Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Downfall of Iraq: A Prelude to Caliphate? An Evaluation of Islamic Thought

Map Source:

Iraq is now being overrun by the ISIS power.  This conquest is meant to bring Sharia Law to the region and many Iraqis are now being displaced as refugees in the area.  Furthermore, the growing groundswell support for this power is also threatening the government of Iraq.

No doubt the area has been in constant and brutal turmoil for decades now as powers rise and fall in the region.  A constant state of instability allows for continued infighting.  America has lost its appetite for war and the American public are worn from the idea of constant warfare and seeing our American troops come home in body bags.  To make the matters worse, the reasons for going to war with Iraq were based on lies, lies and more lies with big corporate interests in the mix.

America can ill afford to be at constant war as it damages our reputation around the world and puts our government in the light of being a constant "bully" of sorts.  America must face challenges militarily on the one hand and be the great purveyor of peace on the other.  This balance is critically important and the United States must be mindful about which battles it chooses to fight.

Gerald Ford, at the end of the Vietnam War, basically said that America could not be the one constantly running to the aid of everyone in need.  We must be aware that the choices other people and other nations make around the world are in their own hands and are a making of their own choice.  National sovereignty must be respected.

ISIS and the Middle East

Perhaps, much like the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire, ISIS will follow this same path.  But, if ISIS were to grow in power and strength, what would that mean for the rest of the world?  What would it mean for the nations who depend on the exportation of oil from the Middle East?  These questions can only be answered in time and through observation.  As ISIS grows in strength with the near fever of how Nazism grew, the international stakes will continue to grow.  If the region ultimately reunites under one great Islamic caliphate, the world will see it happen.

Islamic Sentiments for Empire

Currently, the Islamic world is pushing for some type of wide ranging and powerful empire.  Such a caliphate, with the fanatical love of Nazism and the love of imperial ambitions (which are diametrical dreams opposed to freedom and democracy) the rise of an empire based on a Messiah seems to be inevitable.  In fact, the extremists seem to view the idea that an Islamic Caliphate will be global in scope.

A Mahdi for Empire

There is a common thought that a Mahdi will eventually come out of nowhere to establish peace.  In fact, this sentiment is one wherein the Islamic people are seeking a "peaceful" man to establish an empire and bring justice and peace to the world.

An Islamic World Seeking Slavery

The very word, "Islam" means "submission" and very much means domination.  The whole idea that Islam is a religion that is bound to the idea of "slavery" is a very real concept.  There is no room for individualism, individual rights or freedoms.  But giving one's self to the a god and to a lording master as a slave is a mindset that is diametrically opposed to the ideas of liberty in virtually every way imaginable.  This idea of personal slavery is not just a religious one either - it carries with it a strong idea that all individuals, whole nations and societies, nay - the ENTIRE world should be enslaved by a god and master human ruler.  Islamic governments are expected adhere to this mindset.

Global Domination

The goal is to "conquer" the entire planet with this one religion - to subdue every human being to the "Will of Allah" and to have everyone be a slave to this God.  It is a perfect type of rhetoric which makes for the expansion of dictatorial global leadership a very real aim by a people's whose mentality is one that is "slavery to god" and that the state's power is absolute in the name of religion.  The power of the individual is literally meaningless.  In fact, the whole mindset is that there is no need for a "democracy" because the "submission" to the state religion is paramount and trumps the need for secular government.  The greatest power in the world is to have a people believe with their whole hearts (and with religious fervor) that everything - people and government - must be enslaved to a greater power - whether it be a faith and / or a Mahdi.

This idea of "global submission" and has even found a place on Facebook with nearly 200,000 likes.  The page HERE.  Indeed, the community has gone "global" in terms of outreach and the graphics (such as the one inserted above this section) show this mindset as being very real in scope.

Global Implementation of Sharia Law

This type of law is understood as infallible and means, "God's Law" and is applicable to everyday living.  This law covers politics, economics and criminal law.  In fact, since the state, the people of the state are "slaves" to God, Sharia Law, by its implementation seems to be consistent with this religious idea and moral duty to bring the entire globe under slavery to God.  Sharia governs everyday living of people - including government and has certain guidelines for punishment up to and including capital punishment.  See HERE.  Again, this type of law leaves no room for secular freedom or freedom of religion in the broadest sense and is opposed to American tradition of freedom as enshrined in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Islamic Beheadings

The idea of beheadings is a terribly gruesome way to die.  In fact, those who believe they are acting in the "Service to God" believe that by eliminating any opponent to Islam, Allah or the Qu'ran, also believe they are correct and justified in doing so.  When the time comes, and a new Islamic Empire or Caliphate is finally reassembled, this political body will most likely pose the greatest danger ever faced by the free world.  Any effort to oppose it will lead to most likely to death sentences worldwide - and by beheading as this method of killing is most gruesome.

The verse of the sword found in the Qu'ran actually "justify" beheading.  In fact, in place of a sword, a guillotine could be employed but the traditional tool for this barbaric activity has been the use of the sword. See Qu'ran and Violence: HERE.

States Modeled After Fanatical Nazism

The ties between the Middle East and Nazi Germany are indeed fascinating as they are fanatical in scope and nature.  In fact, the main focus of that still remains is 2-fold: (1) The destruction of Jews [and most likely Christians as well since they share in Judeo-Christian traditions - particularly with regard to Mosaic Law and Old Testament]; (2) Worldwide conquest.  See Nazism and Islam HERE.

Even in recent years, the fanatical concepts of the worldwide domination have not diminished.  And, as Middle East military forces continue to march in the direction of a ultimate political end, world domination of Islam, the peace cannot and will not be sustained.  In fact, the radical idea of genocide of the Jewish people remains a point of paramount importance and seems to be in accordance with Qu'ranic thinking.

In Conclusion

It appears that the "Crisis in the Middle East" will not be resolved anytime soon.  The fanatical thinking of the governments, powers and peoples involved is a part of the religion, the culture and the politics of the region. It will not end until the entire region comes under the control of a dictatorial Mahdi who will impose an authoritarian regime (with sights on world domination) on the region and launches a campaign on genocide against Israel.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Could the Tea Party Be A Blessing for Democrats? The Cantor Omen

Photo: Steve Helber AP

The media has been in a frenzy over House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor's loss to a Tea Party rival, David Brat.  And, the media has been pushing the notion that the Tea Party is dead.

Now, with the stunning defeat of Cantor in the House, by a Tea Party candidate, now has everyone rethinking the Tea Party's strength in upcoming elections.

New victories may re-energize the far-right conservative base enough to debunk more moderate conservative incumbents from office.  A strong Tea Party with ultra conservative views is crushing the more moderate Republicans who are "caught in the middle" who need to capture more independent and moderate voters but who are also trying to appeal to the far right's political tastes.

What this amounts to is a bit of "civil war" inside the Republican ranks.  While the Tea Party is determined in pulling the party as far right as possible, more mainstream voters are demanding more moderate-to-liberal policy stances from elected officials who are seeking re-election.  The divide is so big that both sides have the politicians virtually talking two different stances out of both sides of their mouths - pandering to both ultra conservatives on the one hand, and more moderate voters on the other.

For Democrats, a divided and crowded field of political contestants may make wins on the Democratic side much easier - that is, if the Democratic Party can stay unified.  If the Republicans can't find a way to "moderate" more of their political policies and attract more voters of different walks of life and socioeconomic backgrounds, the party may find itself unable to win the Presidency and to be forever confined to a political party with regional dominance.

Contributor: Michael Hathman

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bowe Bergdahl: The Case of the Prisoner Exchange Dialogue

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was released back to the United States just recently.

However, there is a big firestorm as to whether a "prisoner exchange" was the "right thing to do" with regard to Bergdahl especially in light of certain indications that Bergdahl may have deserted his post.

There are certain considerations the United States military and civilians should understand.  There is no doubt that we have been at war with the Taliban in Afghanistan for a decade now.  It is a common occurrence that prisoner exchanges happen between formerly belligerent enemies.  And while these exchanges may not be "even" swaps, they do happen and it's usually so many people in exchange for 1 or more people on the other side.

Prisoner Exchanges Are Important for the World to See

Why?  No person, unless they are a traitor working for the other side, should be left behind in the grips of a former enemy.  It's just bad business.

When prisoners are exchanged, and the world sees such exchanges, we can rest comfortably knowing that there is an interest in making prisoner exchanges happen and we won't give up on our people.

When we give up on our prisoners, it send a statement to our armed forces that "We don't care about our vets.  They are expendable - even to rot in enemy hands."  This is intolerable to most people.  Even if there may be questions of desertion.

Winning at Prisoner Exchanges

There is no "winning" in prisoner exchanges.  There is only "winning" at war.  Prisoner exchanges may be looked at in several ways:

The person(s) the enemy hands back are every bit as dangerous to the enemy as the enemy prisoners we release back to the enemy.

If we choose not to get our POW people, the enemy wins and gets to keep them.

If we get our POW people, by stealing them away, these are fewer captives they must care for, feed, clothe and guard.  The enemy wins.

If we exchange our POW people for the enemy's POW people, the enemy wins by getting their people back in their custody.

If we choose to do nothing, the enemy captors still win.

It works the same way with us.  No matter who the "enemy" is - the POW exchange will never be ideally perfect because there are plus and minus signs on both sides of the POW exchange ledger.  There is no real way to engineer a plan were we win and the enemy loses completely.  It's just not the real world and it is even more unrealistic to look at POW Exchanges as a way to profit from war.

The Good News About POW Trades

There is one upside to POW Trades - when we trade enemies for the our own POW people - it's the POW who really wins.  And, his family wins also.  We send a clear message to the world that we care about our vets and that, regardless of the circumstances, we won't leave anyone behind.  We value our people whom we miss and wish we had back in our lives - regardless of the circumstances and regardless of past mistakes.

Contributor:  Michael Hathman

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Climate Change: Is Global Warming A Political Issue?

Odd to think that long term weather trends plays into politics.  But, the truth is, it's a hot topic (no hot pun intended).

The idea that our world has been changing for centuries is not a new one.  In fact, no one really knows just how much man's impact is and how much is due to nature.  But, there is no doubt that humanity is having a massive impact.  Just think about these facts:

1.  Our industrial world is largely responsible for the pollution we put in our air - and there is a lot of it.  Everything from burning fossil fuels to whatever factories put up through their smokestacks.

2.  Wildfires and man made forest fires are adding CO2 levels to the atmosphere in alarming rates.

3.  Volcanic activity has been known to have a large effect on atmospheric conditions.

4.  An increase in solar strength also adds to rising temperatures.

The Effects Are Evident In the Pics

1.  Glaciers are melting at an alarming rate (and disappearing altogether).

2.  Ice melt is raising the level of the oceans.

3.  More greenhouse gases mean more powerful storms, tornadoes, hurricanes and floods.

4.  Higher temperatures mean longer more prolonged droughts.

Partisan Politics?  Really?

The weather isn't isn't a political issue until it's out of control.  For some people who aren't feeling the affects of global warming and climate change, it's a non-issue.  For those who are seeing the effects - FIRST HAND - the evidence is enough and there is a call to action.

I personally believe that we are far past the point of being able to "STOP" climate change.  Now, all we can do is brace for the impact.  Don't believe?  Check out these pics and sources:

Climate Change Before & After:

BBC News:


National Geographic:

The Next Questions

How are we to prepare?

How bad could it get?

What, if anything, are we willing to do about it (including spending tax dollars to address the issue)

Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day: June 6, 1944 - What Was the Point of All the Fighting?

The story of WWII is truly amazing.  And, it is a long one.

Starting (in medias res) with D-Day, this particular operation stands like a colossus over all military operations in human history.  Indeed, this operation was an exceedingly risky one and the Allied Supreme Commander, Eisenhower, knew it would be.

Eisenhower, Patton and MacArthur were seasoned students of history.  There is little doubt that the Allies had a lot to lose if this invasion went bad.  There were enough defeats and history, being a very loud and clear teacher reminded the leaders of the risk they were going to be taking with a 1,000,000 man operation. It had not gone well for the Spanish Armada in 1588 nor the other great amphibious assault launched by the Mongolian Empire by Kublai Khan in 1274.  Both ended in complete disaster due to weather conditions. And, the weather wasn't the best on June 6, 1944.  The two greatest amphibious assaults ever launched ended in catastrophe. And, based on that track record, the Allies were about to launch the third greatest in all of human history.  But, as luck would have it, it went well, the forces landed and with a bit of American ingenuity, the Allies were able to cut through the hedgerows to make their ultimate advance on Germany.

But, was all of this REALLY necessary?  Perhaps not.  Amazingly, the Versailles Treaty of 1918 was a very unfair and unforgiving agreement and Germany was utterly put to financial ruin because of the harsh dictatorial terms forced upon the Germans by the Allies.  Had the Christian concept of forgiveness and mutual respect been a part of the accords, WWII and tens of millions of lives would not have been lost. Tragically though, FORGIVENESS, justice and mutual respect was not in the cards but GREED was.

Perhaps World War II wasn't really a lesson about freedom versus tyranny as much as it was about forgiveness, justice and showing others mutual respect.  Perhaps those are the real lessons of World War II and about the men and women who believed in those values.

RESPECT for life in the constant consideration of mutual respect, forgiveness and social justice should have been at the forefront of any discussion for lasting peace.  If these ideas had been the hallmark guides of righteous conduct of the Allied government leaders in 1918, there would have been a very good chance that the history following the tyrannical peace accords of the Versailles Treaty would never have taken place.  In place of facilitating forgiveness rather than hatred and revenge, Mussolini and Hitler may never have been able to seize power.  The power of radical and fanatical hatred would not have had the seeds to grow and escalate to a Second World War.  There would have been no massive consequence to the growing threat of hatred, bigotry and, inevitably, Holocaust. When our world forgets these simple values, nothing good can ever come from the disregard.  Instead, we plant the seeds of our own destruction.