our relationship with Islam
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.
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.
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
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.
3) Adopt a general international policy of:
4) Set a good example
5) In a couple years,