Thursday, September 30, 2010

Dhimmitude and You

Our fearless leader aided and abetted by a spineless congress and an adoring media is gradually undoing America or at least what most Americans think of as America. He has declared that we are NOT a Christian Nation without ever saying what we ARE as a nation. For some the issue has been his socialist (nee communist) philosophies, for others it has been seizure of businesses, and still others the issue has been his arrogance and obvious lack of control over any situation. His administration is totally out of control and he seems unable to act without reading his instructions from the ubiquitous teleprompter. His administration and the media have dismissed his birth certificate as a non-issue, they have dismissed his Islamic roots as untrue or at least irrelevant, and they have ignored his lack of any past record on anything – the man is a total blank who increasingly seems like a ventriloquist’s puppet rather than a real boy. You expect any day to see his nose grow. However, as bad as these things may be there are more insidious things going on in the background – hidden in these multi-thousand page bills being pushed through congress are some very interesting things – things never discussed in detail and when discussed never examined critically and that brings me to Dhimmitude. Of course this word never appeared in any legislation but it is there although disguised – so what does this interesting word mean?

The word itself stems from the Arabic where it is an adjective which means “protected” and refers to a non-Muslim who is subject to Sharia Law, but this neologism springs from the French where it denotes concession, surrender, and appeasement towards Islamic demands. The Islamic community is sworn to kill infidels, to support the (Islamic) poor, etc. but Islam has been at war with the Infidels since its inception in the seventh century. In fact the Prophet Mohammed – before he got religion was a warlord who funded his activities by robbing caravans and then robbing and murdering Jews (do you see a pattern there?). But as we know and as history shows -- wars cost money so in an environment where the majority is protected by Sharia Law from any of the usual revenue raising schemes, the money has to come from somewhere and where would that be – the infidels – who are Dhimmi!! In exchange for not being murdered as demanded by the Koran the infidels (read Jews and Christians) pay a tax. This tax has historically been used by the Ottomans to fund their military and wars.

So how does this affect Americans and what has Dhimmitude have to do with it. Well it seems that the new healthcare legislation created by our non-Muslim President governing a non-Christian nation contains some interesting exclusions. The new healthcare bill – which doesn’t go into effect until 2014 – requires all Americans to buy healthcare insurance or go to jail EXCEPT those people who can demonstrate a religious basis for their refusal. This includes people like the Amish, Scientologists, and --- are you ready -- Muslims!! Muslims are forbidden to do a lot of things including buy insurance which they view as a form of gambling. They are Dhimmi, which means that all you folks out there will be paying for the healthcare of the entire Islamic community while they pay nothing while funding organizations like Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Yes it is true this legislation only pertains to “American” Muslims but Americans are generally unaware that Muslims do not view any nation state as superior to Islam so their first loyalty is to Islam not America or any other nation.

Now the Snopes bastion of truth acknowledges that this is indeed in the legislation but they don’t give it a “true” ranking because the legislation hasn’t gone into effect and may be challenged in court – long after our non-Muslim President has ridden into the sunset. Our country and our values are under attack and are being undermined by a complaisant congress, a somnambulant media, and a President clearly controlled and scripted via teleprompter. Vote wisely and remember who voted for these bills without ever reading them.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Aliens From Outer Space

Recently the idea that life on Earth was introduced by Spacemen has become more and more popular as the scientific (and non-scientific) community struggles to describe the origin of life. This is exceedingly important because a failure to provide an explanation jeopardizes the Theory of Evolution. One of the key points regarding this theory is precisely what is meant by life? Are we talking about life in general – that is those first protoplasmic pond scum life forms from which all life has evolved or are we talking about humans? At first glance this question may seem to be ridiculous because the Darwinians insist that all life descended from pond scum so Alien Space Men would have had to introduce the scum and then to have guided the evolution from scum to atheists, but this seems to ask for a great deal of planning and patience given the time frames. In fact it is that time frame that seems to be the problem.

The universe is estimated to be 15 billion years old but the Earth is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old. This means that those Aliens would have had to evolve from something in the first 11 billion years. Of course that is a long time and certainly it would seem to be enough time to evolve from pond scum to faster than light space craft, but is that realistic? The first signs of life on Earth are 3.8 billion years old so those space creatures – assuming that evolution is correct and applies universally – would have had to have to have started their climb up the evolutionary ladder approximately 7 billion years after the big bang. Perhaps that too is possible but it does begin to stretch the bounds of credibility.

We are told that the universe contains hundreds of millions of galaxies and billions of starts and thus billions of planets – some of which must be Earth like based on probabilities. Thus we are left with the idea that the highly evolved Aliens living on a planet lost among those millions of galaxies found Earth and the Sun among those billions of other stars and planets and then decided to launch an experiment in evolution? What is the probability of one our scientists picking one of those millions of galaxies, selecting a star at random, and then finding that that star is suitable for a life experiment? More importantly recognizing that that planet selected at random whose atmosphere was poisonous was suitable for seeding primitive life – what are those chances? But there wasn’t sufficient oxygen to support life until the Mississippian 360 million years ago. So these Alien Space Men would have had to have been incredibly lucky to find the Earth and then the patience necessary to launch an experiment spanning billions of years. Therefore, it seems more plausible that life on Earth was not introduced by Aliens but some scientists think that life was deposited on Earth via some asteroid or other space debris, perhaps it was but that doesn’t explain how life was created it just shifts the point of creation from Earth to points unknown.

But what about humans – did we descend from pond scum or were we “introduced” by some Alien Beings? Of course this puts us back at the probability of some super intelligent civilization finding the Sun and the Earth thorough some random process. Even if this highly unlikely event was true the questions become – why did the Aliens introduce humans and to what purpose? Furthermore, human evolution spans several million years – assuming of course that humans are in fact descended from apes but then are those apes descended from pond scum? Did those Aliens genetically modify those apes discovered in Africa so they would evolve into humans? Does that sound logical to anyone? Anyone? It strikes me that whatever happened and however we came to be it wasn’t the result of Spacemen, probably wasn’t a random event leading to pond scum, and the answer may never be found in science.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Nation of Islam

The recent attempt by yet another Arab terror group to break the Israeli embargo has served to highlight the problems that Israel faces but more importantly it acts as a reminder of how fragmented Islam is. This issue of Islamic infighting was covered in great detail in a strategic report which I have digested in the following comments and added my own editorial observations.

There is little doubt but Israel is once again losing the battle for public opinion but that was the objective of the entire flotilla exercise from the outset, even the selection of the contraband was intended to further the case for public outrage. But when you look behind the blather what do you see? What you see is very little action, lots of talk, and interestingly enough no calls for military action against Israel other than the usual Hamas terrorism.

The reality of the situation is the powers outside of the Middle East will continue to blather away against Israel but any significant action by the Islamic nations in the area is unlikely because they are so divided among themselves and have such divergent relations with Israel and each other that any effective coalition against Israel doesn’t exist and is unlikely to exist in the near future. Of course the nuclear threat from Iran exists but that threat is mitigated somewhat by the world at large. Consequently while the tide of public opinion rises against Israel it is unlikely that little action will be taken and the Israeli’s will continue their policies unchanged.

Since it was the “humanitarian” effort to bring aid to the Palestinians it is probably best to examine the relations between the factions within the Palestinian community. There is of course the Palestinians themselves who can be classified as victims – not of the Israeli’s but of their own political groups, Fatah and Hamas, neither of which seem to care about the plight of the people. These two groups are at war with each other and with Israel. Fatah dominates the West Bank while Hamas dominates the Gaza Strip and Israel occupies the middle ground. The result is that these two Palestinian groups operate as if they were separate and hostile countries – countries with distinctly different ideologies.

Fatah is secular and springs from the socialist movement started by Nasser in Egypt and aligned with the old Soviet Union. Fatah was the dominant faction in the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) which was an umbrella group headed by Yasser Arafat until his death. But upon his death the PLO was left with a corrupt bureaucracy but no leader, no coherent strategy, and worst of all – no agreed upon ideology. The result was the PLO ceased to exist and fragmented into the Hamas and Fatah factions. Hamas is an Islamist (Shia) organization supported and subsidized by Iran. Hamas rejects Israel’s right to exist but the “liberation” of Palestine is not the paramount objective – the objective of Hamas is to establish an Islamic state, which makes it hostile to Fatah.

Fatah is Islamic but secular at its base. While it preaches the destruction of Israel it is much more pragmatic and seeks a true country of Palestine and is much more willing to negotiate with Israel. But Hamas and Fatah are irreconcilable in their ideologies and Hamas views Fatah as corrupt making both groups easily manipulated by Israel as well as other outside forces. Hamas sees any set back to Fatah as a victory just as Fatah views any failure of Hamas as a win for their side. Currently the world focus is on Hamas and their clear public relations victory so it is only a matter of time before Fatah will find some way to undo these gains by Hamas. It is this deep division between the Palestinians that makes Israeli efforts to pit one against the other as almost unnecessary since they are at war with each other.
But the Palestinian situation is actually a microcosm of the Arab states surrounding Israel which have issues of their own. Jordan, Syria, and Egypt surround Israel and publicly condemn Israel, the Israeli Embargo, and support the Islamic cause – at least publicly but underneath things are much less clear.
Egypt may be the oldest country in the world and while essentially an Islamic state it is a secular country and totally hostile to Hamas. Hamas is an intensely religious organization with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood – a semi-secret organization responsible for the assassination of Anwar Sadat among others. The Muslim Brotherhood is considered by the Egyptian government to be its greatest domestic threat and President Mubarak has moved against Islamic extremists and sees Hamas and their ideology as a threat since it could spread to Egypt. Thus Egypt has maintained its own blockade of Gaza and remains much closer to the Fatah whose secularism derives from the Egyptian secularism. Consequently Hamas (supported by Iran) distrusts Cairo which is secular and Sunni.
Jordan on the other hand doesn’t trust Fatah since Arafat attempted to overthrow the monarchy. This effort by Fatah cost 10,000 Palestinian lives and Fatah has never forgot this massacre – initiated by them but in typical fashion blamed on Jordan. The idea of an independent Palestinian State in the West Bank is not popular with the Jordanians, especially since so much of their population is Palestinian. But the Jordanians are not enthusiastic about Hamas either since they have such close ties with the Muslim Brotherhood which has caused problems in Jordan. So while Jordan acts as an Islamic state and gives lip service to the condemnation of Israel the reality is both Jordan and Egypt have peace treaties with Israel which remain in place and apparently unthreatened.
And that brings us to the more interesting and complicated issue which is Syria. Syria supports the Palestinians but that seems to be more rhetorical than real. Syria is focused on Lebanon and along with Iran a sponsor of Hezbollah, which is anti-Israeli rather than pro-Palestinian. Hezbollah is a Shiite Organization supported by Iran that is dedicated to the destruction of Israel not to the creation of a Palestinian state. The Palestinians are little more than a casus belli for Hezbollah’s attacks on Israel. The Syrian government is focused on Lebanon and when Hezbollah becomes aggressive against Israel the Syrians become upset with Iran whom they see as responsible. But there are other issues here because Hezbollah is a Shiite organization but the Palestinians are generally Sunni so it isn’t clear that the Palestinians would want Hezbollah to establish a regime in Palestine. So Syria is playing a complicated game as it tries to balance all of these conflicting goals that only have one common one which is the destruction of Israel, when their goal is the domination of Lebanon. But these aren’t the only countries that make up Islam
Turkey is a secular Islamic country with aspirations to join the EU but it is also dealing with an insurgent Kurdish issue and a rising Islamic fundamentalism fueled by radical clerics. The Turkish government is condemning Israel at the moment but that is probably the government’s attempt to mollify the radicals. Then you have the threats the PLO gave to the Arabian states. Like all Arabs the Saudi’s and other Arabian peninsula states are long on memory and short on forgiveness so it is unlikely they will rush to the aid and support of the Palestinians in any meaningful way. Of course Iran would like to influence if not dominate the Palestinians as they pursue their objective of the destruction of Israel but Fatah doesn’t trust the Iranians and Hamas is Sunni while Iran is Shiite so there is not a lot of trust there either. So all of these convoluted relationships are fragile and not built on trust.
Given these conflicts in policy, religion, and political goals among the Islamic states, it renders the anti-Semitism of Europe and hostility to Israel as more of a diplomatic issue than any significant threat to Israel. To the Israeli’s Gaza represents a dagger at their throat and it is unlikely they will loosen their grip and from their perspective Fatah ultimately supports their suppression of Gaza and Hamas. More importantly Egypt participates with Israel in this suppression of Hamas through their own embargo, Jordan is relieved by the Israeli policy, and Syria is indifferent to it but may continue their blather. In effect these divisions among the Islamic states render them ineffective and thus Israel has no reason to reduce their pressure on Gaza and Hamas.
To confirm this assessment it is worth noting that as the Israeli Navy intercepted this Turkish Flotilla, not one Egyptian aircraft threaten the Israeli’s nor did any Syrian or Turkish warship approach or make any effort to intervene with the Israeli’s. The threat of rocket attacks and suicide bombers from Gaza remains but any significant deterrent threat from the other Islamic states is unlikely to go beyond rhetorical condemnations.

Comments on Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a land locked country that is in reality a country in name only. It has vast mineral wealth which has never been exploited because this pseudo-country is peopled with tribes and clans still living in the seventh century. These tribes and clans are thoroughly anchored in Islam and dominated by frictions, revenge, and issues of honor going back hundreds if not thousands of years. They have little interest in the outside world or its technology – unless that technology is military in nature. Yet America has been obsessed with Afghanistan for 30 years and directly and indirectly engaged in war there for all of that time. There is an American obsession with Afghanistan and the war there never seems to get better and never seems to end – it just expands and contracts.

The first phase of the Afghan War began with the Soviet invasion in December 1979. At the time it seemed to be in the strategic interest of America to thwart the Soviets and to keep them distracted from other activities more strategically valuable to the US. So the US with the support of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan organized resistance to the Soviets in the form of the Mujahedeen. These fighters were fighting the Soviets so little attention was given to the fact that they were motivated by Islam and fighting the Infidels – not so much the Soviets. All that America cared about was that they were fighting the Soviets and blocking them from creating a base for further expansion in the area. Plus these fighters were keeping the Soviets bogged down in a guerilla war, which the US gleefully aided and abetted. This first phase of the Afghan War lasted roughly ten years and ended in 1989 with the withdrawal of Soviet Troops.

The second phase of the Afghan War really was more like a civil war with the US and our allies observing as the local clans and tribes – armed and trained by the US went back to their favorite past time – fighting each other. Although the US did not actively take part in this war it did exert some influence through third parties – primarily Pakistan. More importantly the US was willing to accept that some group of the Mujahedeen—whom they had trained and armed – would govern Afghanistan. Eventually with Pakistani support a group called the Taliban took power in 1996 and established an Islamic State. But the Taliban were not just Islamic they were fundamentalist who were determined to rule according to the Koran. With the Taliban in power Afghanistan became a sanctuary for the extreme Jihadists in general and Al Qaeda in particular, which created tensions with the US since Al Qaeda had been attacking US facilities. With the arrival of Bin Laden in Afghanistan phase two of the Afghan War ended and the third phase began.

The third phase began with the attack by Al Qaeda on the World Trade Center which was in fact an act of war between Al Qaeda and the US. Although Al Qaeda is not a country it is Islamic in nature and in Islam there is no distinction made between Islam and a nation. Given that Bin Laden and Al Qaeda had established their headquarters in Afghanistan, the US launched military operations intended to destroy Al Qaeda and dislodge the Taliban from power. This operation began within 30 days of the attack by Al Qaeda and it can be argued that this was not enough time to effectively develop a long range strategy. Instead the US drew on allied support both internationally and within Afghanistan itself – such as the Northern Alliance. It also included other Afghan groups who remained close to the Iranians, Pakistani’s, plus others. This was a rather unsteady alliance whose main unifying factor – in typical Afghan fashion – was hatred of the Taliban or due to substantial bribes paid by the US.

Once the war started it escalated as the US deployed more ground forces and significant air power. But Al Qaeda is not a country and the Taliban had no more legitimate claim to Afghanistan that any other group, so both the Taliban and Al Qaeda simply melted away into the countryside. Historically the cities in Afghanistan do not control the countryside it is the tribes and clans in the countryside that allow the cities to exist.

Militarily what happened is the US was prepared to fight a war which the Taliban refused to fight on the US terms. Instead they dispersed, regrouped, and moved into the countryside which they could control and isolate the cities which has been the historical precedent. The result has been a war without any end in sight but the Taliban has been weakened and Al Qaeda has no longer been capable of launching any attack of significant size. The US then attempted to establish a government which has increasingly been exposed as almost a comic opera version of a government. It is corrupt and has very limited power over the country primarily because there really is no country of Afghanistan – just a group of tribes and clans heavily infiltrated by the Taliban.

These first three phases of the American obsession with Afghanistan first relied on the Mujahedeen to fight the Russians, the second phase relied on Pakistan to oversee the Afghan civil war as the tribes and clans fought for control. In the third phase the US relied on the Afghan forces to fight the Taliban but that proved to be a poor strategy which dragged the US into what has become the Afghan War. But this was a war with limited objectives other than maintaining the Afghan government and containing Al Qaeda.

The fourth phase of the Afghan War began when the new Obama administration shifted priorities away from Iraq and onto Afghanistan. The argument for this shift in strategy was that the Iraqi war was a mistake because there was never any strong connection to Al Qaeda in Iraq and that Afghanistan was the home base of Al Qaeda. With this shift in strategy the US became the main force in Afghanistan whose initial focus of defeating Al Qaeda and the Taliban has become increasingly fuzzy and of questionable value.

This is a land locked country of no real strategic value in and of itself. Al Qaeda has dispersed and fragmented into local groups affiliated with Al Qaeda but no longer under any central command. Al Qaeda is not a country it is an organization like any multi-national corporation and due to American actions in Afghanistan it has moved on to Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia. The Taliban is the old Mujahedeen with a new name. Whether they rule Afghanistan or some other clan or tribe is of little consequence to America. While Islam continues to be at war with America this is really a war against Infidels being waged by Muslims but the Taliban have not been actively engaged outside of Afghanistan. The most they have done is to tolerate Al Qaeda and give them a safe harbor. But somehow America has let Al Qaeda move out of Afghanistan and left us fighting the Taliban without any purpose other than to support a shaky government in a country that has never actually been a country in any real sense of the word.

At this point it seems that the current administration is trying to turn over the fighting to the Afghan military with an objective of reaching a coalition government between the Karzai government, the Taliban, and the Northern Alliance and then to exit as gracefully as possible. Perhaps that is the best anyone can hope for or expect. President Obama has been criticized for establishing 2011 as the date of withdrawal for American Troops. This was probably intended to motivate the Karzai government to ramp up its military but it has also given the Taliban a reason to not negotiate any coalition government. The problem is the Afghan Army is composed of men from the various tribes and clans and as those tribes and clans go – so goes the Afghan Army. The Obama government seems faced with the same decisions that faced Richard Nixon as he brought the Viet Nam War to a close. Hopefully, the Obama Administration will be able to withdraw from Afghanistan with some dignity and end America’s obsession with it.