all religions) is not by our own merit, but by repenting, admitting the error, and confessing and appealing to Jesus, who, through his death on the cross, paid for all our sins. It takes all three steps. So yes, if an Islamist terrorist practices murder and doesn't repent and doesn't know to appeal to Jesus, by Christian doctrine he is going to hell. The only exception is that he may be exempted from punishment if he never had moral agency and freedom. So one of these poor retarded kids who is used as a human bomb doesn't go to hell, because the person committing the act never really had the mental/moral capacity to understand what he was doing. And the little kids.

But the people who used those kids, and the imams who are preaching this stuff ARE going to hell.

I realize, Ann, that you don't get religion. But one thing you should do is read the Koran several times. It is very clearly stated in the Koran that God will reward those who do right. The money has been the religious proof to the Wahabis that they are following the right path. Now the money is gone; the government is locked into running significant deficits, and unless they can execute their plans (build a modern diversified economy almost from scratch by investing public funds into startup industries), in 10 or 15 years they will have run through their bankroll and be in very bad straits. It won't go down quietly like Venezuela - oh, no, the flames of hell will pretty much shoot right out of the ground and burn down their wealthy complexes. Those people keep jet planes fueled and a grab bag worth millions in gold and jewels close at hand.

FullMoon said...

AReasonableMan said...

FullMoon said...
The guy who has a bigger boat than ARM?

He doesn't have any boat at the moment so I win this one easily.

You seem in a very dyspeptic mood recently, maybe you need to adjust your meds.
5/21/17, 8:36 PM


Umm, yeah, being a dignified sort, I used :boat: as a euphemism, not literally. And , yes, I got the info from your first wife.

Btw, The senile doc was at a dinner party with a gut who lived in middle east, while you were doing leftovers.

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AReasonableMan said...

FullMoon said...
Umm, yeah, being a dignified sort, I used :boat: as a euphemism, not literally. And , yes, I got the info from your first wife.


So you are saying that Michael K has no penis?

Inga said...


John Henry, somehow I don't believe you. But if you want to, post a link to the "story". No conspiracy sites. I'll read it and decide if it's credible.

FullMoon said...

I'm sayin' your first wife said you got the same little dingy you had as a boy.

Obviously, the doc, anoying as he can occasionally be, has more balls than a self imagined sophisticate like you afraid to link to his name and info.

320Busdriver said...

On the Clinton Foundation, a balanced review of the grifters Bill and Hill

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21707936-clintons-activities-outside-politics-are-both-inspiring-and-worrying-bill-and-hillary

Imagine the graft and corruption had she won. Breathtaking really.

Fen said...

Micheal, my understanding is that a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) served as a speedbump that kept Saddam from rolling into Saudi. I also remember stories (3rd LAR here) of the 101st wandering around demanding zMarines give them their M16s and getting beat down.

Granted, the MEU couldn't have stopped him, but rolling over them would have been and act of war and he thought April Gillespie had given him a greenlight to invade Kuwait by claiming we didn't consider Kuwait to under our sphere of protection.

n.n said...

Saint Croix:

to love our enemies, to be non-violent, and to give all our money to the poor

Love our enemies? Yes.

Non-violent? Does God recognize the right of self-defense?

Give all our money to the poor? I have read "excess".

I think we can agree, God does not favor elective wars, elective abortions, and uncharitable people. God does favor humility, life, industry, tending your garden (family, community, nation) and sharing its fruits.

Inga said...

..... has more balls than a self imagined sophisticate like you afraid to link to his name and info."

Oh so your real name is FullMoon? Was your mom a Wiccan?

William said...

The room and its furnishings were rather more impressive than its inhabitants or Trump's speech. I liked the lighting on the ceiling. It was bright and white and celestial. I'm sure in heaven that's the way the heavens look. And those chairs. Double wide and double plush. Once you settle in, there's no need to stir till Monday. This didn't look like the kind of room where alert, ambitious men came to win favor and improve the world. That room looked like a place where favored men come to relax and celebrate the perfection of their world. I don't think much good will come out of that room.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Well FoolMoon, then why do you expect ARM or anyone else to use their real name and Info if you won't? Don't you think that's a bit hypocritical?

Inga said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jaed said...

"The beauty of this speech is Trump essentially went Moses on these Muslim leaders. Telling them..."

"..I have set before you blessing and cursing, life and death. Choose life so that you may continue to live."


Bush said just that to the Palestinians after 9/11. They did not take the hint, however.

FullMoon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Inga said...

Trump exhausted already?

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-exhausted-three-days-into-first-trip-abroad-as-president-reports/article/2623768

A White House official told reporters that President Trump is "exhausted" just three days into his first trip abroad as president.

Trump was expected to say "Islamist extremism" during his speech to Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia, but instead said "Islamic extremism."

When asked why Trump deviated from the prepared text of his speech, an administration official said Trump is "just an exhausted guy."

After the speech, Trump reportedly canceled his appearance at the Tweeps Forum. Ivanka Trump filled in for her father, speaking to about 400 people at the event.

Trump left the United States to begin his trip on Friday.

On the campaign trail, Trump often accused Hillary Clinton of not having the "stamina" to be president.


"To be president of this country, you need tremendous stamina," Trump said in the first presidential debate. "You have to be able to negotiate our trade deals … with Japan, with Saudi Arabia.""


Gospace said...

rhhardin said...
Islam is about perfection in the next world, the others about perfection in this one.


Wow! I skimmed down expecting someone else to catch this whopper. And didn't see anything.

Christianity is quite explicit there is no perfection on Earth. The only perfect man was Jesus Christ, who died to atone for our sins. Perfection is found in God's Kingdom in Heaven.

Basic Hindu (as practiced in India caste system): You're born into your station I life, and can't leave it- it's what your soul deserves in the great circle of life. If you live as good a life as possible, your reincarnated soul can be born into a higher caste. If you make poor choices, you can be cast back to a lower caste or even animal state. And if you live a good life in the highest caste, you can leave the circle of life and end up in godhead.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any major religion that touts perfection on Earth as attainable. Except for Islam which strives to develop Dar al-Islam, The House of Peace, the entire word as islam, and at peace. Any area currently not ruled by islam is Dar al-harb, the House of War.

Scott said...

Althouse sez...

"... as the link I put in the post shows, a person who has committed murder can be saved, according to Christianity."

In the link, Billy Graham sez...

"The amazing thing, however, is that God can forgive anyone who truly repents and puts their faith and trust in Christ for their salvation—even a murderer!"

Setting aside whether Billy Graham's viewpoint is dispositive regarding all strains of Christian theology, few Christians would quarrel with the notion that that God forgives sins of the penitent -- and Graham seems to support this notion.

That qualification is yuuuuuge. If you're a Muslim slaughtering innocents, and you don't repent of your sins before the United States of America takes your pathetic life, you go to Hell. Your sins are not forgiven if you don't ask for forgiveness.

AReasonableMan said...

FullMoon said...
same little dingy


Once again you return to the boat metaphor, yet we have established that Michael K has no boat, so once again you are imputing that Michael K lacks the male member. We know he once had one but now it is gone.

I am curious to know how you think he may have lost his penis. Traditionally one loses a boat during a divorce. This is less traditional in the case of penises, although not unknown. Do you imagine the Michael K's lack of a penis is divorce related, or is it possible that he simply misplaced it? He is very old.

policraticus said...

None of this matters. The invocations of God. The call to action. The phoney-baloney moralizing. None of it. Because no one is willing to do the hard work of destroying the sect of Islam which animates ISIS and al Qaeda. No one. And this has nothing to do with religion, although I agree that there are plenty of religious reasons that this is a dumb speech.

If we leave this magnificent room unified and determined to do what it takes to destroy the terror that threatens the world—then there is no limit to the great future our citizens will have. Who among us is willing to do the hard, practical labor of making the "Islamist extremist" as rare a bird as the "Japanese militarist" or the "German Nazi"? "What it takes" is a lot of killing. It is going to take a lot of people dying. Some of them, innocent people. Some of them, our people. There will be bad news cycles. Where is our Churchill? There will be negative polling. Where is our Eisenhower? There will be unforeseen consequences. Where is that will of FDR that marshalled the US economy and turned it into a giant machine for killing our enemies and destroying their stuff? It ain't around, not that I can see. We already have the largest, most powerful, sophisticated and lethal military in the history of history. Right now. The power, precision,and professionalism of our military would make a man like Patton weep with joy at the prospect of unleashing it on our enemies. Meanwhile, we lack the will to use it, no matter how just the cause. Other than diffidently lashing out in ineffective bouts of self congratulatory, carefully micro-managed and media-friendly violence, we do nothing. We lack moral clarity. We lack a true sense of who we are and who they are and why the differences matter. Meanwhile, innocent people suffer and die, as they always do.

Drive them out?? Of course. It is obvious. All people must agree, right? But I say it is madness to imagine it and it is disingenuous to call for a country like Saudi Arabia to "drive them out" when we know full well that the ideology of ISIS was suckled at the breasts of Saudi imams. Islamist extremism is the fruit of Salafism and Wahhabism, Egyptian theology bought and paid for by with Saudi oil money. It is likely that the majority of his local listeners still have a strong sympathy for the very people he was condemning. They will not drive them out, they agree with them, although they are sophisticated enough not to act openly on their principles.

What is it that Napoleon said? "If you set out to take Vienna, take Vienna." If we want to destroy ISIS, we should destroy ISIS. If this is truly and existential threat to civilization, we should either stop being dilettantes and set to work or we should admit we don't think its that big of a deal and shut up about it. I won't hold my breath.

Inga said...

Maybe it's still there somewhere, just hard to see....

David Baker said...

I found it interesting that Melania styled her hair so as to not only appear veiled, but hyper-veiled - almost like a helmet - which hid her face unless looking directly at her.

FullMoon said...

AReasonableMan said...

FullMoon said...
same little dingy

Once again you return to the boat metaphor, yet we have established that Michael K has no boat, so once again you are imputing that Michael K lacks the male member. We know he once had one but now it is gone.

I am curious to know how you think he may have lost his penis. Traditionally one loses a boat during a divorce. This is less traditional in the case of penises, although not unknown. Do you imagine the Michael K's lack of a penis is divorce related, or is it possible that he simply misplaced it? He is very old.
5/21/17, 10:10 PM


Ha! I suppose this is clever, in your world.
Kinda lam in mine.
Now, Inga's jumping on your coattails, imagining you and her friends, is equally deep and original....

Inga said...

Maybe it's still there somewhere, just hard to see....

5/21/17, 10:17 PM

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

So instead of talking about how to reform Islam realistically, we've created an echoing bubble chamber for debating exactly what it is that the Sky God and His Boy Wonder want.

Sounds about right. Carry on.

mockturtle said...

Great post, M.O.M.! I would only add that all of us are guilty of sin and deserve to go to hell, as Jesus tried to explain to the self-righteous Pharisees.

cf said...

Superb speech from what I see here in your illuminating dissection.

Trump is so fresh and original and direct, huzzah for him.

All participants today were victorious and at their best, certainly the Saudis were outstanding hosts. And Melania! She was pitch-perfect, an American heroine, the promise of a more wholesome future for women in that part of the world.

I raise my glass of zinfandel in a toast: to the very best for all in America and in the world. Salud!

cf said...

(Meanwhile, the Ingas, etc. wheedle and fuss to divert us from this astonishing, game-changing triumph, so I just scroll right on by their fussybutt chatter, scrawny thugs they are, and seek out the ones they feel compelled to tarnish)

Inga said...

"(Meanwhile, the Ingas, etc. wheedle and fuss to divert us from this astonishing, game-changing triumph, so I just scroll right on by their fussybutt chatter, scrawny thugs they are, and seek out the ones they feel compelled to tarnish)"

Oh don't mind me, just carry on with your Trump worship. It's very sacred, I know.

AReasonableMan said...

cf said...
Salud!


Perfetto.

pacwest said...

Compare videos of President Trump getting off the plane to fanfare and shaking hands with the King and President Obama's first Visit - a few guys at the bottom of the stairs, sans King. Very telling.

'This ain't my first sword-dance' Tillerson said it best. These people have their own problems. They don't care about America's political infighting.

When a leader of another country says Donald Trump is one of those rare people who can make you believe the impossible could be possible and means it, I am very encouraged.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"When a leader of another country says Donald Trump is one of those rare people who can make you believe the impossible could be possible and means it, I am very encouraged."

Is this comment irony? Thereby confirming self-awareness and thinking.

Or........

buwaya said...

Nobody is going to, or can, "reform" Islam.
Islam has been, philosophically, in a decadent stasis for a thousand years, with the exception only of a few small syncretic sects. Today is no different in this respect than it was a hundred years ago.

And the problem with Islam is not simply the religion as a religion, it is the cultural baggage it brings with it, entirely unconnected to actual belief or orthodoxy. You see this especially in the "bloody borders", as in those places the Muslims tend to be lax or heterodox, but this does not make them a bit less dangerous.

Th only ways out of this are large scale conversion to another, aggressively quietist religion (good luck), partial conversion to an unmilitant sect like the Ahmadis (and good luck there too, as there is a tendency for popularity to make the unmilitant militant, this has happened before), or a truly terrible series of wars and depopulations (and heaven help us all).

I like the cowards way out, to learn to live with them, while keeping them as far away as possible, until they eventually sort out their problems, or technology solves the riddles of human nature.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

BTW, FTR I've been saying that DJT can make y'all believe the unbelievable. And, I was way ahead of the thing PacW was referencing.

When DJT was applauded for saying:

"Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims," Trump said. "I have a message for all of you: The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon, and I mean very soon, will come to an end. Beginning on January 20th of 2017, safety will be restored," he promised to rousing cheers from the party stalwarts."

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/donald-trump-big-promises-gop-convention-article-1.2720937

I noted that it was impressive that DJT could trick people into believing impossible stuff.



PacW et. al.,

you're welcome for having the privilege of me schoolin' ya.


Saint Croix said...

None of this matters. The invocations of God. The call to action.

dude, you just said Islam is irrelevant to terrorism. Are you sure? I myself feel that Islamic terrorism often involves this sort of religious rhetoric. It's called hearts and minds. You want to win a fight, you got to fight it on that level.

pacwest said...

Very tricky PB.
Nonetheless I am encouraged on several levels by this foreign leader's statement when taken in the tone and demeanor in which it was delivered. The first step in getting someone to try something is making them believe it is possible. Trump is promising the moon. 5 to 10 percent delivery rates would make me happy.

As I said, note the differences between past presidential visits and Trump's.

I'd guess that puts me in the or... category?

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

BTW, why didn't the Mooooslims get the level of BS that DJT served up to his supporters?

Does he think y'all (his supporters) are dumber than the Moooooooooslies?

OTOH, I didn't listen to the speech. Was there an excerpt that said:
"Mooooslims watching this address tonight have seen the images of Islamist violence and chaos in. Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims," Trump said. "I have a message for all of you: The crime and violence that today afflicts Moooolsims and non-Mooooslims will soon, and I mean very soon, will come to an end. Beginning on September 20th of 2017, safety will be restored," he promised to rousing cheers from the Mooslims."



Anywho, presumably DJT will soon implement his secret plan to end terrorists:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-says-he-has-a-secret-plan-to-beat-the-islamic-state/article/2589371

JK, I know, and always knew, that was BS. The cool thing is that y'all don't and didn't know.

Funny.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

BTW, I feel true sorrow for y'all.

What does it say that DJT knows his master persuader powers require different lines for different audiences. Y'all get stuff about BHO being born in Kenya and US violence will end the day he's elected, and other such reality denial. But, the Mooslims get all sorts of film flam nuance and double talk.

That's not fair.

Y'all deserve better.

OTOH, it'd help if y'all could require a little more logic DJT is just assuming that the customer is always right. If the customers want to eat shit, how can we blame biz man Donald for serving it up.

pacwest said...

Moooooslims, ooooou, Moooooslims.

PB, if my interpretation is correct your main complaint here is that Trump has overpromised, and if not he should have it all done by now?

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

PacW,

My main point is that it would be wise to maintain some skepticism re DJT's ability to do impossible things.

Hey-Zeus could swing that sorta thing. But, just as BHO didn't turnout to be the anti-C, DJT probably won't end up being the anti-anti-C.

Just sayin'

pacwest said...

Agreed re skepticism.
I'll admit I can get over hopeful, but I don't think I'm inferring any Godlike powers to Trump by doing so. As I say 10 percent.

buwaya said...

Trump is no guaranteed savior PB&J, and I think its not going to work, his opposition being both extremely powerful and themselves slaves to their own empty short-termism, but for you all he is a possible way out of a long term civilizational trap. You should wish him well.

I am a pessimist, but I hope I am wrong, and this Falstaff-figure pulls it out against all odds.

I dont understand you, yourself, frankly. You make no sense, unless your purpose is plain, empty malevolence. What satisfaction you get out of this ... well, why? What sort of personality works that way? Which is why I urge you to seek help, this is not right, and is doing you no good.

vanderleun said...

"I was stunned by the direct statement of knowledge of who will go to hell. (Is it even consistent with Christianity? I thought murderers can be forgiven.)"

Oh stop it.

And you were doing so well before you allowed your tendency to lapse into intellectual flibbertigibbetese to get the better of you.

Achilles said...

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...
My main point is that it would be wise to maintain some skepticism re DJT's ability to do impossible things.

Trump shouldn't have stopped the Oceans from rising.

Double standards are the only standards you people have.

Saint Croix said...

Nobody is going to, or can, "reform" Islam.

Because Islam is always right and leads to happiness and light wherever it goes?

They need a reformation. Judaism needed one. Christianity needed one. Islam needs one now. The people living in the society know how bad it is.

Rule-bound and harsh religious doctrines can take you straight to hell. Jesus was very clear on this. That's why he reduced all the rules to two. Love God. Love your neighbor as yourself.

The people who say that Muslim girls need to burn to death because they have not covered their faces as they flee a fire have a wrong interpretation of what God requires. You say there's no way to reform that idiocy? How about by pointing out the evil of the above? People who love their daughters do not burn them alive.

Look, Islam is already divided, already facing numerous civil wars and internal strife. As the president points out, they are killing each other, and this is a bad. This idea that nobody in the middle east objects to the violence of the middle east is ridiculous. The strife is there because a reformation needs to happen.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"And you were doing so well before you allowed your tendency to lapse into intellectual flibbertigibbetese to get the better of you."

BTW, just as the arrogance of obnoxious atheists is off-putting, on the other side of that deal, for believers it's worth considering that folks who don't find psychological benefits from believing in non-observable religious stuff may have a legit POV. Is it hard to imagine that a non-imagination based POV could be considered reason-able? Or, is anyone's POV unworthy of consideration if they don't believe in a non-observable creator who likes to see tons of folks suffer eternal torture (infinitely beyond the suffering quality and quantity of Commies and Hitler) for every individual that makes it to heaven?

Saint Croix said...

Contrast the Obama deal with the Trump deal.

"Let's arm the mullahs of Iran, and give them money and nuclear technology, and say nice things about how peaceful they are." Shitty leadership, bad leadership, dangerous leadership. Obama and Kerry negotiate like Vietnam draft dodgers who don't want to die and think they can bribe and beg their way to safety. Pathetic.

"Let's arm the secular leadership of Saudi Arabia, not give them any money nor nuclear technology, and make sure we have lots of secret discussion with Bibi and Israel, and warn them about killing innocent people because that is the path to hell, and suggest the strong need to clean house with the terrorists in Iraq and Syria." Awesome leadership, good leadership, very impressed with this. Trump negotiates like a pragmatist who knows you need to take religion seriously if you want to appeal to religious people.

Achilles said...

The Toothless Revolutionary said...

Republicans can't continuously complain that everything's going to hell in a hand basket unless they're there to carry and pack everything into that hand basket they carry with them into hell.

It's just how they operate. Create the problem, then complain about it.

They live to make sure things don't get fixed. And if things are in danger of being fixed, break them again!


Everything is the Republicans fault. Good analysis there. Truly brilliant. The Democrats haven't contributed at all to the current circumstances.

This republicans bad democrats good position is you at your weakest. It is stupid and reactionary and it diverts your attention from the real problems in our federal government. There have been moments when you have come out of this hole you jump in to and you are reasonable.

You need to ask yourself why you take this reactionary path. You know it accomplishes nothing.

3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

"Trump shouldn't have stopped the Oceans from rising."

BHO said that he'd reduce the rate of rise of the oceans.

So, if he could delay by one second one drunk dude on the NJ shore from pissing in the ocean, he would have satisfied the commitment.

I think we can all agree that DJT isn't into such parsing re his bluster.

Saint Croix said...

Spot on analysis in the NYT

Saudi Arabia, home to some of Islam’s holiest sites, will be pulling out all the stops for a man who has declared “Islam hates us” and said the United States was “losing a tremendous amount of money” defending the kingdom.

But Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies were so angry over President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies that they appeared prepared to dismiss Mr. Trump’s remarks as campaign rhetoric, and to see in him a possibility of resetting relations.


Very good journalism. Kudos!

Good leadership from Trump, good journalism from the NYT. Dude! What a week!

Saint Croix said...

The Stars and Stripes are flying in Riyadh’s streets, intermixed with Saudi flags.

best diplomat ever?

Saint Croix said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
3rdGradePB_GoodPerson said...

Right Saint C,

Don't forget the DJT images on billboards and as projections such as:

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/ritz-carlton-in-riyadh-projects-five-story-portrait-of-trump-on-side-of-hotel/article/2623669

This is a wonderful demonstration of the Saudis completely loving DJT. Sure, they need to stop citizens from funding and causing terrorism. OTOH, their government sure does know how to control media. Lots to learn from them re government re freedom.

If only we could run our nation the way the Saudis run theirs. Then we'd MAGA.

buwaya said...

St. Croix,
I didnt say Islam should not be reformed, but that it wont be reformed. There is no feasible path in sight from A to B.
As for everything wrong with Islam - this was evident, to Europeans, since the 16th century at least. Every defect and struggle and ongoing evil in Islam has been continuous since forever, and there hs been no positive innovation out of it in a thousand years. There have been constant internecine wars all through that period, sectarian violence, and constant harassment of religious minorities and non-Muslims on its "bloody borders".
I am doing some research in the Blair&Robertson "Philippine Islands" (55 volumes of primary sources from Spanish archives, all online, check it out), and I digressed into one of the early volumes, a 450-year-old report by Miguel Lopez de Legaspi to the Council of the Indies. This included the result of a reconnaissance mission by the Master of the Camp Martin de Goiti. He found the remnant of a Chinese trading fleet, captured by Muslim tribesmen. There was but one survivor. The rest had been, merely for amusement, tortured to death or flayed alive. The Blair&Robertson is full of this sort of thing, 400 years worth.

Saint Croix said...

He was referring to how we should live our personal lives, not how governments should act.

he is describing heaven and the path there

it is not through killing that we go



pacwest said...

"Lots to learn from them re government re freedom."

But he didn't say we should adopt that way of life. Just the opposite actually. It was the point of Ann's post. -I think. Sometimes cruel neutrality is hard to understand.

Saint Croix said...

There is no feasible path in sight from A to B.

not for us!

maybe pray on it and see what God can do

Saint Croix said...

If only we could run our nation the way the Saudis run theirs.

when I said "best diplomat ever"

it was half in jest

because he's so undiplomatic and so often says the wrong thing

but when I contrast the American flags flying in Saudi Arabia

with the American embassy in Iran overrun

and our flag used to carry out the garbage

I find myself being kind of amazed

that his harsh and negative comments about Islam worked so well

Kirk Parker said...

Saint Croix,

Islam has *had* its Reformation... it's called Wahhabism.

Michael McNeil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michael McNeil said...

That's why the Christians lost.
Until Ferdinand and Isabella and Charles Martel.


A far-western-centric point of view, but one which is enormously parochial in point of fact. The Muslim invasion that Frankish “Mayor of the Palace” Charles Martel defeated (in 732 AD) was really little more than an oversized (20-25,000 member) raiding party — that Martel's Frank and Burgundian army nonetheless struggled mightily to turn back. Yes, it was highly significant that they did so.

Yet, only a decade and a half earlier (during the years 717-718 AD), far to the east, the capital of the medieval Roman Empire, the “New Rome” Constantinople, had suffered the second of two enormous Arab sieges (the first during the years 674-678) — the later assault involving some 120,000 troops and 2,500 ships (on the Arab side) — throwing back the attacking naval and land forces each time.

Had both those victories not been gained by the Christian defenders in the east of Europe — not to speak of holding off the Arabs and (later) Turks for eight more centuries against other assaults — the disorganized, feudal, west European Franks, Germans, Italians, et al., would almost certainly have been overwhelmed by much larger forces coming at them from the east, long before they were capable of withstanding them.

Saint Croix said...

Only Nixon can go to China.

Only Trump can go to Saudi Arabia!

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