A year later I was listening to Dan on the podcast and he made several  assertions about how to end  the problem of  Muslim extremism, one being setting up a caliphate so as to deal with one leader and get one position for Muslims. I fell on the floor. It was just an outrageous suggestion typical of someone who has no education in that area. I was prompted to write him again but this time he never answered. You might want to look up this particular podcast and listen to it. It will make my comments more pertinent. It’s available on Stitcher. Below is my comments to him that separated into several emails because of length.

August 2013

I have a few comments about this most recent “Common Sense.” Because I have rather involved responses to your arguments I thought to divide each issue into separate emails. This is email 1 as suggested in the subject line.

You seem to be under the impression that America is forcing its values on Islamic culture and they are forced to accept them. “Islam has no choice. They get western values whether they like it or not. ” I don’t agree with that. But, if you can give me hard evidence that supports what you say I would be open to changing my view on it.  I think if Muslims are attracted to hamburgers, French fries, and rock and roll, that isn’t our fault. I would argue that the big bad ugly American is not at work here as proposed by you but something much simpler.

Maybe you should consider that Western culture really is superior to Islamic culture on a number of different levels and social Darwinism is just following its natural course. And, if Darwin isn’t what’s going on here then how come there is no exchange in culture? How come they pay tremendous black market prices for Levis’ jeans but traditional Arab dress just hasn’t seem to have caught on in Seattle, L.A and New York.

In Jared Diamond’s “Guns, Germs and Steel,” he argues that western civilization has seeped into other cultures not because we want to make them like us, but because western development became more advanced, more quickly, more thoroughly, through geographical, climate and migration factors, leading to better ways to produce  food, medicine and advancement in technology. Human beings naturally gravitate toward something better. Why should you struggle with a horse and plow in the field when you can drive an American made IH tractor to do it?  It’s the “pursuit of happiness”  not American imperialism that is spreading western Ideas.

What is wrong with certain Muslim sectors around the world adopting those ideas if they want, not because we tell them this is how it has to be? It doesn’t appear that we are forcing any society to be like us.

I refuse to be ashamed or apologize for other cultures taking what they want from ours and utilizing it for their own purposes, as long as it’s peaceful. On the contrary I’m damn proud as an American that our ingenuity and “can do” attitude is appreciated around the world. No jingoism here, just American know how.  As a culture we can offer what we already have struggled to find out so that they can make their individual lives better. That’s a good thing, if they want it. And if they reject it, I really don’t care. That’s up  to them.

 

 

 

In your last “Common Sense” you made the comparison of our enemy in Viet Nam and drew an equivalency with our enemy today. I called you on it, told you, you were being flippant and you got offended. I see now that you like drawing historical comparisons whether they fit together or not. Don’t get mad at me Dan I’m just trying to exchange ideas with you.

You made the comment that 500 years ago we should not have tried to stop the Aztecs from human sacrifice. If it were up to you, you would not intervene into other cultures no matter how abhorrent their cultural practices might offend western values. It’s safe to assume then if you were a Spanish conquistador during that time you would have opted to let the Aztecs continue their religious practice of sacrificing young virgins for their pagan beliefs.  After all how is Christianity any better of a belief system, right? Well, let’s put your moral relativism to a test and see if you really think like that and are not just blowing smoke.

The following is a real world current scenario and you tell me what you think. If you had a chance to stop the Taliban from trying to murder that 14 year old girl in Pakistan last week when they shot her in the head would you have intervened? Do you think that if our forces had prior knowledge that the Taliban was going to do this, and you had the power to do so,  would you not have ordered it stopped? Would you allow an innocent 14 year old girl to die at the hands of these monsters because you  believe we don’t have  any right to tell the Taliban what to do.  In other words would “Dan say, leave ‘em alone?”To continue your tongue and cheek comparison, Star trek’s prime directive only works in 1960s television shows

Let’s not even deal with human sacrifice then, or murder now.  Let’s try something that is not murder which is, or should be outlawed in every society, but something more to do with policy, religious tolerance etc. If you could have stopped the Taliban from blowing up those ancient statues carved into those mountains in the late 1990s would you have done that?

If you can’t answer a flat “no” to these modern day Aztec/Spanish historical comparisons, then I would submit that if you were a Spanish Conquistador on the Mexica plane in 1519, encumbered by a Christian dogma which was the only belief system you ever knew and absolutely forbids the killing of innocents as a pagan ritual, you would have stopped that practice in its tracks, without hesitation, without any doubt you were doing the right thing.

I was stunned first in your last email to me and now in public on your podcast that your  answer to our problem with Islam is to support the development of a  new caliphate in order to only have to deal with one Islamic leader to solve our differences.  Dan, you did not think this one through. That is about the worst  solution I have ever heard regarding this problem.  Keeping those people fragmented and clinging to the nation state system, as flimsy as it is, is the one thing that saves most of the world from (with apologies to Huntington) turning “bloody borders” into a “bloody earth.”  

 

God Bless Sykes- Picot and the rest of the post World War I diplomats who carved up the Middle East. They thought their interests meant waterways, religious sites and of course, the newly sought after fuel crude turned into gasoline. But, what they didn’t see in their wisdom was that someday the population would stand off against each other rather than against us. Creating countries in the Levant, Syria, Christian Lebanon, Jewish Israel , Transjordan later the Kingdom of Jordan solidified an already arguing population over everything from water rights to land grabs which was a holdover from the feudal system that existed during the last years of the Ottoman reign.    

Muslims are so fragmented that a caliphate or anything like it is highly unlikely ever to materialize, at least not as the facts  on the ground present themselves now or since the end of World War II. They had a chance with Gamul Abdul Nasser who didn’t advocate a full Caliphate but at least it was a start. Through the Egyptian State system that Nasser and his Free Officers developed, he hoped to bring in the rest of the Arab world to be ruled under one rule, his.

My apologies if you are already versed on this history but I am not sure what your knowledge is in this area.  Nasser  came to power in a military coup in 1952 Egpyt, and declared Egypt a republic. Right from the start he had grandiose plans for uniting the  Arab world. For a time he was able to form the United Arab Republic with Syria but that didn’t last long either. Fraught with dissension and mistrust and an inability to coordinate militarily even against a mutually hated Israel,  those two states could  not come together in an already agreed upon  federation for any length of time. Just think if they tried to add Libya, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, Jordan and Lebanon to that mix. Oh Brother. A new Caliphate, that’s a pipe dream at best. And, thank God for it.

Even if it were a possibility arguing for a new caliphate would not guarantee the simple answer to what you seek. What makes you think that a caliphate will unite all Muslims anyway? What assurance do we have that we wouldn’t end up with the same fragmentation and some groups going off by themselves to continue the havoc that you are trying to stop? The last Caliphate did not unite the Muslim world.  Why do you think it would this time?  Even if the al-queda types could unite all sunnis, which is highly unlikely  for the reasons I just described,  Shi’a Islam would never go along with it. Led by Iran they will stay out on their own.  And, then what about the Druze, the Sufis, the bahais, the pockets of Christians and Jews who still dot the Muslim Middle East and North Africa, and all those smaller dangling sects of Islam who have no allegiance to a Sunna inspired ulema but just so happen to live in their realm. Will you sacrifice them to a violent extinction?

Given all those potential problems I cite above let’s assume for a second that somehow a new caliphate is created roughly on the boundaries of the old Ottoman Empire. Now what we have is one very powerful Islamic ulema in the west and large swaths of Asiatic and sub Saharan Islam still out there doing what they do on their own. I am not sure how you concluded that just because there is one giant state now that somehow they will listen to reason and we will be able to negotiate peace with it. I suppose under that scenario you might get some overall benevolent leader but you might just as well get their version of Stalin or Hitler.  Are you prepared to take that chance? It’s not worth it, Dan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your mention of Israel and how it fits into your new Caliphate theory—sorry Dan that is really shortsighted. Here is my take of what will happen to Israel if your solution becomes reality. The one thing that keeps that region from spiraling into all-out war now is the fact that Israel holds a considerable military edge. If the Arabs thought for a second they had the means to possibly destroy the Jewish state  they would attack. Four humiliating disgraceful wars has taught the Muslim Arab to behave.

The Israelis, probably the one westernized people who understand the Muslim mentality better than all the rest of us have advocated since its birth it needs to be dominate militarily over its enemies in order to keep Muslim hands off the Jewish State.  Creating a Caliphate roughly on the lines you draw would bring the Arab world close enough in military parity that they could see victory in the possible destruction of Israel. Right now you have one state that keeps the status quo in the area through strength and the other is too afraid to test that strength. But, once you have parity through a larger cohesive Muslim state in Western Asia and north Africa all of sudden you are stuck with two intractable sides both bent on victory, and both with justified self-perceptions that victory must be achieved. For Israel, it’s as it always was, to survive. For your Caliphate it’s complete and utter destruction of the Jewish State.

Let’s look at the two sides and see why each regards victory as an all or nothing proposition. One if they are strong enough the Arab world would feel embolden to teach the Jews a lesson for 1948. For several generations Levantine and North African Muslims hardened their position handed down from father to  Son and son to grandson, that  a Dhimmi people who are really more like the dog on a leash humiliated Mohammad,  disgraced Allah, and embarrassed his people in front of the whole world need to pay the ultimate price for such a crime. Dan, If they do what they do because of stupid low class youtube videos or newspaper cartoons what do you think they will do after years of pent up hatred for 1948 and beyond?

Remember, in the 1940s the Arab had been romanticized with a T.E. Lawrence definition as the fearless warrior in flowing white robes rearing back on his horse and reeling his sword for Islam. The creation of Israel in 1948 changed all of that as the Arab armies one by one retreated from their positions,  all except the Jordanian legion, and forced to sign an armistice, the last holdout Syria, did not sign until June of 1949.  Because  a more organized Jewish resistance was tougher, badder and quite literally by the end of the war was kicking their asses all over the Middle East, this humiliation grew in scope. It was a tremendous disgrace to a people that dominated Christians and Jews in their midst for fourteen hundred years. No wonder they call it the “Nakba.”

 

Arab leaders came into this blindsided thinking they would “drive the Jews into the sea” or other apocalyptic sloganeering to destroy the Zionist entity. Israel’s war of Independence was a great historical reversal to what was predicted, even to the point that religious people in the west saw some sort of right hand of God leading the Jews to victory. That just dishonored  the Muslim world all the more, because now the world didn’t even see God (Allah) on their side.

Western sympathizers translating the Jewish inferior position  to Arab military leaders,  it appeared so clear in 1948 the Jews were up against insurmountable odds and  everyone from American generals to the Arab League didn’t give the nascent State of  Israel a chance at any kind of survival.

Let’s face it. The Jews, this rag tag conglomeration of holocaust survivors, shop keepers, bible students and teen age girls peppered with paramilitary units with very little “big” war experience and almost no weapons to speak of stood their ground with the whole world watching. When the fog of war cleared a new Jewish State stood in the middle of an exhausted, humiliated, defeated Arab world.

Now, with a united Arab Muslim world in the form of a Dan Carlin Caliphate,  its payback time. It’s time to take revenge for exposing Arab impotence on the world stage. Moving in and rectifying that horrible mistake of 1948 would probably be the first act of a new Caliphate. What better way to establish their power in the world community  than to defeat Western Idealism in their own backyard.

And, of course, Israel will not sit by and allow themselves to be annihilated. The Jews who have fought hard for the previous 64 years to keep what they have. They believe that the land is theirs and they are not going to go quietly. They will use everything, and I mean everything to defend their piece of Middle East real estate.

The Jews have paid  for  that privilege in blood. Five nasty wars, constant bloodletting of innocents through terrorism has stubbornly tied the Jews to their ancient homeland more than their God ever could. For generations the people of Israel have lived with this nightmare.  Now that they have returned they are not going to give it up easily.

Thoughts of the Nazi Holocaust still reverberate very deeply throughout the Jewish community. One of Israel’s promises is that the Gentile world will never exercise that kind of barbarism on the Jews again. So clear is this promise that there are still survivors of Hitler’s ovens alive who remind us all the time of the shame of a “civilized” world in the 1930s and 40s. “Never again” is their slogan and every single Israeli soldier learns that from the first day of army training.  One holocaust every hundred years is quite enough thank you.

The Jews who have lived in that area long before the Arabs came there understand their enemy much better than you or I. They will fight and  no matter how tough your Caliphate becomes my money is on Israel to survive.  But, that will not be without huge costs in human life.  We’re talking  millions of  human lives in the balance Dan,  maybe hundreds of millions . Do you really want that on your conscience? Would it be right to sacrifice them for your solution?

 

I really think it’s back to the drawing board on how to deal with the Muslim world rising. I agree something must be done  and knowing how bloodletting is an everyday occurrence in that part of the world, hopefully it would be something that involves saving as many lives as possible on both sides. Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer. But, I’m very sure a new Caliphate is not it.

 

Notes  maybe I used the stuff below maybe not. But I leave it here.

14:00 we’re going to kill all the terrorists.

20:10 Islam has no choice. They get western values if they like it or not.

If the terrorists attack us on 9-11  because they hate our freedom then they won. No, they haven’t won but they  have set us back. And, the Muslim world is just beginning to roar. We prosecuted the war all wrong. For some reason we didn’t learn from past mistakes on that one. The Soviets in the 80s, what a mess. The British in the 1860s more of a mess, and even Alexander the Great stopped his conquest and had enough by the time he got to Kibar pass. What we should have done and what we are doing now is much better. Barack Obama has done a good job in taking it to the enemy with our drone system. We used our special forces to go in and kill Osama bin laden. We should continue this covert war killing them when ever we get a chance but not through 100,000 or so of our finist young men and women sweltering over there in the Afghan heat. Not necessary

18:56 There are similarities between religious folks in the  Muslim world and people here who still feel very strongly about religion themselves.

20:03 Islam has no choice. They get western values whether they like it or not.

 

Even in small units now where there is autocratic control over the people Islam still cannot control its “rogue elements,” Take for example yassir Arafat in the early 2000s when the Israelis accused him of letting terrorists bombers come into Israel and blow up  innocent people. Arafat claimed at the time he had no control over what Palestinians do in that regard. So, if they can’t control their people in small governments now like in your apache analogy, how are they going to do that in a Caliphate where instead of two or three million people they governed the lives of several hundred million. A system like that will work for certain things but none of those things relate to controlling terror in their midst. That is not an option. A caliphate will certain bring advantages to Muslims engaged in it, but for us here in the west it turn a small nightmare into a large one.

Huntington 39:45 “Between 1980 and 1995 acccording to  the U.S. Defense Department , the United States engaged in 17 miiltary operations in the Middle East all of them directed against Muslims.”

All of those engagements were defense measures by the Americans towards States or terrorists to protect American lives and Western interests. Hizbollah bombing of the American Barracks in Beirut 1982. The hijacking of a TWA flight 847 in 1985. The bombing of the American restaurant and bar  Germany 1986. The bombing  of Pan Am flight 803 over lockerbee Scotland 1988, Of course, the first gulf War in Iraq, the first world trade center bombing in 1993, the Kobar towers in 1996 might be a little later. Seventeen I can’t come up with off the top of my head but that is good start. All of those were aggressive terrorist acts which needed to be avenged. Your view is that if we do something about it, it spawns more terror, my view is that force and extreme force is the only thing these animals understand. You kill a few of them of them or a few more and terrorize the rest you send a message that they better be careful in the future. I believe this lowers the chance for terror and without these kinds of shock and awe responses with western no how we would be experiencing a lot more than we are now.

Jewish community examiner

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