Thursday, November 29, 2007

Iraq war and Cold War

Few parallels can be drawn between the Cold War and today’s war in Iraq.

Ways they are Similar:

1-2) “Insidious and violent ideological wars” (Philip Gordon)

3) Long term multidimensional struggles against insidious and violent ideologies. (Philip Gordon)


1) Suicide attackers

2) Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) has no parallel with today.

Number 2 is a key reason the Cold War did not become more 'Hot'. MAD will not work with an enemy who uses repeated suicide attack as a weapon.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Reasons favoring war in Iraq:

1) Strategic initiative: Bin Lauden must attack the U.S. Army in Iraq. He knows that if the U.S. is successful, the ‘cancer’ of freedom will spread. He must react to our move. Forcing your enemy to react to your moves is desirable in warfare of any type.

2) Better to have enemies who are willing to risk their lives and kill others to attack our army. It is much more difficult to kill someone who is holding a machine gun and has artillery support than a family walking through a shopping mall.

3) The war in Iraq is drawing extremists into Iraq. This stretches the ‘terrorist’ army more than ours. After all, they do not have the numbers we do. Not to mention the match-up. Seems like a good way to get killed, attacking our army. The ‘terrorist’ army does not have the resources that we do. It is expensive to wage war. They can’t match our resources: Weapons, munitions, financial resources. Conventional forces engaged in irregular combat want to force more combat. This allows the conventional side to gain more advantage regarding weapons and firepower, greater numbers, and greater resources. This is the theory behind the ‘surge’. Other wars that Islamic ‘extremists’ would support can’t be supported nearly as well. Sudan and Lebanon come to mind. This viewpoint would expect terrorist activity to fall in other places besides Iraq and Afghanistan. The Palestinian attempt at democracy can proceed with far less outside interference. The Arabs themselves will tell us that the Palestinian-Israeli problem is a key part of the war against terrorism. If the Palestinians can build a true democracy, the Arabs will ultimately win the war against terrorism.

4) The war in Iraq makes ‘terrorists’ and supporters stand out. Many people believe that the war is creating new ‘terrorists’. The other side of the coin is that the war is making them take a public stand. Just because we can see so many more now does not necessarily mean that all of them are new ones. Is this not one of the major problems with fighting terrorism? Knowing who they are and who supports them?

5) Places the war on terror into Arab hands with our support. The worst enemies of the French resistance during the occupation (1940-1944) were not the Germans. The worst enemies were French who were helping the Germans. In Vietnam, the Vietnamese who fought on our side knew the enemy better than we did. In the war in Iraq, the Arabs know who the ‘terrorists’ and their supporters are better than we do. The war is enabling friendly Arabs to identify them more readily and is giving them the ability to deal with them in a more forceful fashion.

6) War in Iraq is a Civil War that is taking place throughout Islam. Many of the people who are fighting us in Iraq and elsewhere believe in the ‘authentic’ laws in the Koran that are so hostile to the rest of the world. Many of the ‘Laws’ of Islam have to change. This is our fight because of the issues involved. The concept of Jihad has to go. No way will Islam ignore this without violence. The world cannot allow a large population like Islam to kill others and seize their property because they are not Muslim. The world cannot allow the belief that you can kill ‘occupiers’ just because they conquered a country that has the same ‘religion’ as you. The law that states the penalty for leaving Islam is death must change. The payment of Tribute because someone is not a Muslim must end. Stoning anyone to death must end. These are some of the issues that are worth risking your life for. The United States government agrees. We have already fought wars over many of these types of issues in the past.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Pakistan: Friend or Foe?

The military government of Pakistan is under tremendous pressure today. This is important because Pakistan not only has nuclear weapons but also has missile systems to deliver them. Many people believe that the military government is causing many of the problems. One argument is that if democracy can be installed, many of the problems will disappear. After all, is this not what we are doing in Iraq?

The danger is in the election of Islamic representatives. "Islamic electoral policy has been classically summarized as ‘One man (Men only) one vote, once.’" "Once Islam is selected, there is no going back." (Bernard Lewis) No more voting can take place. The penalty for leaving Islam is death, so they can’t go back.

This is why the election of HAMAS is so important. I am worried about trying this experiment on a country with nuclear weapons and the method to deliver.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Islamic ruling in Saudi Arabia

In the issue of the Chicago Tribune dated 11/16/07, on page 15, an article appeared titled ‘Rape victim’s sentence: 200 lashes’. The article dealt with a recent Saudi court ruling. The court had sentenced a woman who had been convicted of being in the same car as an unrelated man. "The young woman’s offense was in meeting a former boyfriend, whom she had asked to return pictures he had of her because she was about to marry another man. The couple were sitting in a car when a group of seven men kidnapped them and raped them both." "Lashing is a common sentence under the Saudi penal code. Usually, lashes are meted out in increments because offenders could not survive hundreds of lashes at once."

We must be careful. After all, our legal system can be considered barbaric because we do have the death penalty. I do find it hard to believe that in the 21st century, a country as advanced as Saudi Arabia hands out punishments so backward as whipping. And this is not even the worst of it. The woman is by our standards, the victim. The man she was with was convicted as well, and he received the same sentence as she did. He was a victim as well. True, the attackers received sentences ranging from 10 months to 5 years in prison and 80 to 1000 lashes each.

The violence that results from conviction is designed to make people fearful. It certainly would make us all think carefully before we tried anything of the sort. One of the arguments supportive of Islamic law is that criminal behavior tends to be lower in areas where Islamic law is the law of the land. I can see why. The argument is that this is good because it discourages illegal behavior. I would expect to find this is the case in most police states. Also, this sounds like the end justifies the means.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Islamic legal system is hostile to U.S.

The Islamic legal system is inherently hostile to that of the United States. So many of the ‘authentic’ laws have to be ignored in order to be compatible with our legal system as to make it a sure thing that violence will result from any attempt like the experiment in Iraq. A political solution is not available for those who follow the ‘authentic’ law that a married, convicted adulteress is to be stoned to death. You either enforce it, or you do not. No gray area to work with. Islamic law has this problem as a general rule. If you decide not to enforce, you are an Apostate. Islamic law is so precise that it requires a great deal of ignoring laws in order to be compatible with the rest of the world. This places anyone who agrees with this, extreme liberal ‘version’ of Islam in the category of Apostate. No wonder a civil war is going on in Iraq and the rest of the Islamic world.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Islamic terrorism must change.

The moral obligation to kill ‘occupiers’ of Muslim land has to end. This ‘authentic’ law is closely tied to another ‘authentic’ law: The penalty for leaving Islam is death. Islam is a one way street. Once you become Muslim, you cannot go back. Once land is controlled by Islam, it can never become non-Muslim. (In the eyes of Islam.) Once another entity ‘occupies’ it, then a moral obligation to kill the ‘occupiers’ is triggered. This is closely tied in with Jihad. As Bernard Lewis points out: "For most of the fourteen hundred years of Muslim history, Jihad has been commonly interpreted to mean armed struggle for the advancement or defense of Muslim power." If the means for open warfare is not available, irregular warfare is the natural result. It is not a far step to take to become what we consider to be a ‘terrorist’.
These issues can be seen to be important influencing factors in the many Arab-Israeli wars. Unless Islam is expanding, wars will be common. On top of this, once enough people disagree in a significant way about the interpretation of an ‘authentic’ law, the rest of Islam sees them as having left the faith. They have become Apostates. The penalty is death, along with the loss of property (booty) that is the reward for the warriors who enforce the law. No wonder warfare is so common in the areas where Islam is influential.
These issues not only trigger violence and warfare, but also can been seen to be impossible to eliminate without violence and warfare. These issues are combining with the general repressive nature of Islamic law and contributing as to why so much of the Muslim world has such anger management problems.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Jihad = Terrorism?

I can understand ‘Just’ war. Even self-defense allows for attacking. However, Jihad appears to justify warfare against anything, including itself. Obtaining booty from Jihad rewards those who survive. This concept alone is just cause to fight a war against ANY Jihad. The concept of Jihad has got to go. Getting a large population to agree with ignoring Jihad will take a long time. This is an ‘authentic’ Islamic law. Any real, effective method of changing the Muslim attitude against Jihad will be a strong incentive to fight that type of change through open warfare. Changes like this causes wars. And this is only one of a number of issues Islam needs to address.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Dark side of Islam part II.

These items will be more difficult to deal with:

1) "In Muslim tradition, the world is divided into two houses: The house of Islam and the house of war." (Bernard Lewis, The crisis of Islam, Page 31. C2003) Want to guess where we are?

2) Tribute. Infidels payment of ‘protection’ money for living in Muslim land. In 1804, the Barbary pirates seized a United States ship. The pirates were demanding payment. The cry went out: "Millions for defense, not a penny for tribute!" The issue from our point of view was freedom of the seas. We sent our fleet over there, killed all that got in our way, released our men and burned the ship. The issue from the pirate’s view was Tribute. Infidel ships passing through Muslim waters. We owed them payment. This issue supposedly died out a long time ago. Last summer, this issue was being discussed by the Iraqi legislature. I do not know how ‘authentic’ this law is, but this issue IS still around.

3) The Moral obligation to kill occupiers of Muslim lands. I know no other requirements. In other words, even if a Muslim government launches what we would consider to be a war of aggression, the defeat of that government and occupation would trigger a worldwide obligation to kill the ‘occupiers’. This can be seen to be a major factor in the constant Arab-Israeli wars.

4) The penalty for leaving Islam is death. (An Apostate) This dooms anyone who is Muslim to death if they don’t interpret the law in the same way on a significant issue. This can be seen to contribute to the constant warfare internal to Islam and a contributing cause of the civil war going on in Iraq.

5) The penalty for a married woman convicted of adultery is stoning to death. Riots occurred in Nigeria last year because the court refused to administer this punishment. The court could be seen as having committed Apostasy. This is an ‘Authentic’ law, so this makes it a critical issue for Muslims.

6) The four legal enemies of Islam are:
(The first two qualify for ‘Jihad’)
"The presumption is that the duty of Jihad will continue (Interrupted only by truces) until the world adopts Islam or submits to Muslim rule." "Those who fight is the Jihad qualify for rewards in both worlds. Booty in this one, paradise in the next." (Bernard Lewis)
Islam can wage war against Infidels, Apostates, Rebels and bandits. This means to kill. And in the case of Jihad, seize property. This could be seen as another contributing factor in the constant Arab-Israeli wars.

7) "Islamic electoral policy has been classically summarized as ‘One man, (Men only) one vote, once.’" "Once Islam is selected, there is no going back." (Lewis) No more voting. This applies to land as well. If land becomes Muslim, it never reverts back to being non-Muslim. (The penalty for leaving Islam is death.) Spain is considered by Islam to be Muslim, because Islam had control there for many centuries. This can also be seen to be a contributing factor in the constant Arab-Israeli wars.

8) Honor killings: This is not a law. However, it makes sense that if you can kill infidels, Apostates, Rebels and Bandits that you can kill members of your family whom are ‘disloyal’. Specifically, women. The Koran’s laws treat women somewhat like property. It can become necessary to sell or kill one from time to time. (Sorry about that. This one really pisses me off.)

9) Fatwa: Lots of arguments on the limits of this one. Since the rise of the nation-state, most Muslims see this as not being compulsive. The Fatwa’s are optional, although not everyone sees it this way. Even a small percentage can create major problems. One problem is that this gives Immans the authority of nation-states. I am certain that Immans did not and do not want to give this authority up. I would expect violence here.

Many of these issues are worth risking your life for. (Or against) The United States government has already fought a small war over number 2. All of these items are hostile to our legal system and our government. No wonder a war is in process in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

The DARK side of Islam.

Islamic law has some problems. I am dividing this into two sections. These seven problems are what I consider to be solvable. Either we can accept that Islam is this way, or we could persuade Muslims to either ignore or re-consider the way it is enforced.

1) It is illegal to charge or to be charged interest on a loan. A new, liberal idea is to allow an exception for first time homebuyers. Modern economic theory demands this concept. This is a contributing reason why the Islamic world has such serious economic difficulty.

2) Two women testimony equals one man. This applies only to very specific situations. However, it is insulting for many men in this culture to be treated as or to be thought of as equal with ANY woman. Much in the same way as ex-slaves were thought of during the 2nd half of the 19th and the first half of the 20th centuries. (Somewhat even today.)

3) Beat your wife. OK, this is being debated because the phrase can be read multiple ways. The fact that this argument is so widespread indicates that millions of men believe that physically striking your wife is the correct way to interpret this law. If you can treat your loved ones this way, how will someone like this treat you or I?

4) Mecca and Medina being illegal for anyone who is not a Muslim. Not an ‘authentic’ law that I know of. However, it has been enforced for centuries.

5) Marry for one hour and divorce as long as payment is made properly. I do not know how ‘authentic’ this law is. It is sanctioned prostitution. I don’t personally have an issue here.

6) Multiple wives. OK! Now we are talking!

7) Innovation is taboo. The use of other words (like industrious) to take it’s place. This causes more problems economically.

Islam and Polygamy follow up.

Thank you for the comments on my post ‘Islam and Polygamy’. For those of you who wish to view them, please scroll to the bottom of the post on Nov 6th and click on the section "1 comment link for this post".

Please note that the portions of the post within quotes have been taken from the web site These are the arguments supporting the idea that polygamy is good. I agree with the comments posted by anonymous. I believe that polygamy is NOT good, and I believe that the arguments that "protect the modesty of women" are really intended to maintain control over them. In other words, methods to keep them in their place.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Islam and the Koran

The criticisms of Islam concentrate upon the rules or laws that are written in the Koran. The Koran is a group of phrases, organized in order from the shortest phrases listed first to the longest ones. The Islamic legal system that is being used today has developed and evolved from these phrases over the past 1400 years. Islamic scholars have argued over the years about these rules. The scholars have made clear which laws are considered to be ‘authentic’ and which have been added since the days of Mohammed.

The ‘singing’ of the Koran is said to be inspiring. The way it is spoken brings additional meaning and lifts the heart. In my own personal experience, I have been wary of how things are said. Meaning can and is imparted by how something is spoken. However, I have not been very good at it. I have believed since I was very young that what is said is more important. You can sing ‘beat him and take from him’ to me in very nice tones and even inspire additional, positive meaning(s). However, the message is still violence in addition to taking something that is not mine. We shall look at some of the Koran's laws in the next post.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Islam and terrorism

Why does it appear that so many terrorists are Muslims? All cultures have ‘homegrown’ terrorists. Why does it seem that in the parts of the world where Islam is prevalent so many terrorists are active?
I have noticed that the Islamic world seems sensitive to insult. In our culture, giving one the middle finger is considered an insult. The F word is considered an insult. Why does it appear that the Islamic world is constantly being insulted? And violence seems to result. The Danish cartoons come to mind. I don’t like being insulted any more than the next guy, but I do not become violent about it. Why does it seem that the Islamic world can’t take it very well?

Not long after the fall of the Tailban in Afghanistan, a western news service wished to interview a pro western Afghan. He even agreed to be interviewed by a woman. A list was provided to her that was over 2 dozen items long detailing how she should act and dress. Nobody wanted to even accidentally insult him. She agreed. During the interview, he said something that was funny. She and the cameraman laughed. He stormed out of the room, having been insulted by a woman laughing. It was not on the list provided to her. I am certain that it was just overlooked.
Maybe Islam has nothing to do with this. To be more thorough, I plan to cover Islamic law. Maybe then we will find some answers. Certainly not all of the answers will be there. But maybe we will find some.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Counter terrorism blog

We have conflicts on many levels today. In the war concerning terrorism, one good source is

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Islam and POLYGAMY

POLYGAMY is allowed in Islam. Speaking as a man, I don’t personally have an issue here. Even if I was inclined to, I know that I cannot afford more than one wife. From what I understand, the vast majority of Muslim men have only one wife. Makes sense to me. After all, if you really care about the women you love, you would not commit to more than what you can afford. (While you and I may agree or disagree, Islam places the burden of support of women on the men.)

Some of the reasons Islam allows more than one wife. (Note * I have left some out. For the complete list, please go to under ‘Most common questions asked by Non-Muslims’.)

5. Average life span of females is more than that of males.
7. World female population is more than male population
8. Restricting each and every man to have only one wife is not practical.
"Even if every man got married to one woman, there would still be more than thirty million females in U.S.A who would not be able to get husbands (considering that America has twenty five million gays). There would be more than four million females in Great Britain, 5 million females in Germany and nine million females in Russia alone who would not be able to find a husband."
"Suppose my sister happens to be one of the unmarried women living in USA, or suppose your sister happens to be one of the unmarried women in USA. The only two options remaining for her are that she either marries a man who already has a wife or becomes public property. There is no other option. All those who are modest will opt for the first.
In Western society, it is common for a man to have mistresses and/or multiple extra-marital affairs, in which case, the woman leads a disgraceful, unprotected life. The same society, however, cannot accept a man having more than one wife, in which women retain their honorable, dignified position in society and lead a protected life.
Thus the only two options before a woman who cannot find a husband is to marry a married man or to become public property. Islam prefers giving women the honorable position by permitting the first option and disallowing the second.
There are several other reasons why Islam has permitted limited polygamy, but it is mainly to protect the modesty of women."

The point about women’s option of either being married or becoming public property is of concern to me. What is meant by ‘Public Property’? A more extensive study of Islam is necessary to understand what meanings could be attached here.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The good side of Islam

The Kamikaze attack on 9/11/01 woke me to the fact that we are seeing repeated suicide attack for only the 2nd time in all of recorded history. As you know, the 1st occurrence was during the war between the U.S. and Japan. (1941-45) Knowing that war as well as I do, I realized that I needed to study Islam.
Everyone is subject to your own prejudices. I wanted to attempt to get an even view, so I decided to begin by selecting material that was pro-Islam, anti-Islam and neutral. The neutral one was the most difficult. I found some material published by a theologian who had participated in some meetings of his peers from other religions who had discussed the differences between them. Over the past 6 years, I have read 7 or 8 books supportive of Islam, and another 5 or 6 that are critical of Islam. Plus numerous articles in magazines and newspapers.
The pro-Islamic views are basically stories of Mohammed’s life. How he was persecuted for all of those years. How he could not read or write. He visited a cave and 30 days later he emerged and could read and write. How he took care of the wives and children of men who had been killed in battle. Even his enemies wives and children. Many wonderful lessons like the parables in the Bible. Basically, good stories of how you should lead your life. How the Koran is said to be inspiring when read or sung. From a citizen of the United States point of view, the good side of Islam. A good site to check out is:

Friday, November 2, 2007

War as a political solution

Sometimes, the only political solution is war. France and England were caught in this trap in 1938. The political solution to ending slavery in the United States was a major trigger in the civil war. I am not trying to say that this is the case in Iraq. I am only pointing out that non-violent political (and diplomatic) solutions have limitations. To use a crude example:
Someone pulls a knife on you. You have two choices:
1) Give him what he wants.
2) Shove that knife right up his ass.
A good friend replied to me that people behave differently in-groups. Quite true. However, man is still violent when working as a group. In fact, working in a group enhances his violence toward others. Hitler pulled a knife on a lot of people. The United States helped with the eventual placement of the knife. At the same time, we allied ourselves with a government that was only slightly less undesirable than the one we were fighting. The point here is that human nature does not change because we are placed into a group.
Hitler was considered to be far right. The Krupps and other private individuals and groups owned the means of production. Stalin was far left. The government owned the factories. Yet they were the same type of tyranny. If you fear Hitler more than Stalin, you would tend to vote more left. If your fear is from the left, you would lean right. The extremes are the BIG problem seeing that they are basically the same thing. However, extreme situations call for extreme measures. Survival may depend upon taking extreme measures. The balance between the two can be a tough one.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

2 additional reasons to be against war in Iraq

Thank you Dredezp for your additional 2 reasons.

18) By going to war in Iraq, we waste the international goodwill that we obtained as a result of 9/11/01.
19) We are wasting the good will of our young men and women who have enlisted for patriotic and righteous reasons. Now they are policemen and policewomen trying to quell a civil war. You can’t be both a policeman and a soldier. They signed up to be soldiers. Now we need far more monetary lures to entice the eligible enlisting.