Saturday, July 24, 2010

Essay on Islam

Foreign Affairs magazine, July/August 2010 issue. The article is a review (Marc Lynch) of the book "The flight of the Intellectuals" by Paul Berman.

Page 145 is where I found an interesting quote that typifies the problem that many people have understanding much of the difficulty we in the rest of the world have with Islam.

"Put bluntly, Islamists have shaped the world around them in ways that many liberals in the United States and Europe find distasteful. Even moderate Islamists prioritize religion over all other identities and promote its application in law, society, culture, and politics. Their prosyletizing, social work, party politics, and organization of parallel civil societies have all helped transform societies from below. This frightens and angers secularists, liberals, feminists, non-Muslims, and others who take no comfort in the argument that the political success of the Islamists simply reflects the changing views of the majority."

Please note that moderate Muslims prioritize religion over ALL other identities. They promote Islamic law, society, culture and politics over all others. This describes not a religion as we know them, but nationalism. The Catholic Church does not defend the "land" that Catholic Churches sit on. Islam is fielding an army. This is the stuff that wars are fought over. This is why you have PROFESSIONAL armies. Liberals only find this ‘distasteful’? And to top it all off, this is simply what the majority wants? The author of this essay (Marc Lynch) cannot understand Islamic law very well at all. Islam is at war against our legal system; our political system; our society; our very culture. What is not to be understood here? Marc Lynch just does not want to see how important this is.

Muslim immigrants have demonstrated a remarkable resistance to assimilation. They are literally attempting to take over in all areas that they immigrate to by using any and all methods not to adapt to the country that they moved into, but to force that country to adapt Islamic laws and culture. (This is another example of the one-way streets in Islam.) Historically, when a government has helped immigrants to do things like this, the defending country declared war and attacked, as they have the right to. This would be an act of war if China or Russia or any other country did this. We would have the right to declare war. Yet because Islam is a religion, nor is their any specific country of origin, war is not a viable option? No wonder irregular warfare is so common throughout the areas of the world where Islam is approaching a significant minority of the population. The people are unable to defend themselves and are taking matters into their own hands. Yet they are on the defensive. As are we.

This is precisely why organized warfare is the ONLY way to permanently defeat the Islamic army. The very legal system and culture that is so hostile to us and our way of life (As with everyone else in the non-Muslim world) must be done away with. Islamic nationalism must die. Or else we become Islamic. The modern world cannot accept ANY religion fielding an army in the "religion’s" own best interests. Religion is NOT a national government. This contains many of those issues that you fight wars over. This war is BIG. With well over a billion Muslims, it will take a very large war to decide this issue. Not all favor this, although when push comes to shove, when it comes down to a fight, who are you going to side with? Human nature will persuade most to side with what you are familiar with.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Missing Afghans

At first, I had thought that most of these missing Afghans were going to be a direct problem in that they would begin to build anti-US terrorist cells. And we had trained them in many ways. After further review, this may be the case for some of them, but it is apparent that many (How many?) just want a better life. At least it appears that some skipped because they did not want to go back, not for any motive to attack us. This could change, of course. One of my brothers suggested that this is not much of a problem anyway simply because we would have imbedded transmitters in their bodies and can track them. Maybe this is the case, but we will probably never find out in our lifetimes. What is of greater concern is the simple ease of living within the United States illegally. With all of the emphasis upon illegal immigration, this is one of our main lines of defense.

Seeing as our new worldwide strategy against Islamic terrorism is one of playing defense, this is not a good sign. After 9/11, our security measures were improved. The U.S was not directly hit for more than 7 years. This was mainly because of our assault upon Afghanistan and Iraq and our enemy’s engagement of our army in those countries. (Kill the ‘occupiers of Muslim lands’) Now it is apparent that our enemies will not find it as difficult to penetrate our cities and society, as they have before. We can expect increasing ‘homegrown’ attacks motivated by Islamic ideology within the near future. We have already begun to see this over the past year. This trend has been expected as attrition is falling as decreasing intensity of combat with our armed forces is taxing our enemy’s resources less and less. This war has not yet really begun.

Friday, July 16, 2010

President Obama worries me

This is important enough to re-post. (posted 7/25/09)

I am somewhat naive. I attempt to believe the best in people. Particularly when regarding our Presidents. I am a Republican and I still believe that President Carter was a good man with his heart in the right place. I disagreed with him across the board, but I still think that he wanted what was best for our country. The same applies with President Clinton, although I was worried that he was out for himself more than what I would have liked.

President Obama scares me. If he really believes what he says (I like to think that Presidents believe what they say) we are in BIG trouble. He wants change. But the change he wants is not anything like what our country has stood for since our inception.

In a speech at Arizona State University, he stated that new graduates should work for non-profit organizations. This in and of itself is an admirable statement, but taken in context with other things that he has said, it is apparent to me that he believes that profit is evil. That profit is taking advantage of people. The path he is taking is one of someone who believes that our system of economics is and has caused us to be greedy and corrupt. He wants to change this.
He has begun by attempting to nationalize our financial system and our automotive industry. The health care system is on the front burner today. Will the energy industry be next? I think that he believes that by taking profit out of these systems, we will become more passionate, fair and efficient. This concept is the opposite from the economic ideas that our country was founded upon. And this is nowhere near a complete picture.

President Obama has traveled over the world telling the world how bad we have been in the past. Not that we have not made mistakes, or even been bad (Evil) at times, but our country has been a beacon of freedom and progress in the world since our inception. His focus upon our weaknesses and negative parts of our past is not doing our country any service. I don’t know what his view about our past concerning slavery is, but I consider us to have paid in full for that evil part of our past. The Civil War was the price we paid and that should be enough for anyone. (We lost over double what we lost in WWII)

I am not certain that he believes that our country has paid in full for slavery. Yet our system of justice was set up so that we should NOT be held accountable for the sins of our fathers or grandfathers. From what he has said and is saying, he does not believe this. President Obama also wants to change how we defend ourselves.

"Millions for defense, not a cent for Tribute!" was a battle cry. He must not believe this either. In addition, President Obama does not believe in talking softly and carrying a big stick either. The cuts to our military that he is proposing are not just a ‘peace dividend’. The halting of ALL new weapons procurement including missile defense is a fundamental change from our past of having at least a slowly modernizing military. I agree that military spending is wasteful and inefficient. The equipment is useless except for destroying and killing. The only problem is that it is priceless when war is upon us. Wars will not go away, and big wars will occur despite our best efforts. Being ill prepared for war is one of the most irresponsible things any President can allow. Doing it intentionally makes me VERY worried. Particularly when we are in an active, shooting war already.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

NASA's outreach to the Muslim world

This idea is a real piece of work. NASA is NOT a foreign policy agency. It is a space exploration agency. The very idea of an outreach program being sponsored by NASA is completely out of their area of expertise. This demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of governmental agencies and their abilities.

Even the idea of bringing in students from the Muslim world to educate them is a poor one. The Muslim world has demonstrated a remarkable resistance to assimilation with the rest of the world. This will be a one-way street. (As with so many Muslim issues) The Muslim world will learn more about the technology and solutions on how to launch missiles into space. And what will we obtain in return? We will learn an ideology that produces suicide bombers along with repression of minorities and women. This is an oversimplification, but in any case, this will not be a very good return on our investment.

This idea is at best, misdirected. At the worst, this is an attempt to assist our enemies. The Muslim world is basically at war against us. So many Islamic laws are in direct conflict with our own that it stuns me to see that so many U.S. citizens don’t understand why we are hated so much. The constant warfare that is always present between Israel and the Islamic world is a good example.

The U.S. and Israel have far more in common than the U.S. and the Islamic world. We are much more like Israel than any government in the Muslim world. This is far more pronounced a difference when comparing cultures. In fact, Israeli culture is repulsive to the Muslim world in many ways, as is our own. (Along with the Western world) As has been demonstrated time and again, Islamic culture is NOT compatible with most of the cultures of the world and is particularly incompatible with American culture. NASA cannot even begin to change this. Mismanagement of this type is a good indicator of other problems.

Our military is NOT a police force. The rules of engagement established by the Obama administration in Afghanistan demonstrates to me that our leadership believes that our army should act like a civilian police force. Not only is this incompatible with the design and training of a military force, it is improper use of that very same force. It is like attempting to make your best shock units into jailers. Rather than ruin the best military force in the world, it would be much better to send in the FBI to train our ally.

The very idea of using NASA to help reach out to the Muslim world is a good example of President Obama’s misunderstanding of specific governmental angency capabilities. Mismanagement of agencies on the highest levels. Worse, it can go a long way toward causing our country to lose far more of our men and women in uniform than is necessary. It very well may cause the war to be much larger and more dangerous that it would be if managed properly.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Scope of the war

One problem everyone faces is the ‘fog of war’. In addition, we all see what we want to. Toss in the fact that the news media has the problem of seeing just about everything through a political lens. This makes it difficult to separate the important events from the rest, not to mention seeing past your own prejudices. In reference to the BIG picture, it is easy to draw incorrect understandings of what is happening. This will be particularly more difficult as we enter into what I am calling the ‘Quiet time’. This is the quiet before the storm.

The U.S. is withdrawing from Iraq. We have announced our intention to withdraw from Afghanistan beginning in July of 2011. I fully expect our forces to be at least publicly out of both countries prior to the beginning of the presidential election cycle of 2012. Supposedly, this will end the war. A major problem that I see here is that this war is much too large for this to be the case. However, with direct engagement by the U.S. military winding down, the amount of combat will fall. Hence, our enemy’s attrition as a result of engagement with our military will also fall. It will take some time (Probably years) before our enemies will have redeployed enough assets to raise the level of attacks to the point where open warfare is the obvious thing to do. A major problem is the size of the populations that are in conflict.

I found this poll just a few months ago. It helps me understand the scope of the problem. 83% of Pakistanis believe stoning the adulteress to death should punish adultery. Almost half of the population of Indonesia backs the practice. This indicates that well over a hundred million people favor this practice, just in these two countries alone! This type of issue is as volatile as slavery and abortion. And like getting rid of slavery, (it remains to be seen about abortion) people will not change their minds without open violence. (Example: Nigeria)

A number of practices within Islamic law have no place in the modern world. Stoning is one of the worst. In general, I am not a proponent of interference within other countries. If a government decides that they want the death penalty, it is their business. I would like to point out how stoning is a barbaric practice that must go. Bury a person up to their waste or chest and throw rocks at them until dead? I am not sorry that this practice must go, and I am not sorry if we have to wage warfare to end it. However, one major problem is much larger than just this one issue.

Islamic law is in question here. Ignoring or dropping the stoning ‘clause’ will overrule an important Islamic law. Islamic law is very rigid and not subject to change. Your choice is to either enforce or ignore. As is being seen all over the world, resistance to ignoring Islamic law is being fought violently. Stoning is only one of the laws where this issue of violence triggered by ignoring Islamic law is found. And well over a hundred million people just in Pakistan and Indonesia favor stoning! This is just one of the issues that are the cause of the wars. The people who favor this practice are fielding an army in order to establish a government that will enforce these rules. And many that live in other countries also back this ‘religious’ army because they back many of the concepts within Islam that are so hostile to the United States and the rest of the world. Not only is this ideology hostile, it is aggressive. Like those who supported slavery, they understand that this ideology needs to grow. When held in check, the supporters become violently aggressive. When it is growing, the supporters find it easy to become more agreeable. However, it does not change any of the basic concepts.

While I do not favor interference within other countries jurisdiction, this problem is so widespread that it is of international concern. Similar to dealing with fascism and slavery, acceptance and working with those who support this ideology can only postpone the day of decision. The longer this takes the more of a disadvantage those who are against it will find themselves. It can only be a matter of time before WMD are used. This will make any conventional war that could be fought to limit this ideology a minor war in comparison.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Suicide attack

This quote is from a book about the Japanese kamikaze.

"Educated Japanese males of Onishi’s* generation who had spent time living and studying in the west – especially America – tended to harbor extreme feelings at both ends of a love-hate continuum toward their former hosts and teachers, ranging from unabashed schoolboy hero worship to utter repulsion fueled by a desperate need to believe in their own racial and cultural superiority. The emotional packages of most comprised a tortuous Freudian melange of admiration and inferiority complex: A healthy respect for the westerners’ technological prowess, material abundance, and sheer physical size, disdain for their shameless materialism, their smug, easy pride, their maddeningly nonchalant tolerance of disorder, their racist immigration legislation and the woeful history of the American Negro."

(M.G. Sheftall, "Blossoms in the wind" First printing, July 2005, Page 30)

*Onishi helped form the first kamikaze units.

This sounds so familiar. This helps describe many of those Muslims who helped form the Muslim Brotherhood back in the mid-20th century. In fact, this describes (In general) many in the Muslim world today and how they feel and look at the West. The major point I am getting at here is that repeated suicide attack is NOT going away. It took nuclear weapons to end it the last time. I doubt that this ideology can be changed without far more violence. People just do not change their minds about this type of thing quickly, nor do they change their minds easily.

Without dramatic change (Which history has demonstrated will require organized warfare), the deployment of WMD is only a matter of time. Then the war takes on an entirely new dimension.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

McChrystal backlash

July 2, 2010 Associated Press:

"Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered military officials Friday to clear interviews and other contacts with the news media with the Pentagon after President Barack Obama fired the top general in Afghanistan for embarrassing comments in a magazine interview."

This is a natural reaction to what happened to General McChrystal. Many in the press are not all that friendly toward the military anyway. I do not believe that this would happen to General Patraeus. However, Secretary Gates is attempting to prevent any other problems of this type at other levels in our military.