Sunday, August 06, 2006

Muslim Facists

It should be noted that Hezbollah is a fascist organization. They are patriarchal, puritanical, and warmongering. And they want to t infatrate and take over Lebonon. But, Isreal’s heavy handed bombing campaign has only given Hezbollah more sympathy and support in the Arab world. Israel may win the battle but lose the war of hearts and minds among its neibors.
In the end, only Lebonon and the international community can undermine Hezbollah.
The United States and the world should hand out more aid to the Arab world in order to make it less likely for the people in that region to support extremists.
It should be noted that both Hezbollah and Hamas have gained support by providing food and basic services to people who have otherwise have nothing. This is how they have been able to gain support, even though such organizations are actually causing harm to Muslims by picking fights with Israel.
If there where no attacks on Israel, the Jewish state would have less reason to attack Palistine, the Gaza strip and Lebonon. This is a classic example of the blind leading the blind. Despite calling themselves "liberators" both Hezbollah and Hamas are actually causing harm to the people who support them.
In fact, Israel’s retalitaion may have been what Hezbollah had been banking on to begin with. They want to bring down the democratic government of Lebonon so they get more power.
And the damage that Israel’s bombing is doing to Lebonon’s economy is helping create the conditions which breed extremism.


"Syriana" was a pretty good political thriller. Slightly far-fetched and fatalistic it still is compelling. And all the characters were human, with very human motivation.

Arabs and Israel

Many Arabs want to see the death of Israel. But, this will do nothing to improve lives of most Arabs.

The Passion Of The Anti-Semite

Not so long ago on South Park, Mel Gibson was portrayed as a raving lunatic with a strong martyr complex. Also, Cartman leads a Mel Gibson fan club which turns into a neo-Nazi group.
Apparently, they had it right, more or less. Did anyone who sat through The Passion of the Christ stop and think about what kind of person turns the story of Jesus into a blood drenched, anti-Semitic stuff flick with homoerotic and S&M overtones.? And what about Gibson’s silence on his father’s hideous Jew-bashing?
Mel Gibson is just another morally confused, dysfunctional, needy, undisciplined individual who uses the cloak of righteousness to hide his true nature. To put it simply, the guy has some major issues he’s trying to run away from. And, I wonder how such a person who claims to be so "moral" can drink while driving anyway.
And it’s almost amusing the way his fans try to defend him. It’s a classic case of the blind leading the blind.
His latest outburst should be filed next Tom’s Cruz’s rant against Psychology and Michael Jackson’s pedophilia. It may be curtains on his entire career. And the only one he has to blame is himself.

Culture Of Life?

Every year, thousands of human zygote are disposed of at fertility clinics. If Bush and the far right view these as human beings, why arn't they charging doctors and other employees at such clinics with mass murder? Whey aren't they outlawing fertility clinics and stem cell research all together? Because to do so would be political nightmare for the GOP.
The irony of banning federal funds for stem cell research is that it will not save a single zygote and will do nothing to stop the harvesting stem cells.
And like so much of the religious right's agenda, it does absolutely nothing to promote values and improve the family, anyway.
As the old Shakespeare quote goes "It is a tail told be and idiot, filled with sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Israel And the US

The more anti-Israeli elements associate Israel with the United States, the less safe this country will be.
Overall, the US is losing the war for Muslim hearts and minds. Without the trust of Muslims, the US will never make much progress in the war on terror.
And the main reasons we’re losing this battle for hearts in minds is the war in Iraq and the unquestioning support for Israel. We can invade and bomb as many Arab and Muslim countries as we want. But until the US tries to win more Muslim hearts and minds it is all an exercise in futility.
To be sure, the Arab world is filled with tribalism, violence, corruption ultra-puritanism, illogic and fanaticism which is far worse than anything seen the contemporary Western world.
But, neither our invasion of Iraq nor our support for Israel has done anything to reform the Arab world. And that is the bitter irony.
Israel was doomed from the start of it exsistance. It narrowly avoided defeat several time in its history. They are just living on borrowed time. Israel is in a classic "Zulu dawn" scenario. The barbarians are truly at the gate, and despite its power and enlighted society, it won’t last.
The US has sent Billions of dollars and weapons to Israel over the years. And what has the US gotten in return? Not much. A good trade arrangement perhaps, but not much else.

Democracy A Reflection of The Public, for better or worse

Democracy is a reflection of the public at large. But, what if the general public of a country is intolerant, hateful and narrow-minded? This is something the Neo-Cons seem to have forgotten.
Democracy is more than just elections. It is a value system of inclusion, tolerance, reason and compromise. Without these nessacary values, democracy becomes a sham. One can only look at the election of Hamas and Hexbollah to see what elections without democratic values look like.
And it’s foolhardy to think that a people can be bombed into embracing democratic values. The direction of the Arab world, for better or for worse, can only be determined by the Arabs themselves.
The neo-cons still confuse the war on terror with WW II and the Cold War. In the previous global conflicts, the people we were at war with had an essentially Western value system. Therefore, they were more able to embrace Western style democracy. This is not so with much of the Arab world, where the concept of "democracy" is different than what the Western world is used too.
Most of the citizenry in Western Europe after WW II and of Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union wanted Jeffersonian democracy as well as a tolerant, pluralistic society.
This may not be the case with many Arabs and Muslims. There tends to be less regard for these ideals among the citizenry.
This, to a great extent, explains the grisly aftermath of the overthrow of Saddam. Many people in Iraq have little concept of pluralism, peaceful co-existence or compromise. And because of this, a civil war is all but inevitable.
Now these discredited neo-cons think we should join with Israel and launch military attacks against Syria and Iran. This is a profoundly idiotic idea. Not only are America’s forces over stretched, but if would only turn more Muslims and Arabs against us. This would only undermine the battle for the hearts and minds of the region.
To be sure, the recent spate of violence in the Middle East can be blamed on the aggressions of Hezbollah. But, elimating such extremists from the area is not without risks and could even backfire.
For Israel, this is a no win situation. If they were to show restraint, the extremists would only get more missiles and launch them. If they continue their attacks, it may only destabilize and radicalize the Arabs in the region.
Israel might be more virtuous than its neighbors, but that doesn’t guarantee its survival.

Wisdom Based On Reality

People tend to spend much of their lives terrified of reality. They may find escape through drugs or religion or utopian fantasies. But, such things only weaken us. Resilience depends on dealing with things as they are, not how we wish them to be. This is wisdom, this is the wellspring of strength within us.

Population Issues Still Matter

The majority of people born into this world will live lives of desperate poverty, ignorance and misery. It is hard to contribute to the species if your barely etching out an exsistance. And if the billions of human living in dire poverty were to improve their standard of living significantly, the cost to the planet would be enormous.
With population growth, there is more at issue than just food and water. What about all the human waste generated? What about sanitation and health? At, what kind of standard of living will most people in the world have? And, how will global warming effect and be effected by a growing population? We ignore this issues at our own peril.

In Praise of Secularism

Secular societies, on the whole, are more peaceful and have more freedom than those societies which are dominated by religion. And the evidence to support this is fairly high. Some of the most religious societies, are also the most corrupt, repressive and warmongering. Look at Saudi Arabia or the Middle East.
Untangling church and state was the very thing which allowed greater personal freedom and less conflict over religion.