Mar 29 2007

The Shifting Global Political Landscape

Published by at 8:59 am under All General Discussions,Iraq

Forces and trends are at work today that have their origins centuries and decades ago. Different societies and belief systems have been on varying paths which have culminated in the conflict and confusion we see today. Some of these trends are like waves upon the edge of a pond or beach as we see repeated actions from our history breaking upon us time and time again only to recede for a while before repeating.

The question of whether we sit on a beach or a pond of human history, emotion and force of will is important. The ripples on the edge of a pond come from a single event that echoes for a time before the effect finally dissipates. The waves on a beach eminate from a much more permanent source, and never die out. So what are these forces we are seeing and are they permanent fixtures destined to repeat? I see them as the echoes of major transitions in the human experience.

Many religions have gone through violent fundamentalistic periods. The Christians had their Crusades and The Inquisition. I am no expert on the Jewish religion, but I get the feeling Christ felt some of the wrath of political power mixed with faith and attempts at purity (or the excuse of purity as a rationale to hold power). Hitler and the Nazis created a hodge-podge of rationalizations to cover their violence that included elements from cults and Christianity and racism.

It seems it is the Muslims’ turn at checking the violent use of their religion. But to do succeed means to step away from Islam a bit and not be devout down to every single letter of the Koran. Because once someone defines text to defend killing and maiming in the name of God, the religion is doomed to decades of bloodshed. The modern religions work in the modern world by allowing some separation between the literal texts and the lives we live. Too much separation and you lose the point of the religion, too little and you tie people down to the latest intepretations in voque.

We can see this through the eyes of Muslims who are fighting (and being threatened) by Islamo Fascists groups like al Qaeda. Cliff May highlights one such person and her role in the internal battle of Islam now waging in the open in the Middle East.

Such intense hatred and violence is difficult for many of us to comprehend. Not so Hirsi Ali. Growing up in Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia and Kenya, she experienced multiple forms of cruelty and became, for a time, a devout believer in the radical brand of Islam preached by the Muslim Brotherhood. She has now written “Infidel,” a book about her extraordinary geographical, spiritual and intellectual journey. Anyone who aspires to understand the global conflict now under way — why it’s happening and where it may be leading — needs to listen to her.

n the United States, Hirsi Ali may be safer from physical attack than she would be in Europe. But nothing can protect her from the attempts at character assassination emanating from the pages of The Economist, Newsweek, The Washington Post and other elite publications.

Her detractors — who would never object to criticism of Christianity or Judaism — are apparently outraged that Hirsi Ali dares to question Islamic doctrine and practice. They are offended by her refusal to agree that Islam is intrinsically “a religion of peace” and that only a lunatic fringe has “hijacked” the faith to justify flying planes into buildings and dispatching suicide bombers to murder children.

…This is based in belief,’ ” in particular the belief that a war must be waged to force infidels to submit. Al Qaeda members are not protesting policies, they are fulfilling what they see as religious obligations. To fail to recognize this is, Hirsi Ali writes, “a little like analyzing Lenin and Stalin without looking at the works of Karl Marx.”

Hirsi is correct. What her liberal detractors are arguing for is the preferred face of Islam, not the one that exists. This future version might have the analogies to war in the Kuran recalled in the historic context they were uttered, not applied today’s world. We live in a modern world were literal meanings are at times meaningless. The point here is the fact that many in Islam want to start their global inquisition and their crusades against the West, and we need to keep this in mind when we debate the path forward in dealing with them. Appeasement is not an option, they demand servitude.

In this light disengagement, redeployments, and the bunker America are all serious and dangerous errors in judgement that will lead to more and expanded conflicts. The crusaders tried three times before they were finally exhausted and depleted, and let the whole matter drop. We have no idea how many times we will have to turn back the Islamo Fascists before they too finally succumb. But each victory they feel will embolden them anew, not placate them.

Another long term trend coming to a juncture is the continued demise of Europe in terms of international will. Europe will always have international stature, but its ability to impact world events is based on its will and its motives, which have been pretty bad in recent decades. France is focused on France and on getting America. It’s sister states are all wrapped up in another ebbing religion – liberal socialism – and trying to tie down the economic engine that exists in the much more free market of America. And now the EU states are being tested against the wave of Islamo Fascism in the face of Iran’s acts of war and threat of nuclear weapons.

Last week, while the European Union celebrated 50 years of peace, freedom and solidarity, 15 Europeans were kidnapped from Iraqi territorial waters by Iranian Revolutionary Guards. As I write, those 14 European men and one European woman have been held at an undisclosed location for nearly a week, interrogated, denied consular access, but shown on Iranian television, with one of them making a staged “confession”, clearly under duress. So if Europe is as it claims to be, what’s it going to do about it? Where’s the solidarity? Where’s the action?

Many continental Europeans, if they have registered that there is a crisis at all – and many will not have, since Europe’s media are still mainly national in form and priorities – will probably think of it as yet another consequence of a foolish, illegitimate Anglo-American military action in Iraq.

Europe is built upon the fabric of Kingdoms and serfdom. They have a culture of dependency on a few favored families to see them through every crisis of their lives. The only question is whose family protector is better – the French? The German? The British? These roots are very hard to throw off. Americans threw these ties off deliberately, which is why we shun the shackles of government (we give our freedoms to those we ask to care for us, instead of taking care of ourselves).

A short aside, I have worked for European companies, loved it and greatly appreciated the people. But I found it astounding they were afraid of having to find their own doctor and health care. It opened my eyes to where the cultural differences truly lie.

But back to the point. And that is Europe has been fading since World War II when Germany tore it asunder. The one exception is Russia, which is poised to return to ‘super power’ status as Putin has turned around that country’s economy around and accomplished tax reform the envy of many US conservatives. With a descending Europe and the US still the only power strong enough to project its will anywhere in the world, we are stuck with the problem of naysayers who tend to nitpick America (in total conflict with their supposed liberal views on peace, women’s rights, authoritarian regimes) in a vain attempt to cover up their own impotence. France has been a fickled ally because of policies they have supported the Saddam’s of the ME and did not want to be exposed. It has nothing to do with America. So we need to see EU qualms in their true light. They do not have the will or the forces to face down the Islamo Fascist wave. And all their talk is simply diversionary claims to blame us for their currnt situation, when in reality it was their unwillingness to arm and defend themselves from the communists in the USSR that led them to where they are today.

And that brings me to another interesting trend. The major superpowers (or near super powers) are America, Russia and China – the cold war warriors. It has been difficult to impossible to work together since 90% of the time we seem to be at odds and still poking each other in the eye (respecting intellectual property rights is the best example of this I can think of off the top of my head). Our three countries need new thinking that takes us out of the cold war mentality and the liberal fantasy nirvana of the 1900’s. Here in the US that includes letting go of the liberal fantasy. The cold war mentality is being replaced thanks to 9-11. Lingering liberal ideals are our biggest barrier right now.

The liberalism we see today is a complete failure. What remains as distinct to liberalism (which doesn’t include things like equal respect for all races and genders, etc – now universal truths) is their failed policies. What was worthwhile has been consumed into society as a whole. What is left is money envy, the failed social policies from old Europe, and total confusion in the face of Islamo Fascism. No one wants war. Liberals are crying for surrender and defeat. No one wants bloodshed, liberals keep egging the Islamo Facists on to kill more with their talk of surrender. al Qaeda is upset the Democrats have not handed over Iraq to them yet, as they promised. The liberals just don’t see the big picture. They don’t have any historic perpsective. They run on anger instead of using their minds to understand what is happening around us. They are fixated on Bush and the 2000 election. They are demanding we all go back to before 9-11 so they can get some revenge. America has no time for this nonsense.

The Islamo Facsist wave is fairly contained and all its energies are being dissipated by the breaker walls we have in Iraq and Afghanistan,. In additon we have breakers amongst our regional allies Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, UAE, Turkey and Pakistan. All these countries have doubts in the path forward, but who wouldn’t at a nexus in time like the one we are living through now. But all have hopes and goals that changes can create a modern Middle East without brutality and the chance to regain the cultural strengths of the Moors of old. Islam was once the center of science and art on this planet. It can be again, but it must shed the fundamentalists to find the new balance between freedom, science and faith.

We have a darn good balance here in America. Faith is respected, science is respected, and our freedoms lie in the individual and his responsibilities to make good decisions for himself and all of us. We need to build on this balance and use it as a measuring stick for success in the ME. When you step back and look at it, the picture becomes clearer, and the wasted efforts stand out. Redeployment will not see us through this time. And whether Europe waivers during this time of testing or not, we must stand up and work to dissipate this latest wave of hate now coming from al Qaeda. I do think these waves are smaller in energy than the ones we saw during the last century. But any wave can be amplified by adding energy at the right time, just as it can be cancelled by the same action at a different time. So we must be clear headed as we apply our energies to this problem.

10 responses so far

10 Responses to “The Shifting Global Political Landscape”

  1. BarbaraS says:


    I would like to ask you a question privately. Could you post your email address?

  2. kathie says:

    The Dems will do everything in there power to put this country in a position where it will not beable to raise a military. Look at the spending they propose, the only way to give our tax dollars “for the common good” is to take it away from the military. That is their goal, put this county in a position that it can’t fight, even to protect our selves. Europe is now in that position. Socialised medicine has replaced their armed forces.

  3. Carol_Herman says:

    Houston. We have a problem!

    Bush IS the probleml! And, his dad, for some reason, has taken over the “running” of the White House. James Baker is in charge. And, Tony Blair is also weak. Ditto, for Olmert in Israel. And, Merkel, in Germany.

    And, people are husbanding their cards!

    While Saudi Arabia just tried a “tactic.” “Take it or leave it, from the bastards that continue to pay for global terrorism.

    What can ya do?

    My guess is that we will wait out Bush the same way we “waited out” Jimmy Carter.

    Perhaps? The Royal Navy captives will work as daily reminders of what it’s like when you try to resolve problems diplomatically. While keeping strength away from the Saudis.

    And, with each passing day? It will be a lesson all that much harder to deliver.

    While, on the other hand? Oddly enough, Jimmy Carter doesn’t matter. James Baker growing rich? Probably the same as spit in a bucket.

    The dim-witted congress? Greedy porksters.

    And, it is possible Bush will veto the pork-laden bill coming his way. Be a pity if he signs it.

    I guess Rudy Guiliani (and others), will operate the way Ronald Reagan did from 1978, to the day he took office. Jimmy Carter had no idea that everything he was doing didn’t amount to a hill of beans. And, finally? In our system he had to ride OUT of the White House. While Ronald Reagan became president.

    Americans are lucky. We can go back and search for examples in history that are successful.

    As to the Saudis, all the arabs know the Saudis are not liked. And, their meeting in Riyadh kind’a meaningless.

    While we await events.

    The pressures on Maliki? He doesn’t want any part of the Saudi’s plan. And, when condi is all tied up flying to Israel, Egypt, and Riyadh, ya know what? Maliki STAYS OUT OF TROUBLE! He’s already found ways to fight the sunni’s. The IRaqis are NOT giving up!

    And, the world is not going to build more tents. Or put men in dresses. And, hang black tablecloths on women.

    Yeah. Rioting in paris. So what? Chirac travels by limosine. Ditto for all the other elites.

    Too bad Bush is wasting so much time. But then his team is loaded with incompetents. And, the angriest of men in James Baker.

    From this mess, in all probability, will come better politicians, ahead.

    Plus, for many Americans, a whole new way of appraising how jobs get done. We don’t need more lawyers.

  4. Soothsayer says:

    I would like to ask you a question privately. Could you post your email address?

    Barbara –

    Suggest you post YOUR e-mail address and then AJ can e-mail you.

  5. The Macker says:

    That was a thoughtful post.
    “We have a darn good balance here in America. Faith is respected, science is respected, and our freedoms lie in the individual and his responsibilities to make good decisions for himself and all of us.”-

    My thoughts:
    • A unique respect is accorded each citizen by taking it as an axiom that Divine Providence is the source of the individual’s freedom. That makes the freedom untouchable. And it takes precedence over the lower ideal of equality.

    • The ideologies and politics that feed on dependency just multiply the number of dependents and their providers and are not really American.

  6. AJStrata says:


    I have everyone’s email address! Barbara, my email is pretty straightforward: ajstrata@… well, you know where the Strata-Sphere is I bet!


  7. Retired Spook says:

    I was born just before the end of WWII, and have seen my grandparents’ and, very soon, my parents’ generations drift off into the sunset. I’ve been interested in politics since my sophomore year of high school when Kennedy and Nixon squared off. I spent nearly 2/3 of the Cold War in signals intelligence and have seen my share of mind-numbing scenarios play out on the stage of global politics. IMHO, everything I’ve witnessed in my life pales in comparison to what’s coming unless we all get on the same page in the very near future. Even if, by some miracle, our elected representatives can set aside their petty differences and concentrate on their number one priority of protecting the American people, I see some very ugly times ahead. I’m ashamed and saddened to think of the kind of world that we’re leaving for my children and grandchildren.

    Merlin, if you’re out there, I’m betting you have the same aprehensions.

  8. BarbaraS says:

    Thanks AJ

    I found the answer to my question.

  9. AJStrata says:

    Yeah, but it wasn’t from me! Sure its right

  10. wiley says:

    On 9-11 I realized we were in for a decades long war, but as things stand now it could be much longer. Iraq is just a battle in the GWOT, but it is the central battle and will determine whether we have the upper hand or if the struggle will get more difficult and bloody because of quitting early. The Iraq war was a forcing function, accelerating the timeframe for the major battles on the GWOT.

    What about before the Crusades? I think that was when muslims conquered much of the world, and how they came to be overseers of science & arts, etc.

    I wouldn’t be betting on Russia. Putin is turning the country into a corrupt dictatorship, low birth rates and an aging and dying population, and once prosperous private companies are being consumed and torn asunder by the state. Putin cronies and Kremlin yes-men are doing fine, but the masses are getting poorer.

    Of course China is a great economic force and is a military power as well, but something’s gotta give between its shackles on freedom as a socialist/communist state and it’s capitalistic forays. India is another country on the rise, but a democracy — we need to ensure India is a good ally.

    Europe is sad and the future is bleak unless they wake up soon. Modern Libs here have a similar mindset and must be stopped before they ruin this country. The fact that they also have BDS makes things worse because they are susceptible to align themselves with truly anti-American influences like Soros/MoveOn, ANSWER, Code Pink, et. al. in order to score quick political victories. One of the great challenges is how to fix the broken news media, who hold much sway over public opinion. Unfortunately, most have an agenda that seeps into every story and which largely determines the stories that get reported. And a danger during this period is the revisionist history that is going on before our very eyes (e.g. Clintons & Sandy Berger, Bush lied about WMD, etc.)