“Meaningless killing in the name of religion can no longer be tolerated.”
These are words we heard in a news report on the killings in Dhaka, Bangladesh (01 July 2016). They were uttered by a local Muslim man.
copyright 2016 – larrysmusings.com
“Meaningless killing in the name of religion can no longer be tolerated.”
These are words we heard in a news report on the killings in Dhaka, Bangladesh (01 July 2016). They were uttered by a local Muslim man.
copyright 2016 – larrysmusings.com
Recently, the possibility that Japan and/or South Korea might acquire nuclear weapons has come to the public’s attention. (Donald Trump may have mentioned this recently.) This idea is not really new. We first read of this possibility back in the summer of 2005 in an article in the Wall Street Journal.
Let us consider this scenario in this essay.
The United Nations is currently working towards imposing a regimen of global taxes on consumers around the world. Such a global tax will be discussed at the World Humanitarian Summit in May this year to be held in Istanbul, Turkey. Taxing the citizens of the world is also on the agenda of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Why is this important, why should we be concerned?
We now play the role of social critic.
Today, Muslim immigrants seek to subvert Europe from within. There is no assimilation nor accommodation possible for these militant, angry Muslims. Is there a European future for Europe?
A post Christian, secularized, socialist Europe has lost its sense of itself, lost its soul, lost its courage. And, is thus far not up to meeting the challenge of Islam.
the current situation
There is increasing violence in Europe by Muslim immigrants and more recently by European converts to Islam as well. There are attacks on Jews and Christians and their houses of worship. Women and girls are assaulted, raped and humiliated because they are not Muslim. Several summers ago, in France, Muslim youths went on a nightly rampage for weeks with much arson and destruction of property.
Westerners must realize that Muslims do not see crimes and attacks against “infidels”(any and all non-Muslims) as being crimes.
These violent crimes require serious prison sentences. One has to wonder about European men who cannot or will not protect their wives and daughters from raping Muslim youth. Make no mistake: Rape is a physically violent crime intended to humiliate, degrade and dehumanize the victim. Cowardly Muslims often seek the defenseless and/or the vulnerable to victimize.
It is baffling that Europe allowed immigration from Muslim dominated countries. (The former colonial status of some of these Muslim countries of origin is irrelevant.) If Europe needs immigrants to work in its economy (since no European nations are at replacement birth levels), why not accept immigrants from non-Muslim nations, from countries that are not anti-Western? There are a number of non-Muslim countries that send many workers overseas each year.
Some Europeans are belatedly waking up and in some countries are calling for limits and restrictions to immigration from Muslim lands. However, if you dare to voice your concerns on this issue, or show any “nationalist” sentiment in Europe, you will be smeared as being a “fascist” or a “Nazi”.
It is important to note that militant European converts to Islam are a rapidly growing part of the challenge that Europe faces.
the Muslim desire for conquest – many centuries old
Muslims have invaded Europe more than once in the past.
In 732, Charles Martel (grandfather of Charlemagne) defeated the Muslims at Tours in France. The Muslims retreated back beyond the Pyrenees and occupied Spain for several centuries until the last Moors were expelled by Ferdinand and Isabella (circa 1492).
The Crusades (beginning in 1095) were in part a western response to the major victory of the Seljuk Turks at Manzikert in eastern Anatolia (Asia Minor) in 1071 which seriously weakened Byzantine (Greek) power.
The Ottoman Turks (who were Muslims), after conquering Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1453, continued threatening Christian Europe and were twice stopped at the gates of Vienna. (Ever wondered why there are Muslims in Bosnia?) In 1529, weather prevented an Ottoman success. In 1683, on 11 and 12 September, a combination of Polish aid and the modern warfare techniques of the Europeans stopped the Turks. (The croissant – or crescent – pastry was the Viennese way of celebrating these victories.)
The Wahhabists and the Saudis. The Saudi family made a deal with the Wahhabists (religious “reformers”, purists) in order to secure their backing of Saudi claims to rule Arabia in the early 20th century. In return for the Wahhabists’ support against the claims of rival clans, the Saudis would allow Wahhabists to control all things religious in the new kingdom. The Wahhabists, after their founding and like many other religious reformers, quickly began killing any who resisted being reformed. Today, Saudi Arabia funds many Muslim schools around the globe that indoctrinate Muslim youth in hatred of all things non-Muslim.
if Islam conquers
What might happen in Europe if the Muslims gain power?
If Islam prevails in Europe (or in America), there will be few, if any, women’s rights and gays will have no rights and no legal protections. Then, women and gays will experience life in a truly oppressive society.
If the Islamists succeed, there will be a lack of freedom of religion (or of the freedom to not be religious). One may still be a non-Muslim but it will subject one to ongoing discrimination, periodic abuse and the ever-present potential to be violently persecuted.
Forced genital mutilation for both females and males. (For those readers in the US: Europeans do not circumcise their baby boys as this is not medically necessary.) When you mutilate the genitals of a person – at birth or at adolescence – female or male – it is not about God’s will, and it has nothing to do with health or “cleanliness”. It is about power and control. Genital mutilation causes a very significant reduction of the pleasurable sexual sensations (experienced during coitus) in mutilated adults (both males and females) as thousands of nerve endings are amputated and permanently lost. (This is why we condemn infant male circumcision in the US. Children have a right to bodily integrity.)
Far fetched, you say? Not as far fetched as you may think. Consider the reports coming out of Syria and Iraq where ISIS has conquered.
troubling situation and a question
Can atheists, moral relativists, nihilists, socialists, communists, and hedonists effectively resist these violent Muslim subversives and revolutionaries? So far, these Europeans have not given any effective resistance.
At present, it appears that these demoralized individuals do not feel it is worth fighting for their culture, for their way of life. The fight is being taken to them by the Muslims. The Muslims are not interested in mere peaceful “co-existence” in Europe.
other related items
Robert Spencer has a website called Jihad Watch that is very informative. I have heard him speak periodically on various radio programs over the past 10 years. Robert notes that there really are no “moderate” Muslims, only some lax Muslims.
Here are 2 earlier essays that may be of interest to some readers:
copyright 2014 – larrysmusings.com
the immorality of purposely bombing civilians and other Allied war crimes
Our next 2 essays are sure to be “controversial” and also politically incorrect. Thus, reader discretion is advised. In this quite lengthy essay, we take on Allied war crimes committed during and after the Second World War (1939 – 1945). (Readers do not have to take my word for the conclusions I draw. We offer many helpful and informative references (links and books) that are but a few examples of the growing literature (body of historical research) that brings to light much that was hidden or obscured (or suppressed) in the long accepted official history of this terrible period.)
This subject was poignantly driven home to me in February, 1995. The history magazine I was subscribing to at the time devoted most of its issue that month to Dresden which had been destroyed 50 years earlier over 2 successive nights (RAF attacks) and 2 successive days (American attacks) on February 14 and 15, 1945. This merciless bombing of Dresden, at the time a refugee city for those German civilians fleeing the advance of the Red Army and of no military importance, was carried out when the end of the war in Europe was clearly in sight. (Official Allied estimates of only 25,000 killed are absurdly, insultingly low.)
Americans were rightly and understandably outraged on September 11, 2001 when 3,000 Americans were killed by terrorists. Germany was enduring such murderous attacks on its civilian population nearly every day in the last 2 years of the war (1943 – 1945), and quite frequently even during 1942 as well. (There was a short pause in the bombing campaign (against German cities) as Allied war planes were engaged in supporting the D-Day operations in mid 1944.)
Some historical context is necessary here.
Prior to the war, during the mid 1930s (and also at the Disarmament Conference in 1932 and 1933), Germany had put forth proposals to neighboring countries (including England) to ban or prohibit using planes in any future conflict to bomb civilian population centers. These German proposals were not agreed to. When war came to western Europe in the spring of 1940, Germany did not bomb English cities but confined its bombing to military targets in the Low Countries and in France (Rotterdam was bombed on May 14, 1940, but this may have been due to a failure of radio communications between the Germany Army on the ground and the Luftwaffe (German Air Force).) But, in May, 1940, the RAF (Royal Air Force – England) bombed German towns of no specific military value far behind the front lines of the conflict. (Freiburg was bombed on May 10/11, and the Ruhr, an industrial area, was bombed on May 15, 1940.) England continued this bombing for 4 months before Hitler, wearying of hearing reports of German children, housewives and elderly being killed and maimed in such bombing raids and after a Berlin suburb had been bombed, decided to retaliate by bombing London in September. (German bombing of England effectively ended several months later because of heavy losses of its war planes and because those military resources were needed in the new war front in the East. As well, the scale and intensity of the German bombing of English cities never even approached that of the RAF’s bombing of German cities in civilian casualties and in percentage of urban area destroyed.) The British admit that the aim of their bombing of German towns and cities in 1940 was to provoke Hitler into bombing English cities. This was “needed” to get the English people behind the war. The majority of the English public had not been enthusiastic about a war to save Poland in 1939, and when Poland was overrun so quickly saw no reason for the war.
If you read one linked article in this essay, this one ought to be it. The first paragraph gives some idea how one-sided the civilian losses due to bombing were. The quotes also give some idea how blood thirsty the British military and war-time government were, and one or two support the premise that the initial bombings’ objective was to provoke Hitler into retaliating.
Who Started the Blitz? http://www.heretical.com/miscellx/blitz.html
The Hague Convention of February, 1923 drafted rules that forbade aerial bombing to terrorize civilian populations or to injure non-combatants. Also prohibited was the bombardment of cities, towns, and villages not in the immediate neighborhood of the operations of land forces. Sadly, these draft rules were not formally adopted. http://www.dannen.com/decision/int-law.html#C
(One of Hitler’s major strategic blunders was permitting the evacuation at Dunkirk by ordering the Panzers to halt and not go to the beaches when the British troops would have been encircled, trapped and cut off. These same British troops, after the Dunkirk evacuation, were later sent to North Africa and battled against Rommel. But, by thinking that he could somehow make peace with England, and underestimating how intent the British war government (now run by Churchill) was on the complete destruction of Germany, Hitler opted not to invade England (Operation Sea Lion was cancelled by Hitler). A German occupation of only the southeast part of the country would have effectively taken England out of the war. And, without the troops that had been allowed to evacuate, England would have been very hard pressed to rebuff such an invasion in the summer of 1940.)
Here we see young girls walking through the ruins of Frankfurt. (Photograph: Reginald Kenny/Bettmann/Corbis) Many children were orphaned by these bombing raids.
An elderly lady in front of the bodies of school children in Cologne, Germany, after a bombing raid in 1943 (courtesy of Wikipedia).
We chose not to show more horrific pictures of civilian victims of these bombings in Germany. As well, we do not show the terribly burned civilian victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, those people who were just far enough from ground zero that they were not immediately vaporized. (Such gruesome photos do however serve to take these crimes out of the abstract for many viewers.) The immorality of purposely bombing civilians is self-evident. We do not agree with nor buy into an ends justifies the means argument.
Let’s take a look at the definition of war crimes and crimes against humanity from the Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal. From the Tribunal’s charter:
(b) War Crimes: namely violations of the laws or customs of war. Such violations shall include, but not be limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation to slave labor or for any other purpose, of civilian population or in occupied territory, murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages , or devastation not justified by military necessity. (emphasis mine)
(c) Crimes Against Humanity: namely, murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, and other inhumane acts committed against any civilian population, before or during the war, or persecutions on political, racial or religious grounds in execution of or in connection with any crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal, whether or not in violation of domestic law of the country where perpetrated. (emphasis mine)
The above citations are from Five Men at Nuremberg, by James McMillan, copyright 1985, Harrap Limited, London, page 26.
It is interesting that McMillan notes (on page 56 of his book) the February 1942 directive to the RAF to bomb German civilian population centers. He then opines that if the roles at the Tribunal were reversed, the British would find it hard to defend their actions (war crimes).
Clearly, the wanton and intentional targeting and bombing of civilian population centers (that results in killing, maiming and making homeless these non-combatants) is a war crime per this definition at Nuremberg. One could argue that such bombing is even a crime against humanity given the above definition. Simply complaining that the Germans were evil does not excuses these crimes. The frequent invocation of the Holocaust (of European Jewry) serves to divert attention away from these Allied crimes (really atrocities) that must not be forgotten, nor trivialized nor rationalized away.
We rarely hear of or read of Allied war crimes. This ought not surprise us as history written by the victors will serve the purposes of those victors. Much of our official history of this period in the high school and college text books is propaganda. (War time propaganda (in 1943) blamed the Germans for the Katyn Forest massacre of thousands of Polish intelligentsia and military officers. However, we now know that Stalin ordered the massacre (mass murder) and that it was carried out in 1940 by his NKVD (headed by Beria, the precursor to the KGB). Let us not forget the USSR was one of the Allies.)
A current British philosopher, A. C. Grayling, has dealt at length with the bombing campaign of the Allies against Germany and Japan in his thoroughly researched and documented book, Among the Dead Cities, The History and Moral Legacy of the WWII Bombing of Civilians in Germany and Japan (2006, Walker and Company, New York). This bombing campaign, immoral as it was, did not serve to hasten the end of the war in Europe. (Interested readers can read the many customer reviews for this book on Amazon.com.)
One of our earliest essays as a generalist blogger is relevant here:
As well, here is a link to an article that speaks about a re-examination in Britain of its war-time bombing campaign.
As to the 2 sides of the coin of justice, where was the recompense, the making whole of the innocent victims, of those who perished from these bombings, or were maimed or orphaned? In this world, there was no compensation for them. And, what of punishment for those who ordered and carried out these murderous actions (Churchill, J. M. Spaight, Arthur “Bomber” Harris, (Sir) Archibald Sinclair, Lord Cherwell (aka Professor Lindemann), and the American commanders who joined in later with the bombing of German cities and bombed Japanese cities, and those pilots and crew who obeyed immoral orders)? Again, there was none in this world.
There were other Allied war crimes that need to be noted here.
The Red Army (USSR) raped and murdered its way across East Prussia and Pomerania and Upper Silesia in its drive to Berlin in late 1944 and early 1945. The Red Army troops were exhorted to do this (kill and rape) by Stalin, Marshal (General) Zhukov and the communist propagandist Ilya Erenburg. The rapes victims (women of all ages and young girls) who were not murdered were scarred for life.
From NPR (a politically correct source) in 2009:
Silence Broken On Red Army Rapes In Germany
The forced expulsions (after the war ended) of up to 14 million ethnic Germans from former German territories in the East and from the Baltic states where they had lived for generations led to many deaths. Even Bertrand Russell complained in a letter to the editor that these expulsions (a form of “ethnic cleansing”) that were to be carried out in an orderly and humane manner had degenerated into an inhumane program. Mass Deportations, The Times (London) 31st October, 1945, and Food Parcels Still Needed, The New York Times 3rd November, 1945. Both letters are reprinted in Yours Faithfully, Bertrand Russell – A Lifelong Fight for Peace, Justice, and Truth in Letters to the Editor, Edited by Ray Perkins, Jr. (copyright 2002, Open Court, Chicago) on pages 163 – 165.
Here is a recent book (2012) that I have not (yet) read that addresses this topic. It has received many favorable reviews.
These expulsions did happen and they resulted in much suffering and many deaths.
This article relies heavily on Wikipedia as a source but is worth looking at.
Anti-communist eastern Europeans (including anti-Stalin Russians) who fought with the Germans against the Red Army were forcibly returned by the Americans (on orders of General Eisenhower) to the Soviets in 1945 and 1946. These individuals were either murdered at once or sent to gulags in Siberia to perish slowly in inhumane conditions. The East Came West, by Peter J. Huxley-Blythe, (2005 (originally published in 1964), Life and Liberty Publishing, Murrieta, California) tells this sad tale. (Huxley-Blythe (1925 – 2013) served in the British Royal Navy.)
Other Losses: An Investigation into the Mass Deaths of German Prisoners at the Hands of the French and Americans after World War II, by James Bacque (1989) documents that German POWs were starved to death in holding camps after the war ended. (I have not read this book.) This book, in its reviews, appears controversial with some reviewers saying the numbers of deaths may be exaggerated, and others claiming the work is simply not true. However, the author again addresses the deaths (very high death rates) of German POWs held in Allied camps after the war ended in his other book, Crimes and Mercies. In that book, which I have read, he presents statements and accounts from doctors and Allied military personnel that were in these camps in the years 1945 – 1947. As well, documentary evidence is presented to substantiate that there was a policy in place to keep the disarmed German soldiers on a starvation diet.
Crimes and Mercies, The Fate of German Civilians Under Allied Occupation, 1944 – 1950, by James Bacque (copyright 1997, Little, Brown & Company (UK) London) tells the story of the purposeful prevention of food distribution to German civilians in the American zone of occupation after the war ended. This resulted in starvation of German civilians and very high infant mortality rates. Some groups of concerned Americans and Canadians, including former US President, Herbert Hoover tried to help the suffering German civilians in the late 1940s.
US Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Morgenthau had a punitive and vindictive (vengeful) plan (known as the Morgenthau Plan) to destroy what remained of German industry after the war. Germany was to be turned into a backward agricultural land and not be allowed to rebuild its industry. German agriculture was to be deprived of modern fertilizer and farm equipment. His plan led to the deaths of many Germans after the war had ended. Despite American propaganda that this plan was not implemented, it in fact was as Bacque tells in his book.
Here we quote from Crimes and Mercies (page 185):
The record shows very clearly that the Allies were planning a devastating treatment for Germany before Nazi racist crimes were fully comprehended in the West. The Allied policy of starving the Germans was in fact decades old – in 1918/19, after the First World War, the Allies had maintained the sea-blockade, causing the deaths of close to a million Germans.
Taking into account all these post war crimes, it has been estimated that perhaps as many as several million Germans died. (The lowest estimate we saw in one article was of 3 million post war deaths.) James Bacque, on page 131 of Crimes and Mercies, summarizes the data he uncovered by grouping – expellees (mainly from the East), prisoners (POWs), and residents (civilians already resident in post war Germany, not expellees from evacuated territories) – and comes to a total estimate of all deaths as a minimum of 9,300,000 and a maximum of 13,700,000. Most of the difference between these 2 figures is attributable to the wide range in the estimate for expellee deaths.
Another post war Allied crime was the looting of intellectual property and patents from Germany.
What gives rise to this vicious hatred? Such hatred drove the British war-time government to specifically and purposely target every German city and town for destruction by bombing. And this maniacal hatred was not limited to the British. In the American war establishment, such hatred was also present and was demonstrated once US military forces made it to Europe.
In our next essay, that will deal with the guilt question for the cause of the catastrophe that was the Second World War, we will see that there were powerful groups that hated Germany, the German people and the German head of state, Chancellor Hitler, with a near insane passion. (Attaching sole blame, sole responsibility for the war to Germany is no longer tenable, nor intellectually honest.) Again, the question arises of why was there this hatred in the 1930s and throughout the war period and after? There was a confluence of self-interested special interests that gave rise to and fueled this hatred that to be sated necessitated the destruction of the German state and its people.
Egypt today, the dangers of religion, and other thoughts
Greetings from the American West. Here from our archives is a photo of some rubber ink stamps (mounted on wooden blocks) with a Southwest theme.
Every day we hear the propaganda that Islam is a “religion of peace” and that Muslims are not violent. Yet, it seems that the concept of ahimsa (non-injury) rarely applies to the adherents of Islam. Each and every day there are violent acts committed by Muslims against non-Muslims. Churches are burnt down in Egypt and Coptic Christians killed. Christian domestic servants are raped by their Muslim employers in Pakistan. Buddhists are killed in southern Thailand by Muslims. Hindus and Westerners in India have been targeted by Muslim terrorists (such as in November, 2008 in Bombay (Mumbai)). Women (both Christian and atheist) are raped in Europe by Muslim youths and now this is happening in the US as well. The list of violent acts goes on and on.
Before turning to our main theme in today’s essay, we dare say that those who incite violence against innocent people are evil, even if they garb themselves in religious robes and titles. Those who follow such leaders and then commit violent acts are either evil themselves or are mentally deranged (insane). For some, religion is like a powerful drug with very destructive effects.
Former President George W. Bush was disconnected from reality and incredibly naive if he truly believed that the US could install workable democracies in this region (the Middle East) that would be friendly to the West. A cursory study of the region’s history would have given him a more sober and realistic view.
The so-called Arab Spring (of 2011) was encouraged, if not enabled, by President Obama (a lightweight in foreign policy) and then US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. Mubarak in Egypt and Gaddafi in Libya simply had to go. There were mobs in the streets calling for this. (The radicals were making their bid for power in North Africa.) But, these “strong men” were the ones keeping the violent fanatics somewhat at bay in these countries. Hillary Clinton cackled (laughed) about the death of Moammar Gaddafi – but Libya is much more unstable, violent and radical post Moammar. (Americans, if you want a woman president, that is fine, but please choose (elect) a woman with some positive qualities, and not this miserable wretch. Please.)
Readers are aware of the events occurring in Egypt over the past several weeks. The Egyptian military cannot back down now. If the military authorities are ousted, possibly by sympathizers to the Muslim Brotherhood within the officer corps, then the Egyptian military will be purged of any senior officers that oppose the Brotherhood, possibly with executions. This is an existential struggle for the future of Egypt. (The Egyptians know this and many were cheering the military in its crackdown on the murderous fanatics.) Does Egypt return to the world of the 7th and 8th centuries, or does Egypt become a modern, secular governed state?
The mainstream news media coverage in the West has, predictably, not been comprehensive and hence not accurate. The ignorant, corrupt Western press does not wish to widely report that the Muslim fanatics had been sniping with military type rifles at military and police personnel throughout the country. The military’s crackdown of this past week against these pro-Morsi protesters was provoked by these same protesters who ardently desire violence. And, yes, violence begets violence.
Let’s address this never ending violence coming from Muslims which calls to mind the dangers of religion. (Reader discretion is advised from this point forward.) Authentic religion, governed by reason and not emotion, should unite, not divide us. However, if you have a concept of God as having the nature of a tribal, temperamental teenager, who is both hateful and petty – you have a false conception of God. If you are killing those who reject such a false, idiotic concept of God, you are wrong, and the world will reject you and push back against you. If you Muslim religious leaders (imams) are inciting people to hatred of others and to commit violence against others – you are evil, not “holy”. You make a hell on earth with your hate and violence, and then you think that you will enter paradise after leaving this earth?! You are as false (fraudulent) as your religion is. (Some would go further and say that a religion that allows, and/or calls for, murder and rape of non-believers and destruction of churches and temples is demonic.)
(One wonders if these violent Muslim youths are sexually frustrated and repressed. “Make love, not war” may be more than a trite remark in this instance.)
To the Muslims, I say the rest of the world really does not want your religion. We do not want the violence and the hate. Peace gives the opportunity of progress and an improvement of the lot of the world’s peoples. We reject your 7th century Arabian tribal thinking and its anti-values. American women really do not want to dress like it is Halloween (in a burqa) unless it is Halloween (October 31) and they are going to a costume party.
We are not done with the dangers of religion. Some, many in fact, Christians also cling to some very dangerous and bizarre beliefs. Christian Zionists – those so-called Christians (largely of the various Protestant denominations) who unquestioningly support Israel in the hopes of helping with the fulfillment of Biblical prophesy about the end of the world, we speak to you now.
If you have not come to terms with (accepted) your own individual mortality – you need to, and also really ought to refrain from trying to hurry God along in His timetable. You are not going to be “raptured” out of this world. You will have to endure bodily death as every human being ever conceived has had to.
As I have written before, people need to govern their religious fervor with reason. Otherwise, fanaticism gains traction.
Actually, if these people correctly understood the Christian teachings, they would attempt to evangelize the Jews, and stop pandering to them. (Jesus’ New Covenant superceded the Old Covenant.) As well, for your information, today’s Jews are Talmudists (adherents to the teachings of the Talmud, a work of various rabbis over several centuries which is Pharisaic in nature) and are not adherents of many of the Old Testament teachings. Thus, the Jews of today do not have that much in common with Christians or Christian beliefs.
It is these people, these Christian Zionists – whose political clout is added to that of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington – who help to keep the US mired in the Middle East.
I have other issues with Christian denominations in the US. But, this is enough for today.
book review of full spectrum dominance: U.S. power in Iraq and beyond
Just came across this book a few weeks ago and read it earlier this month.
Full Spectrum Dominance: U.S. Power in Iraq and Beyond, written by Rahul Mahajan (2003, paperback, 207 pages, An Open Media Book, Seven Stories Press, New York).
The book is divided into 2 main sections: The “War on Terrorism”, and The War on Iraq.
Published shortly after the US led invasion of Iraq in early 2003, the author makes the case that US foreign policy and military policy are geared to controlling the production and transportation of the world’s oil, and to benefitting US corporations around the globe. In the post Cold War world, the US as the lone superpower is a threat to world peace. Albeit written 10 years ago, the concerns that the book raises are still relevant today.
In the first section, the author tells how the war on terrorism was used to justify an increase in US defense spending, the acquisition of more foreign military bases throughout the world, and the war in Iraq in 2003. Even today in 2013, we hear that the US spends more on defense than all other countries combined and that it has bases and/or military personnel in more than a hundred nations. One rightly wonders is this really necessary?
In the second section of the book, Mahajan deals at length with Iraq, the first Gulf War in 1991, the punitive sanctions on Iraq subsequent to the 1991 war, the lead up to the second Gulf War in 2003, and future concerns about US militarism in the region and the rest of the world. The author makes the case that Iraq posed no threat to the US as it was never allowed to recover (either economically or militarily) from the 1991 war, and thus lacked the means of attacking the US. This is all covered very extensively and backed with much research and many notes. As such, it is difficult to quarrel with the facts he presents. This leaves only his conclusions to evaluate.
Let us offer one lengthy quote from this book and then give our thoughts.
From pages 27 – 28:
The United States has reached a new zenith of political dominance–capable of flouting the express wishes of the vast mass of humanity and the vast majority of nations and still force them to assimilate into its ever-expanding structures of control. There is no longer any pretense that the United States is not an empire, or even that it is a reluctant one. For the apologists of the new order, the entire question hangs on not whether or not an empire exists, but whether or not the empire is benevolent.
For the rest of us, two things should be clear. First, that even the most benevolent empire is no substitute for independence and international equality. Second, that empires are never benevolent; the considerations of the empire-builders cannot possibly align with the considerations of the people being ruled.
As we will discover, the claims to benevolence of this empire ring particularly hollow.
I want to focus first on punitive actions taken (by the victors) after the cessation of hostilities. The sanctions imposed after the first Gulf War in 1991 led to the collapse of Iraq’s economy during the 1990s. As Mahajan points out in his book, even when Iraq tried to comply with weapons inspections and other post war requirements, the US made no move to end or reduce the severity of the sanctions, and even gave notice that complete Iraqi compliance with post war demands would not necessarily end the sanctions.
These punitive and unduly harsh sanctions led to much malnourishment and suffering for the children in Iraq. Estimates vary (some in the hundreds of thousands), but many Iraqi children died during the 1990s because of the post war sanctions. (Is it any wonder then that the Iraqis did not welcome the US forces as “liberators” in early 2003?)
(In the summer of 2001, prior to the events of September 11, there was small public display, more like an information table, with several concerned individuals protesting the harm done to the Iraqi children by the crippling sanctions. This was in the plaza in front of the federal building in Oakland, California. At that time, there was a website with more information about the children’s plight under the sanctions. So there was a miniscule public awareness of this injustice in the US prior to Gulf War 2 in early 2003.)
The US and Britain have a history of engaging in punitive actions after a war is over. Britain blockaded Germany after World War One for several months during 1919. This lead to malnourishment and starvation among the civilian population. The US engaged in a punitive policy in its zone of occupation after World War II towards both the German civilians and their disarmed military men. (The US occupation in Germany was much harsher than its occupation of defeated Japan.) These types of actions are not moral.
This is why the facade of moral superiority (the holier than thou attitude and rhetoric) on the part of the Allies after the two world wars rings so hollow with some of us.
Defeated enemies (both armed forces and civilians) are still human beings.
US military leaders and political authorities need to recognize the reality of the 21st century. It is going to be a multi-polar world with several regional powers. No one nation is going to be able to run the world so to speak. There is a real danger here of falling prey to a “might makes right” mentality given the current US military superiority over all other nations.
Current threats to world peace include an arrogant China (discussed in an earlier essay back in February), a radical and violent Islamic fanaticism and chauvinism, and at least regionally, Zionism in Israel (however, war between Israel and its neighbors could easily escalate and bring major powers into the conflict). The US drive to dominance in the world has to be considered as a threat to world peace. The US ought to stop acting like an imperial power. (The founders of the country envisioned a republic, not an empire.)
Here are links to some earlier, relevant essays that you might be interested in.
Thanks for reading.
US: it is time to disengage from the middle east
Dear readers, there is a need to present this “controversial” even “incendiary” essay. In a world of so much misinformation and disinformation, what is a person to do?
We are rarely short of opinions here at larrysmusings (no joking), but we at least do try to make sure the opinions are well-informed, before we offer them to the blogosphere.
The below pic is of one source of our opinions.
Today, we assert that it is time for the United States to rethink its policy in the Middle East, and urge that it disengage from this historically troubled, volatile and unstable region.
There are 3 reasons why the US is mired in the morass of the Middle East. 1. Oil. 2. Israel. 3. The so-called war on terror. Let’s address these in turn after a little history of the region. (This may get a bit long, but this is necessary to do justice to the importance of the issues raised. Junior high and high school students can draw inspiration for term papers from the below paragraphs.)
Even before the fall of Sumer (circa 2,000 B.C.), Mesopotamia (and other nearby countries) was a region of petty, warring states and numerous tribes that fought each other over the region’s meager resources. Thus, the age-old hatreds and antagonisms predate the rise of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It has been rare when a power from outside the region has been able to pacify this region. Since the rise of Islam, I believe the only non-Muslim power to effectively do so was the Mongols in the 13th century under first Chingis (aka Genghis) Khan and then later, his grandson, Hulagu. (The Ottoman Turks were converts to Islam prior to their successful conquest of the region and of northernmost Africa.) The Mongols to pacify the region nearly depopulated several cities and even some entire provinces. (Baghdad was destroyed in 1258 by Hulagu’s forces.)That is what it took. The Middle East has not been a peaceful region these past 4 millenia.
Although the US gets much of its imported oil from sources geographically closer to its borders (thereby reducing transport times and costs), such as Canada, Mexico, Venezuela and Nigeria, some oil is coming into the country from the Persian (or Arabian) Gulf.
Unlike Europe and Japan, the US has enormous energy reserves both in the contiguous 48 states and in Alaska that could be exploited (a dirty word?) or developed. Such development would greatly reduce the nation’s dependence on foreign oil regardless of source. As well, increasing domestic US energy production would effectively increase the daily supply of oil on world markets and thereby lower the cost of oil for everyone in the world. Note: All the energy consumers in the world would benefit if America would make use of what it already has.
There are 2 principal reasons this development is not taking place anywhere near to the extent that it could. First, the federal government, especially under President Obama, is greatly restricting such development on those federal lands where it is known there are significant reservoirs of oil. The federal land leases that are being approved, Nancy Pelosi, are in areas where there is little if any oil or natural gas. Ms. Pelosi misrepresented the situation when she was Speaker of the House of Representatives, as Obama currently does. This is purposeful policy by Obama and his Interior Department.
Second, thanks to bills signed by President Richard Nixon the environmental regulations in the US were greatly increased. This is not a bad thing per se. The Clean Air Act of 1970 was good. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established by Nixon in 1970 (by executive order). In recent years, however, the EPA has gotten completely out of control. It now attempts to regulate the so-called greenhouse gases of water vapor, and carbon dioxide (you, dear readers, are producing and emitting carbon dioxide with each exhalation from your lungs). The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, signed by Nixon, required environmental impact studies. All of this legislative and executive activity in Washington led to the environmental groups having “legal standing” to challenge any and all development in the courts. And, these groups do challenge any and all development of natural resources. These groups, more accurately described as “eco-fanatics”, do not believe in the possibility of environmentally responsible development of natural resources. These folks either reject, or are ignorant of, the very old concepts of conservation and stewardship. (Yes, we did an essay on this back in late June during the heady days when we were knocking out an average of 2 essays each day.)
The fact remains that the US is literally sitting atop some of the world’s largest known reserves of oil, natural gas, and coal. Many of these resources can be developed in an environmentally responsible way given current technology. (We oppose the further development of nuclear power. See our essay from June, 2012, on Fukushima.) If fracking for natural gas is bad for the below ground aquifers (much current controversy there), then let’s open up (for development) the areas in the western states (Utah, Colorado, Wyoming) where the oil shales are nearer to the surface. (History here: much of the land in the western states is controlled by the federal government as a consequence of almost all these states having been territories prior to the Civil War. These territories then later applied for statehood and became states, but the federal government retained its control (“jurisdiction”) of these lands. In the state of Nevada (with 110,000 square miles), today, 87 per cent of the land is controlled by “the Feds”.)
Cleaner burning coal has been powering electric power plants since the 1970s. This coal comes from the Powder River Basin in eastern Wyoming. (The development of this area’s coal has been a boon for the railroads that transport the coal to distant power generating stations in many states.) The “oil shocks’ of the 1970s spurred development of this domestic resource, as well as the Alaska oil pipeline.
The resources are there. And, yes, they can be developed without trashing the planet. But, we do not take advantage of this opportunity. An analogy would be the man who eats from garbage cans when he has a bank account with hundreds of thousands of dollars in it! (Such cases of mental illness have been recorded.)
Not only would developing America’s energy resources lower the prices consumers pay at the pump each week, many good paying jobs would be created within the US, tax revenues to the federal government would rise, and the monthly trade deficit America runs would be reduced. Energy independence and energy security (of supplies) helps to protect our economic security. (As well, the loss of some “petro dollars” to the Saudis, from lower world prices, would mean less money for them to fund virulently anti-Western primary schools throughout the world which brainwash young children to hate all things Western!)
Israel (caution: reader discretion is advised)
We condemn the murderous terrorist attacks directed at Israeli civilians. We also condemn the very harsh treatment of the Palestinians by the Israelis.
Today, even as we write these words, the sabres of war are being rattled in Tel Aviv and in Washington. The flash point or catalyst: Iran and its nuclear ambitions. Odd, is it not(?), North Korea now possesses a bomb or two or perhaps a few more (and has fired test missiles in the direction of Japan), and yet there is no threat of war against Pyongyang.
Israel possesses hundreds of atomic bombs and has the capability of delivering them to any and all the surrounding countries of the region. All the countries in the region know this. As well, Israel has well established defense industries and can manufacture (and does) its own munitions. Israel can take care of itself. The US does not need to protect Israel.
There is a very strong pro-Israel lobby in Washington, comprised of Jews and Christians, that keeps the pressure on our elected officials to support and back and aid Israel. (We addressed Christian Zionists in an essay last autumn, The Talmud and Christian Zionists.) We believe that US foreign policy should serve US interests and not the interests of any foreign state.
But Israel is our ally, you say. Really? Not many Americans are aware of this incident that brings your assertion into question. In June, 1967, the USS Liberty was viciously attacked by Israeli war planes when she was in international waters and was flying a very large US flag that the Israeli pilots admitted clearly seeing during their attacks on the ship. (I encourage you to do your own research on this topic. Do an Internet search.) Some US sailors were killed, and many were maimed for life. This occurred during the so-called “six day war”. (There is the current belief, held by many, that Israeli intelligence knew beforehand of the attacks of September 11, 2001, but did not warn the US as Israel stood to benefit from an outraged US and its expected response (a war on terror).)
Let’s briefly deal with Iran and its outspoken leader, how do you spell his name(?), Mahmoud Ahdemanijad. It is often claimed that he said he wanted to wipe Israel off the map. I do not know Farsi, so I cannot speak to the veracity of the translation of his words. But, there are those who say that a correct translation of his words from the Farsi were to the effect that Israel, the Zionist state, would fade away, collapse of its own weaknesses (perhaps in a way similar to how the old Soviet Union collapsed from its own internal weaknesses).
What Mahmoud A. did that was really unforgivable was that he publicly questioned the official story of the (Jewish) Holocaust of the 1940s in wartime Europe. He even went further, and held an international conference a few years back in Iran for open debate on the Holocaust. Please note: Calling for open inquiry into a historical event does not necessarily make one a demon. The post communist Polish government would be guilty by that standard. It has changed the plaque at Auschwitz to read “one million died here” from the previously (and universally) accepted 4 million. (They may have changed it again more recently (not sure) as the number of dead keeps decreasing upon further research of the camp’s records that had been locked away in communist archives for decades.) Just to let you know that there is controversy around the official Holocaust history, soil engineers conducting forensic examinations at Treblinka, in northern Poland, have not been able thus far to locate mass burial pits where it is claimed that up to 875,000 dead human bodies were interred during the war only to be later exhumed and burned when the tide of war had turned against the Germans.
The so-called war on terror
The third and most recent reason the US is mired in the morass of the Middle East is the so-called war on terror. President George W. Bush was tilting at windmills when he proclaimed a global “war on terror”. Such a war could never be won. It seems to us that the correct response to the attacks of 9/11/01 would be to go after the state sponsors of the terrorists that attacked and murdered more than 3,000 Americans (and others as there were non-American victims at the World Trade Center in New York).
Who were the state sponsors of the 9/11 terrorists?
Well, were they not, all 19 of them, bearing Saudi passports? There has been a twisted and perverse relationship between the Bush family and the Saudis for many years. This was evident during the father’s presidency (George Herbert Walker Bush). Regime change ought to have occurred in Riyadh. As noted above, the Saudis fund schools of hate around the world. Saudi money is even currently reaching into these United States (in recent years funding various Muslim groups)!
If the Taliban and Afghanistan are at fault, then how about taking a lesson from history (the Mongols) in order to arrive at an effective deterrent for these people?! Do what was done in late 2001, toppling the Taliban while striving to spare the civilians. But, on our way out – which should have been no later than 2003 – tell the Afghans that if we have to come back because we were attacked again, we won’t spare the civilians. When these backward people fear us more than they fear the terrorists in their midst, they will turn on the terrorists and kill them. Sadly, it really is us or them. Societal and national self-defense require a harsh approach to these peoples who are not far from the stone age.
Moammar Gaddafi was no saint. He had innocent blood on his hands. But, Libya after Gaddafi is tending to becoming even more radical and more of a safe haven for terrorists. The same is true in post-Mubarak Egypt.
The US does not need an on the ground military presence in the region. Yes, there is a need for an intelligence gathering capability. But, we do not need troops over there for that. Based on the intelligence gathered, if attacks against America and Americans are planned or are imminent, we can take various actions to prevent or thwart those attacks.
If terrorist attacks against the US succeed, then the state sponsors (of the terrorists) can be hit and hit hard from a far. We certainly have the technology to lay some serious hurt on these countries, and they know that. We may need to demonstrate the will to do so. We have the submarines, the surface ships and the missiles. We won’t need troops on the ground. (Actually, there is a real deterrent at work today as regards any kind of atomic terrorist attack occurring within the USA. Even a dirty bomb being set off will likely elicit a major retaliation by the US against whatever nation(s) were involved in the act.)
We, in the US, must accept that we cannot remake this region into what we think it should be like. A democratic or republican model simply is not workable in this region, and may not be workable there for centuries to come given its very long history of strife and discord. America, it is not 1945, it is not even 1975. You must stop trying to play the role of the world’s police man. Encourage the setting up of regional security alliances, but bring the troops home. Too many American service men and women have been killed and maimed in that hellish part of the world.
end of essay
As we firmly believe that the future belongs to young women, we give in to the temptation to offer again this picture from an essay last autumn. In America, she can: pursue happiness, drive a car, get an education, practice whichever religion she chooses, inherit property, own property, vote, go outside sans a veil, choose who to marry, wear a string bikini in public, consent to – or freely decline – sexual relations, is protected by federal law from having her genitals mutilated, etc.
Thanks for reading! Now, kindly share this essay with everyone you know!