Lieb interview

Jomentum Interview:

PJM has an interview with Joe Lieberman they'd like you to watch.

You've probably noticed that PJM's board is fascinated with the question of moderate voters who aren't affiliated with the major parties (they're holding a contest for naming such voters. You can vote for your favorite name here). These voters, who have in the past normally been called "swing voters," are always being pursued by the two major parties.

We've been talking for years, idly enough, about a Jacksonian party -- one that would capture the principles of the old Southern Democrats on defense and individual liberty, and combine them with the "individualist conservative" part of the Republican party. It would probably also appeal to libertarians, though it would naturally favor several things they don't (e.g., a strong military; tight border control).

I think such a party is highly viable. But how to create a party that breaks into the national election model? It hasn't been done since the mid-19th century.

Dire Need

"We Are In Dire Need Of You"

(tapping mic)

"I'd like to take a moment to call for the super-rich to bankroll us here at al Qaeda in Iraq. We are in dire need of tons of free money, for the noble effort of killing women and children driving off the infidels from the Holy Land of the Shi'ites we've been murdering.

"Our killing fields offer you an excellent place to place your investments, assuming the New York Times continues to take steps to prevent the West from tracking your investments and arresting you. If you desire to end the evils of capitalism that are why you're rich in the first place oppress our bold warriors, please come. And bring money. Lots of money."

Union honor vikings

The Union Of Several Recent Posts:

...has been achieved in this post and its comments at Southern Appeal. It's got everything: honor cultures and al Qaeda, Vikings, sagas, bloodshed, the lot. Enjoy it.

More Viking Links

More Viking Links:

Daniel directs us to learn about the Viking way of exercise. He also has a post on the anniversary of the battle of Stamford Bridge.


The Eiriksmal:

I notice that both The Geek and Doc Russia mentioned "feasting with Odin" in their tributes to Col. Cooper.

If you wonder what such a feast might look like, consider the Eiriksmal. The einherjar are the honored dead of Valhalla, heroes who died on the field. Valkyries I assume you know.

The poem contains also the Viking answer to the question, "Why must good men sometimes die young?" Odin, who has the power to grant victory or to withhold it, is directly asked why he allowed Eirik to die.

I think the Hollander translation, excellent in many respects, is confusing here. What Odin answers is a reference to Fenrir the wolf, who will someday bring war against the gods that will lead to the end of the world. Unlike, say, the Iranian president, Odin is concerned with staving off that war as long as possible -- and so, he needs good warriors for Valhalla. Thus, human war is only to season the men. When they are ready to serve in the defense of the worlds from the forces of chaos, Odin calls them to Valhalla.

This is the meaning of his remark that 'the grey wolf watches the abode of the gods' -- or, as Hollander puts it, "No one knoweth / looks the grey wolf (grimly) / toward the gods' dwelling."

Enjoy it.

Al Qaeda Dispute

Al Qaeda on Violence:

A newly released letter captured by the US military shows the friction between al Qaeda's leadership and its assets in Iraq.

It's interesting in another way, too: it shows the higly ritualized form of address required by the jihadi. This is the language of a code of honor, different from our own, and so pricklish that paragraphs of bowing and scraping are necessary before one can come to the point:

Greetings and God bless you. We pray to God that you are safe and sound, enjoying the strength you have been granted through the grace of God, the Almighty, and All-Powerful. We pray to God for your victory over the enemies, and that He will grant you patience, keep you steadfast, and extend to you His support. We pray that He brings tranquility to you and all of your brothers, and that He covers you with mercy, and that He is a support and help to you, for indeed grace is from God and God alone.

Dear brother, I will be brief and rely on God Almighty. Then I will trust in your patience, your high manners, the sincerity of your love for me, and that you think well of me. I trust that you remedy shortcomings and guard against flaws and errors, and that you will overlook things if there arises something inappropriate from your brother. I shall get right to the point and skip the generalities and get into the details. The purpose of the path belongs to God, and from Him I derive aid and guidance. Any success that I may attain shall come only through God. I have put my trust in Him and on Him I rely.

My dear brother, who is content, God willing, Abu-Mus’ab the worthy, may God grant him success. God knows how highly we think of you and how much we are confident in you and in your faith and loyalty, we consider you as such and God is your Judge. You are better than us. You forged ahead and you were true and you didn’t hesitate, falter, or lay down arms. Instead, you persevered in God the Jihad and the struggle. God gave you good attributes and bestowed honorable characteristics upon you, such as sincerity of direction, fervor for the religion, empathy for the afflictions of his people and support for them, high aspirations to do what you see as right and true, even if the whole world opposes you, a strength of will and determination that many people lack, even among the people of righteousness and knowledge, and courage and truthfulness.

We think of you this way, among other good qualities and innate characteristics, along with good faith. We perceive you as such, for my thinking of you has not altered and has not changed. I have known people and their tribulations, since there is hardly any grief that goes unnoticed by a hired mourner-woman, except by God’s will. I am not any smarter than you here, for you know yourself and your flaws and faults more than anyone else, oh servant. However, I am reminding you of God’s blessing upon you and what He has granted you, which we ourselves know.

I am setting this out as an introduction to what I am going to say to you in the way of opinion, advice, and instruction, for my discourse will be primarily about the negatives and cautioning against things that are perilous and ruinous. I won’t be touching on the positives and good things, since they are the true nature, praise and credit be to God, and they are the overwhelming majority, by the grace of God. So, don’t trouble yourself about that, because the topic is one of correction and instruction, not a topic of appreciation, praise, and interpretation. If God wanted, and He were to present us to you, then you would find us to be your loved ones and your brothers, the most just of people towards you, the most sincere of them, the most sympathetic towards you, the most protective of your right, and the most forgiving of them, God willing.

After all, you are truly the mujahidin against the enemies of God, standing on the edifices of truth and allegiance with God, making the religion manifest while being endorsers of it. You are the ones who have spited America, the greatest unbelieving crusader power in history; and you are the ones who have spited it, and you have broken its prestige and thrown it to the ground. May God will for you a good reward with which you would continue the path at a critical time for the vast good work of awakening the generation and resurrecting the Muslim nation. May God bring you to it through His grace and blessing. Just some of this would be enough for renown in this world for someone who would want that, and for loftiness in the hereafter for someone who has earned it. We ask God that He guide us and you and that He grant us understanding in religion. He is Magnanimous, Generous, Kind, Benevolent, and Merciful.

So, my brother and my dear one, may God bless you and may He strengthen you and protect you. Listen to these words from me. Put them before your eyes and commit them to memory. Know that if something within them disagrees with you somewhat, they are actually good, by God; and perhaps you would not hear them from anyone except someone who loves you, and perhaps you have needed someone to say them to you, and you won’t find someone in your present position, except if God wills.
'And now we can get to the root of the matter, which is that you boys down in Iraq are #$%#$ the pooch...'

Well no, even now we can't. It's still necessary to walk circles around it, and defray blame so that no one gets offended.

An American military officer who wished to dissent from his chain of command could have said the whole thing in fifty words.

We often focus on the relative advantages the enemy has in terms of its ideology. Well, there are disadvantages as well.

Death of Col Cooper

The Last Ride:

Via the Geek, I see that Colonel Jeff Cooper has died. He was the author of Cooper's Commentaries, as well as a work on the subject of the American spirit, called To Ride, Shoot Straight, and Speak the Truth.

His political opinions, and his ideas about the best gunfighting technology, were frequently and hotly debated. That said, if anyone has better captured the American spirit than he did in the title of that book, I've yet to see it.


Grim's Hall Movie Club:

OK, no response on Rio Bravo. I'm not sure if that means I posted it too late for people to get to it, or if you folks are tired of Westerns. Me, I've gotten to like Westerns, but we have done several of them running.

So, a poll: If we aim for next Monday instead, would you rather watch Rio Bravo after all, or another movie -- say, Ladyhawke? That's a fine movie, one that examines how sinners can come together to work for good and against evil. It's another favorite of mine, and it's certainly not a Western, being based on an Medieval tale.