Friday, January 28, 2011

Egypt and Tunisia

It appears that I am the pessimist. With the change of government in Tunisia and the potential change in Egypt, I expect that the same type of rule will replace them. President Obama and many others disagree.

The optimistic view is that democracy will take root and help begin to free these people from the autocratic pattern that they have been forced to live under. I am certain that we all hope so. The problem is that democracy is not so easily established.

Democracy tends to evolve. Once established, democracies may be difficult to kill, but they are also very difficult to establish. It takes a great deal of stability and consistent growth over a long time to establish the environment that will support a democracy. Israel is one of the few exceptions. I suspect that this is because so many who built the country initially were immigrants and had brought their views of government with them from other lands. (One reason why Israel is hated so badly) Tunisia and Egypt do not fall into this category. (Not many, if any others do)

Tunisia and Egypt are predominately Arab and Muslim. This combination is not a very encouraging one. Islam originated from this combination. Considering how the culture of Islamic government is so authoritarian, it is difficult for me to believe that the long term ‘change’ that will result from these events will be an enlightened and freedom loving population. The concepts of freedom that we take for granted are actually looked upon as being weak and hostile to Islamic principals. On top of this, we have the concept of Islam being such a one-way street.

Islamic governance is NOT a democracy. Yet this same type of government can easily become established through free elections. If the population votes for it, as HAMAS has recently demonstrated, the election cycle is broken simply because Islamic rule does not allow for open elections. Similar with what happened in Russia, the election of an open government could easily result in the population being repulsed by many of the ‘insulting’ aspects of an open economic and governmental system. Self-criticism is a necessary quality. Many within the Islamic world find self-criticism repulsive and hate it. I find it much more likely that a government like HAMAS or one that is in Iran would become established in Tunisia or Egypt rather than a open, democratic country like Israel, Germany, Japan or the United States.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Submission to Islamic rule

In Somalia, many are upset about the impact of the harsh Islamic legal system. I can see why. The penalties of whippings, cutting off the hands and/or heads of people, stoning people to death are a major cause of concern. (Just to name a few) What has not occurred yet is submission of the people.

The population of Somalia that is objecting to this ‘legal’ system has not yet found out that by speaking out, they will be next. After the system has been in place for some time, people have figured out that in order to keep your hands, or prevent yourself from being publicly whipped, or to not be stoned to death, you must shut up. In other words, submit to Islamic rule.

Islamic law and culture has very little tolerance for dissension. The brutal penalties would scare off most people. It is easy to see that those who DO voice dissent can be seen as insane, after all they are only making themselves visible for treatment in a system that is not known for its kindness to humanity. Submission in this case is silence. This can help explain why so many throughout the Muslim world are so quiet about Islamic terrorism and violence. Criticism is not exactly encouraged in Islam. The discouragement of dissent and criticism over generations would develop into a habit that is to just accept and submit to the system, like a good, ‘moderate’ Muslim.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Muslim anger

I believe that this old post is a good summary as to why we see so much Muslim anger.

Muslims worldwide are angry over the "Jesus scopes". The scopes of some US sharpshooter’s weapons have numerical codes that refer to passages in the Bible. Naturally, nobody likes being shot at. But to do so with weapons with competing religious codes is particularly insulting to Muslims. In the past, I have noticed how Muslims are sensitive to insult.

Have you ever noticed how sensitive you become when you are angry? I am referring to sensitivity to others behavior, like cutting you off when you are driving or something that someone says that normally would not bother you that much. This is basic human nature at work. Anger in the Muslim world is a natural by-product of the Islamic system of governance and beliefs.

"Allah did not create man so that he could have fun. The aim of creation was for mankind to be put to the test through hardship and prayer. An Islamic regime must be serious in every field. There are no jokes in Islam. There is no humor in Islam. There is no fun in Islam. There can be no fun and joy in whatever is serious." -- Ayatollah Khomeini

This guy is an Islamic scholar. He may be a bit over the edge, but as he states, the basic ideology of Islam is very repressive.

Islam’s legal system is one of the most (If not THE most) harsh, brutal and repressive legal systems in the world. History has demonstrated time and again that repression of human nature tends to generate anger and violence. Humans (Like children) need a certain amount of restriction of behavior. We all need to have limits, otherwise chaos would result as everyone just did what they wanted to, including murder and other destructive behaviors. Like so many things in human experience, too many restrictions or too many limitations cause humans to resist or seek alternative behavior. I am not a psychologist, however my studies of warfare have shown that anger is an important part of courage. Anger can also cause you to make poor decisions in the ‘heat of the moment’. With undisciplined anger, violence is a natural byproduct. In the military, discipline is the vital training that soldiers need to learn how to handle the stress so that they can make cool decisions in the ‘heat of the moment’. Islam leaves out this vital training.

Humans will seek alternative avenues for emotions when under stress. Anger is a common emotional outlet in the Islamic world as it is one of the few emotions that is allowed to be expressed openly. As I have stated, I am not a psychologist, but it appears to me that the source of the anger management problems within the Islamic world is Islam itself. Just look at the symptoms. (Anger, hostility, sensitivity to insult, undisciplined violence)

I see so many descriptions (And film) of anger in the Muslim world when anything negative occurs concerning their ‘religion’. This anger is matched with open hostility. This hostility is directed against anyone for any supposed action that should not have been taken because we (whoever) lack sensitivity to Islam. In fact, sensitivity to insult is just about impossible to predict because so many different cases appear to exist that will in fact insult Muslims. And the human part about all of this is that I would act the same way, given the same repression.

The limitations that Muslims must live under (Both men and women) are enough to drive anyone to anger. You can’t even look at a pretty woman (Assuming that you can even see her) without having to avert your eyes. Many of the little enjoyments in life are taken away with few outlets for emotions that ALL humans have. Individuals can cope to varying degrees, but the overall result can only be anger, sensitivity to insult and violence. (Both organized and spontaneous)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Tunisia (1/17/11)

"Finally, Tunisians are tasting freedom, something that the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) couldn’t predict."

How the hell can anyone know this? Stabroeknews knows what government is going to step into place? Who the hell believes that it will necessarily become an open, democratic form of government?

The free press is somewhat limited in its ability to analyze. I do admit that I do not have access to classified information. However, most of the time open information is enough for fairly accurate analysis. This article seems to assume that ANY government than the last one will be better. I am not so certain. What if the new government supports Islamic nationalism and becomes a state supporter of Islamic terrorist organizations?

"The United States support of some brutal dictatorships in the Middle East is a major reason why the US is growing more unpopular in the Arab streets."

I disagree. Much of the reason why so many in the Middle East are against us is because of 'occupied Muslim lands'. On 60 minutes last Sunday, the guy from Yemen who was interviewed stated that bringing in US troops would only make more people turn against us. Not because of Yemen nationalism, but Islamic nationalism. This IS a root cause of the war and Islamic terrorism. Change in Tunisia may not be what we want or expect. (As President Carter found out back in 1979.)

I don’t like the CHANGE going on within my own country. If our national leadership is anything like I believe it to be, I am certain that I will not like what Tunisian government does eventually result from this change. I will have to wait for confirmation, just like everyone else.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Analysis of the ‘war on terror’ today.

During the first year or so of the war in Iraq (2003) the enemy that was attacking our troops were amateurs. The reports that I was reading indicated that our positions were being attacked in the open, our losses were zero and we were inflicting ‘maximum damage’ on the attackers. In other words, we were wiping them out. This changed over time as our enemy learned and adapted. This is not uncommon in warfare. Tactics evolve and change as combat losses tends to force people to learn.

Today, we are seeing an increase in arrests throughout Europe and the U.S. Many of these plots and plotters are amateurs. The plans are really basic and more importantly, the plotters are making very fundamental mistakes. As with the pattern of warfare in Iraq, this is going to change. We can expect the organizations to become more professional. Effectiveness will improve, quickly and dramatically. We are playing good defense so far. However, good defense will not win, nor will it end the war.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jared Loughner

Federal sources identified a Jared L. Loughner, 22, of Tucson, as the suspected gunman in the shooting Saturday at a meet-the-constituents meeting in Tucson.

I have read a number of the articles that this guy wrote. He is a nut. What concerns me the most is the effect that this shooting is having and the reaction that will result from it. Is it strange that you tend to blame the other side? Democrats are blaming Republicans. Republicans are saying the guy was a 'left wingnut'.

An example:
"A 22-year-old woman in Arizona, Caitie Parker, claimed on her Twitter feed that she went to high school and college with the gunman, and was in a band with him. She described his politics in the past as "left wing, quite liberal, & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy." She also described him as having a lot of friends "until he got alcohol poisoning in '06" and dropped out of school. "Mainly loner very philosophical.""
In any case, I believe that we conservatives are going to be made to pay for this shooting. The Republicans don’t want to add any new laws or other restrictions as a result of this shooting. Democrats will be expected to favor some type of legal reaction. We cannot expect our representatives to be more accessible after this. Our President is not a moderate; we cannot expect a moderate reaction. On top of this, just last year our representatives passed the health care bill against the will of the American people. We already have a serious issue with our representatives refusing to do what we are telling them to. This shooting and the reaction to it will only make this issue worse.

The key is how will our representatives in Congress react. Our government can easily obtain more power to restrict access to our representatives. Having direct communication is a vital necessity in ALL-democratic governments. We need to be able to walk into their office and tell them what we think. And they need to listen to us.

What is important is the impact of the response. I doubt that it will allow us additional access to our representatives. We are already in trouble with communication with our leadership in this country. The forcing of the health care law through the system when the US public was saying "NO!" is a very negative predecessor. No wonder so many people are so worried about 'violent rhetoric'. When the representatives are not responding to the people, open resistance does not have a constructive outlet.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Moqtada al-Sard returns to Iraq

"Sadr had been in self-imposed exile in Iran for nearly three years, and his return signals the political rehabilitation of his staunchly anti-U.S. political movement in Iraq's corridors of power."

This is an understatement. This is political Islam. This imam formed and led his own ‘militia’, or a part of the ‘army of Islam’. He had fled when the ‘surge’ was working. This guy IS the enemy. He is returning from Iran and will continue his work. The people of Iraq who we needed to survive and prosper are now in even greater danger. Even though this has been expected, this is a major loss in the war. The tide has turned against us in Iraq. We left far too soon.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Political Islam is the basic cause of warfare

Political Islam has been and is still at war against the modern nation-state. Many of the concepts within "political" Islam are at war against the United States as well as much of the rest of the world.

The moral obligation to kill ‘occupiers’ of Muslim land has to end. The ‘religion’ may own land, but to mobilize an Islamic army is a concept from the Middle Ages. A number of nation-states are actively supporting this army. The penalty for leaving Islam is death. This ‘authentic’ law is a basic reason for much of the violent conflict internal to Islam.

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. Although payment of booty is not as common today, this ‘authentic’ law is a major part of the reason why warfare is so common internal to Islam. It has been enforced for more than millennia and in many places, is still being enforced.

"Political" Islam is a one way street. Penalties like chopping off hands or stoning to death. 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 the fourteen hundred years of Muslim history, Jihad has been most commonly interpreted to mean armed struggle for the advancement or defense of Muslim power." Political Islam cannot be allowed to mobilize an army and enforce these types of rules.

An example: The Catholic Church owns the land that a church in Chicago has been built on. If any group of armed people took it over; Catholics from Illinois, Mississippi, Brazil or Canada do NOT go in and take them out. The U.S. government sends in the army, or National Guard or SWAT team or whatever. Islam has a long history of this type of action. No wonder the Islamic world is so familiar with crusades. This is what the Islamic army is, an army of the crusade era. The Islamic army is what we consider to be an army of terrorists. These ‘terrorists’ only want to enforce Islamic law more consistently, like what conservatives in our own culture want. The problem is, Islamic law is so strict that even the followers are frustrated. Humans do not submit well to being controlled that thoroughly. It can be no wonder that public anger is so common.

As has been seen so often today, Islam still retains a sizable number of followers who believe that Islam overrides the modern national government. "Honor killings" and many other similar acts are still common throughout the Islamic world. This is the common cause of much of the warfare within the Islamic world. The modern governments are far to liberal even when based upon Islam. And even those that are based upon Islam are openly hostile to every government authority except autocratic ones. The more autocratic, the better. This can only lead to irregular warfare. If the means for open warfare is not available, irregular warfare is the natural result. It is only the next step to become what we consider to be a ‘terrorist’.

The payment of the ‘poll tax’ (Tribute) is another part of ‘political’ Islam that conflicts with the modern nation state. Taxation and conscription are functions of the national government, not religion. These can be more readily implemented into the modern national government, but this is still preferential treatment to Muslims and hostile to all else. Political Islam is fighting against the evolution of the national governmental authority movement into areas that Islam has historically held.

These issues can be seen to be important influencing factors in the many Arab-Israeli wars. This helps explain why peace has been so elusive. The issues are much too important to be decided without violence. Warfare is conflict raised to the most decisive level. Some conflicts cannot be decided any other way. Islam has a number of issues that are of this type.

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. This is useful in fielding an army, something that historically, Islam has been good at. We are seeing the Islamic army in action today. This must end before this ‘army’ gets its hands on nuclear weapons, or some other effective WMD. At that point, the war will escalate, possibly out of control. It is worth waging large, conventional warfare to prevent.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Islamic cultural shock: Part V (Conclusion)

In my view, change of the type that I feel necessary would spark cultural war just as surely as not allowing any new slave states into the Union did in 1860. This is a change in way of life in such drastic measure that it will surely spark warfare. One of the most common causes of war throughout history has been perceived or threatened change to way of life. People will defend their way of life with violence. The massive amount of contact between the Islamic world and the rest of the world since the discovery of oil has already caused cultural shock throughout the Islamic world.

This cultural shock is a major cause of the Islamic terrorism since the mid-20th century. Belief in the Islamic legal system and Islamic nationalism is alive today. Like the culture that evolved and survived because of slavery, Islamic nationalism will not die without a fight. Just look at Nigeria and what happened when the court refused to stone that poor woman to death. Stoning people to death has to end. Islamic culture must be brought into the 21st century. Getting rid of Islamic law is mandatory in order to accomplish this. Religions can’t be fielding armies, nor can Islamic leaders govern. Getting rid of Islamic law will cause cultural shock on a scale that has never been seen before.

Throughout the Islamic world, violence and warfare is already common in the places that are in contact with other legal systems. The friction between Islamic law and culture will only continue to increase until Islamic culture is permanently changed. Please note that the other alternative is for Islam to conquer the world. In either case, a decisive result will most likely not occur until a catastrophe. I believe that this will most likely take the form of a nuclear war. The populations involved are just too large for any decisive result from any other known conventional methods. It is possible that Islamic nationalism will just fade away. However, the history of mankind does not indicate that this is very likely. Most likely it will not die until after a number of violent, decisive defeats.