We have to move beyond that past, to a sound and mature understanding of the present and the likely issues for the future.
Backed by sound historical and geostrategic insights.
At least, if we want to discern signs of our times and act soundly in a very, very dangerous time.
Yes, given their often piratical colonial past and shenanigans in the present Western powers are not guiltless.
Nor are they particularly sound themselves at this time [just think about the self-contradiction in terms, "same sex marriage" . . . ].
And yes the Western media -- including the once great BBC -- is in a state of confusion and ideologically driven profound misunderstandings also.
Which then compounds our own situation as this is where we typically get what information we get about the wider world.
Let us begin.
First, no, it is not even a serious contender that Western interests have funded and created Islamist agendas and initiatives out of the imagined notion that they hope to profit globally from chaos.
Just think: war is very, very expensive and bloody, in an era where Western powers face huge debt burdens and publics that since World War I ended in 1918, have been deeply war weary.
Indeed, that is how World War II came about.
People did not want to imagine that Germany was again a threat, and did not want to pay the price of another war. So, the politicians resorted to peace in our time appeasement. Hitler was a man they could do business with, and they struck deals with him, most notoriously at Munich.
A visual image will help us.
Here, for the eternal record of warning, is British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, at the airport in London, on his return from Munich in 1938 -- waving the infamous piece of paper that trumpeted peace in our time:
Appeasement failed, as Hitler was a determined, ruthless, demonically mad totalitarian dictator who had a world conquest agenda.
Within a year, there was war.
By June 1940, Britain stood alone, her back to the wall, with a few hundred Hurricane and Spitfire fighters her last line of defense against Herman Goering's Luftwaffe.
Then, hardly had the ashes settled from that horrific war, when we found ourselves facing de facto World War III, the global Cold War triggered by the threat of Communism. (With reservations, cf Wiki's summary here.)
And now, rising up since 1978-9 with the Iranian Islamist revolution, we have been facing de facto World War IV . . . renewal of de facto World War 0, the 1400 year old long war -- yes, and yes again, that is so -- with Islamism. Largely, due to the economic and military power and significance conveyed by the Middle East's Oil revenues (especially since the surge in oil prices from 1973 on and 1979 on) which provided the resource base for the Islamist agenda, in Sunni [Wahhaba-Salafi] and Shia [Iranian] forms.
Where of course, part of what we are seeing playing out in Iraq is the ongoing clash between Sunni and Shia. But we must never forget the wider implications of the global expanasionist ideology that drives this.
Let us remind ourselves of the key texts in the chronologically last but one Surah of the Quran, 9 (from the well respected Yusuf Ali rendering . . . there is of course a disclaimer that the Quran cannot be translated, which I only mention as it is obviously falls of its own weight)
This in effect universal declaration of war, recall, is commonly and widely held to be binding on the people of Islam as a sacred and enduring command in core scriptures of the religion.THE VERSE OF THE SWORD:
Q 9:5 But when the forbidden months are past then fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them and seize them beleaguer them and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity [= become Muslim] then open the way for them: for Allah is Oft-Forgiving Most Merciful.
THE VERSE OF TRIBUTE:
Q 9:29 Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His apostle nor acknowledge the religion of truth (even if they are) of the People of the Book [= Jews and Christians, sometimes extended to people of other established religions] until they pay the Jizya [= a protection money impoverishing head tax, as a tribute proving continued status as a surrendered person on pain of renewal of war] with willing submission and feel themselves subdued. [= reduced to hopelessly subjugated, apartheid like Dhimmi status]
One that is backed up by further commands that war is the province of strategic deception [taqiyyah]; so, one would be well advised to take the text and the 1400 year long history more seriously than the smooth dismissals by Islamist apologists indulging the Jihad of pen and tongue. And as there is a doctrine of abrogation where the later text supersedes the former, that this comes from the last or last but one surah, means it takes precedence over all more irenic texts that we may hear bandied about.
Yes, all of this probably sounds very strange to your ears.
Ask yourself: why is this so strange to me? How well do I know the underlying history? Do I really understand the IslamIST mindset? Have I learned my history and understanding of the course of our times from sound sources?
Most of all, ask: do I need to re-think?
(For starters try here, here, here and here . . . don't forget here . . . as well as the reference site here.)
And, no, the 9-11 attacks are manifestly not a case of " the Americans dunit" or " The Jews/Israelis dunit," the evidence is decisive that Mr Osama Bin Laden has acknowledged responsibility [right there on video, as was documented 13 years ago!], and the driving force is the Islamist push for global domination. This was intended as a decapitation strike against the USA, and it came close to success.
U/D Jun 19 -- the Dec 2001 captured tape:
A second tape (which should be viewed in this light):
(It is sad that conspiracy stories have gained a deep and widespread foothold in our region. The vulnerability that this demonstrates reveals a want of intellectual responsibility backed by adequate critical thinking ability that is frightening. We have a major education challenge staring us in the face, if we are to become mature, sound thinking, sober minded publics that cannot be easily manipulated by various agendas and interests.)
The easily documented fact is, for fourteen hundred years, whenever those in military reach of Islamist powers have been sufficiently weak, they have suffered attacks. This traces to the religiously motivated ideology of Islam, which sees the world as divided into dar ul Islam and dar ul Harb, the houses of "peace" [= submission to Allah, his prophet, law and warriors] and "war" respectively. With the further complication that the example given by their prophet only sees temporary truces -- hudnah -- with powers from the latter house, as opportunities to regroup and re-surge again in renewed attack once one has been checked for the moment.
So, with all due respect to the majority of muslims around us who are peaceful and generally reasonable neighbours, there is an unfortunate inherent vulnerability in Islamic states or communities, to revert to this underlying militancy. All it requires is a firebrand in the face of an opportunity. As, is so obviously happening with Boko Haram in Nigeria as we speak, and as is happening in ever so many other places. Nor, should we imagine, it cannot happen here in the Caribbean, should a radical firebrand find a critical mass to ignite.
These things, we should have long since learned by the time we meet the history of the 1400 year clash between Islam and the rest of the world, in 2nd and 3rd form world history studies.
Oops, I forget.
I did world history in 2nd and 3rd form -- today, we typically only study Caribbean history in schools, without proper wider context. And our history teachers probably do not have that wider context, too. (Just try out: why is it that in 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue? What happened in 1491 in the Iberian peninsula, why? How is that connected to the jihad clashes from 711 - 1453 on? And to 1683? Why are those dates significant?)
No wonder we have such defective world views and so often misunderstand our civilisation.
A point for reformation, which will be fought down tooth and nail by entrenched ideologues.
Can't solve that problem now, just, we note on it.
(You may want to look here and here at Wikipedia -- I have many reservations -- for some initial information. Khan academy here may help. The AP framework here may be a useful point of departure for our own thought. Let the reader/viewer beware.)
Now, in our time, we are facing an oil revenues funded, post Cold War Islamist thrust to move to global domination across this century, which began with the Iran Revolution of 1978 - 9.
Let us remind ourselves, yet again by looking at the smoking gun World Islamic Mission map (which I first found online in an Islamist site on Sept 11, 2001) -- as, we are ever so prone to forget or dismiss unpleasant and dangerous realities:
In the meanwhile, precisely because of the extreme militancy and state dominating totalitarian nature of Islamic thought, internal affairs in Islamic regions have tended to be quite violent and chaotic. Sectarian splits have therefore consistently led to violence, not coexistence . . . and yes, that is indeed a part of the Iraq -- Syria situation, with the Assads being Alawites compounding the underlying Sunni-Shia split that began in that very same region with succession quarrels. The Kurds are a complicating factor, but as there is an ethnic identity there that is distinct from the Arab culture, at least in recent years, they tend to be more stable.
(On a relieving note, we should of course, realise that ordinary people caught up in the clanking gears and belts of such a system are little better than victims and cannon fodder. Indeed, the average victim of Islamist radical terrorism is a fellow Muslim. The ordinary people under Islam need hope, and the gospel -- soundly taught, properly understood and well-warranted -- gives that hope. Just a relieving note. It is dreary to be all gloomy.)
Against such a saddening backdrop, former US President Dick Cheney speaks.
(And no, it would be unwise to just dismiss him with the surfeit of toxic talking points from the last decade; do, let us listen to him and it may help us understand what matches we have been playing with and the challenges we now face.)
Let us clip from his recent WSJ article:
The Collapsing Obama Doctrine
Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.Updated June 17, 2014 7:34 p.m. ET
As the terrorists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) threaten Baghdad, thousands of slaughtered Iraqis in their wake, it is worth recalling a few of President Obama's past statements about ISIS and al Qaeda. "If a J.V. team puts on Lakers' uniforms that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant" (January 2014). "[C]ore al Qaeda is on its heels, has been decimated" (August 2013). "So, let there be no doubt: The tide of war is receding" (September 2011).
Rarely has a U.S. president been so wrong about so much at the expense of so many. Too many times to count, Mr. Obama has told us he is "ending" the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan—as though wishing made it so. His rhetoric has now come crashing into reality. Watching the black-clad ISIS jihadists take territory once secured by American blood is final proof, if any were needed, that America's enemies are not "decimated." They are emboldened and on the march.
The fall of the Iraqi cities of Fallujah, Tikrit, Mosul and Tel Afar, and the establishment of terrorist safe havens across a large swath of the Arab world, present a strategic threat to the security of the United States. Mr. Obama's actions—before and after ISIS's recent advances in Iraq—have the effect of increasing that threat . . . .
Iraq is at risk of falling to a radical Islamic terror group and Mr. Obama is talking climate change. Terrorists take control of more territory and resources than ever before in history, and he goes golfing. He seems blithely unaware, or indifferent to the fact, that a resurgent al Qaeda presents a clear and present danger to the United States of America.
When Mr. Obama and his team came into office in 2009, al Qaeda in Iraq had been largely defeated, thanks primarily to the heroic efforts of U.S. armed forces during the surge. Mr. Obama had only to negotiate an agreement to leave behind some residual American forces, training and intelligence capabilities to help secure the peace. Instead, he abandoned Iraq and we are watching American defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.
The tragedy unfolding in Iraq today is only part of the story. Al Qaeda and its affiliates are resurgent across the globe. According to a recent Rand study, between 2010 and 2013, there was a 58% increase in the number of Salafi-jihadist terror groups around the world. During that same period, the number of terrorists doubled.
In the face of this threat, Mr. Obama is busy ushering America's adversaries into positions of power in the Middle East. First it was the Russians in Syria. Now, in a move that defies credulity, he toys with the idea of ushering Iran into Iraq. Only a fool would believe American policy in Iraq should be ceded to Iran, the world's largest state sponsor of terror.
This president is willfully blind to the impact of his policies . . .(Read the whole thing, it is an education.)
U/D Jun 19: Columnist Cal Thomas reports a 2007 warning by President Bush (at about the time of the surge, which clearly did deliver tactical victory in Iraq):
"To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we're ready [i.e. "before Iraqi forces were sufficiently trained, equipped and motivated to defend the country" . . . ] would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region and for the United States. It would mean surrendering the future of Iraq to al-Qaida. It'd mean that we'd be risking mass killings on a horrific scale. It'd mean we'd allow the terrorists to establish a safe haven in Iraq to replace the one they lost in Afghanistan. It'd mean we'd be increasing the probability that American troops would have to return at some later date to confront an enemy that is even more dangerous."Michael Reagan, son of the former US President, adds a further key point:
The international dumpster fire that constitutes Iraq makes my point. All the treasure and blood this nation expended trying to bring that unfortunate land into the 21st century was wasted because Obama wanted to be able to say he brought our troops home during his re–election campaign.
I predict that will prove to be one of the most expensive campaign talking points in the history of the world.
Now Obama wants to double down on failure by working with Iran to save what’s left of Iraq. Iran is not a potential ally. Iran is an actual enemy that is working to build a nuclear weapon . . .It is not wise to put the fox to guard the hen-house. [Cf. here for a window on the Iranian leaders' mindset.]
The obvious projection of all this is, blood and ashes.
Rivers of blood and mounds of ashes that were once cities.
Let us pray that God, in his mercy averts such, but that does not relieve us of our responsibilities to act soundly and prudently in good time, and to think straight as a basis for acting soundly.
Which brings us full circle to the Acts 27 test. END
PS: Forgive, many typos have had to be corrected, y/day was not a good one for me.