Jody briefly explained Ham Jordan’s campaign strategy. It was masterful. I saw the future. Governor Carter would be President Carter. I jumped aboard the bandwagon.
The Governor asked me for my opinion of the situation in the Middle East. Given his passion for detail, I am certain he expected a lengthy disquisition. My response was succinct. To quote myself, “A pox on both their houses.” While he may have come to at least a partial acceptance of my view somewhat later, he didn’t seem to embrace it at that moment.
Regular readers may recall that my first late wife was Korean. Malpractice. My second late wife was Palestinian. Brain disease. I am presently married to a Baptist from Tennessee. I served as a mayor in Georgia while Carter was governor and Rosalynn’s sister lived four houses down from me. My background includes having been a foreign correspondent, serving in military intelligence, with state department intelligence and having written for an academic journal.
The readers may attribute to me whatever biases they wish. Other than to the truth, seeking solutions, a highly developed aversion to all isms and highlighting bullshit, I acknowledge none.
Our Preferred Weapon Is Ignorance
We have for far too long relied on this weapon as the foundation of our
foreign policy er, uh. . . . military adventures . . . I mean pursuit of our manifest destiny. Constant use has perfected both the weapon itself and our mastery of its use. Don’t be confused. This is not an offensive or defensive weapon . It is the product of our hubris.
Those ignorant of the reality that is the Middle East, i.e, this nation’s leadership, in both branches and both parties, are expecting support from our “allies” against the ISIL. The ISIL is Sunni. It wishes to destroy the Shi’a. Now don’t be surprised that your oil dollars to our and the Bush family friends in Saudi Arabia and oil dollars and aid to other major players are funding ISIL.
Any “support” rendered will be minimally effective against ISIL but appear adequate to satisfy the leadership, the media and public.
The Quran proscribes lying to fellow Muslims. However, lying to unbelievers is fully acceptable. Sure, it’s supposed to be limited to such matters as defense of the faith but many have no time for such niceties. It comes with various names but taqiyya is sometimes referred to as ‘religious lying.’ It has been used by and against those holding to different traditions of Islam. That is probably of minor importance while the disobedience to strictures in the Quran on killing other Muslims is ignored, particularly by the “religious” extremists. To balance matters we have our own “religious” extremist. Some are Democrats. Some are Republicans. They are usually led by their most laughable, the Siamese Twits: John McCain’t and his sister Lindsey.
A Muslim who kills other Muslims will never enter the presence of Allah. Many Muslims and Christians believe banishment from the presence of Allah or God to be the very definition of hell. That doesn’t seem to stop them. Banishment from Paradise would seem to me to make it difficult to meet those 72 virgins that await them. Anyway, the Quran doesn’t specify that the virgins are female.
I have questioned the degree of religious fervor involved with being a suicide bomber. It seems possible that lust plays a significant role. Is Allah unaware of this possibility? Also, the need for virgins by these
losers bombers is interesting. My guess is that it stems from a feeling of inadequacy. The martyr horny bomber could expect not to be found inadequate by someone who cannot compare or contrast his equipment and abilities with another. The women in most Muslim societies are veiled and severely socially restricted as the existence of this perceived inadequacy so thoroughly permeates those cultures.
Back in 2008 I posted an article addressing what terrorism is and how to counter it. I think you will find it worth your consideration. Just click the link to Terrorism 101.
I am convinced that the primary motivation for the antipathy towards the West has little to do with religion. These people have been so totally infused with the stories of the grandeur of their past that their feelings of loss are palpable. They feel personally aggrieved. Their religion, as Judaism to the Hebrews, causes them to see themselves as special among the human races. This is what feeds the delusions of the extremists. Many of those not considered extremists share a vague sense of shame, which makes it difficult for them to truly condemn the extremists.
Though the differences between Sunni and Shi’a mean little to Westerners, the divide, even after all of this time, might be likened to the conflict between the popes and Martin Luther at the time of that split. Mutual murder . . . for Allah and God, as though he, or she, needs their help. In a nutshell, the Shi’a see Ali, the nephew and son-in-law of Mohammad, and his heirs, as the legitimate rulers of Islam. The Sunni selected others. Shi’a are dominant in Iran and the largest group in Iraq. The latter share the sand with the Sunni and Kurds.
Prince Bandar was the senior member of the diplomatic corps in Washington when he resigned in 2005 after 22 years as ambassador of Saudi Arabia. Upon departure, he became head of the Saudi National Security Council, among other, less public positions, such as chief spy, or more formally, chief of intelligence, devoted to the elimination of all Shi’a.
To British intel officer Sir Richard Dearlove he stated, “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.” The prince was so close to the Bush family for so long that they called him Bandar Bush. He spent far more time upstairs at the White House and on the ranch than any elected U.S. politician. Bandar, the non-extremist? Bandar, our friend; our ally against ISIL?
This is the crux of the matter. Remember? I mentioned it earlier. Surprise! The basis of all conflicts in the Middle East is not oil. That’s just the reason for Western interest and involvement. Without that, there would still be conflict. The picture would be clearer. Also, it would make us safer. The basis of all conflicts in the Middle East is religion.
The first thing that comes to mind to those in the West is the Arab-Israeli conflict. Sure, it’s there and
US Anti-Defamation League policies fuel the fire. Absent ADL leadership, irrational energy policies and US funding, that little contretemps would quickly be settled. Given how little the Western mind is used in the field of international relations, we can dismiss it as a prime factor.
Cut away the distractions. Eliminate the sideshows. The real basis of conflict in the Middle East is the centuries-long struggle between Sunni and Shia. No one should be surprised. It isn’t as though this is breaking news. The schism began with the death of Mohammad. Hey. That was in 632 A.D., folks. Catch up.
As mentioned above, this conflict is reminiscent of the one between Martin Luther and the popes that began with the posting of the Ninety-Five Theses back in 1517 A.D. Both conflicts involved murder, torture and other indiscretions. The latter of the two ended when the two sides came to the realization that they could never eliminate the other. The Muslims have not quite reached that point.
Blame the religion? Okay. Partially. But, as with Judaism and its little brother, god was created in man’s own image. The religions reflected the cultures that birthed and nurtured them. The soul, if I may, of Christianity and, to a lesser extent, Judaism, migrated away from the harsh environs of the desert. A much milder clime removed some of the rough edges. It allowed the psyche to mellow, at least a modicum. While a whiff of the schism’s stench still lingers among the more immoderate, the pogroms died off some time ago.
That has to be the fate of the Islamic dispute. Our taking sides has several negative effects. It increases the level of violence and misery. It encourages our “partners” to continue, thinking that our “help” insures the elimination of their enemy. It involves us in a problem that, however regrettable, is not ours to solve. It makes us a target, not so much to cause us significant harm as for its public relations value to one or the other of the belligerents. Each side is preaching to the choir. They wish to be seen as twisting the tail of “The Great Satan,” the West, that they are supposed to be superior to.
Get out your crystal ball. Look into it deeply. Tell me what victory looks like. Do we live in peace forever? Do we get free gasoline? Do we win a Kewpie doll? That, of course, is based on the false assumption that it could be won.
As stated, the conflict will end when both sides come to understand that neither side can”win.” We can see by Bandar Bush’s comment to Sir Richard Dearlove, that moment of enlightenment might be a century or five in the future.
That will please the oil syndicate, though that is longer than their reserves are likely to last, the military-industrial complex and the political prostitutes, whose only winning strategy is engendering fear in their electorates.
Remember, any of our “friends” in the Middle East that join our coalition against ISIL will continue funding ISIL. Joining our little coalition of the ignorant is, for them, necessary as a public relations gambit. They see ISIL’s primary goal of destroying the Shi’a as identical to their own primary goal. They see ISIL as representing only a manageable risk to themselves. Were ISIL to be neutralized, some variation would take its place.
We have neither the capacity nor the authority to end the atrocities that upset us all. They are not coming here to behead all of us, despite the ravings of the Siamese Twits. Global warming, Monsanto, McDonald’s and Congress will inflict far greater harm on the body politic and our bodies than the crazies playing in their sandbox.
Despite the shrill shrieks of the chicken hawks, we have much greater concerns in both the long- and short-terms. Bill Maher brings some perspective. He’s right. Climate change and Monsanto represent a couple of the threats that are far more dire and much more immediate.
If the reader feels he noted a sense of contempt and condescension for the levels of intelligence, judgment, knowledge and motives of all of the players involved, my apologies for not having a sufficiently perverted sophistication to conceal them.
UPDATE: 1 December 2014
The following will merely amplify my point that this is actually a religious war between the Sunni and the Shi’a. It is confirmed that Turkey, our NATO ally, is aiding ISIL. Further, we have confirmation that Iran is bombing ISIL positions in Iraq. That means Iran, our putative enemy, is supporting our efforts while Turkey, our ally, is aiding our opponent. The US is in over its head. It is, once again, playing a game with which it is totally unfamiliar. Mark up one more loss (and blunder and embarrassment) for the world’s only “super power.” The ignorance of our leadership is, or should be, an embarrassment to all Americans.