Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Islamic culture shock: Part II

For the past few decades, we have been seeing repeated suicide attack for only the 2nd time in all of recorded history. Because this is so rare and both happen within the last century, I would expect to find similarities between the two occurrences. This is why I keep bringing up Japan in the 1940's’with the mass repeating of suicide attacks generated by Japan’s military. (The Kamikazes were only the air power part of the suicide attack ideology. The navy had suicide attack torpedoes and suicide surface craft. The army had banzai charges and human mines along with other suicide ideas and weapons)

Japan had been in self-imposed isolation until the mid 19th century. The Japanese were impressed by the big, black US naval warships. After making this contact with the USA, Japan made a conscious effort to modernize it’s military. It sent it’s best to Europe to learn from the most advanced navies and armies in the world. Japan also purchased modern weapons to use as a base for building it’s own fleet and a modern military.

Although the military advanced rapidly and showed it’s strength and modern abilities in the Russo-Japanese war in 1904-1905, the culture within Japan was not moving nearly as quickly. This demonstrated itself by the way that Japan conducted it’s foreign policy. Japan was aggressive and militarily expansionist. At the same time, culturally, Japan showed its backwardness with mid-evil ideas about being able to overcome physical obstacles by spirit and drive. Physical abuse was common in the military in order to make the men tough. Modern armies had generally long since abandoned the practice. This tends to stifle innovation and personal initiative. The idea that the men in the military were so willing to die for their cause could overcome all before it is an idea that breeds superiority and contempt of the enemy. This backwardness is really noticeable in Japanese military operations throughout World War II.

Even then, it took the breaching of the inner defensive perimeter (Saipan and the Marianas) to drive the Japanese to consider suicide units. Many Japanese were horrified by the idea of organized suicide operations. As I am certain within Islam today, we can find the ‘twisting’ of the Koran likewise stuns many Muslims. Desperate situations call for desperate measures. Islamic governance has been in a state of decline for centuries. In the 20th century, with the formation of Israel, land that had been the first to be overrun was being lost. The innermost area of Islam, Mecca and Medina were now close to being in the front line. Islamic culture was not just on the defensive; it is on the point of being changed irrevocably. This is at least part of the reason as to why resistance to ‘occupied land’ is so consistent and intense.

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