Is It Possible to Combat Radical Islamism Without Combating Islam?





Mr. Mozaffari is Professor of Political Science at University of Aarhus, Denmark.

We are not facing a religious war. The issue is not war between Islam on the one side and the rest of the world on the other. Neither is it a war that Islam has launched against Christianity or the Western hemisphere. If we take the Clash of Civilization's thesis, it is a fact that Islam as such does not represent a civilization any more. Islamic civilization extinguished many centuries ago; the remainders of which is merely a religion.

Even if we wished to combat Islam as a religion, it is simply not feasible. As a religion, Islam like many other religions is elusive in its nature, has different interpretations and multiple faces. Where can we find Islam? In the Koran, of course. Should we burn the Koran? Should we abolish Islam? Who can abolish a religion and how? Some regimes, for example the USSR and Mao's China tried to restrict Islamic as well as other religious practices. Not only did this policy fail dramatically, it also produced a boomerang effect. As a formidable reaction, the faith in religion rose enormously.

It is not wise to combat Islam as a religion either. It is not a fertile policy. We must leave this battle to theologians from different religions. Politics is not theology. Confusing politics with theology is precisely what Islamists are doing, hoping that we will follow the same path. This is a trap we must absolutely avoid, if we wish to combat Islamists successfully.

After this refutation, I would like to open a short discussion on major and substantial conceptual differences between Islam and Islamism.

Islam is a religion with a long history and with different theological and juridical schools. The Koran is not really a coherent book able to provide Muslims with clear and unambiguous guidelines. Roughly speaking, it is divided into two very different and somewhat contradictory set of statements, principles and commandments. You have the Mekka period of 12 years length (from 610 to 622), and the Medina Period of 10 years length (from 622 to 632). The first and inaugurative period is characterized by relative moderation, toleration and pluralism. You find this aspect of Islam in some verses in The Koran. For example the Koran states:

"You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion" - (109.6).

We may call the Mekka period the software of Islam. In contrast, the Medina period is essentially characterized by politics, power and war. The moderate and open-minded language and behaviour gives place to a power language. The following verse shows the change in the Koran's language when it states:

"And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers" - ( 2.191).

The Medina period represents in reality the hardware of Islam. The Koran also reflects this part of Islam. This example is an illustration of the Koran's ambiguous discourse and its ambivalence in recommended behaviour. The fact is that some Muslims are referring to the Mekka period alone, and others to the Medina period alone. Then there is a third group which refers to both periods. This consideration among many others demonstrates that it is practically impossible to identify the real message of Islam. Therefore, the world is facing various aspects of Islam without reaching a consensus among Muslims. Except for two cardinal, thus very general points; the acceptance of the unity of God (Allah), and the rightness of the prophecy of Muhammad as the last Prophet.

This means that if we take only the Koran, which is the main source of Islam and which should be the point of convergence between Muslims, it leads us to further confusion about Islam. If we add to the Koran, other sources of Islamic creed as for example Sunna, Hadith, Rivaya, Fatwas and so on, we get more than one billion disoriented and confused peoples! All Muslims, thus from different obedience. All and each of them are convinced that their own version and their own understanding of Islam represent the only truth.

While Islam is too general, too elusive and too ambiguous, Islamism represents a coherent, specific and identifiable construction. Islamism is 'an ideology bearing a holistic vision of Islam whose final aim is the conquest of the world with all means'. Its vision is holistic and based on the absolute indivisibility of the trinity (Dîn, Dunya and Dwala), which means Religion, Way of life, and State. This indivisibility is permanent and eternal. Its ultimate goal boils down to the fulfilment of this said trinity on a global scale. Furthermore, Islamists define themselves often as 'Islamiyyoun/Islamists' precisely to differentiate themselves from 'Muslimun/Muslims'. In short, Islamism is a totalitarian ideology comparable to Communism, Nazism and Fascism. Some scholars are debating weather it will be adequate to call Communism a 'political religion' in contrast to Democracy which in J.J. Rousseau's terminology represents being a "civil religion." The point is that Islamism represents a perfect model of a 'political religion' or even more correctly, Islamism is a 'religious ideology'.

Furthermore, Islamism's ideal reference model is exclusively the Medina model, leaving aside the Mekka model.

Without going through an elaborate comparative analysis between western totalitarianism (Communism, Nazism and Fascism) and, let us say, oriental totalitarianism (Islamism), let me just mention some of the main similarities between them.

They are all violent. They all believe in the Führerprinzip; the cult of a mythical leader with superman capacities. They are all anti-democratic. They are all 'world Conquerors'. Historically, they are all in different ways one of the major consequences of the First World War.

How did Islamist terrorism evolve? There were three different and successive phases:

1. The era of Hassan al-Banna (1928-1978)
2. The era of Khomeini (1978-1991)
3. The era of Bin Laden (from 1991).

The major characteristics of the first period are the following:

Terrorist acts were directed right at their beginning, exclusively against Muslims. In other words, during this particular period, Islamist terrorism was an internal terrorism. According to our investigations, no assassination attempts were committed by Islamists in Western countries. Not even against Muslims living in these countries. In addition, Islamist terrorism was not destined to spread terror but rather to eliminate political adversaries. Political assassination was used in order to destabilize regimes in power judged by Islamists as being corrupt and accused of being puppet governments. In some cases 'heretical' Muslims were eliminated by Islamists.

The second phase of Islamist terrorism starts off with the Islamist revolution in Iran. It was the first time Islamists were acceding to power. Let us now examine the major aspects of this phase.

Up to this period, the terrorist acts of the Islamists were carefully selected and personalized avoiding any repercussions on civilians. This line of conduct was interrupted in 1978 in the process of the Islamist revolution. In order to bring about chaos in Iran and in order to destabilize the regime of the Shah, Islamists put a movie theatre on fire (August 18th 1978) in the Rex cinema of Abadan (oil-producing city). About 400 people were killed. This tragic event was in fact the starting point of a new tactic: to attack and assassinate civilian as well as military persons. From then on Islamist terrorism turns into a blind, generalized and non-discriminatory terrorism. The consequences of which have been boundless and tragic on a regional and world-scale: in Lebanon as well as in New York and Washington D.C.

The third age of Islamist terrorism is the most critical and spectacular of all. In this phase, terrorist acts remain indiscriminate, non-selective and suicidal. Bin Laden's terrorism is not that much different from the one used in the second phase although it appears to be. What differentiates it is its highly spectacular aspect and that the field of action takes place on American soil. Those acts were spectacular in terms of the implacable organizational capability and coordination they revealed, as well as the extension of their networks. It was also spectacular in terms of human casualties and material damages. Finally, it was particularly spectacular in its symbolic aspect through the choice of the targets: the USA as the most powerful country in the world and human history, the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the missed target: probably the White House.

Next week … How to Combat Radical Islamists


© Mehdi Mozaffari



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Pen Pen Bugtong Takipsilim - 2/19/2009

THE LAST WAR: From The Collections Of Poems By Pen Pen

A Poem To Remind The Freethinkers!
To Free The Human Race From The Bondage Of Radical Beliefs!
“Is Not The Person… It Is What Jails The Person…
That We Must Liberate Him!”
“In the far future, the freethinkers, shall be left
as the last defense!
The Last Guardian Of Truth!”
---pen pen

TULDOK LVIII
“Ikalawang Mapa:
Ang Pag-aalsa-1”

Digmaan kay lupit--- kailangang pilit,
Batas na pilipit--- ulila magtining?

Papayag ba’ng ama--- babae, batuhin,
Hanggang sa mautas ang utos matanim,
Dahil ang nasunod, ang laman ng dibdib,
Sumuway sa utos--- buhay ang kapalit?

Papayag ba’ng tupa--- sa hulang nang-gipit
Sa bagsik ng hatol sa hindi sumanib?
Samantalang sila’y kinain, ginamit,
Sinikil sumunod ano mang marating,

Susunod pa rin ba--- kahit ano gawin
Ialay ang anak sa bangang kay bagsik,
Kung utos ng titik, ang leeg laslasin,
Para lang matuwa, may-ari ng langit?

Susunod pa rin ba--- sa ikot ng aksis,
Na ang iyong anak--- ay muling ihain?

Papayag ba’ng baboy---- sa hulang malupit
Hamakin--- tahanan, payapa’t tahimik,
Kalaro ang dumi at maamong putik
Siya’y pandirihan sa lupa’y itakwil?

Papayag ba’ng kambing--- bago s’ya saksakin
Koronang bulaklak iputong panglait?
Papayag ba’ng gansa--- na sila’y dustain
Matapos busugin--- ang guro ng langit?

Papayag ba’ng baka--- basta lang magilit,
Sa diyos iaalay ang dugo sa leeg?

Papayag ba’ng linta--- dugo nya’y sipsipin,
Palitan ng dugo--- tapos ay tadtarin?
Papayag ba’ng leon masupil ng sakim
Meron bang sasakim--- pag laya’y inangkin?

Papayag ba’ng ahas--- matapos gamiting
Pangsumpa’t pangdusta ng banal na titik
Isalang sa baga’t pinakulong putik?
Basta lang tanggapin ang hatol ng langit?
Basta lang tanggapin ang ngalang nadungis?
Ang banal na batas sa ngala’y nanlait?

Papayag ba’ng apo madaya’t masikil
Ng diyos ng awang handa siyang patayin?
Pumatay sumunog, sa ngala’y dumungis,
Ginawang bakulaw, kaibigang kambing,
Ginawang halimaw, kaibigang pating,
Ginawang mabago ang anyo ng matsing!

Mag-aalsa hayop sa silong ng langit,
Ang hayop sa taas, ibaba’t ilalim,
Pati ang insekto na ayaw pasupil,
At ang mga lisang ayaw paalipin!

“Ama, nasaan ka, ako’y nag-iisa
Nasaan ang sagot sa bugtong na hula?”

Papayag ba’ang ama--- ang anak, batuhin
Ang babaeng anak, sinunod ang dibdib,
Sumuway sa utos ng batas ng langit,
Kahit ang damdami’y magkapunit-punit?

Hahayaan mo bang--- buhay ang kapalit?
Ang tunay na pintig--- hayaang makitil?
Wagas na damdamin--- huwag nang marinig?
Huwag nang tumibok ang puso sa dibdib?
Papayag ba ama? anak ay sagutin!
Sagutin, sagutin--- anak ay sagutin!
O hayaan lamang--- at ‘wag nang sagutin?
Anak mo’y sagutin!
sagutin!
sagutin!

Papayag ba’ang butil--- malubid ng tubig?
Ang tubig sa bangang nasalang pilipit?
Sa banga ang diyos ay hilong pumuslit!
Ang sariling diyos, nakulong sa titik!
Nalilok, nahugis, nahubog sa nais!
Katulad na sakim ng sariling bait!

Kalawakang dunong, karayom, kakitid!
Diyos ng katuwiran--- pangdusta ang titik,
Diyos na maawain--- luha ang kapalit,
Diyos ng karunungan--- talata’y pangsikil,
Diyos na manlilikha--- nilikha’y ginilit,
Diyos na mapayapa--- naghasik ng lagim,
Naghasik ng takot, ng daya, ng galit!

Ang diyos ng lahat--- ang nalikha’y dilim,
Kanya na ang lahat--- gusto pang angkinin,
Gusto pang kulungin ang laya ng butil,
Ang laya ng sinag--- gusto pang sakupin!
Walang kasing sakim!
Walang kasing lupit!
Wala!
Wala!
Wala!
Pag sinag, kinitil!

Papapayag ba’ng lisa
Na siya’y kulungin?
Papapayag ba’ng lisa
Wag na lang
Sagutin?

–pen pen
Philippines,
Planet earth, Milky Way,
The Last Universe
whitegreengold@hotmail.com
February 14, 2009 - 10:17 pm


Pen Pen Bugtong Takipsilim - 2/19/2009

From The Collections Of Poems By Pen Pen

A Poem To Remind The Freethinkers!
To Free The Human Race From The Bondage Of Radical Beliefs!
“Is Not The Person… It Is What Jails The Person…
That We Must Liberate Him!”
“In the far future, the freethinkers, shall be left
as the last defense!
The Last Guardian Of Truth!”
---pen pen

TULDOK LVIII
“Ikalawang Mapa:
Ang Pag-aalsa-1”

Digmaan kay lupit--- kailangang pilit,
Batas na pilipit--- ulila magtining?

Papayag ba’ng ama--- babae, batuhin,
Hanggang sa mautas ang utos matanim,
Dahil ang nasunod, ang laman ng dibdib,
Sumuway sa utos--- buhay ang kapalit?

Papayag ba’ng tupa--- sa hulang nang-gipit
Sa bagsik ng hatol sa hindi sumanib?
Samantalang sila’y kinain, ginamit,
Sinikil sumunod ano mang marating,

Susunod pa rin ba--- kahit ano gawin
Ialay ang anak sa bangang kay bagsik,
Kung utos ng titik, ang leeg laslasin,
Para lang matuwa, may-ari ng langit?

Susunod pa rin ba--- sa ikot ng aksis,
Na ang iyong anak--- ay muling ihain?

Papayag ba’ng baboy---- sa hulang malupit
Hamakin--- tahanan, payapa’t tahimik,
Kalaro ang dumi at maamong putik
Siya’y pandirihan sa lupa’y itakwil?

Papayag ba’ng kambing--- bago s’ya saksakin
Koronang bulaklak iputong panglait?
Papayag ba’ng gansa--- na sila’y dustain
Matapos busugin--- ang guro ng langit?

Papayag ba’ng baka--- basta lang magilit,
Sa diyos iaalay ang dugo sa leeg?

Papayag ba’ng linta--- dugo nya’y sipsipin,
Palitan ng dugo--- tapos ay tadtarin?
Papayag ba’ng leon masupil ng sakim
Meron bang sasakim--- pag laya’y inangkin?

Papayag ba’ng ahas--- matapos gamiting
Pangsumpa’t pangdusta ng banal na titik
Isalang sa baga’t pinakulong putik?
Basta lang tanggapin ang hatol ng langit?
Basta lang tanggapin ang ngalang nadungis?
Ang banal na batas sa ngala’y nanlait?

Papayag ba’ng apo madaya’t masikil
Ng diyos ng awang handa siyang patayin?
Pumatay sumunog, sa ngala’y dumungis,
Ginawang bakulaw, kaibigang kambing,
Ginawang halimaw, kaibigang pating,
Ginawang mabago ang anyo ng matsing!

Mag-aalsa hayop sa silong ng langit,
Ang hayop sa taas, ibaba’t ilalim,
Pati ang insekto na ayaw pasupil,
At ang mga lisang ayaw paalipin!

“Ama, nasaan ka, ako’y nag-iisa
Nasaan ang sagot sa bugtong na hula?”

Papayag ba’ang ama--- ang anak, batuhin
Ang babaeng anak, sinunod ang dibdib,
Sumuway sa utos ng batas ng langit,
Kahit ang damdami’y magkapunit-punit?

Hahayaan mo bang--- buhay ang kapalit?
Ang tunay na pintig--- hayaang makitil?
Wagas na damdamin--- huwag nang marinig?
Huwag nang tumibok ang puso sa dibdib?
Papayag ba ama? anak ay sagutin!
Sagutin, sagutin--- anak ay sagutin!
O hayaan lamang--- at ‘wag nang sagutin?
Anak mo’y sagutin!
sagutin!
sagutin!

Papayag ba’ang butil--- malubid ng tubig?
Ang tubig sa bangang nasalang pilipit?
Sa banga ang diyos ay hilong pumuslit!
Ang sariling diyos, nakulong sa titik!
Nalilok, nahugis, nahubog sa nais!
Katulad na sakim ng sariling bait!

Kalawakang dunong, karayom, kakitid!
Diyos ng katuwiran--- pangdusta ang titik,
Diyos na maawain--- luha ang kapalit,
Diyos ng karunungan--- talata’y pangsikil,
Diyos na manlilikha--- nilikha’y ginilit,
Diyos na mapayapa--- naghasik ng lagim,
Naghasik ng takot, ng daya, ng galit!

Ang diyos ng lahat--- ang nalikha’y dilim,
Kanya na ang lahat--- gusto pang angkinin,
Gusto pang kulungin ang laya ng butil,
Ang laya ng sinag--- gusto pang sakupin!
Walang kasing sakim!
Walang kasing lupit!
Wala!
Wala!
Wala!
Pag sinag, kinitil!

Papapayag ba’ng lisa
Na siya’y kulungin?
Papapayag ba’ng lisa
Wag na lang
Sagutin?

–pen pen
Philippines,
Planet earth, Milky Way,
The Last Universe
whitegreengold@hotmail.com
February 14, 2009 - 10:17 pm


DONVAN - 1/9/2004

I am alwaya amazed by the ability of Islamists to ignore
facts and spew forth platitudes and declarations.Here we have yet another group determined to take over the world.
Their blind obedience to the .."Great leader" is pathological. The real victims are the misguided "Muslims"
who are seeking some path to their supreme being. It is they who suffer in ignorance and darkness. Anger and religious mania replace reason and compassion. Hate the Jews,hate the nonbelievers,convert or die,convert from islam and die,it is all so drab.


sccatalyst - 11/28/2003

Clearly Barbara your post was aiming to get a rise and not serious debate.

Ethnic cleansing? Come on, this is just irresponsible. Nothing more needs to be said on that point.

"Terrorist acts are the acts of a people who do not have a military who are being attacked by people who do have one."

How does your definition fit with the 911 terrorists? Who were the 3,000 people killed attacking?

"Christanity has similar radical teachings as Islam does"

What Christianity are you talking? What radical teachings are you refering to?

"Radical Christians and Zionists are the real terrorists in this world and they are the ones who are killing and terrorising defenseless people."

I am assuming that "Radical Christians" are contra "ordinary Christians"? And who are these people exactly? Where are their defenseless victims?

Thankfully the US supports Israel. The comment about withdrawing US support is either naive or simply sick. The muslim states would just love to wipe Israel right off the map were it not for their fear of their arm that has already soundly handled invading muslims armies during the 6 day war. Do we need to revisit the PLO charter's article 15? Its Arabic is translated as "the elimination of Zionism," whereas the correct translation is "the liquidation of the Zionist presence." "The Zionist presence" is a common Arabic euphemism for the State of Israel, so this clause in fact calls for the destruction of Israel, not just the end of Zionism.

Take the rhetoric to the Al-Jazeera site.


Barbara Cornett - 11/26/2003

I thought you had moved on?

what are you saying?


Radical Equivocator - 11/25/2003

"Over 1 million Palestinians are citizens
of Israel, accounting for nearly 20% of the population"



Very good.

Now go back and read the first paragraph of your previous post (from 9 AM this morning) and ask yourself if any of what you describe therein applies to them.

Liars don't need to be specific.


Barbara Cornett - 11/25/2003

Over 1 million Palestinians are citizens
of Israel, accounting for nearly 20% of the population

One in every five Israelis is a Palestinian.


Radical Equivocator - 11/25/2003

"The Palestinians ... are living inside Israel and within its borders as citizens."

This is false. You would have to be a moron to either disregard or deny the fact that the population of the West Bank and Gaza are citizens of the P.A.









Barbara Cornett - 11/25/2003



1. The Palestinians who must deal daily with roadblocks and who are being fenced and whose homes are being razed and whose families are attacked by tanks, helicopters and soldiers are living inside Israel and within its borders as citizens. They are living in their ancestoral homelands. They have lived for hundreds of years in that land along with Jews long before the state of Israel came into being.

Mexicans live inside Mexico's borders in Mexico which is outside of the United States of America and is another country and when they cross the borders without permission they are crossing our soverign borders and illegally coming into our country and we have every right to stop them.

Most of the people who lived on the land that is now the US at the time that we took it still live here. They were not driven out.

Many Mexicans lived in the southwest in places such as Texas and CA and most of those people remained after their homes became part of the US.

On the other hand the Mexicans who are crossing our borders today and illegally entering our country, lived in the land that is today still Mexico, at the time we took this land, where they still live today. Many of the Mexicans illegally entering the US come from southern Mexico. We never took their land.

They have no right to come here and make demands or to claim that this is their land. It most certainly is not their land and this great country was not built by them.

The people whose land we took are the Cherokee, Shawnee, Arapoho, Apachie, Cree, Navaho, etc etc etc.

2. Mexicans have been accessing our labor markets as you phrase it for generations.

The fact of the matter is that they have no right to work in the US unless they are granted that right. The US government has an obligation to protect the rights of Americans to work but it has no obligation to Mexican workers.

Mexicans have not sent suicidal bombers into the US but they represent as great a threat to our culture and our country as a suicide bomber. We have a right to protect our soverign borders and our country.

We have laws that all people must abide by and that includes Mexicans. Expecting Mexicans to abide by our laws is not bigotry.

3. I did not build the fence along the border between Mexico and San Diego. You will have to consult California and Arnie about the fence.

The people of California, one of about three states, New York, California and Florida which have the greatest number of immigrants, have voted for state resolutions time and time again against Mexicans and immigrants in their state. They have voted for a resolution that denies Mexican children the right to get an education in California schools. They have denied the right to teach English to Mexicans in their schools.

Since they are the ones who are experiencing the problems of these immigrants and since it is they who refuse to allow Mexicans to take advantage of their tax dollars, it is they, not I, that you should address your questions and accusations.

I expect they have their reasons for what they do and think but I cannot speak for them nor am I responsbile for the fence.

There is no comparison between the fence along the Mexican/US border and the fence inside the borders of Israel.


4. Please show me where I said that Jews have no right to protect themselves because of their history.








Barbara's Disciple - 11/24/2003

Should the U.S. build a security fence across its border with Mexico?

1. Yes. The Mexicans have NO right to regain their ancestral homelands in America. Only the Palestinians have that right.

2. Yes. Mexicans have NO right to access our labor markets unless they are prepared to send suicidal bombers into Southern U.S. cities also.

3. No. As a bigot I think it would discourage them from the preferable decision of making the trek and dying in the desert.

4. Only if non-Jews build it. Jews should have learned from history that they have no right to protect themselves from suicidal terrorists or foreign labor.


Barbara Cornett - 11/24/2003


Terrorism commission caves in to White House over 9/11 documents

By Patrick Martin
24 November 2003

The independent commission charged with investigating the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington has backed down in the face of White House intransigence and agreed to let the Bush administration determine what information it will turn over to the panel.

An agreement reached November 13 between the White House and the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States provides very limited access to the Presidential Daily Briefs (PDBs), the daily summaries of all US intelligence reporting that are the most important documents being withheld from the commission.

The Bush administration has refused to turn over the PDBs, although it has no legal claim of executive privilege, since the independent commission is not part of the legislative branch, but was set up jointly by Congress and the White House.

It was a PDB dated August 6, 2001, that reportedly informed Bush and his top aides, more than a month before the destruction of the World Trade Center, that Al Qaeda terrorists were planning terrorist attacks within the continental US using hijacked airplanes.

One of the 10 members of the commission and one staff member will review hundreds of PDBs during the period leading up to September 11, covering both the Clinton administration and the first eight months of the Bush administration. They will prepare summaries of relevant passages of the PDBs, which the White House will review and edit before they are given to the other members of the commission.

The two top leaders of the commission, Republican chairman Thomas Kean, former governor of New Jersey, and Democratic vice-chairman Lee Hamilton, a former congressman from Indiana, agreed to this White House-controlled procedure rather than issuing subpoenas for the material.

Administration foot-dragging has already compelled the commission to issue subpoenas for Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Air Force records on the movement of air defense fighters on September 11. The White House instructed the FAA and Pentagon to comply with the subpoenas, but it vowed to fight any subpoena for the Presidential Daily Briefs, threatening a lengthy court battle.

The commission has also subpoenaed the tape recordings of New York City police and fire communications on September 11, after Mayor Michael Bloomberg refused to release them, citing privacy concerns.

Kean and Hamilton chose the two who will review the PDBs: staff director Philip Zelikow, a Republican, and commissioner Jamie Gorelick, a Democrat. Both are safe choices from the standpoint of protecting the US military/intelligence apparatus.

Zelikow is a University of Virginia professor with close ties to the Bush administration. He co-authored a book with national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and worked on the National Security Council’s transition from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration. Gorelick served eight years in the Clinton administration, first as general counsel to the Pentagon, then as deputy attorney general.

Representatives of the families of September 11 victims denounced the agreement limiting access to White House documents, calling it a violation of the commission’s mandate to investigate what US intelligence agencies and government officials knew in advance of the terrorist attacks.

The Family Steering Committee issued a statement saying the agreement would “prevent a full uncovering of the truth and is unacceptable... The commission should issue a statement to the American public fully explaining why this agreement was chosen in lieu of issuing subpoenas to the CIA and executive branch.”

A spokeswoman for the group, Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband Ronald was killed at the World Trade Center, told the press, “I think this entire deal needs to be explained to the public. This is an independent commission that is supposed to be transparent, that is supposed to be open.”

Breitweiser singled out the role of staff director Zelikow, saying, “Phil Zelikow has a very large conflict of interest. He is very close friends with Condi Rice, he was on the transition team, and some of these documents are going to pertain to that. It’s very disturbing. This was supposed to be an independent commission, not a presidential commission.”

Two Democratic members of the committee also condemned the agreement. Former Indiana congressman Timothy Roemer said that with the power to edit the PDBs before turning them over to the commission, the White House could remove the context of any references to terrorist threats and hide “smoking guns.” Under the agreement, he said, “Our members may see only two or three paragraphs out of a nine-page report.”

Max Cleland, a former senator from Georgia, called the agreement “unconscionable” and said the work of the committee was being “deliberately compromised by the president of the United States.”

“If this decision stands, I, as a member of the commission, cannot look any American in the eye, especially family members of victims, and say the commission had full access,” Cleland said.

Cleland is a conservative Democrat and triple-amputee from the Vietnam War who once headed the Veterans Administration. But last month he issued a warning that White House stonewalling was making it impossible for the commission to meet its May 27, 2004, deadline for a final report on the September 11 attacks. He claimed that the delays were politically motivated, aimed at allowing the Bush administration to “run out the clock” and avoid accountability before the 2004 elections.

In a remark little noted by the media at the time—but extraordinary in its implications—Cleland declared, “As each day goes by, we learn that this government knew a whole lot more about these terrorists before September 11 than it has ever admitted.”

The American media has reported the agreement between the September 11 commission and the White House in largely uncritical terms. There has been no outcry over the refusal of the Bush administration to cooperate with an investigation into the largest single act of mass murder in US history—in sharp contrast to the media frenzy over Clinton’s foot-dragging in the independent counsel investigation into his sex life.

The Washington Post portrayed the agreement as a remarkable concession by the White House. It wrote, on November 16, that the deal “marks a departure for an administration that frequently has fought attempts by Congress and government investigators to review other sensitive executive branch documents.”

The newspaper quoted Zelikow praising the administration: “Neither we nor the White House are aware of any precedent for this in the history of the republic. That is true not only for our access to these items, but for many of the other kinds of access to highly sensitive materials that we have been granted.”

The Post added its own benediction for the cover-up, with an editorial on November 17 headlined “Adequate Access.” The newspaper declared, “The Bush administration has provided a mountain of material to the commission. The latest negotiations concern especially sensitive material, and it is appropriate to take precautions to protect it... Our sense is that the agreement, though imperfect, should secure for the commission the access it needs.”

In its news article on the agreement, however, the New York Times commented, “Administration officials have acknowledged that they are concerned that intelligence reports received by Mr. Bush in the weeks before 9/11 might be construed to suggest that the White House failed to respond to evidence suggesting that Al Qaeda was planning a catastrophic attack.”


Barbara Cornett - 11/24/2003

Politics, pipelines converge in Georgia
The downfall of Shevardnadze had its roots in the rivalry between the United States and Russia, writes MARK MacKINNON


By MARK MacKINNON

The Globe and Mail, November 24, 2003

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20031124/UANAL24/International/Idx


It looked like a popular, bloodless revolution on the streets. Behind the scenes, it smells more like another victory for the United States over Russia in the post-Cold War international chess game.

Once, the game was played out on a truly global scale, in places such as Angola and Afghanistan, and was cloaked as a fight between capitalism and communism. These days, as Russian power and influence have shrunk, so has the playing field. The fight for influence goes on, but the battlefields have edged much closer to Moscow -- former colonies such as Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia, and Azerbaijan and Georgia in the Caucasus.
Eduard Shevardnadze used to be one of the chess masters. Yesterday, he was knocked aside like just another pawn.

The roots of Mr. Shevardnadze's downfall go much further back than Georgia's disputed parliamentary election, held on Nov. 2, which even his chief-of-staff has now acknowledged were rigged. They lie to the east, in the oil under the Caspian Sea, one of the world's few great remaining, relatively unexploited, sources of oil.

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, Moscow and Washington have been jockeying to control the route that will eventually take these enormous resources more rapidly to market in the West. Georgia and neighbouring Azerbaijan, which borders the Caspian, quickly came to be seen not just as newly independent countries, but as part of an "energy corridor."

The old, Soviet-era pipeline runs from the Azerbaijani capital Baku north into Russian territory, then west to the Black Sea port of Novorossisk, in the process running through the troubled separatist region of Chechnya. Anxious to build a more secure route, Western investors built a second line in 1998 from Baku to the Georgian port city of Supsa. Plans were laid for an even larger pipeline that would run through Georgia to Turkey and the Mediterranean.

When these plans were made, Mr. Shevardnadze was seen as an asset by both Western investors and the U.S. government. His reputation as the man who helped end the Cold War gave investors a sense of confidence in the country, and his stated intention to move Georgia out of Russia's orbit and into Western institutions such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union played well at the U.S. State Department.

The United States quickly moved to embrace Georgia, opening a military base in the country two years ago to give Georgian soldiers "anti-terrorist" training. They were the first U.S. troops to set up in a former Soviet republic.

But somewhere along the line, Mr. Shevardnadze reversed course and decided to once more embrace Russia. This summer, Georgia signed a secret 25-year deal to make the Russian energy giant Gazprom its sole supplier of gas. Then it effectively sold the electricity grid to another Russian firm, cutting out AES, the company that the U.S. administration had backed to win the deal. Mr. Shevardnadze attacked AES as "liars and cheats." Both deals dramatically increased Russian influence in Tbilisi.

Washington's reaction was swift. Within weeks, U.S. President George W. Bush had sent senior adviser Stephen Mann to Tbilisi with a warning: "Georgia should not do anything that undercuts the powerful promise of an East-West energy corridor," he said.

After the energy deals with Russia went ahead anyway, Mr. Mann was followed by former U.S. secretary of state James Baker, ostensibly an old friend of Mr. Shevardnadze, who warned the Georgian leader of the need for a free, fair parliamentary election on Nov. 2.

(No such warning was given in neighbouring Azerbaijan, where outgoing president Heidar Aliyev handed the presidency to his son in what observers called a mockery of a vote. Mr. Aliyev had never been as cheeky with the Americans as Mr. Shevardnadze.)

After the vote in Georgia, a U.S. organization called the Global Strategy Group quickly released exit poll results that contradicted the official count, and gave victory to the party of Mr. Shevardnadze's U.S.-educated opponent, Mikhail Saakashvili. Richard Miles, the U.S. ambassador to Tbilisi who also happened to be posted to Serbia when Slobodan Milosevic was toppled by a popular revolt, made the rounds in Tbilisi, lending tacit support to the opposition's contention that Mr. Shevardnadze had to go.

Yesterday, Mr. Shevardnadze went. The U.S.-backed candidate for president, Mr. Saakashvili, won the day. And Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, after telling Mr. Shevardnadze there was nothing more Moscow could do for him, flew from Tbilisi to the coastal resort town of Batumi in the autonomous republic of Adzharia to stir up new opposition.

The game begins again.


Barbara Cornett - 11/24/2003

I don't blame you. Move on. Move on like Bill OReilly moves on when he has to share a microphone and is not allowed to control it. Thats the only thing you can do when your blather is exposed for what it is.


Joe - 11/24/2003

Mehdi Mozaffari is correct when he states that within the Koran there are contradictory beliefs, many, as he stated, divided by the Mecca era and the Medina era. The question then becomes which is the operative belief when a contradiction occurs? Many - actually the majority - Islamic scholars have stated, without any qualifications, that it is the later citation as recited by Gabriel which carries the weight of law within the Sharia framework. Hence Islam can be considered "essentially characterized by politics, power and war"


Movin' on... - 11/24/2003

Is your life really so pathetic that you don't have anything better to do with your time?


Barbara Cornett - 11/23/2003


Mr mysterious stranger I have to say that I was unaware that I had the status of your teacher, I thought this was a debate.

You don't want me to leave you alone you want me to give you the last word.

The fact is that Zionists are the ones who are behind our current White House policy which is anti-democratic. Since you are the one who is claiming to be so democratic and demanding that the Iraqis have a democracy then you are the one who should be concerned about their policy of preemption and all of the other things they are doing. They are trashing our Constitution and they are breaking our laws.

Having a representive government means respecting the will of the people. It means being a nation of laws and not men. It means that everyone has to abide by the laws and not just when it is convenient. It means you can't hold people incommunicato at Guantanomo without charging them or allowing them legal representation. It means you can't torture people. It means that people cannot be arrested because one man, Ashcroft, thinks they are guilty.

It means you can't wage aggressive war against another soverign nation or seek empire. It means you can't lie to the people about the reasons for a war. It means that Congress must faithfully carry out the duties and responsibilities of their office.

It means that the Supreme Court cannot select a leader.

Of all people Jews should be reluctant to create and carry out a policy that uses a miltary with the power of the US military, illegally, against a defenseless people. Of all people Jews should be unwilling to create and carry out a policy of rearranging the middle east by force, bloodletting and conquering. Of all people Jews should avoid the slaughter of defenseless victims. Why have Jews been telling us to remember the Nazi holocaust? So it never happens again. And now they have taken the US into a horrible slaughter against a people who are not our enemies and who have done nothing to the people of the US. Clearly such a thing was not the intention of the founders of this country or the writers of the Constitution.

War should be a last resort and it should be for defense not empire.

Capitalism most certainly does oppress people. The labor of the people of the US is what has created our wealth and yet that wealth is concentrated in the hands of a superwealthy 1% of the people. Millions of Americans, working Americans, live below the poverty line.

In order to increase profits business continually cuts pay and benefits and in addition to that they lay people off and force others to do the work of two and they bust unions.
That is why the government has a role to play in a capitalistic society and that is why the pro business republican party constantly complains about 'big government' and government interference in business, except of course when business is getting subsidies or gov handouts and favorable laws that benefit them.

visit this site and see for yourself how much workers pay has been cut thur inflation alone, besides the things I mentioned above. You certainly don't see CEO pay being cut do you.

http://www.westegg.com/inflation/


How should we deal with Bush and Sharon? Lets apply the same rules to them that we apply to Saddam. Why shouldn't we? Should laws and rules apply only to others and not to ourselves? Shouldn't the people who pretend to be the police of the world have to abide by laws themselves?

Should we try Melosevic but allow Sharon and Bush to do whatever they choose? Please explain. I am truly interested in hearing your reasoning regarding this.

We are not merely privatizing Iraqi oil, we are taking it from its rightful owners, the Iraqi people, and we are turning it over to ExxonMobile and Shell and other corporations. It may well generate money but that money will not go to the Iraqi people. The question is not how much money will be generated but who will get those profits!

The oil should have remained in the ownership of the Iraqi people because it is rightfully theirs. It is not ours to steal and privatize. That goes back to the reason for the war. Not to free Iraqis but to steal their oil. Now you are telling me that was right so that private companies can make a lot of money???!!!! What convoluted thinking!!!! Do you seriously think that is a winning argument!!!

You ask if I think that "privatizing Iraqi oil will lead to less revenue and business opportunities for Iraqis"? are you kidding me? Please explain how the Iraqis are going to have opportunity for profit if their oil has been stolen. I guess they can sell carpets and camel saddles but they surely will make no profit from their oil.

Please explain to me why the US taxpayer was asked for ANOTHER 87 billion dollars to rebuild Iraq. If the Iraqis had their oil then the revenue from that oil could pay to rebuild their country. (just as the lying bush promised would happen) The oil is being turned over to private business which will turn trillion dollar profits. Its not ExxonMobile's oil but they've got it. We are the investors and private business gets the profits. This is how american business operates while the republican party gets people like you to hate welfare mothers. Hugh corporations are the ones who are getting the real welfare from the taxpayers.

The people of Iraq are getting screwed and so are you as an American taxpayer. I regret that you did not pick up on this and that it had to be explained to you. I had no idea that I should go into great detail on every point. Now are you beginning to see the scale of wrong that has been done?

Americans made a business investment in Iraq. We paid to build our military which was used to subdue Iraq and steal the oil. ExxonMobile, Haliburton, other companies and Israel are the only beneficiaries. Our GIs and Iraqis died for ExxonMobile on our dime.

I never said middle east leaders were perfect or had never done any wrong. What difference does it make what wrong they have done. That does not negate the fact that we had no right to invade Iraq.

This war was not about fighting Islam. It was about oil and empire and PNAC which is in keeping with the title of this thread and I have not gone off the subject.


Mexicans are coming here and getting every benefit and social program that our government has. They come here and demand jobs. Go down to Mexico and demand that Fox provide you with a job and see what happens. Mexicans blame us if their people die in the desert trying to come here. They have no right to demand anything from us. We cannot provide opportunity for every third world person. Business wants them here to drive down wages.

I have no obligation whatsoever to take care of Mexico or Mexicans. I believe we must close our borders and change our immigration laws. I love my country and I don't want it to look like Mexicans or Mexico. sue me.








Barbara's Student - 11/23/2003

Since I am wrong, I want to thank the well-credentialed Barbara Coronett for being my indoctrinating teacher. I will summarize the points that I have learned from her gracious education.

1. Jews have changed the American Constitution.

2. That capitalism oppresses people.

3. That what happened in the past is more important than what we do in the present or future.

4. That Ariel Sharon and George Bush need to be "dealt with" in the same manner as we would Saddam Hussein.

5. That privatizing Iraqi oil will lead to less revenue and business opportunities for Iraqis than nationalizing it. I guess the study of economics wouldn't benefit the discussion.

6. That poor people in America have no freedoms.

7. That violent acts and poor government never occured in Islamic societies before Israel was established. All violence and lack of freedom is caused by Israel. Yasir Arafat's treatment and political manipulation of his own people has been exemplary. I have learned that Israel has obligations to the Palestinian people and that Yasir Arafat doesn't.

8. That ad hominem attacks and personal suppositions are only legitimate when they reflect a certain level of hatred, and that advising someone not to act out of hatred is a form of slander, even over the internet.

9. That if someone doesn't address what Barbara vociferously demands they assumes to be a fact, or see the world the way she does, that they accept all portions of her diatribe as accurate.

10. That the democratic party in America is less beholden to special interests and will institute a different economic system that will automatically benefit everyone.

Thanks for the indoctrination. Now that I accept your view of life as you see it can you leave me alone so I can give more space on the board to people who actually want to talk about what the author originally spoke to?

By the way, I love your disparaging attacks on Mexicans. It's great to know that you have enough bigotry and generalizations to go around for more than just one ethnic group. Maybe someday I'll see it that way too.


Barbara Cornett - 11/23/2003

The Arabs were opposed to the building of the state of Israel and many still are. The reality is - there is nothing they can do about it. They have accepted that. Therefore Israel makes them a deal they cannot refuse. Everyone will live in freedom and in peace in Israel. Palestinians can come and go freely and be treated just like everyone else. They can go to and from work without roadblocks, insults, beatings and death.

When Jimmy Carter was in Israel as President he went for his morning jog along with the Secret Service and Israeli guards and as they were running along the sidewalk they came upon Palestinian men who were sitting reading the paper. The Jewish guards immediately assulted them and kicked them off the sidewalk before Carter could react. Carter stopped them as quickly as he could. How can peace ever come when the people in power treat the powerless in this manner?

It reminds me of how blacks used to be treated in the south. That kind of thing destroyed southern white people, not blacks.

The US makes Israel a deal they cannot refuse. Make peace and treat Palestinians with dignity and equality or else you get no more money from us. Tear down the wall. End the settlements.

The fact that the Palestinians are growing in numbers is exactly what the Jews fear! You just gave the motive for the crime.

What if the US started building walls to seperate the people in the US from Mexicans. They will outnumber the rest of us in another generation or two. What should we do? Our culture will be changed forever. Mexicans will vote in US elections who know or care nothing of our history and culture. People who come here not because they want to be Americans but because they get a handout here. They announce that they love their own language and culture and represent a threat to us as surely as if they were an army.

Muslims will outnumber the Engish in London in a few years. So what do sucessful societies do about these problems? This is something we have to deal with and that should be discussed. I don't think anyone wants to handle this problem the way Israel is doing. PNAC philosophy is also like Israel's and is to use force and killing. That is not my way.

The fact is that the Zionists at PNAC who are obviously Jews represent a group of people who came to this country which my people, Washington, Jefferson and the founding fathers, built. What if we had treated them in the manner that they choose to treat others? They would be dead and defeated instead of residing in the White House inner circle. They were given opportunity and others should be given opportunity as well whether it is in the US or in Israel. People should then be judged by what they do with that opportunity. But I can't help but think of this fact everytime I see these Jews advocating using the power of my government in a deadly manner against other people. What if we had done that to them? I resent what they have turned our Constitution and our country into. That is not what we are supposed to stand for. They look exactly like Ariel Sharon and nothing like the founding fathers. They hi-jacked my country and they are committing atrocities and crimes. Do they deserve mercy or the same treatment they mete out to others?

Of course you focus on the reasons. If a water pipe is leaking you don't focus on the leaking water you focus on its causes.

2. I was reading Ralph Lukers blog and he recommended this link which I think you should read. We cannot impose democracy or our way of life on other people and cultures. I don't agree with everything in this article but it makes a valid point about when societies are ready for the kind of democracy that our government pushes around the world which is mainly intended to open markets.

http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/ArticleView.asp?accessible=yes&P_Article=12330

btw, we are the ones who deserted Afghanistan after the Russians left. We are the ones who refused to address the situation which allowed the Taliban to take power. We never cared about the Taliban. The only time we gave them any attention is when Bush/Cheney wanted a pipeline. US efforts in other countries which are poor, backward and ruled by tyrants are based upon economic advantages for the US and have little or nothing to do with freeing or helping people. Unless you can give me an example which I would certainly like to hear.

That is one of the reasons that bin laden, the man we trained and helped so that he could fight the Russians in Afghanistan, became angry with us and eventually attacked on 9-11.

If you truly care about oppressed people around the world you are more likly to see positive things happen for them as a member and supporter of the democratic party then the party of Darwinian capitalism. Bush/Cheney/PNAC

3. We deterred the former Soviet Union for 50 years and we could have managed Saddam. The inspections worked. No wmd have been found.

North Korea actually has wmd but they don't sit on a sea of oil.

Israel is selling arms right and left and arming thugs just as we do. Saddam got his weapons from Ronald Reagan.

I have never said that Saddam was good. Taking him out has to be seen in the overall picture of thugs worldwide and how we respond to them today and how we have responded to them throughout our history.

Israel is a nation that never abides by UN Resolutions. Israel is a nation that gets away with doing the very same things Saddam gets accused of. The US would deserve credit for taking out leaders such as Saddam if we were consistant and took out Ariel Sharon and if we took out George Bush.

4. I know as many Iraqis as George Bush does. I even know where it is on the map. I am not speaking for the Iraqi people. I do not want to interfere in their business or their country. I am not stealing their oil. which I am certain they do not want.

5. You are correct. The media has not shown the devastation of Iraq or the masses of people killed by our bombs so that we could steal their oil on behalf of thugs like cheney and bush and corporations like Shell and ExxonMobile which are a monopoly and which cheat us every laborday week by driving up their prices and for whom there is never enough money and plunder. I hope they can spend their money in hell.

6. You seem awfully certain about that, mind telling me why? what you mean to say is that there is no political will among the ones in power to do anything about them. when the supreme court of the land perverts an election and backs thugs in FL in order to steal a presidential election then people like you can have all kinds of confidence that the crooks you back can get away with anything. I would hate to be in your shoes.

7. You seem to be accusing me of having a hate that results in or that will result in harm to other people. I have harmed no one. I intend no harm to anyone. My only weapons are words and ideas and from them my intent is to save and protect people from the likes of men like bush and sharon. you will have to explain what you mean when you suggest that I would harm someone or commit a hate crime for such words are most certainly slander.


George bush is a man who laughed about executing people in Texas who in many cases did not get due process under the law. Some people had lawyers who slept during their trials. Bush laughed and mimiced a woman who pleaded with him for her life.

Bush is a man who thinks that God can forgive him and save him but who on the other hand thinks there should be no mercy or forgiveness for the people on Texas death row.

If you want an example of a man who has no feelings then that man is George Bush. I would rather be a person who can feel hate and love then to be a sociopath like Bush.

He is dangerous because he has no feelings and he is dangerous because he is non-thinking and stupid. He never thinks about the people he killed in Texas. They mean nothing to him and he laughed at them but at the same time he had power over their lives and their deaths.

He never thought about the men who died in Viet Nam, a war he supported but refused to fight in. He never gives a thought to the fact that people who don't have his priviledged life die because of it. I hate him. I hate everything he stands for. I hate PNAC and everything they stand for. At least I feel something. Thats more then can be said for the deranged sociopath who stole the white house.

To demonstrate how out of touch with reality this man who rules the world is I remind you of the statement he made after his episode on the SS Abraham Lincoln where he claimed the major fighting was over. He stated in a press conference which the reporters ignored, the same reporters who eagerly parsed every word out of Clinton's mouth, "We invaded Iraq because he refused to allow the inspectors in".

I have not asked for your forgiveness. I ask that you not patronize me by offering forgiveness to me when it is you who have insulted me by suggesting that my remarks are hatful when in reality they are remarks that you are unable to refute and for that you cannot forgive yourself.

You suggest that I have committed hate crimes! You suggest that I am likly to commit hate crimes! Then you state that you are magnamiously willing to forgive me!! bioya

8. Why aren't you advising bush? You would fit right in with all of the other geniuses around him who think they know what is best for everyone else as long as they get what they want out of the deal. You could play with everyone elses life since you too seem to know everything.

What makes you think a constitution or democracy is going to save Iraq? It didn't save us and we have 200 years experience with it. Corporations have taken over our democracy and we are a plutocracy. What chance would Iraqis have if we couldn't hold on to our freedom?

Terrorism is indeed bred from lack of freedom.

People are not free if they dont have economic freedom. The poor of America are no better off then the people of Iraq or anywhere else. go look in your local county jail. You won't find one middle class or rich person there. Ken Lay lives in the mansion he bought with the money he stole from retired people who had to go back to work.

George Bush occupies the White House which he stole from the man that the people actually elected.

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5278.htm


This has everything to do with the subject of this forum and the question of whether or not we can war in the middle east on behalf of Israel and ExxonMobile and not war against Islam.

We have cleared up the reasons for why we are in the middle east and they have nothing to do with Islam and everything to do with Bush and PNAC.

I accept your conceding that I have made points which you cannot refute and have therefore won the debate.

Thank you for being a good sport. Wish I could be.





Radical Equivocator - 11/22/2003

1. Apparently you haven't read the Hamas charter, which aspires to ethnically cleanse a U.N.-recognized state of 55 years off the map and drive its people into the sea. I could just as erroneously argue that Israelis are moving in to colonize the West Bank because they've been "provoked" by 100+ years of terrorism and bad faith on the end of the Palestinian leadership. So if you're going to go for the "focusing on the reasons as being more important than the act itself" argument, then there's your standstill.

The reason this wasn't the case with Jordan or Egypt was because their governments put an end to terrorism. Yasir Arafat needs to do the same thing, as has been stated in every agreement he's signed to. But he continues to push for confrontation, instead of negotiating the Israelis to a withdrawal that their people would accept, because he is irresponsible as a leader. No, not in the Marxist sense that you're enamored with, but in a real-life, let's get on with life, build our state, stop asking the Israelis to come and stop our terrorist attacks, sense.

BTW, if Israel was "ethnically cleansing" the West Bank of Palestinians, why has their population increased from 1 to 2 million over the last 10 years, a 100% growth rate?

2. You can ridicule my understanding and interest in human rights all you want to. In the end, (not in the interim), but once the government has stabilized, non-lefties know that the issue can not be properly addressed outside of a democratic government and a free society. Your weak ad hominems are a way to shift the focus from the alternative, which leads your opponents to the only possible conclusion: You prefer life the way it was under the Taliban.

3. Saddam said he wouldn't violate the terms of his armistice but he did 17 times as determined by the U.N. security council so your defense of his right to hold power doesn't impress me. Ending the sanctions with him in place would have increased his wealth and the military power of his regime. I don't care what Bush says as much as you do. Maybe you need to find a man for once in your life that might want to actually respect you. But since you're incapable of achieving that I could certainly understand wanting to obsessively follow every word of a politician so that you can feel that you have found someone you can trust. Apparently no one else cares for your trust.

4. Taking care of business means preventing a return of Saddam's clone by fighting the Baathist insurgents. If you feel the population at large wants a return of Saddam, it is certainly your right to entertain such delusions. Just don't pretend you speak for the Iraqi people. Do you know any by the way?

5. Your media doesn't cover victims of terrorist acts with the same scrutiny as it does the victims of collateral damage. So you're just as entitled to being swayed by a media that's biased in a different direction.

6. There is no way any action against the president or his cabinet with regards to the war will stand up to any legal or political challenge. You don't have to get used to that reality, (or any other reality, for that matter), but that's the way it is.

7. Talking about which reasons are "good" reasons to kill people is a discussion that I will not indulge you in. Hate is a disgusting emotion and it shows that someone cannot deal with their problems in a constructive way. You don't have to love everyone, you can just move on and do something better with your time. That's why bigoted criminal acts are refered to as "hate-crimes." It's an especially dangerous emotion that provides the motivation for the worst kind of actions, but doesn't provide justification for anything.

I think you say very hateful things, and inject a lot of invective into your posts, but I don't feel I need to waste my time hating someone for being the way they are.

I'll forgive you for the "slander" remark, because it's obvious you were mistaken in what you were referring to.

8. Iraq will do what it chooses once its constitution is in place, just as our democracy didn't begin until a constitution was in place. As the occupier, we now have a responsibility to not leave in chaos until the situation is stabilized.

Terrorism is bred by a lack of freedom.

This no longer has anything to do with what the author spoke to and I believe he is intelligent and thoughtful enough to provide us with something to discuss. Since only 15% of your post even touches on issues remotely related to the topic, and the rest is just an outlet for your hatred of Bush, I think there is nothing more to discuss.

Nothing more to discuss. Have a nice evening ;-)


Barbara Cornett - 11/22/2003

dave we haven't disrupted al queada. we haven't destroyed them. we haven't destroyed the taliban. we haven't destoyed bin laden. We have built a pipeline thru afghanistan.

Bush/Cheney promised the taliban a 'carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs' for a pipeline thru their country. Clinton had already warned them about bin laden and about the taliban but they ignored him.

They gave the taliban millions of dollars. Then when they couldn't get their pipeline they allowed 9-11 to happen which gave them the 'Pearl Harbor' that they said they needed and that bush celebrated as part of his 'trifecta'. they had been warned that terrorists would try to hijack a plane and fly it into buildings.

Bush himself invited the taliban back into power so they must be important to him.

Poor Dave. Bush himself confessed months ago that there was actually no connection whatsoever between saddam and Iraq and al queda and that he lied. There was no connection to 9-11 and Saddam. nobody is telling that lie any more. a poll has shown that many americans believe there was a connection so you can take solace that you are not alone. Fox News. We report. You decide.

actually dave, and I say this on a site of historians, the cold war was used as an excuse to pump up the Pentagon/Industrial complex. We didn't even know that the soviet union was collapasing. we were treating them as an immenient threat. Now they are a threat. They are selling their wmd to anyone with a dime in their pockets.

During the cold war the republicans saved the military industustrial complex. they didn't save the free world. they lined the pockets of unsavory characters like cheny while our schools crumbled and people, including veterans, couldn't afford housing or health care.

Do you listen to the weather forecasts? do you go to doctors and dentists? do you take medicine? do you believe that man walked on the moon? all of this is accomplished by scientists. The same kind of scientists that belong to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

If they don't like the message the rightwing engages in the politics of personal destruction. They do this because they can't win the debate. They didn't like the scientists' message so they tell people like you that the scientists are flakes. I wouldn't believe them the next time if i were you.

The rightwingers who practice the politics of personal destruction don't waste all of their destructive tactics on people such as bill clinton. but you should know that the people at Union of Concerned Scientists are not members of the flat earth society nor are they mad scientists.

We kept southeast asia from falling under communisum? Actually we wasted lives in viet nam. Communisim is a failed system and it fell of its own weight.

If you think viet nam was bad what do you think is happening in Iraq?

We should not have been in viet nam and we should not be in Iraq. That does not give you the right to characterize the left as failing to defend ourselves. We are not defending ourselves from Iraq because they were no threat to us. bush lied, remember?

the only people we need to protect ourselves from are predatory corporations and fasists like the ones in the white house.

Communisum was no threat either because we had wmd to use as a deterent. The only reason the right didn't like communists is because the capitalists couldn't exploit the masses of people living under that form of government. not because they wanted democracy or cared about oppressed people.

Explain why you continue to base your belief in our being in iraq on a lie that has already been exposed as a lie. Bush lied when he said saddam had wmd. Therefore we are not defending anything.

Being against Bush's policies in Iraq does not mean that people 'hate america'. rather, repeating that republican line of propaganda is evidence of the mentality of the rightwingers who adopt a dogma created by rightwing radio and tv personalities and follow that as opposed to having principles and deciding their beliefs based upon actual events and realities.

Being against the Iraqi policy is being against bush and PNAC, not america.

Americans are diverse and capable of holding many opinions and philosophies. Bush's philosophy does not represent America. It merely represents his own philosophy and that of PNAC.


Barbara Cornett - 11/22/2003

1. Understanding why terror organizations exist is not an apology for them.

Israel is at this moment persuing a policy for a 'greater Israel' which means that they must ethnically cleanse the Palestinians from the land. They have built a wall toward that purpose and they are continuing to build settlements in the West Bank. They have the most powerful military in the middle east capable of defending Israel against all of the surrounding Arab states.

How are the Arabs going to fight back against what anyone can see is injustice on the part of Israel after living with this injustice generation after generation? There are peaceful means of fighting back but it must seem impossible to people who see the most powerful country in the world arm and back Israel so certain segments of the population turn to terrorism. They have no military to protect and defend themselves and they fight back the only way they can. I don't apologize for it and I don't find it acceptable but I do see that it is provoked by the actions of Israel and the United States.

2. Yes we are there protecting Karzai. That certainly does not mean that we have delivered the people of Afghanistan from the conditions they were living in before we invaded and built a pipeline. It means we never did the right thing regarding Afghanistan in the first place. Bush lied about freeing the Afghan people just as he lied about Iraq. We installed a person that the Afghan people didn't even want and now we have to protect him.

Oh! its now the women of Afghanistan you're worried about is it? Bush went to afghanistan to free the women from their veils! it keeps getting better and better! suddenly the rightwing has discovered women! and not only that but they have discovered that they have a soft spot in their hearts for these poor oppressed females. haha give me a break. you are low enough to use these women as a foil to win and argument when you can score points no other way! you are a poor excuse for a man to do such a thing!

http://www.hrw.org/women/conflict.php?country=Afghanistan

http://hrw.org/press/2003/07/afghan072903.htm

3. your damned right I don't understand the concept of counting defenseless human beings as collaratal damage. maybe you don't understand the concept that people would rather live under saddam then die under bush.

Solving the problem of saddam was for the people of iraq to accomplish. You are not man enough to admit that Bush lied about the invasion. He said that saddam had wmd. remember? The republicans in his adm had dealt with saddam over a number of years. remember? There are plenty of evil tyrants in the world but saddam happened to be the one sitting on a 'sea of oil' and while saddam was in control that oil belonged to the iraqi people. Women in iraq, which you are so concerned about if they live in Afghanistan, were professionals and were encouraged to get an education and were free.

Saddam was not hurt by the sanctions. he lived in palaces, remember? We could end the sanctions by ending them. we didn't have to invade Iraq to do it. We already controled two thirds of their air space.

What is the difference in living under saddam or living under ExxonMobile? We didn't free anyone, we stole their oil thats all.

For the right to suddenly discover compassion for oppressed or suffering people would be a Holy Christian Revival of Historic Porportions. So spare me the drivial about how concerned you are for the suffering masses of Iraq. I know better.

4. yeah, the iraqis are thrilled to have us there. I can't wait to see what happens next. how thrilling the rebuilding of iraq will be as we spend the 89 billion dollars of our money there. shiny new schools for iraqi children and universal health care. iraqis are so happy. exxonmobile gets their oil, they get new infra-structure and we get the bill. democracy is so nice to have. republicans are so good to share it with others.

why in the world would any iraqi resist? it must be 'foreigners' just as bush said. if the foreigners would just get out of iraq the iraqi people would tell polsters how wonderful freedom is and there would be no more resistance!

The iraqi governing council wants iraqis to assume the tasks of the US military and they want us out. shouldn't bush abide by their wishes? let them take care of business from now on. Iraq has plenty of experience in governing and they don't need us to occupy them or show them how.

5. apparently you are admitting that the US invades other countries because of self serving economic reasons rather then because they are a threat or danger to us. I take that as an admission that bush lied and that you support lying presidents as long as they are rightwing. bush said saddam had wmd. he lied. he wanted to take out saddam so he could steal their oil.

The fact of the matter is that the Bush adm and the media treat the deaths of Islamic people or people of color as nothing. As long as the people doing the dying are not Americans then their deaths do not seem to matter. Just as Israel kills Palestinians and counts them as nothing while if an Israeli dies then that justifys going into neighborhoods with tanks and helicopers and razing homes and killing innocent victims.

There is a difference in how the deaths of different groups are treated. The invasion of an Islamic nation has been justified by the stupid bush because he thinks god chose him to fight against them. I have not engaged in race baiting.

6. members of congress are now saying that bush lied to them and mislead them. they claim they would not have voted for a resolution to give bush permission to start a war if they had been told the truth or if they had known that he intended to invade Iraq all along and that PNAC had been planning such an invasion and rearrangement of the middle east for 10 years.

Senator Robert Byrd has argued that Congress giving bush permission to start a was is illegal and against our constitution which charges the congress and congress alone with starting wars.

According to international law after Nuremberg it is illegal to wage agressive war on another soverign nation.

in yesterday's news it was reported that Richard Perle has admitted that the iraqi war was illegal

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article5259.htm

Oh of course its not wrong that Cheney and bush and their family and friends are making a killing in Iraq while the rest of us pay for their business venture and stealing of Iraq's oil. What in the world is wrong with me for suggesting such a thing! I must be out of my mind. EXCEPT that is the whole point here. we didn't go to Iraq to free the people. we didnt' go to iraq because saddam had wmd. we didn't go to iraq to free the women. we didn't go in order to fight islam. We went into iraq to steal their oil and it was wrong and now we are bogged down there regardless of what kind of face you want to put on it.

7. or you could be sued for slander - inability to win your arguments based upon facts and resorting to accusations instead is a terrible, childish way to handle a debate. admit it when you're wrong and that will allow you to grow as a human being and grow in knowledge as well. It doesn't make sense to cling to ideas and beliefs that you cannot defend.

Hate is a terrible emotion to act on????? I would rather kill an Iraqi because I hated them then to kill them because I wanted to steal their oil. so keep your lame chruch bulletin board comments to yourself next time.

Hate is a valid emotion. I thought bush took out saddam because the people hated him???? try to be consistant ok.


8. You announce that we have liberated them but that is your opinion and not a statement of fact.

I oppose our invasion of Iraq. You cannot impose democracy. It is up to the people of Iraq to determine their future. They may or may not choose to live like we do. that is not for us to decide.

They want us out. I want us out. Corporations are stealing our money and congress refused to allow a rider to the bill giving bush the 87 billion dollars that would make it a crime for a corporation involved in the rebuilding of iraq, to steal from us or from the Iraqis. I oppose all of this corporate crime against the people of the US and Iraq.

You present the results in iraq and ask me what I would do now as tho you would blackmail me to stay there because of something that was created against my will in the first place.

Let iraq do whatever they choose. Thats their decision. You cannot impose democracy. its not up to us to tell them what to do.

What you wish us to 'stablize' is what Bush wants. You don't know what Iraqis want. If iraq had no oil you wouldn't care about their freedom or their democracy. You would hate them just as the Palestinians are hated and that is another sickening point about the sudden discovery by the rightwingers of oppressed people. its all b o l o g n a

You end terrorism by addressing the roots of terrorism. Plundering a nation is likely to create terrorists. ethnic cleansing in Israel is likely to create terrorists. allowing warlords to fight for control of Afghanistan is likely to create terrorists. treating this situation as a war against islam by christians is likly to create terrorists. occupation by a christian army in an islamic country is likely to create terrorists. mistreating a people who have no military is likely to create terrorists.





Dave Livingston - 11/22/2003

C.R.W.,

You're right on target desacribing part of the problem. If people of a culture do not want change, it is difficult for out-siders to impose it, even should be benefical. For instance, it was reported that some of the high-jackers of 9/11 had been living here in the States in comparative comfort, luxury, poolside dinners,even to most Americans, but they strongly disapproved of the way we failed to keep our women under proper, in their eyes, control.


Dave Livingston - 11/22/2003

C.R.W.,

You're right on target desacribing part of the problem. If people of a culture do not want change, it is difficult for out-siders to impose it, even should be benefical. For instance, it was reported that some of the high-jackers of 9/11 had been living here in the States in comparative comfort, luxury, poolside dinners,even to most Americans, but they strongly disapproved of the way we failed to keep our women under proper, in their eyes, control.


Dave Livingston - 11/22/2003

Aldo,

That's sweet.

One opposed to being destroyed by militant Islamists should attempt to dialogue with them, conferring the message of how much we love them? We should throw open our gates to the immigration of those who hate and seek to destroy us? One should lie saying one admires a culture that promotes evil when one does not? Give me a break!

One should go get on's hands dirty working in the field with others? Been there, done that, Volunteer, U.S. Peace Corps, for two years, but it isn't my life's avocation. Having observed Islam close-up I've determined it isn't my cup of tea and I'm not going to pretend it is to suit the sensibilities of wishy-washy stay-at-home armchair warriors over here? Fat chance!


Dave Livingston - 11/22/2003

The willful blindness of the American Left would be amusing to observe were it not so hostile to the welfare of the nation.

Had not 9/11 taken place the U.S. would not have conquered fghanistan in order to disrupte al-qaeda's operations there, which we accomplished.

The Taliban are not important to us, save only to the extent they cooperate with and support al-qaeda. Otherwise, the Afghans may stew in their own mess, albeit the mess in Afghanistan wasn't created entirely by Afghans, but rather largely by unwelcome to most of the populace of Afghanistan, Arabs from the Gulf states, Islamists from Indonesia, the Sudan & North Africa. As a result, our troops are yet needed in Afghanistan to thwart the efforts of al-qeada to re-establish itself under the umbrella of the Taliban.

Likewise, had not al-qaeda attacked us on 9/11 we would not have conquered Iraq in order to remove the Saddam government, which evidently was co-operating with and supporting al-qaeda, at least via providing it with recruits and an area in which it might move freely about.

Apparently, as during the Cold War, the Left opposes the U.S. defending itself from enemies abroad. For pity's sake, what might the U.S. look like today had we abided by the whimpering pleas of the unilateral disarmament types, the Union of Concerned Scientist types?

Too, because the Domino Theory in SE Asia proved to be valid, Laos and Cambodia both falling to the Communists as well as Viet-Nam, had we pulled out of 'Nam when the crybabies amongst us fell for the Soviet line of propaganda, how many more nations in SE Asia now free would have fallen to the Communist offensive? In short, every day we fought in 'Nam helped to preserve Thailand, the Philippines, Malalya, Singapore & perhaps even Indonesia remain free of Communist domination, as the Prime Minister of Singapore pointed out repeatedly, as was noted in an essay published in 1997 in "The Wall Street Journal
." He, the Prime Minister of Singapore, thanked us for fighting as long and as hard as we did in 'Nam. He, if no-one on the Left in the U.S. did, believed our fighting kept his nation free of Communist domination.

Clearly, our bugging out from 'Nam in '73 made the Communist victory possible in '75, triggered the flight of more than a million Viets, the Boat People, the murder by the Communists in South Viet-Nam of anything from 60,000 to 200,00 South Viets, the imprisonment in concentration camps of another 200,00 for aas long as 28 years--that's, a litany of horror, the record of which the anti-war Left is so very proud.

Kikewise, the American-hating Left would prefer to see the U.S. destroyed than do something so naughty as defend ourselves--foolishness!
















Radical Equivocator - 11/22/2003

Flaws in Barbara's diatribe:

1. She says that it is only acceptable to kill in self-defense but is an apologist for murder/suicide attacks because they are "provoked."

2. She says we have effectively withdrawn from Afghanistan and in the next sentence admits that we are still there protecting Karzai. We are also establishing a non-Taliban regime (neglected to mention that), but apparently she has no love lost on the women formerly forced to wear burqas.

3. I didn't know that Saddam killed Afghans, but apparently she is on to something in the alternative press. She further doesn't understand the concept of collateral damage or care that the Zogby poll revealed more Iraqis know relatives killed by Saddam than by wayward American munitions. Apparently targeting his palaces and other apparatuses of his totalitarian regime are not something that she thinks we set out to accomplish.

And I love the hypocrisy of the American left when they talk about how evil sanctions were, and complain now that we undertook the only action that could end them without benefiting Saddam.

4. Two concepts are not perceived by Barbara: time and number. She implies that the resistance is being commited by a wide cross-section of the Iraqi population when the majority do not want us to let Saddam or his clone assume power if we leave too early. As far as time goes, Bush has stated wisely that propping up dictators as the lesser of 2 evils was a poor policy in the past. Past actions cannot be an excuse for ignoring the reality of the present situation. The Iraqi Governing Council is NOT a dictatorship.

Also, Barbara should tell all the Iraqi Americans who cheered and support our liberation of their families back home from mass graves, professional rapists, and torture chambers that Saddam's treatment of them is something that she doesn't care about. I think they would also take offense to her reference of their liberation as a "holocaust."

5. Apparently now Barbara is willing to concede that U.S. foreign policy is concerned with its own self-interest and doesn't just invade countries because they are "Islamic," as she stated on her previous post. I accept her retraction of this race-baiting red herring.

6. International laws only have affect if the U.S. has signed on to accept them. As far as I'm aware, nobody put Barbara in a position to determine that the "serious consequences" called for by S.C.R. 1441 precluded armed conflict. As far as Clinton and Gore go, logic prevents one from concluding that an action is wrong simply because someone may or may not have a personal interest in it. A policeman who lives in a crime-ridden neighborhood has a personal interest in apprehending a burglar who robs his store. That doesn't make it wrong.

7. Bin Laden is likely somewhere in N.W. Pakistan, assuming he stayed put since his last whereabouts were known. I'm not aware that the search for him has been officially given up, but again, maybe the alternative press is on to something. As for the rest of the diatribe, Barbara is entitled to her opinions. As far as her hatred goes, however, I suggest she get over it, because if she does something irrational, then she might be arrested for committing a hate-crime.

Hate is the worst emotion to act on. It speaks incredibly negatively about the person who uses their hatred as an excuse for what they do.

8. You start off by sounding slightly more reasonable. The remainder of the diatribe becomes inflammatory and perversely stretches historical details, so I won't respond to the propaganda bit. I know saying it makes you feel a little better, though. Getting back to the first paragraph, however, are you actually proposing that every Iraqi goup prefered to live under Hussein? I'm interested in your clarifying whether you oppose their liberation (due to us, of course), our occupation, or our responsibility to make sure a stable government ensues before the troops depart. Which one of those aspects, specifically, do you oppose? Can you have one of them without any of the others? If they are afraid of Saddam's return or the Baathists would you leave them high and dry?

10. We already addressed how it's specious to claim that a majority of the people want Saddam back because a few thousand are killing the troops that liberated their country of him (and innocent bystanders, as well).


Defeating terrorism will be a process that may be too complicated for you to understand. I understand it makes it mentally easier to blame the victims, since the victims are potentially all of us.
Terrorists stop targeting Israel once the countries who sponsor them sign peace accords with her. Giving in to, or blaming, "provocation" shows a lack of self-control. Ultimately the more dangerous side is the one that claims it lacks the capacity for self-control.


Barbara Cornett - 11/22/2003

1. It is never acceptable to murder someone, sometimes people may kill in self defense which is acceptable.

2. Yes for all intents and purposes we have withdrawn from Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai, the leader we installed has no say or power outside of Kabul and has to be protected from his own people by US military. He visited the US while we were waging a holocaust against the Afghan people who had done nothing to us and the media followed him around like he was a rock star in his swirling robes and announced that he was very stylish and very cool. Then Bush left Afghanistan in order to invade Iraq and when Karzai came back to the US to ask for enough money to do his job the White House gave him the cold shoulder and the media didn't acknowledge that he was even on the planet.

Tribal warlords are fighting over Afghanistan and it is in chaos.

There was an article in the news yesterday about the Taliban staging an attack on US military there. The Taliban is back and the Bush administration has even asked them for help and put them back in power. Bush pullled our military out of Afghanistan after they got their pipeline because they wanted to invade Iraq.

Bush lied about why we invaded Afghanistan. He lied about why we invaded Iraq and he lied about hunting down bin laden and Saddam. bin laden is in Pakistan.

http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0915/p01s04-wosc.html

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,230361,00.html


3. The US has killed more Afghan people then Saddam. Our sanctions killed a half million children and M Allbright stated when asked about this that "its worth it".

http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/A5523020-2AAD-4A6C-A049-E1E5826C704D.htm

There was an article in yesterday's news that showed that it was iran that killed the kurds and not saddam. I can't find that link right now but will look for it later and post it here.

When a nation with the military might of the US rains down shock and awe on a defenseless people what do you think happens? We have killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians. Do a google search and learn how many of the weapons we used in the first gulf war and in this war were smart bombs.

4. The Iraqis did not greet us with cheering in the streets. They are now attacking us and Rumsfeld's leaked memo shows that what the media and the White House claims are lies. The truth is we are bogged down in another viet nam and the people of Iraq consider us to be occupiers and not liberators and they want us out.

If the US wanted to take out Saddam we could have arranged for the CIA to do it. that would be illegal but that hasn't stopped this white house which thinks laws are for everyone else. why would the US deal with Saddam for years and years and then suddenly decide that he needed to be taken out? There is a photo of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam and he knew then exactly what kind of man he was. cheney made millions off saddam as late as 1998.

We set up dictators and evil rulers around the world if it suits our economic elite to do so. We set up the Shah of Iran and had to get rid of a legally elected leader in order to do it. If we wanted to save Arabs who are being killed and oppressed we would change our policy toward Israel rather then invading iraq.

Besides, what Saddam was doing to the Iraqi people is beside the point. Bush said he was attacking them because they were a threat to us. He lied. You lie. Both of you change your stories as it suits your purposes.

We are not fighting a war against Islam. We are committing a holocaust to line the pockets of assholes like bush and cheney and on behalf of the terrorist state of Israel which is the greatest enemey of the Arab people.

5. We invade countries because we want a pipeline thru their country. We invade countries because they are sitting on a 'sea of oil'. We invade countries because Israel says they are a threat to them. I refer you to PNAC and their philosophy.

6. I am opposed to any operation that is illegal. We should abide by international laws and work with other nations in deciding what actions to take in situations such as Bosnia. Neither Clinton or Gore or any of their family or friends made billions of dollars because of Bosnia.

7. Yes because we know where bin laden is. bin laden is the one who is responsible for 9-11. He is the one we had a right to hunt down and punish. Bush can't wage the peace, he can't find wmd and he can't find saddam. He lied. He is a criminal. He is universally hated.

8. They want to decide that for themselves and that is their right. It was their place to do something about saddam. the sunnis and the sheites and the Kurds and all of the other groups will have to decide their own fates. another nation cannot force democracy on anyone.

Bush has forced a media upon the Iraqi people that is nothing but a propaganda machine just like our sorry corporate media that knows and covers every single thing about michael jackson but tells the people nothing about what is going on in iraq. That is not my idea of democracy.

if we were going to take democracy to iraq bush is not the man to do it. he is taking away the rights of his own people in the US and he stole the election and thwarted democracy at home and then broke the laws of democracy by waging and illegal agressive war just like hitler did.

9. duh

10. the population at large. the leaders of the uprising have said that saddam has nothing to do with it. but so what if it was saddam? that would just demonstrate that the people perfer saddam to bush wouldn't it?

bonus answer - that depends upon whether i say what you want to hear or not.

I thought we stopped and defeated terrorism??? I thought bush was ending terrorism???? Why did al queda committ terrorist acts against the saudis and then against the british in turkey?

Didn't our war in afghanistan and Iraq end terrorism?? It doesn't matter if it was provoked by Israel or the US, the point is that bush lied when he said we were going to defeat terrorism. Isreal is the perfect example of how not to end terrorism. don't let your emotions cloud your judgement. bush lied to you again. he didn't end terrorism. when it happens in the US he will use it as an excuse to invade iran and syria and you'll be right there cheering it on. you never learn.




Radical Equivocator - 11/21/2003

Questions for Babs:

1. When is it justifiable to murder someone? (In your own moral opinion, of course. You can't say that just because you believe George Bush "murders" people that you suppose it's ok). Think for yourself if it's possible and give me your honest answer.

2. Have we withdrawn from Afghanistan?

3. Do more Iraqis know someone who was killed by Saddam or by the American "aggression" against them?

4. Have you ever considered getting a halfway reliable source for your information on whether or not actual Iraqis think they will be better off since we removed Saddam?

"* Iraqis are optimistic. Seven out of 10 say they expect their country and their personal lives will be better five years from now. On both fronts, 32 percent say things will become much better." - Zogby poll, August 2003.

5. Do we invade countries because they are Islamic?

6. Corrolary: Were you opposed to the NATO operation in Bosnia?

7. Did the Bush administration give up the search for bin Laden or Hussein?

8. What form of government do Iraqis want?

9. Do the people of Iraq want us to leave immediately?

10. Is the uprising being carried out by Saddam loyalists or by the population at large?

*Bonus Question: Are you getting better at not letting your emotions get in the way of thinking?

**When al Qaeda attacked Saudi citizens 2 weeks ago, was it because of American or Isralie (sic) provocation?


Barbara Cornett - 11/21/2003

Religious terrorism in that part of the world is a result of Isralie and American provocation.

This is not a war between Christianity and Islam and it is not a war against Islam. This is a war against the people of the world carried out by the facists and the rich and big corporations of the world.

Bush has left Afganistan in chaos just as we did after Russia left it and we have created chaos in Iraq as well.

Now the Sunnis are threatening Jihad in order to get the Americans out and to guarantee that the Shities don't take power.

Regardless of the nature of Islam, what right do we have to invade Islamic countries in order to impose our own tyranny? You sound as though these Muslims will be better off as a result of our aggresion against them.

What is the current propaganda anyway? That we are bringing democracy to Iraq and the middle east? what a hoot. I thought we invaded because Saddam had weapons of mass destruction that he intended to use against the US. I thought Saddam had thousands of pounds of chemicals and bio weapons and thousands of pounds of Anthrax and other weapons. I thought we invaded because Saddam was connected to Al Queada and attacked us on 9-11. I thought Bush was going to hunt down evil and bring bin laden and Saddam to justice.

Now the story is that we want to bring democracy to the poor victims of Islam. Evidently they don't want our democracy or GIs would not be dying by the dozens every week.

No matter what the next story is I'm sure you'll be repeating it to anyone who doesn't walk in lockstep with Bush. After all if we are not with him we are against him. Thats the kind of 'democracy' we're taking to Iraq.


http://www.smh.com.au/ffxImage/urlpicture_id_1069027186979_2003/11/19/20cartoon.gif


C.R.W. - 11/21/2003

Your concern is well-directed. I think the problem is that most Westerners have little access to discussions with Muslim theologians in the Middle East. The region has the lowest per capita internet access. We assume that the politics will liberalize first, which is what a few of the regimes are trying, and hopefully religious extremism will moderate later. And why not? Obviously there is no choice but for our leaders to be engaged (even if non-diplomatically) with their political leaders. But the example in Western history is that the church, although it had long acted in partnership with the state, liberalized first, perhaps paving the way for political reform. If that lesson is to be applied to the Muslims, the foremost obstacle is accessing non-government institutions when most governments play a complicit role in preventing thoughts from the outside world from penetrating into the Arab discourse, as a U.N. report recently pointed out. And a non-indigenous Islamic reformation in Europe or the Americas is unlikely to be exported back to the Imams back home, or accepted with open arms.


David - 11/21/2003

YOU SAID: "Leave the Theological position of Islam about Women, non-muslims, World Peace, tolerance,, for eg, to Muslim Theologians."

Your "muslim theologians" are the problem, not the solution. Below is a pretty typical example of your "muslim theologians" at work, issuing Fatwas and religious opinions on the subject of Jihad against the U.S. before, during, and following the war in Iraq:

http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=ia&ID=IA14503

Would you like me to find you information on "muslim theologians" at the mosque in Mecca referring to Jews as "apes and pigs"? Those are dime a dozen.


Aldo - 11/21/2003

Non-Muslim contempt towards a diverse religion such as Islam wont help a bit. Prof. Mehdi is absolutely correct, " Dont confuse Politics with Theology". Leave the Theological position of Islam about Women, non-muslims, World Peace, tolerance,, for eg, to Muslim Theologians. If you want to help stem this terrible extremism in Muslim ranks talk decently with the intellectuals and theologians. Give solid alternative interpretations to the text's used by Extremism. And if you want to educate them into Western Liberalism, tolerance and free reasoned thought, be yourself good examples of those values. Spewing hatred and false generalisations is a waste of time and energy and you damaging the cause of Liberalism and Democracy.


Radical Equivocator - 11/20/2003

If you need help understanding why religious terrorism is specifically a problem in that part of the world, you might want to read the Koran. If you can manage it, I would appreciate an Islamic point of view on the separation of mosque and state, and the goals of the state, dar al-harb, etc. Learn about the history of the dhimmi (2nd class non-Muslim citizen), as well. This should provide you with a supportive religious context for your hatred of Jews having the right to self-determination or self-defense.

Then read the charter of Hamas.

http://www.mideastweb.org/hamas.htm


Who knows? Maybe you'll find their goals and strategies in kindred spirit with your own.


Dave Livingston - 11/20/2003

David,

Thanks for the defense. Perhaps you noticed that that which was described as contempteous of Islam was my quoting of one of the most prominent Moslems living, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan. It was President Musharraf who made these points in his address:

1. There are but 430 universities in all of Islam
2. That Islam is "weak and backward."
3. the Moslem community is the poorest, most illerate, moist unhealthy & most deprived [portion] of humanity
4. Although Arab nations control three-quarters of the world's energy resources they yet hav a mere fifth of the domestic product of Japan alone.

Because President Musharraf is a soldier he has learned to call a spade a spade, instead of dancing around the truth because it is politically incorect or unfortable to scknowledge. But then, the Pakistani officer corps, as is ours, is far better educated on average than the populace ir defends. But President Musharrsf is boxed in by militant Islamists on the one hand & the reality of Pakistan's national, including defense, needs on the other.

He's forever doing a tighwire act. And the trouble is if he doesn't do it successfully the Islamists may gain the upper hand in Pakistan & go on to provoke India into a war that wouuld provide India the oppotrtunity to dismantle Pakistan.
I'd hate to have his job.


Dave Livingston - 11/20/2003

Barbara,

A lot of things in this world don't make sense as long as one is locked into the Liberal mindset, sitting comfortably at home in a climate-controled environment. For Pete's sake, it doesn't make sense that Islam deprives itself of the full utilization of half its population, the female half. Are you not aware zSaudi women are not allowed to drive autos?

Something else that didn't make much sense to those such as thee & I, in 1999 two South Korean soldiers escaped from North Korea. They'd been held as slave laborers by the Communiusts since they had been captured in 1952. Again, it is common wisdom that none of our G.I.s captured during the Viet-Nam War would yet be held by the Communist Viets, but it was 1970, the year I was WIA in 'Nam, thereby well remembered by me, that the Communists made their most recent release of French POWs captured in 1954, during the First (modern) Indo-China War, decades after they had claimed to have released all of their French prisoners.

Correction, as a Liberal you should better understand the warpped mindset of the Communist leaderships of Korea & Viet-Nam than i. After all, you all live in fantasylands of your own making. George Orwell didn't write his social criticism about Christian Westerners, but rather about ye Leftists.


David - 11/20/2003


Your bromide completely ignores sequence. If Dave now has "contempt" for islam, he probably didn't before 9/11, and he probably didn't before he saw palestinians and arabs celebrating in the streets after 9/11. He probably didn't before he learned about the widespread nature and acceptance of HONOR KILLINGS in muslim lands, he probably didn't before he learned about the religious persecution of christians as a norm in muslim countries, he probably didn't before he became aware of the hate being spewed from mosques around the world.

I sincerely doubt all these horrible things are the result of Dave's "contempt" for islam, but rather the other way around. So how is he not being "helpful"?


Dave Livingston - 11/20/2003

Ralph,

I'm not contempteous of Islam, but contempteous of some of the evils it has wrought & I'm more than a tad tired of the pussy-footing around the truth by politicians, including our boy, Geo. W., & scholars who claim to love truth but clearly deny that by their own words. Islam is unquestionably today's principle trouble-maker. For thirteen centuries it has brought evil (today it isn't Christian or animist Sudanese who enslave Moslems, but rather Moslems who are slavers)& murder as part & partial of its dogma, & its principle means of spreading itself over the centuries has been by the sword.

Ralph, it was I who chose to eat in Muslim cafes when in Kano, Katsina & Casablanca & thereby cheerfully worked alongside Muslims. Can thee say as much? Or is your affection for Islam that of the arm-chair, NIMBY, sort?

Typical of bullies, Moslems get along well with others, when they wish to do so, as long theirs is the dominant social & political group, but when they aren't dominant hatred and resentment explode, as in Kashmir & in Israel.

Something like the Democratic Party isn't the Democratic Party of 1963 the Islam of today too has morphed into somethinmg different than it was over the past forty or so years. On the other hasnd, the Islam of today is just the same as the one that was stopped at the gates of Vienna in the 18th Century.


David - 11/20/2003

Your bromide completely ignores SEQUENCE. If Dave now has "contempt" for islam, he probably didn't before 9/11, and he probably didn't before he saw palestinians and arabs celebrating in the streets after 9/11. He probably didn't before he learned about the widespread nature and acceptance of HONOR KILLINGS, he probably didn't before he learned about the religious persecution of christians as a norm in muslim countries, he probably didn't before he became aware of the hate being spewed from mosques around the world.

And I doubt all these heinous things are the result of Dave's "contempt" for islam, but rather the other way around.


Barbara Cornett - 11/20/2003

If Islamic nations have fallen so far behind the rest of the world then how do they manage to terrorize it? Cultures that fall behind other cultures are not even aware of their backwardness and tribes in Africa are an example of this. These people don't respond to their situations by attacking other countries because they are jealous of them. That doesn't make sense.

Besides the Arabs are rolling in American dollars and Iraq is sitting on a 'sea of oil' as the greedy and stupid Bush's speechwriters phrased it. They like America. They like the west. Immigration stats prove it. They like our green dollars.

Most Christians in the US are not militant rightwingers. The political wing of the republican party that is known as the Christian right has hi-jacked religion in order to further their political aims and that is precisely what has happened to Islam.


Islam cannot be blamed for what radical people like Komeini or bin laden do. bin laden is like bush and traveled in the same circles. He creates havoc for Islam just as Bush creates problems for Christians and America. Maybe we could get lucky and they could kill each other along with Ariel sharon. Thats something all religions could agree to pray for.


All Christians cannot be blamed for the policy in the middle east simply because George Bush is stuipid enough to think that God would choose him to accomplish His almighty will of killing ragheads. The Bible teaches that God chose people who were educated such as the Apostle who was a doctor and the fact that Paul, a man who was 'freeborn' and an aristocrat and an educated person, taught that a person must 'study to show thyself approved unto God'. God wouldn't choose a joke like George Bush who would be working on a garbage truck if his name wasn't bush.

The women in Iraq held positions as professors, engineers and other professional jobs before Bush acted just like Hitler and waged an illegal aggresive holocaust on them. The oil belonged to all of the people as did other sectors of the country. Now Bush has privatized their oil and everything else and plundered the country to turn it over to wealthy American and European interests. All in the name of the Christian God. Americans have no room to talk about Islam while we are engaged in plundering Iraq and Afganistan and belittling Mohamed.


Saddam Hussein was not religious. Nor is he the one who lied to his own people in order to take them into an illegal aggressive holocaust against a defenseless people. That would be the Christian GB and the sorry Zionists who lead him around by the ears.

Donald Rumsfeld was in Baghdad while Saddam was gassing his own people

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/

The Christians and Zionists leave that out when they are spreading the propaganda about Saddam in order to demonize him and the whole Arab world so they can convince people to accept the fact that they are going to rearrage the whole middle east on behalf of the rogue terrorist state of Israel and ExxonMobile and Haliburton.


In reply to Crazy Bigot, there was indeed a time when women were the property of men and had no say in what happened in their own lives. A situation which existed in a Christian country and not that long ago. Women could not vote nor could they inherit or own property. It took WW2, a time when the nation needed women in the workplace to free a lot of women. I don't think this is something that Crazy Bigot should be making jokes about and I wonder if it was some kind of Freudian slip on his part that he chose that subject for his sour post.

Women such as Al Gore's mother were able to overcome great odds and accomplish much in spite of the limits placed upon them by a male controlled society. Bush couldn't accomplish anything in spite of the fact that he had everything going for him. No wonder so many small inadequate men like him. Men like Bush need God's help, thats for sure. And they need to keep women down because they certainly cannot compete with them. They need somebody to help them even if its Osama bin laden's family who did indeed bail bush out of his first risktaking entraprenual adventure.

If we were not funding Israel and bringing about the oppression and deaths of so many Islamic people then those people would not be bothering us. They are not jealous. They are simply fighting by using the only means available to them. They are not my enemy and I do not wish to fight them. If the republicans are not allowed to use fixed touch screen voting machines then we will get rid of Bush and the evil Zionists and I'm content to let the Gods deal with them and I hope they get what they deserve.


Ralph E. Luker - 11/20/2003

Dave, Don't you think that your contempt for Islam may be part of the problem? It sure isn't part of the solution.


Dave Livingston - 11/20/2003

A correction: In a precvious posting President Musharraf of Pakistan was quoted to have said there are only 439 universities in the entire Muslim world. He was misquoted by me. The actual figure he gave, & one I presume is accurate, was 430.

It probably is politically incorrect on HNN to say this papacity of universities in the Islamic world is good reason to suggest why that civilization is hostile to individual free expression and therefore a big part of the reason that civilization is materially backward, so I shan't say that. For Pete's sake, a mere 430 universities to serve between a fifth and a quarter of all mankind? But then, the Moslems don't need univerisities for a good half of its populace, the female half. Therefore, the mere 430 figure isn't quite as awful as it would first appear.

To illustrate the problem for Muslim women seeking an education we may take the case of Benishir Bhutto. She was educated in Catholic rather than Moslem schools in Pakistan.


Dave Livingston - 11/20/2003

As Islam has fallen further & further behind not only the West but also the former Soviet colonies in Europe, an increasing resentment of its failures has msanifested itself in the Islamic masses, a resentment that has expressed itself in growing intolerance of others' ways. For instance, take the Northern Nigeria of 1963 & the one of today. In '63 I ate in a Moslem cafe in Kano, Nigeria. It was a meal memorable dor two reasons, it was, a stew of uncertain contents, delicious and well enhsnced by the large beer I had with it. Today I wouldn't consider thinking to buy a beer in a Moslem cafe in Kano. Moreover, it was onl;y last year a Cattholic priest, a convert to Catholicism from Islam had his eyes gouged out by a Moslem mob and then he was murdered, solely for the crime of having quit Islam for Catholicism.

Our Barbara would perhaps claim the priest was a terrorist. No?


Radical Equivocator - 11/19/2003

Perhaps you could find it in your little heart to forgive the "radical Christians and Zionists." They are just as gullible and vulnerable to powerful leaders who lie to them and enlist them to do things that are wrong. People whose Taliban or Saudi administration refuses them to go out in public or freely speak out about the way Mullah Omar wrote their female education policy should clean up their own house before they attempt to clean up another's.

I'm trying to figure out which is the less defensible excuse, being "gullible" or being ignorant. Maybe the two are not all that effectively dissimilar.


David - 11/19/2003


YOU SAID: "Mehdi Mozaffari should not wrongly lay the blame at the door of Islam. They are the victims, not the aggressors."

3,000 dead on 9/11.

Do you also blame victims of rape for their abuse? If only they hadn't worn provocative clothing? If only they hadn't had so many drinks? If only they hadn't been so flirtatious?

YOU SAID: "The Islamic world would not be fighting with the rest of the world if we would get out of the middle east and let them live in peace."

In other words, we can all live in peace if only we capitulated to the demands of islamic radicals. It's so simple!

I'm afraid the radical islamists don't think in such simplistic terms as you do.

Would that solve India's Kashmir problem too? Would that assuage muslim terrorists in the Phillipines? Chechnya? Eastern China?

Would that satisfy Al-Quaida, who have as their stated goal to topple secular governments in the middle east and replace them with islamic theocracies to ressurect the Caliphate?






Barbara Cornett - 11/19/2003

The Islamic world would not be fighting with the rest of the world if we would get out of the middle east and let them live in peace.

The US gives Israel billions of dollars every year and has helped them build a military that is more powerful then all of the surrounding Arab countries combined. Israel engages in ethnic cleansing and killing of Palestinians on a daily basis.

Israel kills Arab people who have no military to defend themselves. Terrorist acts are the acts of a people who do not have a military who are being attacked by people who do have one.

This article by Mehdi Mozaffari misrepresents the actual situation and the factual reasons for Arab terrorism.

Christanity has similar radical teachings as Islam does but ordinary Christians do not interpet their own religion literally, which is just as old as Islam, and go out and do harmful things to non-believers. They don't do these things unless they are stirred up by industry and the representatives of ExxonMobile but when they are stirred up they will support an illegal invasion of the middle east and the plunder of those countries, supposedly in the name of their God.

The people of Islam are no different then Christians. They are just as gullible and vunerable to powerful leaders who lie to them and enlist them to do things that are wrong.

Radical Christians and Zionists are the real terrorists in this world and they are the ones who are killing and terrorising defenseless people. Mehdi Mozaffari should not wrongly lay the blame at the door of Islam. They are the victims, not the aggressors.

People whose presidential administration refuses to allow the public and congress to view the way that industry wrote their energy bill should clean up their own house before they attempt to clean up another's.


Marianne - 11/18/2003



Amen. And much more finely nuanced than most of the material on this subject that I've seen.


Dave Livingston - 11/18/2003

Yes, it is a not half bad stab of an apoligia to deny the responsibility of Islam as a religion and civilization as the world's trouble maker today. Islam is a civilization in the sense that the West is, albeit both are jumbles of confessions and different sorts of political states.

Despite what Prof. MMozaffari would have us believe, there indeed a war of religion under way, and it is one of Islam, not merely Islamist groups withibn Islam, All one need to see this is to look at the world's armed conflicts. The majority of them are of Moslems warring on other peoples, Moslems warring against Christians in the Phillipines, Indonesia, the Sudan & in Nigeria, for instance. And Moslems warring against Jews in the Holy Land, Moslems warring against Hindus and Christians on the Subcontinent, Moslems warring against Christians and secularist leftovers from the Soviet era in Russia. And even on the Island of Bali Moslems killing Buddhists. And remember the destruction of ancient Buddhist statues in Afghanistan by the Taliban?

Once was the entire Middle East, all of North Africa & most of Central Asia, where Nestorian Christianity prevailed, were Christian. All were foraceably converted to Islam at the point of the sword and by mass murders, including the more than a million unarmed Armenian Christians slaughtered in 1916 by the Tuirkish army.

Regardless the thirteen-hundred-year-long litaney of horror and evil wrought by Islam it has proved to be an intellectual failure unable to match the West in advancement. This is in part because of the inherent hositilty of Islsm to the freedom of the individual to seek knowledge that offers an understanding of the world at variance with the dogma of Islam. This inherent hostility to learning outside the restricting framework of Moslem theology is demonastrated by the mere fact, Accodding to President Pervez Mushsrraf of Pakistan in a speech given in February 2002 as reported by "MSN .com."

In his speech President Musharraf said that in asll of Islam (referring to that stretch of the earth running firm the Western Pacific across Southern & Cerntral Asia to the west coast of Africa) there are only 439 universities. In comparison, he pointed out that Japan alone has over a thpousand universities. One thing he did not point out wasa that even some of the 439 universities located in Islam not all of them are Muslim operated. Some, including in his own Pakistan are Catholic Christian founded and operated.

What better could one expect of a primitive religion whose highest ideal is a teenage boy's fantasty, 72 virgins...


Gus Moner - 11/18/2003

In a succint review, the author proves his point; that each person has a version of his religion, which is not unlike other confessions. This is approximately the tenth article on the topic I have read, plus two books. I have still to see anything resembling a unified or encompassing interpretation.

I would question the datelines given for Islamic terrorism. There are so many instances of it dating back 1000 years and I wonder why the author fails to cover its development; he barely mentions it in passing and moves directly to the modern era. It smells more like a political viewpoint on current affairs than a historical analysis.

Understanding the roots and history of this practice may shed better light when it comes to determining how to deal with it. We'll see how the other parts develop.


David - 11/17/2003


This war is only against islam to the extent the ROPers make it about islam. We can't control the hearts and minds of those sworn to destroy us. And if our enemies are motivated by islam, there's not much we can do about that other than what we've already been doing--telling the ROPers over and over again that islam is the The Religion of Peace™ (ROP), and our fight is against our enemies, not their Religion of Peace™ (ROP).


Bill Heuisler - 11/17/2003

Professor Mozaffari,
Thank you for a beautifully written, cogently reasoned treatise.
Islam and the Koran are more visible, more appreciable while the Islamists become far more complex...and less fearsome somehow.
Bill Heuisler

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