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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

When Does A Given War End?

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a shootout that occurred at about 3 P.M. on Wednesday, October 26, 1881, in Tombstone, Arizona Territory.

Here is an interesting paragraph from Wikipedia:
The gunfight at the O.K. Corral has been portrayed in numerous Western films.  It has come to symbolize the struggle between law-and-order and open-banditry and rustling in frontier towns of the Old West, where law enforcement was often weak or simply nonexistent. In other views, the fight was a more complex embodiment of some of the tensions of the American Civil War of a generation before.  One group of fighters represented rural Democrats from Texas who were involved in the cattle-trade in a remote area of Arizona territory which had been desert just a few years before.  The other faction (the Earps) had come from the East with the frontier, and represented the very different city interests of Yankee Republican capitalists and businessmen who were attempting to manage a silver-mining boom-town with Eastern expectations of behavior.  The gunfight occurred on the physical border of these two cultures.
Does this reflect, in some way, what is happening between the idea of Islam as represented by al Qaeda and those values that emerged from the Western Christian tradition?  Maybe some wars just go underground for a while and then spring up when different cultures find that they clash in new circumstances.

Regards  —  Cliff


Craig H said...

"Islam represented by al Qaeda" is exactly the sort of bizarre phraseology that keeps us mired in this mess in the first place.

Islam is NOT represented by al Qaeda. The core values of Islam, centered on community service, are more alike to Western Christian ideals than anything for which anyone is taking the decidedly apostastic criminals to task. (It's pretty clear that murdering innocents is tops of the list of Islamic "dont's", for one example).

However, as long as confused "Christians" refuse to greet fellow children of the same one god as brethren, yes, I imagine the bloodshed will continue.

C R Krieger said...

The critique would be fine except that the question is focused on Islam as represented by al Qaeda.  That is a specific brand of Islam, growing out of the Wahhabist approach to Islam.

Allah is one, but Islam is not.  When we think al Qaeda we should remember that it isn't Sh'ai.  While it may claim to be Sunni, maybe it isn't even that, or if from that branch, then a far distant twig.  But it does represent a dynamic version of Islam that would like to remake the world in its own image.  To not identify that is to not know who it is we are engaged with.  President Obama made it clear, when he came into office, that, in Afghanistan, we are fighting al Qaeda.

If we ignore this it is like thinking the Provos are really just Roman Catholics with guns, rather than the Socialists they are.  This kind of confusion results in not properly sorting the enemy from the surrounding population.  It also results in not having a proper PSYOP campaign.  In the end it means not having a strategy suited to the situation.

But, there is a Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization, and it is well put by Professor Richard W Bulliet, in his book of that name.  In the paper version it is 200 pages.  (I do think he should get a better picture for Amazon.)

Regards  —  Cliff

Craig H said...


We must assign religion to one brand of anarchists (al Qaeda) but excuse religion on the part of another? (The Provos).

The KKK were "Christian". Do we talk about the "Christianity" espoused by the KKK, or don't we best understand it by simply calling them out for being criminals?

Using religion as a smokescreen for criminal acts is as old as religion. Being trapped into a theological discussion before clapping such criminals in irons is stupidity on our part, not enlightenment.

Al Qaeda does not represent any reasonable interpretation of Islam, and the murder of innocents is the prima facie evidence for the open-and-shut case.

Mind you, our reactionary repression of actual Muslims as a result of the al Qaeda smokescreen is an entirely different discussion, and, on this, we bear our responsibility for our ignorance and fear.

Why do we have to be beguiled by bogus "religious" rhetoric??? Are we that stupid?