May 15, 2007

Tuesday 070515

Rest Day


Enlarge image

Kent Stamey, CrossFit Hickory

Leg Checks, John Hackleman - video [wmv] [mov]

"Fanatics of London", Q&A with Christopher Hitchens, Vanity Fair

Post thoughts to comments.

Posted by lauren at May 15, 2007 7:48 PM

Dude, I need the rest! I am FRIED after the last few days!

Comment #1 - Posted by: Rex at May 14, 2007 8:08 PM

thats just weird...

Comment #2 - Posted by: Pierre Auge at May 14, 2007 8:10 PM

Pukey the Clown is gonna be growing some hair.

Comment #3 - Posted by: Alfie at May 14, 2007 8:15 PM

omg he so did not

Comment #4 - Posted by: treelizard at May 14, 2007 8:17 PM

I also fight the battle of insidious body hair. We must proudly display it, and let the world realize our plight.

Comment #5 - Posted by: Mr. White at May 14, 2007 8:21 PM

Wow.... just... wow

Comment #6 - Posted by: Godzilla at May 14, 2007 8:29 PM

for one of the few times in my life...I am speechless.

Comment #7 - Posted by: TimW at May 14, 2007 8:30 PM

Oh, no you didn't.....hardcore, bro.....

Comment #8 - Posted by: Ian Carver at May 14, 2007 8:34 PM

Bro...why would you want that tattoo?

Comment #9 - Posted by: The Man at May 14, 2007 8:35 PM

THAT speaks volumes. I couldn't drink enough bad tequila in TJ to do that!

Comment #10 - Posted by: MarkFu at May 14, 2007 8:47 PM

That guy looks like he has a sweater on under his t-shirt!

Comment #11 - Posted by: cripsR6 at May 14, 2007 8:50 PM

No need for a pukie t-shirt now!

Comment #12 - Posted by: Adam (CrossFit Victoria) at May 14, 2007 9:15 PM

Back Squat
255 X 5
280 X 2
280 X 3

Romanian Deadlifts
205 X 5
235 X 3
235 X 3

With a 25# weight vest 9 Rounds:
5 Thrusters (115#)
5 Pull ups

Comment #13 - Posted by: Jeff at May 14, 2007 9:15 PM


With all due respect, why are we still talking about whether or not Islamic extremism is a problem? It is. Anyone who can't see this needs to be left behind to wallow in their intellectual infantalism. I'd rather talk about how we fix this.

The British jihadist is "unlikey"?! Mr. Owen or his editors haven't been paying attention.

Comment #14 - Posted by: John Seiler at May 14, 2007 9:21 PM

Alas, it appears I suffer typing infantilism.

Comment #15 - Posted by: John Seiler at May 14, 2007 9:23 PM


Comment #16 - Posted by: John Seiler at May 14, 2007 9:24 PM

dude, who does your manscaping? sweet.

Comment #17 - Posted by: CodyC at May 14, 2007 9:40 PM

#14 John, ALL extremism (except the CrossFit variety) is a problem.

That tummie is gonna itch when the hair starts to grow back!

Comment #18 - Posted by: Dave Miltz at May 14, 2007 9:55 PM

Christopher Hitchens is never so right as when he's writing about religion, in my mind. I don't feel quite as stridently as Hitchens does (see a review of his new book _God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything_ in the NYT at

Notwithstanding some folks being tired of the issue of "whether or not" Islamic terrorism or Islam in general is a threat, I think Coach exposing the community to interesting points of view like Hitchens's is great. Thanks again, Coach.

Maybe we should all read his book and talk about religion. That ought to get the juices flowing...


Comment #19 - Posted by: madman at May 14, 2007 11:34 PM

Religion isn't the problem, it's how the people of this world view how they will abuse the ideaology of various religions. For example the football fans of rangers and celtic in scotland who choose to use protestant and catholic beliefs as their "banners" of who they support with and fight against!
PS I'm a Christian and although not agreeing with other people's religions I do respect and love them as God's creation. It will not cause me to abuse other people due to their religious standings.

Comment #20 - Posted by: Matt Daly at May 15, 2007 12:21 AM

Religion is a problem; because religion itself drives people towards fundamentalism, separatism and (you guessed it) racism.
Hitchens has a point when he says not all muslims are terrorists but almost all terrorists are muslim.

Comment #21 - Posted by: X at May 15, 2007 1:03 AM

No religion is any one particular thing. Islam is neither a violent nor non-violent religion. With the amount of leeway in interpreting holy texts, one can extract justifications for all different sorts of worldviews and actions. This is as true of the Torah as it is for the Koran.

Islamic extremists are a major threat, not because they are Islamic but because they are violent extremists.

Religions do not drive people towards immoral or violent behavior anymore than the lack of religion does. It is such a stupid broad generalization to say that "religious people are like this" or "atheists are like this." Violent extremists will use any justification they can find to be violent and extremist, whether it is atheistic Communism or Islamic fascism. Religion is not the problem here, human bloodlust and insanity is.

Other than his radical atheism, I agree with Hitchens on most accounts. Tolerating people who are violent and intolerant merely because they are from another "oppressed" culture is stupid. At the same time not tolerating people who are peaceful and tolerant merely because they are from another religion is stupid as well. Let us not forget that in the 1940's the Israelis used terrorism to accelerate their independence from Britain, to great success. This does not mean that Judaism is a violent religion, even though justification for violence can be found in the Torah.

Religious debates tend to be pointless to no end since each side just argues on the basis of faith, a basis which they are unwilling to reconsider. This means that the argument usually just deteriorates to name calling and other meaningless negativity. A more useful debate to have would be how deal with the Muslim extremists in Britain while minimizing the negative effects that this has on the Muslim population as a whole. Any ideas?

It is important to remember that the cooperation of the Muslim population is essential in preventing terrorist attacks. The failed liquid explosive plot in London last year failed because a Muslim Brit heard about it and felt a duty to report it to MI5. Would he have done so if he felt that the government was out to destroy him? At the same time, if targetting extremist mosques and using surveillence on Muslim citizens suspected of extremism happens to anger some British Muslims, that is certainly a risk I would be willing to take. We can not be so afraid to lose friends that we tolerate incitements to violence.

Comment #22 - Posted by: russ greene at May 15, 2007 1:32 AM

Well stated Russ.

Almost all terrorists are muslims? Ever been to South America? How about gassing in the Japanese subway? What about abortion clinic bombers? Oklahoma city? Come on, terrorists exist everywhere.

Instead of engaging in jingoism, it is much more informative to focus on what they all have in common.

Comment #23 - Posted by: carl at May 15, 2007 3:32 AM

Thanks for that video!

John Hackleman just seems like a really cool guy.

Comment #24 - Posted by: JKunze at May 15, 2007 3:51 AM

Terrorism that is meant to intimidate the free world?? Most definately Muslim based. Isolated acts...those can happen in a classroom. We are talking about a cordinated effort here, with a system of education and logistics.

Religion is not the enemy. It is the belief that some should die or be subserviant because they do not believe or practice in the same way. However much though religion manifests itself in this way...which includes those on the left who claim to be SECULAR as well. ELF, ALF, ANSWER, ETC.

Global warming has it's "religious" extremists as well. Don't believe for a second that there will not be or has been killing for the sake of "Gaiha" (spelling?).

Religion is did a great job in lots of things. Katrina aid etc. So that is a little harsh to through religion as the main is a vehicle just like enviromentalism.

Comment #25 - Posted by: CCTJOEY at May 15, 2007 3:59 AM

Trying to make up for the three days I'll have off visiting my boyfriend this coming weekend, so 3 mile run this morning. Damn but my body doesn't like being awake that early.
Then I found out my friend cancelled our dinner date tonight so looks like I'll get time to do yesterday's WOD also.
Poor old body.

Comment #26 - Posted by: Cal Jones at May 15, 2007 5:10 AM

Religion is not the problem. It is in most cases the answer. The terrible acts some nuts do in the name of religion should not be equated to religion. Their acts not their justification should be judged here and I believe will be judged later as well.
Today in our time the extremist Muslims who seem to use their religion for justification for all kinds of violent and extreme acts are the problem. Their hatred for other groups, societies and even modern development combined with no regard of their lives or the live of innocents leads to what we see on the news. The fact their "leaders" recruit suicide bombers to do their work including murdering children and then tell their recruits they will reach heaven says it all.
They only thing you can do when faced with vermin like this is to find it and kill it. Before it kills you or more importanly the ones you love.

Comment #27 - Posted by: Kevin McClellan at May 15, 2007 5:34 AM

Man, you must really love pukie to get the tattoo!

I went to the Certification this weekend in Golden, and it was very well worth it. Even worth missing Mothers Day and paying the price with my wife! Everyone is so knowledgeable and excellent at communicating what's wrong, what to look for, and how to correct.

Comment #28 - Posted by: CO Jeff at May 15, 2007 5:43 AM

Very well said Russ.

There are extremist in every walk of life. There is never a justification for the murder of innocents and it is everyones duty to protect his or her neighbor from harm.

Comment #29 - Posted by: Rahman Tabb at May 15, 2007 6:18 AM

Did my first muscle ups yesterday after a couple weeks of screwing my elbows up on attempts. Right now I feel as though I could squelch terrorism through my sheer explosive force. Big ups to Amherst CFers

Comment #30 - Posted by: SMHayman at May 15, 2007 6:27 AM

Terrorism is bad. Yep.

Comment #31 - Posted by: Charles G. at May 15, 2007 6:30 AM

I'm on a new triathalon training schedule so I'm not following the 3-1 schedule. This morning:
25 reps of the following for time:
24 in. BoxJumps, 85lb ShoulderPress, WalkingLunge (1-35lb DB Overhead), Situps, 85lb SDHP, Squats, Pullups, Burpees, 12lb DB Pushups w/Row & 45lb Thruster --- 21:02.
This evening I'm on the bike for about an hour.

Comment #32 - Posted by: Tstone at May 15, 2007 6:55 AM

Religion has been an excuse for many a conflict. In England fanatics like Abu Hamza have been able to spread their voice of hatred without consequences due to the horrendous running of the legal system. Hopefully this will change..... and soon.

I will be completing yesterday's WOD before Muay Thai training tonight, looking forward to this beast but still, i'll be scaling back the weight due to injury and time off.

Comment #33 - Posted by: leon at May 15, 2007 7:00 AM

"And like all the other holy books, the Koran is replete with contradiction and incoherence."

I like this guy!

Comment #34 - Posted by: JJ at May 15, 2007 7:25 AM

Relating to the Hitchens interview topic, I think W.B. Yeats summed up our times all too well:

"The best lack all convictions, while the worst
are full of passionate intensity."

Comment #35 - Posted by: Rob_M at May 15, 2007 8:03 AM

Russ nailed it.

The enemy is extremism. Believing one's SO correct that it is justified to obliterate those who disagree, but pose you no threat. Sadly, that can be religious extremism, or political extremism, or whatever.

I'm a Christian, but am well aware of Christianity's extremist history. The death tolls from Protestant/Catholic wars in Europe, or the Inquisition, or witch-burnings, or pogroms against Jews make the death toll of the current Islamist extremists look puny.



Comment #36 - Posted by: TomF at May 15, 2007 8:05 AM

I have been out for week. Had to let the knee rest after the 10k. Some times I push my self to hard, a bad habit I have only developed after starting CFT. Still I could not wait for a whole day to work out. 3rds of .25 elliptical, 30 situps, 30 pushups, 30lbs kb swings. Then a 20min. Aerobic work out on the elliptical.

Comment #37 - Posted by: Brandy at May 15, 2007 8:20 AM

I fell off the three-and-one CrossFit cycle over the weekend due to a full schedule of family-related duties. So I decided to pay a bit of that debt this morning with a three mile run and Fran.

Fran: 7:35 (pr)

More better faster

Comment #38 - Posted by: marty at May 15, 2007 8:23 AM

Aaaaahhhhh! My eyes!

Comment #39 - Posted by: John T. at May 15, 2007 8:25 AM

religion is not the problem....humans are!
we are all fallen and sinful....But through the grace of God there go I.

Comment #40 - Posted by: lawman698 at May 15, 2007 8:36 AM

Dude, YOU ARE AWESOME!!! Love that Tattoo.

Comment #41 - Posted by: Gio at May 15, 2007 8:51 AM

I was in Phoenix/Scottsdale last week for a business meeting and stopped in at Crossfit Southwest for a workout. It's pretty amazing to be in a strange city and walk into an exercise facility and be immediately and totally accepted by everyone. That's what CF is all about. Many thanks to Ken and everyone at CF Southwest in Tempe!

Comment #42 - Posted by: john wopat at May 15, 2007 9:06 AM

This isn't related to the article at all, but I've got a growing problem: I have pretty small hands and my grip goes to hell extremely fast whether I'm doing cleans, pull-ups, or anything else requiring hand strength. It's really starting to frustrate me because my muscles aren't tired, just my lower forearms and my hands. I feel like I could do so many more pullups and get so much more out of the workouts if I didn't have to stop and let blood flow back into my hands.

I'll admit that the barbells and pullup bars I use are polished stainless steel, making them extremely slick with even the slightest bit of moisture. Why someone would invent this equipment, I'm not sure. Anyways, I've been crossfitting for about 6 months now and was just wondering if anyone else has has similar problems.

Thanks a bunch


Comment #43 - Posted by: Matt H at May 15, 2007 9:45 AM

Matt I have similar problems. I just figure my grip won't get any stronger unless I work on it. I don't use any gloves or aids, when my hands give out I just try to shorten my rest time each work out. My grips gotta get stronger right?

Comment #44 - Posted by: AlanR at May 15, 2007 9:56 AM

OK, the photo of dude's belly was totally uncalled for. And why am I not surprised the guy is from NC (being in NC myself!).

Comment #45 - Posted by: Lycurgus at May 15, 2007 10:07 AM

Chalk your hands for the stainless steel.
Stress ball during down time for grip (at work, watching tv, etc.)

Comment #46 - Posted by: JJ at May 15, 2007 10:09 AM

Did yesterdays WO today. I'm finally caught up! Although I'll have to read the article later today.

#39 Matt and #40 AlanR-
You're not the only ones, my grip is usually the first thing to go when doing cleans. Though I have gotten stronger in the forearm area, but it is something I still need to improve.

I figure I need to do more exercises to strengthen my forearms, like towels rolls and squeezing a tennis ball, and coinincidentally, after doing todays WO, I just added them to my list of things to practice.


Comment #47 - Posted by: jknl at May 15, 2007 10:20 AM

That tattoo is just atrocious

Comment #48 - Posted by: The Entire World at May 15, 2007 10:31 AM

Matt H:

I'm right there with you. I have small hands and I feel my grip goes before anything else especially on pull-ups and cleans.
A few times a week at the end of my workouts, I just started doing farmer's walks w/ 70 lb dumbbells. I have a makeshift lap I do around my gym. I do sets of one lap about five times.
It has helped my grip. My two cents are that farmers' walks are the definitely the functional of all grip exercises.

Comment #49 - Posted by: Beej at May 15, 2007 10:39 AM

This is too funny!!!!!

Classic NC good times. If he were holding a Budweiser it would be perfect. Workouts include:

hound chasing (5K)
Beer bonging (head stands)
truck flippin (gymnastics)
keg throwing at best friend (olympic lifts)

I am from Virginia so we substitute hound chasin with running from the police.


Comment #50 - Posted by: ricky at May 15, 2007 10:54 AM

Coach my comments were ment to be good clean fun. Nothing more. I hope it was taken that way.


Comment #51 - Posted by: ricky at May 15, 2007 10:59 AM

Kent, if you ever again want to be intimate with anyone without your shirt on, may I suggest:

Although I admire your lifetime commitment.


Comment #52 - Posted by: CraigH at May 15, 2007 11:39 AM

I am determined to beat my fran time today

Comment #53 - Posted by: Jerry falwell at May 15, 2007 11:52 AM

Kent, nice, does it come in a v-neck?

Comment #54 - Posted by: kathy g at May 15, 2007 12:12 PM

Religion is not a problem per se. Forcing your beliefs on others or claiming that others are wrong because of their beliefs IS a problem.

Extremism, which I define as an intent to do harm to others on behalf of your beliefs, is always a problem. It is not just a Muslim/Islamic issue either. Muslim Extremists are to Islam what the KKK is to Christianity.

Acceptance of others, peace towards man, and open-minded discussion and exploration of life are the foundations of almost all religions. It is when people begin to depart from these foundations, find fault in others, and TRY to find differences to separate people and cultures that society as a whole takes several hundred steps backwards.

P.S - I am not really affiliated with any religion but I do understand the underlying principles that exist to unite ALL people, no matter how those teachings get perverted by establishments.

Comment #55 - Posted by: Jason Fryer at May 15, 2007 12:34 PM

Lots of respect for John Hackleman here, but in watching his stance adjustment to defend the leg kick my thought was that the stance improved his defense against an outside leg kick but made him more vulnerable to an inside leg kick. Thoughts?

Comment #56 - Posted by: Doug at May 15, 2007 1:04 PM

First I thought it was strange to get that tattoo. Then I realized a guy living in North Carolina has a YANKEES hat on !!!

Comment #57 - Posted by: BrianM at May 15, 2007 1:07 PM

I hope that is permanant marker or henna or something other than a real tatoo. If you think pukie lookes like he is feelinig poorly now wait and see what he looks like in 30 years.

Comment #58 - Posted by: RJ Ziegler at May 15, 2007 1:10 PM

Ya a Yankees fan would do that... Yankees suck and they touch little children... - GO SOUTHIE, GO SOX!

Comment #59 - Posted by: J-ROD at May 15, 2007 1:31 PM

Beej and Jknl
Thanks for the suggestions of various grip exercise. I will definitely include some at the end of workouts.
I love this community!

Comment #60 - Posted by: AlanR at May 15, 2007 1:41 PM

Ohhh man….I am tired out! Took my rest day on Monday. Go through periods of being great to being extremely tired. Have been seeing the discussions coming up on taking time off. It wasn’t until 2 yrs ago I even took days off at all from working out (uh, a lot of ugly years of major food/exercise issues). Started CF in Dec 06 (first 3 months was doing 2 & 3 CF WOD’s a day along with stairmaster, hill sprints, or other running but since tapered to ONLY the CF WOD, two days off in a 7 week period and those days with pilates or yoga unless just pooped out), one day of running about a 10k, and soccer one night a week.
I notice a lot of folks will take off a week after every 6 or 12 weeks. I suppose I ought to be considering something like that and may even seen s something I ought to be considering something like that and see some improvement in my times/ loads.

Anyhoo, between yawns today :)
15-12-9 HPC 65#, alternating with 45-36-27 Asst Pull ups and Asst Dips
Time: 19:09

Comment #61 - Posted by: in8girl at May 15, 2007 2:11 PM

small hands like a carnie??

Comment #62 - Posted by: bret kleefuss at May 15, 2007 2:12 PM

55lb DB swing

21-15-9 reps


Next time 21-18-15-9 reps

Comment #63 - Posted by: franklie at May 15, 2007 2:22 PM

Reaction to historic comments pages:


If anybody says anything more about "training up for BUDS/OCS/PJ's/the 'ger," I'm going to barf.

Comment #64 - Posted by: kevin at May 15, 2007 2:44 PM

Happy Day at CrossFit Morris County. I picked a new set of WerkSan bumper plates. 2x25kg, 2x20kg, 2x15kg, and 2x10kg. Now our exercise list has increased tremendously. Already broke them in with 5 rounds of:

1-Arm 24kg KB snatch x10/10
60kg Overhead Squat x5 (plus 1 snatch to get it overhead)
Pull Ups x 5

No time but at a quick pace. Pics on the website to come.

Comment #65 - Posted by: rob izsa, CrossFit Morris County at May 15, 2007 4:06 PM

Erin #55-

I am right there with you. My old trainer forced me to take a week off last September as I had trained for over 2 years without taking more then 2-3 days off if I was sick. Then Jan 2007 I took almost 2 weeks off when I went on vacation then got sick. (I did go for a couple runs and made up a couple of CF-ish workouts) My body felt werid and soft but I was surprised when I came back I was hitting PR's left and right. I guess taking some time off can do a body good. I say that now, but I just can't seem to take time off unless I am on vacation...who would have thought that skipping the gym would be so difficult? :-)

Anyway, Sunday was my day off here's today:


CFWUx2 (-pullups, dips) very sore from yesterday

Back Squat: 5-5-5-5-5



Double Unders
Decline Sit-ups
Back Extension

time: 21:59

really struggled with double unders. I always get headaches when doing this, I think I land too hard, I'm slamming my feet into the ground. Accidently did 50 sit-ups and 50 back extensions on the 40 round also. Was a bit out of it and thought I was doing Michael.

Comment #66 - Posted by: nadia shatila at May 15, 2007 4:28 PM

15-12-9 reps of:
155 pound Hang power cleans

(a whopping 6:00 to do the last 5 muscle ups)

3 Rounds
Row 500 M
10 Overhead Squats x 120#

Comment #67 - Posted by: Jeff at May 15, 2007 5:48 PM

Islamic extremism? we have a huge problem in the states with the evangelical Christian movements. They're rich, white, and they feel the need to oppress almost everyone. As far as extremist goes, I view them both as one in the same... I it when people want to make this 'a more Christian nation.' Keep in mind I'm Christian. We have enough to handle as it is!

Comment #68 - Posted by: newman at May 15, 2007 6:44 PM

Will somebody please just double dare me to buy my C2 so i can justify spending the grand on a bet that i couldn't look like a chicken!?

Comment #69 - Posted by: wich at May 15, 2007 7:26 PM


So much for a day off. Couldn't have my class doing something and me not. So I put together something lite.

10 Reps of:
12 lbs Wallball
45 lbs Shoulder Press
45 lbs SDHP
For 15min for Rds
9 Rds

Comment #70 - Posted by: superg at May 15, 2007 7:40 PM

21yom 167lbs

did the 10k today


Comment #71 - Posted by: chris at May 15, 2007 8:35 PM

I dare you to get the model E!!! You some kind of a chicken?

Comment #72 - Posted by: tjo at May 16, 2007 6:12 AM

Ooouuugh! you wascawy wabbit! tjo, I'll show you and your model E

Comment #73 - Posted by: wich at May 16, 2007 1:36 PM

well Tuesday was Sea Trials... 14 hours of various PT stations - E-course, O-course, ruck run, various "happy fun time" PT, pool phase, all that good stuff from 0330 - 1730ish...
Now enjoying my final 13 hours of being a plebe.

Comment #74 - Posted by: Janell at May 16, 2007 5:50 PM

One of the few benefits of the advent of notions of Deconstruction/Postmodernism is a focus on the role of language in the creation of the perception of a reality that doesn't exist.

I can say the word Sfard, and define it as an invisible sea-horse that swims in air and eats dustmites, and if I say it often enough to the right people, they may begin to believe that there is a reality associated with that word.

Some people see this basic process, and conclude that all metaphysical beliefs are likewise founded solely in language. I don't share this view, as many of the words used do in fact generate palpable experiences, which can conceivably be linked back, using current scientific understandings, to some as-yet poorly understood reality. I have said before that Science cannot simultaneously be a truth-system, and a meaning-system, even if meaning arises solely from intellectual aesthetics. There's no a priori reason to assume the universe is intrinsically ordered.

Which brings me to Islam. Islam is a word. We use it to refer to a shared set of beliefs based on the Koran, but in fact the people being referred to vary all over the place, and in lumping them together, we push away people who might in fact be trying to move in the direction of modernization and liberalization.

We appear in many cases to have driven a wedge between Al-Queda--perhaps we should call them Iraqi Taliban--and the Sunni Sheikhs/Warlords. To our advantage, this will be one of the principle conflicts if the whole thing deteriorates.

More generally, we need to develop better filtering processes for determining who we can work with, and who is going to oppose us, separating them, and moving the first group towards us, with various incentives and any form of help we can offer and they need.

Moderate Muslims don't want Sharia more than almost anyone else. Muslims generally seem to want little other than a shot at being middle-class, without having to surrender their identities. We need to feed this basic impulse better than we are now. It's likely Muslim extremists bear much the same resemblance to the Muslim population as a whole, as aggressive anti-American leftists do our population as a whole. If you watch Hillary Clinton, she is having to take some aggressive Communist whack-jobs into consideration to keep the party from splintering, which of course is all to the Republican good. It's likely Muslim communities are similarly split. Most Democrats are opposed to aggressive use of American power overseas, but most are not as anti-American as their most radical fringe. Still, the fringe infects the whole debate.

It appears to me we can do better than we are doing. From now on, our wars will likely be won or lost on the level of social psychology, not the battlefield.

Comment #75 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at May 17, 2007 2:59 PM

Barry, I agree. We should discuss the practical aspects of winning the social psychology battle in future rest day discussions. The smartest counterterrorism policy is: convince who you can and kill who you can't.

That is, convince who you can by supporting economic development, human rights, and political liberalization in the Muslim world, preventing more Abu Ghraibs, etc. Of course, there will always be crazies who will never be convinced, and they must be killed before they kill us. Force is necessary but not sufficient for our task.

The war on Iraq was a great opportunity to convince people that the U.S. strongly supported freedom and democracy and was willing to use its force to defeat its enemies (a fact which many Islamic extremists doubted given Clinton's foreign policy re: Somalia, Sudan, Afghanistan).

If one thinks about the War on Terrorism as a global counterinsurgency, rather than as a replay of WWII, then it becomes clear that we will not win by military victories alone. There is no state we can conquer or army we can defeat that will end the War on Terrorism.

You have argued that we should have supported the Shah more strongly prior to the Iranian Revolution. While the Shah's rule was preferrable to the Iranian Revolution, the U.S.'s support for it came with a long list of negatives as well, which are hurting the U.S.'s efforts to portray itself as the supporter of liberty today.

If you think about the repressive governments, stagnant economies, inadequate educational systems, and second and third rate media common from Morocco to Pakistan, it becomes clear that the problems of the Greater Middle East are firmly entrenched. Improving our PR in this area is nearly impossible as long as everything that the US does is portrayed by the media as colonialism and as long as most people don't have the education to think more critically about these issues than what the government-controlled media tells them, and the ones who do often can't get jobs commensurate to their level of education. We can invade who we want, and will win most battles (until the American people decide that war is too costly or impossible to win) but it may not accomplish much as long as these conditions remain. And it's not too clear if the US can do much to improve these political and economic conditions, or if the American masses will support such an agenda. And even if the Middle East suddenly became a beacon of democracy and prosperity, I doubt that Osama Bin Laden and his cohorts would suddenly put down their weapons and decide that the US is the Great Angel. But it would make it harder for him to recruit, and it would make it harder for people to take his views of history seriously.

No matter what we do, terrorist attacks will still be possible for a determined few, and there will remain a few people crazy enough to attempt them. That does not mean that we should abandon our task, but that we should realize its inherent difficulties.

Sorry for the rambling post.

Comment #76 - Posted by: russ greene at May 17, 2007 4:28 PM


We're on the same page. To me, an obvious policy is buying off mullahs and imams to promote at a minimum indifference to us, and ideally support. We (understood in this case more generally as Western and Asian business interests) actually are quite capable of making strongly positive changes in the economies in all these regions, if the regimes will just protect property rights. We don't even need democracies, which is good, since we won't likely get them.

It has long seemed obvious to me, though, that if Saudi Arabia can promote Wahhabism, why can't we promote Capitalism, and doctrines of human rights? Why aren't there American Schools throughout the Middle East? Maybe we need to call them something else, for what I suppose are obvious reasons, but why not promote our agenda and educate people at the same time?

One obvious reason, is the leftists shriek like little girls at such ideas. Presumably, Wahhabism is a much more benign doctrine, since it doesn't come from us, and is directly antithetical both to general human rights, and our specific interests.

To my knowledge, Noam Chomsky has never backed off from his apologetics for the Cambodian killing fields. Rationalizing this is a piece of cake.

Comment #77 - Posted by: Barry Cooper at May 17, 2007 4:39 PM

3rd Recon, Okinawa, Japan

No rest for the weary. It took a while to get around to posting. But, being on a 5-day work week, and wanting to PT as a unit as often as possible, we've had to be somewhat creative in our application of CrossFit principles. The reality of having to train 50+ Marines at once with limited equipment drives many of our modifications to the WODs.

Today, we did the following for time:

21 X Pullup Burpees (a normal burpee with the jump to a bar to execute a pullup before dropping off to start the next rep)
5 X 50m Sprints (up a steep grassy hill, about a 35 degree incline)
18 X Pullup Burpees
5 X 50m Sprints
15 X Pullup Burpees
5 X 50m Sprints
12 X Pullup Burpees
5 X 50m Sprints
9 X Pullup Burpees
5 X 50m Sprints

My time was 33:45. I'm smoked. Helluva cardio workout, but my shoulders are really feeling it as well.

Semper Fi

Comment #78 - Posted by: Gunny at May 18, 2007 7:54 PM
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