Sunday, September 26, 2010

Afghanistan Off the Beaten Path

A very interesting vid from Al Jazeera, which I found in a post at The Long War Journal:

The problem posed by the Pakistan frontier is implicit in the video: it is a line behind which the Taliban can hide whenever they want to. This matter must be addressed, and until it is, it may be impossible for the US to win, but not impossible for the Taliban to win.

Think about that last statement and its ramifications.

Meanwhile, from elsewhere off the beaten path:

An article from last year points out how a problem that has plagued US and NATO "peacekeeping" operations in Europe appears to be having a negative impact in Afghanistan, as well. While many of our troops are being deprived of the comforts of home (to put it mildly), there are US government employees and contractors who are finding ways to enjoy their assignment in Afghanistan - trafficked women are providing (willingly? or not?) certain services in Kabul. For details, see Illicit sex and boozing by civilian U.S. contractors and officials in Afghanistan undermining mission, November 15, 2009.

Also from Kabul Press (September 12, 2010), concerns that the US and NATO logistic network for less-than-critical supplies is very vulnerable to Taliban interdiction - supposedly so much so that the Taliban could force us out within a month. (The concern is noted, but I wonder if it is really that critical.)

A more recent (September 26, 2010) article entitled Afghan Girl Killed by Reckless U.S. Mortar Fire draws some big conclusions from a recent incident:

A gunman fired a few cents worth of AK-47 rounds at the U.S. Marines and in response the Marines probably fired $10,000.00 in mortar rounds that all missed their target, yet killed an innocent. This incident could sum up the entire Afghan war and helps explain why American efforts have largely failed.

Finally, Kabul Press has an article entitled Why you are silent about war crimes, massacres and crimes against humanity committed by the Taliban in Afghanistan?, dated September 12, 2010, calling on the world to complain about Taliban atrocities.

Indeed, every stray mortar round shot by US forces is fair game, every stray bullet fired by an IDF soldier is fair game - why indeed the silence about systematic atrocities on the other side?

Friday, September 17, 2010

To Be or Not To Be?

From an article that appeared today at the Catholic News Agency, entitled Holy Father addresses 'question' of existence:

London, England, Sep 17, 2010 / 12:19 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Following the recent claim by U.K. physicist Dr. Stephen Hawking that the universe "created itself from nothing," the Holy Father spoke about "the most important question" of existence on Friday. Addressing interfaith leaders, the Pontiff explained that religion operates on "another level" than science in the question of explaining human existence.

The Holy Father spoke to leaders from Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh traditions present for an inter-religious meeting on Friday morning. There was a visible mutual respect and warmth between the leaders, especially the Pope and the two other speakers, Dr. Khaled Azzam, a school director and Muslim, and Chief Rabbi Baron Sacks of Aldgate.

In his address, the Pope told all present that he appreciated their commitment to religion at a time "when religious convictions are not always understood or appreciated."

Interesting... the Pope appreciates commitment to religion, whether on behalf of Christians, Jews or Muslims.

But, is a commitment to Islam a commitment to religion?

From Sweden Democrats fear Islamic revolution, dated September 17, 2010:

An Islamic revolution akin to the one that swept through Iran in 1979 could easily take place in Sweden, claims the second highest ranking member of the far-right Sweden Democrats.

"It can happen really fast," said Sweden Democrat party secretary Björn Söder to the TT news agency.

Söder is number two behind party leader Jimmie Åkesson on the Sweden Democrat party list. As party secretary, his role is to stake out the party's line on key issues.

The Iranian revolution came up as Söder was explaining statements made by Sweden Democrat international secretary Kent Ekeroth, who could also find himself with a seat in the Riksdag following Sunday's vote.

Ekeroth said previously that "Sweden and western countries are at risk of going out with a whimper" because of the influence of Islam, drawing a connection to 1400 years of Muslim aggression.

Nor did Ekeroth see any real distinction between ordinary Muslims and militant Islamists.

"I think that he brings up a very timely problem and as I see it, Islamification is a question of destiny for the entire western world," Söder told TT.

According to Söder, all Muslims are "bearers of an ideology".

"It's a political ideology disguised as religion. And I think that it's a very appropriate subject to address, otherwise we'll be facing the same problem that Iran did in 1979. It can happen really fast."

A political ideology disguised as a religion... now where have I heard that before?

More importantly, it is an ideology of armed conquest. While many Muslims are happy to vote in Islamic law, others are more radical, insisting that Islamic law must be imposed by force, or it is not true Islamic law.

Söder explained his argument by pointing out that the socialists made common cause with the Islamists to overthrow the shah in Iran.

"But when the Islamists came to power, they wiped out the socialists too. And I'm saying that if we don’t take the Islamification that's taking place in western Europe right now seriously, maybe history will repeat itself," he said.

When asked to clarify whether he thought an Islamic revolution was possible in Sweden and other western countries, Söder answered in the affirmative.

"Yes, Sweden is being Islamified right now. We've taken up countless examples of how Sweden is adapting to Muslim demands and we're seeing how mosques are popping up like mushrooms from the ground in Sweden and all over Europe. It’s not necessarily the case that we'll all become Muslims, but that we will have to obey Sharia," Söder said.

Sharia is the Islamic law that these guys are trying to impose - and it is very much a political agenda. Systematic attempts to change Western law and impose sharia are not a religious agenda, they comprise a political agenda.

"Through Muslim immigration and rapid propagation, as well as through Turkey's membership in the EU, Europe can become dominated by Muslims."

The theory of a so-called "Eurabia" has been roundly rejected by scholars of Islam, who compare it to anti-Semitic views of an international Jewish conspiracy.

There is a big difference between Nazi views about Judaism and Western views about Islam: Judaism was not trying to impose any kind of world government on humanity, but the imposition of a worldwide caliphate upon humanity is at the very heart of Islam; indeed, the word "Islam" means "submission" - to such an agenda.

Another big difference is that the Muslims seek to do to Christians and Jews what the Nazis did to Jews - so there is that matter of the "pot calling the kettle black" to consider.

But Söder claims his view isn't simply a conspiracy theory, and goes on to lament what he sees as Swedish culture's weakened ability to keep Muslim influences out.

"Unfortunately, it's been weakened through several decades of ridicule and belittling, which means that its very marginalized and threatened," he said.

Traditional Western culture has been attacked for many years, and now the West is ripe for conspiracy fact: a large group of people who share a common belief system, and who seek to impose that belief system upon the world by any means necessary, with many accepting only a violent imposition as a valid one!

With Islam not at but inside the gates (and at our throats), the question before us is a simple one....