Archive for June 2004

Save Tibet?

I am what academics call a Sinophile – a lover of all things Chinese. Food. Culture. History. Even language. I was a Sinophile before I became a Nipponophile – a lover of all things Japanese. I am also an Anglophile for what it’s worth.

I like to think I know a thing or two about China, and one of those things is that the invasion of Tibet in 1959 stands out as one of recent history’s great wrongs. According to The International Campaign to Save Tibet, over a million people have died since the Chinese first invaded Tibet in 1949. Over 6000 monestaries have been looted and priceless antiquities have simply vanished. While resistance to the occupation continues, it is limited to civil disobedient acts such as hanging a Tibetan flag from a radio tower.

From the Chinese perspective, the invasion of Tibet is viewed as a “peaceful liberation” and China has attacked any and all who claim otherwise. Over the past half-century the occupation government has instituted a policy of resettlement of Chinese from the east into Tibet, thereby making Tibet as more of a home to ethnic Chinese than to the native Tibetans.
Saving Tibet from this fate has been a liberal cause celebre for over a generation, yet Beijing’s destruction of Tibet continues apace. While cars in America sport “Save Tibet” bumperstickers, the resistance against the Chinese occupation continues to dwindle.
The conquest of Tibet stands as a perfect example of the failure of non-violence and good intentions to overcome brute force and bullets. No amount of Buddhist prayers or Save Tibet bumperstickers will dislodge a single Han Chinese from Tibet – nor will it bring back the million people they failed to save in the first place.

Cognitive Dissonance (continued)

Had a long commute this afternoon which gave me time to continue pondering the past few posts. Maybe it’s the hypnotic beat of the trance-techno I listen to, or perhaps it’s the concentration on the road that allows my subconscious to play with ideas – smashing them into one another until eventually something new – or at least new for me emerges.

How do we force a reformation on Islam?
The answer is of course, we can’t. Such a profound change can only occur from within Islam itself. But we can help it along.

Most of interfaith dialog has been along the lines of assuring Muslims that we aren’t fighting their religion. The trouble is that we are. We are on a crusade – but it’s not to destroy Islam: it’s to make it learn to thrive among other religions. In short, we need Islam to learn how to “play nice with others”.

Currently it can’t. On a deeply spiritual level, Islam is in competition with the other world’s religions and has been since it’s inception 1400 years ago. Contemporary Muslims today in America or Europe hold two conflicting beliefs at the same time: First, the belief that non-Muslims are worthy of the same right to life as Muslims. Second, the belief that non-Muslims are dhimmis or less than Muslims as taught in portions of the Koran.

The key to reformation of Islam lays with these Muslims living outside of the Islamic world – yet they have been relatively silent on terrorist acts as they suffer from the same spiritual blindness as those living in the Islamic world. How do we convince them?

First, I believe that we have to force the issue of responsibility on them at the same time that we protect their rights. Americans of all faiths must stand up against intolerance towards Muslims, but at the same time they must demand that Muslims work against intolerance within Islam.

Secondly, American muslims must tell their brethren in the Islamic world that they do not live as second class citizens in the West. They also must put an end to the vile anti-Semitic and anti-American propaganda that passes for Wahabi funded Islamic newspapers in the West.

Third, we need to become more aware of the Arabic-speaking press both within the US and the Arab-world. The group MEMRI regularly covers the Arab world press, but members of the media such as CNN, the Los Angeles Times, and other news outlets should hire Arabic and Farsi translators to report what is happening in the press in the Islamic world. We cannot rely upon the English media there because these outlets water down or fail to report stories that would cast Islam in a negative light.

And light is the key. We have to understand our enemy, and the best way of doing this is to examine the world he lives in critically and as objectively as possible. We have to drag him into the shadows and expose him for what he is – a psychopath that is attempting to hijack one of the world’s great religions.

Can this be done?

Cognitive Dissonance & Islam

Obviously I wasn’t the first to recognize this. Here are some other discussions:
The Reality of Cognitive Dissonance among Muslim Apologists, an excellent piece that I heartily recommend to all. Money quote:

As to how this dissonance serves to help Islamic extremists to continue, Muslim apologists seem to suffer a severe case of denial to acknowledge and admit. The denial is irresponsible, because failure to suppress Islamic radicalism does not appear to corroborate the claim made by majority Muslims that Islam is a religion of peace.

Cum Grano Salis, a German blogger with a Den Beste like mind, discusses the term in regards to Islam and also mentions al-Qaeda’s Fantasy Ideology, which helps us in the West comprehend the sick nature of the terrorist attacks – as the terrorists try to outdo themselves to see who can conduct the worst abomination and justify it with the Koran. Cum Grano Salis may just appear in my daily reading list.

It’s interesting to note this response by a Muslim writing a week after 9-11. He seems aware of cognitive dissonance, even implores other Muslims to avoid it, but in doing so falls prey to it himself. The realization of the fact that the terrorists’ actions are condoned in Islam does not fit his belief that Islam is a peaceful religion is too much for him to handle:

I bring up cognitive dissonance here, because I fear that in circumstances such as these (following acts of terrorism, media coverage of war against a Muslim majority nation, etc) some Muslims may feel an internal strife, a religious or spiritual crisis. But this should not be the case. One of the beauties of Islam, indeed one of the things that attracted me to it, is that it appeals to both emotion and reason, to mind and spirit. It makes sense. It is simple. It is just. And it is true. If ever we feel a cognitive dissonance of sorts in relation to Islam, alarm bells should go off, warning us that we do not have enough knowledge regarding that particular subject or situation.

The writer’s answer to the cognitive dissonance is that he lacks enough knowledge to understand the terrorists’ actions. Islam is “simple”, “just”, and “true” – and a Muslim’s questioning of his faith as he attempts to stop the cognitive dissonance should be stopped by simply saying “I don’t know”. Ignorance becomes a shield of one’s beliefs. Instead of questioning which could lead to a deeper understanding of one’s religion – or the possible rejection of it entirely – the Muslim simply shuts down saying “I don’t know”. The rough equivalent in Christianity is saying “It’s God’s will”. No further advantage can be gained by more questioning in the believer’s mind because the risk of learning that one’s religion is wrong is too great, and such an outcome could threaten the very identity of the believer causing great emotional pain and suffering.

Cognitive Dissonance proves that Islam is a religion that has never had a “Reformation” like Christianity. In fact, Christianity could be viewed as unique among the world’s religions for having undergone such a tumultuous period of self-reflection and change.

Cognitive Dissonance prevents Muslims from realizing that questioning can lead to apostasy and heretical ideas, but it can also lead to a deeper appreciation of one’s faith – as the Jesuits have so adroitly proven in their half-millennium of existence (and thrice excommunication by Rome).

The question from our perspective is: How do we force Islam to reform? Is such reformation possible? And if so, how do we survive until it does? Here Lee Harris’s disease metaphor laid out in al-Qaeda’s Fantasy Ideology seems almost prescient since it was written almost 2 years ago:

“...after driving out all other competing ideas and ideologies, they literally turned their host organism into the instrument of their own poisonous and deadly will.”

Isn’t that what Saudi Arabia is experiencing today? The Saudi royal family has spread Wahabism around the globe, and now are about to be consumed by it. All the makings are in place for a jihadist overthrow of the kingdom: a corrupt government infiltrated by jihadists, a dying king, a large yet effete royal family containing many supporters of the jihadists, and the cognitive dissonance which prevents the leaders from recognizing the true enemies within their own ranks caused by their own inflexible understanding of their religion.

More Cognitive Dissonance in Islam

Zeyad of Healing Iraq notes the Psych Term of the Week without mentioning it: “They claim they are here to drive the foreigners who have been killing Iraqis out of Iraq. Ironically, those Mujahideen are also foreigners who have been slaughtering thousands of Iraqis over the last year.” He states that he expects more of the same, and concludes ” Don’t count on any public demonstrations of Muslim outrage though, there won’t be any.”

Islam sure is a peaceful religion. Yep.

Cognitive Dissonance and the Saudis

The Middle East Media Research Center is one of the best sites on the web when it comes to following the Arab world. It is reporting that Crown Prince Abdallah is blaming terrorist events on “Zionists”.

This has to be one of the worst cases of cognitive dissonance to come out of the kingdom since it blamed Zionists for the 9-11 attacks. It is almost fascinating to watch – since the al-Qaeda hates the Saudi royal family as much – if not more – than Jews and Americans. The terrorists attacks in the kingdom have been brutal – as shown in this interview with the leader of the recent Khobar attacks.

Such cognitive dissonance is the rough equivalent of America blaming Canada for the attack on Pearl Harbor. I think we are watching the collapse of the Saudi dynasty. Since we advocated invading Saudi Arabia instead of Iraq, we have mixed feelings about watching that regime go down the toilet. What would replace them? The jihadists? Not likely; even France would find the balls to invade the place to protect the oil fields and insure the uninterrupted supply to Europe.

Defeat in Iraq

No, not ours – Sheik Muqtada al-Sadr’s. The Sheik has wisely decided to give up fighting, and told his militiamen to do the same. Evidently he wants to run for public office now in Iraq.

Here’s the story.

Dealing with Kidnappers

I’m also wondering if these types of attacks on soft targets could be controlled by some type of retaliation along the lines of the following.

1. Terrorists announce capture of hostage. Threaten to kill unless George Bush dances the macarena naked around Michael Moore.
2. Iraqi/Saudi authorities announce handover of terror suspects to US for “interrogation” at Gitmo or Abu Grahb. Or better yet, the conviction and sentencing of one of them to death.
3. When they kill the hostage, the terrorist is either executed or sent to the “guy pile” at Abu Grahb.

Either way, we have turned kidnapping around. Instead of meeting their demands, the kidnappers are forced to meet ours. This also provides incentive for the terrorists to sing like canaries because contrary to their reputation, they are pussies adept at convincing others of the attractive opportunities provided by martyrdom.

Would Bush do this? Given what has happened already I’m not so sure he wouldn’t. In the end, a terrorist should be given the opposite of what he demands. If he wants X freed, then X should be executed or suffer worse than he is suffering now. If he wants Country X to pull out troops, Country X should double the contingent.

This is a hard business, but War is like that.

Sick MotherFuckers part 2

Sick, with no testicles and filled with carnal desire for their mothers they may be, psychopaths are not stupid. Fox News was trumpeting a break through in the negotiations between a South Korean businessman and the terrorists with the breaking news headline from Al-Jazeera saying the South Korean national had been beheaded.

This event, tied with arrival of videotapes to Al-Jazeera offices just after the deadlines pass, and the “coincidental” speed that the Saudi authorities tracked down and killed the murderer of Paul Johnson last week, makes me understand the true motives of the terrorists. They don’t want their demands to be met, and keeping a hostage alive puts them in greater danger. So why not give a deadline say seven days ahead, then kill the hostage in five?

That way you get maximum amount of attention while maximizing your odds of escape.

My guess is that they took the SK businessman’s money on the way to dropping off the videotape showing the beheading to Al-Jazeera’s offices.

Sick MotherFuckers

And I truly mean that. Looks like the SK national was beheaded according to Al-Jazeera.
Yes, Islam sure is a peaceful religion…

UN Conference on Anti-Semitism

Ann Bayefsky gave an interesting speech at the UN Conference on Anti-Semitism. Money quote: “The U.N. has become the leading global purveyor of anti-Semitism—intolerance and inequality against the Jewish people and its state.” Also Anti-Americanism.

Which is why America should leave it ASAP.

We’re back…

Or should I say, I’m back. After having the site ruined by a “Lamer” with an unnatural lust for his mother and goats, I decided to give up on PHPNuke and try WordPress instead. WP is supposedly more secure and “blog-like”. So we’ll see how it works out.

That said, I still need to port over the rest of the site – so be sure to stop back.

Islam: A Religion of Peace

Warning: Graphic Images here.

This is what we are facing unless we get them before they get us.

Goodbye Mr. President

While I protested against his policies, I now realize that I was sometimes wrong (and right about a few things too – like gay rights). However, I’m sorry to see him go nevertheless…

Bush Speech To Air Force Grads

There are times when the Bush Administration drives me absolutely insane. And then there are times like these, when that goofy frat-boy from Texas drives me to tears with his vision of the world that matches my own. The speech is here. Money quote: “In all these threats, we hear the echoes of other enemies in other times—that same swagger and demented logic of the fanatic. Like their kind in the past, these murderers have left scars and suffering. And like their kind in the past, they will flame and fail and suffer defeat by free men and women.”

I don’t know who wrote this speech. All I know is that it lays out a progressive vision of the world that proves that the true conservatives – the “haters of change” or recidivists – are on the Left: the Michael Moores, Amnesty Internationals and MoveOns of the world that have become the sycophants of the tyrants they once demonized.

Read the speech. The entire thing. It’s long but one of the best in oh, 45 years.

Warsaw Ghetto Survivor Speaks

Source: Chrenkoff

Marek Edelman is the last surviving military leader of the heroic Jewish Uprising
in the Warsaw Ghetto in 1943. He recently spoke to a Polish television channel
TVN24, and the interview has been re-published in a Polish weekly "Przekroj".
It’s not available anywhere else in English (or for that matter electronically),
so I take this opportunity to translate and publish extensive excerpts from
the interview. Edelman experienced evil many times in his long and distinguished
life; he has also faced it and fought it bravely. What he has to say bears listening