No war is good, but some wars are necessary.Unfortunately, Americans don’t seem to know this yet. I’m afraid even the Burns film left some viewers associating war with glory.
Conservative columnist Cal Thomas criticized “outrageous statements about America’s inability to succeed” in Iraq, and proceeded to his own outrageous statement:
The ability to successfully wage war against America’s enemies trumps everything else.It scares me. Few Europeans share America’s naïvete about war because their soil was stained with war’s blood. Will it take the same for our country? Peace activists see Americans giving more urgency to shopping than to countering our government’s war-mongering.
Now we’re demonizing Iran’s Ahmadinejad in a campaign eerily similar to the one against Saddam Hussein. In Newsweek, Fareed Zakaria quoted President Bush “invoking the specter of World War III if Iran gained even the knowledge needed to make a nuclear weapon.” And he quoted Norman Podhoretz, neoconservative ideologue who claimed
[Ahmadinejad is] like Hitler . . . a revolutionary whose objective is to overturn the going international system and to replace it in the fullness of time with a new order dominated by Iran and ruled by the religio-political culture of Islamofascism.Zakaria commented,
For this staggering proposition Podhoretz provides not a scintilla of evidence.In fact, the CIA tells us that Iran won’t have nuclear capability for years, when Ahmadinejad may no longer be president.
James Dobbins, a U.S. diplomat to Iran for the first Bush, found Iranians to be “professional, straightforward, reliable and helpful.” Even after W. Bush’s Axis of Evil speech, they offered to cooperate in Afghanistan. But when Dobbins took their proposal to Washington, he said Donald Rumsfeld “looked down and rustled his papers.” No reply was ever sent back to the Iranians, reported Zakaria.
I wouldn’t be so alarmed if I hadn’t watched in horror while our country swallowed the war propaganda duping us into the Iraq war. Before I watched it happening, I dismissed the ridiculous idea of invading Iraq, thinking Americans could not be so stupid. Here we are now.
One more item from Zakaria. He reported on a Wall Street Journal article written by a close adviser to Bush and Cheney who predicted that Ahmadinejad would end the world on August 22, 2006, the night when Muslims commemorate the
flight of the Prophet Muhammad . . . to ‘the farthest mosque,’ usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back. This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world.Notice the link between Ahmadinejad and Israel. Apocalyptic belief drives U.S. policy in the Middle East more than we’d like. It derives from the Christian right’s weird linkage of Israel with the Second Coming. After Israel finishes the appropriation of Palestinian land, goes the belief, we can look for “the Lord himself” coming down from heaven “at the sound of the archangel’s voice and God’s trumpet” (First Thessalonians 4:16).
Foolish? Yes. But not in the eyes of enough Americans to dispel the danger. What will it take for us to grow in wisdom?
Fear of Sharia
I’m glad there are courageous Muslim women who escape Sharia or Islamic law and, after they’re safe in the West, denounce its inhumane treatment of women, such as stoning victims of rape and enslaving women and girls in marriage. Ayaan Hirsi Ali and other Muslim women who speak out do an important service by educating fellow Muslims in the West and in Arabic countries.
But fear of Sharia’s spread in the West is misplaced. Here’s a sample I received in an email:
radical Islamists are working to impose sharia on the world. If that happens, Western civilization will be destroyed. In twenty years there will be enough Muslim voters in the U.S. to elect the President!This kind of fear-mongering foments hatred and mistrust against all Muslims and the same against President Barack Hussein Obama and the ACLU.
I think everyone in the U.S. should be required to read this, but with the ACLU, there is no way this will be widely publicized, unless each of us sends it on! This is your chance to make a difference...!
The origins of Sharia excess are tribal culture, not the religion of Islam, but ancient habits often take on religious sanction and that happened in Arabic Islam. Indonesia, the largest Muslim country in the world, does not practice these excesses, and the most outrageous incidents take place in rare parts of the world.
Islamic law can never take over America because of the counter-influence. Some American Muslims, for instance, are starting to realize that gays exist and are normal human beings. Unfortunately, less healthy influence also happens, such as adopting the American obsession with sex and money. Some Muslim teenage girls have worn a hijab while dressing provocatively on the rest of their bodies.
I do not fear the influence of Sharia on the West, but I fear right wing Christians, who also support male power over females and who support Israel’s elimination of Palestinians from the land of Zion in the nonsensical hope that this will set off the apocalypse, sending good believers to heaven and the rest of us to commence weeping and gnashing of teeth in hell.