Murphy's Law: Forbidden Truths


October13, 2006: The war on terror is all about defending innocent people from Islamic terrorists. Or is it? In much of the Islamic world, the war on terror is seen as a smokescreen for all-out war on Islam by infidels (non-Moslems.) How did that happen? It's all got to do with paranoia, lies and incompetence in the Moslem, and particularly, the Arab, world.

Let's start with the basics. Like economics and being able to feed yourself. The Moslem world contains some of the most economically backward and inept nations on the planet. Despite all the oil wealth, economic growth in the Arab world is at the bottom of the list (just above sub-Saharan Africa, which has much less oil.) This is no accident. Islam has, over the centuries, evolved into a religion that discourages education, critical thinking and technical progress. Islam also has large sects, like the Wahabi in Saudi Arabia, that are violently intolerant of other religions (no other religion can have a house of worship in Saudi Arabia, for example), and openly preaches hatred, intolerance, and the use of violence, against infidels. Moslems tend to downplay all this, and blame their lack of performance on the machinations of infidels.

Islamic media tends towards the sensationalistic, paranoid and dogmatic. It's taken as a given, for example, that the September 11, 2001 attacks were a Jewish plot (even though al Qaeda has proudly admitted to it) and that the West is bent on destroying Islamic culture? What's to destroy? The Islamic world doesn't produce any new medicines, agricultural concepts or technology that benefits all of humanity. Even educated Arabs admit that something is wrong here. But these critics are in a minority, and are persecuted for such clear thinking if they become too vocal about it.

The Arabs are the authors of their own misfortunes. Take their inability to govern themselves. While the vast majority of wealthy and technically advanced nations are democracies, the vast majority of poverty stricken and suffering Islamic states are dictatorships. While this inability to create responsible, efficient governments is often blamed on cultural factors, Islam is a major component of all those cultures. Remember, "Islam" means "submission," and it's not just a cliché that Moslems will respond to a challenge with, "if God wills it." This drives Western technical experts and teachers, brought in to Arab countries to train and educate, nuts. Students simply have a difficult time accepting the fact that things will not take care of themselves. Machines have to be maintained, difficult problems have to be solved, work must be done. If it isn't, you get the backwardness and poverty so frequently encountered in Moslem nations.

This "God wills it" lassitude is most apparent in Arab nations with lots of oil wealth. Rather than take all those billions in oil revenue and build an economy, most of it has just been spent on consumption, and avoiding any real attempts to deal with social and economic problems. And why not? Islam, strict Islam, forbids the use of basic economic tools like interest and risk management (which is often condemned as "gambling.") "God's will", indeed.

Diplomacy is more difficult as well. While haggling is considered good manners in the Arab market place, when it comes to larger matters, bargaining gives way to inflexibility. Consider the case of Israel. For about the fourteenth time since the Jews first took control of eastern coast of the Mediterranean over 3,000 years ago, there was a change of management in that area when the state of Israel was established in 1947. This led to a series of bad decisions, by Arab governments, that is setting records for failure. Although the UN tried to broker the creation of Israel, Arab nations misjudged their own power and told Arabs in Israel to flee their homes, so that the Arab armies could come in and kill all the Jews. When that didn't work, the Arabs refused to absorb the 600,000 Arab refugees, and continues to treat (actually, mistreat) them as refugees. At the same time, the Arabs expelled 600,000 Jews who had been living among them for centuries. Most of these Jews went to Israel and become Israelis, and prospered.

In 1967 and 1973, Arab nations again believed that they could gang up on Israel and destroy it. Same result as in 1947. After the 1973 war, Egypt and Jordan made peace with Israel, and have benefited greatly from it. But consider, if the Arabs had not fled Israel in 1947, Arabs would now be the majority in a democracy. If the Arabs had not attacked in 1967, the West Bank, Jerusalem and Gaza would be run by Arabs today. What a difference a little clear thinking can make.

Yet Arabs get away with calling themselves victims. They blame it all on "European colonialism." But a look at the record shows that to be absurd. Turks occupied the Arab lands for centuries before the Arabs were liberated by Europeans a century ago. A generation later, these Arabs were established as self-governing nations. And what did they do? They quickly evolved into dictatorships, where it was Arabs oppressing Arabs. The West bought their oil, and anything else of value they had (which wasn't much), and sold them things they could not (see above) build themselves. This gave rise to accusations that the West cheated the Arabs. Actually, it was Arabs cheating Arabs, as the Arab government officials often demanded bribes from Western salesmen. The West didn't just seize Arab oil as the price rose. The West paid its bills, and got accused of making everything go wrong.

Moslems proclaim they are the religion of peace, yet all over the world, wherever Moslems and infidels live close together, it is Moslems who do the attacking. This is no secret, but Moslems just ignore it, and insist they are victims. It's been this way for a long time. For example, the war on the Bosnians (Moslems), by their Christian neighbors in the 1990s was mainly about past Moslem oppression. As recently as World War II, the Nazis recruited Bosnians into SS units, to go kill Christian guerillas, and civilians. Several divisions of Bosnian SS troops were raised. That was nothing new. The Bosnians, who were Christians who converted to Islam over the centuries for tax breaks and jobs, did the same dirty work for the Turks (who controlled the Balkans into the late 19th century.) Or how about Chechnya. In the 1990s, the Russians pulled out, after getting beat up by independent minded Chechens. Rather than leave well enough alone, a faction of the Chechens, who were all Moslems, got into the Wahabi form of Islam, and began invading southern Russia, the better to found an Islamic republic in the area. That's what the Russians have been fighting for the last decade. Who's oppressing who?

In Darfur, (Arab) Moslems are killing (black African) Moslems, and the Arab world looks the other way and declares any Western attempt at intervention, to stop the killing, as "Western Imperialism." Or what about Iraq. Most of the deaths there, in the last three years, have been the result of the Sunni Arab minority attempting to take back control from the Shia Arab and Kurd majority. But it is never described that way in the Arab media (which is controlled by the mainline Sunni sect of Islam). It's infidels making war on Islam.

All this is complicated by a fundamental difference between the U.S. and Europe on how all this should be interpreted. Many Europeans believe that the Moslems are misunderstood innocents and that, if we just leave them alone, things will work themselves out. Many Americans were willing to go along with that, until September 11, 2001. Now many Americans understand that there is more than a simple misunderstanding going on here. But the truths of the situation have become too unpleasant to admit. History, and facts on the ground are being ignored. Moslems cannot control the religious fanatics among them. U.S. troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan see that first hand. Many people dismiss the testimony of troops coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan. The troops know what they are seeing, and know that it is a war that must be, and can be, won. That's why the reenlistment rates are so much higher among troops who have been over there. The troops know that there are many Moslems who want to enter the 21st century. But those Moslems who are intolerant and bent on murder have to be dealt with first. You can't wish them away.


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