911 + 5
our relationship with Islam

e mark the fifth anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Center with much hand-wringing and solemnity. The TV crews are out in force to capture every nuance of grief displayed. Of course, the regular visitors to this site understand that I regard this "show" as a form of masterbation and a peculiar one at that. Namely, that the American people have a mega-death fetish. That is, if 3000 people die in individual car accidents ... that's OK and normal. It requires no public eulogies for the dead. But if those 3000 die all in one place, it somehow becomes a stage into which God himself has dipped his immortal hand to stir our juices. Well, 3000 in one place or 3000 nicely spread out are all the same in the arena of significance. Understand that hundreds of thousands of human beings died that day as well from all manner of causes. So, I find the hand-wringing somewhat embarrassing. I don't watch all the 911 programs on TV because it just makes me mad at the Muslims ... and leads me to no justifiable philosophical conclusion. It's a good thing to hate somebody sometime ... air out those hate feelings ... but let's not get bogged down by it.

In the larger sense, I see that the present approach to Islam is misguided. For proof of this I will point to the resolution of the Cold War as a main model. Also, I just read a history of Texas (Passionate Nation - James Haley) and found Sam Houston to be an honorable and righteous "reformed lush" displaying genuine catholic behavior (please look up "catholic" in the dictionary before accusing me of religiosity ;o) ... so, I'd like to give you (what would be) his opinion on the matter. Lastly, I'd like to point out Cesar Milan (the Dog Whisperer) as displaying a workable model in this arena. Then, I'll give you my summation and suggestions on what we should really do in this particular situation.

The Cold War

I got to grow up in this thing. I did the "duck and cover" drill many times in elementary school and ... no ... I wasn't scared ... it was just the context in which I grew up ... as was Davy Crockett. The cold war ended not with a bang but with a whimper. It didn't die because Ronald Reagan confronted it on moral grounds (though this certainly finalized it). It died by practical interactions between the citizens of the USA and the Soviet Union. The concept of "detente" meant that tensions between were at all times to be lessened as much a possible ... not exacerbated. Hence, commerce flowed more freely, people traveled to there and they here ... and ... normal interactions took place. It is the accumulation of such interactions that determines the outcome of any long drawn out string of hostilities. If no one person "pulls the trigger", it is inevitable that the hostilities will be converted from a tidal wave (war) to many small ripples hardly felt (normal interactions).

Using the Cold War as a model, we should clearly do that which promotes normalcy as much as possible to facilitate an end to this conflict ... in the long run. I'm talking here three or four decades ... the time required for a new, untraumatized generation to take over.

Sam Houston

I originally thought that this guy was something of a coward having let loose Santa Anna after catching him at San Jacinto (bear in mind here that "Bad Santa" had butchered Fannin and his men and was without doubt guilty of severe war crimes sufficient to hang him on the spot). However, as I did not know the exact situation then, I found that I had been to quick to judge him wanting. In fact, Houston had defeated just a small portion of Santa Anna's army and needed the Generalissimo himself (a dictator) to use as a bargaining chip with which to force that remaining army (which was large enough to wipe out Houston's army) to decamp from Texas entirely ... which they did and Santa Anna was in time marched off to Washington DC.

There was a larger more general motive behind all the actions of Sam Houston. He was a "visionary" by which I mean ... he saw historic events "in the large". For him, everything fit into a grand picture ... and his big picture was of a free, peaceful country developing steadily into a normal culture ... and away from its (then present) "yahoo syndrome" of violence and highly irrational persecution-discrimination culture.

Time and again, he argued forcefully for tolerance of the huge differences in the disparate cultures then occupying Texas ... Tejanos, Indians, immigrants of every stripe and religion. Mostly, it would appear that he failed. But failure to achieve his highest goals did not mean that nothing at all was accomplished. By his ceaseless attempts to acquire just settlements in cultural disputes, he mitigated consequences. Because he did not give up, the minority of rational individuals in Texas, had a public voice ... and even-handed solutions to problems had "some" currency. There were less stupid deaths in Texas for his being there than there would have been otherwise ... and ... most importantly, it was OK to back up your rationality with a six-shooter when push came to shove which was just about all the time.

So, you know what his opinion would be today in the case of Islam. Mollify. Mollify. Mollify. Formulate solutions that are even-handed. When they don't work ... mollify, mollify ... form new even-handed solutions. Eventually, the problems would dissipate into a million little ripples and die out with reason (and civilization) winning ... in the long run.

Cesar Milan

Well, here is probably one of them most even-handed guys on the planet. (Maybe he beats his wife and kids on the weekend ... I don't know ... but I doubt it).

I recall once when I was 5 or 6 ... we had a dog named Shep. It was a regular mutt ... not too well behaved but frisky ... average size. One day, he bit one of my siblings. When my dad got home, he solved this bad behavior with a long chain by beating the dog vigorously. It yelped in terrible pain. The necessary effect was obtained ... he never bit anyone anymore. Was this the right thing to do? ... of course not ... but why not?

What would Cesar do?

For those who haven't seen this guy work on TV, he re-programs the owners who are inevitably the source of the problems in their dogs (sometimes they don't know how to deal with a problem dog they've "saved" from the pound and thus reinforce bad behaviors). He always does the same thing 1) Exercise 2) Discipline and Boundaries 3) only then ... Affection. Virtually all the people put the affection first and thereby confuse the dog-brain which Cesar explains is not a human ... "It's a dog not a person". Hence, you cannot treat a dog as your "child". He shows the owners how tro become the "pack leader" and usually he gets instantaneous results (within a few minutes) from just about any dog ... no matter how messed up it is, no matter how violent it is ... it just doesn't matter. The dogs obey Cesar because he completely understands the dog mentality and communicates what he calls his "calm, assertive energy" to the dog, i.e that he's the boss. Thus, they follow. He uses no undo force and still gets his way ... every time. The dog becomes "rational" in dog terms.

I submit that humans are no different than dogs in some respects. To get their obedience, one merely has to demonstrate "calm assertiveness", i.e. one must be demonstrably rational and convey that rationality to one's cultural opponent. You must be unequivically "in the right" in general human philosophical terms. Then you must assert your views calmly and assertively and you will then mollify any situation wherein the outgrowth of tensions comes from the culture itself. This wouldn't work for Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Russia or Hussein's Iraq or for any dictator who is not a genuine "outgrowth of his culture". Your calm and assertive position can only be applied to a culture as a whole that has gone wrong. It won't work on a culture that has a "disease" just as Cesar's approach will not work on a dog who's bad behavior is caused by a brain lesion. Get it?

What to do about Islam

1) Leave Iraq immediately
and let the Iraqis fend for themselves. They don't need a representative government that cannot last. The percentage of their population willing to support and fight for such a government is too low. Whatever we do will end up as a religious dictatorship just after we leave no matter when we leave. This is too bad for that small percentage who are willing to fight for their freedom ... they will be massacred by the full blown nut case majority soon after American support is lost. A harsh dictatorship is all that these people can handle on their own.

Note: Why is it necessary to help the people who are now released from their former bondage? Isn't release enough? It would be if they had a commitment to representative government ... but they simply don't. They are too primitive to stand as individuals and must be in a crowd ... each one leaning on the other for support. And the ones on the outside edge of the crowd will be fanatics with AK47s and bayonets to keep them in that formation. This is their only "self-supporting" option. Leave them to it.

2) Stop supporting Israel.
I don't mean to make enemies of them. Rather, they should be given no military hardware and no money unless they can acquire it by beggary, i.e. they must beg the American people for it on TV like any other charity case. Whatever they get ... that's it. We don't need these people to stabilize the Middle East. They just de-stabilize it with our funding. Let them have it out with the Palestinians. In the end, the Jews intend to kick them entirely out of their own country. They're already 75% there. Why do they need out assistance to kill the remaining Palestinians in Gaza? Let them do their own mass murder and own up to it. They are Hitler's legacy. They worship Hitler as a higher god than Moses. Let them become the object of their worship. Besides that ... they really don't have anything to worry about ... what with being God's Chosen People and such. Let Jehovah work in mysterious ways to save them. They absolutely don't need us ... unless their religion is as false as Islam or Christianity. Are there any Jews out there who think that their God can't take care of them?

3) Adopt a general international policy of:
"If we're not going to kill them all, we leave them alone." Engage in free trade with anybody with an organized government ... representative or dictatorship. It worked for Soviet Russia ... it will work everywhere else as well. Sooner or later, depending on the primitiveness of people they will come to see that they are better off standing up for themselves in a true representative government. Then their dictator is out and personal freedom is in ... all on their own timetable ... not ours. It may be centuries before these primitive people can support representative government. Till then we need only leave them alone and they will come around all by themselves because ... they are human beings too ... even if they behave like animals now.

4) Set a good example
to which the wise and honest might repair. We should retake the moral high ground by dint of our example rather than by religious fiat. Let us be a free country that doesn't interfere in the development of other countries whether they are currently going bad or good by our standards. After all, development by its nature has ups and downs. At the level of countries, the ups and downs seem to last in the several decades range. We must be willing to wait out these bad spells, stay on the high ground and offer moral support ... but not military support. Let other people make their own mistakes ... then ... when the get it right ... it will stick. We are out of the war business in case you haven't noticed. We can no longer get into a situation where its a battle to the death. This is because we possess the crude ability to lay waste to the entire earth's surface ... killing virtually every man-jack on the planet. There is simply no one to be terminally afraid of and that's been the case for over half a century now. Let it go.

5) In a couple years,
when things begin to calm down, remove the stupid air travel restrictions that are an embarrassment to civilization. If we keep going as we are, it will end up ... hmmmmm ... yes, you will end up ... and some government employee with an endoscope will check your anus and/or vagina for "plastique" before you board your flight. After all, as I've said before, it's still easy to blow up an airliner if you're willing to ...

blow your ass to kingdome come