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Why was the US military teaching 'total war' on Islam?

 
    • [Raderad användare] sa...
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    • 11 maj 2012, 16:37

    Why was the US military teaching 'total war' on Islam?

    BBC

    America's top military officer has condemned a course taught about Islam at one of America's top military schools as "totally objectionable".

    It is not surprising. The story, first broken by Wired, is fairly astonishing, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey, must be furious.

    The course taught officers there was no such thing as moderate Islam and that they should consider the religion their enemy.

    It advocated "total war" against all the world's Muslims, including possible nuclear attacks on the holy cities of Mecca and Medina and the wiping out civilian populations.

    The Pentagon has confirmed the course material found on their website is authentic...


    Read More: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18030105

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
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    • 11 maj 2012, 16:58
    For a country that prides itself on being progressive and tolerant, their intolerance of Islam is quite amazing.

    • dankine sa...
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    • 11 maj 2012, 18:45
    moderates provide cover and excuses for radicals/extremists to exist.

    we need a full, frank and quite probing discussion on the dangers of and solutions to radical islam.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities"
    "I don't want to believe, I want to know"

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    • [Raderad användare] sa...
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    • 11 maj 2012, 19:08
    dankine said:
    moderates provide cover and excuses for radicals/extremists to exist.

    we need a full, frank and quite probing discussion on the dangers of and solutions to radical islam.


    What about radical Christianity?

    • dankine sa...
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    • 11 maj 2012, 19:19
    isn't anywhere near as dangerous. still has a lot to answer for however, but maybe not as much as moderate christianity (what with all that has been going on "recently")

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities"
    "I don't want to believe, I want to know"

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  • we need frank discussion about the dangers of radical islam, that is true--but to declare war on an idea is such a silly thing to do since you legitimize and impart a sense of victimization to the adherents of the idea. it would be better for us to marginalize the extreme factions of islamic society by subsidizing the more tolerant forms instead of declaring war on the extremists and giving them political fodder for the airwives and prayer times.

    the problem with our government is that it is inhabited by people who have a vested interest in the military and see the strength of one's arms is greater than the strength of one's knowledge. education should always be our first defense, not cruise missiles or phosphorous or midnight raids. for this reason we are losing a "war with islam" and we're fomenting resilience and resistance while we continue to fight it.

    • Absurd93 sa...
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    • 12 maj 2012, 16:48
    N.B. Apologies for the forthcoming wall of text, but this is a subject which piques my interest.

    I think two points are worth making when talking about radical Islam. Firstly, ideas are not born out of the ether. Radicalism, political or otherwise, arises through a confluence of wider social processes. Secondly, beliefs and ideologies are not static. Islam, in both its religious and political forms, shifts, like all doctrines, with time and circumstances. Consequently, if we wish to understand and address radical Islamism - that is the modern politicised, authoritarian versions of Islam -, we must have 'a full, frank and quite probing discussion' about the particular social and historical contexts in which these ideas arose. Indeed, we can't simply reduce this discussion, as people like Christopher Hitchens and Bernard Lewis have done, simply to the perceived barbarity of Islam. As with everything humans do, we need to look at the politics.

    There are two main elements, I think, to any such analysis. First of all, it needs to be understood that much of radical Islamism was engendered by Western states and Israel during the Cold War. There were numerous examples of positive encouragement, by these states, of religious groups. US hegemonic interests led, famously, to the Americans providing crucial support to the Arab jihadists who fought in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union. The Israeli state helped establish Hamas in the late 1980s, knowing that a fundamentalist group would counterbalance the secular PLO, as well as undermine international support for the Palestinian cause. We still see the effect of this today, with many brushing off the Palestinians as crazed religious fanatics, rather than recognising them rightly as the dispossessed victims of colonialism and aggressive state power. Additionally, the support given by Western states to dictatorial, secular regimes (the prime example being the Iranian state under the last Shah), as well as their negative interference in the Middle East (again with Iran, the case of Mossadegh and his overthrow by a CIA-MI6 coup), helped drive angry, disaffected people towards the authoritarian radicalism espoused by the Mullahs.

    The second element, which I feel isn't given much attention in discussions about the Middle East, is the failures of various secular and nationalist movements. On the one hand, there were secular groups - such as Fatah - and governments - such as that of Sadat's Egypt - which were largely co-opted by Western states and Israel. Instead of actively supporting a just peace for the Palestinian people, they compromised for the sake of their own political power and interests. On the other hand, many of the promising secular states in the region - the prime examples being Ba'athist Iraq and Syria - descended into sectarian despotism and bloody authoritarianism, further undermining the popular appeal of secular politics for people in the Middle East. Indeed, it's worth noting that Sayyid Qutb, widely recognised as the founder of modern Islamism, reached his most radical views after being tortured by the Egyptian state under the nominally secular regime of Gamal Abdel Nasser.

    ----------------------------

    As for the US military course mentioned in the article, it's just another case of pure Orientalism. It should come as no surprise that the American military tries to dehumanise Muslims - it's one of the most important means for attacking and dominating them. Indeed, it goes much further than Islam. The book The Arab Mind was infamously used around the time of the Iraq War (and may still be) to 'educate' American soldiers about how the Arabs had a monolithic culture defined by backwardness and barbarity. All of this, which has been deeply ingrained in how we talk about the Middle East, Arabs, and Muslims in particular, is about trying to control foreign peoples. Just like how scientific racism in the 19th century was created to justify European imperialism, our simplified portrayals of the Middle East are all a part of its exploitation.

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
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    • 13 maj 2012, 18:47
    Though I can't see dankine's posts because of the block. I can see them when they're quoted.

    I'd argue that rational discussions on radical Islam have been happening for years now. Irrational discussions and agreements have been conducted also.

    However this article clearly shows that the teaching in this US military class is that innocent muslims, and also an ally of America i.e. Saudi Arabia are legitimate targets for nuclear strikes (notably Mecca and Medina).

    It goes as far as to say the Americans need to terrorise Muslims as a whole to deter bad eggs.

    They also say the Geneva conventions mean f-all when it comes to Islam. This selective co-operation with international conventions and bodies that the US has is a worrying trend.

    I broadly agree with what Absurd says, it goes much more in depth where i'm just skimming off a few stones.

    • Bloopy sa...
    • Forum Moderator
    • 14 maj 2012, 00:42
    paulfmuldoon said:
    What about radical Christianity?
    With the USA, it's not their religion that's dangerous, it's their economics.

    • dankine sa...
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    • 14 maj 2012, 11:29
    Bloopy said:
    With the USA, it's not their religion that's dangerous, it's their economics.


    Their religion is pretty damn dangerous too. Perhaps more so.
    Good to have it confirmed that pobbin can't handle actual discussion.

    "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities"
    "I don't want to believe, I want to know"

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    • [Raderad användare] sa...
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    • 15 maj 2012, 07:54
    Absurd93 said:
    As for the US military course mentioned in the article, it's just another case of pure Orientalism. It should come as no surprise that the American military tries to dehumanise Muslims - it's one of the most important means for attacking and dominating them. Indeed, it goes much further than Islam. The book The Arab Mind was infamously used around the time of the Iraq War (and may still be) to 'educate' American soldiers about how the Arabs had a monolithic culture defined by backwardness and barbarity. All of this, which has been deeply ingrained in how we talk about the Middle East, Arabs, and Muslims in particular, is about trying to control foreign peoples. Just like how scientific racism in the 19th century was created to justify European imperialism, our simplified portrayals of the Middle East are all a part of its exploitation.

    Highlighted for being an excelent post. :D

    I'm glad there are people like you in the world you possess a much more critical and all-emcompassing view on this subject. Its a hoary old problem, yet i'm still disturbed by how an ordinary man in the street as it were (no offence, like) can have a better grasp of these complex cultural issues that those with all of the power and influence apparently do. Lets not even get started on how the media deliberately construct political bias and alliances under the the guise of 'freedom of speech'.

    • sgath92 sa...
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    • 16 maj 2012, 02:35
    DaddyPobbin said:
    However this article clearly shows that the teaching in this US military class is that innocent muslims, and also an ally of America i.e. Saudi Arabia are legitimate targets for nuclear strikes (notably Mecca and Medina).


    Of course they would believe this, given how easily we were able to subdue the radicalized Japanese using nukes. It was actually a surprise to us that it worked as well as it did, we feared that people as radicalized as they were would have to be nuked dozens. Possibly even hundreds of times before they would totally give up. We had actually taken the time to make lists of places in Japan not to nuke, so that they would still have some country & culture left after it was all over. Everything else was to be wiped off the face of the earth if it came down to it.

    Our policymakers have since Day 1 been unable to adjust strategical plans to new contexts, and that's why we are caught off guard every time the enemy has a different cultural context that should be taken into consideration. "It worked for Japan, it must work for the Russians!" does not compute, and "It worked for Japan, it must work for the middle east" fails for the same reasons. The problem in this case, is that they fail to comprehend what such nuclear strikes would mean in terms of conscripting every survivor in the region to islamic terrorism.


    They also say the Geneva conventions mean f-all when it comes to Islam. This selective co-operation with international conventions and bodies that the US has is a worrying trend.


    Traditionally: International law for every country only really applies in times of peace. The only time any nation has stuck faithfully to international law during war was because it was in their best interest to do so for operational or strategical purposes.

    But with asymmetrical warfare, there is even less incentive for a state to follow international law since they will perceive it as unsporting for the other side to blatantly disregard it. The radicals we are fighting in the middle east do not make any effort to follow the Geneva convention. They don't wear uniforms, they don't cooperate when detained, they attack unarmed medical units, they don't treat POW's ethically [i.e. beheadings]. There can be no "agreement" to rules of war when only one side is obligated to follow those rules. To our military Geneva went out the window when a bunch of civies decided to use civilian planes to crash into the Pentagon [assuming belief in official story].

    • Absurd93 sa...
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    • 16 maj 2012, 22:08
    Selfsurprise said:
    Highlighted for being an excelent post. :D

    I'm glad there are people like you in the world you possess a much more critical and all-emcompassing view on this subject. Its a hoary old problem, yet i'm still disturbed by how an ordinary man in the street as it were (no offence, like) can have a better grasp of these complex cultural issues that those with all of the power and influence apparently do. Lets not even get started on how the media deliberately construct political bias and alliances under the the guise of 'freedom of speech'.

    Many thanks for the kind words! And no offence taken. To be fair, being half-Arab has meant that I'm naturally a bit more critical and cynical than the average person when it comes to the cultural representations that Western politicians and media like to make.

    I have to say, though, that I don't think ignorance, at least among politicians, is the problem. Many of those with power and influence are, I suspect, keenly aware of the social and cultural complexity which characterises issues to do with Muslims and the Middle East. This complexity, however, is problematic for controlling people, and so governments and leaders espouse these simplistic narratives in order to make it easier for the average person to consent tacitly to a kind of veiled imperialism.

    • [Raderad användare] sa...
    • Användare
    • 23 maj 2012, 01:13
    sgath92 said:
    DaddyPobbin said:
    However this article clearly shows that the teaching in this US military class is that innocent muslims, and also an ally of America i.e. Saudi Arabia are legitimate targets for nuclear strikes (notably Mecca and Medina).


    Of course they would believe this, given how easily we were able to subdue the radicalized Japanese using nukes. It was actually a surprise to us that it worked as well as it did, we feared that people as radicalized as they were would have to be nuked dozens. Possibly even hundreds of times before they would totally give up. We had actually taken the time to make lists of places in Japan not to nuke, so that they would still have some country & culture left after it was all over. Everything else was to be wiped off the face of the earth if it came down to it.

    Our policymakers have since Day 1 been unable to adjust strategical plans to new contexts, and that's why we are caught off guard every time the enemy has a different cultural context that should be taken into consideration. "It worked for Japan, it must work for the Russians!" does not compute, and "It worked for Japan, it must work for the middle east" fails for the same reasons. The problem in this case, is that they fail to comprehend what such nuclear strikes would mean in terms of conscripting every survivor in the region to islamic terrorism.


    They also say the Geneva conventions mean f-all when it comes to Islam. This selective co-operation with international conventions and bodies that the US has is a worrying trend.


    Traditionally: International law for every country only really applies in times of peace. The only time any nation has stuck faithfully to international law during war was because it was in their best interest to do so for operational or strategical purposes.

    But with asymmetrical warfare, there is even less incentive for a state to follow international law since they will perceive it as unsporting for the other side to blatantly disregard it. The radicals we are fighting in the middle east do not make any effort to follow the Geneva convention. They don't wear uniforms, they don't cooperate when detained, they attack unarmed medical units, they don't treat POW's ethically [i.e. beheadings]. There can be no "agreement" to rules of war when only one side is obligated to follow those rules. To our military Geneva went out the window when a bunch of civies decided to use civilian planes to crash into the Pentagon [assuming belief in official story].
    The US isn't at war with Saudi Arabia, it was attacked by Al Qaeda and they don't have a HQ in Mecca, if anything they're pariahs of the mainstream Islamic faith.

    It's preposterous the military class promoted total war with a faith, with which their own country harbours those persecuted of Muslim faith and are equal under the law. and yet they are targets for terrorising? Just doesn't seem constitutional or right in layman's terms.

    • sgath92 sa...
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    • 23 maj 2012, 19:41
    DaddyPobbin said:
    The US isn't at war with Saudi Arabia, it was attacked by Al Qaeda


    And since al qaeda isn't a country, that means our leaders don't believe the Geneva convention applies to al qaeda. This is a long standing policy for the US. When the ink of the Geneva convention was still wet, we decided that German POWs were no longer covered by Geneva as soon as Nazi Germany fell, because there was no longer a "Germany" for these soldiers to belong to. Many other countries saw "displaced"/orphaned soldiers the same way, i.e. the soviets kept German POWs as slave laborers until the late 1950s, the Chinese did the same with Japanese, the Germans had done the same with Polish POWs etc.

    After claiming Geneva didn't apply, we refused to give them the housing, rations, or medical care Geneva required. No one knows how many POWs under our care died as a consequence, but if we believe the Red Cross the number is 1.1 million.

    and they don't have a HQ in Mecca

    No, but they had one in Pakistan and that's why we broke international law by invading the country to kill/capture Ben Ladin who was residing there. Supposedly its the same reason why we send drones into other countries without their permission for spying or assassination missions.

    It's preposterous the military class promoted total war with a faith,

    Is it really so different from when our military class promoted a total war against socialism during the Cold War?

    • lawynd sa...
    • Abonnent
    • 23 maj 2012, 20:51
    sgath92 said:
    It's preposterous the military class promoted total war with a faith,

    Is it really so different from when our military class promoted a total war against socialism during the Cold War?
    I think the point was that it is wrong; just because it's been done before, it doesn't make it right in either case. Socialism != Communism, in the same way that Islam != Terrorism.

    Official recorder of Schrödinger's Tampon.

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    • sgath92 sa...
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    • 23 maj 2012, 21:55
    lawynd said:
    sgath92 said:
    It's preposterous the military class promoted total war with a faith,

    Is it really so different from when our military class promoted a total war against socialism during the Cold War?
    I think the point was that it is wrong; just because it's been done before, it doesn't make it right in either case. Socialism != Communism, in the same way that Islam != Terrorism.


    Exactly! This a chronic problem with our leadership that needs to be addressed if we are to have any hope of things like the "war on terror" coming to an actual conclusion [to say nothing of whatever the next big "war on ___" comes to be].

  • we need frank discussion about the dangers of letting bigots lead our country imo.

    #TYBG
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