Monday, December 27, 2010

Islamic cultural shock: Part III

I draw the similarities between Japanese and Islamic cultures because the strongest instinct in all living things is survival. Man has learned to overcome this. Suicide in warfare is nothing new. Even the Spartans at Thermopylae knew they would not survive. What makes Japan and Islam different is the repetitiveness of the events as a tactic of warfare. Throughout history, suicide attacks were seen from time to time, particularly in desperate situations. However, they were not repeated. Japan used the concept of suicide as a tactic of war by it’s military and it was intended for the entire civilian population to follow suit. Thus the very idea is cultural in nature. If we look at Islamic culture, I would not be surprised to find a similar culture of death, at least in that portion of the population that is dedicated. This is not to say they were or are the same. Differences between the Japanese and Islamic examples exist.

For example, Japan was an isolated geographical area and was united as one national entity. Islam is far more spread out and diverse. Although Islamic nationalism is an uniting factor, it is far from being as concentrated as in Japan. Many Muslims throughout the world are loyal to the national entity they belong to. These particular Muslims have assimilated, although many others have not.

On a personal level, the Japanese culture of suicide in most cases took the form of retrieving honor that one had lost. (Harir kiri) Islamic culture tends to retrieve honor by killing the person who brought dishonor upon one. The so-called "Honor killing". What concerns me the most is the fact that the Japanese did not end their use of suicide attack until not just overwhelmed, but threatened with cultural extinction.

By early 1945, it was apparent that only a direct invasion could end the war against Japan. The loss of life projected by such action was expected to be in the millions. The invention and development of the nuclear weapon gave the United States an opportunity to possibly avoid the protracted affair of invasion. It can be argued that Japan would have surrendered anyway, but it cannot be denied that the use of the ‘Bomb’ helped to speed up the process. In any case, the ‘occupation’ of Japan followed with all of the cultural implications associated.

The occupation of Japan was as complete as could be humanly performed. The government was redesigned, the education system was re-built and the economy was re-engineered. Thus the culture itself was changed, drastically. What was a huge advantage of this approach over any today against Islamic culture is the fact that Japan was isolated. Japan is a group of islands that had a common culture. Islam today is spread out over the globe. The areas of the "inner defense perimeter", Saudi Arabia and other countries of the Middle East are not isolated. Oceans or open water do not limit the geographical areas. Changing the culture would not be nearly as easy, or as complete. The very fact that it took atomic weapons and ‘occupation’ to move the Japanese culture away from the organized suicide mentality is of major concern. And the clock is ticking.

It can only be a matter of time before an Islamic nationalist organization obtains an effective WMD. I just do not see any reason why they would not deploy it immediately. Once an effective WMD has been deployed, all of the losses of life and property in wars involving Islamic nationalism going on today would be dwarfed in comparison. And it would all in be one place or several places instead of spread out over a number of continents. Retaliation would and could be expected. I would also expect escalation. After all, if someone nukes the US and destroyed New York, why would we stop at one or two cities in exchange? In any event, it could be expected that further attacks would occur.

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