Friday, July 12, 2002

Is Islam the Enemy? II Jonah Goldberg chimes in. Telling quote was this one, of remarks said by Khaled M. Batarfi: "Before Sept. 11, it was just an opinion, 'I think we should hate the others,' " Batarfi says. "After Sept. 11, we found out ourselves that some of those thoughts brought actions that hurt us, that put all Muslims on trial." Jonah's riptose to this is:
"I see. It's not the hating, per se, which is the problem. It's that darned blowback the hating creates. If we could just hate 'the others' (Read: Christians, Jews, Hindus, and everybody else who isn't a Muslim) without creating so many hassles for Muslims well, then, everything would be fine.

Now, remember Mr. Batarfi is what amounts to a bleeding-heart liberal in Saudi Arabia. He just wants to hate without inconvenience. Saudi 'conservatives' think such views are heretical because, hey, what's hating good for without the killing? Hating without killing, that's no good. You might as well kiss your sister if you're gonna hate Jews and Christians but not kill them. I mean, come on. What's the point?"
Europe, America, and the ICC discussed in this VDH column. Hmmmn....sounds a bit like the Cap'n.
Pyra Archiving: The Featured Bug may be fixed. But now they have a new one. Now they have a new one - recent posts aren't appearing on the main page, but do show up if someone has come in on a permalink. New featured bug! Yay!

Update: It seems to be a post behind even in the archives page.
Persian Prosperity and Liberty: N.Z. Bear has a proposition for how folks can provide encouragement and moral support to the Iranian dissident/freedom movement.

Many of the people who were involved in dissident movements in Eastern Europe during the '70s and '80s have mentioned how much they valued the support and encouragement they got from the West, how important it was in carrying on a difficult struggle against the full weight of Communist despotism. This might be small, or seem small, but it's something (and for the concientious pacifists out there who want to do something within their principles, it's non-violent).
Is Islam the Enemy? John Derbyshire, of all people, says no. We'll see. Sometimes it doesn't matter if you don't want someone or something to be an enemy - these things are dependent upon whether they want to be your enemy to at least as great a degree as whether you see them as the enemy (in fact, to a greater degree. Folks can refuse to see someone as an enemy in spite of that person's behavior where he is treating you as his foe to be destroyed).
The Islamic faith is pretty clear on these things, with a sharp division between the Dar el Islam and the Dar el Harb. Moslems are not enemies to the extent to which they're willing to ignore these scriptural commands and live peacably with their neighbors.
Front Page Magazine, the Center for the Study of Popular Culture's web publication, is re-organizing to incorporate blogs. Now all they need are permalinks. Of course, those of us using Blogger need permalinks that work in a timely manner again (see it's not a bug, it's a feature).
MI6, CIA in Iraq according to the Telegraph. I hope it's true, and I hope having the Brits involved will make sure that these operations are more effective than the ones the CIA ran in Cuba a few decades back. Probably what they're doing is forming ties and coordinating with local groups so that when the time comes everything will be ready and it won't be as much of a cluster-futter as it otherwise would be.
More On Stanley Fish's Disingenuity, this time from David Horowitz.
Hugo Chavez Discussion continues over at Instapundit.
At this point while people may still quibble over the definition of "dictator", it's unquestionable that Chavez is behaving undemocratically and dictatorially (using his "Bolivarian Circles" to intimidate opponents "helps" when you're re-writing - more than tinkering with - the constitution in order to wield unchecked power), and engaging in violations of human rights that would otherwise be condemned (ordering minions to shoot into crowds of protesters, killing a number of them) by the "concerned about human rights" Left.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Remains of Oldest Democrat Voter Ever found in Africa. This humanlike creature was a back-to-nature type who no doubt was against corporations and tax cuts, and I'm sure he could have benifited from Ted Kennedy's Health Care Plan. Or at least "free" prescription drugs.
Burn, Baby, Burn: Not a surprise at all, but Greens were in part responsible for hindering and delaying measures that could have prevented forest fires or made fighting them easier. Meanwhile they tell us all the time that we should rely more on "renewable" energy, lik solar and of course wind power. But when it comes to building actual wind farms, NIMBY. Can't build that, either. For it "in theory" (as a rhetorically useful tool to persuade people they aren't complete luddites) but opposed to actual instances of a wind farm. These are the good people. Feel their goodness wash over you in a wave.
Perhaps Our Green Masters will let us use the moon.
NPR & Anthrax: Everyone who isn't deranged or lying knows that NPR is a partisan organ of the Left, adolecently sneering and sanctimonious. But they don't usually go so far as to make up accusations out of thin air. They got a verbal spanking for it and shuffled their feet a bit for having been caught. But they won't be sent to bed without supper - have their funding cut until they follow the law (which directs them to be non-partisan). I highly doubt there will by any soul-searching or change (like, oh, vetting stories before running them, like a reputable news organization would) at NPR as a result of this. They're entirely unaccountable at this point, living off the largess of the society they have contempt for. Just like a teenager.
While Dashle pontificates about the "worrying" connections Bush administration officials have with businesses and the "concern" he has about the influence that may have on policy, Gilded-Age Tom rakes in the corporate bucks due to his wife's lobbying efforts, influencing legislation and forcing the government to purchase inferior products from her clients.
Of course Dashle gets away with it (this article is a rare exception). Why? He's a Democrat.
That's also why hardly anyone outside the boundaries of the VRWC ("Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy") has heard much of Loral's corporate malfeasance, though these are directly tied to a Presidential Administration (Clinton's) and elected officials (Democrats) and party big-wigs (again, Democrats) in a way that the Democrats and their willing accomplices in the media have wet-dreams about finding Bush administration members wrapped up in.
Even with all the current scandals, they represent the exposure of practices that, without exception, started before Bush took office (under the administration of some other guy), and have only been exposed and brought to light during Bush's term. But that won't stop the usual suspects from doing their level-worst to make people believe that it's all somehow the fault of Bush and Republicans, while ignoring the levels to which the Democrat machine was into it all up to their fundaments - if not higher.
Dan Quayle Was Right says a surprising source.
Despicable If this is true, as it appears to be, then it represents a despicable signal of willingness to cave-in and sell out of fundamental constitutional rights and the rule of law by our government, to satisfy those who want arbitrary and selective trials to be imposed.
There is a very good reason why the Europeans, especially, were adamantly opposed to compromise on this issue, and it is the exact opposite of the assurances that the court will not do the kinds of things we're concerned with. If that were the case, if the assurances of "safeguards" to prevent such things were sincere and it was true that no one involved had any intention of using the ICC politically to attack American troops, then the Europeans wouldn't have been as inflexibly uncompromising as they are. The fact is they fully intend to use it that way, and thus could not compromise on the issue of exemption of non-signatories to the treaty for the very reason that they do hope to use the ICC in the very way we fear. Providing for exemption from prosecution would prevent them from using the ICC for the purpose it was designed for.
Jordan backed the wrong horse during the Gulf War, and there are signs that they don't want to make the same mistake twice. Jordan is also a rejoinder to those who claim "America's anti-Arab policies" are to blame for every ill in the Middle East. Here, they were on the other side of the fence in '90-91, but we extended favorable trading terms to Jordan (called "free" trade, but not quite), and generally saw them as a friend. Well, the Hashemites are, it is true, loads better than the House of Saud, and indeed it would be better all around if the Hashemites, who had been the ruling house in Arabia until quite recently (the House of Saud are essentially usurpers), were restored to power in Arabia and the House of Saud displaced.
Sean Wilentz Again: Yesterday I blogged Juan Non-Volokh's takedown, today we have Peter Berkowitz's NRO article.
More Evidence that the State Department is opposed to the interests of Americans. If this didn't convince you, then there's more on a similar vein in the Opinion Journal today, an column by William McGurin.
Palestinian Peace Activists the grim truth posted by Dr. Manhattan at Blissful Knowledge. Link via Glenn Reynolds.
State Joins Other Side In War As I wrote the other day, the State Department sees itself as "the world's representative to America". Strategy Page goes further in a piece on the deterioration of the Iranian regime, saying that they are "so captured by its foreign constituencies that it is effectively on the other side in the war on terror".
Well, I'm not surprised. There are many American institutions that are effectively captured by. . .well, to use the term Strategy Page used, "foreign constituencies", where a little house-cleaning reform is in needed. Or more than a little (a Herculean cleaning of the Augean Stables). But it isn't going to happen any time soon, in no small part because the insinuation of elements hostile to America into control of American institutions is so pervasive, along with the prevalence of sympathizers throughout, that any attempt of reforming our institutions so that they work as they should again will be greeted with howls of outrage and accusations of a "McCarthyite Witchunt". It's all part of a certain legacy and tied to the successes of the New Left/Counterculture. Of course, those of us of a certain bent have to recognize that there's a reason why hurling out an accusation of "McCarthyism" is so successful in curbing not only action but debate - the Red-Baiter's excesses have been hung around us like a bell. Still, that doesn't excuse the mis-use of such accusations by the Left and liberals as a means to close off real debate and reform, nor does it excuse allowing people to control our institutions using them to act against us or hamper our efforts to defend ourselves, or create (in education institutions) a climate where people are indoctrinated into not believing that we're worth defending.
Things will get worse for at least another twenty years before there is any hope of revival.
It's Not a Bug, It's a Feature: Pyra's archiving problems, Day Three. Or is it Four?

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Juan Non-Volokh gives Sean Wilentz a sound and well deserved written beating. (Update: Thanks to Glenn Reynolds for correcting me; the poster here was Juan, not Eugene).
Iranian Ayatollah Resigns in protest over the "fascists" running Iran. Further signs that people are fed up with the Iranian Revolutionary Regime and ready for a change and, hopefully, democracy.
Ronald Radosh on the distortion of history by historians.
Why We Blog answered, by Silflay Hraka.
Glenn Reynolds the Instapundit recomends this article to anyone who thinks the current accountancy scandals in America proves that European market socialism is better than American shareholder capitalism. He mentions the mafia-like behavior of European governments.
Noam = Dumb according to this City Journal article by Stefan Kanfer. Of course for people who have independent knowledge of the world, outside the incestuous circles of the hard Left, a guy like Chomsky can seem dumb. But he's stupid like a fox, as the saying goes. He, I am certain, knows full well the level to which he mis-states things and is distortive and wrong. That's not the point. He is smart, but counts on his target audience being ignorant. Thus he can dissemble, use selective examples, ignore significant counter-examples, and the like; decry a "propaganda model" while being the foremost practitioner of propaganda methods in the world today. His most effective method, possibly, is to tell his audience not to trust what he says - to look it up in X article themselves (usually something that appeared in the New York Pravda - er, Times) - but by directing people only to specific sources of information that confirms what he says it misdirects them from other information that shows his picture of the world to be false, but people, many people at least, do not notice the slight-of-hand. I know whereof I speak (I was a sort of Noam fan in the '80s, went to two of his speeches at the UW-Madison; once when I was a senior in high school and again when I was in college there). People can be cured, though. I wised up, others can as well.
Chomsky is effective not because he is dumb, but because he is intelligent and crafty in the service of the Marxist and Anarchist creed. He's effective because he's far smarter than his followers and thus is able to mislead them at will.
Iraq Imports Weapons: This time from Ukraine.
Hugo Chavez If he was a right-winger, then the behavior of the Chavez government and the mass protests against him would be an international cause-celeb and Chavez would be rightly drummed out of the community of "respectable" government leaders. Since he's a Left-wing Fascist and friend of Castro, they're ignored (and the Liberals and Leftists who usually claim to speak for "human rights" seem to admire him and say that anything against him is "contrary to democacy"). Typical.
Free Country A series on the actions people take to destroy freedom. This time, in Britain. The friends of liberty have always been a minority. Many people love freedom in the abstract but then support government policies that limit it in specific instances, without even, usually, realizing it. They do it in ways that don't affect them (or so they think), and in support of "reasonable regulations restricting X" in the name of (fill in the blank: safety, the environment, egality, sensitivity, "the children", etc). All good things, perhaps, but a schedule of priorities that puts liberty on the back burner in the name of other "values". Then people wonder why it ebbs away in the end.
One of the good things about being a Conservative, as Jonah Goldberg has pointed out, is that one doesn't have to make a fetish out of "what the people want", the popularity of something, or claim, in effect, that the popular will gets things right. Sure, people have a right to vote for whatever policies they want, but they can be wrongheaded and foolish and I don't mind saying so.
LAX Shooting: Mark Steyn, on target once again. Don't anyone call it a "Hate Crime". Link via Andrew Sullivan.
Judicial Watch, the public interest legal organization that made Clintonistas so upset, is poised to sue Cheney over Halliburton information. This is a spinoff of the accountancy scandals involving Anderson (which also served as Halliburton's accountant firm). Cheney, who grew popular last fall as a result of the leadership he showed in the wake of Sept. 11, may become politically toxic, in part due to a video that is made-to-order for 30 second attack ads.
If Cheney doesn't resign before then, Bush is now almost certain to pick another running mate in 2004. The unfortunate side-affect of all this is that it stands a good chance of queering people on the idea that having anyone with private sector experience in public office is a good idea, because the Democrat-Socialists will be able to wave the bloody shirt on this in the future. Meanwhile, the Democratic-run Senate cannot even produce a budget, and the programs they created have accounting practices so wretched that sums of money that dwarf anything that has been uncovered in corporate accounting scandals simply disapear every year. Somehow, though, that is not a scandal and no one looses their job or gets punished for it. That's just life in the public sector.
Agricultural Subsidies, Euro-Style: So, the EU Commissione has announced a CAP reform plan. I wonder how long it will take for French farmers to clog the roads in protest. In any event, it in part highlights the hypocritical nature of the EU's criticisms of our own recently enacted, bloated farm subsidy bill (don't get me wrong; that's still wretched). This reform plan, though it has some cuts (link requires jumping through hoops to get a pellet), for the most part simply re-arranges payments, without ending them, to be more in line with current political-cultural trends in Europe (more PC, in short). Also, it is no co-incidence that this reform plan has come at a time when the EU is looking to expand east. They don't want to make large payouts to farmers in Eastern Europe, and these "reforms" are neatly designed in such a way that the better off Western European farmers can afford the measures that will enable them to qualify for subsidies, but the "entry threshold" of activities that will be subsidized are too high for most Polish farmers, for example (the subsidies are designed to go to sort of "boutique farmers" who do the kinds of thing that will please the WWF). That is one of the effects of having subsidies tied to "past income".
All that, plus the "reforms" will no doubt get watered down to insure that no one in Western Europe's payments suffer, as one hand washes another. But new members will be on the out, and Europe will still lecture others in the need to eliminate agricultural subsidies in the interest of "farmers in poorer countries" - like the ones they'll have kept down by their new "reforms".

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Wanna Bet? Lets hold the World Wildlife Fund to this one. For decades now these fatuous blowhards have been making doomsday predictions that don't come to pass, but their reputations as a "news source" never suffers for it. Each new prediction is greeted as if the last one came true. Giving them 50 years is charitable, but I'm a fair guy. If their prediction comes true, I promise to die. If their prediction is wrong, then they must disband and all the people who work at the World Wildlife Fund will have to go get gainful employment and stop being "donor sponges" living off benifactors like latent royalty.
Worker Bees of the World, Unite! Rise up under your vegan vanguard, the neo-lenninist elect. Link via Instapundit, but I first heard of this on the radio and Fox News.
A Religion of Peace does this fairly routinely, right? Then there is this, involving who else but the House of Saud.
Our Enemies, The House of Saud: The trickle of articles making this point continues. Meanwhile, more evidence that Arab speak with forked tongue, mouthing polite pleasantries of friendship and hurt feelings that we would suspect them, of all people, when speaking in English, but saying quite different things in Arabic.
Christian Pacifism Continued in this post by Peter Nixon.
Violent Left Mickey Kaus ponders the subject. One of his co-respondents writes that "hey, it's the right that has guns and is violent!". Well, though Tim McVeigh was arguably on the "right" (however, Gore Vidal, who never has a good thing to say about Conservative thought, found much to admire in McVeigh's, and McVeigh's analysis of the world situation turned out to be hard to distinquish from the "anti-globalization left", but we'll set that asside for the moment), America's left has, since the Counterculture/New Left movements at least, had a certain thrill with those among them who commit violence - from the Weather Underground and Black Panthers to the "Free Mumia" movement (where for most the emphasis isn't really on his "guilt or innocence", but on the exultation at anyone who would "smash the system" by killing one of its representatives).
As I think I've mentioned before, I went to highschool with two girls (twins) who's father had been killed in the U.W. physics department by a bomb set by an "peace" protester. If one read's and listen's to today's left, they lionize their past and elide over all of this (typical is Tom Hayden, among others. But there's also that fellow who had a book out only a day before or after Sept. 11th, where he exhulted in the terroristic violence he commited and got away with "guilty as hell and free as a bird". I forget his name, but can look it up if needed).
The left, the hard left at least (not liberals like Kaus), glories in "revolution" and speaks of "smashing" this or that (capitalism, whatever). They are not just implicitly violent, they are explicitly violent. They often do little to distance themselves from those who commit violence in their name (instead rationalizing it as caused by others, "conditions" created by conservatism, or capitalist exploitation, or polluters, or whatever), while on the other hand everywhere I looked, the Right was condemning McVeigh (while folks like Clinton blamed Republican ideas for creating such violence). Again, no one was as breathless about McVeigh as Vidal was, and that is because violence isn't really opposed by the "peace" Left (one can read the articles at Antiwar dot com and Nonviolence dot com - I won't link to these sites, however. "Free speech" my ass, I use my freedom of speech in my forum by not providing any direct linkage to them) - that excused violence by Palestinian terrorists directed at Israeli civilians (who "share guilt" by one theory because "no one in a democracy is an innocent victim").
This, likewise, was another reason, by the way, that so many of us who have knowledge of these things (including the fact that the "pacifist" left isn't really pacifist, in the final analysis) had such antipathy to someone (initials S. H.) who seemed to align himself with them. These aren't really "peace" people - they just want those they're opposed to to cease resisting, while excusing violence conducted by those they have sympathy for. This isn't "peace" or "non-violence" or "pacifism" - it's choosing sides.
Again, Tammy Baldwin has a good column giving an example of this.
Culture/Meme Clash: Joe Katzman makes a some good points in line with N.Z. Bear's points. The question of why we're not doing more to support & encourage the democratic opposition forces in Iraq and the student movement in Iran is a good one. One possible answer is that there might be more going on than we're aware of, but if you find that somewhat disatisfying, yah, I agree. People who were involved in the movements that brought down Communist regimes in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, dissidents, have often commented on how critical they found just the vocal support and encouragement, that they weren't without friends. The administration is not completely quiet, but it is rather muted. As was the case then, is even more the case now, in that it is the State Department (unofficial motto: "The World's Representative to the U.S.") that is opposed to greater, more open and vocal, support of these movements, because they want "good relations" with nearby states (read = Arabia) that, as much as the Kingdom doesn't like the current regimes, rightly fears their overthrow more (because the implications for the Kingdom would be ones the House of Saud would not enjoy), and the State department wants "dialogue" with the rulers of Iran and Iraq, and our support for the opposition, they believe, would be "counter-productive" on that (actually, one can argue that, as usual, they are wrong - putting pressure on these regimes by supporting the alternative may be the best method of suasion and the only one they're likely to care about). Then there's the feckless Europeans, who want to continue cozy business relationships with these countries, and thus are opposed to anything that might overturn the status quo (plus, like the U.S. State Department, they prefer "dialogue" with virtually anyone to supporting anything that might lead to "regime change"). Don't underestimate the admiration and awe many at Foggy Bottum have for the European foreign policy elites and the degree to which they want to emulate them and suck up to them. That's a motive, too.
None of these are good reasons (IMO), but these are some of the driving forces behind the relative paucity of our support for the opposition forces in these (and other) countries.
Joe's post on the Marines is well worth reading, too. The more I learn the more I think the Marines, not the Army or Navy (much less, god forbid, the Air Force), should have operational command of the military campaign(s). They're the only ones with an "institutional memory" of how to effectively conduct such campaigns.

Monday, July 08, 2002

Arab Prosperity N.Z Bear has a post on what our goals really should be. It's a good idea, but one of the reasons military ideas are chosen it is because, as complex and difficult as they are, they are actually easier than something like "Arab Prosperity" (or any other sort of prosperity-provenence).

It cannot be achieved until the countries in question have the rule of law, which is not some facile concept, but the necessary precondition for the kind of economic activity that would create a prosperity-generating economic engine (the book to read here is Hernando de Soto's The Mystery of Capital.

For whatever reason, most of the countries in question lack any real interest in creating the kind of legal structure that would bring the assets of their nation's "poor" (or, perhaps a better term is "economically disenfranchised", in that their assets are extra-legal) into the country's economy, or creating a legal environment (the rule of law) where creative investments are secure from, for example, the exactions of a corrupt officialdom.

Given that, probably the only way to have a solid chance of achieving "ArabProsperity" would be as a byproduct of a MacArthurite Proconsulate, which would only come after the rulers of the nations in question are defeated and deposed.

No one's saying this is easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it. Same with prosperity. One of the reasons, no doubt about it, that the regimes fan this "Islamfascism" (or, Radical Islamist) movement is to distract not only from the fact that the governments in question are singular failures in this area, but also from the fact that they have little apparent interest in creating the environment where the majority (80+%) of the people could achieve prosperity. Why? Governments everywhere are the primary benificiaries of arbitrariness; the rule of law benifits those who are outside government, especially from the point of view of property and capital, upon which any sustained prosperity is based (that is, a prosperity beyond being the Desert Clampets, getting checks for sale of oil but then consuming the proceeds since there is no way to profitably invest them within the country in question, because of the problem already discussed).
Of course, another alternative we could offer to "Islamicfascism" (Radical Islamism), in line with the coloquy I've been having over the last couple weeks, would be Christianity. Wouldn't necessarily take an MacArthurite Proconsulate to bring off, but would take a lot of commitment from a lot of people, and whether that can be generated is a difficult question.
The International Criminal Court is in session.

Sunday, July 07, 2002

Telford Work graciously replies to a few of my posts (below). One of the concerns I'm developing with Telford's analysis is connected to this:
"one of my concerns with the political theologies of all apostolic churches in this period is that they had absorbed Constantinianism and were still constitutionally committed to it even when it remained a political impossibility. The Copts are not Mennonites, but Constantinians on the back benches."
There are a lot of methods of historical analysis. Some of the most popular ones in the last couple centuries, within the family of Hegelian analysis and it's related offshoots, advance a theory of history and then work very hard to put events within that context. These methods have, at times, been very astute and incisive, but at other times the efforts to put everything within that framework have been problematic and lead to assuming things will fit a framework that they don't really fit upon further review.
Specifically, here, the more I learn of the "Constantinian" analysis (which, admitedly, at the moment, isn't much), the more I think it has some of the pitfalls of these methods. Specifically, by the time of the Jacobites, I'm not sure it fits; especially in that I don't think this analysis is able to make sense of the fact that Jacob Bardaeus and John of Amida and their successors were very active, before Islam, in attempting to gain converts (including converting pagans) and spread the word, against the wishes of the state, but did not continue these after Islam swept through and prohibited it. If it is because they had a "Constantinian" mindset, why did they persist in these efforts inspite of Imperial opposition, but stop them in the face of the Caliph's opposition?
Likewise, by the mid 6th century on, there doesn't seem to be much evidence that they, especially the Jacobites, had any ambitions of "taking the reigns of power". Even the Empress Theodora, who, during her lifetime, provided some level of protection to them from persecution, seems to have not had any ambitions of trying to get Justinian to supplant the Orthodox institutions with Monophysite ones.
As for the quote from Kallistos Ware, it should be noted that these attempts at modification of the "two natures" doctrines were all attempts by the central, Imperial administration to find a compromise the Monophysites would accept; they were not initiated by the "schismatics", and never had much success because the latter showed no interest in reaching a political compromise of their theological beliefs - they were not interested in papering over the matter and sharing political power. The theological differences were ones we might consider minor, and similar schisms had usually been solved in the end through some method of compromise or a Church Council. A politically-minded "Constantinian" movement would have been satisfied, happy to de-emphasize such differences so long as they were brought into power. So the theory doesn't seem to fit because they don't seem to have shared that mindset, the "Constantinian" outlook.
Also, again, in any case, the theory does not well explain why the Monophysites/Jacobites would make such almost heroic efforts, in the face of the state's opposition, to spread their beliefs and gain converts, but then stop under the Caliphate; it's hard to say the persecution would have been worse or that any political motivations they might have had were satisfied by the Caliph but not the Imperium (they got lower taxes, but operated under severe disabilities; any movement motivated by the desire to take up the reins of power would have particularly chaffed under the Caliphate's exclusion of Christians of any stripe from political positions of any real influence. Likewise, the forbiddance of building new churches under the Caliphate was not a lessening in any degree from any repression they had under Imperial authority). It does not seem to explain why their non-violent resistance to the Empire's repressive measures was not followed through with similar efforts under the Caliph's rule.
Perhaps we're just going to have to disagree on interpretation here. Telford also writes, after an interpretation of the 7th Council, that
"It is also, of course, thoroughly Constantinian - all seven ecumenical councils were called by Roman emperors and empresses."
This is true, but again I'm not sure it fits the framework; the State authorities, it is true, called the councils, but it was typically because they wanted tranquility (and also, in some cases, because those calling the Council were sincere believers who had a dual role. Irene may have been an Empress and a viciously ambitious mother, but she also was a sincerely committed Iconodule); especially in the last case, it is the long refusal of the body of the Church to submit to the State's imposition of a certain doctrine on it that eventuated in a Council; this is a far cry from an interpretation that has the Church submitting to temporal authority and being co-opted. Theodore the Studite triumphed over the State, he did not submit to it (even after he "got what he wanted" in the Council, he and his fellows in particular continued to be inflexible "thorns in the side" of authorities when they thought the latter were infringing upon the Church's spiritual authority or violating some tenet of Christianity).
Far more often it was the Emperors, the state authority, which for political reasons wanted to "solve" some disagreement with or within the Church (read "make it go away"). They didn't even nearly always get their way, no artificial attempt to solve a problem ever succeeded (thus Monophysitism persisted, for example). Here where I write "artificial" I mean effort to try and create or impose a solution which was not based on a true consensus on the spiritual issue that had aroused the "crisis".

His #2 explains his position better. I'm not sure it will satisfy those for whom the question on this point is what is to be done when those for whom reconciliation and justice by means of forgiveness are not seeking such. The point here would be that the effort would be made to persuade them non-violently to seek such a reconciliation. The disconnection then would be that some folks aren't convinced that this will work in all cases (it might be a question of faith), especially if, as we are called by Christ to value life, something that sounds good but sacrifices more people than an alternative (even one that is a hard choice) would be seen, in this light, as being less Christian than the "hard option". One can, for example, believe and hope that in the end a pacifist effort would have convinced the Germans to withdraw support from the NAZI regime (and one can point to the efforts in Italy to save Jews from the trains as an example of how this might work), but it is hard to tell how long this might have taken and whether any Jews, Gypsies, Slavs, etc. would have been left once it worked. But, as Telford pointed out in an earlier post, that is a question of effectiveness and utility, not of faith. Still, we agree that the authorities "bear the sword with reason", so that gets us to his third point.
He says he's "uneasy" with my formulation that identifies the distinct authorities, civil and spiritual, within Christ's natures. I can understand that, especially since here no doubt it's partly a matter of my language and how I explained things. Like I said, I don't pretend to have any theological background and had no desire to either invent new heresies or revive old ones. I did not mean that Christ's natures should be seen as divided, separate, much less "against" each other. However, the issue I was groping at here, in my clumsy way, was the question that, ultimately, seems to be at issue here: can someone combine a Christian faith with undertaking the tasks of a civil authority? Those tasks and functions are defined throughout the Bible in various ways (with Paul providing the most concise one), both in what is legitimate and what is condemnable (Paul's concise definition, taken out of context of the rest the biblical materiel, would demand obedience to many things that we would condemn. One reads Paul, of course, within the context of the biblical account of the reigns of David and Solomon, for example; certainly David had the authority to send a soldier into combat, but his motives for sending Bathsheba's husband thusly were not legitimate in God's eyes). God imparts civil authority, and in many lands it has been imparted to Christians. Telford follows Paul in saying those who hold civil authority are authorized to do certain things, perform certain functions (again, how such tasks are performed is a question of judgement - not judgement in the sense of "accuse and convict", but of "sound judgement" - wisdom and deliberation). Christ's natures aren't divided, they are joined. What I was, in my own way, trying to express is, why, if God has chosen to invest some Christians with civil authority, cannot these tasks be joined, with a Christian (or Christian community, for example, in a democratic republic) performing the role that God has set out for the civil authorities? Perhaps I'm mis-interpreting Telford, but he seems to imply that, even if Christians can hold civil authority, they can perform only some of the functions which Paul describes God as granting to the civil authority to enact.