Friday, September 06, 2002

Shropshire Challenge which Dr. Weevil issued and Glenn Reynolds called funny.

Funny? I thought it was serious. I'm in for a Benjamin. I also expect all those guys to contact their Reps in Congress, and Dashle & Gephardt, and tell them they are in favor of - indeed insist upon - a massive increase in military spending (in order to pay for training, pay, and equiping all the people they want the military to induct, plus the expansion of the force structure). At least a couple hundred billion. When that happens, I'll re-join (active duty, this time). But, again, it has to happen soon. I'm only a few months away from being above the maximum age the military allows for recruits.
NEA's Bum Rap Well, I had said so. I even said "a bum rap". I know it's unbecoming to say "I told you so", but I can't get no love here on anything. Nobody pay any attention to Porphy, he's a blowhard, or something.

The reason why people believed it was because it's soooo plausible that the NEA would do that (and, yah, their reaction seemed to re-enforce that belief). As Glenn Reynolds said, they acted guilty.

The problem with overblown, false controversies like this one is that it discredits critics when they're right. The NEA (among others) will wave the bloody shirt the next time there is something real and say "Oh, this is just like those bogus charges about our Sept. 11th webpage".

One of the things that have happened to so many Left organizations is precisely this. Think about environmental groups and the reason why sensible people don't take their charges of imminent catastrophe at face value. They've chicken-littled themselves to death. People who have a real desire to see education reform advance in this country need to make sure that they're careful and pick their shots.
No More Vietnams: Sorry, the initial version of the below post was more than a bit intemperate (I'm just in a fit over the likely negative consiquences if that plan is adopted) and has been revised. If you read that post before this one was posted, check it out again.

This is the home of the daily diatribe, after all. So I did leave in lots.
Their Plan To Guarantee Another Vietnam? So now some people are talking about militant inspections. The idea is that the world community will gather up a force (in practice it will end up being American with a few British troops), periodically push its way into Iraq in a strength guaranteed to be large enough to be provocative but too small to deal with any real trouble, and conduct an ongoing series of inspections/endemic battling. This plan seems almost consciously designed to have all the deplored potential drawbacks of invading Iraq (pissing off the "Arab street" because of ongoing ground-and-air military operations that "violate the sovereignty of an Arab state", making those who dislike us mad without providing any counter-pictures - for example, those of people celebrating their liberation, as in Afghanistan, or a finite terminus) with none of the positive potential (a new regime, a situation that shows that we weren't acting against the people of Iraq but just against a dictatorial regime, rooting out not only all WMD programs but insuring they won't just be started up again the day after the "coercive inspections" end, but also rooting out enclaves of terrorists, etc).

Mainly it seems designed, consciously, to keep Saddam in power - that's the only way (other than the number of forces involved) in which it differs from the other option, the invasion aimed at regime change. Yet this is the current proposal of those who say that they hate Saddam but don't want a conflict that would hurt the Iraqi people, destabilize the region, and turn people against us. This keeps Saddam's regime in power, hurts the Iraqi people (especially conscript soldiers, who won't even think of "changing sides" or defecting when its clear that this isn't going to topple the regime, that it's designed to insure his survival - and control over their families, and thus may be involved in ongoing skirmishes with the "inspection force"), and will enrage people due to the ongoing nature of things (remember, Osama's bunch wasn't so much upset that the U.S. pushed Iraq out of Kuwait. They claim to be upset over the ongoing operations that followed).

In any case, the other feature of the plan is that the force proposed is almost designed to set up a "Black Hawk Down" situation - which brings us back to another criticism the anti-war crowd makes: their supposed fear that some of the plans leaked in the NYT presume a invasion force that's not sufficient in size, that could get overwhelmed by the enemy and lead to tragically high casualties and another Vietnam. So the counter proposal? An even smaller force that will go in piecemeal and be engaged in ongoing, long-term conflict, while being prevented from really striking at the heart of the enemy (we self-limited our objective in Vietnam and wouldn't strike Ho Chi Minh, the NVA infrastructure in the north, et al, now we'll self-limit and not topple Saddam but instead engage pursuing objectives short of those necessary to win and move on).

This is a plan guaranteed to be the worst of both worlds. All not on behalf of the people of Iraq, but to have the best chance of keeping Saddam Hussein in power (one needs to look at the predictable impact, not at the words of its proponents). This man is dangerous, and does have ties to al-Queda. It's time for him to go. The only way to prevent a bad outcome is to remove him, not to implement something that has the all but deliberate effect of keeping him in power. If this is the alternative, one almost has to conclude that those proposing it have keeping Saddam in power, not the welfare of the Iraqi people (as they often say) as their priority and real objection to invasion and regime change. Now, I'm sure that those who have embraced this option don't think of it that way - but they too need to look at its impact, not just as a way to avert an invasion (wouldn't this be an invasion, though, in dribs and drabs? If you're against use of force as such against Iraq, then why is this ok but a more serious action is not? Again, it has all the features of an invasion - indeed of a pre-emptive one - except the likelihood of high casualties on both sides is greater and it keeps in power the man you all claim to abhor as much as the rest of us, and will lead to more long-term harm to both the people of Iraq and to our interests in the region than a larger scale invasion aimed at toppling the regime would). If we want to "avoid another Vietnam", we'll reject this plan and any like it.

Thursday, September 05, 2002

Mark Steyn Again this time on what did and didn't change:
The change that occurred on 11 September was a simple one. When Osama bin Laden blew up the World Trade Center, he also blew up the polite fictions of the pre-war world. At Ground Zero, they’ve been working frantically to clear away the rubble. Likewise, at the UN, EU and all the rest, they’ve also been working frantically not so much to clear away the mess but to stick it back together and reconstruct the great fantasy world as it existed on 10 September, that bizarro make-believe land where Nato is a ‘mutual defence alliance’ and Egypt and Saudi Arabia are ‘our staunch friends’. Even in America, some people are still living in that world. You can switch on the TV and hear apparently sane ‘experts’ using phrases like ‘Bush risks losing the support of the Arab League’.

The easiest way to understand how little has changed is to consider the two UN conferences in South Africa which bookend the year. The weekend before 9/11, at the UN Conference Against Racism, Colonialism, Whitey, Hymie and Capitalism, Robert Mugabe’s government was cheered to the rafters for calling on Britain and America to ‘apologise unreservedly for their crimes against humanity’. Last week, when the world’s jetset Luddites convened at the Church of the Sustainable Conception for the so-called Earth Summit, who got the biggest roar this time? Why, ol’ Starver Bob, for a trenchant assault on the wickedness of Tony Blair.

A few weeks earlier, Libya was elected to chair the UN Human Rights Commission. Washington doesn’t expect much from the UN, but why did it have to be Libya? Okay, it’s never going to be America or Britain, but how about Belize or Western Samoa? Why did it have to be something so utterly contemptible of reality as the elevation of Colonel Gaddafi’s flunkey? If the multilateral world is irrelevant, it’s because its organs — the UN, EU, Nato — are diseased and sclerotic, and it has shown no willingness in the last year to address the fact.
This line is excellent:
The ‘Vietnam-style quagmire’ crowd made the mistake of assuming the Pentagon is as institutionally resistant to fresh ideas as the average Ivy League faculty or American op-ed page.

Today's Bleat from Lileks is a stern reminicence - "I feel the same anger I did on 9/11; I feel the same overwhelming grief. Nothing in my heart has changed, and God forbid it ever does."
A Proposal Who's Time Has Come: Hey, the UN says they want to help the Third World develop, and they're sick of U.S. bullying heavy-handedness and lack of cooperation (Colin Powell, Boo! Robert Mugabe, Yay!); why don't they leave New York and move to some impoverished city (Harare comes to mind) and set up shop there? Give the place an economic boost from an influx of well-heeled UN functionaries?

They don't have to move everything into one city, either. Various parts of the UN and other "international institutions" are already scattered in a variety of cities - all either in the (prosperous parts of) Europe or in the U.S.

They could help poorer cities (how about Bangkok? Or, better yet, Lagos, Nigeria? Perhaps then the Nigerians won't have to try and send their millions to my bank account anymore. The UN would help them get their own bank accounts! In other words, not the places where there is some economic vitality, but the poorest of the poor) develop by moving there?

Of course, I understand why they don't: they want others to sacrifice. It would be too much to ask for them to live in some backwater. . .it was hard enough having the lobsters and goose livers (environmentalist save-the-earth types feasting on goose livers. . .) catered down to J-burg for a week. Imagine working there. Heaven forfend!
Mark Steyn on "Sustainable Development, the working man, and the intellectualoids;
But the intellectual left has been scrambling for decades to come up with explanations as to why, if everything's so bad, everything's so good. . .

. . .The new received wisdom -- forcefully articulated by, among others, Maude Barlow's Council of Canadians at the laugh-a-minute Johannesburg "Earth Summit" -- is that the masses themselves are the problem. The oppressed masses refuse to stay oppressed. If they were down in the basement chained to the great turbines, all would be well. But, instead, they insist on moving out of their tenements, getting homes with non-communal bathrooms, giving up the trolley car, putting a deposit down on a Honda Civic and driving to the mall. When it was just medieval dukes swanking about like that, things were fine: That was "sustainable" prosperity. But now, everyone wants in. And, once you do that, there goes the global neighbourhood.
Hence, Left-elitism. Oh, it's ok if Barbara (Streisand) and and Jane (Fonda) and her sometime hubbies Tom (Haden) and Ted (Turner), along with their pals Paul (Neuman) and Bill n Hill (Clinton) live la dolce vita. They're special. But the rest of us need to cut back and stop using so many resources, for the sake of the planet.

I prefer the view of Julian Simon, as does, it seems, Steyn:
There's no such thing as "sustainable" development. Human progress and individual liberty have advanced on the backs of one unsustainable development after another: When we needed trees for heating and transportation, we chopped 'em down. Then we discovered oil, and the trees grew back. When the oil runs out, we won't notice because our SUVs will be powered by something else. Bet on human ingenuity every time. We're not animals, and it's a cult as deranged as the screwiest fringe religion to insist we are. Earth's most valuable resource is us.
Changing My Mind: First I did it on Blair. Now I think I'm going to do it on this. I no longer think that either Europe or the UN will end up saying "no".

In about the last two to three days I've become less sure that either the UN or the "allies" will actually say "no" now that push has come to shove back. Bush has, in essence, called a bluff - after first getting these guys to all go out on a limb and expose themselves to the point where now they know what's at stake. So much of what Steven Den Beste discusses as a likely outcome of their obstreperousness in this post on the topic of Iraq has either already happened (plenty of Americans, those who aren't mentally colonized by the European elites themselves), with people looking at what they say with a skeptical eye, or now known to the governments in Europe as a likely consequence of obstruction (they have to be aware of the fact that as they play on anti-American sentiment among their own constituencies in Europe, they're feeding a counter-sentiment here). They know if they push things too far, what will happen.

China may be induced to abstain. They have in the past. In any case, if the Security Council with the sole exception of a Chinese veto and a couple of marginal members vote in favor of a resolution, I doubt that will be allowed to stand in the way of action.

Russia has said they wanted things done only if done through the UN, they'll have a hard time obstructing. Especially since they need our $$$ as much as, say, Kuwait does (if in other areas). If they get guarantees that their commercial deals with Iraq won't be upset if Saddam is overthrown, they'll be happy (especially since those deals could be enhanced rather than worsened, due to the fact that post-Saddam Iraq won't be saddled with sanctions limiting such transactions).

About 60% of Europeans (the actual folks, not the mandarinate elites) favor UN-approved action against Iraq.

Britain is going to go along.

That leaves France - will they veto? After they've gotten what they said they wanted: "consultation"? Chirac has already decided to tone down the rhetoric and emphasize cooperation rather than rivalry with the U.S.

Italy is going to accept it.

That pretty much leaves Germany, with its Chancellor playing petty, despicable election politics games on the subject. They don't have a veto in the UN anyhow. SO they can't really do anything about this except exactly what you say this is all about: discredit themselves as a ally in our eyes.

Most of these places know that whatever influence they have with us is based on the impression that they are friends who, more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger, have to call us off the cliff and convince us to "listen to reason" (sign Kyoto and the ICC treaty, everyone else is doing it and everyone else can't be wrong in telling you what is good for you, blah blah blah). They likely are NOT going to blow that over something that they cannot stop. Because, as Steven has pointed out elsewhere, they're otherwise without cards to play (they're weak compared to us). They toss this one into the discard pile forever and they're left with nothing to try and make us conform to their wishes.

So when it comes down to it, they'll back off on this one and salvage their image as allies who only want the best for us ("see, when it came down to it, we helped you on Iraq. Now you have to believe us when we say that Kyoto isn't meant to harm you and the ICC won't be used in a partisan way against you"), to live to fight another day.
Reza Pahlavi Disapoints me. Why? It seems he's a Cowboy fan. Oh well, can't have everything. He's still an excellent proponent of constitutional republicanism for Iran.
A New Tax Coming For You: If you don't support it, you will be accused of the most horrible crime imaginable, the one that got Powell booed where Mugabe was cheered, "Unilateralism", along with "Uncaring" and "exempting oneself from 'International Law'".

That tax? It's to be a international tax to be administered by and spent by international institutions accountable to no electorate. It could be a tax on breathing (carbon dioxide). Already they want to use it not only for generating revenue to give to the Mugabe's of the world, but for social engineering as well:
a way both to raise funds and to deter financial speculation
No doubt the funds generated by such a tax would be as carefully and scrupulously accounted for as the UN's budget, administered by a kakistocracy of high-salaried kleptocratic hacks foisted on the project because even their own nation's bureaucracies can no longer allow them to dip into the national purse. The whole idea is a despicable, retrograde scheme masquerading as enlightened progressivism and makes me as mad as a cow
Evidence Iraq Close to Nukes, says Blair.
Self-Described Revolutionary Marxists shout down speakers that disagree with them at - where else - Berkley.
Spleenville parries and jabs the progressive anti-Americans. (Link via Instapundit, who posted it along with this excellent Fisking).
On Wisconsin Dave Kopel zings what would have been my alma mater had I graduated.

It wasn't that bad when I left, but yes, it was trending in that direction. They even forbade beer sales in Camp Randall Stadium years ago.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

100% Success Smuggling Weapons through security, but you can't take your nailclippers. Perhaps that's because of this.
Mark Bowden on warfare in Baghdad:
Before going to war, a nation should always consider the worst. An all-out attack on Iraq will entail a level of risk and sacrifice that the U.S. has not assumed since Vietnam. But the question of war is not just an exercise in cost-benefit analysis. It's about doing the right thing. It's important to go down such a road with eyes open, firm conviction and a steady hand.
I've seen some anti-war sites do their usual distortion-job and quote only the first half of that paragraph, but the second half is at least as important.
Deflationary Double-Dip Recession is a definate possibility. All this summer I have been saying that the economy is currently better than people have been giving it credit for. But I've also been saying that we're likely to double-dip, starting some time this fall. Well, here we are.
This is News? According to a Washington Post article that must have involved some brilliant investigative journalism, trial lawyers are funding Edwards. Wow. Whodda thunk it?

In the Washington Times, meanwhile, Deborah Saunders has a different stunningly counter-intuitive insight: that universities mouthing platitudes about academic freedom, diversity, and the need to insure that dissenting points of view aren't silenced, are hypocritical thought-police. Again, who woulda thunk it?
Iraq a Death Trap? Johnathan Foreman says no. Those who insist it will be have been proven wrong every time they've asserted that kind of thing in the past.
Federalized Baggage Screeners: We were told almost a year ago that, in spite of the fact that the baggage screeners were not the problem on Sept. 11th, that only nationalizing baggage screeners would turn them into professionals able to do the job. Only the Federal government would insure that they received sufficient training (and pay) to do the job right. Well, they got the pay. But did they get the training? The San Francisco Gate reveals that the "elite" team, responsible for improving screening methods across the country, got as little as fifteen minutes of additional training.

Impeach Norm Mineta. And repeal the legislation nationalizing baggage screening.
Re-Appraising Blair So my general opinion of Tony Blair has been that he's an opportunist who does whatever he needs to in order to keep and retain power, and advance bad policies in a palitable form. Domestically, that may still be the case. But my belief that he has no moral core and wouldn't take a stand in the face of popular and Labour party opposition has been destroyed.

Lets face it: among his constituencies in the Labour MPs and solid Labour voters, he would, politically speaking, benefit more from sounding like Schroeder (of Germany) than he does taking the position that he has. His willingness to lead, instead of join the chorus of critics, stands out. I do not believe it can be ascribed to some political motive (trying to shed the reputation as a sort of weathervane by taking an unpopular stance. He could have done that on an issue that has less potential to cost him his leadership position if that were the case). He seems to have sincere convictions on this score. Which is a surprise to me since I doubted he had many sincere convictions in the first place.

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

So Far, So Good: So I was ICQing with my British friend last week and we both figured that, what with the absolute antipathy most Labour MPs have for the idea of joining America in stamping out Saddam in Iraq, along with the lack of support among the British people generally, that Blair would find a way to weasle out of his initial support. But that's not happening. Indeed, he may be leading the way.
The Canary in the EU Coal Mine? Norwegian Blogger Vegard Valberg has made a lengthy and thoughtful argument that European Transnational Progressivism, embodied in the EU, is a declining rather than a rising movement. He points to Norway as embodying the cutting edge of politics (among other things) in Europe, and attempts to show that Transnational Progressivism represents end-state Social Democracy, rather than the wave of the future.

He sees this in the declining fortunes of the Norwegian Labour party, and current electoral trends would seem to bear this out - Social Democratic parties are being repudiated by the voters in many European nations.

However, I think he puts far too much emphasis on electoral politics as a determining factor in Europe. While 26% of Norway's voters selected Labour in the last election, and 74% of the people voted for other parties, I would guess that this proportion is reversed when it comes to civil servants - the government organized as a special interest. I would venture to guess that about three fourths of the people who are employed in Norway's bureaucracy voted for Labour, and only about a quarter for other parties (I'm sure that there are numbers available in Norwegian breaking down the electorate by employment status. I'm not fluent in Norwegian and in any case I'm confident enough of this prediction to make it without having seen the numbers).

This is important and significant because, far from leading the way as Vegard concludes from recent elections, all this would seem to mean is that Norway is, politically, becoming similar to '70s and '80s Italy or even to France. The electorate can vote for whoever it wants, some coalition government will form, but it won't really affect policy. This is because policy is formed in the bureaucracy, and the elected officials can only affect it on the margins. This was especially true in Italy, where coalition governments were fragile and temporary and governance was handled by the permanent bureaucracy.

The Social Democrats in Europe have, I believe, known for awhile that when it comes to individual nations, they could easily find themselves voted out of power. That is why the EU was constructed as it was. It has two key features, when it comes to discussing this situation:
    1) It is overtly social-democratic in character. Members of the EU must adopt policies that are explicitly those of social democracy in order to be seen as good EU citizens. This means that even if a European country has a nominally "rightist" or non-Social Democratic government, they must in practice adhere to Social Democratic precepts in governing. A sort of "Tory Socialism" is as far as any EU member is allowed to diverge from this. This is achieved in the face of an increasingly disaffected electorate by the second feature. That feature is

    2) The EU is designed, as David Price-Jones termed it in a panel televised on C-SPAN yesterday, as a "Command Bureaucracy" - which he defined as a bureaucracy that issues commands (various regulations), determining policy, which is then to be implemented by the elected officials (the reverse of what happens in a Representative Democracy: in a Representative Democracy, the elected officials issue the rules, and the bureaucracy is charged with implementation). I would term it a Impersonal Bureaucracy: the defining feature of which is that it is insulated from the governed. The "command" aspect is certainly a part of it, but the fact that it is set apart from and not accountable to electorates is its main feature. Elected officials (and the United States) serve as a sort of sop or scapegoat onto which the people can direct their frustrations - voting out this or that government, affecting policy on the margins, but the organs of administrative law continue unaffected. They are controlled by elites, not the electorate. They are run by people espousing the Transnational Progressive view - this is why, as Vegard notes, there's hardly a working man in the leadership positions of Social Democrat parties, they are all intellectuals of one sort or another. The Rightist parties may get to appoint a few people, but they are people like Chris Patten - Tory Socialists who espouse the Transnational Progressive programe.
There is a definite purpose and reason behind the fact that the supra-national institutions of the EU are all insulated from the electorate and the "European Parliament" has about the same amount of influence over policy as the British House of Lords has over British policy. There is no sign that this will change soon, and the opinion of those responsible for the functioning of the EU is that this insulation is a good thing, not a bad thing.

People can grumble about it all they want, but they're sort of trapped in a prisoner's dilemma. Indeed, the EU Mandarins present it in those terms: any single country that bucks the EU, that opts out, will suffer. They can escape the situation only if all (or most of the big ones) act at the same time. A major effort is made to unite the European countries under the EU's authority, but to keep their electorates fragmented - the "outputs" (EU policies determined by the administrative apparatus) are European, the "inputs" (the means of voter feedback and accountability) are French, Belgian, Italian, British, German, etc etc. This is not accidental. Thus an EU country can have any sort of government it's electorate wants, but it's less and less important - more and more policy is determined by officials in Brussels. Vegard is right in noting the similarities of Transnational Progressivism with Communism. What has been created is the Union of European Social-Democratic Republics (UESR). Like in the "Federated" USSR, the "Republics" are politically impotent in the face of central authority, determined by a bureaucracy (and a Self-Perpetuating Oligarchy).

Sure, they may fall. But I still believe it will be at least thirty years. That is, at least another generation. This is because of the fact that no election or series of elections, even across the broad swath of Europe, really has much immediate impact on a Impersonal Bureaucracy. There will be many severe problems until then. Vegard reminds me that Norway is not an EU member,and does not aspire to become a member (another similarity Norway has with the U.S.!), but that makes its situation all the more distinct from those who are EU members (which are the ones most people are thinking of, for better or worse, when they write of "Europe" as a collectivity these days. They're thinking mainly of the EU). To the degree to which politics in Norway do not resemble those of EU members, it is even more difficult to say that they will follow Norway's path.
Support for Action? So this is nice as far as it goes. But again these folks beg the question: if they think bringing resolutions before the UN is a good thing, then why don't they bring them? Why do they expect the U.S. to do it, while they kibitz from the sidelines?

What will happen if and when we do? Will they line up to support really stringent, effective resolutions? Or will they quibble over those, too? I think Steven is right: they want us to ask so they can say "no". That's why they won't introduce measures themselves. The whole purpose is to say "gee, you know, we'd like to support you, we really would, but shucks, China and Russia have exercised their veto in the Security Council. The answer is no."

But with Kuwait saying ok, who cares what these others say?

Monday, September 02, 2002

Peace Activism vs. Choosing Sides: In an otherwise good post, Cap'n Den Beste wrote:
"He seems to have begun with the idea that 'war is bad', and gone from there."
I don't think that's correct. I don't think Pandey and others of his ilk are ethical pacifists who consistently believe war is bad. Let me put it this way; on C-SPAN's Washington Journal this morning they had an scholar who was an expert on Terrorism, and the usual callers calling in. I only caught a portion of it, but the portion I caught was instructive, as it expressed the same attitude/ideology as Pandey has. Someone called in on the "Democrat" line to assert that he was "biased" because he asserted that Terrorism needed to be fought; the caller suggested that instead we should be using the UN to address grievances in the Middle East, not force, because use of force was wrong. Then in the next breath the caller talked about how terrorism was the way for poor people to fight back against thestrong, and how dare the scholar take the attitude that it was wrong.

This same attitude came out on Armed Liberal's Blog with some of the responses to his series, from some of the people commenting on it: our actions are not legitimate, but theirs are, was the unstated assumption of many people.

Note Pandey's explicit legitimization of terrorism, all but an endorsement of it: they're "pushing back" and he "understands" what they're doing. Their use of force is ok.

This is like the anti-war protesters of the '60s who spoke of their insistence that we withdraw (unconditionally) from Vietnam in one breath and of their support for "armed revolutionary struggle" in the next breath. They're not opposed to war, or violence. They've taken sides: it could be said that in addition to being the propaganda arm of the enemy, they're the volunteer diplomatic arm of the enemy (pushing us to make concessions, to "address" the "grievances" of the other side - which they obviously believe to be legitimate ones. They usually get wrong what the actual goals/grievances" of the terrorists are, simply impressing their own Leftist goals upon the terrorists and asserting that whatever people like Pandey want are things we should do, or stop doing, in response to terrorism, in "addressing the grievances"). Once you understand that, then things become a lot clearer. He isn't "morally blind" in the sense you describe - he's using language as a diplomat acting on behalf of his side would, to sway those who are morally blind in the way you describe. He may be amoral in the sense that in taking the position that he has, he has forfitted all real moral credibility. But he hasn't done it by accident, some unconcious mistake in logical processing. It's fairly deliberate, done as the best means he can think of to advance a cause that he has chosen (it wouldn't surprise me if we were to find out he holds many views similar to those of "Transnational Progressives" or to those of extreme multiculturalists, or philosophical precepts related to those of Franz Fanon, or otherwise enthralled with post-modern "Bad Philosophy", etc).

Pandey doesn't seem, from the comments in the article, to have anywhere near the same attitude towards violence perpetrated against us (again, he "understands" that) as he has towards our fighting back. He's not anti-war. He's anti-US and Pro-terrorist. He's not a pacifist (though he may masquerade as one when it suits him, like any diplomatic chameleon).

Now, having made that assertion plain (that he's taken a side, anti-US and pro-Terrorist), people will have a negative reaction to that; it seems like such a harsh, even "McCarthyite" accusation. But it's imply a description of what is obviously true. It cannot be otherwise since people with these views have the il-logic of their position pointed out to them fairly often (as you did in your post) without it affecting what they assert. They rarely if ever say "Oh, I hadn't thought of that. Yah, you're right. If I'm against violence, then I shouldn't be saying I understand the actions of the terrorists or deploring attempts to de-legitimize terrorism, I should be calling them to task with the same energy I've been expending in calling the US to task". No, they usually come back with some rationalization which, when examined, proves to be a brief for the other side and a indictment of the U.S. and a call, like that which diplomants make, for us to make concessions to their "principle" - to their side.

So it's not just the radical Islamists for whom peace means victory. For guys like Pandey, peace means victory as well (adressing of greviances, one-sided concessions to be made by us to those who declared war and/or attacked us, is the same as a call for us to surrender unconditionally. Peace is victory for the other side in Pandey's mind, not just Bin Laden's.)