How Sunni Insurgents Can Help


IN AN ARTICLE IN SLATE, How Sunni Insurgents Can Help Us In Iraq, Fred Kaplan wrote, "It may well be that many of the U.S. military's missions simply cannot be completed. Gen. David Petraeus, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, is a highly skilled and creative officer. Some of the most imaginative counterinsurgency specialists are working as his assistants. But sometimes smart people and good strategy can go only so far. An operation also requires sufficient resources and an amenable setting—and those are lacking in Iraq.

"However, as the current campaign in Anbar suggests, we may yet make a go of one of the missions—the destruction of al-Qaida in Iraq. This also happens to be, from the vantage of strict U.S. interests, the most vital mission. The Bush administration's most persuasive argument in the debate on Iraq is that a U.S. pullout would embolden al-Qaida's leaders to broaden their campaign elsewhere."

A pullout would no doubt be viewed as a defeat by al-Qaida, and would help them recruit more zealots to their cause. They are determined to destroy Western civilization, and whether we like it or not, we will have to fight them sooner or later. Our best bet is sooner, and to give them no reason to feel successful.

Read why they are committed to destroying the free world: The Short Answer.


Slow-motion Tet

THE AUTHORS, Kagan and Kristol, make a few good points in this article: Slow-motion Tet. One is that things are taking place in Iraq that bode well for the future. Iraqi citizens that tolerate al Qaeda at first are then turned off when al Qaeda starts enforcing outdated customs like requiring the locals to segregate their vegetables in the market by sex.

All over Iraq, al Qaeda is losing support for many good reasons, but that isn't as newsworthy as a bridge blowing up, so it isn't covered much by mainstream news, so we don't hear much about it, so many of us are disheartened about Iraq. Read why news is covered the way it is.

Another good point the authors make is that al Qaeda is, of course, trying to get U.S. troops out of Iraq. Their method is to try to make the whole project lose support back home. As Kagan and Kristol put it,

"But al Qaeda is clearly taking a page from the Viet Cong's book. The terrorists have been mounting a slow-motion Tet offensive of spectacular attacks on markets, bridges, and mosques, knowing that the media report each such attack as an American defeat. The fact is that al Qaeda is steadily losing its grip in Iraq, and these attacks are alienating its erstwhile Iraqi supporters."

If you know anyone who watches mainstream news and is demoralized about the U.S. role in Iraq, please send them the Slow-motion Tet article and these as well:

We need to stop the widespread discouragement inadvertently (or in some cases, deliberately) propagated by mainstream news programs in America. You can help by sharing what you know with others.


Rage Boy In The News


A PROFESSIONAL PROTESTER (Rage Boy in the photo here) combined with the negative bias of the media creates a false impression to millions of people. Those millions then try to influence their representatives to do things like pull out of Iraq. See a photojournalist's page about one such professional protester.

In an article by Christopher Hitchens called, Let's Stop Channeling Angry Muslims, Hitchens concludes by saying, "It's impossible to satisfy 'Rage Boy' and his ilk. It's stupid to try."

Hitchens is a sharp, biting writer, but his remarks are intelligent and he makes a good point. He writes, "We are incessantly told that the removal of the Saddam Hussein despotism has inflamed the world's Muslims against us and made Iraq hospitable to if Baathism had not been pumping out jihadist rhetoric for the past decade...But how are we to know what will incite such rage? A caricature published in Copenhagen appears to do it."

In other words, hatred of the West has been a theme of Islamists long before Iraq was invaded, and pulling our troops out of Iraq would not stop the hatred. Thinking in terms of "trying to make them not hate us" would not be good for anyone except the extremists. In fact, they do not just hate the West. They hate their fellow Muslims who wish to form democracies, not just in Iraq, but everywhere a democracy movement has been tried in a Muslim country. There has always been a small but violent minority of those Muslims who have given their all to stop democracy from taking root. Find out why here.

Osama bin Laden and his followers hate the West. It really doesn't matter what we do. Trying to appease them in any way is just foolish. They cannot be satisfied.

Rage Boy has his influence because of the negative bias of the media and our own brains. To counter the alarming, disturbing influence of the negative bias, you have to be aware of it and know how it works, just as you can reduce the frightening impact of a horror film by seeing how the special effects were created. Learn more about negative biases here. Learn how it works, and teach your friends and family. Help them become immune to this insidious memetic infection.


Strengthen Women's Rights To Reduce Terrorism


WE ARE AT WAR. Like it or not, some Muslims have declared a holy war against you and me. Many innocent people will die because some fanatics are hell-bent on destroying us. We must fight them or we will lose this war by default. And we must fight them aggressively.

You can afford to use primarily defensive tactics when you fight honorable men; but you cannot afford to sit and wait when the enemy is willing to use sneaky tactics. They hide among the children and in holy places. They exploit our honor and our rules. We have no choice but to seek them out before they kill us.

But we must do more. The trouble with battling evil is it destroys life. It destroys people and families and buildings and futures. Fighting takes time and resources that could have been spent building a better world and wastes it. War may be necessary, but the free world must go one step further.

We have more than the two obvious options (avoid trouble or fight against it). We have the intelligence to do what no other animal can do: We can figure out what good action would eliminate this trouble. What could we build or strengthen that would weaken terrorism?

It is a sound and universally-applicable principle: When you spend time and money building up the good, you make the bad easier to handle. In the case of terrorism, there are many things that could be built to weaken terrorism — democracy, free speech, free enterprise, schools, and maybe most important of all: women's rights.

The most violent cultures are the ones with the least female influence. The more balanced the power and influence of both sexes, the less violent its people. And the more balanced the culture, the more prosperous the people. The cultures that support terrorism have always been the most out of balance. Female rights and influence are missing.

The fewer rights women have, the more violent the men and the poorer the people. When a woman is free to do and say what she wants alongside men, the country grows stronger and saner. Female influence balances men and brings out the best in both sexes.

So although we must fight this war against fanatical Muslim men, it would be in our best interests to also build and strengthen the rights of Muslim women. They fought for forty years in Kuwait for the right to vote. Women in Muslim countries have fought long and hard for a voice in their own world. Their desire to have a voice already exists. We'd be wise to do all we can to support it (we have practical ways for you to offer your support at the end of this article).

The moment women have the vote, their country becomes more balanced and easier for other countries to deal with. The voice of women could restore sanity and balance to countries that sorely need both.

The antidote to terrorism lies in women's rights. Free the women. Give them equal rights and a voice and the power to influence their country. As women grow stronger, terrorism gets weaker.

Very few women wanted to live under the Taliban, but they had no say in the matter. No woman wants to be stoned to death for the way she dresses or the job she works. Inside male-dominated non-democratic countries are millions of women, most of whom are potential allies against the religious extremists. Brave soldiers fight terrorism in this un-asked-for war. But to really win we must do more: We must build more of what works, like free enterprise, democratic countries, and women's rights.

Read what Islamic law says about women's rights.


The possible ways of accomplishing this are very large. Women should have human rights.

See an excellent movie about how women lived under the Taliban. It is the first movie made in Afghanistan after the Taliban was defeated, and it was made by people who lived through it. Powerful.

Read more about how working for women's rights can help defeat terrorism.




HERE IS A GROWING LIST of ideas. Either you can apply them yourself, or you can share them with people who can apply them. Either way, it is something you can do about terrorism. Good ideas make a difference. When you think of a new idea or hear a good one, please send them our way so we can publish them here.

1. Support womens' rights. The possible ways of accomplishing this are very large, and over the long run this is probably the best course of action we could take. When women have basic human rights, they have greater influence on men and their influence tends toward calmer, more inclusive, less violent solutions. Besides, it is simply right that women have human rights. Read an article on this.

2. Incorporate your commitment to defeat terrorism into the work you do for a living. For example, Steve Penny is a corporate trainer and a consultant. He has blended his commitment to foil terrorism with his work, so he gives Citizen Warrior Basic Training to employees of businesses, to help them deal with their fears and eliminate any last trace of defeatism from their thinking. In his work, he is helping to make a strong and healthy populationthe kind of population that is highly immune to terroristic bullying. Steve is helping to make the free world a poor medium for the growth of terrorism. How can you incorporate your commitment to defeating terrorism with your livelihood?

3. Write to your representatives and senators. Let them know what you think. When the government is doing something you support, let them know. If you have ideas about what ought to be done, let them know. This is an easy way to make your opinion known. You can also send these addresses to your friends and encourage them to make their opinions known to their representatives. Put the pressure on. Your message is more influential than you'd think. Very few people write to their representatives, so to the representatives, every message you send represents a large number of people.

4. Promote values. Some values are universal, believed in by anyone of any religion and appreciated by every nationality: Kindness toward others, determination, honesty, etc. This is a level at which all sane people can unite. By promoting the values themselves, you are helping people of different ethnic backgrounds and believers of different doctrines find an important common ground. Read more about that at Values In Action. Take the VIA Signature Strengths questionnaire and learn what your strengths are at

5. Participate in civil defense. The American Civil Defense Association is a non-profit, non-political organization dedicated to providing strategic civil defense, disaster preparedness and disaster mitigation solutions to all sectors of American society and abroad, and to promoting reasonable disaster preparedness activities and sanctity of life for all.

6. Here is an extremely easy thing you can do to help the cause: Put a signature in your email program that points people to this site. We have several signatures to choose from that you can copy and paste. This is an easy way to get the word out.

7. Therapists, counselors, and advisors across the nation could begin a purpose campaign, helping their clients become purposeful and take actions that defeat terrorism. A sense of purpose is psychologically healthy. Responding to terrorism with purpose is a mentally healthy response.

We received a note from C.G., Certified Coach . She is taking actions that defeat terrorism. She wrote:

I found your website while searching for articles to share with my clients and newsletter subscribers regarding yesterday's news. I have never come across a more useful site in my years of doing research over the internet. I haven't yet read every word of your site, but I can start planning my strategy now.

As a Certified Coach (personal coach), I can (a) write about your articles in my newsletter; (b) urge them strongly to visit your site; (c) ask them to forward my newsletter to every person they know, and encourage the same of everyone who, in turn, receives it; (d) start a "Purpose Campaign" with my subscribers (who span many areas of the globe); and (e) encourage them to send their good ideas to your site.

Your site has inspired me and strengthened my sense of purpose. With my writing skills, BS in Psych, coach training, and a strong desire to serve others during these uncertain times, I have confidence I can carry forth your work.

She not only thought about it and planned it, she executed her plan. This result is the purpose of Motivated action that defeats terrorism.

8. If you are a promoter, and advertiser, or a salesperson, you can use your expertise, just as entertainers did to raise money for families of the victims of September 11th, and do something you are uniquely qualified to do: Come up with ways to help win the propaganda war, and in this way help defeat terrorism. Even if the U.S. is takes honorable actions, if the terrorists reach more people more effectively with their message, we can lose international support. The battlefield of the war on terror is the human mind. That is your field.

9. Check out USAFreedomCorps, a site where you can type in what you're interesting in doing and where you are, and they'll tell you what volunteer civic opportunities are available to you.

10. Help the Freedom House, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization working for democracy and freedom around the world. Through a vast array of international programs and publications, Freedom House is working to advance the remarkable worldwide expansion of political and economic freedom.

11. Just as we have national monuments people can visit, how about making Jerusalem an international monument. People from all over the world could come and visit, just as they do with the Lincoln Memorial or the Washington Monument. People of all kinds can visit monuments and enjoy them without having to agree on its value. By making Jerusalem an international monument, much of the dispute over that small piece of real estate could be settled and could be taken out of partisan hands and put into the hands of the world community. If you like this idea, promote it. Send the idea to your representatives. Send it out in emails. Send it to members of the U.N. Get it talked about on the radio.

12. Help Amnesty International stop the human rights abuses of Saudi Arabia. Start here. This organization is dedicated to helping specific people in specific places, and their successes are abundant. You can help. Read more about Saudi Arabia's human rights status here.

13. Do Something About The Negative Media Bias
News broadcasts alter the way people think and vote, and the mainstream newscasters have an agenda. It is biased toward the negative and biased toward liberal causes. Sometimes this bias hinders the cause of fighting terrorism. Go to this page
and read up on it and learn what you can do about it.

14. We received the following from Christopher Cross:

We no longer have the luxury to sit idly or silently by; relying upon others to protect our communities and the citizens. Citizen involvement is critical and we must collectively work together if we are to safeguard our homes and our nation. Coinciding with this, the Direct Intervention for Victims of Emergencies (D.I.V.E. TEAM ©) program was created to not only increase the viable pathway for citizen involvement during massive emergencies, but also to ensure effective utilization of resources and manpower. It is the first national response program of its kind and the first to have been written by a citizen for citizens. Unfortunately, getting governmental support for more in-depth and valued citizen involvement on a national level has not been easy and because of this, I need your help in letting our officials know that this program is an immensely valued tool in the overall responses to any given massive emergency. For a free copy of the program outline, please email me at and write to your city and state officials to request their proactive review of this program for trained citizen involvement beyond the limitation of city limits.

Christopher Cross
Program Founder and Developer

We encourage you to support Mr. Cross's efforts. Go here to learn more about the D.I.V.E. Team.

15. Jim Sanders just sent in an idea that is so far out of the box, it might work. Read his idea here and you can write to him and/or add your comments.

If you are having trouble thinking of ways you could contribute to the war effort, you're not alone. Learn how to mine the brilliant ideas in the depths of your mind. Learn how to solve problems and come up with good ideas.


Use Your Time Well


TERRORISTS TAKE THE TIME TO PLAN. They are effective in their execution. They have goals, and they don't waste time. When they "succeed," it is not because they are on the side of "right." And we will not succeed because we are on the side of right. We will succeed if (and only if) we are more effective than terrorists. If we use our time better.

Here is one good way to improve your effectiveness: Subscribe to
Brian Tracy's free time-management newsletter. The information is excellent, comes out once a week, and is very concentrated. It contains advertising, but the information is not a teaser. It contains fundamental, useful principles that will make you more effective.


Set Clear Targets

IN A STUDY AT at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, researchers wanted to find out what motivational techniques work best. They had the subjects do sit-ups for ninety seconds once each day for four days. Those who were given the instruction, "do your best," averaged around 43 sit-ups in the ninety seconds. But those who were given specific long-term and short-term goals managed 56 sit-ups per ninety seconds by the last day. For example, one of the targets given was, "do ten percent more than you did last time."

Targets improved performance. Definite purpose does better than indefinite purpose. Better in the sense that you perform better, but also better for your health, happiness, and a sense of meaning.

If your purpose is ongoing or long-term, set landmarks or targets. Slavomir Rawicz was in a forced labor camp in Siberia. He and six men escaped from the camp and set a big goal: Make it to India alive. They made the river Lena as their first objective, and felt great satisfaction when they achieved it, even though it was not very far compared to how far they had to go. Next they wanted to reach the northern end of Lake Baikal because they knew they could follow it south and it would take them almost out of Siberia. Lake Baikal is a very long, banana-shaped lake stretching four hundred miles from the northern end to the southern tip.

In this way, one target at a time, they kept their concentration strong and their spirits high as they attempted to reach their impossible goal. Each target was a win and gave them a feeling of accomplishment, and it kept their motivation high. They made their way, incredibly enough, all the way across Siberia, moving south, then across Mongolia and the infamous Gobi Desert, and then all the way across the Himalayas and finally to India. They were fugitives being pursued by the heartless USSR secret police. They did it with only an ax and a knife. But four of them made it alive to India (it took them a month to cross the Gobi desert and two of the men died in the desert).

Use your purposes with skill. If you feel overwhelmed and stressed, concentrate on the smallest unit you can: This plate, this piece of paper. Deal with only this small unit until it is complete. Then choose another small unit. If you look at your purpose and it seems huge and discouraging, focus on the small unit task.

Michael Lotito is in the Guinness Book of World Records for eating an airplane. He did it by grinding the whole airplane into a fine powder, and then adding a little to his meals every day. Break something into small enough units and even a huge task becomes quite easy. You might think, I can't eat an airplane! but you can swallow this little teaspoon of grit in a glass of water.

Break your purpose down into targets. Make a list of targets, put them in order, and then get to work, accomplishing those targets one after the other until you have succeeded.


Why We Must Go To War!

Editor's note: The following is an article we found at We are reprinting it on Citizen Warrior because it is worth reading. It is a long, strongly opinionated but well-reasoned and well-substantiated case for the war on Iraq, written before the war started. Whether you were for or against the war, this piece is worth reading.

Why we must go to WAR!
by William A. Whittle

THE INTERNET IS A WONDERFUL PLACE. I almost wrote “invention,” but it is, in fact, a landscape, a space to explore. We have, at our fingertips, all of the combined wisdom (and idiocy) of our species throughout our long struggle up towards enlightenment.

The internet is also a horrible place, for there are dark rooms and hidden sewers where all of the festering evil we humans commit upon each other are exposed for those with the stomach to witness it.

I have spent much time in these disgusting realms in the days since September 11th, 2001. I have forced myself to endure many videotaped nightmares. I have seen Africans hacked to pieces with machetes, watched mere boys shot in the street and left there like dogs by other Kalashnikov-wielding children. I've seen a mass execution by firing squad, men tied to poles set against a gorgeous beach while picnickers cheered and danced. I've seen a man’s hands cut off in front of his very eyes.

I've seen photos of blackened lumps in a morgue in Bali, the charred and twisted remains of happy young men and women in the prime of their lives. I've seen the unimaginable carnage in the few seconds after a suicide bombing in Israel, dead and dying old men and women looking down at their shattered bodies in disbelief, and yonder the head of the perpetrator smiling joyously on the sidewalk. I've seen the rage and joy of pre-teen children as they throw stones at their murdered neighbors accused of collaboration in Palestine.

I've seen emergency workers with shovels cleaning up what’s left of people after a Serb mortar attack on a marketplace. I've seen the almost unimaginable cruelty of Chechens screaming Allahu Ackbar! as they decapitate a Russian civilian with a small axe in a forest clearing, and I have watched them cut the throat of a Russian boy soldier with such horror and disgust that I was sick for the rest of the day. I have seen these things, and more.

There are two images I will never forget, and I expect I will think of them often in the days and weeks to come. For in the front row of this parade of horror and depravity, I have watched a fundamentalist Islamic crowd stone two women to death. They were covered head to toe in shockingly white linen — the better to see the bloodstains. Taken into a field and buried up to their waists, they looked like odd white sails on a sand horizon, until the stones began to fly, leaving red carnations where they landed. One of the women just crumpled, bent at the waist, and I still pray that this person was knocked unconscious within the first minute or so. The other did not go peacefully into that good night. She died fighting and struggling, enduring the most sickening lurches as the unseen stones fell on her, twisting under that now-scarlet hood, trying to protect her face as best she could, as hundreds of her friends and relatives vented their rage, calling out the name of their god as we would cheer on the Tamba Bay Buccaneers. Allahu Ackbar! Allahu Ackbar! Allahu Ackbar!

I will not forget that image.

And I will not forget another one, either. As long as I draw breath, I swear I will never forget the sight of two people holding hands, and leaping from 108 stories above the hard concrete sidewalks that I myself have walked, gawking skyward at one of the wonders of the world. I will not forget them. I will not forget their fall, the spin that finally tore their hands apart as they fell forever, forever down that quarter-mile. I will never stop wondering what they said to each other in that last moment, or their cries to each other as they launched themselves to their deaths, having watched their friends take the same leap a few moments before. I will never forget what an unimaginable hell that their cozy office, full of coffee mugs and pictures of grandchildren, had become in order for them to make that choice, with the ruins of their friends visible on the streets so far below them.

Now let me explain why I have sought out such despair and horror, endured again and again the rising bile, the nausea, the sickening unclean sense that is cured only by a long, hot shower.

I do it because I want to see what is, not what has been fed to me. I have worked as a scientist and a television editor, and both of these professions have driven me to seek out the reality, the raw data, the source footage. I want my world view and my opinions to reflect facts, not wishes — no matter how unpleasant the facts, or how comforting the wishes.

One of the reasons that September 11th remains so shocking and clear to us today was that it was all raw and unedited during those first few hours. Bland, chatty newsmen were rendered speechless, a tough-as-nails mayor broke down and wept, congressmen spontaneously broke into God Bless America because they didn't know what else to do, and people sent in video of jets flying into buildings, broadcast unedited as their friends screamed Jesus Fucking Christ!! on network television. It was raw. It was real. It stayed that way for perhaps 48 hours, until people like me (but not me) got a hold of it and turned it into America Mourns with slow-mo flags snapping and moving dissolves of weeping bystanders superimposed over somber musical chords.

Now that awful, enraging footage is being held back, so as not to inflame public opinion. We are about to launch a war in which people will die at our hand, and we have done a dreadful job of making the case for such an action. No cold-blooded, clear-eyed look at what we oppose in this conflict could do anything but inflame public opinion.

Those who criticize the United States from within clearly have not seen any of these horrors I have mentioned, for if they had it could not but mitigate their rhetoric, and put some perspective into their arrogant and affluent lives. Those who actually endure such daily horror as can be found in the world want one thing and one thing only: they want to come here. They want to come here NOW.

We never see these grotesque realities on US television, and yet our news media has not been shy about reporting the effects of US bombing campaigns, never missed a chance to show us the weeping civilians wailing over children lost in US air attacks, never blanched at showing charred Iraqi soldiers hanging out of tanks destroyed by our weapons.

However, by showing only our actions, by showing only what we did to Iraqis without presenting the horrors they inflicted on Kuwait, we have made an editorial decision, that being: The US is the cause of, and not the remedy to, much of the suffering in the world.

That said, in a democracy we are responsible for the actions of our military. Reporting on the consequences of our actions is disturbing and demoralizing, and yet it is well and proper that they do this. We cannot turn our backs on the actual consequences of our actions as Americans. We need to see and hear the result of our military operations, for if we do not we will lose the shock and outrage, the human compassion and decency that so often stays our hand. We, as a nation, learned in Vietnam that war is not jingoistic glory. It is also not a video game. It is concentrated, unleashed pain, agony, grief and horror, and real people, people who love their children as much as we do, are going to suffer and die because of the actions we are about to take.

Unlike our political opponents both here and abroad, we need to fully and completely understand and accept the consequences of our position. And those consequences, when making war, are the most solemn and heavy responsibilities we can bear as a people.

Those protesting this war do not seem to get this at all. Not only have they failed to make an argument based on fact and historical precedent, they have stooped to the most childish and infantile posturing and rhetoric imaginable. Their chanting has all the mindlessness and cruelty of a kindergarten cabal; their slogans and slanders and taunts seemingly exclusively ad hominem. Watching them on C–Span for as long as you can bear, you rapidly become convinced that they have no point to make at all, other than that the United States is, by definition, the source of all evil and injustice in the world. Conscientious liberals admit in private, and indeed, more frequently in public, to the paucity of thought, the irrationality and sheer lunacy of those who march in our streets in opposition to war with Iraq. I see the absurd posturing of these suburban socialists, listen to the inane chanting from these mall Marxists, watch them return to their Lexus’ and their minivans and their SUV’s and find myself stuck with Life During Wartime running over and over in my head:

This ain't no party
This ain't no disco
This ain't no foolin’ around

This ain't no Mud Club
I ain't got time for that now

As we enter the eve of this war, I am myself torn by a paradox in human nature that has confused and baffled minds far greater and more refined than mine. How can we be both so good and so bad? How can the SS and the Salvation Army be staffed by the same species? What exactly is our nature, anyway?

This has been debated for ages, but to me the most cursory look at the world can quickly and clearly provide a powerful clue. The single definitive trait of Homo Sapiens, our greatest — indeed, only strength as a species, is our limitless adaptability. No other creature before or since can live anywhere, (or eat anything) and thrive. From the bleached sands of the Sahara to the ice floes of the pole, we can adapt and prosper. We can be found in every latitude, in the far reaches of space, and at the bottom of the ocean. We appear to be infinitely programmable, and so we adapt to anything.

In societies where cruelty and domination rule, we are capable of the most unspeakable acts of torture, repression and murder. In the streets of revolution-torn Africa, in torture chambers in South America, in the killing fields of Asia, the Gulags of the steppes, the European death camps and the American cotton plantations we have seen refined and perfected barbarism and inhumanity.

Some say this is just human nature. And yet, and yet, in those few historical moments where freedom and prosperity and democracy are allowed to flourish and grow, we are startled by the near total absence of such plagues. No democracy has ever declared war on another. They may have endured hunger, but no true democracy has ever faced actual famine. Individual crime and atrocity have sadly not been banished, but bloodshed and massacre in the streets day after day are unimaginable. Entire communities and nations have been built and survive on deeply cherished ideals of liberty and freedom.

Where the people rule, soldiers do not come jackbooted in the night. Decency, trust, respect and cooperation are the coin of such a realm, and their by-products are equality, prosperity, and happiness. And by any measure, the most free and prosperous and inventive of these societies may be found in the United States of America.

We have managed, as a nation, to build and maintain what might best be thought of as a bubble of freedom, safety and opportunity. We have paid for this privilege through two and a half centuries by wars that have taken the best of our sons and fathers, and now our mothers and daughters as well. We have for two hundred and fifty years found our voice and our memories intact, and now stand at the doorstep of a new millennium facing a world that has once again largely chosen to ignore the lessons of history.

We and two or three other nations, old and true friends who have stood by us through flame and terror, now confront a menace the likes of which we have not seen for almost a thousand years. We face an adversary in the full bloom of romance with death and destruction, an enemy willing — eager — to spray our cities with a virus it has taken armies of scientists and doctors, working diligently through centuries of research and learning, to eradicate from the blood-soaked rolls of history. We face fanatics who would bring down the entire world, themselves included, in a radioactive Armageddon, secure in their own twisted souls of the heavenly rewards of sexual gratification and revenge for their many abject failures. We face people such as this, people who are so far beyond the pale of human mercy and so corrupted by black and bitter rage that they must be killed, for nothing else will stop them, nothing — as they tell us at every opportunity.

We have blithely ignored them for many years, turned a deaf ear to their warnings and fatwahs, turned an even more blinded eye to their procession of assassinations, massacres, bombings and attacks. Despite our recent and proven record of aiding and defending innocent Muslims in Kuwait, the Balkans, and elsewhere, we have been singled out as a Satan, a nation of sub-human infidels, and been the target of slander and incitement to murder that would have shamed the most fanatical Jesuit in the Spanish Inquisition.

There are those of us who have the courage to actually listen to their unedited rhetoric, view the video records of their atrocities, and face the fact that these people are sworn to kill as many innocent civilians as they possibly can. Some of us, in the months since September 11th, 2001, have chosen to take them at their word.

So let us gather the moral courage to take a factual, cold-hearted look at the reasons why this war with Iraq is the necessary next step in this conflict; one that needs to be undertaken without delay.

First, and most importantly, we can plainly state the prima facie cause that makes up our first argument in favor of invasion:

1. The impending military action is not the pre-emptive opening of hostilities against a sovereign nation, but rather the continuation of hostilities began by Iraq in 1990 with their invasion of Kuwait; said resumption being a direct result of repeated and flagrant violations of the ceasefire signed by Iraq in 1991.

So much for the ‘pre-emptive’ attack criticism. This upcoming military action is indeed the product of a pre-emptive attack on a sovereign nation…that nation being Kuwait. Saddam Hussein took his country to war in a naked grab for oil and glory. He was handed the worst military defeat in modern history, a defeat so complete and total that US forces began to hesitate to fire on Iraqi units that were so spectacularly and completely routed.

The United States acquiesced to international law in the form of the UN resolution limiting military action to the removal of Iraqi forces from Kuwait. The Iraqi leader, facing complete and total defeat, entered into agreements as a condition of ceasefire, and has failed at every turn to honor those agreements, bringing his country to ruin and starvation by doing so.

It’s really just that simple.

Second, the current resolution is clearly worded so that the burden of proof regarding disarmament is on Iraq, and not on the success of the weapons inspectors. UN 1441 makes it clear that anything less than full and complete cooperation — this means things like meeting us at the airport and handing over the uranium-enrichment centrifuges that we know they have — is a material breach of UN1441 and will be met by “serious consequences” (and we should perhaps rename the Nimitz the USS Serious Consequences.)


2. Failure to turn over known WMD components, and not the failure of UN Inspectors to find them, puts Iraq in material breach of UN Resolution 1441 and authorizes the US and her allies to enforce previous UN resolutions by means of military force.

So much for the legal niceties. Now let’s get down to brass tacks.

On Tuesday, September 11th, 2001, the United States was suddenly and deliberately attacked by forces of Islamic extremism in an act of barbarity that stunned the world.

In order to grasp the full meaning of that attack, we would do well to change our terminology to better reflect the reality we face. We should be thinking and discussing the upcoming conflict not as the War on Iraq, but as the Battle of Iraq. For it is indeed that: a major — hopefully, the major — battle against Islamic fundamentalism and the tactic of terrorism that they have employed against the US and others in their rage and shame at their own manifest failures.

Let us then examine the evidence and motivation that firmly places Iraq as the key component in an alliance of terror directed against the West in general and the United States in particular.

We should begin by having the honesty and integrity to admit that the direct connections between Iraq and Al Qaeda prior to the events of 9/11 are tenuous and murky at best. We should also acknowledge that despite feverish claims to the contrary, Saddam Hussein is a totalitarian dictator exclusively concerned with his own power and in no way is he the Muslim Saladin he makes himself out to be. It does indeed seem likely that Osama bin laden and Saddam detest and hate each other (and soon we shall be able to refer to both of them in the past tense.) But to say that this is enough to prevent them from allying themselves against the United States is self-delusion of the highest order.

For the full horror of a terrorist nuclear attack upon the United States to come to fruition, our enemies need both the means to produce an atomic bomb and a delivery system for it.

Anyone who doubts the willingness and ability of Al Qaeda to deploy and use such a weapon has frankly not been paying attention and is unworthy of this debate. They have, in public statements, on web sites, in training videos and operations manuals, shown a persistent and desperate attempt to obtain such a weapon. We have only to look back to that clear blue morning should we have any doubt whatsoever that such people would do everything in their power to kill as many of us as possible. Let us not forget that without the heroism and professionalism of our police and firemen, and the most well-managed, successful emergency evacuation in history, that death toll that day could have easily reached twenty or thirty thousand. There is a great deal of evidence that other teams, both here and abroad, were thwarted by the quick grounding of the commercial fleet by the FAA. Who knows how many others might have been killed that day, and where? Or how many unsung victories we have won in the months since that terrible day?

A small nuclear device can be fit into a suitcase. We need to face the stark, brutal fact that in a free society there is no defense against such a weapon. This war cannot be won, and our cities and people saved from nuclear annihilation, by playing defense.

Fortunately, constructing a nuclear weapon is not easy. In fact, it took the United States the better part of several years and billions of 1940’s dollars to construct an operational nuclear device, using the full resources of the world’s richest nation and the best theoretical and practical minds on the planet.

Not only must the bomb maker gets his or her hands on large quantities of a rare and tightly controlled substance — uranium or plutonium — they must also overcome huge engineering problems in terms of hardened materials and exquisitely timed explosions needed to implode the fissile material to critical mass.

A finished nuke can fit in a suitcase, but to build one takes a factory, indeed, takes a nation: money, massive equipment, large work areas, armies of scientists. These things, unlike suitcases, can be found, targeted and destroyed.

There can be no question whatsoever that Saddam Hussein has been desperately seeking the means to build such a weapon. Let’s make sure everyone heard that: There can be no question whatsoever that Saddam Hussein has been desperately seeking the means to build such a weapon. Really astonishing piles of independent records and sources confirm this without question. From Iraqi defectors who actually had hands-on experience with the programs, to intelligence reports of the import of the required equipment and raw materials, to the reams of evidence that prior inspectors discovered in their seven years of investigations, to the unabashed statements of Saddam Hussein himself… Saddam has brought his country to ruin for no other reason that his obsession with owning a nuclear bomb.

Had the Israelis not bombed the Osirak reactor in 1981 (and endured world condemnation for it at the time), then without question Iraq would have had a nuclear weapon during the 1991 Gulf War. It is impossible to imagine a man such as Saddam not using such a weapon when faced with the greatest defeat in military history. Whether he used it in a Scud attack on US troops, to contaminate Kuwaiti or Saudi oilfields, or, more likely, to use against Tel Aviv to ignite a holy war against the hated Jews, the result would have been catastrophic, indeed, in the likely case of a nuclear response from Israel, unimaginable.

We can therefore sum up the next argument for attacking Iraq as follows:

3. Saddam Hussein has the means and the motivation to develop nuclear weapons, and there is irrefutable evidence that he has tried to do so. He has shown staggering errors in judgment and a belief in his own personal infallibility by attacking Iran, Kuwait, and Israel. Iraq attaining nuclear capability therefore provides a potent and immediate threat to our allies in the region and the vital interests of the United States.

Like all dictators, Saddam runs a state apparatus ruled by fear. There is no one in his military command structure, or indeed among his party or even his sons, who are willing to give him real information, because most of that information will be bad news. This, coupled with his clinical paranoia and narcissism, have led him to absolutely appalling errors in judgment, such as assuming the Iranian people would join him in his war with Iran, the miscalculation over Kuwait in 1990 and the subsequent evasion of his obligations in the years since.

Furthermore, the people who have had first-hand contact with Saddam Hussein all speak of his messianic complex. He cares not a whit about world opinion, and indeed seems preoccupied with how the people — particularly the Arabs — of 500 years hence will record him. Saddam, to put it plainly, plans to make a big splash on the pages of world history. In this he is no different than Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot. There are no legal or behavioral inhibitions on totalitarians such as Saddam. He does whatever he wishes, and every action is met by terrified praise and false adulation from a population cowering in fear.

Therefore, it is not only likely but probable that Saddam will be tempted to use such weapons to strike back at those who have committed the unthinkable crime of embarrassing him before the world. And this is where Al Qaeda can provide him with not only the delivery mechanism, but also, to Saddam’s irrational and misinformed mind, a form of plausible deniability. His success with The Big Lie these past 11 years has emboldened him to believe — with ample justification – that there are legions of useful idiots ready to rally to the defense of anyone who dares attack America.

So we may summarize our fourth cause as follows:

4. Saddam Hussein shows irrefutable signs of mental impairment in the form of Clinical Paranoia and Narcissistic Disorder. Given control of nuclear or other weapons of mass destruction, his temptation to use them against the US on American soil is not mitigated by normal behavioral inhibitors, and indeed is amplified by his aberrant mental state. This poses a potent, immediate and intolerable threat to the safety and security of the people of the United States.

A close corollary to this argument can be made from the fact that Saddam routinely tortures, murders and gasses his own people. We may disagree violently with the Chinese, the Russians, the Pakistanis and the French, among others, but we do not unduly fear nuclear attack from such nations because each of them can be deterred by the unimaginable rain of destruction we would unleash upon them in return.

A self-absorbed Narcissist such as Saddam does not see people — even his own people — the way we do. They are objects to men like Saddam, props and extras the enhance the panoply and glory of their lives. Brave German generals disobeyed Hitler’s orders to destroy everything that remained intact in Germany during the final weeks of the Third Reich. Like all dictators, he saw the impending end of his own life as the final curtain on his nation’s history…and what happened to the extras in his biopic was completely irrelevant.

Saddam has taken the cradle of civilization, one of the most enlightened and educated populations in the middle east, and driven it to utter ruin in service to his own vainglorious ambitions. The money designated to feed and care for his people under the UN sanctions he has used to build mad palaces of sickening opulence under the noses of his starving children. And yet there are those that say the threat of reprisal against his nation is sufficient to keep him in line.

Nonsense. Saddam has to die someday. And when he goes, he clearly means to take whatever he can with him. Therefore:

5. Saddam has repeatedly shown his contempt and bitter disregard for the welfare of his own people. He has totally neglected all of the misery they have endured since his ascension to power, and is therefore undeterrable and immune to fear of reprisal against his nation and his people.

No one disputes that nuclear weapons are dangerous. No one disputes that Saddam is dangerous. So why do legions of people argue that Saddam with nuclear weapons is somehow not dangerous?

Those, as I see them, are our primary casus belli. Now let’s deal with some of the reasons why people oppose this war.

Click here for PART TWO

© Copyright 2003 William A. Whittle - all rights reserved


Make War On Pessimism


WE ARE ENGAGED IN THE ULTIMATE battle between good and evil, or at least that's a good way to look at it. Pessimism is evil because it causes demoralization. It makes people weak. It allows people with bad intentions to rule those who fear them (or feel demoralized by pessimism). This is an eternal war. Neither side will ever win. And the fight for freedom from both tyranny and pessimism is an uphill battle because natural, built-in forces are working against it. These forces are malicious and capable, functioning as parasites on free people.

Just like the fight to keep your computer free of viruses, this war on pessimism will never end. But that doesn't mean you should stop fighting. Stop and you lose for sure. Fight and keep fighting and you may tip the balance to the good.

This is a game in the most elevated sense of the word. And it's a game worth playing. The fight for political freedom and freedom from pessimism and freedom from viruses on your computer all have the elements of an excellent game. Why do we like games? Because they are challenging and yet we can have victories. It is engaging and satisfying. And what do you do when you've played a computer game and beaten all the levels? Toss it and find a new game.

You'll never have to toss this war on pessimism. It is endlessly challenging, and yet we can constantly have victories and increase our abilities.

The cards are stacked against you. That sounds like bad news, but if you think about it, this is a relief to know. The world is prearranged to make you negative. It is already a triumph that you are as free of pessimism as you are. Now we must help others free themselves too.

Why? Because this is a game worth playing. Freeing others from misery, whether you are helping create democracies in repressed countries, or whether you are helping your son free his mind from the pessimism that bombards him every day, you are pursuing a noble purpose.

Here is the plan of attack:

1. Recognize that pessimism is bad. It's bad for your health, it's bad for your relationships, it impairs your effectiveness in the world, and it feels bad.

2. Learn how to defeat it in yourself. Start here.

3. Motivate others defeat it in themselves.

4. Change people's minds with skill.

Pessimism is naturally contagious. As in the case of democracy, none of us are free until all of us are free. The two biggest sources of pessimism are 1) the people you talk to, and 2) the news media. Learn to help others defeat their own pessimism and help them understand why it is important. And then learn to protect yourself from the news media.

When you see negative headlines, either do something about it, like write your representatives, or alter your thoughts. Do not let it ONLY upset you.

News is not evil. There is a valuable purpose in digging up dirt. People who are doing bad things get exposed and brought to justice. That's useful, and that's the good side of the actions of the news media. But the pessimistic angle is so good at capturing attention, news people tend to use it a lot, and you need to learn to protect yourself from infection by pessimism if you expose yourself to it.

You must fight. You can't just let it ride or it will take you down. There are people on the other side working hard to find the most effective techniques to capture your attention, but those techniques put you in fear, keep you pessimistic, and make you feel defeated, helpless, and cynical. You have to fight against this. Free yourself and maintain your freedom with vigilance and know-how.


War Of Memes

A MEME IS ANYTHING that can be copied from one mind to another. An idea is a meme. A melody is a meme. The custom of shaking hands when you meet is a meme. The word "meme" is a meme and it has just been copied from my mind to yours. Read more about memes here.

The most dangerous kind of terrorism on the planet is Islamic terrorism. The memetic source of Islamic terrorism is a collection of memes called the Koran. Muslims believe the Koran is the word of Allah. They believe this because it says so in the Koran. It also says that a good Muslim must make continual war on all unbelievers until the entire world is subject to Sharia law. Quite a few memes within the Koran enhance and support this premise, and those who follow its teachings to the letter are a threat to freedom and democracy everywhere.

But memes outside the Koran also help the terrorists — memes that exist in non-Muslim minds. For example, the widespread belief that Islam is a religion of peace diverts effort and attention away from the real source of the problem and toward things that will not solve the problem. That's where you come in.

If you will help us spread the word about the Koran, international attention can eventually be turned to solving the real problem. But when you do this, you will get resistance. People will argue with you. An argument is a battle of memes and I want to help you win these battles. I'm not talking about arguing with Muslims about their faith. That is probably close to impossible because the memeplex itself has its own protection, its own "memetic immune system."

But the people you know who are not Muslims and live in a free society probably think Islam is a religion of peace. And they probably don't know much about Islam. What you can do is learn about it (start here) and then tell others about it, and sometimes they will argue with you. Then you can use the principles below.

So here are some rules of engagement that will help us win the long-term war of memes:

1. Don't argue. Don't even think of it as argument. What you're doing is trying to persuade. The responses you think of when you're arguing are sharp and hurtful and belittling. Persuasion responses avoid that and try to win someone over to your way of thinking. That's very different and much more effective. One of the reasons people don't like to discuss things with conflicting opinions is that they argue. Arguing tends to be upsetting. Persuasion can be fun. Read more about the fine art of persuading others here.

2. Use facts. Give your sources. Memorize key facts so you can quote them and say where you got those facts. Facts are the most important weapon in your arsenal. A good way to memorize facts is to mark the pages with little post-it notes as you read (or copy and paste if you're reading online). Then record those passages onto a cassette tape or digital recorder, and listen to it while you drive. When you've listened to something six or seven times, you will be able to bring the exact facts to a discussion with confidence. Or you can buy audiobooks. You can also find good sources online.

3. Remain calm. Cultivate calmness and tranquility. When you find yourself getting fired up, remember this is not an argument. You are persuading, and you can't force acceptance of your ideas. They have to be willingly accepted by the other. And people are more swayed by calm understatement than intensity and overstatement. In order to truly stay calm, you will have to be calm in your life, not just in the moment. Read more about becoming a calm person here. When you are calm, you are more persuasive.

4. Good conduct. Use social grace. Good manners. Conduct yourself with class. It is more persuasive.

5. Know what meme you want them to accept. People throw in all kinds of sidetracks and diversions into conversations. Keep clear on one or two simple memes you want them to accept and stay on course.

6. Build concessions slowly, piece by piece. Take smaller parts of the meme that they don't agree with, and convince them with facts that the new understanding is better than the old. Build up these concessions until you can get them to accept the meme you're aiming for. The first concession is your source of facts. Say where you got them and get the other's agreement that your sources are legitimate and authoritative.

7. Be specific. Define your terms. This will make it much easier to stay on track and get partial concessions.

8. Tell them your story. When they say they disagree, simply tell them that you once believed as they do (if this is true and it probably is), and that you slowly and with skepticism were convinced by the facts to change your point of view. This kind of story is very persuasive and prevents you from accidentally making them feel like a fool for not already believing as you do. Here's an example. Here's another example.

9. Be humble. Make it clear you know you don't know it all. Insults or sharp rebukes — or anything that seems to imply that "I know it all and you are grossly uneducated" — has no place in persuasion. It puts emotion up as a defense so new memes cannot can get through. It causes hatred, one-sidedness, and self-righteousness. It even causes wars.

10. Work on one point at a time. Ask "Do you agree with about this small point?

11. Graciously concede those points you agree with. Make it perfectly clear you agree with those points. There is a kind of give-and-take in discussions, and a kind of commerce or reciprocity. If you are willing to concede legitimate points they make and say so, they are more willing to concede legitimate points you make and say so, and so your conversation can get somewhere.

Develop your persuasion skills to do the one thing that needs to be done: Educate the Public.

Read more about memes:

Thought Contagion
The Meme Machine
Virus of the Mind:: The New Science of the Meme

Read some good answers to common objections you will get: Answers to Objections When You Talk About Islam.


Thought Contagion

A FEW WEEKS AGO I SEARCHED Google to see if someone had written about Islam as a meme (if you don't know what a meme is, click here). I found several articles, but none were what I was looking for. Then I came across an excerpt from the book, Thought Contagion. It was exactly what I was looking for. And I already owned the book and had even read it! But when I read it, the World Trade Center was still standing and the information was only mildly interesting. Things have changed, and I was reading it like it was the first time.

The author, Aaron Lynch, looked at several institutions in his book — families, politics, and religion — and in the religion section, he looked at most of the major religions. Including Islam. What can memetics (study of memes) tell us about Islam and the trouble in the Middle East?

Memetically, Islam is a very successful memeplex (group of memes). Several embedded memes help make it so. For example:

If Muslims drift away from Mohammed's teachings, God will end the world. That makes converting others and promoting Islam a matter of survival. It also motivates Muslims, as Lynch points out, "to dissuade each other from losing faith."

It is a requirement of Islamic faith to make a public prayer five times a day. The unusual posture attracts attention, and the prayers can be heard by nearby people. This helps the religion spread. And the fact that the Muslim is repeating his prayers five times a day makes it very easy for him to stay focused on his religion. It would be almost impossible for him to forget his beliefs.

Islam is different from other religions in at least one important way: It began at a time and in a place where no empire constrained its spread. In other words, if you start a religion within the Roman Empire, you're going to have certain limitations. The Romans would see any new religion — especially a militant or political religion — as a threat to its power and would make sure you stayed peaceful. A religion that preached tolerance and goodwill toward others might survive, but a violent or militant or political new religion would be quashed immediately.

But Islam had no such restriction when it began, so it could incorporate "conversion by warfare" into its memeplex, and it did. As Lynch wrote, "The faith provides for a jihad or holy war, which historically led to Islamic rule over whole societies." Once a country has been attained by war, pagans were often given the choice: convert to Islam or die. That is written into Islamic law. If any members of the newly acquired country are Christian or Jewish, they are required to pay special taxes and become a second-class citizen, unless they want to convert.

This information answers a question I've had for a long time. Why are there "Muslim" countries? Do you see Buddhist countries? Hindu countries? Christian countries? I know there are countries where these religions are in the majority, but has the religion taken over the government? No. But the way Islam was created, taking over the government is what the faithful will do. Not the extremist. Not the crazy ones. The faithful Muslims, if they follow the teachings of Mohammad, will take over the government, establish the religion as the national religion, and rule using Islamic law.

memes for war

According to the Koran, if you die while fighting for Islam, you are guaranteed eternal paradise. This meme not only encourages bravery in battle, but it encourages continual warfare against non-Muslim nations. You cannot die fighting for Islam if there is no fighting going on. This answers another question I've had for a long time: Why can't the people in the Middle East just work out their differences and get on with their lives? That question assumes that warfare is not desirable. I'm assuming war is a temporary break in an otherwise progressive, peaceful, productive life. But that is an assumption that was not shared by the writer of the Koran.

So continual warfare is part of the teachings of Islam. And another meme has been added to reduce the costs of war. When men die, the ratio of women to men changes, of course, leaving widows childless or unable to take care of the children they already have. But the Koran says each man can marry up to four wives. This makes the men more at ease with going to war, and makes sure warfare doesn't reduce the numbers of the next generation of the faithful.

This is all very interesting in a detached, academic sort of way, but as you can easily surmise, this has profound implications. How then, should the rest of the world interact with Muslim countries? The religion has slowly spread and taken over countries. Should they be stopped? How can you stop such a thing?

In the heyday of Islam, Muslims were invading India, China, Europe, and Africa all at the same time, spreading strongly, taking over countries, building an Islamic empire. They were fought back and contained, and have been contained for a long time. But they are inventing new methods to fight.

What can we do? The first thing is to know what we're dealing with, and political leaders repeating "Islam is a religion of peace" doesn't really help clarify the situation. Most Muslims may practice peace and tolerance, but the doctrines of Islam are a different story.

If you feel you have no influence over world affairs, that is one significant mistake in your thinking that needs to be corrected. Here is a good place to start.

moderate muslims

I have heard from several people saying they are Muslims and they have no desire to fight anyone. Obviously, it is possible to be moderate about anything. But Islam requires a lot from its followers and appears to inspire more commitment more often and with more militancy and governmental aspirations than other religions.

As you may have noticed, there wasn't a lot of outcry from Muslims condemning the September 11th attack. According to Stephen Schwartz, part of the reason is that radical Muslims have cleverly controlled the Western media's coverage. The radical Muslims are well-funded by Saudi Arabia and well-organized. And living in democracies. But, Schwartz says, they are not the majority of Muslims.

Schwartz went to Uzbekistan and interviewed three Islamist defectors. Two of them were ex-Al-Qaeda members. The general impression from these men is that the leaders of the movements are "murderous and fanatical" but the followers get sucked into it by clever recruiting methods. And once you are in, I imagine, you might be afraid to get out because you know what these people are capable of.

The point to all this is that although Islam may be a danger to the free world if it is followed strictly, it is possible to follow Islam moderately and in fact the majority do already.

Read the Koran (you can do it online) and decide for yourself what it really says. This is the manual terrorists are using. Since you and I are their target and we are in this war whether we want to be or not, it seems like a good idea to know what manual they are reading. I think you'll find it surprising.

If you would like to help fight the war of memes, get started here.

Read more: The Terrifying Brilliance Of The Islamic Memeplex


Influencing Others

PART OF YOUR MISSION is influencing people. You can help people learn to cure their feelings of demoralization and reduce their anxiety. You can help them learn to become active rather than passive in the war on terror. Influence by people like you is what is needed and wanted.

But influencing people requires skill. Persuasion is difficult sometimes, even when your intentions are good. People are prone to feeling defensive if they feel you disapprove of them, or if you try to persuade too heavy-handedly.

So below we have a list of links that take you to material you can study and practice to improve your ability to influence people. This is an important mission. World events, as shocking as it seems, revolve around very human feelings such as being offended, losing face, and personal pride. The skills of diplomacy and persuasion are some of the most important abilities you can develop in the war on terror. Skillfulness with people can make you extraordinarily influential.

The best resource for persuasion is How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie. It is available at any bookstore. It has been around for 70 years, and it's still on the shelves. And for good reason. The principles can be found online too.

When you practice the principles, don't try to do them all at once. Work on one skill at a time. Take one principle (for example, Give honest and sincere appreciation) and concentrate on that one for a couple days. Master it. Then take another principle and do the same.

Persuasion 101

Always curb your desire to overstate your case. If you err, err toward understatement. As anti-intuitive as it seems, you are more persuasive when you are calm and conservative in your statements than you are when you get emotional or exaggerate. Les Giblins wrote:

"In one experiment, the researchers put together three 15-minute talks on dental hygiene. For one group of students, the researchers emphasized the threat of not following the guidelines: cancer, tooth decay, gum diseases, etc.

"The second group received a milder form of the same thing — facts mixed with what might happen if care was not taken with their teeth.

"The third group just heard information without any scare tactics.

"One week later, in a follow-up test, the researchers discovered that the more scare tactics were used, the less the students changed their behavior."

And here is a hot tip from Benjamin Franklin, a man with a proven record of persuasiveness:

The way to convince another is to state your case moderately and accurately. Then say that of course you may be mistaken about it; which causes your listener to receive what you have to say, and, like as not, turn about and convince you of it, since you are in doubt. But if you go at him in a tone of positiveness and arrogance you only make an opponent out of him.

Learn more about influencing your friends:



All writing on is copyright © 2001-2099, all rights reserved.

Article Spotlight

One of the most unusual articles on is Pleasantville and Islamic Supremacism.

It illustrates the Islamic Supremacist vision by showing the similarity between what happened in the movie, Pleasantville, and what devout fundamentalist Muslims are trying to create in Islamic states like Syria, Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia (and ultimately everywhere in the world).

Click here to read the article.

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