Wednesday, April 19, 2006

The sea of faith: the ebb and flow of religion

Starting in the mid-1800s, the Welsh Presbyterian Church was active in proselytizing, sending missionaries around the world. One of the places those missionaries went was Mizoram, an area of northeast India.

They were wildly successful there with a tribe called the Mizos, according to this article that appeared in the Telegraph of March, 2006. In response to the ministrations of the Welsh missionaries, the Mizos converted to Christianity in vast numbers:

The missions, at the height of the Christian revival in Wales, were phenomenally successful, with more than 80 per cent of the population [of Mizoram] becoming Christian.

The Mizos are believed to be ethnically Mongoloid and are hilltribe people divided into a number of tribes. Recently some of them have started identifying themselves as one of the lost tribes of Israel, but the incidence of Christianity is still very high.

The ties to the Presbyterian Church of Wales, which Mizos refer to as the "Mother Church", are also very strong.


But the tide has turned, and the Mizos are now worried about the state of Christianity--in Wales. And they've decided to do something about it. They're sending missionaries back to the land of the Mother Church to see if the Mizos can do unto others what was done to them:

The Rev Zosang Colney, of the Diocese of Mizoram, said that the churches in Wales seemed to be "declining physically and spiritually".

"Many church buildings have been closed down," he added. "The Mizos, therefore, have a burden to do something for their Mother Church in Wales."


I've read about the decline of religion in Europe; the consensus is that it's a widespread phenomenon (although some may differ), and certainly not limited to Wales. The British poet Philip Larkin wrote about the waning of religious observance and the emptiness of churches way back in 1955, in his well-known poem "Church Going" (the title can be seen as a pun).

In this excerpt from the beginning of the poem, the speaker finds himself stopping--he's not sure exactly why--at a church during a pause in his bicycling excursion:

Once I am sure there's nothing going on
I step inside, letting the door thud shut.
Another church: matting, seats, and stone,
And little books; sprawlings of flowers, cut
For Sunday, brownish now; some brass and stuff
Up at the holy end; the small neat organ;
And a tense, musty, unignorable silence,
Brewed God knows how long. Hatless, I take off
My cycle-clips in awkward reverence,
Move forward, run my hand around the font.
From where I stand, the roof looks almost new-
Cleaned or restored? Someone would know: I don't.
Mounting the lectern, I peruse a few
Hectoring large-scale verses, and pronounce
"Here endeth" much more loudly than I'd meant.
The echoes snigger briefly. Back at the door
I sign the book, donate an Irish sixpence,
Reflect the place was not worth stopping for.

Yet stop I did: in fact I often do,
And always end much at a loss like this,
Wondering what to look for; wondering, too,
When churches fall completely out of use
What we shall turn them into...


What, indeed? Museums, relics? Or, as with Wales and the Mizos, will the fruit of some seeds put forth long ago return to complete the cycle and cause a revival of faith at their place of origin?

Larkin isn't sure what churches will be used for in the future. But towards the end of the poem he (or the speaker) acknowledges within himself a deep yearning for the "seriousness" they represent, a yearning he suspects will never go out of style:

A serious house on serious earth it is,
In whose blent air all our compulsions meet,
Are recognised, and robed as destinies.
And that much never can be obsolete,
Since someone will forever be surprising
A hunger in himself to be more serious,
And gravitating with it to this ground,
Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
If only that so many dead lie round.


Matthew Arnold, a very different poet from Larkin, wrote much earlier (1867) of the same phenomenon: the generalized loss of religious faith in Europe. Here is a stanza appearing near the close of his poem "Dover Beach:"

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth's shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furl'd.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.


In the poem, Arnold laments the "melancholy, long, withdrawing roar" of the sea of faith's retreat, leaving the beaches empty and denuded ("shingles" refers to pebbled shores). But he offers a suggestion for dealing with a world bereft of faith and its comforting certitudes--the lovers in his poem must cling to one another in the face of the chaos that surrounds them:

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,

Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.


"Dover Beach" was another of those poems I was assigned to study back in high school. I didn't really understand it then and yet it moved me and I remembered it. Somehow I was under the impression that it was a later poem than it actually is; if I'd had to guess, I'd have placed it around the time of World War I. And even as an adult, I continue to be amazed at the modernity of the sentiments it expresses; it almost seems as though Arnold could see into the future.

Arnold himself, it turns out, stopped writing poetry rather early in life ("Dover Beach" was one of his last poems) and turned to literary criticism and religious writings. The crisis he had wrestled with in the poem was one he tackled in his prose, too; in later life Arnold became a religious reformer, a founder of Anglican "modernism."

With the long slow decline of religious belief in Europe, who would have thought that the twenty-first century would feature a revival of the phenomenon of religious war? But this time the strife is no longer between Christians and other Christians, or between Christians and Jews; it is between Islam and Islam. A fundamentalist militant political Islam is at war with a reformist and modernizing strain (and if you don't think there is such a struggle, please read this), and the former is also at war with the West.

Unfortunately, at the moment, the fundamentalist militant strain of Islam is handily winning out over the moderates in parts of the Moslem world, causing the clash of civilizations that leads to "Islam's bloody borders." It seems that, for the last few decades, the sea of faith of Islam has reversed any "withdrawing roar," and is currently crashing back towards the beach with the force of a tsunami.

112 Comments:

At 10:28 AM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's funny that in the last hundred years, the vast, vast, vast majority of killing has been done by Christian Europeans and their descendents, or Asian Buddhists, and yet...Islam is the Big Bogeyman.

Terrorists murder 3,000 people and they...a threat to our existence?

Sorry, these people are only a threat to our existence if we blindly give up everything we claim to stand for in the name of saving us from the big bad jihadis who, if warbloggers weren't bravely typing about the perfidy of liberals and how Michael Moore is fat, would be rampaging through downtown Detroit, chopping off heads with their scimitars and running about in those funny baggy pants and turbins.

Sorry, I just got a brief glimpse into the mind of people like Yammr - people who need to imagine vast hordes of barbarians at the gates. People who need to be the heroes, but can't actually do anything about it except type on a computer keyboard and imagine what they would do to those jihadis with that useless collection of fantasy swords they ordered from ebay if they just had the chance.

Why don't people see the vast hordes of barbarians just outside the gates? Don't you see that most people in this idyllic, tranquil society need brave fighting men like Yammr to lead the charge, powering up with each jihadi killed until they can level up and can acquire BoneStorm Casting ability?

I suppose some people need an "existential threat". It gives people like Michelle Malkin an excuse to fantasize about concentration camps. It gives Yammr a chance to make up some Sun Tsu quotes and sound like a real life Man of Action. It gives people like Bush and Cheney a chance to be Men of Action, too, instead of what they really are, the people who shirked any chance they had of being real heroes.

You know why people in the West aren't flipping the fuck out, running around in panic, waiting for some Brave Heroic Leader to save us from our own foolishness?

Because some of us have a grip on reality, and recognize that a handful of people in the Muslim world aren't going to destroy Western Civilization.

Besides, that's not even their intent. But it's difficult not to be the center of the universe for a second, isn't it?

 
At 10:37 AM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Nikolaides said...

You have to wonder (or at least I do) whether this "Anonymous" read Neo's recent post on critical thinking and decided to make this comment as an intentional example of many of the worst failures of logic and reading comprehension that Neo pointed out.

Or -- and I admit that it's far more likely -- he or she just completely failed to comprehend the post.

 
At 10:47 AM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Bezuhov said...

"Or -- and I admit that it's far more likely -- he or she just completely failed to comprehend the post."

Failing would require an effort.

Thank you Neo for another beautiful post. Arnold was indeed prescient, and not just on this issue. As to the purpose of that church, my second favorite Arnold poem:

Morality

We cannot kindle when we will
The fire which in the heart resides;
The spirit bloweth and is still,
In mystery our soul abides.
But tasks in hours of insight will'd
Can be through hours of gloom fulfill'd.

With aching hands and bleeding feet
We dig and heap, lay stone on stone;
We bear the burden and the heat
Of the long day, and wish 'twere done.
Not till the hours of light return,
All we have built do we discern.

Then, when the clouds are off the soul,
When thou dost bask in Nature's eye,
Ask, how she view'd thy self-control,
Thy struggling, task'd morality--
Nature, whose free, light, cheerful air,
Oft made thee, in thy gloom, despair.

And she, whose censure thou dost dread,
Whose eye thou wast afraid to seek,
See, on her face a glow is spread,
A strong emotion on her cheek!
'Ah, child!' she cries, 'that strife divine,
Whence was it, for it is not mine?

'There is no effort on my brow--
I do not strive, I do not weep;
I rush with the swift spheres and glow
In joy, and when I will, I sleep.
Yet that severe, that earnest air,
I saw, I felt it once--but where?

'I knew not yet the gauge of time,
Nor wore the manacles of space;
I felt it in some other clime,
I saw it in some other place.
'Twas when the heavenly house I trod,
And lay upon the breast of God.'

My favorite Arnold poem is The Buried Life, and is another thing entirely.

 
At 10:51 AM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's wrong with my thinking?

All you have done, Nick, is say that I'm dumb.

Well, you're dumb AND ugly. Didn't you know [random blogger] wrote a blog post about it? I suggest you read it.

QED, ugly.

 
At 10:55 AM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

That is soooo waack, Neo. Missionaries being sent to the mother land. Sounds like the Religion of Holy Mother Terra.

I think the difference between American religion and Euro religion is that American religion is a social activity and a group mentality. Where as Euro, is more like secular individualism, nobody talks or judges or does anything that the government might not "like", and so their practice of religion becomes a chore that nobody gets anything from if they do it, except time to do more chores.

I call the yearning for seriousness the yearning for purpose. Islamic fundamentalists understand this basic need of human nature. Our "liberty" is simply the fundamental human instinct and desire for benefits and social harmony. Work as an equal partner, get what you deserve, and commit your fair share to the common defense. Self-respect, pride, status, etc. Those are all human desires deeply etched in our genetics and hardwired into our minds.

Sorry, I just got a brief glimpse into the mind of people like Yammr

I hope it scared you. There's always a kick in that, so long as it is within societal boundaries.

It's a brief glimpse into the abyss, because most people aren't really that honest with themselves, or can't describe what they think and feel accurately because they have little practice with it.

People like Tancredo talk about nuking Mecca, and America agrees, but he can't seem to explain why in any convincing rhetorical manner. A great philosophy is America, with both balance of powers as well as balance of morality and ruthlessness. Many times have America and Americans stared into the abyss, and had the abyss shy away at the power and determination of common American farmers and soldiers, workers and advertisers, rich and poor. Sherman's burning of Atlanta

I pity people like anon, with nothing to live or die for. They believe in nothing, and thus they become nothing. Useless relics of a forgotten faith.

You know why people in the West aren't flipping the fuck out, running around in panic, waiting for some Brave Heroic Leader to save us from our own foolishness?

Because brave and valorous individuals such as you, are preventing them?

Because some of us have a grip on reality, and recognize that a handful of people in the Muslim world aren't going to destroy Western Civilization.

You, who have no knowledge (or at least none demonstrated) of the combat arts of annihilation and intimidation, are so carefree with your grip on reality. Perhaps it is not reality you should grip, but your very life, worthless as it seemingly appears to be, it is still your life.

For those who grip reality more than than their hold on their own lives, then yes, it is difficult not to be the center of the universe. For the idea of an uncaring universe that slaughters such as it pleases nor cares about, is the complete opposite of a "grip on reality".

Anon's hostility towards me is no longer surprising. Not that it would have been in the first place. If I was 2 years younger, then perhaps I might have acquired some anger and loss of control, but it just doesn't seem to matter anymore. This petty bickering.

What is false doubts against true belief, after all in the end?

Pity Anon's hostility, for such is not the equal of discipline nor true belief.

 
At 11:03 AM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Nikolaides said...

Well, no, ano, actually, I didn't say that you are "dumb." I suggested in the first half of my post that you might be very clever indeed, and in the second half, suggested as an alternative explanation for your non sequitur comment that you had simply missed the point of Neo's post. Reading more carefully would have helped you avoid both of these issues of basic comprehension.

 
At 11:07 AM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"combat arts of annihilation and intimidation"


AHAHAHAHAHAHA!

You actually made me laugh out loud on reading that, Yammr.

You're suggesting that you are, im some way, able to comment on national security issues because of your mastery of the arts of the "combat arts of annihilation and intimidation".

Whew. That was a good one. Who have you annihilated lately, Yammr? That level 2 Paladin the other night? You do realize that there's a difference, Yammr, between fantasy - whether video games or sci-fi novels or anything else - and reality?

You do realize that there's a difference between reading a book on strategy, and really mastering the D&D Dungeon Master's guide, and actual, honest-to-goodness real world things like strategy?

Nope...probably not.

Oh, I'm hostile towards you because I'm bored. And I think you're a weird little kid who deserves to be reminded of that fact, less you get too uppity.

 
At 11:13 AM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Nick, I didn't misread Neo's post. (But then again, as a good EVIL LIBERAL MORAL RELATIVIST, I must remind you that one can never "read" a "text" "correctly".)

But I was, for the most part, focusing on Neo's last paragraph, about Islam's bloody borders and clashes of civilization and blah blah blah, nothing but useless cliches.

If one wanted to "think criticall", and concluded that many examples of violence where believers in Islam and believers in other religions rubbed shoulders indicate that Islam is a very bad violent thing, then it's worth reminding one that there are other examples of violence even more numerous than those of Islam.

And yet, something tells me that fans of this website aren't going to start talking about all the violence in the Bible and how that means Christianity is inherently violent and blah blah blah.

 
At 11:15 AM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just love Yammr's way of thinking.

"America is so totally badass that sometimes, when we peer into the abyss, THE ABYSS TOTALLY BACKS DOWN. That is so AWESOME!!!! Abyss, America just pwned you!"

 
At 11:23 AM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Nikolaides said...

Okay, I'll take you at your word, ano -- you understood Neo's post. In that case, observers will just have to make up their own minds as to the reason for the complete lack of logical connections between her insights and your comments.

As for me, based on what you've had to say so far, I see no reason to waste time on any further discussion with you.

 
At 11:27 AM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Sally said...

(Shorter anonymous: "Blah, blah, blah.")

This kind of thing isn't trolling -- it's spam. Apparently "anonymous" has just enough reading comprehension to figure out the word verification letters -- neo, you may need a more active comment-filter.

 
At 11:27 AM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous notherbob2 said...

Anon 11:28 is unaware of how many were involved in the "beer hall putsh" (sp?) as so many other things.

 
At 12:03 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, the gist of things is....I'm dumb because...I'm dumb.

Fair enough.

It's spelled "Putsch." The Germans never use the "sh" letter combination; that phenome is represented by "sch". Also, it's always capitalized, as the Germans capitalize all nouns.

I'm not really sure what the Munich Putsch has to do with Islamocommienazifascism. Are you suggesting that because in one country, a small group of evil people were able to come to power because of a specific confluence of events, that Islamocommieterrobots will manage to come to power in this country, too?

Or just that sometimes small numbers of people can pose a big threat?

I'd agree with the latter. bin Laden and his ilk, however, have yet to demonstrate that they pose this sort of threat. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that EVEN IF THEY DETONATED A NUCLEAR WEAPON IN THE US, they still would not succeed in destroying the US.

The Japanese surrendered to the US because of both our overwhelming conventional superiority and because we demonstrated that we had the capacity to produce and deploy nuclear weapons indefinitely. Even if bin Laden got one into the US, he would still lack either of those factors: conventional superiority or the ability to deploy more than one or two nukes.

A nuked city would suck, to put it mildly. But would it be the end of the US? Only if you believe the US is made of tissue paper could you believe that the loss of a city means that the US would be destroyed, or that we'd surrender to al Qa'ida.

You know who else thinks the US is weak? Osama bin Laden. Nice job, traitors.

But seriously, the general thrust of this blog and its comments section for a while seems to be how awful Islamist terrorism is (correct) and how much danger we're in (incorrect). There is a danger - that of continued terrorist attacks, or the toppling of friendly Muslim governments that would harm US interests. But barbarians at the gate? Please. The only people who believe there are barbarians at the gate are people who need an enemy to justify their sad, yet rich, fantasy lives.

Of course, I suppose you could belong to the Malkin branch of the Right, which believes that evil brown people are pouring into the country in an effort to outbreed us, and that every baby squeezed from a Muslim womb is in fact a bullet fired from a gun into the soft, tender flesh of America or Europe. Sorry, "Eurabia". But if you believed that, you'd be a eugenecist asshole at best, and a Nazi at worst. So, I'll pretend like none of you believe that. Except Yammr. I'm prepared to believe the worst of him.

PS Don't tell him I said this - he might use his MAD ANNIHILIATION SKILLZ to PWN MY ASS.

 
At 12:21 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Oh, I'm hostile towards you because I'm bored. And I think you're a weird little kid who deserves to be reminded of that fact, less you get too uppity.

No, I think you are hostile to me because you believe you have mastered the combat arts of strategy and logistics, and believe you can put me in my place without showing any of your knowledge.

By the way, this sentence is a lie.

So, the gist of things is....I'm dumb because...I'm dumb.

Allow me to come to my fellow neo con reader's defense. It is not that you are dumb, anon, it is rather that you are so smart you don't need to be dumb.

Your IQ level is above 130, or just around. Go take a test, and give me the results. Taunt me if I'm wrong, but there's a 50/50 percent chance I'm correct.

The real gist of things is, you think I don't know anything about strategy because you know more about games and gaming literature and gaming linguistics than I do. Like with you being smart enough that you don't have to be dumb, you also know enough about strategy to know that you don't have to say anything about it that reveals your knowledge.

You're a boloviating gasbag, not because I believe it, but because your wordness is the thing people will and have criticized you for. And that's why you are angry. 30% chance, to calculate the odds.

You're not dumb or smart because you are a boloviating gasbag, I don't use ad hominems to justify my arguments, I just make the statement that you are, with a 30% chance that I am correct.

In fact, I would go so far as to argue that EVEN IF THEY DETONATED A NUCLEAR WEAPON IN THE US, they still would not succeed in destroying the US.

Why, because valorous armchair warriors will die to defend you and yours, even if you allowed a nuke to kill their families? Sometimes intelligence is counter-productive, like when curiosity killed the cat.

Keep on boloviating, I'm still reading in fact.

There's a 90% chance you're within 5 years of my age bracket. And a 99% chance you've played even more games than I have.

 
At 12:23 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

We went on a tour of Scotland, England and Wales recently. One of the things that struck me was how many of the churches we saw or passed were closed. Our guide said that many churches in all three countries were permanently closed, others were now being used as cafes or music venues; we passed a couple with sale signs. When we were in London, just two weeks before the tube bombings, our guide mentioned that some of the closed churches in London had been turned into welcome/social/cultural centers for all the Muslim immigrants now populating the neighborhoods that these churches once served.

 
At 1:01 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Bob-B said...

There are significant similarities between Welsh Nonconformity and Islam - both decentralized religions (unlike Catholicism), both seeking to control every aspect of life, both treating women badly, and both pathologically hostile to alcohol. The big differences are that Welsh Nonconformity had no imperial ambitions – it was just interested in Wales – and it had no tendency to violence. When it was attacked by the writer Caradoc Evans in his book My People in 1915, he was subjected to a torrent of abuse, but there were no death threats. Welsh Nonconformity declined drastically after the second world war and hence the country has many chapels that have been put to other uses. It would be good to see Islam go the same way.

 
At 1:24 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

Anonymous 11:28 am: "It's funny that in the last hundred years, the vast, vast, vast majority of killing has been done by Christian Europeans and their descendents, or Asian Buddhists, and yet...Islam is the Big Bogeyman."

I wouldn't call the nazis or the communists Stalin and Mao Tse Tung or Idi Amin Christian. I wouldn't call Pol Pot an Asian Buddhist either and you might want to disconnect the descendents reference while in the presence of intelligent, rational people. I wouldn't call the African butchers and all the tribal/ethnic, mass slaughtering of the last 100 years as having Christian origins either. I would, if I were you, factor in for instance the Turkish decimation of the Armenians, and I've read the number was 1.2-1.8 million, and their current assault on the Kurds. I would consider saddam hussein's mass murder of his own people and the recent Iran/Iraq war, close to a million there. I would consider the taliban in Afghanistan and the situation in Darfur too before I make claims as absurd as yours that muslims are bloodless or near bloodless in the past 100 years in comparison to others.

 
At 1:31 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Yes, actually the greatest killer has been atheistic communism, closely followed by the pagan Nazis, and all your average, evil dictator types (like Saddam) who worship nothing but themselves and power.

(I gotta say, I'm still chuckling over the idea of genocidal Buddhists).

 
At 1:45 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, of course, how silly of me? When one culture - Christian Europe - produces Hitler and Stalin, these are aberrations.

Likewise, when another culture, Buddhist (and Shintoist, and Taoist, and so forth) Japan and China produce the monstrosities of Imperial Japan or Mao's regime, these are aberrations.

When Islam produces monsters like bin Laden, it is because of the fundamental evil of Islam.

How silly of me!

 
At 2:01 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous david said...

now i should really be writing a long reply which i owe all on another thread but i can't resist this.

1. Ymarsakar do you have anything sane to say about anything?

2. The church in England and Wales. well i know about this. When i was a kid we went to church. People were not that religious but we went and i liked the singing and the beatitudes. They stayed with me, unlike the old testament.
Do you know where people go now? IKEA, Mcshitburgers, Pizza places, garden centres.....it is really odd, and the singing is worse. And yes the old beautiful churches round here
http://www.stevebulman.f9.co.uk/churches/images/w_york/dewsbury_matt.jpg
are now carpet shops, homes for drug offenders, and, god forbid but true a garden centre.

And why is this? dunno

 
At 3:26 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger J. Peden said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 3:50 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Trimegistus said...

Neo, I think you need to shut down the comments for a week or two, until spring vacation is over and anonymous has to go back to junior high school.

 
At 4:29 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is anyone even paying attention to some moron who thinks Mao was a Bhuddist?

Funny how he says it's the neocons that are giving up their freedoms for fear of the jihadis, but then the leftists want to jail the people responsible for the Mohammed cartoons, out of fear of the jihadists. Anyone remember that freedom of speech thing we used to have?

 
At 4:36 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Cappy said...

Yes, it's great to have the Mizo tribe return to their Jewish roots. However, in this totally politically incorrect statement, I will observe that the tribe being Jewish, looking Chinese and having Indian citizenship means absolutely nobody else goes to medical school for the next 20 years!

 
At 4:39 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh, SNAP! Junior High! Burned!

Anyhoo, for someone who was accused of not reading before commenting, I am deeply, passionately offended that other (evil) Anonymous didn't read what I wrote before commenting on it.

I never said that Mao was a Buddhist. Or DID I?????

Actually, I didn't.

What I did say was that, like Hitler and Stalin, Mao was a product of a particular cultural milieu. Yet, for some reason, people don't blame that culture. When Islam produces monsters, people blame that culture. I find this to be...bullshit.

But, what do I know? I don't do critical thinking, remember?

And, I could be wrong, but I don't recall any "Leftists" who have called for cartoonists to be jailed. But I don't think I'm wrong. I think you're wrong. So there.

 
At 4:40 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NO FREE SPEECH FOR HATE SPEECH

NO RIGHTS FOR RIGHT WINGERS

 
At 4:52 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger J. Peden said...

Anon, you seem to be at great pains to deny that Islamofascism is a threat, to the extent of playing a blame game involving strange definitions as to which group has historically killed more people, or a diversion into the also irrelevant question as to whether Islam is intrinsicaly evil.

You don't see that these lines of argument have nothing to do with whether radical Islam is a threat, which you also then minimize through illogical arguments, which seem to amount to the suggestion that we cannot evaluate a threat until it has been allowed to freely do the worst thing it can do.

So apparently Islamics will not be a threat under your reasoning unless, 1] they have killed as many people as "Christians", however defined, have in the past; or 2] they have succeeded in creating as much cumulative societal damage as you would need for you to conclude that the next attack would probably involve finally "destroying the U.S.", according to your definitions, which I expect would be different from mine.

In terms of manifesting a denial mechanism, you have gotten yourself in quite deep, unless you are instead merely a hard-wired lunatic, in which case you have played no responsible part in getting yourself anywhere, but are only manifesting your immutable nature. It's your choice to get out of your denial trap, assuming you can, a question which only you know the answer to.

 
At 5:00 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous david said...

now i would not normally do this, but seeing as you are doing religion...

the beatitudes

1Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, 2and he began to teach them saying:
3"Blessed are the poor in spirit,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4Blessed are those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5Blessed are the meek,
for they will inherit the earth.
6Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
for they will be filled.
7Blessed are the merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
9Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they will be called sons of God.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


thats poetry neon

 
At 5:12 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, JP, I believe you have misconstrued what I was trying to say.

Radical Islamic terrorism is, of course, a threat: they're trying to kill people and do various other bad things. They should be dealt with. They don't need to be dealt with hysterically - that is, there is no barbarian horde waiting at the gates. I'm just calling for a little perspective, that's all.

And the whole Christian/Muslim thing? People who try to claim the "horde" argument - and who generally call for, either explicitly or implicitly, really nasty responses that require killing lots of innocent people - rely on blaming Islam to justify their argument. How can there be a horde when there are, at most, a few thousand active terrorists? Why, because it's not just them, and even just them plus their passive wing - it's most or all Muslims! So I think, wink wink, you know what we have to do, wink wink, to deal with this little problem with Muslims...

That's all, silly.

 
At 5:19 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous TalkinKamel said...

Anonymous

I think we actually read your post correctly the first time. Now you're trying to backtrack.

(Genocidal Buddhists---what next?)

 
At 5:53 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5:59 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

1. Ymarsakar do you have anything sane to say about anything?
david
When you have something other than personal attacks to use in your repertoire, then you can talk. But until then, dueling is off limits, and nobody gets hurt.

When are you going to get rid of Your Child, david? I'm not your Parent, to complain and attack.

And why is this? dunno

I dunno, what else is new?

Oooh, SNAP! Junior High! Burned!

Why does that sound familiar. Because nobody uses "ohh snap" except the blacks that I lived around, and in my current and previous generation. Play GodFather lately?

The burned comment is pretty white though, so could be a mix.

Anon is easily mislead. When he tries and bully someone like me, and gets hit back hard in return, he goes and picks on other people. Very nice. Brainiacs tend to have a low attention span for some reason.

11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

So david is saying all those evil things about me, because of God? Wack. I don't think you got yourself blessed though david.

Actually, JP, I believe you have misconstrued what I was trying to say.

here comes a semplance of rationality, you are well warned. It is only a mask, to cover up his real core he showed when speaking about Ymar.

I'm just calling for a little perspective, that's all.

See, it's very reasonable, very rational. Until you get through the blackmass that is.

So I think, wink wink, you know what we have to do, wink wink, to deal with this little problem with Muslims...

Genocidal fanatics like Anon here, shall be dealt with. But I will not sully my hands with their ilk. So he has to committ hara kiri for himself.

 
At 7:12 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the contrary, I believe that Islamists and muslims are insane and violent to the core. But I simply wanted to troll and spam out of a lack of anything important to do.

If you don't like it, you know what you can do, right?

 
At 7:42 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Anon has nothing important to do. Except play games or make fun of others he thinks is like him. A curious project, eh?

 
At 8:46 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Will Durant writes, "The Islamic conquest of India which is probably the bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident moral is that civilization is a precious good, whose delicate complex order and freedom can at any moment be overthrown by barbarians invading from without and multiplying from within."

And this is where Islam was then and, most importantly, is today. Christian slaughters ended before the Age of Enlightenment – Enlightenment: something Islam both needs and is in doubt of achieving.

Koenraad Elst , the German historian writes, "The Muslim conquests, down to the 16th century, were for the Hindus a pure struggle of life and death. Entire cities were burnt down and the populations massacred, with hundreds of thousands killed in every campaign, and similar numbers deported as slaves. Every new invader made (often literally) his hills of Hindus skulls. Thus, the conquest of Afghanistan in the year 1000 was followed by the annihilation of the Hindu population; the region is still called the Hindu Kush, i.e. Hindu slaughter. The Bahmani sultans (1347-1480) in central India made it a rule to kill 100,000 captives in a single day, and many more on other occasions. The conquest of the Vijayanagar Empire in 1564 left the capital plus large areas of Karnataka depopulated. And so on."

 
At 11:09 PM, April 19, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yammr, I would think that trying to determine a person's race by analyzing three words would discredit pretty much anything else you had to say, you weird little person. Oh, the genocidal thing? I guess sarcasm didn't come across well - considering that I have been critical of you for your hard-on for fascism, I had hoped this would have been clearer. No, I don't think there needs to be a "wink, wink" solution for Muslims - or any kind of "solution". I was, in fact, trying (failing, apparently) to criticize those who search for a justification for their fantasies about racial enemies and the need for genocide.

Wanker.

Oh, Nyomythus, I see. Because Muslims from centuries ago committed violence, this must mean something about "Islam" now. They're really bloodthirsty, aren't they? Because no Christians ever killed anyone after the Enlightenment, right? I guess we'll just forget about the bloodiest wars in history.

This is what really gets me: I'm not even trying to defend Muslims. I'm just so annoyed when I see something this dumb. Yes, neocons can come up with plenty of examples of violence committed by Muslims throughout history. There's plenty of it. The problem is, they then use this as evidence of some quality of Islam. The problem is, there are lots of examples of violence committed by members of every religion. These examples, though, are either forgotten or explained away. Christian violence is somehow different from Muslim violence. Right. Violence in Christian and Jewish scriptures is different from violence in Muslim scriptures. Right.

If you're looking to explain the problem of radical Islamic terrorism, looking to "Islam" as the answer is really, really wrong. If you're looking for an excuse to put lots of brown people in concentration camps and bloviate about how there are vast hordes of barbarians at the gates and how you're really tough for recognizing this threat while the sheeple ignore it, then you're an ass, but at least it's a convenient excuse.

The actions of some Muslims in India in the 1600s has nothing to do with the violence of other Muslims alive now, anymore than the violence of Christians in any period of time other than now has anything to with violence now. To suggest otherwise, to suggest that there is some monolithic thing called "Islam" that has existed unchanged for centuries, whose members follow the dictates of their holy book like little robots incapapble of interpretation is so assinine that I just can't let it go.

Wanker.

 
At 11:25 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Hey Neo, I just caught a small connection. Tsunami. Divine Wind of God.

In the Japanese language, kamikaze (IPA: /kamikaze/) (Japanese:神風), usually translated as "Divine wind" (kami is the word for "god", "spirit", or "divinity"; and kaze for "wind"), came into being as the name of a legendary typhoon said to have saved Japan from a Mongol invasion fleet in 1281. In Japan, the word kamikaze is used mainly to designate this typhoon.

From wiki.

You use the word in the meaning of destructive forces. The Japanese have another meaning in the sense of danger from the water. They can be a salvation as well.

A tsunami.

Tsunamis
Tsunamis are ocean waves produced by earthquakes or underwater landslides. The word is Japanese and means "harbor wave," because of the devastating effects these waves have had on low-lying Japanese coastal communities.

Tsunamis are often incorrectly referred to as tidal waves, but a tsunami is actually a series of waves that can travel at speeds averaging 450 (and up to 600) miles per hour in the open ocean. In the open ocean, tsunamis would not be felt by ships because the wavelength would be hundreds of miles long, with an amplitude of only a few feet. This would also make them unnoticeable from the air. As the waves approach the coast, their speed decreases and their amplitude increases. Unusual wave heights have been known to be over 100 feet high. However, waves that are 10 to 20 feet high can be very destructive and cause many deaths or injuries.


It seems a tsunami can only be detected by special earth quake monitoring stations, and not by the naked eye until it is almost too late. Does that not seem the case for Islamic Jihad on the coast of France and England?

It remains to be seen whether this is the natural cycle or truely a divine wind from God. And even after that has been determined, such things as whether this force is for Good or Evil, will still remain unclear.

What divine wind can save Europe now?

 
At 11:43 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger J. Peden said...

Anon, if your only point here is to present the neocon=racist-in-search-of-reason-for-genocide straw-man as a further argument to minimize the Islamofascist threat, you should understand that this tactic won't work any better than your others, and that you are still actually hard at the work of manifesting denial of the only too real threat.

 
At 11:49 PM, April 19, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Rev. Andrew M. Greeley is professor of social sciences at the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona and research

Read your link to his article, Neo. I can't really agree with his conclusions, although I'm sure his numbers and stats are correct.

I just don't think he he realized that his conclusions required a different definition of religion than "how many believed in God".

Religion isn't about the belief in a God. If it was, European men and women would not be flocking to the banners of Islam to convert. Religion tells you what is Good and what is Evil, what your duty in life is, what your ultimate purpose may or is, what sins you have committed and in what way you can atone.

For the 9/11 hijackers, their sins were going into Vegas and being tempted by heathenish visuals of women. At the same time that they despised the West, they were drawn to the riches as well and the rewards. Their atonement came through suicide, as mandated by Islam. Martyrship, can cure all.

It doesn't help Europeans to believe in "God" if God doesn't require you to do anything but sit at home and take welfare checks. So statistics about how many believe or disbelieve in God in Europe don't really tell you much about the health of religion.

Under the universal definitions of religion, the unified theory of religion produces such things as environmentalism, atheism, shintoism, ancestor worship, and the Deistic philosophy of the Founding Fathers. All, were and are religions.

It does not matter so much as to who "God" is, whether it is one or many, manifold or singular. (if it did, Christians, Jews, and Muslims would be buddy buddies) Rather, it matters more what your God commands you to do in your life, virtue stacked up against sin.

Religions may change, because religions are tools of humanity, not the iron bound rule of a deity. All worshippers may choose to change how they worship, the only thing stopping them is their fellow worshippers, not their God.

It'd be pretty obvious if their God didn't want them to change their rituals.

The old definition and understanding of religion is too limiting. It does not adapt to the new age ideologies of the 20th and 21st centuries. The occult of the Nazis, the atheism and worship of power of the Russians, the glorification of nationalism in the Chinese, and the worship of ancestral protectors as in Japan, all are religions. In the truest definition of the form. Yet people continue to treat religion as only the "Belief in God".

*shakes head*

If more people had critical thinking and used it, then perhaps more people might understand how their own internal beliefs related to the old and ancient religions of Earth.

Perhaps the environmentalists and the atheists would understand that their religions on government property are just as dangerous, if not more so, than displays of Christian symbols. Because their religion is not limited by the government, while the government limits others. Thus the government, knowingly or unknowingly, has endorsed a religion by persecuting one section of the faith while sparing another.

Thus is the problem of Europe. For their secularism is a faith in a failed religion and even worse Gods. The Gods of socialism, multiculturalism, and welfare checks, are failures. We're back to the old Pagan days, where if you win and I lose, then you're God was stronger than mine. A sad state of affairs, but not unexpected.

How may the Gods of football and French glorie be able to withstand the divine wind of Islamic Jihad?

If people truely understood why religion was a problem, maybe they could fix it. But they don't, and without comprehension of what faith entails and consists of, they cannot defeat the faith of Islamic Jihad.

 
At 1:03 AM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

*sigh*I REALLY don't have time to read another thread, with all the tests and papers I've got this week.

So, I'll just state a fact: I have four Muslim friends. One's a Bush hater, one's a neo-con, and the other two I've never heard their politics (I haven't seen them in a couple years; we were classmates). None of them are terrorists or jihadists.

 
At 1:26 AM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Bezuhov said...

The problem we currently have to deal with is analogous to the KKK, with a couple orders of magnitude added. Yes, they were nominally Christian, but there were no shortage of Christians willing to help defeat them, once they could be secured from KKK intimidation.

 
At 7:45 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Actually, JP, I believe you have misconstrued what I was trying to say."

You see, "dië" is actually German for "the," so what looks like "DIE BART DIE" is actually an expression of reverence... "The Bart..." uhm, "the."

 
At 8:33 AM, April 20, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

In earlier eras fervently held religious belief provided one of the main motivators in the struggle between Islam and the West. Such fervor in Islam has apparently been maintained by the stranglehold Muslim religious/civil authorities have on the Umma and especially on literacy,education and the importation and translation of material from non-Islamic sources. There is not much congnitive dissonance if you are illiterate or barely literate, you've been taught that the immutable Koran has all the answers, you don't have access to competing ideas and you've seen what has happened to the few who dissent.

In the West many forces including the open access to information our free-wheeling cultures provide have lead to the fracture and decline of religion and a resultant decline in the fervor it provided.

I think we have to accept the fact that the cycles of History have played a very nasty joke on us That just when we need all the motivation we can get in this fight, our religious motivation is very low and Islam's is high.

Diagnosis is much easier than cure.

It is possible that Christianity could reinvigorate itself from within--a new "Great Awakening." But,I don't see this happening.

How can we motivate ourselves for this fight? I think that reading as much as we can find on the history of Islamic conquests and the fate of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and Zoroastrians who have become dhimmis is a good first step; there is some very interesting information in recently written works by Bat Ye'or and others. I think pointing out what we have to lose if Islam wins is a start. I think pointing out the virtues of our way of life and contrasting them with life within Islam is a start. I think, with Aristotle, that getting our terms right--calling a terrorist a terrorist and not an "insurgent" or "combatant" or "fighter" or "dissident"--is a start. I think envisioning what our children's lives will be like if Islam wins is a good start. I think that noticing and highlighting what Islamic leaders and Islamic terrorists do and say is important. I think reading and learning all that we can about the Koran first hand, so that when someone talks of the peaceful Islam of the Koran we can refute this idea, is a very important step.

 
At 9:32 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I think pointing out what we have to lose if Islam wins is a start."

Sadly, you will never convince those that are not already convinced. People like david truly believe that Islamic nations are exactly like the USA, only they wear funny hats; thus, the only thing that would happen if the USA was replaced by an Islamic state with shari'a law is that we would all get funny hats to wear, but only if we really wanted to. Any treatise that claims otherwise is Islamophobic and wrong.

 
At 9:41 AM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Bezuhov said...

"In the West many forces including the open access to information our free-wheeling cultures provide have lead to the fracture and decline of religion and a resultant decline in the fervor it provided."

Speak for yourself - this ain't Europe.

 
At 10:19 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous david said...

people like david don't think they are the same... but as possibly the only one on this blog who regularly talks to muslim people i know that they are people. There are many ways to construct a human society. In the West we have gone for widespread drug use and open pornography which many muslims find puzzling and offensive. I was arguing only yesterday with a neighbour of mine that people should be able to make choices even if we feel they are bad. He is a very religious and thoughtful man, but argues that it is best for people to be controlled away from drugs and pornography. Who is right?
His son is in the process of learning the Koran off by heart, it brings honour to the family, I think it is restricting the child, the child thinks it helps keep strong family ties. Where i live muslim family ties are stronger than Christian so who is right?

And if you want to know something really funny his wife was arguing that Americans are very different and aggressive people while he was saying they were just like us. We are all different. The trick is to learn how to live with each other.

So I say avoid saying people like david. david is david with his own thoughts about things as i am sure all of you are. Try to avoid thinking all muslims are the same becaause they really are not, just as all Americans are not. And what about the many Islamic Americans?

I predict more criticism.

 
At 10:34 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous Nikolaides said...

David, why on earth would you make the absurd assumption that you are the only person who reads this blog who knows any Muslims? You have no way of knowing anything about the commenters here that could have led you to draw any such inference -- unless you are imagining that nobody who knows a Muslim personally could possibly believe that any form of Islam posed a threat to the West, and that's hardly a logical line of thought. Remember the old chestnut about assuming. It comes in handy when you're dealing with people you know nothing about.

 
At 10:39 AM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

David wouldn't get any criticism, had he not used as an argument for why I was wrong, the fact as he put it that Islamic Jihad would love to have someone like me in their ranks.

Some people talk the talk, but don't walk the walk.

Americans expect people who talk about respecting individual differences to act like it. Obviously the standards are different in Europe, for whatever reasons.

Snow is right in pointing out the dichotomy here in the United States between religion and other religions called "secularism". The great majority of cases brought against Christians using the separation of church and state clause, are done by atheists. We may not have a decrease in fervor as in Europe, but America has its problems and it doesn't help to dump on people who talk about them.

 
At 10:48 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous david said...

ok sorry for assuming....so do you know any Nikolaides? And does that not affect your judgement of islam? or not?

Ymarsakar: and when i said that you said you would fit right right in. back your kung fu and elves

 
At 10:50 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous david said...

that came out wrong...you agreed you would fit in with Islamic Jihad so get back to your kung fu and elves

 
At 10:53 AM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Promethea said...

To all the anonymouses who post on neo-neocon...

Please pick a nic and stick with it. You will still be anonymous, and we can distinguish among you.

Thanks.

 
At 10:58 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous david said...

can i suggest any mouse....crap english humour

 
At 11:16 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Okay, maybe david with his USAphobia wasn't the best example; he was just the only recent one that isn't posting as Anonymous.

Just replace the USA's with UK's in my comment, and it is totally appropriate.

Thank God the UK will adopt shari'a before the US does; then david will find out the hard way how much respect his Muslim friends really have for him, well before the same happens in the US.

 
At 11:17 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous Nikolaides said...

Of course I do, David -- Muslims are hardly Martians. As for the relationship between my friendships with Muslims and my views on Islam, it's comparable to the relationships between my friendships with Christians and views on Christianity or friendships with Jews and views on Judaism. In other words, there are areas of relevance and areas of irrelevance, depending on the question that's being asked.

Be careful that you aren't falling for the fallacious straw-man argument posed by Anon. #1 at the beginning of this comment thread. It is just as big a mistake to lump all neo-cons together, as Anon. #1 does, and assume that they are all Muslim-hating racists, as it would be to lump Muslims together and hate them all for the actions of the terrorists among them.

 
At 11:53 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous david said...

Not USAphobic. Love the place and many of the people, not so keen on the foreign policy.

The point of my post was to say don't lump people together.

Maybe The USA needs to worry about the coming economic power of India and China as a threat to its civilisation, rather than an apocalyptic Islam v Christianity thing.

 
At 11:54 AM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous armchair pessimist said...

This is as good a place as any to recommend a very timely historical novel, Henryk Sienkiewicz’s Trilogy . It’s not just because he could tell an epic story, or that with only the printed word he made Hollywood blockbusters with a cast of hundreds of thousands, or that when he describes life in 17th century Poland, you are there.

It’s the disconcerting similarities between the Polish Commonwealth then and the USA now. Both were unions between states, in which peoples of different faiths, languages and cultures lived together more or less harmoniously, a prototype of our e pluribus unum maybe.
Its kings were elected not born, so it was a sort of republic. There was a rudimentary constitutional process. The national temperament was, in our terms, strongly Red State in the obstinate attachment to individual rights and a suspicion of big centralized government.

There are other precursors to our situation. Noisy, quarreling political factions, out of which the wisest decisions didn’t always emerge. You meet the same characters you find in Washington: the ambitious, the corrupt and opportunistic, the very clever who could list every leaf but somehow miss the forest, the very complacent and stupid, and the flat-out sell-outs. To a divided and indecisive central government, add what we would call today a porous border on the southeast, on both sides of which lived a sizable minority group. Maybe rightly, maybe not, these people had a serious grudge against the Polish gringos, and they were far from 100% loyal. Add to that, neighboring predatory powers, held in check mainly by fear and awe of the Polish military establishment. Together, you have one hell of perfect storm, which Poland survived, but so exhausted it was easy pickings in the partitions of the next century.

There’s another aspect. It’s hard for us to imagine how violent, bloody and uncertain life was back then; the nearest thing in our national experience are the Indian wars on the frontier, but here the scale is so much larger. Whole regions are devastated, entire towns and villages leveled, populations slaughtered, the few lucky ones being led in chains down to the slave markets in the Crimea. Men, women, children, soldiers, non-combatants, collaborators, and sympathizers, pacifists (if there were any), it didn’t matter. Either you kill or are killed. Meanwhile let's have another drink.

What’s creepy is how everybody accepted this as perfectly natural. In the scheme of things, maybe it is. Maybe we’re the ones who have been living in a happy little bubble these past few generations. Pop?

Who knows whether history repeats itself, or rhymes, or stutters, or has Tourette’s, or merely gabbles on and on? Not me. But as I said, Sienkiewicz had quite a story to tell, told it very well, and there’s much for us Americans to chew on.

 
At 12:40 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

Picking up, david's question -- I've known only one Muslim and he's a decent young guy, working hard, and starting a family. He would rib me, a Christian, about how God could exist as three persons (the Trinity). I suspect that most Muslims are like my friend.

That said, I grew up in the South and I've been friends with a woman whose whole family was KKK and a man who was a neo-Nazi. They too were decent, hard-working people. I learned a long time ago that people can be good and decent while giving their allegiance to dangerous, supremacist belief systems.

I don't think my friends themselves would commit overtly racist acts, but I suspect they would offer little help resisting them.

This is basically what we see with Islam. Notwithstanding the decency and humanity of its followers, Islam is a dangerous, supremacist belief system and its followers have yet to protest even once, on a scale matching the cartoon demostrations, Islamic terrorism against unbelievers.

 
At 12:47 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

Talk is cheap as they say, so let's look at actions.

Muslim terrorists tortured and killed two hundred or so elementary school children in Beslan a few years ago, are there any Christian, Jewish or Buddhist groups committing similar atrocities? Islamic suicide bombers routinely target civilians, they've killed many thousands; care to name any similar terrorist attacks by Christians or Jews. And by the way, these Islamic terrorists have added the charming twist of coating the nails and ball bearings they pack these suicide vests with with rat poison (basically Warfarin) to reduce the ability of victim's blood to clot, so that more of those injured but not immediately killed, bleed to death. Any Christians or Jews done this lately? Are there Christian or Jewish groups who kidnap and behead their captives, filming all the while, as do Islamic terrorists? Have any Jewish or Christian gangs in France caught a Muslim, tortured him for three weeks and then dumpted him in an alley to die? I don't think I read about any Christians or Jews doing this, did you?


There are perhaps a maximum of 1.2 billion Muslims. If most of them are "Moderates" who abhor the violence of the tiny terrorist minority within Islam, why haven't I seen any massive "moderate Muslim" marches/demonstrations against Muslim terrorism and terrorists? I've sure seen lots of large hate America/kill the Jews marches and, before our beloved main stream media decided to shield our eyes, I sure saw lots of Muslims dancing in the streets on 9/11; the Palestinian celebrators seemed to be the most energetic, I'd give them a 5 out of 10 for dancing and a 7 out of ten for the zeal with witch they fired their Kalasnikovs into the air.

So, for me, despite the Muslim/Muslim apologist/Muslim "expert" rhetoric to the contrary, all the objective evidence I see tells me that the vast majority of Muslims are either terrorists or terrorist enablers. Barbarism is as barbarism does.

 
At 2:23 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:25 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

*sigh* I'm gonna regret this...

You have to realize that there's a mirror image phenominon going on, here. To quote a post I just made on another forum:

So, I was just talking to WB on MSN, and I was reminded of a topic I've known about for a long time: the mirror image phenomenon. This is where each side in a quarrel/war sees the other side exactly the same as the other side sees them. Israel and Palestine are a textbook examples of this. Israelis see Palestinians as evil terrorists that like nothing better than to kill Israeli civilians. Palestinians see Israelis as evil terrorists that like nothing better than to kill Palestinian civilians. Both are half right, and half wrong. The Great Satan vs. the terrorists is another example.

The catch-22 is that really the only way to stop such a phenomenon is for both sides to recognize that it exists, recognize that their beliefs (and hatred) are wrong, and want to try to fix the problem; unilateral attempts at change will only result in more bloodshed. So, how can we fix this mess?

 
At 3:10 PM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You have to realize that there's a mirror image phenominon going on, here."

No we don't. In fact there is nothing of the sort going on; the Israel / Palestine war is as asymmetrical as they come. Only a madman would call Israel identical to Palestine, but then, the madmen would seem to be running the asylum these days.

The real world isn't suddenly going to develop symmetry just because you want it to, Justin.

 
At 3:40 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

No we don't. In fact there is nothing of the sort going on; the Israel / Palestine war is as asymmetrical as they come. Only a madman would call Israel identical to Palestine, but then, the madmen would seem to be running the asylum these days.

I think you missed my point, completely. I never said they were the same, only that they can be perceived as the same with the right conditions.

A terrorist blows himself up in Israel, killing say 20 people, including a couple of your family members. This has been going on for years, and you're sick of it, and sick of the people doing this to you. And so is your government.

They respond in their usual manner: send a military troop to hunt down the culprits responsible for the blasts. Maybe sack a few homes looking for evidence or materials for further terrorist attacks. Maybe get in some fights with terrorists at the scene, maybe in the fighting a few civilians get killed.

Now you're a Palestinian trying to get on with your life. You're not a terrorist, but your house just got ransacked by crazy Israeli soldiers for some reason or other you're not quite sure of, and in the ensuing fight one of your family members got killed. It's not the first time this has happened, and you're sick of it, and sick of the people who just invaded your town.

Lacking the power to make an actual military assault on the people responsible, you settle for the best hope of inciting change that you have: strapping on a bomb and blowing yourself up with the hope of inflicting civilian casualties, because you don't have much hope of doing comparable damage to military targets.

And so the cycle repeats. Now, my point isn't to say that Israeli raids on terrorist holdouts are comparable to terrorism. I'm just saying that this is a self-perpetuating cycle of illusion and hate, and the bad guys aren't as pure evil as you think they are.

But again, despite how reasonable it may sound, simply not responding to attacks on you isn't sufficient to prevent the cycle from continuing; the existing hate that's already been built up would continue for Gord knows how long, with your death toll and hate against the enemy rising by the day. And thus the dilemma.

 
At 4:44 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Ymarsakar: and when i said that you said you would fit right right in. back your kung fu and elves

And you need to stop lying, because the sentence you are refering to didn't mean that and anyone could see it if they could read it, and that is why you don't quote it. It's all from your memory, meaning they were fabricated.

All that still doesn't explain why Mr. British David here has the right to be a hypocrite, now does it.

To Justin and Co,

In fact there is nothing of the sort going on; the Israel / Palestine war is as asymmetrical as they come.

If you look up asymmetrical warfare, it includes guerrila warfare. Classical guerrila war doctrine mandates that you pick an enemy base to attack, thus inciting the enemy to slaughter innocent villagers in frustration. This gives you more support among the population, allowing you to carry on more operations. If you don't have enough force to assault a base successfully, then you do suicide bombings, or you kidnap people and execute them on tv, or you assassinate Israeli politicians. You get the picture.

The Palestinians have been mastering guerrila warfare for decades now. Even though the United States has less experience than Israel, the US is far better at guerrila warfare than Israel at the moment. Our doctrine in Iraq focuses on a melding and separation of hardcore/softcore terroists, as well as reducing US footprints. The Israelis have been doing this for decades, and they've fortified their defenses up, but they still go into people's houses and either bulldoze them or frighten the local Palestinians.

Attempts to turn the population on the guerrilas are done about the same as the US does in Iraq and Afghanistan, only a bit more ruthless. Attempts to turn the population against the Jews/occupation Americans are sorta like Fallujah on steroids. Whoever is more ruthless and smart, wins. Whoever gives up first, loses. Whoever can get the support of the native population for the longest period of time and with the greatest fervor, have a very high chance of ultimate victory eventually.

The variables are however, numerous. Depending upon foreign aid, sanctuary zones, firepower, discipline, munitions, funds, and so on.

If you read, google Palestinian Princess, you will see the Palestinian side of it, and I suggest you might want to go there and learn something.

Whoever can convert more of the population to his side, wins. If both sides have half and half, guerrila wars continue on through attrition until everybody dies. Israel came up with the Wall. But the Wall itself would never be enough. The election of Hamas is a good thing, because it brings symmetry to the war, and guerrilas can't fight a symmetrical warfare. Even though they are terroists and should rightfully be called that, their military goals are exactly like those from classical guerrila manuals by the Chinese for example.

If people want to solve the Israeli/Palestinian problem, they have to choose one side. If they want to choose Both sides, then they have to bring the war to a more symmetrical layout. If you can get Hamas's funds cut off, permanently, then Hamas will not have the resources to convince the Palestinian people that Hamas is their friend and Israel is their enemy.

You can break out of cycles of violence, but you have to increase the violence to the point where the reaction completes itself by running out of a reagent.

 
At 4:50 PM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous david said...

sorry snowonpine but there are lots of examples of non muslims committing barbaric acts.

The whole of ww1
Japanese treatment of POWs and civilians
Rwanda
the Unabomber
The former Yugoslavia
American use of Napalm in Vietnam
IRA nail bombs in England
IRA did a nice line in kidnap and murder
Partition of India
The Red Brigades
Oklahoma City Bombing
Stalin
Mao
Mozambique
Necklacing in South Africa
Everybody using anti personal mines
The Holocaust
The bombing of Dresden
My Lai
Biafara
Spanish Civil War
Basque separatists
American support of deathsquads in Latin America Chile, guatemala etc.
British concentration camps in South Africa
Shatila
etc etc

The truth is that wars are very nasty and violent. People on both sides do despicable things, in essence they are about cutting the bodies of your opponents into pieces - hard to do in a civilised manner. As Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) wisely pointed out each side perceives the other as evil. Those terrorists who murder civilian workers in Iraq point to the blockade of Iraq whih they argue killed thousands of children and say "what kind of devils could do this" and that justifies their brutality and on it goes. The individuals concerned are guilty. Not all Christians/muslims/americans/welsh/blonde haired/red haired/short/tall/people

and its no use saying some of these are not recent...all nations seem to be capable of some grim things it just depends if they are at war or not.

cheerful stuff.

 
At 4:55 PM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous david said...

and just to brighten everyone's day i found this link

http://users.erols.com/mwhite28/atrox.htm

right its late here an di have depressed myself

Love and Peace

david

 
At 5:34 PM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous grackle said...

How can there be a horde when there are, at most, a few thousand active terrorists?

It always amuses me that the anti-warriors alternate between the claim that the US is ‘creating’ (Carl Sagan voice) billions & billions of bloodthirsty vengeful terrorists with contrary assertions that the terrorists are not a threat.

A nuked city would suck, to put it mildly. But would it be the end of the US? Only if you believe the US is made of tissue paper could you believe that the loss of a city means that the US would be destroyed, or that we'd surrender to al Qa'ida.

In fact, I would go so far as to argue that EVEN IF THEY DETONATED A NUCLEAR WEAPON IN THE US, they still would not succeed in destroying the US.


Paraphrase: A million or more Americans murdered? No problem, what are you afraid of? After all, the US would survive. So just pipe down & passively wait for the explosion.

Yes, it seems unbelievable, doesn’t it? But that is exactly how the anti-warriors feel about the situation.

Yes, the US would survive but there would be 2 or 3 Middle Eastern nations that wouldn’t. Each US nuclear submarine carries about 150 of these: Thermonuclear MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable re-entry Vehicle). Upon re-entry each of these missiles launches several warheads at different targets. Allowing for some system failure that would represent around 750 targets for one submarine.

Let’s pretend Iran develops some nukes. Let’s imagine further that Syria then joined the nuclear club. What would happen if bin Laden managed to detonate a nuke in the US? Some very ancient cities would cease to exist & hundreds of lessor population centers.

To those who believe that the above wouldn’t happen consider the following mental problem: A poisonous snake bit one of your children & then ran into a room & hid in one of two boxes. You know that one of the boxes contains the snake but it is impossible to know which one. You have a flamethrower. What do you do? Anti-warriors believe the US President would do nothing. I believe the US President would burn both boxes.

Actually, it wouldn’t matter too much just which despot actually provided the nuke, the point would be grasped that either one could & would be eager to have obliged if given the opportunity, given that both boxes have been guilty of harboring the snake & the snake’s ilk from time to time. Damascus & Tehran would be eliminated.

With the loss of a city America’s consciousness would be raised as to the danger from terror sponsoring states in general. After such an event there would be very little worry by Americans about the ‘morality’ of war. The realization would finally come that belligerent, fanatically religious states can never be allowed access to nuclear weaponry because the odds are too high that they will opt for jihad.

 
At 5:45 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

I thought people would know what I meant. Perhaps I should have been more specific. In the present conflicts between Muslims and the West, who is practicing terrorism i.e. the deliberate infliction of maximum casualties on innocent civilians to incite terror as opposed to stand-up battles between uniformed national military units.

Non-uniformed civilians affiliated with no national military-- terrorists or guerillas--get little or no protection under the sections of the Geneva Conventions dealing with prisoners of war; an issue currently being adjudicated in cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

By the way, I am not willing to buy the argument, deconstructing the phrase "innocent civilians," that civilians, because they happen to be of a particular country, race, religion or ethnic group are, ipso facto, not innocent and are, therefore, a legitimate target for terrorists.

 
At 6:25 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

sorry snowonpine but there are lots of examples of non muslims committing barbaric acts.

Actually she (at least the name makes me think it's a she) said specifically "are there any Christian, Jewish or Buddhist groups committing similar atrocities?" Prune list and argue as needed.

 
At 6:28 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies -- civilians and military -- is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it...

--Bin Laden, "Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders" 1998


david -- There is no current equivalent to this statement in any other major religion.

And this is not a tiny, crazed minority position within Islam either. Support for Bin Laden polls at 10%-60% of Muslims depending on the country.

A microscopic number of Muslims will unambiguously disavow Bin Laden and his methods, but that's it.

 
At 6:59 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

david -- Furthermore, in any other major religion such a declaration as Bin Laden's would be abominable.

If any major Christian leader said such a thing and bloodshed resulted, that leader would be reviled by virtually all Christians and massive demonstrations would follow to let the world know that terrorist acts are not Christian.

Clearly Muslims are upset by many things--cartoons of Muhammad for example--but not by the terrorist killings of civilian unbelievers by other Muslims in the name of Allah.

 
At 7:52 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

A few points.

As far as I was able to determine when I was researching the subject, there were two regimes responsible for killing the greatest number of people in the 20th century--the USSR and the PRC, the PRC probably edged out the USSr but they were both in the 10-20 million plus ranges and perhaps a whole lot more--at least that is what a congressionally mandated study found. The numbers weren't precise but they agreed generally with the other major sources for such statistics. The PRC twist was that recent publications by participants in the GPCR alleged that during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, "long pig" was on the menue at the mess halls used by some of the cadres in Beijing.

I spent some time studying nuclear weapons and chem/bio weapons effects. A nuclear attack on a U.S. city is not just an "It Sucks" event. This is not something the U.S. needs to experience and it is worth any and all efforts to prevent it happening. If anyone wants to see what is likely to happen, go the the FAS web site at www.fas.org and look for the Nuclear Weapons Effects Calculator, pick a major city and plug in some values.

 
At 8:02 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

I think Grackle and Ymarsakar's predictions are possible. Nationalism and hate of "terrorists" went through the roof after 9/11, and Bush's approval rating hit like 99% launching a counterattack on Afghanistan. If a nuke went off in the US, do you REALLY think that history wouldn't repeat itself, in intensity proportionate to the size of the terrorist attack (some 300-1000-fold, in this case)? Hell, if a nuke went off in the US right before the 2008 elections, they'd probably even give Bush a third term (constitution-tweaking and all).

 
At 8:30 PM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous Spanky McSpankerton said...

Jack,

I would argue that while support for bin Laden is high in many parts of the Muslim world, it is not high because there's support for his ideology.

In 2005, the Council on Foreign Relations conducted a series of focus groups in parts of the Muslim world. Local Islamists received very low support, and the participants indicated their desire for greater democracy and lower corruption in their governments as their highest priorities. bin Laden was the only Islamist to receive high ratings among the participants. They said they liked him not because of his ideology, but rather because he "stood up to America" - that is, he had assumed the David role against Goliath, and people liked him for it.

Mark Tessler of the University of Michigan conducted a series of statistical regressions of a series of factors in six Muslim countries. He was comparing rates of support for terrorism with other factors - gender, religiosity, income, etc. He found that the only correlations between support for terrorism were hostility towards US foreign policy and hostility toward one's own political system.

In other words, US foreign policy in the region is viewed negatively, and the US is perceived as supporting repressive regimes. bin Laden has portrayed himself as standing up to the US, which is unpopular. As a result, he is popular among Muslims not for his ideology, which most Muslims explicitly reject, but because they don't like us and he's hurting us. He's like their Robin Hood.

So, no. Most Muslims aren't terrorists. Nick, not everyone who's a Neocon or a conservative thinks this, and I never suggested otherwise. However, there ARE people of that persuasion - such as Jack here, or Yammr, who would argue that Muslims are the problem, and not a small sect of them. And the result of that is a) overheated, melodramatic rhetoric, and b) bad policies to respond to the problem when policy makers believe this crap.

 
At 9:15 PM, April 20, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Now you're a Palestinian trying to get on with your life. You're not a terrorist, but your house just got ransacked by crazy Israeli soldiers for some reason or other you're not quite sure of, and in the ensuing fight one of your family members got killed. It's not the first time this has happened, and you're sick of it, and sick of the people who just invaded your town."

See, there's the problem. That's not how Palestinians think. That's only what they SAY they think, because they've learned that, as long as they keep accusing everyone else of doing whatever they themselves do, regardless of whether it's true or not, they can keep people like you dithering about for however long it takes to overthrow your society.

Look at their actions, not at their words. Do you know how many times they have rejected offers to acvomodate all their demands? Do you know how many times Hamas has sent suicide bombers into Israel since they declared they were no longer going to launch terrorist attacks?

Do you even care whether they are lying or not any more?

 
At 11:18 PM, April 20, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Guerrilas don't need host populations to like the guerrilas. Guerrilas just need the people to be more scared of the guerrilas than they are of the United States, and they can get the help of the locals in waging war vs America the Great Satan. It's a great psychological therapy for being helpless to fight domestic tyrannies. Like a bully, they'll pick on the weaklings who won't fight back, rather than the people who will slap them down with an iron rod at the first instance of rebellion. The Saudis figured this out like decades ago, it was far better socially for their citizens to hate America than for them to hate the Saudi Royal family. Hating America had boat loads of benefits pre 9/11, and no detriments at all, no risk, no interest payments.

Look at their actions, not at their words. Do you know how many times they have rejected offers to acvomodate all their demands? Do you know how many times Hamas has sent suicide bombers into Israel since they declared they were no longer going to launch terrorist attacks?

Anon, go look up Guerrila Manuals available on a lot of internet sources. You'll see that the "enemy" is almost never as monolithic as you describe it here and now. There is even a CIA Guerrila Manual for South America groups, out on the internet, with detailed instructions for how to conduct guerrila operations and armed propaganda "operations". Islamic Jihad doesn't call suicide bombing an "operation", for no good reason. They do it because they're going by a manual, and that manual dictates how they will and can manipulate the Palestinian and the Israeli people.

There's too much information lacking to discuss the multiple layers in guerrila insurgency, if a person hasn't even read the basic instruction books.

I don't really believe Justin is advocating the position Europeans advocate, that Israel is to blame or that both sides is to blame, or whatever. So it's useless trying to argue that we should believe Israel has the moral right, because we do, and it doesn't matter, Israel still falls for the guerrila insurgency trick everytime they bulldoze a house over instead of executing jihadist terroists in their jails. Palestinian Princess gives the insider info, that only the blogosphere allows. But all of that could be derived from simple deductive logic from basic guerrila insurgency principles, even if you didn't know what was going on in Palestine.

Justin makes the morale judgement that david does not. Regardless of the psychological perspectives, Israel still holds the moral high ground. But everyone knows in war, moral high grounds doesn't win you anything except some popularity. Poplarity don't win wars. And sometimes popularity don't even win popularity, ala isarel vis a vis europe.

A nuclear attack on America would spiral the world economy into a Great Depression. This means what exactly? It means the rise of Chinese and Russian superpowerness through economic and energy controls. It means the eruption of social discontent and guerrila insurgency in Europe, greatly accelerating the amount of nuclear weaponry available to the Islamic Jihad through capture or co-option of European nuclear stocks. It means, economic trouble and fatigue for the United States, thereby halting aggressive and expensive military projects, foreign aid projects, and anything projects that harm Al Qaeda publicly and boasts American PR.

The terroists believe a nuclear threat or even the actual use of a nuke, constitutes as the ultimate in psychological warfare rendition. Their problem is that they could over-extend themselves, like Osama did on 9/11. Osama just lost his homebase as the price for that over-extension. Iran would lose a lot more than that if they made a mistake with the "nuke game". There's two sides to all conflicts, which means double the risk of someone doing something stupid. When that happens, the body bags start piling up.

 
At 5:06 AM, April 21, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

"When churches fall completely out of use
What we shall turn them into..."


hmmm, Mosques?

Sounds like sooner rather than later in the UK...

Oh, and David, you are an idiot. Yes, I'm attacking you personally. Anyone who pulls out the 'I know muslims, and you obviously don't' line is an ass.
As for 'they are people', indeed. So were the citizens of Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany... 'people' are capable of all sorts of things that you might not be able to even imagine. I'm half Chinese, and the chinese are people too (in case you don't know any), and they perpetrated some of the most ghastly 'inhumanity' in history. Your ignorance is dangerous, and offensive.

 
At 6:10 AM, April 21, 2006, Anonymous david said...

oh dear Douglas have i upset you? Just giving an opinion. Sorry if i don't agree with you.

To be honest i don't see how you can mount a personal attack on me....we don't know each other personally. You can say everything I write is crap, or to use your word, written by an idiot....but it isn't much of an argument.

So you try arguing against the idea that not all muslims are violent fanatics who want to blow up America. And i in turn will argue back.

As for my "ignorance" being offensive? Why? who is offended if i argue something different from you? Or would you rather have it that all arguments that offend you should be stopped?

I thought i had made the point clear that all nations were capable of horrific violence; england, china, america etc etc.

So why don't you calm down from your outrage and start arguing. You never know, you might enjoy it.

happy friday

david

 
At 7:38 AM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

To be honest i don't see how you can mount a personal attack on me....we don't know each other personally. You can say everything I write is crap, or to use your word, written by an idiot....but it isn't much of an argument.

Man, look at david go. Just look at him, whydontcha.

 
At 9:10 AM, April 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Israelis are too badly scarred by the Holocaust to ever engage in actions that aren't as clearly moral as it's possible to be. They will never execute terrorists that have already been captured, and the reason they bulldoze houses is because they can't bring themselves to bulldoze people. Even their assassinations are targeted as specifically and as precisely as their technology allows.

While this may doom Israel, I'll be damned if I let people like Justin try to pretend that there is similarity of any kind between the two sides. Just because it lets you wash your hands of the whole thing, with a pious assertation of, "Both sides are equally bad," DOES NOT MAKE IT TRUE.

And I'm pretty certain the Palestinians don't believe it either. If they think the Israelis are a bunch of asshat murdering terrorists, why are the Palestinians always clamoring for access to Israeli hospitals?

 
At 10:30 AM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

While this may doom Israel, I'll be damned if I let people like Justin try to pretend that there is similarity of any kind between the two sides.

Then you're going to lose, because you lack the tactical flexibility to adapt to new wars. And I wouldn't want you on my team of analysts.

If you can't override your emotional instances by the logic and the facts, then you are of no use in stopping the enemy and predicting what the enemy can or will do.

If a Special Forces operator got angry everytime he was compared to a terroist, because SF uses guerrila style tactics, then that SFer should never have passed his commando training.

Just because it lets you wash your hands of the whole thing, with a pious assertation of, "Both sides are equally bad,"

The only person saying that is you, it is neither the position of Justin nor mine.

 
At 11:11 AM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

*cough*

which may seem surprising for people who think that EVERY Palestinian condones suicide bombings, infact MANY do not, especially now a days. It was different during the intifada, back then it was resistance, but these days it is really terror.

---------------------------------

Tomer, "not as bad as the other major human rights violators" is hardly a robust defence of the Israeli occupation force.

Not that I haven't heard it before.

But I am not comforted that those who shoot children and bomb apartment houses see themselves as more moral than George W. Bush, Hu Jintao, or Vladimir Putin.


---------------------------------

why doesnt israel wipe gaza off the map? well its effectively doing so. by shelling its people, closing the borders so people don't get food; paralyzing the economy- i think this a reciepe for complete destruction, is it not? israel itself proclaimed it has placed gaza on 'a diet'.

---------------------------------

The Israeli occupation forces certainly made a good start wiping Rafah off the map

All that from just ONE thread on what seems to be a pretty moderate (as in nonextremist) Palestinian site. You gonna go tell them they're lying?

 
At 1:46 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Probably. A lot of people believe what they want to believe. The Left believes Amanie is lying about nukes in Iran, hrm right.

Self-deception isn't a trait the Left has a monopoly on. The right and Republicans and conservatives are human as well.

This should always be factored into any guerrila or counter-guerrila insurgency. If you don't, your projections will go bad.

 
At 3:27 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I was having a direct discourse with Princess, because she emailed me several months ago and I hadn't returned the favor. Why?

Because it was too emotional. I was caught up in a conflict between hating her and feeling sympathy for her, and at the same time I was considering the socio-political issues of Hamas, jihad, Israel, and etc.

I didn't know what to think or feel. Sad, happy, contempt, sympathy.

I wanted so much to blame her for believing in the lies of Hamas and being manipulated, and yet intellectually I knew that it really wasn't her fault. Now it seems she never did believe in Hamas's lies in the first place, or at least not in so far as she realized.

Link

Link has the comment thread where she and I talked. This is particularly relevant, and Justin might want to read it.

Your right... I think it is a way to fuel Palestinians to support hamas, but I do not agree with you on the second part much. Ok, we do not have the organization, or the weapons, but WE DO HAVE THE WILL...

You know the "thugs" you speak of, I WANNA RUN OVER THEM WITH MY CAR WHEN I SEE THEM (Ok, a bit much) but I can't stand them. They are really stupid. They are so stupid that if someone even says a word to them, they will shoot them dead.

So its not that we dont have the will, its just that if we say something we can easily be killed. Remember we don't have law enforcement (because Israel govt will not allow us to-so that sure doesnt help).


Her words, in reply to when I said that Hamas was manipulating people like Princess here, by getting Israelis to attack them.

See, it didn't change. It doesn't matter if you know Hamas's guerrila strategy, it still works. It works independent of whether you recognize it intellectually or not, because it is an emotional attack, not an intellectual debate.

Israel won't do the things we do in Iraq and Afghanistan, to win over the hearts and minds of Palestinians. It is not that they can't, because Israeli doctors perform free surgeries or whatever on Palestinian children. But they don't do it "actively" in occupied territories. Now that they don't have occupied territories for the most part, they lost the chance.

If the Israels are this bad at guerrila warfare, no wonder the French got their asses kicked in Vietnam and left the mess there for us to clean up.

 
At 3:54 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

Oh, oh! From the same blog:

What awed me when I went to Palestine was the strength of my hosts. Despite being shot at every day, their children murdered, hundred-year-old olive groves bulldozed, the daily humiliations at Abu Holi and Erez and Kalandia--where 18-year-olds pumped on testosterone and American made M-16s humiliated men and women just because they could, despite all of this and more, my hosts worked hard, fed their children and amazingly had hope for peace.

I am sick to death of expressions from Westerners and yes, Israelis too bemoaning the cycle of violence, as if an 18 month old child was shot in the head by a tornado or tsunami and not a bored soldier in Rafah. Hand wringers who are horrified by suicide bombers, but are not horrified when American made F16s bomb apartment buildings in Gaza City.

 
At 5:28 PM, April 21, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Remember we don't have law enforcement (because Israel govt will not allow us to-"

Full stop there.

"Because Israel will not allow us to-"

That one lie just invalidated anything else the little princess could say.

Do you know how many houses Israel built in the West Bank and Gaza Strip FOR PALESTINIANS TO USE?

No, they wouldn't do that. They couldn't do that. They're mean Israelis, who never built a house for any Palestinian, never paid a Palestinian a fair wage, and certainly never treated an injured Palestinian.

This "winning hearts and minds" thing? Israel never did it, only to watch their carpenters and managers and doctors get murdered over and over.

Wouldn't fit our nice, symmetrical world view.

If the Israelis won't let the Palestinians have law enforcement, why do we keep hearing about Palestinian police stations getting sacked by this or that terrorist faction?

I call bullshit on the whole thing.

 
At 5:36 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

One of the principles in a propaganda war is that if you don't know about it, it doesn't exist for you. That applies to houses and anything else the Israelis do or don't do.

 
At 11:33 PM, April 21, 2006, Blogger snowpea said...

In the main post, we are directed to a Front Page Magazine symposium as evidence that there is a struggle going on between moderate and extremist Muslims. If you read this symposium, you will find that one of the two featured "moderates" is a Muslim chauvinist who thinks that there is more intellectual freedom in Saudi Arabia than in the West; and the other bases his moderate religion on the principle that "perception is reality....reality is whatever you want it to be....the Koran says whatever you want it to say." In other words, one moderate is not a moderate in any sense recognizable to Westerners, while the other may be a genuine moderate, but lacks any basis for his moderation other than wishful thinking. (Which is not surprising, since wishful thinking is the only way you are going to get a moderate religion out of the Koran.) If he is a true representative of Muslim moderation, it is not surprising that they seem to have been losing the struggle for the past several decades.

 
At 1:52 AM, April 22, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

"oh dear Douglas have i upset you? Just giving an opinion. Sorry if i don't agree with you."

disagreement is fine. I get annoyed with those who have the arrogance to tell me they know muslims better because they chat with their neighbors, and know nothing of what I may know or not.

"To be honest i don't see how you can mount a personal attack on me....we don't know each other personally. You can say everything I write is crap, or to use your word, written by an idiot....but it isn't much of an argument."

I wasn't arguing. It was a statement, and intended as such.

"So you try arguing against the idea that not all muslims are violent fanatics who want to blow up America. And i in turn will argue back.

Again, the arrogance. Did I say 'all Muslims are violent fanatics that wish to personally blow us up' or even anything remotely close to that?

"As for my "ignorance" being offensive? Why? who is offended if i argue something different from you? Or would you rather have it that all arguments that offend you should be stopped?"

My bad, it's not your ignorance that's offensive, it's your arrogance. Your ignorance is an annoyance. I certainly never asked any offensive arguments stop.

"I thought i had made the point clear that all nations were capable of horrific violence; england, china, america etc etc."

Yes, you also tried to equivocate it all. As if the Battle of Britain and Dresden were morally equal...

"We are all different. The trick is to learn how to live with each other."

Who seems to have a bigger problem with this idea, The United States, Europe, or the Arab World?

"Try to avoid thinking all muslims are the same becaause they really are not, just as all Americans are not."

Right, they're really all the same, eh? And you're just like an SS trooper, right? Or for that matter, just like Ymar? Yeah, righteeoooo...

Oh, and Justin- "which may seem surprising for people who think that EVERY Palestinian condones suicide bombings, infact MANY do not, especially now a days. It was different during the intifada, back then it was resistance, but these days it is really terror.

And what changed? 9/11. Suddenly the potential cost of terrorism looked like a bigger check than they wanted to cash, but when it was working with (relative) impunity... then it was o.k. Doesn't this say something to you?

 
At 8:37 AM, April 22, 2006, Anonymous david said...

So Douglas it is arrogance not ignorance that gets you down. if you read the posts above youwills ee i did retract the simlicity of my original statement - it is often difficult to rapidly communicate complex ideas. I live in a town that is more than a quarter muslim and spend a great deal of time with muslim people. That was the basis of my statement. I assumed that most people on this post don't have that level of contact and i thought it was relevant. You can say it is not...which one post argued, and that is fair enough. But all this ignorance and arrogance stuff is not debate...its just futile.

As for the statement about "all muslims" i meant you argue your point and i will argue mine, sorry if i was double guessing your opinion. Which is what exactly?

and if you read my post i do not paint the battle of britain and dresden as moral equivalents. The former was a battle between two airforces. The latter was the ruel bombing of an open city that killed many civilians, refugees and pows. Which is wht the B of B is not on the list....but Shatila and My Lai are.


---------------
"We are all different. The trick is to learn how to live with each other."

Who seems to have a bigger problem with this idea, The United States, Europe, or the Arab World?
---------------

i really wonder about this point. who seems unhappiest about how other people construct their lives?



--------------------------------

"Try to avoid thinking all muslims are the same becaause they really are not, just as all Americans are not."

Right, they're really all the same, eh? And you're just like an SS trooper, right? Or for that matter, just like Ymar? Yeah, righteeoooo...

---------------------------

if you read this carefully you will see that your argument does not make sense, i think you may have misread me.

happy saturday

 
At 9:09 AM, April 22, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 9:11 AM, April 22, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

David doesn't have much to say concerning Palestinian suicide bombing and the discussion going on between Justin, me, and Anon.

If david is so fired up for understanding the enemy, you'd think he'd be curious enough to think and read more upon the subject. But all you get is a silence.

Real understanding doesn't come from wishful thinking. Real understanding comes from well, real understanding.

David said that people should understand the Palestinians. Yet I've demonstrated a real understanding and an effort at such a goal, than David has not in several days of comments

 
At 9:31 AM, April 22, 2006, Anonymous david said...

....a sensible comment Ymarsakar... i haven't. I suppose the truth is that i don't understand suicide bombers and tend to see them as a symptom of a damaged society. I will try and come up with something more controversial to say :-)

 
At 11:21 AM, April 22, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

It seems to me that one of, if not the key distinguishing feature of Islamic terrorism/violence is the result it is seeking. The Islamic terrorists, and many the Muslim clerics who talk about jihad, envision the result as the re-establishment of the Caliphate and this time on a world wide basis.

Many Islamic thinkers divide the world into two parts. The Dar Al Islam, the "House of Islam," where Islam and Shari'a rules all and the Dar Al Harb, the "House of War," consisting of all that part of the world that has not yet been brought under the rule of Islam. The House of War is basically a free fire zone and any tactic, any method can be used by Muslims to bring the lands and peoples of the House of War into the House of Islam.

Can anyone point to any such statements or concepts promulgated by current day Buddhist, Christian, Jewish or Zoroastrian leaders? I don't think so.

 
At 10:03 PM, April 22, 2006, Anonymous grackle said...

Local Islamists received very low support, and the participants indicated their desire for greater democracy and lower corruption in their governments as their highest priorities. bin Laden was the only Islamist to receive high ratings among the participants. They said they liked him not because of his ideology, but rather because he "stood up to America" - that is, he had assumed the David role against Goliath, and people liked him for it.

The anti-warriors strive mightily to imbue bin Laden with hero status & apologize for the Moslem world’s lionization of the butcher. In this case it takes the form of trying to separate the butcher from his carcasses: Bin Laden didn’t murder Americans, oh no, what he did was stand “up to America.” He is a “David” going “against Goliath,” the writer thereby giving bin Laden biblical-level hero status & relegating America to the realm of evil giants. Why, bin Laden is a “Robin Hood,” & bin Laden’s band of merry men merely tweaking the nose of the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.

These metaphors are subconscious but not accidental. Subconsciously, large numbers of domestic anti-warriors hate America, so naturally their prose sometimes descends into a starry-eyed hero-worship to any personage they perceive as America’s opponent. Here the writer steals a method from the MSM: merely reporting on events, don’t you know, in this case a handy “scientific” study by an anti-warrior member of academia.

 
At 4:56 AM, April 23, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

David, perhaps the Battle of Britain should've been on your list. From Wikipedia: "Secondary objectives were to destroy aircraft production and ground infrastructure, as well as terrorizing the British people with the intent of intimidating them into seeking an armistice or surrender."
approx. 27,500 civilian casualties. Slightly more than Dresden.
Of course, that also means that I was wrong, you didn't paint B of B and Dresden as morally equivalent, you put Dresden in the war crime category, while the Battle of Britian was acceptable warfare. Sorry about that.

As for Sabra/Shatila- ever heard of Jenin?

"i really wonder about this point. who seems unhappiest about how other people construct their lives?

Huh?

"if you read this carefully you will see that your argument does not make sense, i think you may have misread me."

No, but my comment that you responded to was not well crafted.
What you were arguing is that they're all different just like we're all different... thus we're pretty much the same, right?
Look, let's be honest, we all generalize every day, and rightly so, you couldn't get through life without it. Some, perhaps even most generalizations are accurate and helpful. Of course, one must always realize that there are exceptions and treat individual cases as individual. What I'm getting at it that while Muslims are 'all different', there are things that run through the culture/society in most or a significant number of cases. Ultimately, the problem is that if you aren't a muslim, they owe you nothing, not even honesty (that is reserved for fellow muslims). That makes it difficult to get to the truth about things, but it's possible. If you push far enough, you'll almost always (not hyperbole) find that Muslims (practicing) won't condemn terrorism and won't condemn radical Islam, at least not in a meaningful way to them. you have to listen carefully to what they say, because they'll often make it sound like they're condemning those things, but they insert loopholes, or equivocate, or use any number of other tactics to veer away from a condemnation.

What do I base this on, you ask?- do I really know any Muslims, or am I just spouting the rhetoric of the right here?

We have Muslim friends who are close enough to us to have left their children with us when they left town, even though they haad other relatives in town. And I know you know what family means to them from your earlier comment, so you see where I'm coming from. I have to say it pains me that people that I know have basically good hearts, and who I like and consider friends, have beliefs that, frankly, make me shudder when I really think about it.

 
At 5:00 AM, April 23, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

This previous post by Neo, and commentary might interest you as well.

http://neo-neocon.blogspot.com/2006/03/
when-light-pierced-darkness-moslem.html

 
At 5:31 AM, April 23, 2006, Anonymous david said...

To be honest when i was discussing the Battle of Britain it was from an anglo-centric view. We were in the right and fought nobly against an evil enemy. The bombing of Dresden was not such an event and may well come under the heading of war crime.

As for the discussion around the nature of muslims i have to say i find it depressing. Are you seriously suggesting that at heart all muslims, secretly, are anti-western and pro-terrorism. Because to be honest it sounds like the same crap that has been said about Jews over the years. And for that matter Blacks, Irish, Chinese etc. etc. It is racism and it is simplistic.

 
At 10:24 AM, April 23, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Because to be honest it sounds like the same crap that has been said about Jews over the years. "

So would accusing the Peoples' Temple of Jim Jones of being pro-suicide.

So would accusing the Aztecs of being pro-human sacrifice.

So would accusing the Scientologists of being con artists, or accusing the Objectivists of being anti-religion.

Seems to me your real problem, david, is that accusations backed by fact are required, by your beliefs, to carry the same weight as accsautions backed only by prejudice.

It's not our fault you're stupid.

 
At 10:28 AM, April 23, 2006, Anonymous david said...

what a classy argument. anon. v impressed

 
At 1:13 PM, April 23, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Well, david has already admitted he doesn't understand suicide bombers. So, I suppose he suggests we should do as he says, not as he does.

In the end, if you don't understand human psychology leading to Palestinian glorification of suicide operations, then you're not going to understand most Muslims, david. Because their life is not like yours, and neither are their reasoning for their actions.

 
At 4:12 PM, April 23, 2006, Anonymous david said...

let me get this right then ymar....

if you don't understand human psychology leading to Palestinian glorification of suicide operations, then you're not going to understand most Muslims,


you are saying

1. If i do not understand suicide bombers i do not understand muslims.

this is because

2. Muslims are different to me and all are potentially suicide bombers..

Have you any idea how scary this sounds?


x is a muslim,

therefore x is a suicide bomber

suicide bombers need to be dealt with as severely as possible. Ideally shot on sight

therefore it does not matter how badly you treat x


...and if it sounds scary to me, what if you are a muslim? How do you expect law abiding and peaceful muslims to react to this stuff?

 
At 4:21 PM, April 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

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At 4:27 PM, April 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

1. If i do not understand suicide bombers i do not understand muslims.

If you said to understand Muslims, then you say you don't understand Muslim suicide bombers, then yes, you are advocating do as I say not as I do.

Suicide bombers are Muslims. Muslims are muslims. Stop inverting the logic, david.

I don't know how they react, American Muslims don't like it. When the world Muslims rise up against suicide bombing, then I can tell you how they will react.

 
At 1:03 AM, April 25, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

"To be honest when i was discussing the Battle of Britain it was from an anglo-centric view. We were in the right and fought nobly against an evil enemy. The bombing of Dresden was not such an event and may well come under the heading of war crime."

Not quite. Your list included atrocities from both sides. You can't now claim it was a one sided (anglo centric) list. What I was saying is perhaps you should've included B of B as a German atrocity, one which opened the door to, and perhaps legitimized things like Dresden (and Hamburg, and Berlin, and Tokyo, and Hiroshima...)

"As for the discussion around the nature of muslims i have to say i find it depressing. Are you seriously suggesting that at heart all muslims, secretly, are anti-western and pro-terrorism... ...It is racism and it is simplistic."

No, I'm saying they won't condemn it. They make excuses for it, they TOLERATE it. bad enough, isn't it. Perhaps even worse than supporting it, because it camoflages it from people like you...

 
At 7:30 AM, April 25, 2006, Anonymous david said...

i was discussing the b of b from an anglocentric view not the whole list, which, as you noticed does th efull range.

 
At 1:20 PM, April 25, 2006, Anonymous Spanky the Good said...

Interesting point: Muslims don't condemn terrorism of other Muslims.

Have you ever staged a demonstration against terrorism committed by members of your religion/religious community/religiously defined "civilization"?

At what point do you feel responsibility to speak out against evil commited by people tangentially associated with you?

 
At 2:15 AM, April 26, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

"Interesting point: Muslims don't condemn terrorism of other Muslims.

Have you ever staged a demonstration against terrorism committed by members of your religion/religious community/religiously defined "civilization"?


If by "terrorism committed by members of your religion/religious community/religiously defined "civilization" you mean the United States, or Christianity, if there were something current like what's occuring from radical islam, then of course I would. But I am not at issue- There certainly are people in the United States demonstrating against the 'evils' of Bush, Halliburton, Big Oil, etc...
Where's the reciprocal from Islam?

"At what point do you feel responsibility to speak out against evil commited by people tangentially associated with you?"

I denounce you.

 
At 2:24 AM, April 26, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

"and if you read my post i do not paint the battle of britain and dresden as moral equivalents. The former was a battle between two airforces. The latter was the ruel bombing of an open city that killed many civilians, refugees and pows. Which is wht the B of B is not on the list....but Shatila and My Lai are."

How about, 'the battle of britain was the cruel bombing of an open city that killed many civilians, and opened the door on aerial bombardment of civilian centers which cost the lives of literally millions of Europeans and Japanese.'

not exactly a simple crime like My Lai, and who can say exactly what Jenin, er, I mean Shatila was about...

BTW, I do respect you for your candor, David. I just don't always like your arguments. And I feel a bit badly about the 'personal attack', but it was a sensitive point with me. Sorry.

 
At 7:23 AM, April 26, 2006, Anonymous Spanky the Questioning said...

Cute, Douglas.

No, actually, I mean: at what point do you and your Christian, American neighbors get out in the streets and demonstrate against, say, Timothy McVeigh's compatriots, who are still active, or the Militia movement, or the KKK, or the IRA, or Jewish terrorist groups in Israel?

I don't like the KKK, but as an American I don't feel responsibility for organizing a mass protest movement to condemn it.

Has it ever occurred to you that 99% of a group doesn't bear responsibility for the actions of 1% of the group? That if the only thing they have in common is that both sets of people call themselves "Muslim", that they might not even consider themselves responsible in the same way that you probably don't consider yourself responsible for "Christians" like McVeigh? Or that to protest them, solely on the virtue that they are Muslims, is to assume that the problem is with Islam and not with the people commiting violence?

 
At 1:21 PM, April 27, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

I guess when we see celebrations in the streets of things like McVeigh, and the KKK, then I'll get out and protest. In fact, I think we HAVE seen protests and attempts to stop celebrations of the KKK (Skokie for instance). Show me the equivalent in Muslim culture? Perhaps it's not because there aren't any 'moderate' muslims (my friends find distasteful and I don't believe would engage in terror, but they won't condemn it in any real way), but perhaps there aren't enough to do a counter protest without getting killed. Have you thought about that? 90-10%? Did you see the PRO-terror protests in the UK? Where were the 'moderates'? Invisible 'moderates' who allow the 'radicals' to be the voice of their group are in some way complicit, are they not? I'm not saying it's not a terrible personal dilemma to be in, but It's still true. If it really is 90-10 as you assert, surely you can show me links to hundreds of islamic websites denouncing terror and standing up against the radicals...

and of course, you know damn well McVeigh Wasn't 'Christian'...

I'd also ask you to come up with a longer list besides your few anomalies... It's a little different when talking about Islam, no?

 
At 5:52 AM, April 28, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

you might also want to read this:

This

Your 1% figure is a bit off. There are also many, many shades of grey, but there's quite a bit of the darker shades...

 
At 5:53 AM, April 28, 2006, Anonymous douglas said...

No, sorry, not that link, this one:

yeah, this one

 

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