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Belmont Club

Terror And The Sword of Justice

August 4th, 2014 - 5:04 pm

The after dinner entertainment at one Shi’ite leader’s home, according to Jacob Siegel of the Daily Beast, consisted a torture video taken by one of the new members of his militia, the so-called “Peace Brigades”.  Sheikh Raad al-Khafaji had invited Siegel to break the holy fast of the Ramadan and then showed the video around to let people know that Shi’ites mean business.  Brutality is apparently the coin of the realm in some parts of the world.

Western culture now regards torture as something underhand and shameful but apparently shiekh saw advantages in making it known he was one mean hombre.

Given ISIS’ emphasis on publicizing its own acts of torture, it wasn’t shocking to see young fighters from the other side doing the same. … The sheik seemed to keep his young fighter on hand for meetings with journalists. …

The video itself was clear enough but the message it was intended to convey never came entirely into focus. If the record of torture was being deliberately leaked it may have been to threaten ISIS supporters that the militia forces, even those working with the military, were capable of their own brutality.

Was ISIS into beheading? Greasy kid stuff. We slice you up with razor blades and put it on video. Anything ISIS can do I can do meaner. I can do anything meaner than ISIS.

This should be no surprise. During Operation Iraqi Freedom the coalition forces would routinely come across “slaughterhouses” and torture chambers.  Terrorism doesn’t win by defeating armies. It triumphs primarily by controlling populations through fear and coercion.  It’s a cheap method of control.  The Chinese have a saying: “strike the mountain to shock the tiger” and “kill the chicken to scare the monkey.” Both sayings can be summarized as follows:  fear works.

One of the most powerful weapons of the Luftwaffe Ju-87 Stuka was the Jericho-Trompete siren that spread panic every time it attacked. It’s actual bomb load was relatively modest. The Nazis let it be known that the Gestapo would torture you and that made it more potent than it was. Today the press claims that torture is useless, but in the 1940s it was axiomatic among Allied intelligence agents that you would break under torture. It was only a matter of how long you could hold out. The Czech Anthropoids were discovered by a combination of informants and torture.

Čurda betrayed several safe houses provided by the Jindra group, including that of the Moravec family in Žižkov. At 05:00 on 17 June, the Moravec flat was raided. The family was made to stand in the hallway while the Gestapo searched their flat. Mrs. Marie Moravec, after being allowed to go to the toilet, bit into a cyanide capsule and thereby killed herself. Mr. Moravec, unaware of his family’s involvement with the resistance, was taken to the Peček Palác together with his 17-year-old son Ata, who though interrogated with torture throughout the day, refused to talk. The youth was stupefied with brandy, shown his mother’s severed head in a fish tank and warned that if he did not reveal the information they were looking for, his father would be next. Ata’s strong willpower finally snapped and he told the Gestapo what they wanted to know.

People carried cyanide capsules for that reason. They would not be so stupid as to swallow cyanide if torture, as is now alleged, never worked. Of course it didn’t always work. Wing Commander Forest Frederick Edward “Tommy” Yeo-Thomas (The White Rabbit) one of the greatest heroes of the French Resistance held up. But it would be a bold man who would try and go Yeo-Thomas one better.

In February 1944, Yeo-Thomas was parachuted into France after flying from RAF Tempsford. However, he was betrayed and captured at the Passy metro station in Paris. In endeavouring to hide his true identity, Yeo-Thomas claimed he was a British pilot named Kenneth Dodkin. He was then taken by the Gestapo to their headquarters at Avenue Foch and subjected to brutal torture, including repeated submersion in ice-cold water (each time to the point that artificial respiration was required to bring him back to consciousness), innumerable physical beatings, and electric shocks applied to the genitals. Held in Fresnes prison, he made two failed attempts to escape and was transferred first to Compiègne prison and then to Buchenwald concentration camp. Within the camp, he began to organize resistance, and again made a brief escape.

When the Western Allies defeated the Nazis, they needed a replacement for Terror. So brandished over the ruins of Europe what might be called the ‘Sword of Justice’. Eisenhower’s forces might not torture you, but they vowed to find you, wherever you might hide, and after a proper trial hang you by the neck until dead. And even if a miscreant could evade human capture there was always God, who in that pre-post-Christian World would credibly bring you to book and send you to Hell.  Dashiell Hammett knew how it worked and captured it memorably in the Maltese Falcon.

Gutman: Well, sir, there are other means of persuasion besides killing and threatening to kill.
Spade: Yes, that’s, that’s true. But – they’re none of ‘em any good unless the threat of death is behind them.

Today we live in a world shorn of the threat of Hell and bereft of even the Sword of Justice. When president Obama beats his breast in public over water- boarding and the playing of loud music at CIA facilities, he’s trying to impress a western audience with his PC piety.  But he’s not communicating to the bad guys, as Eisenhower did, that we’re going to hang you if you mess up. He’s basically telling the murderers of the world that you’ll receive a get out of jail card and maybe even receive compensation from the US taxpayer in return for killing thousands because we’re too guilt-ridden to judge anybody for anything.

Alas, in the absence of the Sword of Justice, terror rules.

The first target of terror is the police. Thus ISIS hits station houses and police academies first. Veteran defense reporter Bill Gertz says that ISIS is beginning to soften up Saudi Arabia by killing its intelligence personnel. “The ultra-violent al Qaeda offshoot group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) has targeted Saudi Arabian intelligence officers for a campaign of assassination as part of plans by the group to expand activities inside the oil-rich kingdom.”

ISIS is employing social media — ‘crowdsourcing’ — to identify Saudi agents. They’ve even got an Android app just for the purpose. ”U.S. intelligence agencies monitoring ISIL’s social media communications identified the campaign as a crowd-sourced effort to gather names and other personal information about Saudi intelligence officials for the assassination campaign.”

Joseph Stalin had an idea.  ”Death solves all problems – no man, no problems”. This notion is still in vogue. Patrick Cockburn of the Independent says that Prince Bandar, the long term Saudi ambassador to Washington, told the head of MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove that they were going to settle scores with the Shia. “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.”

There is no doubt about the accuracy of the quote by Prince Bandar, secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council from 2005 and head of General Intelligence between 2012 and 2014, the crucial two years when al-Qa’ida-type jihadis took over the Sunni-armed opposition in Iraq and Syria. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute last week, Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004, emphasised the significance of Prince Bandar’s words, saying that they constituted “a chilling comment that I remember very well indeed”.

He does not doubt that substantial and sustained funding from private donors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to which the authorities may have turned a blind eye, has played a central role in the Isis surge into Sunni areas of Iraq. He said: “Such things simply do not happen spontaneously.” …

Coverage of Dearlove’s speech focused instead on his main theme that the threat from Isis to the West is being exaggerated because, unlike Bin Laden’s al-Qa’ida, it is absorbed in a new conflict that “is essentially Muslim on Muslim”. Unfortunately, Christians in areas captured by Isis are finding this is not true, as their churches are desecrated and they are forced to flee. A difference between al-Qa’ida and Isis is that the latter is much better organised; if it does attack Western targets the results are likely to be devastating.

Murder and violence. “Such things simply do not happen spontaneously.”  But in the leftist narrative they happen spontaneously all the time as if the Hamas guys were just working peacefully in some tire repair shop or a baby-milk factory until American and Israel disrespect drove them one day into resistance.  The NYT has an article which describes how Israeli military action drove a man over the edge: In Fatal Flash, Gaza Psychologist Switches Roles, Turning Into a Trauma Victim.  But maybe all those years working in Hamas controlled territory added to it, unless he discovered Man’s Inhumanity to Man just then.

War turns people crazy. It breaks psyches. But it it would be less than accurate to claim it started just as some apartment buildings were built in Jerusalem. It happens, not spontaneously but via careful funding and planning. The roots of terror go deep, perhaps even to the beginnings of the human race. Ward Churchill famously said in connection with September 11 that the ‘chickens had come home to roost’. In a way he was right. The chickens are coming home to roost; it’s just that the barnyard was bigger than he thought.

The ISIS chickens are ready to take off the training wheels and spread their wings prior to roosting in Prince Bandar’s castle. What the Peace Brigades torture video may really want to convey is a sectarian version of Bandar’s rant. “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Jacob, when it will be literally ‘God help the Sunni’. More than a billion Shia have simply had enough of them.”  The Battle of Baghdad will be battle of hostages.  The militias are implicitly holding the Sunnis in Baghdad as security against an ISIS advance. ‘Come any closer and remember that your co-religionists will get to see a lot of Gillette blades’.

The world has been a ruthless place for a long time.  The politically correct narrative is for the benefit of the Leftist rubes — strictly from hunger. The terrorists just laugh at it.  If the world is ever to find peace, it needs the Sword of Justice back — that or God.  Leading from Behind, Transgender Armies, Global Warming, etc … well maybe not so much.

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Top Rated Comments   
The Rules of War, like domestic laws, only have force when they are obeyed or at least one can have a reasonable expectation that they will be followed. Such Rules are based in the culture that originates them, and are applicable to those that the culture accepts as being equal and sentient. It is no accident that in the past the names of many cultures, tribes, and peoples for themselves meant "the People" with the deliberate exclusion of everybody else as non-People.

It is no accident that the Geneva and Hague conventions only really work with cultures descended from Western Europeans. And then, only barely, with many violations, because of the fear of retaliation.

While we tried to make those a world standard, in reality we know [but refuse to admit] that being at war with anyone other than one of those Western European cultures means you can and will have anything done to you. If captured by the Russians, Muslims, Asians [keep in mind that I am Chinese], various tribal groupings, or any of the multiple sorts of Marxists [including in this country]; there is no point in claiming the protection of law, custom, or Constitution as they will do with you as they will.

We need to recognize that in a situation, foreign or domestic, where the rule of law means nothing; that the default is brute force. And coercion. And the infliction of pain and torture just for the bloody h*ll of it and the amusement of those in power over you.

Once that is accepted as true, then you start looking at corollaries. If force is the determinant, then the application of more force in return is the only route to survival.

Western "colonialists" are dam*ed by all for regarding native peoples as less than human. News flash. Non-Western cultures regard us as less than human. And they will do worse to us than anything ever dreamed up by those "dead white males oppressors".

Oderint dum metuant. "They may hate me, so long as they fear me."

And that is how to react to hostile foreign cultures that have shown that they will not follow a set of rules to life that can be mutually agreed upon. It may be an ideal in our culture [sometimes honored in the breach more than the performance] not to be the aggressor. But there must be, in the name of survival, more than that.

In the vernacular: "Don't start no Sh*t, but if it is started be the one who finishes it."

In WW-II, we did it so effectively that Japan and Germany are no direct threat to us, and are not likely to be so in our lifetimes. Germany may be an indirect threat through its attempts to create an EU empire; but they lack the military means and will to do anything to us.

We deterred the threat of the Soviet Union, by convincing them that we would finish whatever they started; at least until their own system collapsed under its own weight. Putin's Russia has hostile intent against us, and may need to be deterred again in the near future.

Western culture has been at war with Islam for roughly 1400 years. There never has been a period of peace other than what they refer to as Hudna [a false truce to protect Muslims until they can attack again] nor a modus vivendi. When weak, they are at our feet. When strong they are at our throats. Their very faith and culture mandates this. It is to our benefit then, to keep them at our feet and act accordingly. Because they will not tolerate us as equals.

If there are no mutually acceptable rules for conflict between cultures, then there are no rules. As long as we realize it we can react appropriately.

And I will note that domestically, a similar paradigm holds if you believe in the Constitution and the Declaration.

If a government rules and does not govern. If the laws are themselves lawless, and the government resorts to coercion and fear; then under our system their legitimacy is gone. If consensual politics fails, then the only resort is to Clausewitz. Once again, we all need to realize what the real rules are, and they seem to involve doing whatever is necessary to remove coercion and fear as drivers and restore consensual politics.

It is a cruel world, when you face reality. Puppies, and butterflies, and unicorns may be pleasant fantasies about how things work. But predators come in two and four legged versions and are depressingly common. The Wolves of whatever leg count have to be met by Sheepdogs.

Subotai Bahadur
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Our take on such things is rather amusing considering our history. In WWII American Marines initially thought they were fighting a noble war when they landed on the Pacific isles. During their first encounters with the Japanese American medics actually went out to help save wounded Japanese soldiers. They learned rather quickly after medics were shot at and Marine prisoners were found beheaded that they were up against barbarians. And thus, our tactics changed to become similar to the Indian wars we'd fought before. That is, take no prisoners and destroy everything.

It's too bad we're fed a bucket of mud that islam's a religion of peace and crap like that, because one of these days we're going to have to confront it just like we confronted Japan ... twice.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment

Teresita is correct. You take prisoners and treat noncombatants decently not to prove your moral stature but to encourage cooperation and gather intelligence. The only way to retain the credibility needed is to be ruthless in combat. The Marines say "No better friend. No worse enemy." When faced by existential threats like ISIS the only sane policy is to not be taken prisoner. In Law Enforcement they teach that a prisoner who smuggles in a weapon and attempts to escape will kill you. There is simply no reason to ever stop fighting. It is normal for people, even trained strong men in the military or police, to hope that passivity and begging for mercy will work. Against Sonny Corleone or the German on the staircase in fiction such appeals work. Maybe in some places and with some enemies they do work. Against the forces now on the march, Sunni Shi'a or "No worries" nutjob Green, such appeals fail. If you cannot get yourself and your loved ones to shelter then just keep fighting. As General Savage in "Twelve O'Clock High" said, "Consider yourselves already dead."

We should name a warship and public schools after Fabrizio Quattrocchi.

The other day I was watching John Ford's "Rio Grande" and noticed one of the minor characters., Capt. St. Jacques. The actor was Peter Ortiz, whose own son said he was a terrible actor. Two movies were based on his actions. Please look him up and read his wiki. Ortiz received the following medals: Navy Cross (×2), Purple Heart (×2), Legion of Merit, Order of the British Empire, Croix de Guerre (×5), Médaille des Blesses, Médaille des Évadés, Médaille Coloniale.

I give you a passage from his IMDB trivia list:
"Colonel Peter Ortiz, who spoke 5 languages fluently, was a most decorated Marine officer in World War II. He served in the O.S.S. and, before that, was the youngest Sergeant in the French Foreign Legion. In 1940, he was wounded and captured by the German invading army, he escaped and joined the U.S. Marines. Parachuting into France, he became a Maquis leader in 1944. He frequented a Lyons nightclub to gain information from the German officers who also frequented the popular club. One night, a German officer damned President Roosevelt, then the USA, and finally the Marine Corps. Ortiz then excused himself, went to his apartment and changed into his Marine Corp uniform. Returning to the club, he ordered a round then removed his raincoat and stood there resplendent in full greens and decorations yelling, "A toast to President Roosevelt!" Pointing his pistol at one German officer then another, they emptied their glasses as he ordered another round to toast the USA then Marine Corp! The Germans again drained their glasses as he backed out leaving his astonished hosts and disappeared into the night."

Who remembers him? We do. Just keep fighting.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (134)
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"The after dinner entertainment consisted a torture video”

In the future, every Moslem will be Hitler for 15 minutes.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
By the sound of things seems our Muslim "brothers" are about to do a live reenactment of The Thirty Years War. Too bad they don't seem to keen on reading history books otherwise they would steer clear of that sort of thing. Or is that a good thing for us? The real question is whether or not after some serious bloodletting will they "calm" down and realize like the Europeans did in the 17th century that this war business and killing of religious rivals ends up wrecking the countries/societies engaged in it. Personally I hope that they do "Cry Havoc! And let slip the dogs of war". To my mind they are the only ones that can beat the sense into themselves. We can't do it for them. Yes, we could bounce the rubble off the rubble, but those that survived would still harbor their crazied notions. No, it is going to take a serious Muslim on Muslim war, one that rivals the "best" of Western traditions in order to truly bring change to that region. Sad to say but a lot of folks are going to have to die. We can only hope that somehow it is kept a 'local' affair.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
I didn't think that the Crusades were really rated as effective....

The Reconquista. Conceived and prosecuted as a Christian crusade against Islamic invaders/occupiers. Achieved total victory (1492). Critical to the security of Western Europe, and of Western civilization. Secured the southwestern flank of Europe, allowing the forces of the West to focus their energies on stemming Ottoman aggression. Ensured the continued dynamism of the nascent Age of Discovery and Exploration.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
RuckusTom said:

"In WWII American Marines initially thought they were fighting a noble war when they landed on the Pacific isles. ... And thus, our tactics changed to become similar to the Indian wars we'd fought before. That is, take no prisoners and destroy everything."

If you read the history concerning the battle of Iwo Jima, it was clear that the typical USMC grunt regarded their Japanese enemy as no better than cockroaches. Very few Japanese surrendered at Iwo Jima and many were immediately shot upon surrender.

Killing prisoners was an error that USMC officers should have discouraged. Some of the surrendering Japanese came with significant military intelligence. For example, General Kuribayashi's code clerk surrendered to the USMC. As soon as they realized who he was, the US immediately flew him off to Hawaii for interrogation. One can only imagine how many American lives were saved by the information extracted from that code clerk.

Apparently the USMC had a well established prisoner handling process for Iwo Jima provided that the prisoner was not immediately executed. They used the old Good Cop / Bad Cop deception where the capturing Marines would strip the Japanese prisoner naked, beat the crap out of him and only speak to him in English (they were the "Bad Cops"). They would then hand the hapless Japanese Prisoner off to a Japanese-American interrogator who spoke perfect Japanese. The interrogator would verbally abuse the capturing Marines for their rough handling of the prisoner, apologize to the prisoner, hand him some clean clothes to wear along with tea to drink. After establishing a friendly rapport with the prisoner, the "Good Cop" would then extract useful military intelligence.
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29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
The summer of '59 I worked with a USMC vet of the SW Pacific, saw lots of combat. Among other things he told me that they had standing orders to take prisoners and take them to the rear for interrogation. But they didn't do that.

They'd go off down the trail until out of sight and there'd be some shots fired. The escort would then reappear: ''They tried to escape.'' He said, ''After the things we saw we didn't give a s**t.''
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Today we live in a world shorn of the threat of Hell and bereft of even the Sword of Justice."

Yes, we do. Our enemies don't. And unlike us, they believe they ARE the Sword of Justice.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
I may have mentioned that the Jewish Shoah was pan-European. Interestingly, England was the first European country to expell its Jews, 1290. Just sayin'
EXCLUSIVE: London Times Rejects Elie Weisel Advertisement Condemning Hamas

"This ad has appeared in the New York Times, New York Observer, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal without a hitch."
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Oderint dum metuant. "They may hate me, so long as they fear me." A corollary to the Third Rule.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
...when your adversary is a moron...
WATCH: CNN's Wolf Blitzer challenges Hamas spokesman on blood libel comments

"During interview on news network, Blitzer repeatedly confronts Osama Hamdan on his claims that Jews killed Christians to use their blood in matzos."

No! No! No!

As all of Europe once knew, we kill Christian children for blood. Adults are spared because they owe us money. How many times do we have to go over this?
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
How bad is this going to have to get before we take the gloves off? The "war against terror", the war that will not speak the name for the enemy has been hampered by PC and BS. How many good men died because of it? And what for? An incompetent leadership that pissed all the gains away? That gives these terrorists a day in court? And what of those who volunteer to defend them - I'm looking at you Eric Holder.

Western civilization is comitting suicide. The classic tenets of Western civilization have been hollowed out and "tolerance" is the excuse for the incredible decadence and corruption we see before us.

As a conservative man, I'm really starting to wonder why I should put my life on the line to defend those that revile me.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
If that's all it takes for you to declare Western civilization terminal is two terms for a Democratic president, then perhaps Western civilization doesn't have the strategic depth to make it worth saving.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Your count is a bit off. I count at least 12 terms. Nor is Western Civilization coterminous with America. Europe abandoned its own civilization in preference to the various socialisms, a practice begun in the early 20th century and continuing in our time.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment


The reason not to say "I'm really starting to wonder..." is that it pleases Holder when you do. Take what I believe to be your opinion, that Holder and others are effectively enemy agents seeking to hollow us out, as a given. Why give them a victory? The enemy wants us to quit. That is not exactly a newsflash. That the enemy has infiltrated our lines and even occupies positions of authority is inconvenient. It does not invalidate what we are fighting for. Do not let them define what our side is and what we fight for. Do not give them the satisfaction. You are not fighting for Eric Holder but for his victims.

4/4, if you count the one thankfully deleted when wretchard cleaned house.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Breaking news:
Major General killed in Kabul. First combat death of a flag officer in over 45 years.
Mein Gott ein Himmel.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
"By God, that's what I want to see: general officers at the front!" -- Phil Sheridan to Josh Chamberlain at Five Forks.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
When generals own hides are on the line, maybe they'll learn to be better generals.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
In front, with a viable mission, a definition of "winning' other than "political viability of the President", without the interference of civilian leadership, and WILL the fully funded and coordinated capabilities of the U.S. military.

Obama told our kids to go fight without Apache helo overwatch and tube support. They're fighting the Taliban "fair and square", which is Obama's kind of "just war", i.e. a war that America loses and where the cost in lives and treasure is so high that no future President will ever THINK of ordering troops into battle again.

Gen. Green, RIP. Responsibility for your death, and many others, lies directly at Obama's feet.

The Dems loved calling G.W. Bush a "war criminal" and "murderer"; Their boy Obama is the real deal, but no one will ever call him on it.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
a war that America loses and where the cost in lives and treasure is so high that no future President will ever THINK of ordering troops into battle again.

GWB already did that.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
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