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Se muestran los artículos pertenecientes a Diciembre de 2009.

The Left's love affair with Islam

The Left’s love affair with Islam
By Chuck Hustmyre

The union between the American Left and fundamentalist Islam seems like a marriage made in hell.

The Left hates religion, particularly Christianity, and has succeeded in ripping nearly all vestiges of it from American public life. Through the legal machinations of its lapdog, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Left has banned Christmas from public schools, nativity scenes from City Hall, and the Ten Commandments from courthouses.

In liberal newspeak, "Happy holidays" has replaced "Merry Christmas." Holiday trees have replaced Christmas trees, and Christmas break has become "fall break."

Yet a few years ago, seventh-grade students in California were required to participate in a religious studies program during which they were told to wear Muslim clothing, memorize passages from the Quran, and choose an Islamic name for themselves.

Interestingly enough, the ACLU did not file a lawsuit.

The American Left champions causes such as gay rights (including gay marriage), equality for women (suffrage, the right to work, etc.), and religious freedom (usually in the form of freedom from religion). Yet, fundamentalist Islam opposes nearly everything the American Left stands for.

In many Islamic countries, homosexuality is punishable by death. In Iran, a top government official recently said that torture followed by death is the appropriate punishment for being gay.

In Saudi Arabia, women can’t vote, run for public office, or drive cars. Women are routinely jailed and beaten for merely being in the presence of a man not related to them. The Saudi version of Dr. Phil provides televised lessons to men on how to properly beat their wives.

In many Islamic countries, women are forced into arranged marriages and held as property by their husbands, something not exactly in line with progressive Western thinking. In some Muslim countries, women aren’t even allowed to decide what clothes to wear. To reveal even the smallest patch of skin is a crime.

Religious freedom is often nonexistent under Islamic rule. In countries like Afghanistan and Iran, people who convert from Islam to another religion face public execution.

So why does the American Left hate Christianity yet love Islam?

In this country, a shadow army of apologists works tirelessly to provide alternative explanations for faith-based Islamic violence--shootings, bombings, stabbings, and beheadings. These shadow soldiers work in government, media, and on college campuses. Most are members of the American Left. The rest are bureaucrats who have been cowed by the omnipresent specter of political correctness. You hear these apologists every time a Muslim goes berserk and murders people in the name of Islam.

That’s an important distinction I’d like to be clear about. Every week someone goes nuts in this country and commits a sensational crime that captures the attention of the media for a few days. Last weekend, a convicted felon from Arkansas murdered four Seattle-area cops at a coffee shop. Before that, some nut shot up an Orlando office building.

Truly impulsive and insane acts of violence are unpredictable. But when horrific violence is based on a theology that preaches hatred, intolerance, and global conquest, there are usually plenty of warning signs. According to the FBI, imams preach jihad in at least 10 percent of the United States’ 2,000 mosques.

Certainly Army Major Nidal Hasan signaled his intent when he told fellow Army doctors that infidels (those who don’t accept Allah as the one true God) should have their heads cut off and have burning oil poured down their throats. After telling everyone around him that non-Muslims should be killed and that the U.S. Army was engaged in a war against Islam, Hasan murdered 13 people at Ft. Hood, Texas.

Practically before the sounds of the last gunshots had faded, professional apologists in government and the media were saying Hasan was not a terrorist and that the shootings had nothing to do with his belief in Islam. Of course, the exact opposite is true. Nidal Hasan is a jihadist and he committed mass murder because of his belief in Islam.

Nearly a month after the shootings, the American Left is blaming the Ft. Hood murders on everything but Islam. Chicago Mayor Richard Daley took the opportunity of announcing the expansion of the city’s Arabic language program in public schools to blame the killings on America’s love affair with guns.

Other apologists blame the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, claiming Hasan, a psychiatrist, suffered from "secondary trauma" after hearing of the horrors of war from the soldiers he was counseling. Still others invented a new psychological malady, pre-traumatic stress disorder, meaning the mere thought of going into a combat zone so traumatized Hasan that he snapped.

The proof that all of these excuses are just so much hot air is that Hasan himself told us why he shot more than 40 people before he did it.

Major Hasan’s business card identified him as a "Soldier of Allah." He was in email contact with a militant Muslim imam who fled the United States and now operates in Yemen. He tried several times to contact al Qaeda.

To anyone but an American Left apologist, Hasan’s motive for murdering 13 fellow soldiers and wounding another 30 is quite clear: He did it because he was fighting for Islam. As Hasan repeatedly told fellow Army doctors, he is a Muslim first, an American second.

In unambiguous terms, fundamentalist Islam has announced again and again that it despises the values, culture, and traditions of America. The American Left does too.

Consistent with the Arabic proverb that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, the American Left has formed an alliance with fundamentalist Islam to transform this country into something far removed from its Judeo-Christian origins and ideals.

The mistake the Left is making is that its so-called progressive goals have nothing in common with the medieval tenants of fundamentalist Islam. Militant Muslims have no respect for American progressives, any more than they respect the very existence of Israel.

Fundamentalist Islam is using the American Left to advance its own agenda. Militant Muslims want Islam and sharia law to dominate the West. Their goal is to subvert the U.S. Constitution and our way of life to the will of Allah. The word Islam means submission.

What members of the American Left seem blind to is the fact that in countries where Islam dominates, their progressive ideas would be crushed and many of them would be thrown in jail simply because of their lifestyle choices.

Yet, the American Left continues to serve as apologist-in-chief for fundamentalist Islam.

Why?

Because deep down American Leftists are terrified of Islamic fundamentalists.

Last year, publishing giant Random House canceled the publication of Sherry Jones’s novel The Jewel of Medina because it might be offensive to some Muslims. According to its own press release, the publisher feared Muslim violence against its offices and employees. Apparently, Random House’s fears were well founded.

In September 2008, three Muslim terrorists firebombed the home and office of the British publisher who bought the rights to the novel.

In 2006, the Apple computer company drew howls of rage from Muslims who claimed the glass cube the company built outside its midtown Manhattan store was modeled on the Kaaba, the Muslim shrine in the Saudi city of Mecca, and was meant as an insult to Islam.

The American Left’s affair with fundamentalist Islam is essentially a love-fear relationship. The Left loves Islam’s hatred of America and its desire to radically change this country, but the Left also fears what militant Muslims are capable of, especially if they turn their murderous rage on their so-called friends.

So the Left, like Neville Chamberlain with the Nazis, walks a tightrope, appeasing Muslims at every turn, offering excuses for Islamic violence, and hoping Muslim fundamentalists won’t bite the hand that feeds them their excuses.

***

Chuck Hustmyre is an award-winning journalist and a retired federal agent. He is the author of three books and hundreds of magazine and newspaper articles. For more information visit www.chuckhustmyre.com.

01/12/2009 20:49. plotino #. THIS WORLD No hay comentarios. Comentar.

The Left's love affair with Islam

I was at High school when the Iranian revolution happened.
I do remember the look on the faces of the leftists as they were led away to their deaths, the look of shock & surprise.
Once the ayotollahs had power the left was finished, they had served their purpose.

What was it that Stalin was reported to have said " I love to look at the faces of people who thought they could trust me, when they were led away to their execution, the look of surprise" or something like that.

All the lefties I have known are also anti American/British & western in general. Some of them regard islam as an ally against capitalism, they think that once the west is defeated it will usher in some kind of utopia.
Alot of them are genuinly in thrall to islam, they may even take the view that its victory is inevitable so maybe they should side with it now.

Either way they have a very unpleasant surprise coming to them.
As cruel as it may seem, we need in the west, acid thrown in the faces of women, stoning to death, crucifiction,more honour killings, gays being killed, we need sharia for moslems only. Then when the left see's the horror that will come in the event of a full islamist takeover, they may change their views.

The worst has to come before the tide will turn. islam is it's own worst enemy.

02/12/2009 12:51. plotino #. THIS WORLD No hay comentarios. Comentar.


"Interview with Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff,"

Free Speech Death Watch Alert: "Interview with Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff," by S.M. Steinitz for profil (Austria's equivalent to "Time" magazine and "Der Spiegel"):

"I Am Against Dialogue"

A criminal complaint is being filed against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff for "hate speech" under Austrian law, essentially the same thing that Susanne Winter was convicted of early this year.

Elisabeth gave a presentation about Islam at an FPÖ-organized seminar, and said some of the usual things that anti-jihad advocates say when they talk about Islam. A left-wing magazine, which had planted someone in the audience, caused charges to be brought against her at the same time as they publicized it in their magazine.

Elisabeth held the controversial Islam Seminar at the FPÖ-political academy. Charges of defamation of a religious group have been filed against the daughter of a diplomat. This is her only interview in which she explains her views.

Mrs. Sabaditsch-Wolff, are you afraid of Muslims?

No, I am afraid of political Islam, which is massively gaining influence in Europe. That is what I am against.

What is your goal?

I want to preserve Europe and its democratic and secular values.

What bothers you about the Islamic way of life?

Islamic doctrine discriminates against women and non-Muslims. Islamic law, or shariah, cannot be reconciled with democratic principles and universal human rights.

Do you see the need for that?

There are powerful groups who are working towards the Islamization of Europe. That is a fact. What can we gain from closing our eyes and ignoring this? Even Libyan leader Muammar Ghadafi says: "There are signs that Allah will grant victory to Islam in Europe without swords, without guns, without conquest. We don't need terrorists, we don't need homicide bombers. The 50+ million Muslims [in Europe] will turn it into a Muslim continent within a few decades." A head of state confirms what our politicians deny. What else has to happen until we finally get it?

There are people who see the growth of Islam in Europe as an opportunity for a completely re-engineered pluralistic society.

The vision of a pluralistic society does not withstand a reality check. Show me one example where this has been a success. Wherever Muslims have been given the opportunity for self-organization they have established parallel societies. See Berlin-Kreuzberg, see Lyon. See also Great Britain, where parts of shariah have been implemented.

Do you really think that Austrian culture is endangered?

I see signs of an erosion of our way of life. In large cities massive changes are evident in the streets. There are discussions about a ban on teaching the Turkish sieges of Vienna; St. Nicholas is banned from visiting children in [public] kindergartens.

And you want to change that.

Yes, very much. But why is that so bad? In Bhutan, the king is applauded because he allows only a certain number of foreigners into the country. He prescribes a certain dress code and mandatory cultural events. Bhutan is a small country that wants to retain its cultural identity in a globalized world. Austria is also a small country with similar challenges. Why is the one country commended and the other berated?

According to NEWS, you defamed Islam. That is why NEWS has filed charges citing defamation of religion. Your reply?

One can report anyone to the authorities. I am not guilty of defamation. And even if some consider my words harsh, I definitely did not make them in a public forum since the seminars were held before a group of people who registered beforehand.

You are accused of making the following statements, among others: "Muslims rape children because of their religion", or "Mohammed enjoyed contact with children." Why the polemics?

This is a clever strategy. You and all the others who are now crying wolf are locked in a choice of words. As a result you are able to maneuver yourselves away from the main point. It is a fact that Mohammed married a six-year-old at the age of 56. To this day men in Islamic countries view this as legitimizing marriage to a minor, thereby causing rape and life-long trauma. This is the problem we need to address, and not how circumscribe this bitter reality.

Are you afraid that these customs will become part of Europe?

There are groups who have this goal. In every Islamic system you find that human rights of young girls are in grave danger. Look at Saudi Arabia. Look at the former socialist South Yemen. When Khomeini came to power he lowered the minimum age for girls to get married to nine years.

You are being accused of Islamophobia. Does this bother you?

A phobia is an irrational fear. My worries are not irrational, but justified. One of these days our politicians will have to recognize this fact. People like me are not right-wing xenophobes.

But what are you?

We are people defending the principles of freedom and equality in a secular society. I criticize political Islam and its political manifestations. No democratic country can take this right away from anyone.

Why do critics of Islam nearly always use polemics?

And what [if not polemics] did the article in NEWS use? There are comments about my body, there is ridicule about how I eat. Sexist attacks below the belt against women making unpopular statements are a manifestation of a male-dominated system. There are many critics of Islam. However, it's always women like Brigitte Bardot or Oriana Fallaci who are attacked below the belt.

Leading politicians have sharply criticized your seminars. Are they all members of a male-dominated system?

These politicians do not know the contents of my seminars. All they know are out-of-context quotes from an article in a glossy magazine. I also find the reaction of these politicians strange. They get away with much worse.

For instance?

SPÖ secretary general Laura Rudas, who calls for a public ban of the headscarf. I would not do something like that.

On the other hand, you are being compared to Susanne Winter (FPÖ). She was convicted of defamation because she accused the prophet Mohammed of pedophilia.

I do not want to be compared to Susanne Winter. There are no similarities between us. She is an active politician, she acts in a public forum. I do not.

You hold your seminars for the FPÖ-Political Academy.

But I am not politically active. I am also not a member of FPÖ. What I do is offer seminars on the topic of Islam and I can be booked. The FPÖ academy did just that. I do not want to comment on Susanne Winter's statements. But in my opinion she does not know much about Islam.

In what way are you qualified to hold these seminars?

I have an M.A. in Diplomatic and Strategic Studies. I spent part of my childhood in Islamic countries, worked and lived there. I have personally experienced life in Islamic societies and I see evidence of a trend towards the Islamization of Europe.

How do you view yourself?

I am a mother and a feminist. I want my daughter and my niece to grow up in freedom and dignity. I want the same for all Austrian citizens, and that includes Austrian Muslims.

In your seminar you do not distinguish between Muslims and Islamists.

Oh yes, I do. I do that because I know how much Muslims worldwide are suffering under the Islamic yoke. I say that in all my seminars, only NEWS did not bother to quote that. Why do think so many Muslims try to escape from Islamic countries like Iran and Afghanistan? Because life there is unbearable.

So you want to liberate Muslims from Islam?

Muslims have to liberate themselves; from this static and tenacious Islam that is hellbent on following norms from the seventh century. The result is that wherever there are Islamic societies there is no progress, but steps backwards, especially in the realm of human rights and democracy.

But isn't the referendum on the minaret ban in Switzerland also a step backwards?

The result of the referendum is the best proof that politicians should finally take the Islamization of Europe seriously.

What do you think about the reaction from the Islamic world regarding the referendum?

The Islamic world leads in discrimination against religious minorities. Christians are persecuted and discriminated against in all Islamic countries. You have to remember that the Christian culture is not one that immigrated or is foreign; it is indigenous. There is a complete ban on building churches in Turkey. And now Erdogan speaks of discrimination against Muslims in Switzerland? Where are Muslims being discriminated against in Switzerland? The European elite allows the Islamic countries to walk all over themselves while bowing down to them.

Are you in favor of a ban on minarets in Austria?

I will not answer that. Instead, I will quote the now so agitated Turkish prime minister who once said, "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers."

Do you feel misunderstood?

Above all, I believe that my rights are being curtailed. Currently I do not notice that I have freedom of speech or opinion.

Haven't you yourself strained this right?

No, I don't believe I did. Above all, I did not speak publicly. What is all the commotion about?

But now it has become public.

I only say out loud what others are thinking. But these concerns are not taken seriously.

Are you against a dialogue with the Islamic world?

I am against a dialogue with political Islam. I am, however, in favor of a broad discussion about human rights and personal freedoms.

You criticize Islam as discriminating. What do mean by that?

Just one example: In Islam non-Muslims are called kuffar, non-believers. These infidels are all defamed and not considered equal. This is offensive. Where are the protests?

What are your negative experiences in Islamic countries?

People in these countries are continuously restricted. This leads to aggressions and reporting people to the authorities and other absurd situations. For example, a (Coptic) member of the Austrian embassy in Kuwait was verbally abused at the post office because he was mailing Christmas letters. It was Ramadan and he must not eat or drink publicly. He said, surprised, "But I am not eating!" "Oh yes, you are. You are licking off the adhesive part of the stamp." This is daily routine in an Islamic society.

Can you really use a single occurrence as an example?

I can tell you hundreds of similar single occurrences. This story is not a single case, but a social program.

Will you continue with your seminars?

Yes. There are requests coming in from all over Austria. I will continue to defend my right to freedom of speech. I will not be gagged.

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, 38, is the daughter of a retired diplomat. She spent parts of her childhood during the Khomeini Revolution in Iran. She later spent time in Iraq and Kuwait. In 1990, she and other Austrians were held hostage during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. She was employed at the Austrian embassies in Kuwait and Libya. From 1995-7 she was a member of the then-vice-chancellor, Wolfgang Schüssel. Sabaditsch-Wolff represents the Citizens' Movement Pax Europa on an international level.

05/12/2009 22:23. plotino #. THIS WORLD No hay comentarios. Comentar.

Regarding the subject of moderate Muslims

Regarding the subject of moderate Muslims:

We have some mistaken ideas about these terms 'moderate' and 'extremist'. I think that most of the J.W readership know by now that it is entirely inaccurate to think of the extremists as being extremist or radical. They are not extreme, they are following the pure core teachings of islam and its commandment to jihad. So-called 'radical' or 'extremist' Islam is more correctly nothing more than traditional Islam, a return to the doctrine of jihad documented in Islamic scripture and history.

The jihadis claim to be more devout in their faith than the so-called moderates and, indeed, regard the moderates as non-practising Muslims. Anjem Chaudry, our vey own Islamic supremacist par excellence, tells us there are three types of Muslim - those in jail, those on their way to jail and those who are not practising. So to the jihadis, the great mass of peaceful muslims are relevant only as a source of recruits for warfare. From this large population, all of whom have received their basic Islamic indoctrination in the mosques and madrassas, the jihadis can identify those men and women who are more religiously minded. All it takes is for them to feed an extra dose of Islamic doctrine to these individuals in order to create more jihadis. In other words, it doesn't matter that the large Muslim communities in our countries are peaceful, it is the very presence of these docile masses that threatens our lives and our way of life, because it is from this pool of humanity that the jihadis draw their soldiers.

I have no doubt that most Muslims are indeed peaceful, but I wouldn't be the first to point out that the populations of communist Russia and China also lived perfectly peacefully, yet these states were responsible for the deaths of many millions. The peaceful majority were irrelevant and in no way deflected or restrained the evils carried out in their name. In the same way, the Muslim so-called moderates also render themselves irrelevant because of their silence.

We must not make the mistake of taking the so-called moderates as being politically moderate, as we would understand that to mean, in terms of holding politically moderate views. In Muslim terms these moderates are merely quiescent, passive followers of the same hostile political/religious doctrine which drives their more militant co-religionists. Surveys show that the vast majority of these moderates would still like to convert our countries to Islam and enact Sharia law.

Things are actually much simpler than they may seem, if we just sharpen up our way of thinking. It is more accurate to think of 'extremists' as 'active' and 'moderates' as merely 'inactive' but we must be mindful that we have no way of knowing, or reliably predicting when an inactive may choose to become active. Because of this dynamic, we have no choice but to view all Muslims as potentially dangerous. Indeed, not to do so would be irresponsible and dangerous. This is not our choice, it is not our doing, the responsibility lies with them. We are merely looking at the problem objectively and defending ourselves appropriately.

Rather than regard Islam as a religion, we should see it for what it really is, a hostile political movement dedicated to the overthrow of our society and Muslims are either active or inactive within that political movement. If they are active, they must be neutralised and destroyed. If they are inactive, they are simply irrelevant. But the assertion that most muslims are peaceful does nothing to safeguard our security and is certainly no reassurance that we are in any way safe.

In support of your argument it should be noted that the Muslim female who proclaimed herself so insulted and offended by hearing a few home truths rationally stated by those Christian hotel-keepers in the UK, was not a born-and-bred-in-the-sandbox Muslim of Arab or Indian or Persian or north/ northeast African or Malay ethnicity, not a Fatima or an Aisha, but...*Ericka* Tazi, an ethnically-European, formerly-Catholic recent *convert* to Islam.

She is referred to in the article Mrs J linked, as "Mrs Tazi, who converted to Islam when she married a Muslim 18 months ago".

More details about Mrs Tazi's conversion/ cult initiation:

"The former Roman Catholic from Warrington, who converted to Islam last year, gave evidence after swearing an oath to Allah and kissing the Koran.
She wore a hijab and ankle-length gown in court similar to the outfit she was wearing on the day of the alleged confrontation.
She told the court she had worn Western clothes until the final day of her course {presumably, 'course' = 'indoctrination into Islam' - dda}."

So: what does this newly-minted Muslimah do? Goes right off and starts picking quarrels, playing the victim, acting offended and waging lawfare; in other words, behaving like...a pious Muslim. Her Mohammedan programming is installed and operating.

(We had a similar case in Australia: a woman of Maltese Catholic birth and upbringing, having converted to Islam, produced a quintessentially Muslim howl of discrimination and spew of exaggerated accusations - including the hysterical claim that she felt 'raped' - when a bus driver very properly, as a matter of public security policy, asked her to remove her yashmak before getting on board his bus). And for others, google 'Jihad Sheilas'.

Since new converts to any ideology are often its most enthusiastic exponents - and have often taken more trouble to find out about its basic tenets than those merely born into it - then the antisocial behaviour of so many new converts to Islam, whether it involves plotting jihad or engaging in false/ exaggerated claims of victimhood for purposes of lawfare, is very, very telling.

New converts to Judaism, Buddhism or Christianity don't normally become violent.

New converts to Islam, on the other hand...

 

Thanks for the reply. Your points regarding new converts are well taken.

As Jihad warfare proceeds against us at all levels within society, including lawfare (Ha! A lovely term) in the case of Mrs Tazi, and press propaganda in the case of your Australian yashmak-martyr, the poor dear, then by my own categorisation both these ladies have gone straight onto the active list.

I have no doubt the ideologists of the jihad would heartily approve of their actions too, because as we know, even if Mrs Tazi's case is laughed out of court and even if all rational Aussies view the de-yashmaked bus passenger's behaviour as hypersensitive borderline nutjob, the real agenda is to foster a fear of, and therefore unwillingness to challenge Muslim behaviours. It's a mind game, but it's by these tiny increments that the jihad against us is advanced.

I feel there's an important lesson for us here. Warfare being waged against us on a cultural level, such as through images and words or through the courts or by demands for preferential treatment is a war of nerves, but being aware of the various different tactics being used against us can only strengthen us. They may mount their attacks at every level of our society, but if we are aware of their true goals, and the methods they employ to achieve them, then the task of opposing them becomes far, far easier.

10/12/2009 12:07. plotino #. THIS WORLD No hay comentarios. Comentar.

Fitzgerald: Obama Still Locked Into Folly In Afghanistan, Part I

Fitzgerald: Obama Still Locked Into Folly In Afghanistan, Part I

I’ve been listening to various discussions, on the radio, or rather not discussions but exchanges of firmly held non-negotiable views, about Obama and his speech on Afghanistan. No one seems fully satisfied. Those who support Obama’s decision to send 30,000 more troops mostly dislike the announced pull-out of all American troops from Afghanistan after eighteen months, though since the speech was delivered, that promise has been glossed by Secretary Gates and others. Admiral Mullen, for example, on CBS News, said this: "It’s very clear that the president has given us guidance that in July of 2011, we’ll start to transition security responsibility to the Afghan national security forces," Mullen told "Early Show" co-anchor Harry Smith. "There’s no determination of how long that will take... There’s no specific guidance with respect to how many. It could be very few, it could be a large number."

So all those worries about a definite date when the American troops absolutely, positively have to be out, that "date certain" (lots of people love saying that phrase - to them it sounds so Covington-and-Burlingish), are perhaps not necessary. For those who think the Afghan game worth the American candle, and judging by Mullen, Gates and others, the gloss to be put on Obama’s phrases admits of such flexibility about the phrase that not even W. C. Fields should bother his pretty little head and spend time "looking for loopholes." The "loopholes," Gates and Mullen assure us, are already there.

And then there are those who have had the opposite reaction, who are made furious by Obama’s decision. Many of these are his original, true-blue supporters. What do they talk about? They talk mainly about money. They are horrified - rightly - that another one or two hundred billion dollars is going to be spent in Afghanistan. They are well aware of what that money could do. Why, just 0 million of it would restore the cuts in Medicare that the Senate approved the other day. There would be no debate, there would not have to be any debate, about health care if the sums squandered in Afghanistan and Iraq had been kept at home. Nor would there be a problem with paying for road and bridge repairs all over the country, for tuition assistance for practically everyone, for energy projects. Oh, they have a point all right, those who talk about the money.

But they would be in a stronger position if one did not suspect that many of them also, at the same time, have no great interest in resisting, or even in recognizing, the Jihad. No one I have listened to who is against continuing the effort in Afghanistan has suggested all the other, much less expensive, more effective ways, to divide and demoralize the enemy, and to weaken the hold that the ideology of Islam has on its adherents. No one, in fact, mentions Islam at all, mentions the ways in which both the outcomes in Iraq and Afghanistan are irrelevant to the instruments of Jihad that really count, above all in the historic heart of the West, Europe. No one mentions the Money Weapon, and how it makes no sense to keep spending money - any money at all -- on Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan. No one mentions the need, if indeed one were to believe (no one should) that "jobs" would lessen the recruitment rate for the Taliban - for Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E., and other fabulously rich Arab sheikdoms to be contributing billions and tens of billions to those states. For it was they who funded, they who diplomatically recognized, they who gave every assistance, through institutions and individuals, to the Taliban, and then the Taliban gave succor and refuge and aid to Al Qaeda.

So on the one hand, there are the Republican loyalists, the people who still implicitly must think (do they think?) that Muslims are essentially swell, that Islam itself is not a problem, that only some "violent extremists" are the problem -- though no one, ever, has come up with a single text, a single passage, that those "violent extremists" rely on that is not from the Qur’an, Hadith, or from the example furnished by Muhammad in the Sira. No one has dared to define the ideology of "violent extremists" that somehow is supposed to set them apart from the ideology of Islam itself. And of course they can’t. What they could do is instead ask themselves another question: in what ways do those who are not "violent extremists" manage to pursue the same goal, using slyer methods, especially in the Western world? And what are those instruments of Jihad - the very same Jihad, with the very same goals, but pursued through qitaal, or combat, and terrorism, by those "violent extremists" whom we all agree are very bad? If the ultimate goals are the same, shouldn’t we look to see not only how to diminish terrorism, but to deal with all the other weapons of Jihad - the Money Weapon, campaigns of Da’wa, demographic conquest? This is something about which the Republican Senators and Congressmen are silent. They think they can continue to claim to be "tough-minded" by supporting troops, and more troops - that is, by supporting the squandering of men, money, materiel, and morale, both civilian and political. And they are opposed by people who won’t discuss Islam, as an ideology, at all, but will only talk about all the money that could be spent on other things.

11/12/2009 23:17. plotino #. THIS WORLD No hay comentarios. Comentar.

Fitzgerald: Obama Still Locked Into Folly In Afghanistan, Part II

People of sense are dismayed. It is one thing to have someone in public life, anyone at all, at least present, sensibly and soberly, the facts about the ideology of Islam, and about the major theatre of the Jihad, which is not in Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Pakistan, but in the countries of Western Europe. We’ve all been so busy creating a new America. That new America is now run by people who did not, as did an older political elite, travel to Europe and learn - really learn, not merely take a few courses in - the languages of Europe. They were at home with, if not everyone in Europe, at least with some in England or in France, who might have made a kind of grand tour of the Italian museums, who might be aware that whatever happened, America remained -- in its language, its literature, its art, its science, its political theory -- a child of Europe. And that did not change, could not change, no matter what changes in demography occurred because, say, of the changes in immigration laws passed too unthinkingly back in 1965.

The war in Afghanistan is based on a notion that because Al Qaeda was located there when the attacks of 9/11/2001 took place, that somehow Afghanistan retains pride of place, that without it Al Qaeda cannot exist, that it is the main refuge of "violent extremists" who apparently "just happen" to be Muslim.

The other day I heard Andrew Bacevich make a telling remark. He noted that this fixation on Afghanistan was akin to Americans thinking that in order to prevent assassination attempts on American presidents, that the School Book Depository in Dallas would till the end of time have to be massively guarded. It makes no sense. Where, after all, have the terrorists been who attacked the London Underground and busses, or the metro station at Atocha in Madrid, or who have been responsible for thousands of terrorist attacks (see Fort Hood, just a few weeks ago) all over the Western world? It’s absurd that Afghanistan should be made so much of. Let it slip back into the tribal society it was, where people enjoy making war on one another. If the Three-Cups-of-Tea Mortensen, if Sarah Chayes and her projects for women, can somehow continue, let them, but don’t make the mistake of holding onto Afghanistan at the cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, to make sure that Mortensen and Chayes and others feel good about "giving hope" to the people of Afghanistan.

The people of Afghanistan are held back by Islam. If one were sincerely interested in their welfare, one would be cruel only to be kind, and realize that the best way to decrease the fatal hold of Islam on the minds of men is to allow things to degenerate, to longer try to improve things, no longer to try to prevent internecine warfare, no longer to try to rescue this or that Muslim society from the violence and aggression that are natural to peoples raised on the texts and tenets of Islam (some more so, and some less).

Afghanistan had a kind of brief period, under the Afghan King in the 1930s who so admired Ataturk, and as long as everyone stayed away, and Afghanistan remained a state in name only, with the writ of the King hardly extending beyond a few cities, things were semi-okay. The disruptions brought about by the Soviets, and by the Arabs who came in to fight the Soviets, have unsettled Afghanistan. We can’t and shouldn’t try to settle it. We are Infidels, and are incapable of doing so.

Those who now will tell us "but the surge worked in Iraq" don’t realize that it did not work, or rather, it worked only in the sense that Sunni Arab tribesmen in Anbar Province, who for good reasons of their own wanted to settle scores first (before moving on to the Shi’a in Bahgdad and the south) with members of Al-Qaeda, were happy to receive American money and American weapons, and to fight Al Qaeda. But that had nothing to do with being willing to accept the new dispensation in Iraq, nothing to do with accepting rule by the Shi’a Arabs, or domination, in northern Iraq, by the non-Arab Kurds (even if most of them are Sunni).

The constant repetition of this phrase "the surge worked" misreads that situation. Iraq will inevitably relapse into some kind of hostilities, based on ethnic and sectarian tensions that will not go away, that were not created by the Americans but have a long history. It is not the Americans who made the Sunnis despise the Shi’a, and also now to fear them, as possibly being successful in efforts to convert Sunnis (this at least is a fear expressed by Sunni political and media figures in Egypt and Jordan). It is not the Americans who caused Arab Muslims to treat with contumely the non-Arab Kurds, and to acquiesce or even support the mass-murdering of Kurds by Saddam Hussein - and the Kurds are not going to give up the autonomy, in the north, that they have enjoyed for almost twenty years, ever since 1991, when the Americans kept the skies over Kurdistan free from Saddam’s Arab air force.

11/12/2009 23:21. plotino #. THIS WORLD No hay comentarios. Comentar.

Fitzgerald: Obama Still Locked Into Folly In Afghanistan, Part III

We are all waiting for someone, a sensible Republican or a sensible Democrat, who recognizes that the best argument for staunching the flow in Afghanistan depends on recognizing the threat of Islam. Obama put himself into a box of his own making. When he gave his Cairo speech, he uttered such untruths about Islam that he could not get out. He saw Bush, and raised him. Raised him, in fact, that the argument that might have been available to Obama, who is clearly so terrified of appearing to be weak in the "war on terror" that he is wiling to go along, despite his long-standing but confused reservations, with those who want to send more troops.

He is willing, that is, to sacrifice another few thousand lives, and another one or two hundred billion dollars, because he cannot go back on what he has said. He cannot begin to recognize that throughout the American government, and among those whom those in the government claim to protect and instruct, there has been an effort to obscure the truth about Islam and the history of Islamic conquests over the past 1350 years. What, after all, could one learn from John Esposito or his "Al-Waleed Center"? What, for that matter, could one learn at Columbia, from Joseph Massad or Rashid Khalidi or Hamid Dabashi? What could one learn from a few dozen other major universities, where the teaching of Islam is firmly in the hands of Muslims or of non-Muslims who have shown themselves eager to act not as scholars and teachers, but as apologists of Islam? (For a little more, google "MESA Nostra").

By being easy on Islam, Obama now must be extra "tough" in the misleadingly-named " war on terror." And the so-called "conservatives," who back in 2003 locked themselves into a policy of unthinking loyalty to the Bush Administration's naïve campaign to "bring freedom" to "ordinary moms and dads" in the Middle East, and then to do something of the sort in Afghanistan as well, are also in a box of their own making. And the only people who are not in some kind of box are those of us - you, dear reader, and I - who began by ignoring the repetition of pieties about Islam and instead chose to find out something about the ideology of Islam and the history of Islamic conquest, and to see if the observable behavior of Muslims around the world today appeared to reflect that ideology of Islam, and that history, or if it did not.

And tiens, it turned out that a knowledge of the texts, tenets, history of Islam gave one the ability to make sense of events around the world, and not merely to make sense of what had occurred, but to accurately predict what would happen. As we have, here, with Iraq, ever since calling for a withdrawal from that country at the end of February 2004, and with Afghanistan - where it seems we are to go in deeper because Obama doesn't want to reconsider what he said at Cairo, doesn't want to think too clearly, or to prepare himself too well, on the subject of Islam. And his opponents on the other side think Iraq is a "success" and that somehow our goals improve our position, when our position could only be improved, in Iraq and in Afghanistan, if the end result is a dividing and demoralizing of the Camp of Islam, by ceasing to prevent those countries from going to their natural hell.

What could be done with 1% of what is going to be wasted in Afghanistan? I don't mean what could be done for medical care, road repairs, teacher training, and so on. No, I mean what could be done to more cleverly defend the interests of the imperiled West, and of all Infidels, everywhere?

Well, here's just one thing. We could recognize the need for propaganda. Not the Bush Administration "propaganda" where Karen Hughes was talking non-stop about how wonderful it was for Muslims in America, what success stories they were, and how we had no problems with Islam at all. No, we get quite enough of that, and we certainly don't need more. It does nothing to protect our interests, and instead of weakening the hold of Islam on Muslims, makes them think that they are on the side that will inevitably grow stronger, and win.

11/12/2009 23:27. plotino #. THIS WORLD No hay comentarios. Comentar.

Afghanistan: The Senseless War

Afghanistan: The Senseless War
By Abraham H. Miller

With the impending escalation in Afghanistan, we have finally arrived, after decades, at a bipartisan foreign policy. Regrettably, it is the wrong consensus for the wrong policy.

Afghanistan is the graveyard of empires. There is no way to win in Afghanistan without a massive commitment of troops, a willingness to stay there nearly indefinitely, and the ability to pursue insurgents across Afghanistan's porous borders.

We have neither the military capacity nor the political will to do any of that. Indeed, we probably do not have the financial capability to do it.

What we can do is prolong the war and increase the misery of the Afghan people. As in Vietnam, this is now a war where domestic politics strongly influence military decisions. The president waits for months to make a decision on troop reinforcements. He sends fewer troops than the number requested. The escalation offends his base, so the president attempts to placate them with an arbitrary withdrawal date.

Caught in the escalating crossfire, Afghan civilians are going to have one motivation: survival. In Vietnam, villages often divided in two, one side going to the Viet Cong, one to the government, both sides looking out for the interests of the village and each other.

A withdrawal date tells the civilian population that the Taliban will be there long after we are gone. All the Taliban has to do is to follow the grand strategy of all insurgencies, buy time. The Taliban disappears into the sea of the civilian population. The Taliban hides and waits. It yields land for time. It fights selectively. It evaporates when outnumbered. It reduces its operations. It lingers to fight another day, when the Americans will be gone, when the poorly trained, corrupt, and easily infiltrated Afghan army will be the primary enemy.

Afghanistan's army needs nearly a quarter of a million troops to fight the insurgency, and by most estimates, it will be lucky to produce 140,000. The fighting age population in third world countries is not sufficiently healthy to produce as high a proportion of troops as first world countries take for granted. And because insurgents generally choose the time and place of engagements, they need fewer troops and require a lower support to combat ratio. By traditional gauges, a traditional army must outnumber an insurgency by twelve to fifteen to one.

Certainly, we will have military victories. In Vietnam, we never lost a major military engagement. During the Tet Offensive, we wiped out the fighting capacity of the Viet Cong, inflicting one of the worst military defeats on an enemy in the history of combat. The Viet Cong was replaced by the regular army of North Vietnam, and the war shifted to a conventional war. But we were incapable of creating a legitimate, widely- supported government. So, even Tet was a pyrrhic victory, and then, of course, our media turned it into a defeat, a turning point in the war created by definition.

Our very presence as foreigners, in Vietnam, propping up a regime, raised questions of the regime's legitimacy, as it now does in Afghanistan. We make much of elections in Afghanistan, but the proportion voting in many provinces was negligible, as was the integrity of the election process itself.

The reality of Afghanistan is that it is not a necessary war. The Taliban did not orchestrate the events of 09/11. Osama bin Laden did, and he is most likely in Pakistan, moving back and forth across the border, safely hidden in the tribal areas. If we seriously want to defeat the Taliban, we must escalate the war, commit to staying there, and change the rules of engagement regarding civilian casualties. And then what? We will have so alienated the population that they will produce another insurgency, one sustained by Islamists across the world who cannot countenance the presence of infidels on Muslim soil.

If we are concerned about our own security, then we might want to look at the Islamist training bases on American soil, the probes by terrorists of our air safety, and the vulnerabilities this administration has created by redefining terrorism as a criminal justice issue.

American security doctrine has always used World War II as the paradigm to justify the projection of power. What we have forgotten is that in World War II we bombed our enemies into oblivion and then rebuilt their societies on our terms. We do not have the legitimacy or the moral justification to follow that model in Afghanistan. We certainly do not have the political will.

There is nothing patriotic about sending our young men and women to die in a war that will be fought in the absence of compelling military considerations, a war without resolution, a war where success eludes definition, and a war where the enemy and civilian population already know when we will be gone.

Bring the troops home. There is much to do here to promote our own security, beginning with not further debasing our economic strength by spending money on needless wars.
Abraham H. Miller is an emeritus professor of political science and a former head of the Intelligence Studies Section of the International Studies Association.

14/12/2009 14:22. plotino #. THIS WORLD No hay comentarios. Comentar.

a comment

I have heard all these arguments before and while they are realistic given the nature of the U.S. government at this time, they are not valid.

Viet Nam was lost solely to two things, first, a terrible strategy on war prosecution that cost 50,000 U.S. lives. Secondly, the left ran an all out propaganda war.

At the end, the U.S. had won the fight, and won the war but failed to solidify the victory.

wars are ultimately won by making the enemy despair. That's it, (or wiping out every man, woman and child of the opposition, which is total despair) Hanoi didn't despair, they just waited for Cronkite to kill the will.

Viet Nam could have been far lest costly if the U.S. wasn't so squeamish about leveling N. Vietnam. You can't care about borders, you can't care about niceties and politics, you have to care about making the enemy despair. When all their hope is gone, you win.
Hiroshima and Nagasaki are classic cases in point.

Afghanistan is no different, if you catch bad guys being aided by a village, you wipe out the village. You don't worry about borders and you certainly don't worry about waterboarding KSM.

War is evil, cruel, impersonal, and final. If you play it like a game you are going to lose. Nobody, but countries that have "progressives" worry about beating the crap out of the enemy to help your side. Treating people that want to kill you like
bad children is the definition of stupidity. It has nothing to do with "American values". "We are better than that" You are stupider than that. Niceties are for your guys, not the others. Ten minutes before you just shot 15 of his buddies in the back without blinking an eye and now you want to had him a Koran.

Had he had the honor of being in a Uniform, and fighting by rules, then by all means treat them with in the bounds. (Which still may include leaving him in a very cold room for a few hours while listening to a loud Springsteen. (Now that's torture)

This doesn't mean you don't make friends, you just can't be squeamish about your enemies. Germans who had been bombed into submission did not give the invading WWII troops much trouble even though those armies just killed their sons, fathers and families. In fact, many Germans had already despaired and wanted an end.

We cannot win in Afghanistan with wimpy, half-baked, half-assed policies. We need to go in there like we mean it.
So, the Mr. Miller's thoughts are realistic, just not valid.

 

Posted by: Redhawk  
Dec 14, 12:16 AM

Sadly, the author is correct – there is no way to win this war short of a total war that would inflict massive casualties on the civilian population in Taliban-controlled areas that could carry over into the tribal areas in Pakistan where the Taliban find refuge. But the stakes, such as our national survival, have never been at the level where this would ever be considered. As far as our national interest, maintaining a presence in that backward country does not seem like it should be high on our list of priorities. The non-Taliban Afghans do not have much will to fight their brethren; far less than did the south Vietnamese population against the north, so there is little hope that the non-Taliban Afghans could ever be an effective deterrent. One thing Vietnam taught us is that in a long, drawn-out war of attrition which this war will become, fought with PC-rules of engagement and with an administration whose heart is not really in it and only stays engaged for political reasons, we cannot win.

Posted by: Respublica  
Dec 14, 12:44 AM

I agree with Mr. Millers assessment on most points. However I must point out that Osama had been given official aid and coverage by the Taliban in charge of the Afghan government (the half baked theocratic mess that it was). That is enough to justify a Just War to smash the government to pieces and send the Taliban scurrying like the rats they are. However when we undertake the Utopian idea of Nation building it is pure folly. America is great and good because our Nation is great and good. Montesquieu said it best when he stated that a people get the government they deserve (not exact quote). The Afghani people at large do not understand concepts of Liberalism (using the classical sense of the word) and Freedom. Sure there are outstanding examples of individuals, but the average Afghani doesn't prize individualism and justice, it is still a very much tribal society. Nations shape their governments, not the other way around. The Germans and Japanese took to Liberal Democracy easily because they had known it for a whole century. It was ingrained, but at the time stifled, in their culture.

The most effective way to keep Afghanistan safe is to buck the constantly rumblings of the UN and pledge to knock down any government the Afghanis are forced to put up with if it threatens the safety and liberty of the people of these United States. Let the Taliban know that anytime they try and erect a state in Afghanistan, they will get have themselves get obliterated. The sheer effect of a siege every time will give Afghani's a reason to resist any encroachments upon them by Theocratic fundamentalists, if not for the sake of their survival. However, the willingness to do this rests in good minds prompted by good hearts, and sadly both are lacking in our congressmen and President. Our Republic will only survive with Statesmen, not the political, bureaucratic faceless mess we have now.

Posted by: azcIII  
Dec 14, 01:59 AM

bmatkin,
You certainly have valid points, but the whole point of Mr. Miller's article is that we aren't fighting the war like "we mean it". We haven't been for some time (due to internal politics, etc) and we won't in the future. So why sacrifice the lives of our finest and money we don't have to fight a war our "leaders" have no will to win?

I supported going into Afghanistan, and Iraq at the time, to neutralize any threat from the radical regimes. I don't support this notion of nation building we've taken up since WWII. As Mr. Miller points out, we bombed Germany and Japan into oblivion, then rebuilt on our terms. But in neither nation were we faced with a fanatical ideology like islam. Islam is a whole other ball-game and one we cannot reform. Only muslims can and they don't want to. Even reforming Afghanistan won't do much to solve the problem of islam. But destroying our already-fragile economy will certainly go a long way towards aiding their cause. In fact, several muslim leaders have talked about destroying America by dragging us into endless wars. I don't remember where I read it...maybe Robert Spencer's site?

Occupying Afghanistan for 20 years is a large part of the reason the USSR collapsed, and our finances are in worse shape right now than theirs were. We are in very serious danger of an economic collapse, and must immediately stop spending money we don't have and wasting scarce resources. I, for one, am not willing to see our economy collapse, citizens starving en masse, children/grandchildren consigned to de facto debtor's prison for life, possible civil war and possibly even worse to continue occupying a medieval country that cannot be reformed into a viable, stable modernized nation.

Posted by: Ron44  
Dec 14, 01:59 AM

I am not a military expert, but I would prefer to win this conflict and then get the heck out of there. However, this article by Mr. Miller makes a lot of sense.

I would be real curious to find out Mr. Miller's sentiments on the result of the Korean War. It seems to me that the people of South Korea have taken hold of many of the freedoms and benefits that a free Republic can offer. Is it at all possible that the people of Afghanistan can do the same... if opposing forces are dealt a mortal blow... acknowledging that the collateral damage will be horrific? Like all wars?

Posted by: epaminondas  
Dec 14, 02:43 AM

It was the Taliban which made the force projection of Al Qaeda POSSIBLE via the shield they afforded them. It was the Taliban who working with the ISI created the wahhabi lunatic asylum. And it is the Taliban and the Pushtun on both sides of the border who have a religious mission not with the american govt but with those who make that govt what it is. We make up our own laws, and therefore usurp god's rightful authority.

Like it or not the reality is that we do not have the 'luxury' of a Viet Cong and NVA which had no interest outside it's nation state's borders. Withdrawal CANNOT increase the security of our interests or the safety of our people.

We either KILL the Taliban, and create a situation in which the populace abandons them, or we lose THE GREATER WAR until the moment we grow tired of it all, and we employ the 20 minute solution. Or we fail to do even that and go the way of all other civilizations. I see no sign, certainly in the present govt of ANY ability to be FDR in that vein.

It's that simple. Mr. Miller while making some obvious points fails at the end to comprehend what has been percolating for 1500 years to one degree or another, and was made obvious to me when Barbara Walters interviewed Zia ul Haq and she questioned him about what he was going to do about democracy and human rights in Pakistan...and he asked her what in the world made her imagine that democracy was either the best or final form of govt the world would see.

Posted by: otisg1  
Dec 14, 03:17 AM

It is the real estate! ……….
The Taliban gave Al-Qaeda unfettered access for their training bases.
Sadam gave them the carcass of a Boeing jetliner to practice their moves on for 9/11 and subsequent operations.
Iraq, Iran, the Taliban, the Palestinians and A.Q. were allied enough in their wish to destroy America and Israel. I doubt that even they thought that they would have so much help from the inside.
The genius of the Rumsfeld/Bush Iraq strategy was to force Al-Qaeda into fighting a war on a battlefield of OUR choosing.
Flat, open and where we could use our considerable technological advantages (night vision etc) to kill off the A.Q. leadership. Isn’t it obvious the mountainous regions simply bring armies back to the Stone Age?
This also created the advantage of being geographically positioned to create a double envelopment for dealing with Iran. Look at a map. The strategy was simple and working: Drive A.Q. out of the mountains and the KILL them. The message to Iran was also simple: We can hammer you from two directions……..
The real tragedy is that the Democrats through their politicalization of our post 9/11 actions have destroyed most of the hard work our military accomplished.
The DNC’s creation of faux scandals (“torture” etc.) have simply advertised our weaknesses.
We will pay an enormous price for this in the very near future.
I can find nowhere in Sun Tzu or Clausewitz any mention of advertizing your plans to your opponents as being a wining strategy.
But, Of course Sun Tzu and Clausewitz never faced the military genius of a Messiah!

Posted by: cg  
Dec 14, 04:55 AM

Sad but true. However I would say that even if Congress stopped the war tomorrow and took the money to apply to the economy, it would be squandered. Instead of actually solving the economic crisis, which Congress has yet to do with the billions already spent, the money would go to some pet project like monitoring a duck pond out in the middle of nowhere. Also, when did Biden become a military expert? Did I miss his time as a General? Why do "politicians" feel the need to dictate how a war should be fought? Do they not pay military leaders for this? As Comander in Chief, Obama should rely on the expertise of the military leaders HE appointed to do their job without interference from novice Congressmen. Yet again our government is putting a band-aid on a sucking chest wound.

Another sad fact is that Afghanistan is severely backwards. While many Afghanis would love the notion of real democracy, not the corrupt type practiced by Karzai, they are ruled by the whims of the Taliban and/or the tribal leaders. Leaders who still practice the arrangement of child brides. You can tell a lot about a society when young women would rather set themselves on fire than to be in an arranged marriage to their uncle who is 40 years older than them. Rampant inbreeding aside, there is no infrastructure to speak of. How do you enforce democracy in such a place? There is no industry besides the drug trade. The past attempts to introduce other crops into the economy has failed miserably. Of course Karzai's government refuses to crack down on drug trafficking especially since his brother has been running his own cartel.

These are just a few of the problems in Afghanistan that our Comander in Chief has to consider. While the military cannot combat all of these problems, it makes their job that much harder. Maybe it would be better to withdraw a large part of the military and let special operations do their thing. Then they could decimate the Taliban and al-Qa'ida enough that the remaining fighters would run away, like in Iraq. The American public would forget about the war in two seconds without a major force stationed there. If it weren't for Congress or the media bashing the military, the objection to the war would be relegated to San Francisco.

Maybe the American public should practice the land for time doctrine so commonly used by insurgents, wait until the next election in hope of electing a real Comander in Chief.

Posted by: cedarhill  
Dec 14, 05:21 AM

War is war. You either go for a win or you lose or you draw. The best with this Administration is a draw. What we're getting is just a long drawn out draw with a high likelihood of lose. That would be OK except for the lives lost. How does one morally justify the killing of our soldiers in this manner?

14/12/2009 14:39. plotino #. THIS WORLD No hay comentarios. Comentar.

Muslims and Muhammad: The Impossible Task

Saturday, December 5, 2009
Muslims and Muhammad: The Impossible Task

I've reached the conclusion that Muslims face an impossible task. Simply put, their entire faith rests upon defending a man - Muhammad - who is indefensible.

Wafa Sultan expressed it best when she said, "It is impossible that a man who did the things Muhammad did could be a prophet of God."

It is impossible that a man in his mid-50's could engage in sexual intercourse with a nine-year-old child, possibly damaging her physically so that she never became pregnant, and be a prophet of God.

It is impossible that a man could finance his religious and political community by robbing the trade caravans that passed through his area on their annual trips between Arabia and Syria, and be a prophet of God.

It is impossible that a man could encourage his own son to divorce his wife so that he, the father, could marry her, and be a prophet of God.

It is impossible that a man could lie to his wife to get her out of the house so that he could sleep with the slave girl he had given her as a gift, and be a prophet of God.

It is impossible that a man could call other men to follow him, and then watch them die one after the other in the battles he instigated to build his empire while giving them promises of the sensual Paradise that awaited them, and be a prophet of God.

It is impossible that a man could behead 800 Jewish men who had lived in his city for centuries for the simple reason they refused to accept him as their leader, and be a prophet of God.

It is impossible that a man could trade the Jewish wives and daughters of the men he had just beheaded for weapons and horses, and be a prophet of God.

It is impossible that a man could be so fearful of criticism that he would send a man at night to kill the mother of a nursing child because of the poems she had written against him, and be a prophet of God.

It is impossible that a man could sentence a woman to death by having her limbs attached to camels that moved in opposite direction pulling her apart, then behead her and parade her severed head throuth Medina, and be a prophet of God.

It is impossible that a man could torture a young Jewish tribal leader to death to obtain his money, and then "marry" his 17-year old widow the same night, and be a prophet of God.

It is impossible that a man could allow his followers to have sex with their female slaves as well as their prisoners of war, whether or not they were married, and be a prophet of God.

For the past several months on Al-Hayat TV, Father Zakariya Boutros has been discussing the dozens of stories Muhammad "stole" from the Old and New Testaments, as well as from the Midrash and other ancient Jewish documents, and inserted into the Qur'an as revelations from Allah. Zakariya makes a clear distinction between "plagarism", which is the Arabic word "iqtibas", and "theft". He points out that Muhammad did not merely copy and paste stories from these documents into the Qur'an, but essentially changed their meanings in the Qur'an to indicate that he, Muhammad, was not merely similar to but essentially superior than the individuals such as Adam, Moses, and Abraham whose stories he stole.

For the first part of his 90-minute program Zakariya presents his evidence, and then opens the lines for people to call in. His live programs do not contain the 10-second delay to block out explicit language found in American programs such as the Larry King Show, which means the listener gets to hear exactly what the caller says. More than one call has a sequence similar to this:

Moderator: Our next caller is Abdul Rahman from Bahrain. Hello, Abdul Rahman.

Caller: You bastard, you son-of-a-bitch, you son of a whore, you MF'ing infidel...

Zakariya Boutros: Thank you, may God bless you and forgive you...

Very rarely do the callers actually challenge the information presented by Zakariya, because they cannot. No-one can.

16/12/2009 07:24. plotino #. THIS WORLD No hay comentarios. Comentar.

Silencio y Soledad

Entre los indios de América del Norte, y en todas las tribus sin excepción, existe, además de los ritos de distinto género que tienen un carácter colectivo, la práctica de una adoración solitaria y silenciosa, que se considera es la más profunda y de orden más elevado (1). Los ritos colectivos, en efecto, tienen siempre, en un grado u otro, algo de relativamente exterior; decimos en un grado u otro, porque, respecto a esto, es necesario naturalmente, en ella como en cualquier otra tradición, establecer una diferencia entre los ritos que podrían calificarse de exotéricos, es decir aquellos en los que todos participan indistintamente, y los ritos iniciáticos. Bien entendido, por lo demás, que lejos de excluir estos ritos o de oponérseles de alguna manera, la adoración de que se trata solamente se les superpone como siendo en cierto modo de otro orden; e incluso hay por entero ocasión para pensar que para ser verdaderamente eficaz y producir unos resultados efectivos, debe presuponer la iniciación como una condición necesaria (2).
A propósito de esta adoración, se ha hablado en ocasiones de "plegaria" pero eso es evidentemente inexacto, porque no hay en ella ninguna petición, de cualquier naturaleza que ésta pudiera ser; las plegarias que generalmente se formulan en cantos rituales no pueden dirigirse por otra parte más que a las diversas manifestaciones divinas (3), y vamos a ver que es de otra cosa de lo que aquí se trata en realidad. Ciertamente, sería mucho más justo hablar de "encantación", tomando este término en el sentido que hemos definido en otro lugar (4); podría igualmente decirse que es una "invocación", entendiéndola en un sentido exactamente comparable al del dhikr en la tradición islámica, pero precisando que se trata esencialmente de una invocación silenciosa y completamente interior (5). He aquí lo que con respecto a ella escribe Ch. Eastman (6):

"La adoración del Gran Misterio era silenciosa, solitaria, sin complicación interior; era silenciosa porque todo discurso es necesariamente débil e imperfecto, también las almas de nuestros antepasados alcanzaban a Dios en una oración sin palabras; era solitaria porque pensaban que Dios está más cerca de nosotros en la soledad, y los sacerdotes no estaban allí para servir de intermediarios entre el hombre y el Creador (7)."

No puede, en efecto, haber intermediarios en semejante caso, puesto que esta adoración tiende a establecer una comunicación directa con el Principio supremo, que es designado aquí como el "Gran Misterio".

No solamente no es sino en y por el silencio que esta comunicación puede obtenerse, ya que el "Gran Misterio" está más allá de toda forma y de toda expresión, sino que el silencio mismo "es el Gran Misterio"; ¿cómo hay que entender exactamente esta afirmación? Primero, puede recordarse a este respecto que el verdadero "misterio" es esencial y exclusivamente lo inexpresable, que no puede evidentemente ser representado más que por el silencio (8); pero, además, siendo el "Gran Misterio" lo no manifestado, el mismo silencio, que es propiamente un estado de no manifestación, es por ello como una participación o una conformidad con la naturaleza del Principio supremo. Por otra parte, el silencio, referido al Principio, es, podría decirse, el Verbo no proferido; por ello "el silencio sagrado es la voz del Gran Espíritu", en tanto que éste es identificado con el Principio mismo (9); y esta voz, que corresponde a la modalidad principial del sonido que la tradición hindú designa como parâ o no manifestada (10), es la respuesta a la llamada del ser en adoración: llamada y respuesta son igualmente silenciosas, siendo ambas una aspiración y una iluminación puramente interiores.

Para que esto sea así, es necesario además que el silencio sea en realidad algo más que la simple ausencia de toda palabra o de todo discurso, aunque fuesen formulados solamente de manera enteramente mental; en efecto, ese silencio es esencialmente para los Indios "el perfecto equilibrio de las tres partes del ser", es decir, de lo que, en la terminología occidental, puede designarse como el espíritu, el alma y el cuerpo, pues el ser todo entero, en todos los elementos que lo constituyen, debe participar en la adoración para que pueda obtenerse un resultado plenamente válido. La necesidad de esta condición de equilibrio es fácil de comprender, pues el equilibrio es, en la manifestación misma, como la imagen o el reflejo de la indistinción principial de lo no manifestado, indistinción que está asimismo bien representada por el silencio, de suerte que de ningún modo hay motivo para sorprenderse de la asimilación que así se establece entre éste y el equilibrio (11).

En cuanto a la soledad, conviene ante todo destacar que su asociación con el silencio es en cierta manera normal e incluso necesaria, y que, hasta en presencia de otros seres, aquél que hace en sí el silencio perfecto forzosamente se aísla de ellos por eso mismo; por lo demás, silencio y soledad también se hallan implicados ambos igualmente en la significación del término sánscrito mauna, que es sin duda, en la tradición hindú, el que se aplica más exactamente a un estado como aquél del que hablamos en este momento (12). La multiplicidad, siendo inherente a la manifestación, y acentuándose tanto más, si puede decirse, cuanto más se desciende a grados inferiores de ésta, aleja pues necesariamente de lo no manifestado; también el ser que quiere ponerse en comunicación con el Principio debe ante todo hacer la unidad en él mismo, tanto como sea posible, mediante la armonización y el equilibrio de todos sus elementos, y debe también, al mismo tiempo, aislarse de toda multiplicidad exterior a él. La unificación así realizada, incluso si no es todavía más que relativa en la mayor parte de los casos, no deja de ser, según la medida de las posibilidades actuales del ser, cierta conformidad con la "no dualidad" del Principio; y, en el límite superior, el aislamiento toma el sentido del término sánscrito kaivalya, que, expresando al mismo tiempo las ideas de perfección y de totalidad, llega, cuando posee toda la plenitud de su significación, a designar el estado absoluto e incondicionado, aquel del ser que ha arribado a la Liberación final.

En un grado mucho menos elevado que ése, y que incluso no pertenece todavía más que a las fases preliminares de la realización, puede señalarse lo siguiente: allí donde necesariamente hay dispersión, la soledad, en tanto que se opone a la multiplicidad y que coincide con cierta unidad, es esencialmente concentración; y ya se sabe qué importancia se da efectivamente a la concentración en todas las doctrinas tradicionales sin excepción, en tanto que medio y condición indispensable de cualquier realización. Nos parece poco útil el insistir más sobre este último punto, pero hay otra consecuencia sobre la cual todavía tenemos que llamar más particularmente la atención para terminar: y es que el método del cual tratamos, en razón de que se opone a toda dispersión de las potencias del ser, excluye el desarrollo separado y más o menos desordenado de tales o cuales de sus elementos, y en particular el de los elementos psíquicos cultivados en cierto modo por ellos mismos, desarrollo que es contrario siempre a la armonía y al equilibrio del conjunto. Para los indios, según el Sr. Paul Coze, "parece que, para desarrollar el orenda (13), intermediario entre lo material y lo espiritual, sea necesario ante todo dominar la materia y tender a lo divino"; ello en suma equivale a decir que no consideran legítimo abordar el dominio psíquico más que "por lo alto", no obteniéndose resultados de este orden sino de una manera muy accesoria y como "por añadidura", lo que en efecto es el único medio de evitar sus peligros; y, añadiremos, ello está sin duda tan lejos como es posible de la vulgar "magia" que demasiado a menudo se les ha atribuido, y que es incluso todo lo que se ha creído ver entre ellos por parte de observadores profanos y superficiales, sin duda porque ellos mismos no tenían la menor noción de lo que puede ser la verdadera espiritualidad.

24/12/2009 17:16. plotino #. RELIGION No hay comentarios. Comentar.

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