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    Friday, October 06, 2006

    Al-Lawrence, and Today's 500 pound Gorilla



    "So long as the Arabs fight tribe against tribe, so long will they be a little people, a silly people - greedy, barbarous, and cruel, as you are."

    I've been quite busy studying Arabic as of late, and recently took a break to watch an old classic that I hadn't seen in a long time, Lawrence of Arabia. I usually would not quote a movie on such a weighty subject, but this quote really caught me off guard as I watched the scene unfold. Is this the same continuing problem the Arab world has today? T.E. Lawrence was certainly an extraordinary man, and one whom would be of great assistance in today's current affairs. However, I'm not sure a Westerner could accomplish what he accomplished with the Arab people today. Lawrence believed in the Arab people to the point that he was willing to go against all schools of thought in the British Army at the time, and succeeded in many ways, but also watched much of his success eventually crumble as time and time again the Arab people, frankly, couldn't get their act together.

    My other thoughts as of late concern Islam. Is Islam itself a threat to the Western world rather than Islamic terrorists? Is Islam really a peaceful religion perverted by a few "fundamentalists"? Personally, when I see the attempts the media makes at projecting that view, and when I hear politicians call Islam a "peaceful" religion, I am extremely skeptical. It seems to me that political correctness and our pluralistic, multi-culturalistic views have us hog-tied when it comes to articulating the motives behind Islamic jihadists and the Islamic mind. Why are we so afraid to interpret things at at face value? It's the classic case of the 500 lb. gorilla sitting in the room about to kill someone while everyone just kind of pretends it's not there. Another question I have is how can people make comparisons between Islamic fundamentalists and Christian fundamentalists? If a looney Christian blows up an abortion clinic, he is fundamentally going against anything the Bible, or Jesus taught. Now, let's take a suicide Jihadist killing some Zionists or Infidels. The Jihadist is doing what the Koran and Mohammed taught and what the majority of preachers in mosques are teaching today. Not only are the occurences of violence by Christian fundamentalists scarce in comparison with Islamic fundamentalists, but 99% of Christians would say that's crazy, while Muslims would certainly not have any near the same percentage of dissent, but would likely be sympathetic to their "martyr". When's the last time you heard an Ayatollah condemn such attacks on innocents? Never. When will we wake up?

    Here are some articles a friend passed on to me concerning the growing threat of Islam.

    The first article is written by a well-known liberal, and he is surprisingly unbiased in his assessment. Great read. He choades both Liberals and Conservatives in his 10 reasons. The second article is by conservative Tony Blankley who is spearheading the conservative think-tank effort to educate Americans about the truth concerning Islam and it's threat to our way of life. He highlights the points in the Pope's now famous speech and Henry Kissinger's recent weigh-in on the Nuclear clash of civilizations. Comment which points from the following articles struck you the most.

    "Can the West defeat the Islamic threat? 10 Reasons Why Not" by David Selbourne

    "The Pope and Kissinger Warn the World" by Tony Blankley

    I apologize for my lenghty absence. I simply do not have as much time now. However, I will coninue to post when I can, and hopefully it won't be a month at a time.

    18 Comments:

    At 10/06/2006 9:27 PM, Anonymous billie said...

    Have just discovered your blog via Google when I was researching some info for a book - a tangent which somehow pulled up one of your blog entries and I got intrigued. :)

    Glad to see the new post. Happy studying of Arabic!

    billie

     
    At 10/07/2006 1:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Jake, just nice that your able to still blog....nice to see a post again. As always very thought provoking... Hope this finds you well. And see I can be just well you know "normal" some days...not a zinger in this comment.

    Sigh I agree when will the American public wake up...it strikes fear in my heart Jake.

    Your favorite "old chick" *grin*

    Bodacious

     
    At 10/07/2006 9:53 AM, Anonymous shayna said...

    It's good to read you are back... well kind of! Hope things are going well for you!

     
    At 10/07/2006 3:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Awesome post man. Glad to have you back.

    Anon1

     
    At 10/09/2006 3:10 PM, Blogger Jake said...

    billie- welcome and thanks for the kind words. i am extremely curious to know what search you put in that ran into my humble blog.

    bf- i never thought you were abnormal, just a bit bodacious.

    shayna- hola! what gives with this "kind of" stuff?

    anon1- thanks, and great to be back.

     
    At 10/09/2006 5:16 PM, Blogger emm said...

    Fair warning: My comment is lengthy. Lots of quotes from articles, but here are the ones that resonated with me the most.The pope’s speech was very cerebral. Whew! The Tony Blankley article distilled it quite well.

    Henry Kissinger article

    *The diplomacy appropriate to denuclearization is comparable to the containment policy that helped win the Cold War: no preemptive challenge to the external security of the adversary, but firm resistance to attempts to project its power abroad and reliance on domestic forces to bring about internal change. It was precisely such a nuanced policy that caused President Ronald Reagan to invite Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev to a dialogue within weeks of labeling the Soviet Union as the evil empire.*

    *The issue before the nations involved is similar to what the world faced in 1938 and at the beginning of the Cold War: whether to overcome fears and hesitancy about undertaking the difficult path demanded by necessity. The failure of that test in 1938 produced a catastrophic war; the ability to master it in the immediate aftermath of World War II led to victory without war.*

    David Selbourne article – great insight. Really good article

    *Moreover, to Islam’s further advantage, it has led most of today’s “progressives” to say little, or even to keep silent, about what would once have been regarded as the reactionary aspects of Islam: its oppressive hostility to dissent, its maltreatment of women, its supremacist hatred of selected out-groups such as Jews and gays, and its readiness to incite and to use extremes of violence against them. Mein Kampf circulates in Arab countries under the title Jihadi.*

    Jeesh, that is quite telling. Mein Kampf = Jihadi.
    Where are NOW, GLAAD, and Gloria Steinem? There is zero room for those groups in an Islamic world.

    Tony Blankley article – great synopsis

    *Any fair and careful reading of the pope's lecture must conclude that it was not an inadvertent insult to Islam. Rather it was a firm assertion that the Judeo-Christian God acts in accordance with reason (In the beginning was the logos — word and reason.), and thus Christians and Jews can undertake a rational debate about the morality of violence. He quotes, now famously, Emperor Manuel II's assertion in 1391 that Islam spreads its faith through violence — which, he says, is unreasonable and incompatible with the nature of God. He then cites an 11th-century Arab Muslim theologian, Ibn Hazn, who argued that Allah is transcendent of reason.*

    The pope invited a dialogue at the end of his speech. What response did he receive? The Muslim world gave him exactly was written about many centuries ago – response through violence.

     
    At 10/09/2006 5:27 PM, Blogger emm said...

    Forgot to ask. Are the 22 lbs. back with you these days?

     
    At 10/09/2006 9:47 PM, Anonymous billie said...

    jake... it was something to do with "special ops tracks sexual predators" - which probably sounds bizarre as heck, but a current character in a book is a retired sf medic who hires himself out to do just that. the google search pulled up one specific blog entry of yours - I think it was the ER one?? that got me even more intrigued (and off on another tangent) b/c this same character had just recently been through the ordeal of being present when a horse in the book was terribly injured and he ended up doing hours of suturing and inserting drains into the huge wound.

    I also got lost in a maze of blogs from your links - which got me completely off the track, but it was fun reading, anyway..!

    Am back in the real world now w/ less time for recon on the internet - I was in S.P. doing a writing residency - now the book is done and on the back burner for a couple of months awaiting the editing process, and I'm back to cats/dogs/horses/kids.

    Will put you on my daily blog read, though, b/c I prefer reading real people's thoughts on world events than the canned stuff in the news.

    Funny thing just came back to me - re: learning Arabic - I was at a party one time many years ago and got annoyed with some guy - there was someone there who knew Arabic and taught me this so I could say it to him: (not sure on the spelling!) lulu quaddam il honzir!

    That was a long strange night that ended with teaching an Italian band named Crashbox to say "I swannee" and assorted and sundry other southern gems.

    Weird - hadn't thought of that since... probably since it happened!

    all the best, billie

     
    At 10/10/2006 8:10 PM, Blogger Jake said...

    emm- we see eye to eye on much. thanks for sharing in such detail. i think the Selbourne article was my favorite, simply because it is nice to see someone speak objectively despite his/her political affiliation. the Pope continues to impress me. the 22lbs are back, and i am stronger than before.

    billie- that sounds like a cool read. there are indeed some ex-operators who now work in such fields, i wonder where the author got the material. i am glad that you visited me and my blog buds on the sidebar, they are an interesting array of characters. as for what you said in Arabic... i have no idea. that's probably not good for me.

     
    At 10/10/2006 8:40 PM, Anonymous billie said...

    if I'm remembering correctly it was something to do with casting pearls before swine...:)

    billie

     
    At 10/12/2006 8:12 PM, Anonymous AngelinMI said...

    Gosh, I take a few days off from milblog reading to watch the Detroit Tigers beat the Yankees and go on to lead the Oakland A's 2-0 and I miss your new posts. Will have to read the links in your post this weekend. Glad that you are back. Have you read The Kite Runner yet? Interesting, but troubling book. The violence over there could be unending and unfortunately, has been spreading for years.

     
    At 10/16/2006 9:06 AM, Blogger Jake said...

    angelinmi- haven't read the kite runner though it is on my list now. i think you're right about the "over there" part. let's hope we are wise, and resolved in our decision making over the next couple of decades.

     
    At 10/16/2006 11:10 AM, Anonymous Dave Wells said...

    Jake,

    Great post! While the Selbourne article is somewhat pessimistic, I'm afraid he's "spot on" (as the Brits would say), unless we wake up to the real nature of the threat we face.

    We are not unlike those who insisted, in the 30's, that Hitler shouldn't be taken too seriously, that the German people were really only interested in peace, etc. There were very few voices sounding the alarm (Churchill being the notable exception). Only too late did the West wake up to the danger. But the West did prevail - at much greater cost than had they stopped him at the Ruhr, or Austria, or Czechoslovakia... you get my point.

    I believe the West will wake up, and in the very near future. It won't be easy for Muslims living in the West when we do wake up.

    Hope all is going well - you remain in my prayers!

     
    At 10/18/2006 3:34 PM, Blogger Smith said...

    I have a T-shirt I got from politees.net that says "Islam is a peaceful religion" and it has a picture of a hooded man holding a severed head in the air.

    That was the first thing I thought of when I read your post.

    Keep on keepin on buddy.

     
    At 10/18/2006 6:55 PM, Blogger Jake said...

    dave- did you hear about Blair making a statement concerning Muslims wearing veils in Britain, and how it should be discouraged? it came out yesterday. i am interested to see how France, Germany and Britain make out in the next decade with regards to their growing minorities becoming majorities.

    smith- i saw that shirt somewhere recently. i almost purcahsed the one off blackfive that has "infidel" written in Arabic on the front. have you gone to selection yet?

     
    At 10/19/2006 10:01 AM, Blogger Smith said...

    I might have to pick up the "infidel" shirt as well. That's a good one.

    And no, I have a semester and a half of school left. I figure I should get my degree first, just in case. Hopefully I'll be seeing you in the next year or two though.

     
    At 10/24/2006 11:25 PM, Blogger Jake said...

    smith- get that degree man. i'm sure i'll be hanging around somewhere for the next few years.

     
    At 5/10/2007 4:18 PM, Blogger Papa Ray said...

    Hey Jake, lurked a bit here on an off in the past, came back over from slow squirrels place from his link to you, as I had lost your link awhile back.

    Good Post, right thoughts and conclusions.

    Too bad that most everyone else doesn't even have a computer or if they do use it only for porn, recipes, games and movie schedules.

    And of course, they rely on their few minutes of news a day from cnn and such or a leftard newspaper like the nyt.

    Over where I hang out, we have had many a discussion on what it is going to take to get the busy average American to quit trying to make money and buy everything on credit and waste his/her life trying to have everyting, and come to the conclusion that when millions of Islamics want to kill you and your wife and kids...you better get your thinking in the right direction and fast.

    But we all know it is just a deception and that bushitlerhalliburton is behind all the problems and the cause of all the violence and terror.

    Or at least that is what the propaganda push has been for the last several years by the leftards and the media.

    And the sorry thing is, over half of the population of this Republic really believes that.

    Anyway, good to see your post and will be back.

    Papa Ray
    West Texas
    USA

     

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