Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Taliban threatens greater amount of combat

I pulled this from CNN.COM. (4/29/09)

"A Taliban leader has instructed fighters in Afghanistan to target U.S. and other coalition troops in response to the United States sending more troops into the war."

Afghanistan is an environment not suited for mechanized units. However, if our enemy wishes to raise the amount of combat with our armed forces, we should be encouraged. Our strengths are the greater firepower of our units and overall numbers. We can withstand far greater losses in a much shorter period of time than our enemy can. We can inflict much greater losses upon our enemy than we lose. Therefore, increased combat operations will be to our advantage. What I am worried about is the overall quiet that has occurred during the past year or two.

The war has become quieter than what was going on in Iraq two years ago. The cutback our enemy has implemented in the support of the war in Iraq has allowed them to recover somewhat. President Obama is correct in that we need to initiate new combat with our enemy. I would not choose Afghanistan, but I am not president either.

What I am worried about with our new commander-in-chief is that he may not understand how attrition is on our side and is necessary for us to win the war. We cannot allow our enemy to recover after each battle.

President Lincoln knew that the North outnumbered the South 3 to 1. He wanted his generals to ‘do the math’ and initiate combat. He continually pressed his generals to keep attacking. They would attack and after being stopped, or defeated, they would back off and allow the South time to recover from each battle. Ultimately, President Lincoln found General Grant who did not stop initiating combat. He was called a butcher for all of the combat he started. However, this activity eventually wore down the army of Northern Virginia.

All wars are different. However, the fundamentals of combat and warfare are well known and do not change all that much. One distinct war winner is to run the other side out of men. Because our enemy is an irregular army, we will have to keep pressing the issue by enlarging the area of conflict. If we must, we will have to engage our enemies in other countries where the military lacks the ability to defeat our enemy openly. Another fundamental rule of warfare is that the side that is able to escalate the violence to a level that the other side either cannot or will not match wins wars. It can only be a matter of time before our enemy obtains WMD. It will be well worth waging just about any amount of conventional warfare in order to prevent our enemy from obtaining and deploying any of them. By keeping the pressure on them, we can dry up the resources that are required to either build their own, or purchase them.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Islam the Nation-State

Islam is not just a religion. Islamic law has been established and legal rulings issued for some 1400 years. Islamic legal scholars have issued binding legal rules based upon the Koran in a way that is similar to our legal system ruling upon the Constitution. The present day president of Iran is internationally considered an authority on the Koran and Islamic law. As within our legal system, disagreements exist. However, because Islam has no national entity, many differences are unresolved.

The Koran and Islam were started long before the concept of the nation-state. Islam was built as a religion with the power and functions of a nation-state. Islam has an entire legal system. It has a foreign policy. For example, the rules for declaring and ending wars. Islamic law has many of the rules for entering and honoring treaties with other states. Islamic law has rules for commerce, including a prohibition on earning interest. It contains rules for divorce and inheritance. These are some of the reasons why the Islamic world has such difficulty with the idea of nationalism. The very culture is more loyal to Islam and the clan than any concept of an independent nation-state. The idea of separating the ‘religion’ from the state is an anti-Islamic concept. You would have had to have left Islam to even consider this concept. 1400 years of legal rulings have made it VERY clear that the penalty for leaving Islam is death.

Just last year in Afghanistan, a man was sentenced to death for converting to Christianity. I do not know if that sentence was enforced or not, but if it was NOT then the entire government of Afghanistan must be considered apostate by Islam. This is similar to the issue that triggered the riots that broke out in Nigeria in 2006 when the court refused to have a convicted adulteress stoned to death.

The overall point is that Islam is much, much more than just a religion. It is not only a way of life, but also a governmental system complete with enforcement mechanisms. Islam can field an army, and has done so countless times throughout its history. It is doing so now. The concept of Islam as a nation-state is still common throughout the Islamic world.

At the end of March, a group of Muslim leaders met and issued a declaration: "The obligation of the Islamic Nation [is] to regard the sending of foreign warships into Muslim waters, claiming to control the borders and prevent the smuggling of arms to Gaza, as a declaration of war, a new occupation, sinful aggression, and a clear violation of the sovereignty of the Nation. This must be rejected and fought by all means and ways."

Islam is NOT a nation-state. This is a declaration of war, but without a nation-state to hold accountable? This type of issue is of the type that wars are fought over. Such as the state of Virginia leaving the Union in 1861. An additional problem is that Islam has been built to expand at non-Muslim expense.

"The presumption is that the obligation of Jihad will continue (Interrupted only by truces) until the entire world converts to Islam or is subjected to Muslim rule." "Traditional Islam views the world as belonging to one of two houses, the house of Islam and the house of war". (Bernard Lewis 2003)
No wonder the culture is so easily insulted. Any claim that in any way contests Islamic law or rule is cause for open warfare. This is an additional reason why separation of the "church" of Islam from any government will be fought with violence. Yet in order for the Muslim world to enter the modern world, this MUST occur. Or else we can all become Muslims.

This can be seen as a major contributing cause of the Arab-Israeli wars. Seen in this way, it is no wonder that no peace has been obtained. The best hope for true peace is change within Islam. This is what the wars in the Middle East are really all about. In a way that is similar to the issue of slavery in the U.S., the war is well worth fighting. As with fighting slavery, this will be resisted violently and for a long time. The real trick will be to see if we can accomplish this without a terrorist organization obtaining and deploying any weapons of mass destruction.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Suicide weapon

"Today the popular belief is that the Japanese who took part in banzai charges, flew kamikaze missions, piloted kaitens and shinyo ‘bang boats’, or served as human mines, were all fanatics. Because many of the banzai charges were ordered on the spur-of-the-moment no doubt there was an element of fanatism in the army’s operations. But the kamikazes, kaiten and kairyu men were dedicated individuals whose calm acceptance of death illustrates the impact of ideological persuasion." (A.J. Barker, Suicide Weapon, C1971, Page 157)

For the past 25 years or so, we have been seeing only the 2nd occurrence of the use of suicide as a weapon. The point here is that many of us believe that our enemies are only a very small minority of ‘fanatics’. Just the idea of a small number of ‘fanatics’ is incorrect. ‘Ideological persuasion’ is required to overcome the most basic instinct of all living things, survival. The suicide attacks we are seeing today are spread all over the Islamic world. They tend to be concentrated within areas of open warfare, but suicide attacks are occurring in many other parts of the Muslim world as well. Just the very size of the geographical area indicates that this ‘ideological persuasion’ is much more pervasive than a very small minority of ‘fanatics’.

Of large concern is that the suicide attackers are coming from such a large population. This population can be expected to produce far more suicide attackers if the need became obvious. It is also very unlikely that this ‘ideological persuasion’ can be altered in any significant way without some very large, traumatic event.

The first occurrence of the use of suicide as a weapon took nuclear weapons to put an end to it. (Many argue that Japan was on the verge of surrendering anyway, but no doubt the nuclear attacks sped up the Emperor’s decision to intervene and end the war.) The educational system of the culture that produced this first wave of suicide attackers was altered severely and thoroughly.

I expect that WMD will be used long before this war of ‘ideological persuasion’ is over.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


With the events in Pakistan, I thought that I should re-post an article that I wrote last summer.
This post was dated 7/15/08.

The Chicago Tribune dated 7/14/08, section 1, page 8 has an article titled "Jihadist groups bond on battle over Afghanistan." The article details how Pakistan is becoming a major base from which our enemy is attacking our units in Afghanistan. After the elections in Pakistan during February of this year, and the deals that the Pakistani government struck with the Tailban shortly afterward, this was not unexpected. I found two interesting concepts within this article that I wanted to discuss.

Paragraph 6 begins with the sentence "Despite growing pressure on Pakistan to quell Islamic militancy, jihadist groups within its borders are in fact increasing their cooperation to attack U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan". I am not the best-informed source on this, but I am unaware of much, if any pressure being placed upon the Pakistani government. I suppose this pressure may be political. Maybe this is referring to the window dressing news coming out of Pakistan about cracking down upon the Tailban for the past month or so. In any case, it is obvious that the pressure is not working. The elected government of Pakistan is more for the Tailban than they are for us. Their actions with making treaties with the Tailban (Hence treating the Taliban like a government) speaks much more loudly than what it is saying about cracking down upon the enemy ideology. They are just being more covert about it.

The very last sentence in the article is "Today the Taliban not only settles disputes in its consolidated domain, but it also levies taxes, smuggles drugs and imposes its own brand of justice, complete with courts and prisons." This sentence makes the Islamic legal system sound like some type of outlaw setup. Certain aspects of what has been set up are not commonplace in the Muslim world. (Although they have some support throughout) However, most of what has been set up is a basic version of Islamic jurisprudence that has been accepted for something like 1400 years. This misunderstanding of the Islamic legal system is a major problem in our fighting the war against Islamic terrorism. Either the author of this article does not understand it, or the article was watered down deliberately. Not understanding something can be dealt with if the person wants to keep an open mind. If it was deliberate, then we have a much more serious problem at home than I thought.

End of original post:

I find Pakistan a far more serious threat than Iran. Pakistan already has nuclear weapons and the delivery systems for them. A substantial percentage of the population is siding with the ideology of our enemy. Now that Pakistan has somewhat of a representative government, it makes sense that the new government would be moving in that direction and that the U.S. will accomplish very little with political pressure. In fact, that very pressure just may ‘tilt’ the Pakistani government further away from working with us.

Many in the West seem to think that the terrorist element within Pakistan is a very small minority, as is the belief that terrorist ideology is a very small minority throughout the Islamic world. The current U.S. administration believes this to be the case. This view is dangerously incorrect and I believe that we will begin to see the tide of the war turn against us within the next year or two. Pakistan is a good indicator that we need to keep an eye on.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Somalia piracy and convoys

I recently heard the argument that not enough escorts are available to effectively establish convoys in the operational areas of the pirates off of Somalia. This argument was made once before.

In early 1942, the U.S. decided that convoys were unnecessary and much too defensive in nature. The argument was made that not enough escorts were available for convoy work, so the destroyers were sent out on offensive patrols to seek out the enemy. After several months of frustration in not finding any submarines during which time our merchant marine was being wiped out, the decision was made to institute a system of convoys. Once the convoys began, a relative lavish escort of 5 or 6 escorts for each convoy was common. The English had been able to provide far less per convoy in the North Atlantic for years. Sometimes only one sloop was all that was available to protect as many as 50 merchant ships. Yet England kept at it anyway, for two good reasons.

The two points that had been missed by the U.S. are that it is unnecessary to seek out the enemy when they are actively looking for you. In grouping the ships together, we forced the enemy to encounter our warships that have the capability of destroying them. The second point is that a convoy is NOT the sum of its ships. A group of ships is only slightly easier to locate on the surface of the ocean than an individual ship. Thus, even without the benefit of ANY escort, the ships travelling in-groups would be safer and suffer lower losses.

From what I understand, thirty thousand ships a year pass through the waters off the coast of Somalia. This equals about 100 ships a day. Figuring the ships are passing in both directions, this means about 50 ships are going in a single direction each day. Grouping these ships together into one, two or three groups would bring up all kinds of logistical problems, but I find it very difficult to believe that enough escorts would not be available. Even one warship would be able to stop these pirates. Particularly if that escort ship could operate helicopters.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Somalia piracy and hunter/killer groups

One of my brothers mentioned that the convoy idea was sound, but that it would not protect the independently sailing ships passing through the pirate-infested waters off Somalia. He suggested placing two or three Navy Seals on each ship.

This idea does have merit, although I am not certain that I would want to deploy our crack units in this fashion. I don’t know about how the German, Italian, Turkish or Japanese merchant marine reacted to arming their ships when they were being attacked by an effective commerce raiding campaign. I do know that the English and American merchant marine have historically been somewhat combative concerning the Royal Navy and the U.S. Navy. Many times hostility was and is today, quite open. In addition, I don’t know about any problems concerning insurance and any rules restrictions installed because of collective bargaining.

What I do know is that even when the convoy system was operating fully, many independently routed merchant ships were dispatched. Even at the end of the war, these tended to have a far greater loss primarily because of lack of protection. However, beginning in 1943 the allies began to operate in numbers what became to be called hunter/killer groups. This was a small task group, centered on a ‘jeep’ or escort carrier that would operate in areas of enemy activity. They went looking for trouble and were quite successful. Just three or four of these groups operating together could sweep a large section of ocean.

Because we are not actually at war, we cannot just send a modern version of these hunter/killer groups out to kill the pirates. Friendly submarines were known not to be in the area, so any subs encountered were the enemy and we could attack them without warning. We cannot do this today, so this idea in and of itself cannot be the answer.

Chances are, a combined approach would work best. Implement a system of convoys, organize some hunter/killer groups centered on a ship that could operate aircraft or helicopters, and place defenses aboard the ships where practical.

The pirate enemy of today is operating out of very small ships and is using only hand held weapons. It will take only a very small amount of defensive firepower to stop and/or prevent an individual attack. The problem is having the firepower in the right place. Maybe the cost is just not worth all of the effort. I disagree. I see the piracy operating from Somalia as being similar, if not connected to the Islamic terrorism that is such a scourge today. I believe that it is worth waging organized warfare in both cases in order to put an end to it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Somalia pirates can be defeated

The common perception is that a convoy is a defensive measure. In a sense, this is correct. Convoys are generally formed to protect defenseless ships from an armed enemy. As a consequence, the armed enemy must get past the armed escort in order to prosecute its attack on the intended target(s). The ocean is a vast place. Even if you have a good location device, such as radar, searching the open ocean for the enemy is not nearly as effective in engaging the armed assailant as compelling them to move into an area that is already defended by your armed units. They will actually have to search you out in order to conduct business. The unarmed ships act as bait to draw them into battle. In the case of the Somalia pirates, any battle with warships would be very uneven at best. I am certain that the pirates would avoid convoys in all cases. And if they ever did attempt engagement, I am certain that the results would be even more lopsided than what happened last week when our navy Seals freed Captain Richard Phillips. And we would not need to use elite units like the Seals to accomplish this. Just about any naval unit from any of the world’s navies would be able to do the job.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Islam and interpretation

As a recent comment on this blog has pointed out, some confusion exists about the Koran and Islam. Interpretations seem to be a problem. Many people think that our enemies (terrorists and their supporters) are extreme radicals who select an extreme interpretation of the rules and laws stated within the Koran. There is some justification for this.

A good example is the argument about striking your wife. The Arabic word that is used in the Koran can have several meanings, such as turn away. This problem is known to exist with Chinese as well. The inflection in the voice imparts meaning that is not apparent in the written word. One problem is that the Koran has so many of these issues. This has been partially resolved by the Islamic Jurisprudence that has ruled upon the Koran for the past 1400 years and has determined ‘authenticity’. The ‘authentic’ phrases were actually spoken by Mohammed. Even now, it can be argued how each individual phrase is to be interpreted. What is a real problem is the overall picture.

Take for example the ‘law’, the penalty for leaving Islam is death. This has been universally accepted by Islamic jurisprudence. This penalty has been enforced for 1400 years. But the implication is that once someone is Muslim, they will always be Muslim. Another ‘authentic’ law is the worldwide obligation to ‘kill the occupiers’ of Muslim land. Taken together, this would imply that once a Muslim owns land, it couldn’t ever revert back to non-Muslim ownership. This is where the idea of Muslim ‘waters’ comes in.

By today’s standards, only a nation-state can have ‘waters’ to defend. International law determines the limit of coastal waters, but the Koran was written long before the concept of the nation-state.

I have studied hundreds of wars. Generally, it takes at least one or two really important issues to justify the destruction and waste of waging war. Even a war-oriented culture, like ancient Sparta, did not wage war unnecessarily. If this is the case, why is the Islamic world engaged in so much violence and warfare? Can it all be miss-interpretation?

The answer lies within the Koran itself. No matter how you interpret it, many of the ‘authentic’ phrases and laws are of the type that will trigger warfare.

1) Tribute. Payment of infidels living in Muslim land. Would you like to start a war? Start demanding payment in exchange for existing. This concept has been expanded to ships passing through Muslim ‘waters’ in the past. The U.S. paid the ‘Tribute’ for years until we tired of it. Then we fought a war. "Millions for defense, not a penny for Tribute!" was the battle cry.

2) Moral obligation to kill occupiers of Muslim lands. This will ensure that wars will continue until Islam triumphs. This is one of the basic reasons for the constant Arab-Israeli violence and wars. The land that Israel sits on will never be considered (Even 1000 years from today) anything except ‘occupied’ until Islam is the law of the land. That area had been overrun by Islam by 700 AD and had a population that was primarily Muslim until the 20th century.

3) The penalty for leaving Islam is death. (An Apostate) This is a critical part of the reason why Shiite and Sunni can’t reconcile. Fighting Apostates qualifies as jihad.

4) Stoning people to death is a punishment that has to end, today. We no longer live in the 7th century and have much more humane punishments. Like ending slavery, this one is worth waging war over. Ending this ‘authentic’ law will trigger warfare. Riots occurred in Nigeria in 2006 because a court did not allow the punishment to be administered to a woman accused of adultery. The court therefore was guilty of Apostasy, punishable by death. These are two very important laws being broken. Enough people interpreted the court action in this way to trigger widespread violence.

5) Jihad: The four ‘legal’ enemies of Islam to wage war against:
a) Infidels
b) Apostates
c) Rebels
d) Bandits
(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 in the Jihad qualify for rewards in both worlds. Booty in this one, paradise in the next." (Bernard Lewis, The Crisis of Islam, Page 31, copyright 2003.)

So you can wage war against infidels, Apostates, Rebels and Bandits. This means to kill. No other excuses or justification is necessary. Jihad is the mechanism that Islam uses to perpetuate itself.
Jihad should be interpreted to mean an internal struggle for the individual. However, "For most of the 1400 years of Muslim history, the most common interpretation of jihad is armed struggle for the advancement or defense of Muslim power". (Bernard Lewis)

How much more clearly can we interpret? Yet changing this interpretation has and will trigger organized violence in the form of warfare.

6) Islamic electoral policy has been classically summarized as "One man, (men only) one vote, once." I included this one to demonstrate how Islam is hostile to democracy. Islam is designed to be a nation-state complete with foreign policy, economic policy and a legal system.

The inescapable conclusion is that major structural changes must be made to many of the traditional interpretations of the Koran to end the constant violence that is so common throughout the Islamic world. Many ‘authentic’ laws need to be stricken altogether and others changed so that they are ONLY interpreted in a way that is not hostile to the rest of the world. Changing traditional Islam has been proven to be very difficult, to put it mildly. Historically, the Islamic world responds to challenges (Muslims tend to think of them as insults) to its structure and interpretation with violence and open warfare.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Historically, piracy has been and still is, very profitable. This was the driving force behind the act. The crews were made up of people who had no other way of making a decent living or way of being amply rewarded for their abilities. Throughout history, when captured, pirates were able to avoid being punished by paying people off. This was very inconsistent. Many times the arrangements were made well in advance. Sometimes the bribes were refused and the pirate hung from the gallows. Other times, they were even entertained by government officials. Part of the problem stemmed from the fine line between a privateer and a pirate.

A government waging war against another government licensed a privateer to seize enemy shipping. The privateer was a ship that was then armed and began to interdict and seize other ships. Many times the target ship surrendered without violence, other times it was seized by force of arms. The U.S. employed this concept during the War of 1812. This was not uncommon and had been practiced for centuries. One problem with this was that many of the privateers did not discriminate between the flags of the ships they came across. They attacked and seized the ships that they could get away with. Oversight was limited, if any at all. The immense profits tended to silence anyone who was not victimized.

In today’s situation off the coast of Somalia, we have a similar situation. Somalia is a failed nation-state with very little opportunity to make a living. Piracy is a risky business, but it is making large amounts of money. There are actions that can and have been taken in the past to deal with this type of problem.

An acquaintance mentioned the idea of the Q-ship. During World War I, international law dictated that combatants were to search ships for contraband before sinking them. England began arming merchant ships and hid the guns. The Q-ships would allow the submarine to approach the vessel and then open fire. These Q-ships sank many submarines during that war.

The idea here would be to arm at least some of the ships that pass by Somalia with 20mm or 40mm rapid-fire weapons. I do not know if this is very practical. It would be expensive to install and train the men. Supply of munitions can be dangerous. However, it is something that could be done.

I prefer the practice of convoy. The convoy would need only a very minimal escort, probably only one destroyer per convoy. (If any at all) The greatest asset of the convoy is not its escort, but the smaller profile. The ocean is a vast place. If you took 15 ships travelling together, they would present only a marginally larger target than one ship. A convoy of 15 ships is nowhere near 15 times as visible. Just finding them has proved to be much more difficult. The U.S. and British navies have dealt with far more organized and well-equipped enemies than what is being faced today. ANY type of armed escort (Many destroyers carry helicopters) would be able to deal with the limited and hand held weapons that these pirates are using.

Piracy has been around since man has gone to sea. Sailing in groups for mutual protection has been around since piracy began. The reason is that convoys are effective.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Islam is unreasonable

As President Clinton found out, the Middle East is not reasonable. The Oslo accords would have worked given that both sides were reasonable. Both sides accuse each other of being unreasonable. From the Arab point of view, Israel is unreasonable. From the Israeli viewpoint, the Arabs are unreasonable. The conflict has expressed itself ever since the formation of Israel in the violence that has been so consistent. This is a constant state of war. At least a few issues must be responsible, because I refuse to believe that so much of the world is that unreasonable without some really strong issues that is the actual root cause, as opposed to excuses.

Israel is more like the U.S. than any Islamic government. Although the United States has many faults, we are usually reasonable. Our interactions with the rest of the world throughout our history have demonstrated this time and again. All cultures and governments, including the U.S. and the rest of the world, have problems with violence. However, the Islamic world sets a new standard. Violence and organized warfare is much more common throughout the Islamic world. Muslims, and in particular, Arabs are easily insulted. And the common result is violence. Criticism sparks violence as well. In many cases criticism is considered an insult.

This is unreasonable in itself. Without criticism, it is almost impossible to implement positive change. Of all the areas that Islam needs to improve, it is the ability to take criticism positively. Yet the reaction is typically violence. In many cases, organized violence in the form of irregular warfare.

Islam has many issues that can’t be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction without violence because the issues themselves are not of the type that are negotiable. Some of the most serious issues involve unreasonable ‘laws’ that are extreme. A good example: The penalty for leaving Islam is death.

This ‘authentic’ law has been upheld by rulings in Islamic law and is part of traditional Islam. This law creates two serious problems:

1) If Muslims have a serious disagreement on a vital part of Islam, then the other viewpoint can easily be seen by the other party as having ‘left’ Islam. Hence they are Apostate and the penalty is death. On top of this, fighting (Killing) Apostates qualifies for Jihad, which qualifies those who fight to obtain booty and paradise if they are killed. Look at how the disagreement between Shiite and Sunni has gone to such violent levels. This has been going on for more than 1000 years! This helps to explain why so much internal warfare is so common throughout the Islamic world.

2) Once you are Muslim, you can’t convert to anything else. Islam is a one-way street in more than one way, but this concept also applies to land and ‘waters’. This helps explain why the Arab-Israeli conflict has no reasonable solution. A hundred years from now, Israel will still be ‘occupiers’ of Muslim ‘land’. This problem is evident in many other places where Islam has withdrawn, namely the Balkans. Palestine is a particularly sensitive area because it was one of the first areas to be overrun by Islam and is so close to the never center of Islam, Saudi Arabia, the home of Mecca and Medina.

Another area of Islam that is unreasonable is the fact that Islam is NOT a nation-state. Yet the leaders wield real power as if they are the leaders of a national government. Just look at Iraq for an example. Sadar has a personal army at his command. To have individuals like these wield the power of a nation-state is unreasonable. It invites civil war and open, violent conflict.

Traditional Islam as practiced in this way is unreasonable. Hence, constant violence and warfare.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

President Obama: We are not at war with Islam

I find this statement particularly disturbing. Less than two weeks ago, a group of Muslim leaders in Istanbul issued a statement that defies a concept that the United States has defended in the war of 1812 and World War I: Freedom of the seas.

In 1804, the United States attacked the pirates operating out of Tripoli who were attempting to charge us Tribute for our ships passing through ‘Muslim’ waters.

In 1812, the United States declared war upon England because they were interdicting our merchant ships on the high seas.

In 1917 the United States declared war upon German primarily because of the naval blockade that German U-boats were implementing. Sinking without warning neutral merchant shipping. Heck, we were sending our shipping to a combatant in a war zone and we still fought for that right.

President Obama is correct in that the United States is NOT at war with Islam. However, Islam is at war against us. In addition to not seeing this, President Obama is certainly changing the standards we uphold.

One week after the Muslim leaders statement of sovereignty, our President is in that same country declaring that we are not at war with Islam. How clear can he make it? What is even more of a concern is the implication that President Obama is respecting the ‘Muslim Nation’ right of having ‘waters’. If that were the case, then Islam would certainly have the ability to posses ‘land’. Just like a Nation-state. The same ‘Nation-state’ that is at war against the United States of America.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Islam and warfare

Islam was designed as a nation-state 1000 years before they became common. Islam has a foreign policy; an economic policy and legal jurisprudence complete with ‘legal’ rulings that go back 1400 years.

All are welcome to join Islam. All religions have a 'dark' side, as Muslims and others have pointed out with the ‘dark’ side of Christianity. Among many differences is the Bible does not demand execution of people for various reasons. In addition to this, a major problem that I have with Islam is that the Koran and traditional Islam contain numerous issues that trigger open warfare between people. For example: The nation-state is the ONLY entity that should have these powers.

1) The penalty for leaving Islam is death. You are welcome to join, but can’t leave it alive. Only a government should have the power to execute people.
2) Stoning ANYONE to death, for ANY reason. I don’t give a damn what that reason is. ( I do not believe that even a nation-state should be able to do this.)
3) Waging war: The Obligation to kill the ‘occupiers’ of Muslim land should only be held by nation-states. This issue is tied somewhat to the issue of Tribute. Tribute is money paid to Muslim authorities by non-Muslims. OK, this exempts them from military service. So what? They would not participate in jihad in any case. In 1804, some Muslims attempted to extract Tribute from the U.S. because our ships were passing through so called "Muslim" waters. We attacked with our fleet. Care to start another war?

A group of Islamic leaders met in Istanbul recently and issued a declaration: "The obligation of the Islamic Nation [is] to regard the sending of foreign warships into Muslim waters, claiming to control the borders and prevent the smuggling of arms to Gaza, as a declaration of war, a new occupation, sinful aggression, and a clear violation of the sovereignty of the Nation. This must be rejected and fought by all means and ways."

Islam is NOT a nation-state. Muslims do not have ‘waters’, nor do they have ‘land’. Nation-states do. The government (not the 'religion') defends the indivudal ownership of land. This idea is a very real problem for the Muslim population of the world.

Loyalty to Islam, clan or other organizations as opposed to the central government is a very real problem. Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the U.S. army because his state of Virginia left the Union. He was more loyal to his state of Virginia than the U.S. federal government. One issue the U.S. Civil war decided is that our loyalty is to the Federal government, not the state. This issue is not uncommon in parts of the world, and loyalty to Islam and clan is particularly strong within the Muslim world. Resolving the ‘states rights’ issue was THE most expensive war (In terms of lives lost) that the United States has ever fought.

The concept of Jihad as held by the masses of the Muslim population worldwide must change. "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 in the Jihad qualify for rewards in both worlds. Booty in this one, paradise in the next." "The most common interpretation of jihad is armed struggle for the advancement or defense of Muslim power". (Bernard Lewis, The Crisis of Islam, copyright 2003.)

Booty was how armies were paid until the rise of the nation-state. Naturally, Muslims are not supposed to seize booty for personal gain. However, human nature is not so chaste. You are not going to convince me that Muslims are any different from the rest of humanity on this one. The other qualifier for jihad (Besides fighting Apostates) is fighting infidels. Infidels are anyone who is not Muslim. Jihad is a mechanism designed to expand Islamic control and Muslim power.
Jihad must become a personal, internal struggle. Attempting to convince the rest of the Muslim population of this has and will result in open warfare.

This is not a complete list. Sorry. However, it does give us an idea of what we are dealing with. Can it be surprising that irregular warfare is such a constant within the Islamic world? Notice how violence is common in the places Islam has contact with other cultures.

The issues that I have listed above are of the type that wars are fought over. In other words, Islam contains many issues that will cause open, violent conflict. The problems are inherent within Islam. The external world is NOT the problem.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Gitmo detainees to be held in Jail?

A jail suitable for Gitmo detainees is supposedly in Alexandria, VA. A move here will relieve the U.S. of the international burden that Gitmo represents. However, I can see Islamists seeing this as a victory. Having their captured men near Washington D.C.? This is next to and inside the political capital of the infidel enemy. This will give them a much greater status than we should give. Despite assurances to the contrary, politics will play more of a role here, distorting the importance of issues.

Jail is NOT where we want to place the 21st century versions of the pirates of the 16th century. They were generally hung from the nearest yardarm. Today we cannot do this. An island with complete isolation is about the closest way without executing them. Placing them into our jail system opens us up to additional assault from within. Jails are ALWAYS filled with people with revolutionary views.

The idea behind a jail is to hold someone who is dangerous and rehabilitate him or her to the point where they can be released into the public and do no more harm. A few of the detainees at Gitmo may be rehabilitated, but the majority is not. It would be like taking Japanese soldiers in 1944 and attempting to rehabilitate them while the war was still going on. The point is that these men will use the opportunity to convert others to their cause. And jail is the perfect place for them to obtain a receptive audience.

If anyone believes that we can control this, they do not fully comprehend the commitment these men have, nor of the support around the world this effort would be receiving. Remember how Germany assisted Lenin in his move back into Russia? They needed him to stir up trouble for Russia during World War I. He helped trigger the Russian Civil War and Russian withdrawal from World War I altogether. It almost won the war for Germany. It caused incalculable problems in Russia for generations afterward. If it can be done, our enemies today will not hesitate to do it. We will be making a mistake to assist them in anyway.