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Monday, September 21 - 1:49amSanction this postReply
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Congratulations, Tibor, for this is precisely the reason why Ayn Rand sent, in 1946, a letter to Leonard Read on this subject (See my article in Rebirth of Reason: http://rebirthofreason.com/Articles/Schieder/WHY_IS_CAPITALISM_HATED.shtml) and Governor Bradford pushed aside, in 1623, the Marxist premise (Which is the secular version of the Sermon of the Mount) ruling the Puritans, thus starting America's amazing advancement.



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Post 1

Tuesday, September 22 - 6:39amSanction this postReply
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What is it specifically, Tibor, you would have done by our government in the way of being more vigilant about domestic Jihadists?

 

Where are specific words by Barack Obama that America is responsible for the “problems in the Middle East”? Is our help in creating and sustaining the state of Israel something for which he has blamed America?

 

The ideas that President Obama is not “exercised” about the vicious conduct of Jihadists and that they occupy the moral high ground in his view are belied by his continual actions and words. Pres. Obama does not see or express that America is basically good? Really?

 

President Obama – 10 November 2009

 

“For those families who have lost a loved one, no words can fill the void that's been left. We knew these men and women as soldiers and caregivers. You knew them as mothers and fathers; sons and daughters; sisters and brothers.

 

But here is what you must also know: Your loved ones endure through the life of our nation. Their memory will be honored in the places they lived and by the people they touched. Their life's work is our security, and the freedom that we all too often take for granted. Every evening that the sun sets on a tranquil town; every dawn that a flag is unfurled; every moment that an American enjoys life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness---that is their legacy.

 

Neither this country---nor the values upon which we were founded---could exist without men and women like these 13 Americans.

. . .

It may be hard to comprehend the twisted logic that led to this tragedy. But this much we do know---no faith justifies these murderous and craven acts; no just and loving God looks upon them with favor. For what he has done, we know that the killer will be met with justice---in this world, and the next.

 

These are trying times for our country.  In Afghanistan and Pakistan, the same extremists who killed nearly 3,000 Americans continue to endanger America, our allies, and innocent Afghans and Pakistanis. In Iraq, we're working to bring a war to a successful end, as there are still those who would deny the Iraqi people the future that Americans and Iraqis have sacrificed so much for.

 

As we face these challenges, the stories of those at Fort Hood reaffirm the core values that we are fighting for, and the strength that we must draw upon. Theirs are the tales of American men and women answering an extraordinary call---the call to serve their comrades, their communities, and their country. In an age of selfishness, they embody responsibility. In an era of division, they call upon us to come together. In a time of cynicism, they remind us of who we are as Americans.

 

We are a nation that endures because of the courage of those who defend it. We saw that valor in those who braved bullets here at Fort Hood, just as surely as we see it in those who signed up knowing that they would serve in harm’s way.

 

We are a nation of laws whose commitment to justice is so enduring that we would treat a gunman and give him due process, just as surely as we will see that he pays for his crimes.

 

We're a nation that guarantees the freedom to worship as one chooses. And instead of claiming God for our side, we remember Lincoln’s words, and always pray to be on the side of God.

 

We're a nation that is dedicated to the proposition that all men and women are created equal. We live that truth within our military, and see it in the varied backgrounds of those we lay to rest today. We defend that truth at home and abroad, and we know that Americans will always be found on the side of liberty and equality. That's who we are as a people.

 

Tomorrow is Veterans Day. It's a chance to pause, and to pay tribute---for students to learn the struggles that preceded them; for families to honor the service of parents and grandparents; for citizens to reflect upon the sacrifices that have been made in pursuit of a more perfect union.

 

For history is filled with heroes. You may remember the stories of a grandfather who marched across Europe; an uncle who fought in Vietnam; a sister who served in the Gulf. But as we honor the many generations who have served, all of us---every single American---must acknowledge that this generation has more than proved itself the equal of those who've come before.

 

We need not look to the past for greatness, because it is before our very eyes.

 

This generation of soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen have volunteered in the time of certain danger. They are part of the finest fighting force that the world has ever known. They have served tour after tour of duty in distant, different and difficult places. They have stood watch in blinding deserts and on snowy mountains. They have extended the opportunity of self-government to peoples that have suffered tyranny and war. They are man and woman; white, black, and brown; of all faiths and all stations---all Americans, serving together to protect our people, while giving others half a world away the chance to lead a better life.

 

In today’s wars, there's not always a simple ceremony that signals our troops’ success---no surrender papers to be signed, or capital to be claimed. But the measure of the impact of these young men and women is no less great---in a world of threats that know no borders, their legacy will be marked in the safety of our cities and towns, and the security and opportunity that's extended abroad. It will serve as testimony to the character of those who served, and the example that all of you in uniform set for America and for the world.

 

Here, at Fort Hood, we pay tribute to 13 men and women who were not able to escape the horror of war, even in the comfort of home. Later today, at Fort Lewis, one community will gather to remember so many in one Stryker Brigade who have fallen in Afghanistan.

 

Long after they are laid to rest---when the fighting has finished, and our nation has endured; when today’s servicemen and women are veterans, and their children have grown---it will be said that this generation believed under the most trying of tests; believed in perseverance---not just when it was easy, but when it was hard; that they paid the price and bore the burden to secure this nation, and stood up for the values that live in the hearts of all free peoples.

 

So we say goodbye to those who now belong to eternity. We press ahead in pursuit of the peace that guided their service. May God bless the memory of those that we have lost. And may God bless the United States of America.”

 

(Edited by Stephen Boydstun on 9/22, 6:49am)



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Post 2

Thursday, September 24 - 10:34pmSanction this postReply
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President Obama on the religion of Islam:

 

“The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.”

"The sweetest sound I know is the Muslim call to prayer."

“We will convey our deep appreciation for the Islamic faith, which has done so much over the centuries to shape the world — including in my own country.”

“Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance."

“These rituals remind us of the principles that we hold in common, and Islam’s role in advancing justice, progress, tolerance, and the dignity of all human beings.”

“America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles of justice and progress, tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.”

"The United States is not and never will be at war with Islam. Islam teaches peace."

“Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace.”

“In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education.”

“Throughout history, Islam has demonstrated through words and deeds the possibilities of religious tolerance and racial equality.”

 

Is any comment necessary?



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Friday, September 25 - 7:43amSanction this postReply
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The jihadists represent all Islam or ought to represent all Islam? Most Muslims live in Indonesia, and overwhelmingly neither they nor American Muslims buy the jihadist version of their faith in their own modern, peaceful lives. They and the last two Administrations (and the Pope) have been fighting for their peaceful ideals in the hearts and minds of Muslims around the world. Those two American Presidents have also had the concern of encouraging tolerance and respect of rights of Muslims here. (In Oklahoma after the 9/11 atrocity, a man wearing a turban was murdered by a fellow American due to stereotype thinking; in Chicago on that day, the police set up reinforcements to protect a heavily Muslim community [no, not black] against possible revenge attack for the atrocity.) Both Bush and Obama are religious fellows, of a modern, educated sort, and it is understandable if they do not hope for a future in which power passes to those say unkind things about top holy personages of history and legend.

 

(Edited by Stephen Boydstun on 9/25, 8:45am)



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Post 4

Friday, September 25 - 1:39pmSanction this postReply
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Stephen Boydston writes:

 

The jihadists represent all Islam or ought to represent all Islam?

 

If you mean, do they represent all of the adherents to Islam, no of course not; only a small percentage, but that percentage is still sizable. 

 

"The most logical way to determine the percentage of Muslims who are salafi/fundamentalists - a precondition to jihad - is to consider the most recent elections in Islamic countries. For example, the fundamentalist Islamic group Hamas received 65% of the popular vote in 'Palestine.' The somewhat secular Fatah, at least by comparison to Hamas, won only 30% of the votes.

 

"While he was not popularly elected, Turkey's president, Ahmet Necdet Sezar, is a fundamentalist Muslim. Turkey's parliament, which selected him by a 70% majority, is formed as a result of a popular mandate and it is predominately comprised of fundamentalist Muslims. Turkey's Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is the nation's most popular leader. He is a convicted felon who believes: "Mosques are our barracks, domes are our helmets, minarets our bayonets, and believers our soldiers." He won a landslide victory in 2002 - and Turkey is considered to be the most moderate Islamic state.

 

The newly elected fundamentalist Islamic nutcase ruling Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, earned 62% of the popular vote. The most moderate Islamic challenger garnered less than twenty percent support. The notion that the majority of Iranians are hostile to the Shia mullahs, and are poised for a revolution, is a myth." 

 

In Lebanon, politicians got all excited when 50,000 people marched in support of democracy. The following week when 500,000 people protested in support of Islam/Submission, the percentage of fundamentalist Muslims became clear." . . . .

 

It is true "that only 60% of Muslims are sufficiently indoctrinated in fundamentalist Islam to be a terrorist should the opportunity arise, and that only 25% of those Muslims are the appropriate age and sex to actually engage in jihad, [but] let's consider some recent historical events. In 1917, less than 3% of Russians were Communists. Yet since that 3% was sufficiently corrupted by an immoral and ruthless religion (Socialist Secular Humanism), they quickly came to oppress the entire nation - murdering 30 million Russians in the process. In 1924, less than 3% of Germans were Nazis. And yet since that 3% was sufficiently corrupted by Hitler's "People's Religion" as it was immorally and ruthlessly laid out in Mein Kampf, that 3% came to oppress the entire nation and led the world into a war that killed 50 million people." (http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/65537)

 

If, however, you meant to ask, "Do the jihadists represent the religion of Islam or ought to represent it? then I would say yes.  Consider: 

 

"The Koran explicitly and repeatedly commands Muslims to engage in jihad or “holy war” whether they like it or not. “Jihad (holy fighting in Allah’s Cause) is ordained for you (Muslims) though you dislike it, and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know” (e.g.2:216, 9:38). The Koran explicitly and repeatedly commands Muslims to “kill the unbelievers wherever you find them” (e.g., 2:191, 9:5), “strike off their heads” (e.g., 8:12, 47:4), make sex slaves of their wives and daughters (e.g., 4:24, 33:50), and continue this jihad “until all opposition ends and all submit to ‘Allah’” (e.g., 8:39, 9:29). You know this. I know this. Everyone paying attention knows this." (https://www.theobjectivestandard.com/2014/10/evil-whitewashing-islam/)

 

Most Muslims live in Indonesia . . .

 

Not true.  While Indonesia is the most populace Muslim State, it comprises only about 13% of the world's Muslim population.

 

. . . and overwhelmingly neither they nor American Muslims buy the jihadist version of their faith in their own modern, peaceful lives.

 

"According to the just-released survey of Muslims, a majority (51%) agreed that “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.” When that question was put to the broader U.S. population, the overwhelming majority held that shariah should not displace the U.S. Constitution (86% to 2%). More than half (51%) of U.S. Muslims polled also believe either that they should have the choice of American or shariah courts, or that they should have their own tribunals to apply shariah. [Since there are 6.67 million Muslims in the U.S. (http://www.muslimpopulation.com/America/), that means that over 3.4 million Muslims believe in the legitimacy of sharia law.]  Only 39% of those polled said that Muslims in the U.S. should be subject to American courts. These notions were powerfully rejected by the broader population according to the Center’s earlier national survey. It found by a margin of 92%-2% that Muslims should be subject to the same courts as other citizens, rather than have their own courts and tribunals here in the U.S. Even more troubling, is the fact that nearly a quarter of the Muslims polled believed that, “It is legitimate to use violence to punish those who give offense to Islam by, for example, portraying the prophet Mohammed.” [That means that over 1.6 million American Muslims believe it's okay to use violence against those who offend Islam.]  By contrast, the broader survey found that a 63% majority of those sampled said that “the freedom to engage in expression that offends Muslims or anybody else is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and cannot be restricted.” Nearly one-fifth of Muslim respondents said that the use of violence in the United States is justified in order to make shariah the law of the land in this country. [Which means that over 1.3 million American Muslims believe in overthrowing the government of the United States in order to institute sharia.]  (https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2015/06/23/nationwide-poll-of-us-muslims-shows-thousands-support-shariah-jihad/)

 

They and the last two Administrations (and the Pope) have been fighting for their peaceful ideals in the hearts and minds of Muslims around the world. Those two American Presidents have also had the concern of encouraging tolerance and respect of rights of Muslims here. (In Oklahoma after the 9/11 atrocity, a man wearing a turban was murdered by a fellow American due to stereotype thinking; in Chicago on that day, the police set up reinforcements to protect a heavily Muslim community [no, not black] against possible revenge attack for the atrocity.) Both Bush and Obama are religious fellows, of a modern, educated sort, and it is understandable if they do not hope for a future in which power passes to those [who] say unkind things about top holy personages of history and legend.

 

Nothing like placing the emphasis where you think it should be, eh, Stephen, instead of on the evils of Islam and the security of western civilization.  But, then, we each have our priorities.  I can't argue with that.



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Friday, September 25 - 2:10pmSanction this postReply
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Thanks for the correction on Indonesia. Yes, we each have our own priorities.



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Post 6

Friday, September 25 - 3:07pmSanction this postReply
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Here is my two cents.

 

When we speak of "moderate" muslims, or "peaceful" muslims, we are addressing something that is more psychological or cultural or a matter of local traditions and NOT the religion.  The religion, as a set of written scriptures are very much common to both the violent jihadists (and their supporters) and to the moderate peaceful muslims.  There are two facts that give rise to the violence: The psychology and the beliefs regarding the scriptures, and the fact that the scriptures are both religious and political and thus contain peaceful suggestions as well as barbaric, ugly demands for violence.

 

In other words, the muslim community must reform their scriptures and their understanding and beliefs regarding those scriptures.  They must remove all of those parts that are political and are put forth as law and call for violence.  Those of us here at RoR look forward to the day when mysticism, faith-based belief, and altruistic moral beliefs in religious form are abandoned in favor of reason and a rationally derived moral code.  Until then, it is hoped that what religious beliefs are acting to give people moral, spiritual content are peaceful and somewhat benign.

 

Islamic fundamentalists are at war with our nation.  We need to respond on four fronts: ideological, financial, political, and military. 

 

Ideologically we need to do what Obama's administration isn't doing, and that is to recognize, identify and describe the enemy and be explicit in describing it as evil and about what makes it evil.  Anything less acts as a sanction as well as rendering us ineffective in any further action.  That is just the beginning because the next step is to encourage and sponsor all of the prominent moderate muslims to be explicit in a campaign against the extremists and to begin the process of reformation.  (And there is a lot more that can be done in an explicit, planned campaign to battle Islamic fundamentalism on the ideological level.)  If this front isn't successful, then there will never be peace, and terrorist organizations will keep popping up like Whack-a-Moles.

 

The financial level has to do with cutting off all funds, and all supplies to terrorists.  Both organized terrorism and on-going Jihad are expensive. If you take away their source of money, they run out of arms, they run out of ammunition, they run out of fuel for their vehicles, food, clothes, etc.  Work effectively to stop their supplies and they will be left threatening villagers with knifes to keep themselves fed.  If it went to that extreme the old men and women of the village would be able to beat them to death with broom handles.  In WWII anyone dealing with the enemy was guilty of aiding and abetting the enemy in a time of war and was treated as harshly as were the Nazi troops in the field.  Those idiots that we see riding around in the back of pickup trucks firing off their AK-47s, or on video beheading infidels are insignifcant and can't exist without the massive, but unseen, support system of people who fund and supply them.  Where they are parasites sucking money from oil revenues of wells they didn't drill, in fields they didn't discover, we should take the oil wells and use the revenues to fund our efforts.

 

By Political I'm talking about international politics.  Good leadership, backed by strong moves on the ideological and financial fronts WOULD be able to form working, effective coalitions with other nations.  There should be some form of a NATO-like Arab organiization - with some US and some European contributions that took over as the area's police force, tasked to stop in actions by any government or private organization from violating boundaries or engaging in training for or engaging in terrorism.  Theocracies should be banned and religious freedom enforced.

 

When the ideological front is strong and active, the war on financial supporters is effective, and the international political coalition has started, the required military force to destroy ISIS would be small - and perhaps 9/10s of the force would be multinational (but should be American led).

 

Bill's post above describes the huge potential for a terrible war where much of the muslim population shifts towards the practice of Jihad.  Imagine just a 10% increase in intensity of the passions against anyone resisting Shariah and a proportional increase in active Jihadists and support for them.  This kind of craziness sweeping through a culture has happened in the past and we see the ebb and flow of this Islamic tide in that so-called Arab Spring.  We have already seen deaths to Americans that number over 10,000.  The violent Jihadists have already declared, and are carrying out war against us.  If we can't make changes to the current trend in history, we will likely see a war that involves many millions acting like fanatics. 

 

I believe a rational, libertarian president would ask for Congress to craft a declaration of war that described the enemy as those individuals, organizations and nation-states that embraced islamic fundamentalism and all of those who granted material supporter to them.  And it should be not be a demand that the president engage in immediate full-out war, but an authorization to use the military might as needed.  We are already under attack and we see those who are joining in the war against us is increasing.  It is a war that we can see will grow worse and that it stretches out long into the future.  As the leader, the president should take that declaration of war and open the ideological, financial, political and military fronts.  The message should be clear that we will no longer tolerate this these attacks or these threats to our lives.



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Post 7

Friday, September 25 - 5:43pmSanction this postReply
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If our government stuck to its proper purpose or job, it would have plenty of resources and personnel available to discover and contain Jihadists.  It is the enormous expanse of it that renders it incapable of doing its job properly.



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Friday, September 25 - 5:57pmSanction this postReply
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If our government stuck to its proper purpose or job, it would have plenty of resources and personnel available to discover and contain Jihadists. 

 

I agree.  But because government has grown so greatly run up what is nearly 20 trillion in debt, we might find ourselves unable to do ANYTHING.  That is really a much, much greater danger to our country than jihadists.



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Post 9

Friday, September 25 - 8:57pmSanction this postReply
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I mention Jihadists because they are very explicit about wanting to murder Americans not because containing and resisting them is the major problem for Americans.  If you follow the theory of government sketched in the Declaration of Independence, what government is for, the only thing, is the securing of the protection of individual rights (to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness). This is all and if it were adhered to there would be plenty of resources available to do the job.  Cut out all the expensive tasks government has assumed as its business and the job of rights protection could be achieved even without taxation (via contract fees and such, as AR proposed).



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Friday, September 25 - 9:46pmSanction this postReply
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We agree.  The debt and the lack of economic vitality are due to not adhereing to the proper purpose of government.  I agree that we could have a government that does only what it should do, is adequate to that purpose, and that it could be funded without taxes. 

 

I don't think I'll live long enough to see it, but it is very possible.



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Post 11

Friday, September 25 - 11:53pmSanction this postReply
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Nice post, Steve (referring to #6)! 

 

I'd say that we're already at war with Iran. The initial shot was fired in 1979 when Islamic militants stormed the U.S. Embassy compound and took American diplomats and guards hostage. How did we respond? By resorting to diplomacy, otherwise known as appeasement.  After enduring imprisonment and torment for 444 days, the hostages were finally released as part of a diplomatic bargain. In return for Iran's freeing the hostages, we unfroze $7 billion of its assets held in U.S. banks, along with a promise to revoke American economic sanctions and to drop legal action against Iran and the hostage takers.

 

Just two years later in April of 1983, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon was bombed. Sixty three people died including 17 Americans. Six months after that, a U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut was besieged with a cataclysmic bombing in which 241 U.S. servicemen were killed, many dying a slow and agonizing death. Hundreds more were injured and maimed. The bombing was clearly orchestrated by Iran, but again we refrained from responding with military force. The Islamists In Lebanon were encouraged, continuing the violence by launching a spree of abduction and murders of Westerners.

 

Ron Paul calls the Islamic Jihad against the West "blowback" for our prior involvement in Middle East politics (e.g., the coup against Iranian Prime Minister Muhammed Mossadeq in 1953).  However, if there is any blowback from U.S. policy, it could just as well have resulted from a failure to defend ourselves against Islamic terrorism.  It could just as well be due to our reputation as a paper tiger.

 

Let's also not forget the fatwa against Salmon Rushdie issued by Ayatollah Khomeini, chilling free speech in the West? How would Ron Paul explain this act of terrorism in terms of his blowback theory?

 

Then in 1993, there was the bombing of the World Trade Center, killing 6 and injuring more than 1000. We got off lucky on that one. The bomb was intended to inflict much greater damage.

 

In 1996, there was the bombing of the Khobar Towers apartment complex in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The building housed U.S. forces involved in protecting that country from Iraq. The blast killed 19 Americans. Investigations revealed that the bombers had been trained by Iran. No action was taken against Iran, as Clinton had called for a genuine reconciliation between the U.S. and Iran.

 

In August 1998, massive bombs were set off by Islamists outside the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania with hundreds killed and thousands injured. Then there was the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen killing 17 servicemen, and severely damaging the ship. And most recently, 9/11 in which more than 3,000 people were killed on American soil, an event that is forever etched in our memories.

 

Those who think that a major attack on American soil is behind us and who doubt that Iran or its proxies would dare launch a nuclear warhead against the United States should heed the words of Che Guevara: "If the missiles had remained (in Cuba) we would have used them against the very heart of the United States, including New York," he told the London Daily Worker in November of 1962. "We must never establish peaceful co-existence. We must walk the path of victory even if it costs millions of atomic victims."

 

Do the jihadists, who are willing to die in suicide bombings, see it any differently?  What do you think Osama bin Laden and his soldiers would have done on that fateful day if they had had nuclear weapons?

 

In a talk on February 11, 2015 at the Adm. James Lyons Center for Security Policy Defeat Jihad Summit4 in Washington, DC, U.S. Admiral (Ret) James "Ace" Lyons summed up our foreign policy failures nicely.  You can listen to him here:  (http://www.liveleak.com/ll_embed?f=51fe948515b4)

 

(Edited by William Dwyer on 9/26, 12:03am)



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Post 12

Saturday, September 26 - 1:27amSanction this postReply
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Thanks, Bill.

 

I'd say that we're already at war with Iran.

 

I agree.  We just need to tear up that worthless nuclear weapons agreement Obama made and declare the war that they are already  waging.

Ron Paul is right that we are being attacked, in part, as blowback.  My brother describes the different Islamic sects as a bucket full of crabs.  If you were to put your hand in the bucket, even if it was to offer them food, they go for you with their claws - all of them.  But if you leave them alone (and they can't get out of that bucket) they will turn on each other.

 

But neither my brother's crab metaphor nor the real effects of blowback mean we aren't the natural enemy of fundamental islam or that we would not have been attacked anyway.  And it doesn't mean they aren't the initiators of force.  I don't know how far Ron Paul carries his theory of blowback and if it explains (to him) the total cause of our being attacked.  But I don't agree with any theory that makes the attacks on us, our fault. And, I don't know where Ron Paul stands today, but I believe we are in a state of war.

 

It may be asymmetrical instead of being attacked by a nation-state, but it is still the initiation of force, by foreign forces, resulting a national level of damage, and constituting an imminent and on-going threat.  I think that the best tactical approach would be a massive strike on Iran's oil production facilities and gas refinery and military capacity.  It would have an immediate effect of changing the attitudes of all of the middle-east.  They are the head of the major snakes.

 

What makes things worse (as if an ideology that worships death, calls for the purposeful creation of world-wide chaos and the end of the world in order to summon the 12th Immam, isn't bad enough), is the psychology prevalent amoung many in the middle-east that focuses on the use of force as a means of negotiation and any attempt to seek peace as a sign of weakness.  Our entire policy of moderating the use of military force, the idea of 'proportional strikes' is an encouragement.  And in the last 7 years we haven't even gone that far.

 

With a nation whose leaders are as evil as Iran's any negotiation is a moral sanction AND seen as a sign of weakness, and any weakness is an encouragement to use more violence.
------------

 

Admiral Lyons certainly had this right: "... until you recognize that Islam is the political movement masquerading as a religion, you aren't going to come to grips with it." 



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Saturday, September 26 - 2:23amSanction this postReply
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Last seven posts: hear,  hear! But especially #8.

 

Concerning the Iran nuclear deal, however, the deal does not change the perpetual circumstance that the US always has military options on the table however much we may nod and smile to overtures of cooperation from adversaries. We look at capabilities and manuevers, and Defense is always in the business of drafting contingency plans. That includes not only scenarios for nukes in Iran (which require tests, of course), but for jihadists taking control of Pakistan's nukes. Those US responses would likely not require US ground assault, only naval and air. Unfortunately, it appears at this time in Syria and Iraq, that our present military campaign (air) is not enough to destroy the terrorists' military forces and reverse their success in taking territory. Like Tibor (if I recall him correctly), I was opposed to the US invasion of Iraq (and I supported our invasion in Afghanistan). But once we had toppled the government in Iraq, I accepted that we had a responsibility to try to help them to a new one and to peace. But how long should that go on? As long and as much as needed for our own defense, to be sure, but much of the foreign military burdens our country takes on is sold to our citizens as defense of our own country, when really it is mainly humanitarian and that can be boundless, surely beyond our means.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PS

My sister had shown me those remarks by Adm. Lyons a few days ago, and it struck me that one really needs to know also what were the downside potentials for how things could develop were we to have taken various actions that we did not take. All along the way, State and Defense and the White Houese had to think about and weigh those downside potentials for all the choices. Also, I thought it likely the Admiral was missing information in his picture of Reagan/Weinberger.

 

I certainly agree that radical Islam is a political movement masquerading as religion. They are the one's blowing up mosque after mosque.

 

One more thing about Iran. Although I'm fine with trying the nuclear deal for now, I certainly do presume that any efforts towards electricity from nuclear power made so far by Iran have been for cover of developing nuclear (or atomic) weapons. There is no excuse for trying to master nuclear electrical generation when all of their electricity could be produced on and on from the enormous reservoir of natural gas beneath their feet. 

 

(Edited by Stephen Boydstun on 9/26, 3:28am)



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Post 14

Saturday, September 26 - 9:54amSanction this postReply
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Steve wrote, Admiral Lyons certainly had this right: "... until you recognize that Islam is the political movement masquerading as a religion, you aren't going to come to grips with it."

 

Here I would disagree with the good Admiral.  Islam isn't a political movement masquerading as a religion.  It is a political movement on behalf of a religion.  What you have in Iran is not just a dictatorship, but a religious dictatorship -- a theocracy. 

 

Yes, the jihadists are blowing up mosques, but not because they hate Islam -- because they disagree with a rival sect's interpretation of Islam, just as Protestants disagree with Catholicism's interpretation of Christianity.  Sunnis and Shiites are both Islamic, just as Protestants and Catholics are both Christian, although thankfully, Christianity is no longer totalitarian.  The disagreement between Sunnis and Shiites is a religious one between rival sects.  However, when it comes to the secular infidels in the West, these warring factions would gladly join hands to defeat the Great Satan.



Post 15

Saturday, September 26 - 12:48pmSanction this postReply
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Right on!



Post 16

Saturday, September 26 - 12:52pmSanction this postReply
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Somehow Christians were influenced by classical liberals and thus they were more willing to embraced peaceful co-existence and live and let live politics. Although there are exceptions like burning down churches in the American south.

 

(Edited by Machan on 9/26, 1:45pm)



Post 17

Saturday, September 26 - 2:38pmSanction this postReply
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Somehow Christians were influenced by classical liberals and thus they were more willing to embraced peaceful co-existence and live and let live politics.

 

It is an interesting dynamic... this relationship between religion and politics.  Islam is clearly a driving force demanding its fundamentalist followers to convert or kill the non-believers.  Christian fundalmentalists go door to door with pamphlets, or try to get laws passed for this or that, or - mostly - see religion as a private matter.

 

I've been studying Progressivism and in the course of that have seen some of the evolution of religion as it appears in our political arena:

 

Those church burners Professor Machan mentioned were white Democrats who may have claimed that God stood behind them, but their real motives were a mixture the ugly psychology of racism and the lingering resentment of loosing the Civil War and suffering Reconstruction.  The churches belonged to black Christians.  Neither the black nor the white christians were attempting to do battle to spread their view of Christianity. 

 

Back then, religion, politics, and attitudes were much more likely to be common to a region than to anything else.

 

The white activists that came down from the North to fight against the Jim Crow laws had many North-Eastern Presbyterian-Protestants who were following in the footsteps of their grandparents and great grandparents who spearheaded Women's Sufferage, Prohibition and much of the activism of the Progressive era.  Religion stood as a part of a justification, but wasn't being pushed as the end in itself, and it wasn't the primary reason for the activism.

 

The Social Conservatives of today seem to have their political roots in the anti-communist movement.  Here it became much more of a movement of religious views driving political goals ("A Judeo-Christian Nation Fighting against Godless Communism").  Then with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, it evolved to what we see today in the opposition to abortion, contraception, gay marriage, etc.  The specific religious goals can change, but they retain their sense of an emotional, holy crusade to be accomplished by enlisting government.



Post 18

Saturday, September 26 - 5:20pmSanction this postReply
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Sounds right to me.



Post 19

Wednesday, September 30 - 4:08amSanction this postReply
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Throne and Altar are in symbiotic relations. In the case of present-day Iran and in the case of the Pilgrims in America, it looks as if religion is the driver and the centralized violence power the follower. But I am with Rand when she gives her Galt character the line “Do not remind me that it [suffering and sacrifice] pertains only to this life on earth. I am concerned with no other. Neither are you.”

 

Power on earth is the point of both the Attila and the Witch Doctor. The Al-Qaeda group in Iraq showed all the thinness of their professions of religion that was shown by Bin Laden. They used mayhem and murder and blowing up mosques to try to foment an all-out civil war between Sunni and Shiite Muslims in Iraq. There was indeed retaliation by mass shootings from the Shiite quarter. But (to my surprise) that attempt by the terrorists to get the all-out religious war going failed. I’d be wary of seeing religious differences and other-worldliness as the most profound forms of irrationality driving terrorist attacks on mosques and their congregations. At the leadership level, religion is a tool for power on earth, and that, I think, is the deeper irrational driver.

 

The beliefs of the religious in a cosmic god with whom they are kin and in a next, better life is a tool offsetting loss of one’s life for the earthly prize of a society tightly geared to reinforce their religious psychosis. The beliefs and their sacrifices for them, I think, are rooted in their reaction to plain human (animal) mortality, in their psychological defense and defiance of that horrific obvious fact. So all works together for the psychosis and for seekers of earthly power.



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