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Why They miss the Cold War!

Paul McKenna
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From the Wall Street Journal - October 28th 2003
For long I have held the opion that the Soviets were much better than Islamists as opponents. The Soviets played by some rules if not by many compared to the total disrespect for human lives preached by hardline Islamist factions. At last, the WSJ (a favourite news source of mine) published an article concurring with my beliefs..
Why I Miss the Cold War
By ARNOLD BEICHMAN
Am I being wholly rational when I say that I miss the Cold War?
There was a time, say a decade ago, when I wouldn't have hesitated for a minute to answer that I most certainly do not miss the Cold War. But as I pull my shoes back on at Sea-Tac airport, rebuckle by belt, repack my laptop, mourn the confiscation of my metal money clip (with a tiny, hidden knife blade) and watch female airport security agents pass their wands over the bras of female passengers, I have a curious thought: In the worst days of the Cold War, even during the Cuban missile crisis, you simply showed your ticket and marched onto the plane. And if your plane was hijacked to Cuba, it might only mean a short delay for refueling and back home without a scratch.
* * *
To put it simply, I never thought I'd look back on the Cold War with a rash of rather kindly, if awkward, memories. Admittedly, most people who live in Russia, Poland, East Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria and the Baltic states wouldn't feel quite the same way. Yet today, even these liberated countries have to worry about Islamist terrorism because they all have Western embassies in their midst. The Cold War world of the 20th century is not the world of the 21st. To amend Hobbes's "Leviathan": It is a condition of war of some against all, a universal vulnerability. We have gone from a world of bipolar quasi-stability to a world of bipolar anarchy. That transformation has affected our quality of life as the Cold War never did to those of us fortunate enough to have lived beyond the Iron Curtain and outside the Berlin Wall.
Totalitarian Russia in the Stalin-Khrushchev-Brezhnev-Andropov era was a horrifying example of socialism at work. The Cold War had many frightening moments -- the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and even the aberrant Soviet shootdown of Korean Flight 007 on Sept. 1, 1983 -- but we never had to worry about anybody else's shoes. Despite the ferocity of Soviet diplomacy, the West still engaged in cultural exchanges with the Soviet Union. And we managed to carve out with it a Helsinki agreement on human rights. Can it be that the Kremlin was more civilized outside its own borders than Osama bin Laden is outside his mosque?
It may well be that, as Ronald Steel has written, "in its perverted way, the Cold War was a force for stability." Some force for stability, you might say! Bloodily suppressed uprisings in East Germany, Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia, an invasion of Afghanistan, the KGB everywhere. Yet daily life in the democracies was singularly unaffected by such outrages. True, we had domestic terrorism -- in Germany, the Bader-Meinhof; in Italy, the Red Brigades; in America, the Weathermen; in Peru, the Shining Path -- but each was specific to its country of origin. While some may have had help from the Soviets, they weren't inclined to move their homicides beyond national boundaries. And Soviet assassination targets were generally spymasters, like Gen. Krivitsky, who fled to the West, or purge victims like Willi Muenzenberg outside Paris, and there was no blowing up of supermarkets or shopping malls. So far as is known, there were no KGB suicide bombers. Innocent victims were generally Soviet citizens turned in by police informers or just arrested on general suspicion.
What characterized Soviet strategy during the Cold War was a campaign of disinformation, known as "active measures," aimed at the Western democracies, notably the U.S. Thus the KGB planted stories in Asian and African media accusing the U.S. of assassinating Olaf Palme and Indira Gandhi, or of attempting to kill Pope John Paul II. Izvestia, on Jan. 30, 1987, accused the U.S. government of murdering 918 members of the People's Temple in Guyana in 1978 (in reality, a mass suicide) to prevent them from migrating to the Soviet Union. Athletes from Asian and African countries at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics received threatening letters purporting to be from the Klan, with grammatical mistakes typical of Russian translations into English. Soviet political warfare, some of it conducted through fronts like the World Peace Council and aided by Western academic elites or "agents of influence," cost the Soviet Union some $4 billion a year. But no lives were lost in this way. (This was not due to some Damascene conversion by the Soviet Politburo to humanitarianism. Leninism had legitimized mass terror in the name of the proletariat and Stalin proved to be an apt pupil.)
Even more interestingly, Soviet history is replete with courageous opponents among its own people: Sakharov, Solzhenytsin, Bukovsky, Ginsberg, Mandelstam, Pasternak, Akhmatova, Bulgakov, Zamyatin, Zoshchenko and others. Where is the anti-Osama opposition in the Islamic world?
The story is far different with bin Laden and his single-minded followers. All one need do is read the mosque sermons. The Islamist jihadists have no immediate desire to convert the West to Islam. They are not interested in WHAM'ing ("winning the hearts and minds," as it used to be called in the days of the Vietnam War). They are not interested in negotiations, summit meetings, detente agreements, cultural exchanges or non-aggression pacts, as we all were during the Cold War. As an ultra-state, ultra-government, ultra-treasury, ultra-supreme court legitimized, in its own eyes, by the Koran, al Qaeda decides who lives and who dies.
Looking back, we can now see that the end of the Cold War came with the election of Ronald Reagan and the accession of Mikhail Gorbachev. President Bush is a worthy successor but who, realistically, can foresee a Muslim Gorbachev? And even if one arose, how long would he survive? There were weapons of mass destruction on both sides during the Cold War but they were never used. The war with jihadist Islam is a war in which non-Muslims are all hostage to bin Laden, his followers and his successors. Jihadist Islam gave us a taste, on Sept. 11, 2001, of what it could do without WMD. And when they do get WMD? The war goes on, no end in sight.
Mr. Beichman, a Hoover Institution research fellow, is author of "Anti-American Myths: Their Causes and Consequences" (Transaction, 1995).


Commentary From the Sidelines of history
Jason Menard
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Good article Paul.
Even more interestingly, Soviet history is replete with courageous opponents among its own people: Sakharov, Solzhenytsin, Bukovsky, Ginsberg, Mandelstam, Pasternak, Akhmatova, Bulgakov, Zamyatin, Zoshchenko and others. Where is the anti-Osama opposition in the Islamic world?

That's certainly a good question.
John Smith
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Even more interestingly, Soviet history is replete with courageous opponents among its own people: Sakharov, Solzhenytsin, Bukovsky, Ginsberg, Mandelstam, Pasternak, Akhmatova, Bulgakov, Zamyatin, Zoshchenko and others. Where is the anti-Osama opposition in the Islamic world?
Two things. First, if I were an instructor in the English Composition class, I would say that "anti-Osama opposition" is broken English. Does it refer to people who oppose Osama, or the people who oppose the anti-Osama people? Not clear at all. Second, the courage of the russian dissidends mentioned above was to oppose a bad regime, and Osama is an individual. So, what is the author of the article is looking for, -- a good regime to oppose a bad individual? If so, it would be the opposite of the situation with the Soviet dissidends, and the entire analogy is misleading.
Jason Menard
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EK: Not clear at all.
I admit the wording was poor, but the sentiment was clear enough. The way I chose to interpret the question, and the way I believe it was intended was, "Where is the opposition to Islamic extremism in the Islamic world?".
EK: Second, the courage of the russian dissidends mentioned above was to oppose a bad regime, and Osama is an individual.
You are also correct that what the Soviet citizens named above were opposing was a regime. I don't believe though that highlighting a difference between a regime (which was based on an ideaology after all) and the Islamic extremist movement matters much in this context. OBL is representitive of a dangerous ideaology, much as the Soviet regime was.
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Where is the anti-Osama opposition in the Islamic world?
Muslims against Terrorism.
This article sketches a brief historical and geographical map of so-called "Islamism":
Terrorism and Islamism - Politics in the name of the Prophet
[ October 28, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]

Uncontrolled vocabularies
"I try my best to make *all* my posts nice, even when I feel upset" -- Philippe Maquet
Jason Menard
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Muslims against Terrorism.
1) A website does not a movement make.
2) There are a bunch of linked articles about American Muslim leaders speaking out against terrorism on that page. While that's all well and good, that's expected. The problem is that they are Americans and not "the Islamic world".
This article sketches a brief historical and geographical map of so-called "Islamism":
Terrorism and Islamism - Politics in the name of the Prophet

I'm not sure what the point of this article is. It's part apologist piece, part blame-the-West piece. I had to chuckle at the end when I saw that it was originally published in Le monde. It certainly doesn't seem to have anything to do with my words which you quoted.
Btw Map, I'm much more interested in what your thoughts and opinions are. I'd rather not stress myself trying to read through a linked article to guess what point I think you are trying to make, or guessing what part might be relevant. Some amount of this is okay, but having to labor through such a process with every single post is a bit much imho.
But it comes down to this, ref your quote of me. I'm not interested in pronouncements. You can give me links all day of some prominent religious leader stating that the terrorists were really bad people. I'm not interested in whether or not they can talk-the-talk, I want to see them walk-the-walk. Actions speak louder than words, and "opposition" isn't merely saying "I'm opposed".
[ October 28, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Paul McKenna
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Map, Eugene,
The idea behind the article is not to praise Soviet communism but to perform a comparative analysis between the cold war era of the past and the war on terror of present. In due course of this analysis the author comes up with some excellent points (which I have shared for a long time)
1. The Soviets were more keen to ensure a world balance rather than see a total destruction of the west
2. The Soviets pursued a policy of "Leave me alone and I'll leave you alone" with the west. Compare this with the policy of "If I die, you die too" that is followed by hardline Islamic factions
3. A very good point, IMHO, is that the author does not see the capability for the likes of Gorbachev to rise in the Islamic world. How would a moderate appeal to muslims? Traditionally hardliners have attracted the Islamic masses. This is because Islam in its true form is a very deeply conservative and strict religion
I'm sure both of you have differing opinions about the Soviet era since you suffered under them. Thats exactly the point the author is making, the only people who suffered under Communism were the people who came under its rule and they always had the option of obtaining asylum elsewhere or escaping to some foreign land. In today's scenario, terrorists are trained to hunt down infidels / non-believers so the people who suffer are more.
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Jason: 1) A website does not a movement make.
Are we talking about "courageous opponents among its own people" or about a mass movement? You need to specify what you want to see more precisely then.
2) There a bunch of linked articles about American Muslim leaders speaking out against terrorism. Well that's all well and good, that's expected. The problem is that they are Americans and not "the Islamic world".
This is something new. I thought "the Islamic world" includes all Muslims. But in any case, there are NOT only "American Muslim leaders", there are quite a few non-Americans. You did not notice them? Perhaps this is why "Where is the anti-Osama opposition in the Islamic world?" sounds like a rhetorical question -- because we do not want to see them? They do not fit our preconceptions?
Grand Sheikh Mohammed Sayed Tantawi of the Al-Azhar mosque of Cairo - which is seen as the highest authority in Sunni Islam - said groups which carried out suicide bombings were the enemies of Islam. Speaking at the conference in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, Sheikh Tantawi said extremist Islamic groups had appropriated Islam and its notion of jihad, or holy struggle, for their own ends.
BBC News, 11 July, 2003

"Hijacking Planes, terrorizing innocent people and shedding blood constitute a form of injustice that can not be tolerated by Islam, which views them as gross crimes and sinful acts."
Shaykh Abdul Aziz al-Ashaikh, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of the Senior Ulama, on September 15th, 2001

"The terrorists acts, from the perspective of Islamic law, constitute the crime of hirabah (waging war against society)."
September 27, 2001 - Fatwa, signed by:
Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Grand Islamic Scholar and Chairman of the Sunna and Sira Countil, Qatar
Judge Tariq al-Bishri, First Deputy President of the Council d'etat, Egypt
Dr. Muhammad s. al-Awa, Professor of Islamic Law and Shari'a, Egypt
Dr. Haytham al-Khayyat, Islamic scholar, Syria
Fahmi Houaydi, Islamic scholar, Syria
Shaykh Taha Jabir al-Alwani, Chairman, North America High Council

I'm not sure what the point of this article is.
To provide information?
I had to chuckle at the end when I saw that it was originally published in Le monde.
What is so funny about it? Did you chuckle when you saw "Wall Street Journal"?
Btw Map, I'm much more interested in what your thoughts and opinions are. I'd rather not stress myself trying to read through a linked article to guess what point I think you are trying to make, or guessing what part might be relevant.
Well, the first site answered the question "Where is the anti-Osama opposition in the Islamic world" by providing names, countries and positions/occupations of opponents. If you ask my opinion -- my opinion is that I am immensely ignorant regarding Islamic world so I am a wrong person to ask.
The second site simply provided at least some more detailed info about Islamic world, that's why I wanted to share a link! I thought my comment explains my intention. I am not going to insist this is the best source possible, just a starting point. If you have better links, post them too.
Dan Chisholm
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I prefer the Cold War rather than this war because our cold war enemy was an atheist regime that could be deterred by the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction. Today, Mutual Assured Destruction does not work because such a doctrine requires a rational enemy. Today, we don't have a rational enemy. Instead, we are dealing with gullible people that believe that they will be rewarded in heaven by a God that can't achieve its goals without the help of people that want to kill innocent women and children as they ride on a bus or eat in a street side cafe. By definition, an omnipotent God requires no help; so it is really an amazing example of gullibility when people can be convinced that God advocates murder and needs people that are willing to serve as murderers. Yes, the Cold War and the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction was a lesser threat to global civilization than the current threat posed by those that might view mutual destruction as some form of martyr's victory.


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Mapraputa Is
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Are you sure you do not idealize Cold War time? When we had two super-powers aimed their nuclear bombs at each other? When the whole world could very well evaporate in hours?
I do not want to diminish terrorism threat, but how many of them are there anyway? Are they really a serious threat to *global* civilization?
This is not to say that they can be simply ignored, of course.
[ October 28, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Dan Chisholm
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Map,
I agree that the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction would have triggered the launch of more nuclear warheads than today's war, but how many do you really need in order to create a global environmental disaster and a global economic disaster. The enormous cities that exist in the world today are able to provide adequate food, water and shelter to the citizens only as long as the economy and infrastructure continue to function. How much disruption is necessary before the supplies of food and water stop flowing into the cities? Shutting down the power grid is enough to shut down the pumps that are required to move water. What would it take to shut down a nations power grid? As was recently demonstrated, it doesn't take much. I think that the world that we live in today is a lot more fragile than we would like to believe.
How many Roman's would have believed that the dark ages were possible? Unfortunately, today's enemy would love to see the world return to the dark ages. Does anyone really know what it would take to accomplish that goal? It could be less than we think. That's why it's important to win this war.
Mapraputa Is
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Dan: The enormous cities that exist in the world today are able to provide adequate food, water and shelter to the citizens only as long as the economy and infrastructure continue to function. How much disruption is necessary before the supplies of food and water stop flowing into the cities? Shutting down the power grid is enough to shut down the pumps that are required to move water. What would it take to shut down a nations power grid?
Honestly, I do not know. But maybe we could ask Iraqis whom we just bombed? Maybe they know? They lived without much of running water and without electricity in 120 heat, so I am optimistic.
I probably sound harsh, sorry for that, did not want...
Mapraputa Is
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Eugene: So, what is the author of the article is looking for, -- a good regime to oppose a bad individual? If so, it would be the opposite of the situation with the Soviet dissidends, and the entire analogy is misleading.
I believe it *is* misleading.

Earlier today, Fatwa-Online was informed that:
The deadly attacks in the United States are a "terrible crime" which Islaam does not accept and no one should applaud them, the head of Saudi Arabia's Islaamic judiciary said in comments published Friday.
"Killing a person who has not committed a crime is one of the major sins and terrible crimes... What happened in America is... undoubtedly a grave criminal act which Islaam does not approve of and no one should applaud," Shaykh Saalih al-Lehaydaan mentioned.
al-Lahaydaan, who is also a member of the Council of Senior Scholars in
Saudi Arabia, said Islaam strictly forbids bloodletting and does not condone the killing of innocent people, especially in a collective manner.
Shaykh Saalih al-Lehaydaan says deadly attacks in USA are a "terrible crime"...

Based upon what has preceded, then we say that that which we believe and hold as our religion concerning what happened to the World Trade Centre in America – and in Allaah lies success – that the terrorist attacks that took place and what occurred of general (mass) killing, then it is not permissible and Islaam does not allow it in any form whatsoever.
Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymee speaks about current affairs...


His eminence responded to questions of Okaz regarding the explosions that occurred in the United States that took thousands of innocent civilian lives saying that killing is not permitted unless in time of war and to kill innocent people is among the major sins and the most heinous of crimes.
He added that what happened in America was one of the most dangerous crimes and that the religion of Islaam does not condone it nor is it correct for anyone to approve of it.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Judiciary Council of Saudi Arabia states: "It is not logical to accuse the Muslims". What Happened in America Is A Crime Rejected By Islaam

So what we have here, is a regime, good or bad, opposing the individuals, while in the Soviet Union we had individuals opposed the regime. By now I am confused what the Wall Street Journal's author point is.
Mapraputa Is
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WSJ: Looking back, we can now see that the end of the Cold War came with the election of Ronald Reagan and the accession of Mikhail Gorbachev. President Bush is a worthy successor but who, realistically, can foresee a Muslim Gorbachev?
And who could realistically foresee Gorbachev when the USSR existed? Wasn't the USSR considered "Evil Empire"? And what about R. Reagan's joke that in a few minutes he is going to order to bomb the USSR? Are you disgusted?
Paul McKenna
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
I believe it *is* misleading.

Map, I can't help but feel sorry for ya. I mean I know how you feel, because I was once, as hopelessly liberal as you are now. You live under the presumption that things will straighten out on their own. They seldom do! It takes action to evoke a reaction.. If Reagan didnt take proactive steps to end the cold war we'd still have the Soviets around (which would have been better in my opinion). Now that we have the hardline Islamists someone needs to take some action to evoke an ultimate reaction within the Islamic world to end terrorism.
You keep stating that US bombed Iraq under false presumptions. Oh yea!! What about 9/11? Did the taliban / al-qaeda have any presumptions at all , true or otherwise, to even remotely justify their deeds?
Dan Chisholm
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Map,
I understand what you are saying, but water supplies are not much of a problem when you live between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. That's why civilization was able to thrive there long before the invention of aqueducts. The same is not true in many American cities. What great rivers flow through San Francisco, Los Angeles and Manhattan? Our lives depend on a fragile economy and a fragile infrastructure. Without them, our cities can not exist. Terrorists don't require the nuclear capabilities of the Cold War superpowers. History has shown that a little chaos is all that's needed to motivate citizens to destroy their own cities. Nothing good in this world is guaranteed.
How many Romans believed that barbarians could destroy their world and plunge Europe into centuries of the dark ages? What guarantees that such a thing could never happen again?
This war is far more dangerous than the cold war. The Soviets wanted to rule civilization--not destroy it. The Soviets never dreamed of reducing our world to something that more closely resembles the glory days of Muhammad.
Mapraputa Is
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Map, I can't help but feel sorry for ya.

I mean I know how you feel, because I was once, as hopelessly liberal as you are now.
And I was raised in pretty cannibalistic ideology, thank you.
You live under the presumption that things will straighten out on their own.
Hey, I specially bothered to add "This is not to say that they can be simply ignored, of course" because I was afraid my post will be read as I advocate doing nothing! And even this did not help! Oh great blinding power of presumptions! No, I do not believe things will always will straighten out on their own, sometimes they do, but "on their own" here simply means that the forces behind improvement worked on different level, beyond our radar. What I do believe is that we should not demonize our "enemy" and see enemies where there are none. If Islamic establishment spoke against terrorism, then there is no need to pretend they did not. That's all.
If Reagan didnt take proactive steps to end the cold war we'd still have the Soviets around (which would have been better in my opinion).
Here you contradict yourself and only prove my point. Is it always necessarily to advance conflict as far as possible? And then regret of consequences? AFAIK there is "conflict management" theory/branch of sociology/not sure what term to apply, maybe it would help if we started working in this direction. (later disclaimer: No, this DOES NOT mean summits with Taliban or Al-Qaeda.)
You keep stating that US bombed Iraq under false presumptions.
Actually, I think I said it only once (recently), but I might forget...
Oh yea!! What about 9/11? Did the taliban/al-qaeda have any presumptions at all , true or otherwise, to even remotely justify their deeds?
Why this question? Why to equal us and Taliban? If they act like idiots then we should too? If their dream is to get all Islamic world upside down and with AK-47, then we should help them?
[ October 29, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
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"The United States is failing in its mission to create a secular, overtly pro-Western Iraq, a leading adviser to the American administrator Paul Bremer said yesterday.
"Instead, the new, democratic Iraq appears bound to be an Islamic state - with an official role for Islam, and Islamic law enshrined in its constitution.
New Iraq 'well on way to becoming Islamic state'
Paul McKenna
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Hey, I specially bothered to add "This is not to say that they can be simply ignored, of course" because I was afraid my post will be read as I advocate doing nothing! And even this did not help! Oh great blinding power of presumptions! No, I do not believe things will always will straighten out on their own, sometimes they do, but "on their own" here simply means that the forces behind improvement worked on different level, beyond our radar. What I do believe is that we should not demonize our "enemy" and see enemies where there are none. If Islamic establishment spoke against terrorism, then there is no need to pretend they did not. That's all.

There you go again!! Allright Map, here is what I'm going to do henceforth. I'm going to fund a program that will wipe out every Russian immigrant in the US, but publicly I will issue disclaimers stating that such acts are abhorrent and reflect the lowest point in humanity blah! blah! Now do you get it?? People in the Islamic world will do what they need to do, even if it means that they have to publicly put a facade which potrays them as victims at the hands of a few who have hijacked their beliefs. Do you really think they are that innocent? They are the ones who stand to gain most if they win this war.
Note: Ruskies need not get angry due to the above statement, I love y'all but am just using your group to create an example that Map will relate to here
Dan Chisholm
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
"The United States is failing in its mission to create a secular, overtly pro-Western Iraq, a leading adviser to the American administrator Paul Bremer said yesterday.
"Instead, the new, democratic Iraq appears bound to be an Islamic state - with an official role for Islam, and Islamic law enshrined in its constitution.
New Iraq 'well on way to becoming Islamic state'

Good point. I share your concern.
Mapraputa Is
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People in the Islamic world will do what they need to do, even if it means that they have to publicly put a facade which potrays them as victims at the hands of a few who have hijacked their beliefs.
As soon as we accept this POV, all other lines of thinking are blocked. Whatever Muslims do what might contradict our preconceptions, will be explained by simple "they do that to fool us".
So who do you think dream about death of West? All Muslims? Muslims who do not live in Western countries? How about Muslims who emigrated to Western countries? First generation? Second generation? What about devoted Muslims, as opposed as less devoted? What about officially Muslim countries, do they differ from officially secular? Do you have a list of countries who are our enemies? What about their population, does it all as a whole hate West or... I am just curious.
Dan Chisholm
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
So who do you think dream about death of West?

I would say that it's a small number of nuts that don't represent the views of the average guy on the street.
Paul McKenna
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Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
As soon as we accept this POV, all other lines of thinking are blocked. Whatever Muslims do what might contradict our preconceptions, will be explained by simple "they do that to fool us".

Ok, perhaps in the haste of completing my post I did not care to choose my words carefully enough. When you said that we need not question the intent of the Islamic world when they have issued a public statement decrying terrorism in the name of Islam what are we supposed to do when the same people issue a "fatwah" in the name of their God? Are you aware that Salman Rushdie, a renowned author still has a fatwah on his head. Why? because he wrote a book criticizing the Quran. Can you imagine a decapitation order being issued if you or I write a book criticizing Chrisitianity or Hinduism. I certainly cant and I am very sure that there are already books of that nature out there being sold in USA and India.
Words and public statements are not enough, actions are! Infact it was one of your links which had a nice remark in its photo section. They said "Sadly we have three photographs like this [photos of muslims praying for the well being of American after 9//11] and umpteen photographs like these [photos of muslims burning the american flag]"
Mapraputa Is
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Infact it was one of your links which had a nice remark in its photo section. They said "Sadly we have three photographs like this [photos of muslims praying for the well being of American after 9//11] and umpteen photographs like these [photos of muslims burning the american flag]"
Ha! I perfectly remember it and was amused by its ambiguity.
There:
What we did need from abroad, and what we are not properly getting, is genuine support for democratic movements in that country, even just in terms of the media coverage. After September 11, I was so disappointed that when 40,000 Iranians came out to the streets in Iran under threat of jail or torture and lit candles in sympathy with the American people, it got so little attention. Why should other demonstrations, just because they were noisier, get so much more attention? What I'm saying is, Iran needs support, and the policy toward the Iranian government should be firm. It should be firm on human rights. It should realize that a totalitarian government would never give up weapons of mass destruction. We should defend democracy pragmatically, if not for humanity's sake. http://www.theatlantic.com/unbound/interviews/int2003-05-07.htm

This was written by an Iranian woman.
Words and public statements are not enough, actions are!
What actions? I know, it's easier to criticize other's solutions than to offer your own, but remembering my communistic past, I frankly do not know what was the best way to approach it. One thing I know for sure: "Cold War" wasn't. Enormous resources were spent for nothing, lowering standards of living for generations, and the result is anything but pleasant. If in 1970-80-s communists did something remotely closed to what Russian "democracy" is doing in Chechnya, the world would moan and groan, and now the world just doesn't care. As long as there is a proper label ("democracy") killing is just fine.
Or the US could bomb us -- to our own benefit, of course!!! Sorry, I do not want even to think about it.
There was a program on TV, about Americans who gave Russian secret documents about an atomic bomb. My husband was screaming "traitors!" while I was thinking that if not these people, Americans would probably nuke us, oops. Not "us", of course, "communistic threat". So I could very well be never born, or I could have two heads.
Mohanlal Karamchand
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Joined: Jan 14, 2003
Posts: 189
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
my opinion is that I am immensely ignorant regarding Islamic world so I am a wrong person to ask.

I live in a middle eastern country. Nobody danced in the streets here on September 11th. But then this place isn't like the rest of the middle east. Most of the people here do not support this sort of thing. Many of them don't want to provoke these guys . That comes from an instinct for self preservation. Even if they were willing to risk it, where do you find these guys ? You can't go walking around the streets singing 'hello, hello, have you seen a terrorist'. That sort of thing can lead to the straitjacket and the padded cell. When I see pictures of people celebrating the WTC attacks do not appear to be theological celebrations to me. It seemed like the have-not's celebrating the misfortunes of the haves. There is no universal absolute other than 'class war'. }:-)

Originally posted by Paul McKenna
and umpteen photographs like these photos of muslims burning the american flag.

You shoudn't be burning American flags if you are American. If I saw someone burning an Indian flag in public I would be outraged. But it leaves a Korean or the Thai relatively unmoved. The crux of the matter is that it isn't universally accepted as a morally repugnant act. There is an international standard for what is morally repugnant and what isn't. It was written down on a stone tablet many years ago. Mark the following passage



And God spake all these words, saying

1. I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of
Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing
that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the
water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them:
for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers
upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And
shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will
not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.Six days shalt thou labour, and do
all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou
shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor
thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For
in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is,
and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and
hallowed it.

5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land
which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

6. Thou shalt not kill.

7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

8. Thou shalt not steal.

9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy
neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his
ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.


Do you see anything about burning flags here ?

McKenna,
For someone who has embarked on a journey to be a 'Western Man' you show a very poor understanding of western moral values McKenna. It isn't all McDonalds and Levi Strauss. Before that there was this stone tablet and Plato and the republic and the renaissance and the french revolution and Bertrand Russel and Descartes and Spinoza and recently Mohanlal Karamchand. So, McKenna, please read my posts carefully and use 'Fair and Lovely Nourishing Cream' on a regular basis.

Furthermore, if you live in San Francisco and nurtue plans to adopt the dominant orientation pay close attention to rule number 10.

Sheesh! Is there such a thing as post hijacking? I seem to have hijacked my own post.
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
The cold war gave reasonable security. Everyone (except the Swiss and Swedes ) knew where he stood, you were either supporting capitalism or communism (which of the two being the Evil Empire depended on which side you were actually on of course).
Despite all the bad words about nuclear weapons they DID keep the peace (in general, sideshows like Vietnam and Afghanistan excluded) from 1945 to 1990 which is the longest interbellum in Europe since the invention of the club in the stone age.
It is almost certainly ONLY the thread of nuclear destruction that prevented a major conflagaration that could have become WW3 very easily several times in that period.
Cuban crisis, Vietnam, Korea, Germany 1945 (the Soviets were posed to continue on west engaging the US troops for hegemony in Europe, a conflict they'd have won, but stopped when being shown proof of the Manhattan project and its potential), the list goes on.


42
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Dan Chisholm:
I prefer the Cold War rather than this war because our cold war enemy was an atheist regime that could be deterred by the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction. Today, Mutual Assured Destruction does not work because such a doctrine requires a rational enemy.

Remember that the USSR never believed in MAD. NATO did, and NATO alone.
The USSR always held that a nuclear war (even a largescale strategic exchange) could be won by a country that is prepared for it and willing to take severe casualties.
The PRC holds the same beliefs.
There are studies that show the USSR would have launched a geonuclear exchange if they could have been assured of destroying NATO while taking under 20% direct casualties themselves, a chilling thought.
But they were indeed rational in that they did not believe they could win a geonuclear exchange (or indeed any major conflict) with NATO with the weapons at their disposal without taking unacceptable casualties.
In this the Soviet attitude that the protection of their population was paramount (extreme paranoia) helped prevent a major war, had they been able to get the majority population under cover (and keep them there for the duration of the fallout period) for a nuclear exchange all bets would have been off.
Today, we don't have a rational enemy. Instead, we are dealing with gullible people that believe that they will be rewarded in heaven by a God that can't achieve its goals without the help of people that want to kill innocent women and children as they ride on a bus or eat in a street side cafe. By definition, an omnipotent God requires no help; so it is really an amazing example of gullibility when people can be convinced that God advocates murder and needs people that are willing to serve as murderers. Yes, the Cold War and the doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction was a lesser threat to global civilization than the current threat posed by those that might view mutual destruction as some form of martyr's victory.

Gladly there are more of us than there are of them, so in the end we'll win as long as we don't stop breeding and keep preventing them from breeding.
Sadly that will take a lot of casualties, so a more active means of weeding out the breeding grounds of these people is required.
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Originally posted by Mohanlal Karamchand:
...

Whatever! And you have a post as to why people dislike you???
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
The USSR always held that a nuclear war (even a largescale strategic exchange) could be won by a country that is prepared for it and willing to take severe casualties.
Are you kidding???
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
There you go again!! Allright Map, here is what I'm going to do henceforth. I'm going to fund a program that will wipe out every Russian immigrant in the US, but publicly I will issue disclaimers stating that such acts are abhorrent and reflect the lowest point in humanity blah! blah! Now do you get it??
Ok, now I get it. So what do you think I should do? To suffocate any Indian I can suffocate? To push a law that all people whose first name is "Paul" must be exterminated?
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Ok, now I get it. So what do you think I should do? To suffocate any Indian I can suffocate? To push a law that all people whose first name is "Paul" must be exterminated?

Finally Map! Finally.. you asked THE question. What should you do? What you should do is make sure I live up to my words. If I say exterminating Russians is bad and the lowest point in humanity, you must make sure that I really mean what I say before trusting me.
How you do that is not my business.. but you must do it. Once you've found me trustworthy.. the debate is over. And this is what I am asking of the muslims.. show me some action. Posting on the internet is not sufficient. Why werent there more protests against Al-Qaeda and the likes in the muslim world? Why were there more anti-US protests? If the majority of muslims do not agree with such acts then why dont they speak up...
Martin Luther King said the biggest culprit is not the racist KKK or their likes, the biggest culprit in America was the White middle class who were keeping silent even though they did not agree with the acts of their racist colleagues.
Mohanlal Karamchand
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 14, 2003
Posts: 189
If certain people did not dislike me I would think that I have failed in my mission on earth.

I have to go now McKenna. Hey, it sounds funny calling you McKenna. May I call you Vellai Pandi ? Bye Vellai Pandi my friend. Be good, and remember, "never covet thy neighbour's ass" .
[ October 30, 2003: Message edited by: Mohanlal Karamchand ]
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Finally Map! Finally.. you asked THE question.
In case you think this is the first time I asked THE question, no.
When our troops invaded Chechnya and bombed and ruined its capital, I thought we would have to pay for it. Frankly, I expected worse terror than what we got.
Once I visited my girlfriend in another town and we took a bus home, when somebody called and said that Chechens put a bomb into one of the buses. Our driver walked and looked under each seat. And we all looked under our seats of course, but did not find anything. It was somebody's stupid joke.
Then, when I was already here, Chechens started to blow up apartment buildings in Russia. This was the worst. I do not particularly care about my life, but to think that my parents can be blown up -- this is something different. I almost went crazy, sitting here, safe and warm, when I realized I can do nothing, absolutely nothing to protect people I love. Unless I am ready to kill all Chechens, including not born yet.
Is it really so difficult to realize that we all are vulnerable? Is it so difficult to realize that if we bomb people (what looks really cool on TV) then later they might come and blow up our houses?
[ October 30, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
When you said that we need not question the intent of the Islamic world when they have issued a public statement decrying terrorism in the name of Islam...
Where the hell did I say it??? Your article asked "Where is the anti-Osama opposition in the Islamic world?" -- so I provided some links as to where it can be found. I have no idea what was on these people's minds when they were decrying terrorism!
Just like I have no idea to what degree G.W.Bush believes in what he is saying.
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
In case you think this is the first time I asked THE question, no.
When our troops invaded Chechnya and bombed and ruined its capital, I thought we would have to pay for it. Frankly, I expected worse terror than what we got.
Once I visited my girlfriend in another town and we took a bus home, when somebody called and said that Chechens put a bomb into one of the buses. Our driver walked and looked under each seat. And we all looked under our seats of course, but did not find anything. It was somebody's stupid joke.
Then, when I was already here, Chechens started to blow up apartment buildings in Russia. This was the worst. I do not particularly care about my life, but to think that my parents can be blown up -- this is something different. I almost went crazy, sitting here, safe and warm, when I realized I can do nothing, absolutely nothing to protect people I love. Unless I am ready to kill all Chechens, including not born yet.
Is it really so difficult to realize that we all are vulnerable? Is it so difficult to realize that if we bomb people (what looks really cool on TV) then later they might come and blow up our houses?

Map, either I dont understand the point you are making or you are way off topic. Correct me if I am wrong, I think you are trying to draw a parallel between the war on terror and war between russians and chechens. In this regard, since you have asked "Is it really so difficult to realize that we all are vulnerable? Is it so difficult to realize that if we bomb people (what looks really cool on TV) then later they might come and blow up our houses" my question to you is, why didnt the Al-Qaeda think about this when they attacked NYC on 9/11. After all, the US is only doing what its doing as retaliation.
Paul McKenna
Ugly Redneck
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Joined: Jul 08, 2000
Posts: 1006
Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
Where the hell did I say it???


Hey, I specially bothered to add "This is not to say that they can be simply ignored, of course" because I was afraid my post will be read as I advocate doing nothing! And even this did not help! Oh great blinding power of presumptions! No, I do not believe things will always will straighten out on their own, sometimes they do, but "on their own" here simply means that the forces behind improvement worked on different level, beyond our radar. What I do believe is that we should not demonize our "enemy" and see enemies where there are none. If Islamic establishment spoke against terrorism, then there is no need to pretend they did not. That's all.

Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Map, either I dont understand the point you are making or you are way off topic. Correct me if I am wrong, I think you are trying to draw a parallel between the war on terror and war between russians and chechens.
No two events are the same, and it's always possibly to point out some similarities, as loose as they are. There is probably much more difference than similarity between Russians/Chechens war and the war on terror. But one thing is common, I think: wars have their own logic. I was reading a memoirs of a Russian officer who participated in this war, and he said that whatever the initial reason for the conflict was, now each side just wants to revenge for its dead.
There was an interview (in Russian) with parents of two women (27 and 16), who were among terrorists hostaged a theater in Moscow last year. They have(had) ten kids and basically they do not know where they are and if they are alive or not. Three of their kids were killed since 1996, then two daughters during Moscow's events. Then their son died in a car accident. Their last alive daughter came to local police asking protection from her brother, who tried to turn her into a kamikaze. These parents' house was burnt down after Moscow's event, and then several "Russian" houses were also burnt in their village. Locals think it was some of their children.
There was a report about another potential kamikaze -- 14-year old girl. She was promised a big sum of money if she put a package near somebody's car. She somehow figured she wouldn't survive and throw explosives in the river. Then security guys captured her. They said she was from a "problem family". Not sure what it means, but when you make a big mess out of a country, you get some "problem" families, plus to what a normal society would contribute. They also said that 14-17 old teenagers, including girls, are becoming a favorite target group for wahhabists to recruit their kamikazes.
It sounds cool to say "let's get all terrorist fly to Iraq -- it will be easier for us to kill them". You see, you kill a brother, now you have a crazy sister who is ready to put explosives around her body. Ok, finally you'll kill her too, will it make you happy?

I was so glad to read this today:
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday that the world must start thinking about how to reduce the number of people who are becoming terrorists through teachings in radical Islamic schools and not just focus on killing or capturing them after they commit violent acts.
"We are capturing and killing a lot of terrorists," Rumsfeld said on "Fox News Sunday," "but we also have to think about the number of new ones that are being created."
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A54711-2003Nov2.html

[ November 04, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
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Joined: Aug 26, 2000
Posts: 10065
Even more interestingly, Soviet history is replete with courageous opponents among its own people: Sakharov, Solzhenytsin, Bukovsky, Ginsberg, Mandelstam, Pasternak, Akhmatova, Bulgakov, Zamyatin, Zoshchenko and others.
Shirin Ebadi and Iran’s women: in the vanguard of change
The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Shirin Ebadi on 10 October 2003 sparked intense political and emotional reactions in Iran. Nazila Fathi measures the significance of the independent human rights lawyer’s achievement.
Han You
Greenhorn

Joined: Oct 26, 2003
Posts: 25
Hm.... interesting point of view by everyone, but I'd like to point something out... I'm an american citizen, and I love the US, but you people have to remember, that things aren't always as clear as they appear to be, especially when it comes to international affairs. I can understand how people can look back at the cold war and kinda miss it, but does anybody really know WHY the taliban came into power? Well, the taliban's power was a direct result of the cold war. (I hope people here can still remember the war in afganistan between the communists and the um...what do you call them,,,, non-communists...) Anyways, in an indirect way, the taliban was backed by the US (they fought against the communists, along with Osama Bin Laden). So anyways... I'm not saying that all islamic people are good or bad, but like I said, things aren't usually black or white. (I think some people in this thread should look up the history of the taliban on google or something)
Michael Ernest
High Plains Drifter
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
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Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday that the world must start thinking about how to reduce the number of people who are becoming terrorists through teachings in radical Islamic schools and not just focus on killing or capturing them after they commit violent acts.
Hey, we could cut down on abortion clinic bombers that way, too. Just shut down a few fundamentalist Christian schools here and we'd see a whole lot less violence!
[ November 06, 2003: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]

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I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
subject: Why They miss the Cold War!