We are hosting the extended family for Christmas this year. That means that we need to do a wee bit of work on the basement. The One True Love rejected the trackhoe option, so we are going a room at a time with new electrical, flooring, and sheetrock.
Today we bought the last supplies we'll need until the paint goes on. The Goddesses exhibited great initiative by stripping the institutional-grade 9" sqaure tiles off the floor we are working in...but neglected to consider we were going to do that AFTER all the carpentry/wiring/rocking/tool dropping. Still, nice to see them reaching for the tape, as it were. So we are now halfway through laying the new tile (since the floor is clean as it's going to get) and will be done with the lighting and wiring tomorrow.
Work like this keeps blogging at bay. In my abbreviated evening blogscan I caught Victor Davis Hanson's latest essay and considered writing up an entry on it but while kicking around that idea I saw that both Roger L. Simon and Michael J. Totten had already started discussions on the subject. Still, I do have an opinion...and a blog:
There are over a billion people that practice, pardon me, submit, to Islam out there. Some discrete and minor percentage of that number are actively engaged in Islamist terror. Even small, that number is large enough to represent a global threat. Call it a million Islamofascists waiting on the bench or already in the fight.
I was a senior in high school the first time I heard the term "Great Satan". That was shortly before we started shipping boxcars of Stingers and bundles of cash to the mulhajadeen for use against the Soviets. That Great Satan label is important; it was an inadvertant favor granted by an insane old mystic to a young man just getting ready to step out into the world. I knew what racism and prejudice was already, both from growing up in the sixties and seventies as well as a result of a pretty solid education. I was able to recognise it when I saw it - and the words of Ayatollah Khomeini were a declaration that as long as he hauled his dieseased, hatefilled carcass across the surface of the earth he'd work to see his hate translated into action. If you hear shit like that from the daft old man down the block, you grimace and take him off the Christmas card list. Some people's minds aren't going to change. When you hear the same stuff from the dictator of a nation of three hundred million people, and the guy that played the leader of the free world like a cheap harmonica, you tend to pay more attention.
These people killed friends of mine in 1983. In the years since, they've killed thousands more. We stopped taking it on September 11th. Most of us did, at least.
The last three times ascendant Islam bumped against western civilization that is exactly how the issue was decided - via wars of annihalation. Those wars ended only when the jihadis were knocked down hard enough that they would have to be content with fighting among themselves for decades or centuries afterward. This time around the terrorists have started from so far behind the rest of the world that not even their numbers can bring them any strategic advantage. They can cut our heads off, but bombings, shootings, or other attacks can only be carried out if they can buy or steal the tools from somebody else. They know this.
That million I mentioned above? They must be run down and killed or captured. Where ever they go, who ever hides them, we must be relentless. I applaud the Bush Doctrine as a tremendous statement of faith in the power of democracy, but if it becomes impossible to get ahead of the enemy's breeding curve because our political landscape prevents us from effectively changing the face of the mideast from third world despotism/theocracy to self-sustaining democracy, then we will be better served by attacking populations than merely replacing regimes.
Japan was done as an offensive threat in 1944 yet failed to surrender. By 1945 the situation was even more starkly clear, yet we prepared to conduct an invasion that was expected to cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of allied troops and quite possibly bring the Japanese culture to an end.
That generation knew and accepted the reality of their enemy and acted. We must do the same.