Will Love Stop ISIS?

Canary Beck wrote an article titled Hatred does not cease by hatred – hatred ceases by love. It is about the reaction of France to the attacks by ISIS. I am going to look at the ideas expressed in the article. I disagree with most of the thinking Canary expresses in this article. You can see if you think she or I see things as they are.

I find Canary’s article horribly incomplete. The presuppositions, biases, fallacies, and reality are unlikely to be pointed out by the politically correct. But, I am not PC… so… I’ll give you the other side.

Canary is concerned when world leaders express thoughts like France’s President Hollande did, We are going to lead a war which will be pitiless. One should be worried whenever there is talk of a war, pitiless or otherwise.

But, nowhere does she express a concern about ISIS and their stated goals. But she may not even know what ISIS’ goals are. After all Major General Michael K. Nagata, the Special Operations commander for the United States in the Middle East, in speaking about the thinking driving ISIS has stated, “We do not even understand the idea.” 

America’s President Obama refuses to use words like jihadists or refer to ISIS as Islamic, even when the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, gives a speech explaining that all he is doing is done according to and foretold by the Koran. ISIS = Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – The leaders of ISIS now prefer IS = Islamic State. The American President prefers ISIL = Islamic  State in Levant (or al-Shām the area between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates River). So, that a significant portion of Americans don’t understand the goals and motivation of ISIS jihadists is understandable when even its name is confusing.

I agree with Canary that revenge is understandable. But I doubt she and I see revenge as the same thing. The desire for revenge is different from revenge and important to this discussion. Revenge is a noun and verb. The noun names the action of inflicting harm or pain on another for a perceived injury or wrong suffered. In general most societies are opposed to vigilante revenge/justice.

Canry uses an old cliché about revenge not being able to being back the 120+ that died at the hands of ISIS inspired jihadies.  That ‘bring back’ thing is true. But, what is the emotion that drives people to take revenge? Whether you believe in a godless world and the hypothesis of evolution or a God made universe, to be rational you have to deal with the philosophical concepts of where that emotion comes from and why it is a part of us and what to do with it in an enlightened society.

Does the driving emotion behind revenge have survival value? If it does why should we ignore it? If God built it into us, again why should we ignore it? And either way, what is the enlightened human response to that emotion? What is it telling us? Those are easy questions to answer for the emotion of fear. And as Canary asks, how will revenge get us to peace? I can answer that one.

Canary says, “Revenge, however, is not an entitlement.” The idea of an entitlement brings up serious ethical questions. If we evolved there are no entitlements or rights but, if  the desire for revenge enhances survival, shouldn’t we act on it? If God built it into us, hasn’t He entitled something or given us a right?

In the context of Canary’s writing the statement: ‘Lusting for  revenge is not a true leader’s call to arms, it is a sign of an unskilled mind’ she is describing Hollande. That ignores that Hollande is a politician and most likely is playing to the crowd. I doubt lust is a factor. I suspect anger, political advantage, and a duty to protect the French people are the prime movers in Hollande’s words. An ‘unskilled mind’ at work it isn’t.

Canary makes the statement, “Retaliation is not a route to a more peaceful world.” She goes on to ask hasn’t history shown violent revenge is a failed political and social strategy? If we evolved, then our being here is prima facie evidence that something in this revenge thing is a successful survival strategy/behavior. Doesn’t going counter to evolution reduce our chances of surviving? Seems history and evolution answer it is successful.

For those a bit more philosophically enlightened, the history of wars and evolving city states and nations shows retaliation does lead to peace. World War II being the more recent example. Post WW II is one of the longer periods of general peace on the planet. The Edo Period in Japan and the Roman Pax are the longest known periods of peace in written history. What initiated those peaceful times? Basically eliminating those that would harm those nations by violent means.

Canary expresses the thought, “…instead we must acknowledge that misunderstanding, fear, hatred and violence are in all our hearts – and realize that acting from these roots only helps to sow more terror, more fear, more violence, and more danger, as we lower ourselves to become that which we seek to crush.”

I assume she thinks the reaction to ISIS is from; misunderstanding, fear, hatred and violence in all our hearts. Is that true? Or is something else from evolution, thought, or a God given nature telling us what needs to be done? Do you actually know a jihadie well enough to hate them? Or do you want them stopped?

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23 thoughts on “Will Love Stop ISIS?

  1. Point of information: you mention the Syrians travelling on stolen Greek passports who were arrested in Honduras, and refer to them as \ jihadies.\

    Are their motivations, in fact, known? Why do you assume that they have any particular political or religious motivation and are not, in fact, simply Syrians who hoped to join all the other illegal immigrants living and working in the USA and thought that Greek passports would provide them with better cover than Syrian ones?

    I have no way of knowing the group’s motivations one way or the other, but I can think of plenty of reasons why Syrians other than jihadists might, like people from dozens of different countries, want to sneak into the USA and live under the radar there.

    The assumption that the only possible motivation a Syrian might have for wanting to enter the US illegally is so that he may commit terrorist outrages on behalf of ISIS seems a bit dubious, to say the least.

    • You short of have a point, but you more clearly make the point that we cannot know or even reliably find out who and why these people are traveling into America. Since ISIS is telling the world they are sending their soldiers into Europe and America embedded in the refugees and we have found such people among the refugees in Europe and attempting to come into the U.S., how do you know these aren’t jihadies?

      If one is to allow in everyone that says they are a refugee escaping ISIS oppression, there is no doubt some small percentage of those people that will be agents of ISIS. If that is just 1%, there will be 100 jihadies in the 10,000 Obama wants to bring in. That is 10 times more of them than it took to kill 129+/- in Paris meaning we would likely loose upwards of 1,200 people. How will you keep your family safe? What will you do when in a restaurant and someone stands up with a machete and attacks the people at your table? Will you carry a gun? A knife? Will you wait 9 minutes (the best average emergency response time in the USA) for police to arrive and watch family and friends be hacked on? What will you do for that 9 minutes?

      The Left pushes the idea of compassion. Oh we have to be compassionate to these people is the basic line. How is letting in refugees with terrorists embedded among them compassionate? How is placing your family, friends and country men at risk compassionate and not just inconsiderate?

      No one is saying there are not legitimate refugees. There is no assumption that all refugees have the same motivation. There is a demand for Obama to explain how he will vet the refugees and to stop admitting them until we know. His appointees are saying we have no GOOD or even close to reliable way to accomplish vetting of refugees. Obama says he can. But, he has constantly lied about most of what he promises. Fix the VA? Vets are still dying while waiting and how many people did he fire from the VA? Why should we believe he can actually vet these people or tell us the truth?

  2. Here comes another view on the subject, by a former Foreign Minister of France: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a6rp2VNpCA

    The debate should not rely on concepts such as love or hate or revenge, I think, but on rational strategies to face the problem.

    • I agree. Rational thought would be good.

      While Dominique is talking a good sounding line, there are presuppositions in his thinking that are simply not true. He refers to terrorism as unbeatable and fueled by economic in equities. He is stating ii cannot be beaten because it is this invisible hand… meaning no state or government leading it. If that were true then his statements would be more accurate.

      We know who the primary sponsors of terror are, Hamas, Iran and ISIS/Levant are the primary leaders and sponsors. So, it is not all that invisible.

      We repeatedly hear that Islam is not to blame and a religion of peace. Take the peace part. First one really needs to define what Islamic peace is. Then look at 1,100+/- years of history to see how the Muslims have implemented the religion. It then becomes obvious that their definition of peace and most westerner’s is very different. In our culture Islam does NOT fit our idea of a peaceful religion.

      That Islam is not responsible for terrorism is by Occam’s Razor false. One has to study history, wars and religion to understand. All three of these areas are a propagandist’s playground since so few have knowledge, mush less understanding, of them. While Judo-Christian religions teach tolerance and love for an enemy Islam teaches domination to subjugate and convert and failing that to kill (war) and take their stuff. Dominique has obviously not studied Islam. So, while people think he is an awesome, knowledgeable voice of reason, he apparently doesn’t have the information needed to form a realistic rational opinion.

  3. I posted Villepin’s comment here to enhance the debate, but I truly worry about statements like \we know who the primary sponsors of terror are, Hamas, Iran and ISIS/Levant\. I don’t mean to dispute if they sponsor terror, that’s not my point now, but that statement also has problems. Go search, for instance, where the financial operations that supported Al Qaeda came from, what were Bin Laden’s links, and it’s not Hamas who was financing him. As a dissidence of Al Qaeda, with links with old Iraqi groups, ISIS itself needed to be financed, and it beneffitted from other countries, some considered allies of Western countries, as well. On the other hand, let me rely on an example here to state another point: I recently read an article suggesting that ISIS shiould not be the major concern in the region, even after the terrorist attacks, but Assad’s regime in Syria should, for it was its repression and inequality that led to people there adhering to ISIS. Seriously? I’m not saying Assad is a good guy, but to claim that one is fighting ISIS by attacking Assad is to press one’s own agenda above all facts. I’m not sure about Hamas, as far as I remember they used to have links with Assad’s Syria, but I think it’s safe to say about Iran that they have no interest in seeing ISIS’ growth. To play the Iran card now is the same as to play the Iraq card as Bush Administration did while stating he was fighting Al Qaeda. And actually, it’s not that Saddam Hussei was a good guy either, far from that, but ISIS grew in the vacuum left by Saddam’s fall. I think the situation has to be cautiously considered before mixing ISIS, Hamas, Iran, Syria and other actors in the same scenario (and why no one talks Saudi Arabia now? Isn’t that curious? Actually, French media and some French analists have been talking about it).

    • And now I should acknowledge that some voices mentioning Saudi Arabia have been reproduced in the English speaking world. Kamel Daoud is an Algerian writer and journalist who today, 11/20, had an article translated into English and published in the New York Times – and elsewhere – stating that Wahhabism is \the ultra-puritanical form of Islam that Daesh feeds on\.

      He points to the source of the radicalization: \The younger generations of radicals in the so-called Arab world were not born jihadists. They were suckled in the bosom of Fatwa Valley, a kind of Islamist Vatican with a vast industry that produces theologians, religious laws, books, and aggressive editorial policies and media campaigns\. He underlines the links between the Saudi royals and the Saudi clergy, and between the West and Saudi Arabia. And then, he concludes: \Daesh has a mother: the invasion of Iraq. But it also has a father: Saudi Arabia and its religious-industrial complex.

      Until that point is understood, battles may be won, but the war will be lost. Jihadists will be killed, only to be reborn again in future generations and raised on the same books.\ And now it’s me stressing: it’s not only the Saudi royals, not only the formal power, but the whole radical religious industry that comes from there.

      What I mean with Villepin’s and Daound’s and many other people’s views here is to try to put things in perspective: playing Iran now is a way not to address the problem itself, dropping bombs on civilian population results in producing even more refugees, the same that some fear that may be infiltrated by terrorists and sneak into the US and other countries, and so on.

      I don’t expect pure love to stop terrorism, but what you will attack, how, who will be your allies and what else, besides bombs, Western powers have to offer – all that has to be measured and carefully considered. More carefully than just mixing ISIS, Iran and Hamas in the same analysis. (I know I’ve been commenting a lot, but I really think this debate is interesting and important, please don’t misunderstand me, don’t think I’m trying to troll your post, ok? This is not the case, I swear!)

      • First, the columns are getting narrow so I’ll start a new chain. Just follow the link.

        You are debating well. I once moderated a forum and the moderators had discussions about trolls. There are those that troll as a debate tactic to a good point and those that troll as a way to abuse and make fun of people. So, trolling is not always a bad thing. I don’t class your posts as trolling.

  4. My only point was that I was puzzled by your describing the people arrested in Honduras as jihadis when, according to the Honduran police, there was no particular reason to assume they were anything but normal asylum seekers.

    I would have said, as did the Honduran police, that their motives and background needed investigation. You, though, seem to have thought that was no necessary.

    I’m certainly not saying the USA or anyone else should grant them refugee status. That would be prejudging the issue.

    I would say, though, that their position is completely unlike that of the Syrians to whom the USA is granting refugee status. To qualify for that, as I understand it, people have to apply from refugee camps in Turkey or Jordan (I think that’s where they are) and then wait for some 18 months or 2 years while they are investigated by (separately) the UNHCR, the State Department, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Defense Department.

    They are a completely different group from the people you’ve probably seen in somewhat chaotic scenes on your TV, entering the EU independently via the Greek Islands and trying to make their way west to Germany, Sweden, and other EU destinations. It was among one of those groups that one of the Paris terrorists seems to have entered the EU, using a Syrian passport (probably fake, so we have no idea what his true nationality was).

    Looking at it objectively, I’d have said that if the USA is going to worry about anyone it should worry about people entering the USA as tourists using EU passports. As you’ll be aware, all the Paris terrorists whose identity is known, including their ringleader, were French or Belgian nationals. As you’ll also doubtless be aware, a fair number of young people from many EU countries, including my own country, the UK, have gone to Syria to join ISIS.

    If, instead of going to Syria, they’d decided to go to the USA for whatever nefarious purpose they wouldn’t have needed even to apply for a tourist visa. Unless they were on some sort of watch list, they’d have found it pretty easy to enter the country legitimately.

    To an outsider like me, the current panic in the US about Syrian refugees seems very odd indeed. The terrorist attacks in Paris haven’t affected the British government’s programme to receive refugees from Syria and, rather more to the point, neither has it affected the French government’s plans to welcome 30,000 refugees over the next two years.

    • Just as there is no particular reason to think they are jihadies, the other side is true too, there is no particular reason to think they aren’t.

      Where have you seen that Obama has said refugees will come from the camps in Turkey? Yes, there are camps there. But, there are camps in other countries too. The basic process is for a refugee to get UN Refugee status. With that stamp of approval they move to a country. The country then starts its vetting process. But, have you seen anyone describe the vetting processes, UN or countries?

      UN has a long record of corruption. So, we know they can be bought. But, whether it is the UN or any country trying to vet people how do they do it? You have in front of you a person that says, “I’m a refugee. Help me.” Now how do you tell if he is a refugee or jihadie? Especially when it is part of the Muslim religion to lie to your enemies.

      American security and military officials are saying there is no reliable way to vet the refugees.

      • I know you are saying that even national processes cannot verify if a person is a refugee or not, but just to clarify a point, you also say that the basic thing a person has to do to be a refugee is to get that status from the UN. It’s not like that.

        The entities that give refugee status to someone are countries, not the UN. I mean, each country has their own parameters to grant refugee status, the UN cannot force a country to accept a person as a refugee. From the UNHCR page: “National asylum systems are there to decide which asylum-seekers actually qualify for international protection. Those judged through proper procedures not to be refugees, nor to be in need of any other form of international protection, can be sent back to their home countries.”

        As you may see, it’s each national system that decides if one is a refugee or not. It’s not the UN. Before they are considered refugees by a certain country, they are just asylum-seekers.

        • The news media is carrying numerous accounts of how the process works. TIME, WSJ, and others. All seem to me to be identical. It conforms to what I have said. I’ll give you that it doesn’t HAVE TO. But, what we are being told and all the processes that I can see start with a referral from the UN. My point is that initial referral is from a corrupt organization which is run by a majority of totalitarian members with a strong bias against America. So, that step is useless for protecting the USA. My point is that those that do come through the UN channel are as likely to be jihadie as not.

          The next step in the process, most clearly described in the WSJ, is the USA’s vetting process or as you say the destination country. As the process is being run now the UN identifies potential refugees and countries say how many they will take.

          For those the USA ‘takes’ there are “biographic and biometric security checks” run by US agents. That means looking for a criminal record and running their finger prints. Where does one go to find a Syrian’s criminal record? The Syrian government, which is not a friend of ours nor is it in control of its country or its borders. We aren’t likely to get any help from al-Assad. It is in his best interest to get jihadies out of Syria, so why not send them to the USA, a country that is trying to take him down? My point is the primary vetting data we normally rely on is NOT available for Syrian refugees.

          Finger prints are run against the FBI, NCC, US Military, and international databases. Our military, NSA, CIA, and FBI people are telling us that step is mostly pointless as almost none of the people applying for refugee status from Syria are in any of those databases. My point is: there is no effective way to vet the refugees as the current ‘checks’ system is designed.

          So, the process boils down to an ‘extra’ step the USA adds to the process, of a ‘specially’ trained person interviewing the refugee. How does one train a person to detect a ‘specially’ trained jihadie? The CIA and other spy agencies train people to infiltrate other countries and organizations. Of course ISIS can too. My point is this is a process very likely to fail.

          Depending on what one believes Obama goal is, we can anticipate what will happen next. If we take his word from his two books then we will see the number of refugees coming in overwhelm the interviewers and the agencies supplying and training the interviewers underfunded. The result being the vetting process will degrade to a highly inefficient process. The US Government can’t even process veterans applications for medical treatment and they have had decades to work that system out and haven’t. So, even if we leave Obama out of it, the history of how bureaucracies work shows us what is going to happen. My point is we know government can’t, and in this case isn’t likely, to do a good job of vetting.

          It is just common sense that a country does not allow people from a country at war with them into their country. It is for all practical purposes and with significant historical experience we know it is impossible to weed out combat agents from large numbers of refugees. Historically those fighting with the accepting/receiving country and known by their soldiers are allowed into their country. But, that is NOT what Obama is proposing.

  5. And let’s see this: “Dominique has obviously not studied Islam. So, while people think he is an awesome, knowledgeable voice of reason, he apparently doesn’t have the information needed to form a realistic rational opinion” – I don’t know if he has studied Islam or not, but do you really think that a French former Foreign Minister, who was born in Rabat from a diplomat father, studied at Sciences-Po and ENA, has made a career and a reputation as a diplomat and has engaged the debate in France, which has a long history of being involved in the Middle East, doesn’t have the information? One can disagree with him, but I don’t think that trying to disqualify him by saying he doesn’t have the information is a good argument, no.

    • From what he has said I do think he lacks that information. Or… he could be pushing propaganda and deliberately omitting it.

      I included enough of the Quran in the post to show he was wrong on some points.

      In a debate one often uses an ‘authority’ to substantiate a point. But, history is full of examples of ‘authorities’ being wrong. It is a weak tactic.

      • He did not use authority as an argument, I did point his background, though, just as a way to show that I don’t think that he can be disqualified so fast. As I said before, I think one can disagree with him, though not saying he doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Nonetheless, I understand that you are arguing that he didn’t consider the nature of Islam. I think his point is more pragmatic, given what happened in Iraq and Libya. As I said, I don’t know what he knows about Islam or not, that was not his point either.

        • My whole point is politicians are ignoring the religious nature of the Muslim terrorist threat and the result is their efforts to stop it are failing.

          Whether he knows and understands the threat of the inherent nature of Islam he isn’t discussing it. It is like a jet flew over, dropped an atomic bomb, its on is way down. If one talks about stopping uranium enrichment and air space violation as a fix for the ‘bomb’ it is reasonable to ask if he is aware it has already been dropped and suspect he isn’t. We don’t need an authority well educated in diplomacy and nuclear armaments to talk to us about feel good ideas. We need the falling bomb destroyed before it detonates. Not understanding the situation means the ‘authority’ can’t take the effective action needed.

  6. You ask, \have you seen anyone describe the vetting process?\

    As a matter of fact, I have. Your State Department have a lengthy description of the process on their website: Background Briefing on Refugee Screening and Admissions, which is a lengthy briefing they gave to journalists on November 17th. It seems a pretty thorough process.

    You will note that \Senior Administration Official One\ comments \And I also think there’s a lot of misinformation out there on the blogosphere, because I find that I’m correcting a lot of false information that has been passed to them from people who are unfamiliar with the program – things like the idea that the United Nations selects who comes to the United States. It’s not true. \

    In what way do you say the procedures they describe are notably deficient?

    Can you please direct me to where \American security and military officials are saying there is no reliable way to vet the refugees\?

    I ask because, as far as I can make out, this is a canard based on the fact someone agreed there is no way to be certain that someone is not, in fact, a terrorist. That’s perfectly true, just as it’s true that there no way to be certain that someone purporting to visit the USA as a tourist does not, in fact, have some nefarious purpose in mind.

    That does not, however, prevent the USA from allowing citizens of many countries, including France and Belgium, from where all the Paris terrorists so far identified came, as tourists without even requiring them to obtain visas, and very few of them go on to commit serious crimes while visiting the US. Would-be refugees from Syria certainly undergo a far more rigorous system of checking than that.

    On a general point, since it takes about 18 months to 2 years to complete the US screening procedures, do you not think that someone from ISIS would need to be a remarkably good actor to escape detection not just by the multiple US agencies investigating him but also by the other inmates of the refugee camp, amongst whom he must live every day and who will hate ISIS like poison?

    • The comment section here starts squeeze these responses into narrow columns. So, I’ll start a new chain here: http://blog.nalates.net/2015/11/18/will-love-stop-isis/#comment-170163

      I didn’t see where you answered my question as to how you would defend yourself in a restaurant… it was more than rhetorical.

  7. So, you have seen the process described and you seem to think it will work. Look at the answer I gave Ricco Saenz http://blog.nalates.net/2015/11/18/will-love-stop-isis/#comment-170157 on how the vetting process works… basically can’t work.

    You will note in Time and WSJ the process is described and number other sources are describing that the UN does the first vetting and then countries take from that pool of refugees.

    The State Dept spokes people are saying what they have been told to say. The ‘classified’ part of the vetting is obviously a part of the current administration’s transparency effort. (Yeah, I’m being sarcastic.) While it is legitimate to have parts of the process secret to trip up combatants trying to pass as refugees, Congress, both Dem and Repub sides, are protesting as the current process is inadequate, thus the bill to stop the process until Congress is convinced the administration can actually vet Syrians. So, if Congress is being informed, we will have to take what they are saying about the process being inadequate as fact. Yes, politics are involved. But, both sides seem to have an agenda, neither of which are completely beneficial to the citizens.

    Those saying we cannot vet Syrians:
    * FBI director James Comey – http://dailycaller.com/2015/10/21/fbi-director-admits-us-cant-vet-all-syrian-refugees-for-terror-ties-video/
    * High-level administration officials – https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/federal-eye/wp/2015/11/17/senior-obama-officials-have-warned-of-challenges-in-screening-refugees-from-syria/ – includes Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. And note they point out here the refugee vetting process starts with the U.N. High Commissioner.
    * Number of sources – http://nypost.com/2015/11/19/new-york-cant-risk-taking-in-syrian-refugees/ – includes House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul. Additionally: the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies found that 13 percent of Syrian refugees support ISIS .

    As to France, Belgium, and Greece passports… we have seen what happened in France. Plus almost daily now we are seeing ISIS and Al-Queda attacks in various countries. Their goal is to disassemble western society. We see Syrian travelers with stolen, fake, and legitimate passports that are ISIS jihadists. So, visas too are a problem. But, are you pointing to another problem that puts people at risk as a justification for allowing another problem?

    That very few visa people create a problem is true. But, if I tell you, here is 100 grapes. Two contain a deadly poison and will kill you if you eat them. How many of the grapes do you want to eat? If there is a motivation on your part to eat the grapes, how carefully are you going to check them out? That is the point here. As of now those without an agenda to bring refugees in are unconvinced the poison grapes cannot be detected and thus are refusing to eat ANY. Isn’t that rational?

    It is true that anyone wanting to visit the USA may have legitimate reasons for visiting. But, historically enemies have always tried to infiltrate (Trojan Horse). So, we have vetting processes for visas. With modern countries that allow us to run criminal and military record checks and keep good records it works well. With countries that have good laws, enforce them and have people that adhere to and believe in the rule of law the checks are few. But, has one worlders try to eliminate borders we can no longer know who is in a country or that they have assemalated and adopted a belief system compatible with the countries core valies. As 9-11 showed our system in 2001 was not working. Things have changed. ISIS has stated they are going to send more ISIS combatants to the USA and European countries to destroy them. Killing people is a prime and popular tactic.

    Muslims in general do NOT assimilate or adopt the core values of a country. Free speech, freedom to worship or not, gender equality, freedom of sexual preference, and most of our basic freedoms run counter to Muslim doctrine. In many cases the Quran is teaching that those exercising such freedoms should be stopped by conversion, subjugation, or killed.

    As to having to be a good actor, no they don’t. Do you think refugees are in a controlled environment like Gitmo, where they are observed 24-7? They are in chaotic refugee camps. It is a bureaucracy that is vetting them by observation. We know how poorly bureaucracies work. Consider. Were the Boston Bombers hiding the fact they didn’t like American ideals and freedom? We have an open and tolerant society, which ISIS and other fundamental Muslims are trying to destroy and put under Islamic Law. They aren’t hiding that or their hate for the western society. It is not going to be hard for a ISIS combatant to mix in with the refugees or fool the ‘specially’ trained refugee interviewers. As I wrote to Ricco, expect the combatants to be trained too.

  8. In pointing to Wahhabism you run into the problem of too many people having a limited understanding of the interactions in Arabic culture and Muslim sects. And the political biases of Kamel Daoud. To class all the Saudi Royal family as homogeneous is a mistake. The big problem is understanding what and who the ‘Royal’ family is. To unite the kingdom King Saud (I forget which) was reported in the Guinness World Records to have slept (married?) with 72,000 virgins all Saudi and impregnated most. (Had an interesting explanation of how this feat was accomplished logistically.) You’ll have to get a print addition prior to 1990 as that interesting tidbit is not consider complimentary to the Royal Family and has thus disappeared from the current records. The family may have influenced Guinness. But, the record is in the older books and we know what a stickler Guinness was for proof.

    So a huge portion of the Saudi population is consider ‘Royal’. Considering the family’s beliefs as homogeneous is a mark of misunderstanding the family and what it is, a common western mistake even among those we expect to or should know better. This is a good measure for deciding which so called ‘authorities’ actually know what they are talking about or authors that hope we don’t know better.

    Al Baghdadi, the Daesh leader, is believed to be Iraqi and was educated in Baghdad a Sunni strong hold. There are those that point to Saudi Arabia and claim there is a Fatwa Valley. But, that assumes far more unity in Saudi Arabia than exists and ignores how Iran, Syria, Yemen, and other countries have contributed. Westerners tend to think in terms of nationalities. Muslims have no nationality other than Islam and their particular brand of Islam.

    Al Qaeda is Sunni and regards Shiites as heretics. Hamas is Sunni. Depending who you read they either avow or publicly deny any affiliation with a sect. Hezbollah generally denies any affiliation other than Muslim. So, those pushing the idea the Wahhabis are the most violent may just be working to split them off as a US ally. Notice which Muslim sects are most in the news for mounting attacks. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see through these claims and decide who is actually dealing in facts verses pushing an agenda or just ignorant.

    The Left loves to blame Bush and the Iraqi war for starting the Jihad. But, the Jihad started in the 1950’s with the birth of the Muslim Brotherhood. Most of today’s terrorist organizations can be traced back to it by tracking various founding leaders early affiliations. The Brotherhood was founded in Egypt. So, those that push the “Bush’s fault” line are easily identified as having an agenda or lacking an education in what’s going on in the Muslim world.

    You seem to be claiming that until these misunderstandings are believed and adopted we can’t stop the Jihad. I am saying in 65 years that type of thinking has not worked and people need to understand the reality of what is happening, if we are to have any chance of combating jihadists.

    In 1950 we were not bombing and creating the Muslim Brotherhood and the foundation of the current Jihad. You can try to run the blame game and point to the USA, Israel, and Europe’s actions as the cause for people turning to Jihad against the west. But, those arguments are defeated by the Muslim Brotherhood’s founder telling us why he formed the organization and ISIS/Daesh, Hamas, PLO, Iranian, and other Muslim leaders telling us why they are waging Jihad. No matter what we did or did not do, they would be coming after us.

    While the Left likes to say fighting causes more fighting I think I effectively showed that is not true in the article. So, those pushing this line reveal they lack knowledge of what is going on, why war is fought, or have an agenda. I think they lack a connection to history and reality and go with emotional over rational thought.

    Villepin and Daound are not putting things in perspective. They appear to be in a dream world. You seem to lack an understand of the atrocity war and why they are fought. Yes, they do create refugees. The smart people run because they know what is coming. Civilian and military people are killed. It creates hatreds. BUT… the sooner a war is over the sooner people can go home and resume a peaceful life. We just got there in Iraq then Obama broke it by withdrawing.

    Consider the result of WWI and WWII. After WWI there was no nation building. There were issues of hate. Things were a mess and Europeans were abusing the Germans. Twenty something years later we had WWII. Germany, Italy, and Japan were bombed mercilessly and a nuke was used to bring Japan to its knees and stop the fighting. Do Americans, Italians, Japanese, and Germans hate one another? No. So, the basic claim of creating hate is historically proven false and the motivation for nation building revealed.

    Only 7% of Germans were Nazi in WWII. Only some small percentage of Muslims are radical. The majority of Iraqis were glad we killed and pushed out the radicals. They know war will be hell and friends/family will die. But, if nothing is done they likely will anyway. These Iraqi people were smart enough to know what had to happen. While the Left denies it, the majority of Iraqis were glad to see the radicals gone and be protected by US forces. Obama leaving has likely caused more hate than the war.

    The basic international cause of war is one country/group attacking another for a reason. Historically 7% of all wars were religious and 4% of all wars (57% of religious wars) were started by Muslims. The west is being attacked by Muslim Radicals. What are we supposed to do? Tweet!! It is just awesome that Hillary claims a major achievement as getting the State Dept on Twitter. I feel so safe. NOT.

    Those that do not know history and fail to understand the motivations of their enemy push the idea of understanding how disadvantaged they are and their poverty… Those people that believe them have not realized the leaders of the radical movements are not poor, uneducated, or disadvantaged. Nor are most of those entering the Jihad. They are doing GOD’s work. Those pushing the ‘not understanding’ agenda have no clue what reality is. They want people to believe their idea of what is going on.

    But, Muslim Radicals hate everyone that is not Muslim or the right kind of Muslim. What the Fatwa Valley pushers don’t know or ignore is that the more powerful side of the Saudi family intends to convert us by peaceful means. The less powerful members like the idea of war better and are into just killing us and taking our country. It’s simple enough.

    That ‘kill them’ thinking is inherent in Islam. It is not a religion of peace. Study the Quran. Read what it teaches. It is a framework for a theocratic political system to rule the world by whatever means possible and lays out the strategy. The leaders like Baghdadi and Ahmadinejad have made it clear they want Armageddon to come in their life time. While some Muslims are more patient it is the less patient that are winning the ideological battle.

    • First, I wouldnt’s say Kamal Daoud is classing all the Saudi Royal family as homogeneous. Yes, the family has thousands and thousands of members, but from that, it’s just a certain part – still big, but not like half of the population of Saudi Arabia – holds power. Besides that, he acknowledges that there are serious disputes in the groups that hold power. Still, I agree that there is some simplification there. Especially if one realizes that the Saudi power holders, being allied to the US and having not only sided, but also having called for US intervention during the Gulf War against Iraq, caused a serious erosion in the Wahhabi ranks.

      Wahhabism and the Muslim Brotherhood intensified its ties when (1) a number of Muslim Brothers left Egypt after the organization was held responsible for a series of political assassination plots and (2) the USSR invaded Afghanistan. The Gulf War in 1990 caused the Brotherhood and the Wahhabi mainstream to grow apart – but the ties of the Brotherhood and Saudi groups went further than that, they did not restricted themselves to the ties with the Wahhabi mainstream. Money continued to flow directly from there and from connections that passed by there.

      So, yes, we can make the analysis more complex. And based on that, you say that one \assumes far more unity in Saudi Arabia than exists and ignores how Iran, Syria, Yemen, and other countries have contributed. Westerners tend to think in terms of nationalities. Muslims have no nationality other than Islam and their particular brand of Islam.\ So, let’s see, the Saudi Royal family is not a homogeneous entity, ok; Al Baghdadi is believed to be Iraqi, ok (and I assumed you said so to point that there may not be direct link there between him and Saudi Arabia); but, then, Iran, Syria, Yemen are all united to finance ISIS? The same ISIS that is fighting Assad’s forces in Syria and that maintains a rivalry towards Iran? So, the Saudi Royal family is internally diverse but the rest of the Muslim world is all united? Even when fighting each other?

      The same can be asked about the second part of your observation: so Muslims have no nationality other than Islam and their particular brand of Islam. I agree that nationalities may have been too obviously forged in the Middle East (though actually it was not a natural thing anywhere, it had to be built as an active project, and Eric Hobsbawm and Benedict Anderson have interesting studies about it). Nonetheless, now their allegiances are above all other kinds of \nationalities\, in the name of Islam? So why did the Sauds, for instance, fought the Otoman Empire, if they were all Muslims?

      Then, you concede that there are allegiances related to each particular branch of Islam. Indeed, there are Sunni allegiances and Shia allegiances. But then, Iran, which is Shia, is now supporting ISIS, which is Sunni?

      The thing is: probably the Left has an agenda and is trying to push it, but the Right has its own agenda, too. When someone is an ally, it says: don’t blame them, the situation is more complex (and it may be true); when they are not allies, it says: they are all the same, no matter if they are fighting between themselves.

      • You still are speaking about Muslims, especially radicals, as if they are mostly concerned about nationality. They are mostly concerned about Islam.

        When you ask, “Nonetheless, now their allegiances are above all other kinds of \nationalities\, in the name of Islam? So why did the Sauds, for instance, fought the Otoman Empire, if they were all Muslims?” you seem to see Muslims as a homogeneous religion, but you also point out sects as being different in other places. You seem inconsistent on these points.

        OPEC has never been able to actually control the price of oil. Only when the USA for whatever reason decides not to produce oil can OPEC even come close. But, until recently they could have controlled price in the face of US production if the Arabs countries could have cooperated. For decades Arab/Muslim unity has been a joke in the west.

        Muslims are only required to tell the truth or adhere to an agreement when dealing with other ‘true believers.’ This makes it easy for them to play other Muslims of other sects and propagandize citizens that ‘those guys’ have it wrong so screw ‘em and take their stuff.

        Muslims have almost always fought other Muslims. Iran is fighting Daesh in Syria. Daesh is taking Iraqi oil that Iran wants.

        The thing is: probably the Left has an agenda and is trying to push it, but the Right has its own agenda, too. When someone is an ally, it says: don’t blame them, the situation is more complex (and it may be true); when they are not allies, it says: they are all the same, no matter if they are fighting between themselves.” Agendas do exactly what you say. But, there is a truth under it all.

        The truth I have tried to get to is that while Daesh and Saudi oppose each other, they have the same religious goals. The methods of getting there are the friction point. Daesh wants it now. The Saudis are of the opinion that if you attack the west militarily we will retaliate. Patience will win, frog in a pot, hare and turtle.

        At some point western people will get feed up and flatten the Middle East. Daesh is pushing us closer to retaliation figuring Obama is; on their side, too stupid to realize what is happening, a coward, or God will hold his hand back making him impotent. In Arabic culture action is strength and a sign God is on your side. The Saudis understand the old saying of let a sleeping dog lie.

        Islam is not actually a religion but a theological political system. Its goal is world domination. In WWII Japan had a divine emperor. Now Daesh is claiming to have the foretold Caliph that is the representative of God and Mohammed. That means the Saudi king and other Muslim rulers should give allegiance to Daesh. Fortunately for the west that isn’t going to happen.

        We have to fight an ideology that most western people don’t understand. So, we are losing and politicians can propagandize and run their agendas.

  9. I’m sorry, I hadn’t realised that expected an answer to your rather odd — to my mind — question about what I’d do if someone came into a restaurant and attacks people at my table with a machete. It’s not one to which I’ve ever given much thought.

    It seems such a remote possibility — well down on the list from being involved in a road traffic accident on my way to the restaurant or back home, or mugged, and even down on the list from being the victim of a bomb attack on the tube (which, as it happened, I quite narrowly escaped on July 7, 2005 (a good friend was not so fortunate, though she was not, thank God, badly injured).

    I honestly don’t see, though, what that’s got to do with refugees. I’ve lived with the threat of terrorism for almost all my adult life, first from Irish republicans (who have always been able enter the country freely, from either NI or the Republic, assuming they’re not resident on the Mainland already) and more recently from extreme Islamists, who almost without exception have been been born here in the UK, or at least brought up here.

    It’s not worth losing sleep over, any more than it’s worth losing much sleep over whether I’m going to be run over by a bus or about the results of my next cancer check-up.

    From this side of the Atlantic, the US reaction seems bizarre, I’m sorry to say. What are you all so scared of? You are perfectly sanguine, it seems, about lunatics with guns marching into schools and murdering students and teachers every few weeks, it seems like, yet the arrival of some refugees who’ve spent the last 18 months to two years being vetted by several different US agencies seems to give everyone a fit of the vapours.

    As I keep on saying, if you want to be worried about anyone, worry about European passport-holders entering the USA as tourists.

    As to the vetting process and comments about the lack of access to Syrian criminal records, I honestly wonder how people think asylum applications from citizens of other countries are handled.

    I mean, pretty much by definition, if someone turns up asking for asylum, he’s not likely to be trying to get away from a country on which the USA is on good terms. It’s hardly the case that, if someone from North Korea or Zimbabwe turns up in the USA seeking asylum, someone can get on the phone to the relevant authorities in Pyongyang or Harare and ask about his record, is it?

    I don’t know how the authorities do it in the USA but the way we vet asylum-seekers here in the UK is basically to keep on asking them detailed questions about their biography and the circumstances which have lead to their seeking asylum, over a year or so. Not only does this test their story’s consistency — inventions tend to fall apart under that level of scrutiny — but their account of where they say they lived and their experiences there can be (and are) cross-referenced against what’s known from other asylum seekers’ accounts.

    We in the UK had 15 years or so of people arriving at Dover, having been smuggled in on the back of a lorry, from Afghanistan and Iraq and asking for asylum, many of them successfully. We’ve had no trouble with them as yet that I know of, and our Immigration Service have never struck me as the best and the brightest. I’m sure your various agencies looking at Syrians’ applications can do at least as well as them.

    • I agree that such an event is perceived as a small probability. I am sure those going to the Casa Nostra cafe in Paris thought the same thing. My immediate point being that our perception of the odds is out of sync with a changing reality. Have you been in a traffic accident, a mugging? But you have almost been in a bomb attack. Doesn’t that indicate the odds for being caught in an attack are higher than you are thinking/suggesting?


      Since you have always lived with the risk of terror attacks, are you suggesting all countries should open their borders to refugees, of which 13% are supporters of Daesh with the stated goal of destroying western countries? Why would one do that?

      Most Americans think Europe has made mistakes in policy that are placing their citizens at risk. This Sunday Brussels is in lock down with citizens trapped in their homes. We see no reason to repeat those mistakes and we hope to stop our government from going down that road.

      I may be able to provide you some insight to the American reaction to Daesh laced refugees.

      First people coming in from Europe and other trusted countries are subject to much more examination than most people probably imagine… or maybe it is just that Americans believe they are. Also, those raised in Europe and other trusted countries have not been indiscriminately killing people on the scale that Muslims and especially Middle Eastern jihadists are.

      Americans see bringing Syrian refugees in as allowing a fifth column of the worst possible offenders to enter the country. They oppose it.

      In previous similar war scenarios Americans have NOT allowed refugees into our country. We provided safe places for them on their soil, or at least near it. America has already donated/spent $1.6 billion in Syria solely for humanitarian effort in 2015. That is government spending only and does not include NGO’s spending. It isn’t that we are uncaring. What we are is unwilling to place our children and families at any greater risk.

      We are at risk from any number of other entry points. We are unhappily living with that and feeling our government has sold us out. A majority of Americans are working to force the government to fix those problems and reduce risks from those channels. But, deliberately increasing that risk is unacceptable and Americans are rallying to resist.

      According to polls released this week a significant majority of Americans now believe Obama is damaging America (67%+) and disagree with his refugee plan (8?% – eighty something).

      We clearly hear Daesh saying they will attack us. We see Syrians that fit into the Syrian combatant demographic being caught coming into the country from numerous legal and illegal channels. Videos of refugees traveling in the Mediterranean and Europe show a unique scenario, a high number of young combat age single men traveling. As I look at previous refugee groups and I suspect others too see the children, women, and old fleeing with few young men of combat age in their numbers. Americans see that difference and look for why and the next obvious difference is Daesh, a ‘state’ at war with us. To us it looks like they are implementing their plan to populate the refugee population with combatants. We cannot understand why anyone would assist an invading army by inviting them in and paying for their transportation and housing.

      Your thinking seems to be, since we can’t know they are jihadies: let them in… or eat the grapes. Our thinking is, since we can’t know they are not jihadies and we are being told there are jihades among them, keep them out… don’t eat any grapes.

      We see European thinking as irrational and lacking compassion for their own citizens. We see no rational reason to increase the risk to our families when there are other ways to care for the refugees.

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