Eurabia: Dream or Nightmare?

Radical Islam’s front line is not Iran, Iraq or Saudi Arabia; it is Europe where Islam rubs against secular post-Christian culture and Europe where Muslims have many more choices. Nobody expects free expression in most Muslim nations; in Europe Muslims enjoy freedom. Will Islamic colonization drag Europe back to the 8th Century or can a successful Muslim integration pull Islam’s benighted core into the 21st?

A French secular Muslim organization worries that the violent response to the cartoons of Mohammed was a warning to European Muslims saying "You don’t have the right to think like Europeans." We have to hope they are wrong because Muslims make up nearly 10% of the French population and Muslim populations are burgeoning all over the continent.

Let’s drop the PC pretense. A Europe more like the Middle East is a nightmare while a Middle East more like Europe is a dream. When Europeans hold an anti-American protest, they shake their fists and amuse themselves with street theater but an American can walk past the crowd without a serious danger of being beheaded or burned alive and the French eat more Big Macs per capita than we do. Besides, for all the oil and all the trouble, ALL the countries in the Arab world have a total GNP less than that of Spain. Our economy is interlinked with those of Europe to a fantastic extent. Trade and investment FLOWS between the U.S. and the EU amounts to more than a billion dollars a DAY. It makes a big difference what happens over there.

With its anemic population growth, Europe will increasingly need immigrants and many will come from North Africa and the Middle East. This is a inevitable. The only question is whether or not Europe can integrate them. If it does, the Middle East may become more like Europe as Muslims see and understand the success of their brothers in Europe. If not, problems of today will be peanuts compared to Eurabia, a threat on par with the fascism of the 1930s.

Immigrants can be a blessing or a burden. The receiving country has a right to demand that immigrants integrate (After all, they come because the host country is better than theirs, otherwise they would stay put.) and immigrants have the right to demand that they be allowed to integrate. The goal of both groups should be integration (which BTW need not be assimilation). It is good for nobody if they remain separate.

And let's not be TOO respectful of each other’s beliefs. A good dose of ridicule can be a good way to break people of bad habits. Europeans can learn from the U.S. on immigration. Despite our PC rhetoric, our system has been relentless in helping foreigners become Americans, Muslims included.

So here hoping that Europe doesn’t become more like the Middle East, but that the Middle East becomes more like Europe and Europe becomes more like America.

Posted by Jack at February 11, 2006 10:56 PM
Comments
Comment #123778

This is less about regions than about political values. I prefer liberal democracies. I don’t care if they’re U.S.-style or European style or Asian or South American style. What matters to me is that they are relatively uncorrupted by any type of totalitarian impulses - religious, socialist, nationalist, capitalist or otherwise. Rather than worry about Europe - which is fighting the good fight for free expression - we should be much more concerned with nations or regions bent on restricting civil liberties or reducing democratic choices.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at February 11, 2006 11:40 PM
Comment #123785

Jack,
First, useful definitions from Wikipedia:
Psyops “are planned operations to convey selected information and indicators to specific foreign and (in certain countries) domestic audiences to influence their emotions, motives, objective reasoning, and ultimately the behavior of governments, organizations, groups, and individuals. The purpose of psychological operations is to induce or reinforce attitudes and behaviors favorable to the originator’s objectives.”

Blowback “refers to the consequences that are entailed when an intelligence agency participates in foreign media manipulation, which is then reported by their own domestic news sources as “fact”.”

Are we being prepped for an attack on Iran?

The ‘cartoon war’ issue strikes me as a possible example of blowback in a Psyops operation. Isn’t it interesting that, with one exception, US newspapers did not find the cartoons worth printing?

Since when has European freedom of the press been a concern of Bush supporters? I thought ‘Old Europe’ was irrelevant for Bush supporters, especially the French and Russians.

If you wanted to prep this country to initiate yet another war, a war which citizens do not support, how would you go about it?

Posted by: phx8 at February 12, 2006 12:21 AM
Comment #123790

Phx8

I was just reading the “Economist” (as you probably know, it is a UK publication) The issue that came in the mail today had a lot on this subject. This situation has nothing to do with anything in the short run. But in the medium or long run, it will make a big difference. The character of the European population is changing. I was pointing out that despite our problems with Europeans, it is nothing compared to the problems we would have with a Europe with ever larger chunks of unintegrated Muslims.

I am actually more impressed with the Europeans than I am with our own in the cartoon affair. Actually some of our media did publish the cartoons, but then they took them off their webpages. When I wrote a Watchblog note about this subject on February 2, I could find the cartoons on U.S. media webpages. They literally disappeared when the story got big. It was not a matter of their being uninterested; they were intimidated, probably not by the fear of riots as much as the fear of the PC people.

BTW - if I was trying to incite a war, I wouldn’t do anything except make sure that everything the Iranian leadership said was printed all over the world. Nobody could make up the stupid things they say.

Posted by: Jack at February 12, 2006 12:49 AM
Comment #123794

Jack,
No question, the Iranian president represents a voice of confrontation. Such voices of extremism are being amplified and echoed around the world, which ties into a point I’ve been repeating.
“The Economist” is a good magazine. I used to subscribe.
The Europeans will have to reach an accomodation with their recent immigrants and unassilimated minorities, just as we will have to do in the US; but when the process of accomodation, integration, and assimilation is the goal, confrontation seems like a very bad idea.

Posted by: phx8 at February 12, 2006 1:14 AM
Comment #123797

Jack already said it but Phx8 needs this repeated …

“Isn’t it interesting that, with one exception, US newspapers did not find the cartoons worth printing?”

This is ridiculous. You think it was disinterest? You think it was apathy over the issue? They were scared out of their gord!!!

Hell, even “The Daily Show”, which professes unmeasured disrespect for all politics and religion, got it wrong. In the “This Week in God” stint … which religion do they bash on the Monday after that first cartoon violence weekend … Christianity. Fearrrrrrrrrr!

Posted by: Ken Cooper at February 12, 2006 1:22 AM
Comment #123799

Phx8

It depends on how much of each (accomodation etc) you want. It is up to all sides to fit together, but the newcomers have a greater responsibility and need. Europeans have less recent experience with immigration than we do. We have managed to make Americans out of all sorts of people from all over the world. I hope the Euros can do similar things.

Posted by: Jack at February 12, 2006 1:26 AM
Comment #123850

Jack:

The fact that you equated Arabs with Terrorists is one of the main reasons the protests are taking place. I am also not surprised that you consider Eurabia as Arab Muslims taking over Europe. Considering your view of Latinos and Immigration in this country, your position is to be expected.

Just out of curiousity, when did the IRA and KKK become Arabs?

Posted by: Aldous at February 12, 2006 6:57 AM
Comment #123857

Aldous,


Prove to us that the Arabs aren’t terrorists! It’s sad to say, yet they’ve made their bed and now they must lie in it. The violent cartoon protests have hurt the muslims (and their religion of “peace”) bigtime. Even the PC crowd is not ok with these violent protests; how can you have freedom and liberty, then violently attack someone b/c they exercised freedom of speech/press?


To all muslim apologists, it’s not going to work anymore. The people are awake and see with their very own eyes how volatile this religion truly is. Until they have more of a moderate base stand up and weed out the radical fascists in their religion, Islam will be a pejorative and not receive any respect.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 12, 2006 7:39 AM
Comment #123870

Jack,

You wrote a really great article that I think we’d all do well to mull over seriously, I know it gave me a lot to think about.

Digly,

Nobody can ever prove to you what you’ve already obviously made up your mind against. The sandpigs are all terrorists, all 1.4 billion of them, even though the vast majority of the Muslim (as opposed to Arab - do you know there’s a difference?) has been quiescent, especially over this issue.

Question, Digster: do you know which country has the largest Muslim population? No fair Googling, now. Hint: it’s not in the middle east.

Nobody can ever prove anything to you, ever, because you are an ignorant racist. Prove you aren’t.

Period.

Posted by: Arr-squared at February 12, 2006 9:29 AM
Comment #123872

Aldous

My views on Hispanic immigration (like most immigration) is that it is generally a good thing for our country. I want them to become prosperous and productive memebers of our society. That is not the subject, but you can disagree if you want.

It also takes a very liberal interpretation of what I wrote to think I equate Arabs with terrorism. I specifically call for the integration of Muslims into European society. Radical Islam is a danger. We can’t fool ourselves about that, but not all Muslims are Arabs. Not all Arabs are Muslim. Not all Muslims are radical. Not all radicals are Muslims. I could go on a long time, but I expect the complications and nuances a conservative too much for you to take in. You prefer the one-dimensional image you have in your own mind. It is much easier to attack.

I also disagree with your implication about Muslims in Europe in general when you advocate a more racially based policy or believe that Muslims should not or cannot integrate into a modern society.

Posted by: Jack at February 12, 2006 9:47 AM
Comment #123876

So here hoping that Europe doesn’t become more like the Middle East, but that the Middle East becomes more like Europe and Europe becomes more like America.


Posted by Jack at February 11, 2006 10:56 PM

Greetings from Hanoi. I just managed to look in briefly on this blog tonight. Jack, the only way Europe needs to become more like the US, is in the way you guys integrate your immigrants. Otherwise, I say vivre la difference! There is a sense building in Europe that enough is enough, at the street level. This was part of the reason for the rejection of the EU constitutional referendum. There is a very clear onus on Muslim immigrants to accept that they have come to countries very different to their own. If they continue to refuse to accept that they have come willingly to liberal democracies, with all that that implies, then I believe that massive strife lies ahead. It is apparent among the people on the streets throughout Europe, and I believe that the politicians are beginning to take notice.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at February 12, 2006 10:24 AM
Comment #123881

Paul

That is what I mean. You know I have to say be a bit broader to get reactions.

As a person actually living with this situation, I appreciate your opinions.

Posted by: Jack at February 12, 2006 10:34 AM
Comment #123884
Nobody can ever prove anything to you, ever, because you are an ignorant racist. Prove you aren’t.

Arr-squared,

As much as I can understand this reaction to rahdigly, you really need to be more careful if you want to continue in the WatchBlog community. Calling someone an “ignorant racist” violates the community policy of “Critique the Message, Not the Messenger”, and there’s a good chance you’ll be banned from the site for that sort of comment.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 12, 2006 10:43 AM
Comment #123887

I lived in Germany from May to October last year, and I saw that the issue of Muslim integration is one of the biggest issues in Germany and Western Europe these days.

There are something like two millions Turks in Germany now, and they are having a significant effect on the society. The most easily-seen positive effect is the wide availability of Turkish fast food, which is significantly better than most German or American fast food. On the other hand, there are entire neighborhoods in large cities like Berlin and Hamburg where Germany isn’t spoken, German laws are not considered important, and Turkish single people bring more and more immigrants in each year for arranged marriages.

The Turks were invited in after WWII to help rebuild the country, but now racial, religious, and legal tensions are high.

For Western Europeans, there’s an internal conflict between not wanting to be racist and wanting to preserve their own liberal culture.

I don’t think anyone has a good answer at this point.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 12, 2006 10:48 AM
Comment #123890

All

Three weeks ago when I returned from my jaunt to Europe to check the pulse there I wrote on this blog that Europeans were beginning to wake up..and they will continue to do so.

However,this time I think that Russia will get a little bit more exposed as to to true intentions.

Isn’t it odd that the Hamas leadership is travelling to Moscow this week to meet with Putkin after most EU countries came out and said they won’t negotiate with a nation unless that nation (Palestine) renounces terror?

A new axis of evil is forming,and it’s formidable,my friends…Russia,with her energy,sees an excellent chance to get into cahoots with Iran over the energy issue AND nuclear issue with an implicit link to energy pricing down the road.

With this cartoon thing,we essentially played good cop-bad cop..with Europe being the bad cop and screaming about freedoms and us (State) not joining in,instead sitting on our hands,being the good cop.Good play,I think,despite what my collegues on the right say.

Why?

Simple.

Iraq.

This week very delicate negotiations were concluded on the Prime Minister’s position,and excessive rioting in Iraq would have thrown everything off the curve.

With him named today,the Interior Ministery is next…far and away the most powerful post…and if the right guy is named there,then the beginning of a democracy is under way,clearing the way for us to address BOTH Syria (who probably has those WMD’s) and Iran.

Thankfully we have those air strips in western Iran…all fully locked and loaded…because IF necessary…IF diplomacy fails..this time a willing partner WILL be Europe.

Where’s Jack Murtha when you need him,eh?

The beat goes on…..and the administration’s view on this matter proves correct.

The mid-east now is a campaign issue in ‘06 and ‘08…but it tips now to the administration’s position.

Fun stuff,this geo-politicial thing.

Posted by: Sicilianeagle at February 12, 2006 11:01 AM
Comment #123893

Muslims are going to continue to receive less and less sympathy until they opt for a more moderate approach. Iran with it’s continued lies about not wanting nukes, palestinians not recognizing Israel and this ridiculous reaction to the cartoons; these are issues that the muslims should renounce.

Lawnboy,
Thanks for sticking up for me (I think); that’s yet another example of ad hominem; though, this time, not on your part.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 12, 2006 11:23 AM
Comment #123896

Rah,

Are you going to return to the debate we were having on the other thread? JayJay and I have made some arguments to which I’d like to see your response.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 12, 2006 11:43 AM
Comment #123897

Eurabia is neither a dream or a nightmare, but an inevitable reality.

Posted by: Mike Tate at February 12, 2006 11:45 AM
Comment #123899

I’m not going back to that thread; I’m done with that. I was just pointing out the (continuos) ad hominem attacks on this blog.

Posted by: rahdigly at February 12, 2006 11:53 AM
Comment #123907

SE,
Russian meeting with Hamas does not carry any significance. Russia has its own problem with Muslim minorities, separatists, Chechens, and Sunni extremeists. If they meet and negotiate with terrorists, it would be for the same reason the US meets and negotiates with terrorists- as a way of addressing grievances, and ending terrorist attacks.

An alliance of Russia and Iran represents a problem. The US went to considerable effort to keep those countries apart. We overthrew a democratically eleccted Iranian government in 1953, and installed the Shah. When Khomenei’s rebelling Muslims overthrew the Shah, and held US embassasy personell hostage, we chose to live with Khomenei, rather than push the Iranians into the arms of the USSR or China. Under Reagan, we even sold the Iranians top of the line anti-aircraft Hawk missiles, thanks to the traitorous actions of Oliver North. It caused considerable consternation @ 1986, when the US came within 24 hours of bombing Bandar Abbas during the Tanker War. The only anti-aircraft missiles in the world capable of shooting down US bombers were the Hawk. Fortunately it blew over. At one point, the US military killed a bunch of Iranian civilians when we accidentally shot down an Iranian airliner. The Iranians no doubt achieved their own nefarious revenge. Everyone called it even.

But with the gross incompetence and ineptitude of the Bush administration, we don’t seem to be able to alienate Mulsims around the world fast enough, especially the Iranians. Confrontational policies aid our competitors, and harm our own long-term interests.

Meanwhile, Jaafiri won the position of Prime Minister for Iraq. This is a big win for al-Sadr, an unexpected one, and it is a loss for SCIRI. Al-Sadr seems to be the new kingmaker and major player in Iraq, and hetends to be less friendly to the Iranians, which is the good news; Al-Sadr is more nationalistic, more in favor of a united, independent Iraq; but the bad news is he is virulently anti-American and anti-Israel, even by the region’s standards, and rabidly fundamentalist.

Hold onto your hat… or turban, if you used to be a European.

Fianlly, the Italian PM and good ally of Bush, Berlusconi, referred to himself as ‘the Christ of politics.’ This is unlikely to go over well with Italians, though I doubt they’ll violently demonstrate. Instead, it seems to make the election of a center-left government in April more likely.

Posted by: phx8 at February 12, 2006 12:37 PM
Comment #123911

Mike

I agree that it is happening. The question is whether Islam will adapt to the modern world (and I think it can) or drag our modern world back to theirs.

I think all of us who can and do write freely would agree that we don’t want the current radical intepretations of Islam to be the one that dominates in Europe.

BTW - before someone sets up the straw man, I don’t want a radical Christianity to dominate in the U.S.

Posted by: Jack at February 12, 2006 12:41 PM
Comment #123913

I think in part this is a problem of economic laziness, coupled with the results of past colonial behavior.

Here, we engaged in a number of military actions and foreign policy choices that seriously hindered the economic development of our neighbors to the south, Mexico especially. Result? A Lot of Poor folks, wanting to be rich. Unfortunately, companies over here have caught themselves in a bind. They charge so much for good and services in America, in order to generate their profits, that the labor market here is forced to demand relatively high wages. But then that cuts into their profits, so they decide to outsource or rely on illegal labor. But that causes problem for both Blue Collar and white-collar labor markets.

This is what draws more and more folks over the border, shifting our demographics.

What’s happening in Europe is similar, for similar reasons. Having intervened in and mangled things in the Middle East, we have relatively poor workers, who get invited in as guest workers, but who do not see the benefits of full citizenship. Unfortunately, that separation from society encourages people to remain unintegrated. After all, who takes care of what really isn’t their own? This is Bush’s big plan for solving our immigration problem, folks. Rather than shift immigration laws to where one starts the process on the road to becoming a full-blown citizen, He instead wants us to create a non-citizen class of workers who don’t have to commit themselves to our society. They get to rent America, instead of having to buy into this country.

Rahdigly makes the mistake of thinking he has these people figured out. He should read up. He’d find that attitudes vary widely, and as with here, sometimes the radicals are all we get to hear, because they are the ones shouting the loudest.

I think if we allow racism to undermine our approach to the Middle East, we will only create enemies where we could have had friends, and therefore influence. The Approach of the right is to simplify things for politic’s sake. The approach of the Democrats will be to acknowledge the difference for the sake of practicality.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 12, 2006 12:49 PM
Comment #123919

Stephen

How can you find U.S. to blame in everything. The Middle East is poor for a variety of home grown reasons. U.S. interventions have sometimes been caused by the corruption and mismanagement, but have not caused it. People were poor and oppressed in the Muslim world way before there even was a U.S. In fact, the problem for the Muslim world is NOT they have have become poorer (their wealth is greater than ever), just that others (especially the West) have become richer.

We should not feed this feeling some people have of victimization and entitlement. It is so 1970s. If the Middle East was not mismanaged locally it would be doing as well or better than than the Asian tigers, whose history with colonialism is as long or longer.

Posted by: Jack at February 12, 2006 1:11 PM
Comment #123936

Stephen,

The middle East creates its’ own racism that undermines that region; you can throw in fascism and theocracy, as well. I disagree with Bush with immigration (bigtime!). We need take control of our borders and, the immigrants here in the US, have them adapt to our ways. We can still celebrate their culture; as with all other cultures in this country, they would respect ours instead of bleeding us dry.


Posted by: rahdigly at February 12, 2006 3:07 PM
Comment #123956

Rah,

I’m not going back to that thread; I’m done with that.

I’m glad that you officially acknowledged that you lost. Thanks.

I was just pointing out the (continuos) ad hominem attacks on this blog.

Once again, being insulted is different than being the target of an ad hominem attack. Just because we verbalize our frustrations with your inability to debate honestly and accurately doesn’t make you a victim.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 12, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #123960

Lawnboy, I didn’t lose anything; you keeping proving my point and that is you don’t know how to debate correctly. Debate is not about winning and losing, it’s about presenting your case and sometimes you change point of views and sometimes you don’t. Either way, you get to see who people really are and what they truly believe. You’re a big fan of the aclu and you presented your reasons why. Good for you. I disagree with the aclu immensely and I presented my reasons why. I see the aclu interferring with issues outside the US; look at former aclu member Ramsey Clark, he’s defending Saddam Hussein (IN IRAQ!). And, I haven’t seen a whole heck of alot of cases where they went after muslims or mosques, like they do with Christianity.


So, we now know where each other stand on that issue. Done. Finito. It’s over. Move on.


By the way, whenever you insult someone rather than debate them on the issues, that’s an ad hominem attack. It happens in politics all the time; as well as on this blog. :o)

Posted by: rahdigly at February 12, 2006 4:39 PM
Comment #123965
Debate is not about winning and losing

You’re right, but it’s also supposed to be able presenting arguments based on logic and defending or updating your arguments when evidence is contrary to your assumptions. On that part, you failed.

I disagree with the aclu immensely

And I have no problem with that. My problem was that you seem to think your dislike of them gives you license to lie about them, too.

You love to order people to prove that they are wrong. I’m not sure why you bother when you don’t care when they succeed.

By the way, whenever you insult someone rather than debate them on the issues,

The key part is “rather than.” We debated you on the issues. The insults were just extras tossed in for free.

So, we now know where each other stand on that issue.

Yes, and you established that you don’t care if your views on a topic are incompatible with reality. I’m glad that you are so proud of that, and I’ll move on until the next time you so arrogantly and aggressively propose and defend an idea that makes no logical sense.

At that point, we might re-engage.

Until then: Done. Finito. It’s over. Move on. Period.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 12, 2006 5:02 PM
Comment #123966

Correction: You love to order people to prove that they are wrong should have been You love to order people to prove that they are right

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 12, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #123978
the French eat more Big Macs per capita than we do

I beg to differ: I *once* eat a Mc Fishy!
;-)

Also, please consider that in France there’s only two hamburgers fastfoods chains everywhere: Mc Donalds (dubbed McDo here) and Quick, a belgium-based fastfood chain.
It’s increasing our BMPC (Bic Macs Per Capita) when compare to nations with way more american fastfoods chains.

So here hoping that Europe doesn’t become more like the Middle East, but that the Middle East becomes more like Europe and Europe becomes more like America.

More serioulsy, why should everybody should become more like others? Can’t we (humans) just become more opened to the difference *and* enrich our own culture with them?
Human society diversity have some benefists, it’s not because these days (well, these last years) the focus is mostly on another human society form’s worst aspects that we should:
a) forgot about the good ones and our own worst ones
b) flush the diversity within toilets.

Your frenchly.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 12, 2006 5:50 PM
Comment #123986

“By the way, whenever you insult someone rather than debate them on the issues, that’s an ad hominem attack.”

Wrong. This is a categorically, manifestly incorrect statement. This argument is getting tiresome, so let me settle this issue.

If a person says:

“You believe that A, B, and C are true.
A, B, and C are untrue.
Here is my evidence that A, B, and C are untrue.
Also, you’re an idiot for believing A, B, and C.”

That is NOT, repeat, NOT an argumentum ad hominem.

Moreover, Rahdigly, if you say this:

“I believe A, B, and C.”

And someone replies:

“You’re a dipshit.”

That is NOT, repeat, NOT an argumentum ad hominem. That’s just an insult. It might be completely unresponsive, but it is not an argumentum ad hominem.

An example of an argumentum ad hominem (now pay attention, because you’re apparently not getting this concept) is when a person says this:

“Rahdigly believes A, B, and C.
But Rahdigly is a jerk who kicks fuzzy kitties.
Therefore, A, B, and C are untrue.”

THAT is an argumentum ad hominem fallacy. If you don’t see the difference, then it’s just too fine a point for you. Which is fine. But PLEASE, for the love of GOD, if you’re going to throw terms around, LEARN WHAT THEY MEAN.

Posted by: Yossarian at February 12, 2006 6:07 PM
Comment #123995

Jack, Rahdigly-
It’s not blame, it’s causality, and our problems with the Middle East are more recent and less causative than that of the Europeans. Or local interventions, including the invasion of Mexico early in our history have had some unintended consequences.

I am not so politically correct as to believe that these things were necessarily done out of some dark crawly evil within western society in general, and America in particular. All societies have a darkside, and our forefathers operated under principles that however reprehensible to us, might have seemed right to them. We shouldn’t blame them for that, because we do it to, and so does everybody else: We’re only human.

We have to admit that in the confusion of complex world events, we do get things wrong. In making compromises between different evils, we sometimes make a choice that comes back to haunt us.

If we look at history, this is the same for all nations. Nobody’s perfect, and pretending you are is the quickest way to become even less so.

I think we need to be on our toes as far as policy, and be looking for unexpected truths

One truth here is that in the long run, it is in our interests to deal with those who come here seeking greater prosperity in a way that they don’t become resentful second-class citizens. On both practical and moral grounds, our best strategy is to assimilate them, to get them to take ownership of their lives as American citizens. If we want the loyalty of those who choose to make their home here, we must give them a stake in America’s good fortune. The Europeans must do the same.

I think in speaking of the colonialization of the Middle East, we must consider that in some ways, the Ottoman Turk’s domination of the area can be considered a colonialization of its own, with effects that got transferred to the European Colonizers and subsequently to us as things went on. Modernization was caught up in that, as it was associated with the Turks and the European powers. People appeal to that good old-tyme religion even as they exploit and are affected by the technology.

We have to see this as more than just some deficiency of character, because the truth is, (again) that we are all imperfect, and prone to doing foolish things for reasons that seemed appropriate at the time. We have to surprise these people, and at the moment, the right’s positions and strategies are just what they expect of us.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 12, 2006 7:46 PM
Comment #124001

Jack,

“People were poor and oppressed in the Muslim world way before there even was a U.S. In fact, the problem for the Muslim world is NOT they have have become poorer (their wealth is greater than ever), just that others (especially the West) have become richer.”

There were poor and oppressed everywhere before there was a U.S., but in the Middle East the wealth has become more concentrated as those in power become richer.
Stephan’s point about colonialism may be right, but for other reasons.
In the power vaccum that happened in Iran after the Shah for instance, Khomenei, who was the main voice of opposition to the Shah, because of the Shah’s strongarm attempts to westernize Iran.

From a biography of Imam RuhullAh Al-Musavi Al-Khomeini;

http://www.rimbaud.freeserve.co.uk/ayatollah1.htm

“In Qum, Tehran, Shiraz, Mashhad, Isfahan, Kashan, and other cities, unarmed
demonstrators confronted the shah’s U.S. trained and equipped army, which, upon the
command to shoot to kill, slaughtered not less than 15,000 people in the space of a few
days.
The date on which this uprising began, KHORDAD 15, according to the solar calendar
used in Iran, marked a turning point in the modern history of Iran.
It established Imam Khomeini as national leader and spokesman for popular aspirations,
provided the struggle against the shah and his foreign patrons with a coherent ideological
basis in Islam, and introduced a period of mass political activity under the guidance of the
religious leadership instead of the secular parties that had been discredited with the
overthrow of Musaddiq.
In all of these ways, the uprising of KHORDAD 15 foreshadowed the Islamic Revolution
of 1978-1979.
The uprising was suppressed, but the general public and the religious scholars refused to
tolerate the imprisonment of Imam Khomeini. Agitation persisted throughout the country,
and numerous religious leaders converged on Tehran to press for Imam Khomeini’s
release. It finally came on April 6, 1964, accompanied by a statement in the
government-controlled press that Imam Khomeini had agreed to refrain from political
activity as a condition for his release.”

It could be said that in our zeal to combat communism in the region, and by putting the Shah in power, that the U.S. help push Iran into theocratic rule.
When the Shah was overthrown and Carter eventually allowed him to come here for medical treatment, the poo hit the fan and only then was the Embassy taken in Tehran.

Posted by: Rocky at February 12, 2006 8:07 PM
Comment #124013

Stephen (and Rocky)

You will recall that the Ottomans conquered and subjugated Europe as far as Hungary and that the oldest region of Christianity and one of the cradles of Western culture (Asia Minor) was permanently Islamicized. Stepehen, I know you know the Nicean creed. We often forget where Nicea was located.

So let’s not buy this Islam as victim crap. You are right that people have oppressed each other since they were able to do so. In the long interaction of Christianity and Islam, Islam was more often on the offensive. As a westerner, I don’t hold the past against anyone living today and I don’t accept that they have the right to hold it against me. While I welcome peaceful integration, I can remember history as well as they can.

Posted by: Jack at February 12, 2006 8:46 PM
Comment #124017

Lawnboy,
“And I have no problem with that. My problem was that you seem to think your dislike of them gives you license to lie about them, too.”

You blatently skipped my response where I listed Ramsey Clark defending Saddam and how they don’t go after the Muslim religion as they do the Christian religion. Not to mention, I listed examples of how they try to remove crosses from gravesites and from public, the attacks on Christmas displays, taking god out of everything, and helping illegals beat our system. Those are not factually incorrect! You might not like them, or you might not mind them as much as I do, but they are not false.


Now, you came back with some facts of your own and I didn’t think they were factually wrong; they just weren’t enough to change my mind. My facts were enough to warrant the “immense ” dislike I have for the aclu.


This is what I’m talking about with debate, I present my facts, you presented yours and then you got mad b/c you didn’t change my mind. My facts were correct; just as yours were, when you didn’t change my mind, that’s when the ad hominem attacks kicked in. And, keep this in mind, the moment you got frustrated with me and stopped presenting facts and started with your insults; that, my friends, is ad hominem. Period.

One other thing, try to be original and not “copy” my lines. Later!


Posted by: rahdigly at February 12, 2006 9:01 PM
Comment #124034

Stephen Daugherty:
“Having intervened in and mangled things in the Middle East, we have relatively poor workers …”

Not! They were poor because they were ignorant and uneducated. They are still uneducated and even more ignorant than the past. Let us stop the self-flaggelation in unwarranted and artificial guilt and educate them. But, you have to free them first, the ingrates!

Posted by: Krishan Kumra at February 12, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #124042

Jack,

I am not suggesting that we alone are responsible for the situation in the Middle East.

However, that said the friends we have made there since the end of WW2, haven’t nescessarily put the populations of that area first and foremost in the foriegn affairs of their respective countries.
Just how many theocracies were there in the Middle East before WW2?
I would submit that there weren’t any.

BTW, the Nicean Creed isn’t accepted by the Eastern Orthodox Faiths and is thought to be one of the reasons for the separation between the two branches of the Catholic Church.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/chr/nicene.htm

“A seemingly minor difference in the wording of this simple text had a profound impact on European history. The Nicene Creed, or Symbol of Faith, was written by the First Ecumenical Council at Nicaea in 325 C.E., with additions (the 3rd paragraph and following) by the first Council of Constantinople (381). There is an unresolved controversy over the words ‘and the Son’ (in Latin filioque). This language was added in 587 by the local council of Toledo, Spain, in an attempt to combat the Arian heresy. Pope Leo III (795-816) forbade the use of the filioque version and had it engraved without ‘and the Son’ on the walls of St. Peter’s Basillica. After a failed attempt to unite by marriage Charlemagne’s Frankish holdings with that of the Byzantine Empress, Charlemagne challenged Byzantinium’s claim of universal jurisdiction as the successor to Rome by claiming in 792 that among other things, that the Byzantines had omitted the filioque from the original text. The filioque was finally accepted by the Romans in the year 1014, and the revision has been part of Catholic doctrine ever since. The “filioque,” the significance of Roman primacy, and geo-political conflict led to the the Great Schism of 1053. To this day, the Eastern Orthodox Churches do not accept the filioque and raise this as one of many reasons that prevent re-unification with the Roman Catholic Church.”

rahdigly,

I don’t understand what your problem is with Ramsey Clark.

I mean, shouldn’t we give Saddam a fair trial before we hang him?

Posted by: Rocky at February 12, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #124047

Rah,

I replied to you back on the original thread. I don’t want to hijack this one anymore.

I hope to hear from you.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 12, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #124050

Rocky

It depends on how far you go. Before European interventions ALL Islamic nations were theocracies. Islam has no concept of separation of Church and state. The Brits and the French established some relatively liberal monarchies. They gave Iran the best government in its entire 5000 year history under a king. Neither we nor the Europeans put the Saudis in power and the Saudis are nothing if not religious. The founder of the Saudi dynasty was nobody’s favorite.

The problem with the Middle East is the dominant organization of the Middle East and things started to decline more than 500 years ago. European and later American interventions are a symptom, not the cause of that weakness.

Our first overseas adventure was against the Barbary Pirates and they sure had it coming. They also talked the Islamic talk.

Re the creed

I was not saying anything about the creed except that it was one of the foundation documents of Christianity produced in one of the earliest centers of Christianity - a place that was one of the first places converted by St Paul himself. That place is now firmly under the sway of Islam and Islam didn’t take it by peaceful means.

I don’t mean to talk for Rah, but I don’t have a problem with Ramsey Clark. I am a little ashamed that a fool like that comes from my country, but on the other hand he is the kind of buffoon that makes his opponents look good.

Posted by: Jack at February 12, 2006 10:50 PM
Comment #124051

Big mistake in my above post. Iran should be Iraq.

Posted by: Jack at February 12, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #124063

I have no qualms about hijacking threads.

“And, keep this in mind, the moment you got frustrated with me and stopped presenting facts and started with your insults; that, my friends, is ad hominem. Period.”

Have you ever seen, The Miracle Worker, Rah? I’m beginning to appreciate the work of Anne Sullivan.

Posted by: Yossarian at February 12, 2006 11:21 PM
Comment #124135

Jack,

Big mistake in my above post. Iran should be Iraq.

Don’t worry, I guess you will not be the last to make such confusion. Hey, it’s hard to keep focus with warbeating in your background…

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 13, 2006 4:37 AM
Comment #124220

Rocky,

The deal with Rasmey Clark was one of my points with the aclu; it was argued that they only deal with the US, and I brought up how he’s an aclu member that took on Saddam’s case. He also used to be the AG of this country; yet, he has a right to defend anyone he wants. Like I’ve been saying, you can say and do anything you want, all you end up doing is showing people who you really are.


And, as far as Saddam’s concerned, I think they should hang him, then give him a trial. :o)

Posted by: rahdigly at February 13, 2006 9:10 AM
Comment #124223

rahdigly,

I answered your point about Ramsey Clark in the other thread.

Posted by: LawnBoy at February 13, 2006 9:15 AM
Comment #124243

Jack-
It’s not muslims as victims. This is more about how history shapes thinking, and thinking in turn shapes history. You may not like to think of Muslims as victims, but what if they do? Your disapproval doesn’t mean much to them, so it will be the attitude we have to deal with.

So what do we do? We build empowerment of a kind into our dealings. We do our best not to act like manipulators. We defeat their expectations by not giving into the temptations of condescension.

The world isn’t fair. The Muslims were not always nice to us, and we weren’t always nice to them. But acting like they naturally have something against us is unadvisable, because really, even if they do think that way, we can change their minds. It’s not always going to be easy or provide us with short term gain, but it will be much better than assuming the problem of Muslim violence is permanent.

Krishan-
Screw guilt. Let’s talk about dealing with reality. Whether we like it or not, we and the European powers intervened in the area. Whether it suits our ideological stance, there were unintended side effects of those interventions that have really pissed some people off. I’m not saying we should be doormats, but we shouldn’t wade in there expecting warm welcomes and gratitude for the divine gift of representative government. We should have more humility and hard-headed practicality than to be so naive.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 13, 2006 9:53 AM
Comment #124246

Stephen

I don’t disagree with you about history. But methods might vary. I do not think it is possible to satisfy the sensibilites of some Muslims re history. Just like it was not possible for Poles to satisfy Nazi ambitions by recognizing their “grievences”. In that case, it does come down to who is stronger. We may not win the struggle, but we have to recognize that we are fighting - not with all Muslims, but with the radicals. If we don’t stand up to them we WILL be fighting more Muslims. One thing the Muslim street does understand is who is winning.

Posted by: Jack at February 13, 2006 10:02 AM
Comment #124299

Jack,

“I was not saying anything about the creed except that it was one of the foundation documents of Christianity produced in one of the earliest centers of Christianity - a place that was one of the first places converted by St Paul himself. That place is now firmly under the sway of Islam and Islam didn’t take it by peaceful means.”

I don’t mean to belabor the point, but, so what?
Lots of places have been taken by non-peaceful means, by conquering hoardes of all stripes. Human history is rife with the conquering of people.
Well, history is just that, history, and sooner or later we all have to deal with the consequences of the actions of those that came before us. We cannot ingnore that which happened just to suit how we act in the present.


Posted by: Rocky at February 13, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #124300

rahdigly,

Clark is a private citizen.
Lots of folks are members of the ACLU, that doesn’t mean that they represent the ACLU 24/7/365.

Posted by: Rocky at February 13, 2006 12:31 PM
Comment #124305

Jack,

One more thing.

Do you seriously think that if there were no oil involved, anybody would have given a second thought to how Saddam treated his people?

And BTW, we just conquered Iraq by “non-peaceful” means.

Posted by: Rocky at February 13, 2006 12:44 PM
Comment #124342

Rocky

re Saddam - no. We would treat him like Robert Mugabe. I have written before that oil is power. Without oil money, Saddam would be a threat on the order of Mugabe. If Mugabe had oil, he would be a threat like Saddam.

Re the past, you found my point. We don’t still make a big deal about losing the heartland of early Western Christianity. I expect our Muslim friends to be as rational. If they can’t be, we (and they) have a problem which will probably be resolved by force. I am not advocating this, just recognizing that it is coming. Like the Poles of 1939, there is nothing we can do to appease the aggressors besides die. If we are unwilling to do that, we may have to fight.

Posted by: Jack at February 13, 2006 1:55 PM
Comment #124464

Jack,

“We don’t still make a big deal about losing the heartland of early Western Christianity.”

So what?
DO you suspect that it wasn’t lost fair and square?
And if it was lost fair and square, why would we make a big deal about it?

“Like the Poles of 1939, there is nothing we can do to appease the aggressors besides die.”

Except in that region we are the aggressors!

Please, Jack tell me what I am missing here.

Posted by: Rocky at February 13, 2006 6:10 PM
Comment #124566

Rocky

I am not making my point clear. History is something we should study, but any grievance older than the person complaining about it is bunk. Historically, Islam has been much more agressive. You can see that by merely looking at a map of the Christian world in 600 and compare it to the world in 800, or today. This does not concern me and it should not concern anyone else except as a historical study.

The U.S. has been involved in the Middle East in a variety of ways. Our first involvement was against the Barbary Pirates. They were capturing U.S. ships and enslaving Americans.

We were important in building the oil industry. The locals had neither the technology nor the management skill to run the industry. As a matter of fact, they still don’t. They sell us a product that we extract with our technology in an industry largely run by expatriots. It is hard to feel sorry for these guys who do almost nothing for the resource. I regret that their leaders steal so much of the money. We pay for the oil. I don’t think the conquering armies of the Sultan came with the cash to pay for everything they took.

Re agression, the U.S. has no intention of conquering Iraq. We will leave as soon as we can, maybe before we should. The governments in the Middle East present a dilema. Most are rotten and corrupt. But if we deal with them, we inevitably help support them. If we go against them we are helping overthrow them. There is no real good course of action here. The best we can do is what we are doing now - try to support democracy and evolutionary change. It may not work, but the alternatives are worse.

My analogy with Poland has to do with radical Islam. Radical Islam does not want to share the world with us unless we are subordinate. The cartoon crisis shows just this. Dozens of people are dead. Property is damaged becuase radical Islam wants to impose its values on Denmark. Denmark? Can you think of a more reasonalbe and less agressive place.

Unless you count the Normans in Sicily, nobody even remotely related to the Danes has ever done anything agressive against any Muslims, but some cartoons are enough to set the fools off.

Posted by: Jack at February 13, 2006 10:17 PM
Comment #124592

Jack,

“We were important in building the oil industry. The locals had neither the technology nor the management skill to run the industry.”

If the West (the Brits and America), hadn’t been the ones that built the infrastructure, someone else would have. That is not to say that the area hasn’t been exploited by those that we helped to keep in power to help us fend of the Soviets.

Jack, I wasn’t born yesterday. I am aware of the tinpots we helped.
You’re right, that was a long time ago, but Islam has a long memory.
We expected open arms in Iraq, and didn’t get them, whether that was due to our not following through after the Gulf War or not, the West has a responsibility to the little folks that were suppressed by those we kept in power. These are not the radicals, I am talking about the everyday Muslum that isn’t nescessarily interested in the radicals fight at the moment.

My point though is that we better reconcile with these little folks soon or we will be fighting those that are still on the fence.

Posted by: Rocky at February 13, 2006 11:08 PM
Post a comment