Sunday, April 28, 2013

Revisting Radical Islam

        The United States needs to recognize that our support for Radical Islam is not possible, and we certainly ought not seek to ally ourselves with Radical Islamists in order to continue the 1950s Cold War confrontation with Russia.  Our most recent misadventure with the Boston Marathon bombers is proof positive of this.

    I use the term Radical Islam to distinguish terrorists from the whole of Islam.  Of course, not everyone who is a Muslim supports terror bombing.  The vast majority of Muslims, especially in the US, are not this way at all. Then too, it might not be as simple as connecting the Chechen bombers to Chechen groups in Russia.  But whether inspired by Chechen elements or some other, the point remains that Radical Islam confronts the United States as well as Russia. Why then, does the US often seek to ally itself with Radical Islam?

    To be sure, the US policy is not one-sided, and the situation is highly complex.  But there are an ample number of instances in which the US has attempted to ally itself with Radicals, going back at least to the Afghanistan Wars with the USSR, in which the US funneled money and arms to the mujahedin. Over 40 million Muslims inhabited regions of the USSR, many of whom became part of separate countries upon dissolution of the USSR. The US has offered various levels of support choosing to ally itself with factions in the new countries as well as within Russia .  The US has made it its business to champion human rights and to develop democracies in Muslim nations, which often causes it to oppose Russia at least indirectly.  Some of these conflicts have included:   

Russia/Afghanistan war
Iraq I and Iraq II
US/Afghanistan conflict
Former Yugoslavia conflicts
Uprisings in Muslim regions of the former USSR (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, Tajikistan, Turkenistan, Gruzhiya, Afkhazia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan).
Jimmy Carter and Zbigniew Brzezinski aided the Mujahedin against the USSR starting in 1980.
Dropping bombs on the Serbians (ethnic Slavs, like the Russians), seemed like a good idea at the time.
Every time America has a President named Bush, we get a nasty recession and a war with Iraq.  That must be what we wanted, because we kept doing it.  

    In the Middle East, countries such as Aghanistan, Libya, Syria and to a lesser extent Egypt have been allied with Russia, and partly for that reason, the US has allied itself with rebels.  This includes groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Mujahideen, Islamists, Jihadists and possibly even Al Qaida.  

   The Village Elliot thinks that both Democrats and Republicans have gone mad once they are in office.  No earthly good occurs by allying our country with Radical Islam, and in particular whatever quarrel your grandparents may have had with the USSR does not justify supporting Radical Islam.  Nevertheless, the consensus between Republicans and Democrats alike is that it is in the US national interest to ally itself with Radical Islam as a matter of convenience to achieve larger policy objectives.    

    Once politicians are voted into office, I suggest that we send them to the chalkboard, and have them write 100 times, "I will not support Radical Islam."  All too often however, as soon as they get into office they persuade themselves that it is a great idea to involve America in the conflicts between Muslim factions. 

  Senator McCain wants the US to intervene in Syria now.  Yes, Assad is a nincompoop, but who exactly are we supporting there, Senator?

    The recent case of the Boston Marathon bombings underscores this great problem.  The bombers (whose names I don't care to even mention) may well have connections to Radical Islamic groups in Russia.  My question is very simple:  are we going to continue to seek to ally America with such groups in order to oppose Russian interests?  Or perhaps we ought to work with Russia a little more closely and perhaps listen to them when they say that there may be a threat there.  

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Recruiting Terrorists and Suicide Bombers

How crazy is it to allow yourself to be recruited as a terrorist or suicide bomber?

Well, it's pretty crazy, but perhaps not quite as crazy as you might think.  One of the ways that you can help your parents is to become a suicide bomber.   Jimmy Gurule explains in Unfunding Terror: The Legal Response to the Financing of Global Terrorism (Gurule, 2008).    

"Terrorist recruits are often promised that if they join the Jihad and sacrifice their life in a terrorist attack, their families will receive a monthly stipend to compensate them for their loss.  Those payments may involve a one-time grant...and monthly payments thereafter...payments may represent more than a year's pay for some Muslim families and therefore serve as an important incentive for Palestinian and Islamist terrorists."  

I remember watching an episode of 60 Minutes some time ago, in which the reporters found the family members of suicide bombers.  The other kids in the family seemed happy that their departed sibling was in heaven and richly blessed.  At the same time, the family was provided for, as the father and mother were receiving monthly payments from anonymous sources.  The community looks up to these families.   It is considered an honor to be the parent of a martyr.  

A religious underpinning is probably necessary as well.  In order to cross the line and take another human life, no doubt it is helpful to view the others as subhuman or enemies of God.  This then is the job of a religious sect.  Radical Islam has been very successful at this, although it goes without saying that the vast majority of Muslims are not radicalized, especially in the US.  And in addition other religions have been warped to support acts of terror as well.  

The main need is to convince the prospective bomber that the targets are unholy and that God wants them to be destroyed, and that a rich reward will be given in the afterlife to the bomber, and in the here and now to the bomber's family.    

The easy part is that by sacrificing one's life it will be possible to take care of their families for the rest of their lives.  In the case of the family of the Boston Marathon bombers, perhaps it is not strange to see the parents playing up to their role, crying and screaming that their sweet little angels were set up by the terrible Americans.  Now it is reported that they want to come over to America to complain, and perhaps to be on talk television and radio.   

Well, if it sounds scripted, it probably is. In my view, it's time to quite being amazed or shocked that such people exist.  Our task is simply to minimize our vulnerability to the extent we can, and when terrorists do their thing, we need to recognize it for what it is and defend ourselves.   

Friday, April 19, 2013

The Latest Conspiracy Theory--Boston is Obama's Fault

     The Investor's Business Daily has unveiled a uniquely stupid conspiracy theory, in which President Obama supposedly helped the Saudi government to carry out the Boston Marathon bombing.  Now he is covering it up.

    This theory has gone viral, or should I say vile, being picked up by a number of news organizations including WTAM 1100 AM, where I first heard it.  

    The theory is that the Saudi Foreign Minister is secretly meeting with John Kerry and President Obama to arrange for safe transport of the True Bomber back to his Saudi Arabian homeland.   

     The geniuses at the Investor's Business Daily is not blaming  Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, but instead blame a terrorist cell from Saudi Arabia, aided and abetted by John Kerry and Barack Obama.

    Good grief, IBD is a (formerly) respected financial news organization.  Now they are publishing nonsense like this.  This is about as wacky as it gets.