Bush & God

  • #76
SOS2008
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russ_watters said:
I've read the Koran and its tone is nothing like the Bible's. If you got rid of all the parables and storytelling, etc., and superconcentrated the fire-and-brimstone and wrath of God stuff, they'd be closer, but still - the Koran goes much further than the Bible with its kill-all-unbelievers stuff.
That is truly impressive--certainly not something I'm inclined to do. I probably should have said the beliefs are similar, not the religious texts.

russ_watters said:
On a related note: Christian fundamentalism isn't a good thing, but Muslim fundamentalism is worse. And after reading the Koran, I now understand why that is. The Koran is easier to (mis?)interpret in a way that allows/encourages violence.
I've heard this from others as well. However, Christianity is more exclusionary, particulary the born-again brand in which one can only be saved through Christ and everyone else will burn in hell. Also, Christianity is into proselyting, i.e., imposing their belief more than the other major religions. But as you say, in the end they are Gentiles as well as Infidels...silly Christians.
 
  • #77
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Muslim fundamenetalists are the driving force of Anit-American and insurgent violence in Iraq. Because of them, the longer we are there, the louder the outcry will be from the public urging Bush to recall the troops. I won't be complaining about it considering my boyfriend is in the military. Thats not the point. The longer we stay in Iraq, the more irriated the insurgents and fundamentalists will become. What makes the fight difficult is you never know when you can predict what they will do next or not. With Christians and Muslim believes in the same space trying to practice two different faiths, that only throws more fuel on the fire. Basically what Russ said with the kill all infidels part.
 
  • #78
selfAdjoint
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Regarding Muslim fundamentalists and terrorism, read Juan Coles' excellent historical analysis of the sources of terrorism in the Islamic world. He finds it has consistently been due to foreign occupation, and there is no case where an explicitly religious cause can be shown.
 
  • #79
loseyourname
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selfAdjoint said:
Regarding Muslim fundamentalists and terrorism, read Juan Coles' excellent historical analysis of the sources of terrorism in the Islamic world. He finds it has consistently been due to foreign occupation, and there is no case where an explicitly religious cause can be shown.

That explains why there is an animosity toward the occupiers, but I'm not sure that it adequately explains why the Islamic response is so drastic and uncompromising and violent. There have only been two times in the modern day in which men were willing to go on literal suicide missions to achieve a tactical goal of killing the other, and only one time in which they were willing to kill completely innocent civilians in doing so. The Kamikaze example is easily explained by a warrior culture that revered the sacrificing of one's own life and self to the community and had no historical aversion to suicide, indeed a culture that has recently begun to produce http://202.221.217.59/print/news/nn10-2004/nn20041013a2.htm. What explains the Islamic suicide bombers? It certainly isn't military occupation. Border disputes and foreign military bases are found all over the world and throughout modern history, but nowhere else do we see the sacrificing of one's own life to instill terror into a civilian population as a political tool.
 
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  • #80
SOS2008
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selfAdjoint said:
Regarding Muslim fundamentalists and terrorism, read Juan Coles' excellent historical analysis of the sources of terrorism in the Islamic world. He finds it has consistently been due to foreign occupation, and there is no case where an explicitly religious cause can be shown.
Just so happens this also is mentioned in a Newsweek World News/MSNBC article today - www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7103517/site/newsweek/?GT1=6305 [Broken]

March 14 issue - Events in the Middle East over the past few weeks have confirmed the theories of that great scholar of the region, Thomas (Tip) O'Neill. The late speaker of the House's most memorable aphorism was "All politics is local." It's true even of the politics of rage. As long-repressed societies in the Middle East open up, we are discovering that their core concerns are not global but local. Most ordinary Arabs, it turns out, are not consumed by grand theories about the clash between Islam and the West, or the imperialism of American culture, or even the Palestinian cause. When you let the Lebanese speak, they want to talk about Syria's occupation of their country. When Iraqis got a chance to congregate, they voted for a government, not an insurgency. When a majority of Palestinians were heard from, they endorsed not holy terror to throw Israel into the sea, but practical diplomacy to get a state.

EDIT: I think you could add U.S. presence in Iraq. However, a recent documentary indicated terrorism was ignited when Saudi Arabia allowed U.S. military presence there, but this was because Muslims were offended by Infidels being in the Holy Land, not foreign occupation (though there was fear the U.S. might not withdraw). Also, I would not minimize the Palestinian/Israeli conflict as much as this article seems to.
 
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  • #81
loseyourname
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SOS2008 said:
Most ordinary Arabs, it turns out, are not consumed by grand theories about the clash between Islam and the West, or the imperialism of American culture, or even the Palestinian cause. When you let the Lebanese speak, they want to talk about Syria's occupation of their country. When Iraqis got a chance to congregate, they voted for a government, not an insurgency. When a majority of Palestinians were heard from, they endorsed not holy terror to throw Israel into the sea, but practical diplomacy to get a state.

Interesting. I wonder why the leaders and fighters of these groups don't see things the same way that the commoners do.
 
  • #82
russ_watters
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SOS2008 said:
That is truly impressive--certainly not something I'm inclined to do.
The Koran is not all that long, but it is a difficult read. After 9/11 though, I wanted to know what we were up against. I wanted to know how what the Koran says fit (or didn't fit) with what the extremists believe and why the general public of Muslim nations isn't more proactive in reclaiming their religion.
 
  • #83
russ_watters
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selfAdjoint said:
Regarding Muslim fundamentalists and terrorism, read Juan Coles' excellent historical analysis of the sources of terrorism in the Islamic world. He finds it has consistently been due to foreign occupation, and there is no case where an explicitly religious cause can be shown.
That is difficult to reconcile with the words spoken by terrorists. 'Convert to Islam or die' doesn't say anything about an occupation. The US presence in "the holy lands" is not an occupation and its not a political issue (for Bin Laden), its a religious one. Driving Israel into the sea has nothing to do with the occupation of the West Bank.

And please don't forget: while an occupation can lead to an insurgency, an insurgency does not necessarily have to be based on terrorism. There is something different about the ME.

edit: in fact, while you can certainly correlate occupations with rises in terrorism, thats obvious and trivial. Correlation does not equal causation. If it was occupation the terrorists were worried about, civilians would not be their primary targets. The terrorists do not speak, nor do they act like people motivated primarily by occupations.

I really need to respond to that Juan Cole thing in a thread from last week - I had it typed out and lost the message. Maybe I'll get to it tonight.
 
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  • #84
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loseyourname said:
That explains why there is an animosity toward the occupiers, but I'm not sure that it adequately explains why the Islamic response is so drastic and uncompromising and violent. There have only been two times in the modern day in which men were willing to go on literal suicide missions to achieve a tactical goal of killing the other, and only one time in which they were willing to kill completely innocent civilians in doing so. The Kamikaze example is easily explained by a warrior culture that revered the sacrificing of one's own life and self to the community and had no historical aversion to suicide, indeed a culture that has recently begun to produce http://202.221.217.59/print/news/nn10-2004/nn20041013a2.htm. What explains the Islamic suicide bombers? It certainly isn't military occupation. Border disputes and foreign military bases are found all over the world and throughout modern history, but nowhere else do we see the sacrificing of one's own life to instill terror into a civilian population as a political tool.


This makes sense. However this is part of I can't understand. WHy is the Islamic faith so quick to violence? I guess part ofmy ignorance might be due to my growing up in a different culture where embracing violence isn't a commendable action.
 
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  • #85
loseyourname
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misskitty said:
This makes sense. However this is part of I can't understand. WHy is the Islamic faith so quick to violence? I guess part ofmy ignorance might be due to my growing up in a different culture where embracing violence isn't a commendable action.

I wouldn't isolate the Islamics as the only group of people quick to violence. When you look at some of the absolute atrocities committed by Serbs and Croats against Muslims in Bosnia (granted, the Muslims reciprocated) and the bare-handed slaughter committed by Hutus and Tutsis in Rwanda, just to think of two recent examples, seemingly ordinary people that lead otherwise moral lives can quickly be brought to kill one anothe for no good apparent reason. The strangest thing I can see about the Islamic fundamentalist approach is the method. They won't fight a simple war. They've taken guerilla warfare to the absolute extreme and turned it against civilian populations of no military or geographic value whatsoever. The dehumanizing and subsequent slaughter of the other is hardly a new event in human history, but this just seems different somehow. It isn't just the fighting of neighbor v. neighbor. It's the infiltration and killing of innocent foreigners that have no connection whatsoever to the conflict. It's the stated purposes that have nothing to do with the simple liberation of native lands from occupying forces and everything to do with the eradication of disparate civilizations from the planet. These are the petty gangsters turned brutal warlords of the Bosnian conflict coupled with the ambitions of Ghengis Khan and Hitler, fueled by an absolutist sense of purpose that is certainly religious in nature, even if you want to dispute a religious origin.
 
  • #86
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I didn't mean to isolate just Islamic faith. It was just the one that was mentioned in the previous few posts. Thats why I posted it. There are many groups who have committed crimes equally henious or worse than those committed by Muslims.

I completely agree with you, in everything that you said. Guerilla warfare has exploded into an absolute extreme. For example, when Muslim insurgents hid under the sand then attack a U.S. brigade and killed some of the soldiers. No war is simple to fight though.

Bush has to develop a new way to combat guerilla warfare in Iraq. Otherwise we will continue to lose soldiers. This current plan isn't working. Bush also needs to figure out a way to issue all the supplies the military needs in Iraq. Those who are currently stationed overseas are under-equiped. When a soldier asked Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld about when they were going to get the supplies and protective gear they need, he didn't know what to say. Instead he danced around the question and did his best to evade it. Thats not right no matter how you spin it.

Bush needs to pull his head out of the clouds and look at what is going on around him. I don't disagree with the war. Hussein was ruining Iraq and everything it has to offer. Pulling out of the position of power was something that needed to be accomplished and it was. At least now, Hussein cannot test biologist agents on his own people and shoot those who oppose him and commit whatever tyranical deeds he pleased. Now we need to equip our people so they can keep what peace there is over there. They can't do that it Bush doesn't allow the military to adiquately equip themselves. Bush needs to take a good hard look at whats going on over there.
 

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