Sunday, June 20, 2004

Was Vlad the Impaler a Muslim?

Random thoughts:

Beheading a victim is a despicable and universal symbol of Victory combined with Humiliation. It's ancient and it's probably a hard-wired aversion.

In a world of 'images', the Islamic terrorists are trying to compete with the photos from Abu Ghraib prison, and doing a helluva job. ("We" set the bar pretty high, but they've shown that they can top anything.)

Oh, and they want you and I to react -- and to overreact.

A headless body and/or a body-less head is a powerful symbol, but it's hard to know what to take from it. Some want to surrender, some want to flee, some want to go all nuclear.

It's barbaric on one level (moral/taboo), sophisticated on another (marketing/propaganda),
and effective on any level.

The same book that contains "Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself" also counsels "An eye for an eye..."

Take yer pick, flip a coin, but either way, kiss your ol' culture good-bye.

We'll never be the same.

Faith-Based Initiatives: Beheadings & Wars

From the NY Times -

Acting on Threat, Saudi Militant Group
Kills Captive American
By Neil MacFarquhar

"CAIRO, June 18 -- A Saudi militant group said Friday that it had carried out its threat to execute a kidnapped American engineer, posting three grisly pictures of his beheaded corpse on a Web site before leaving the body in a remote neighborhood of the capital, Riyadh.

Within hours, Abdelaziz al-Muqrin, the leader of the group -- an offshoot of Al Qaeda that claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and a string of recent attacks on expatriates -- was killed in a firefight with Saudi security forces in downtown Riyadh, local press reports said.

...In Washington, the killing brought swift criticism from President Bush, who called it a "barbaric" act. Washington, Adel al-Jubeir, speaking for the [Saudi] government, said, "The people of Saudi Arabia are outraged by the cruel and cold-blooded murder of this innocent man."

...[a statement on the murderer's web site said]...the group was determined to humiliate all "polytheists until we establish a country of Islamic law and justice." This was a reference to their goal of driving all non-Muslims out of the Arabian peninsula and to undermining the ruling al-Saud dynasty.

...The statement threatened all Americans and their allies with a similar fate, saying the killing was a lesson for those in the kingdom.

...Mr. Jubeir, the Saudi spokesman, said ..."It is a terrible lie that the cowards who committed this inhumane act claim to be Muslim..."

...After the murder, discussion raged on Islamist Web sites whether such acts fell within accepted behavior in the religion. The country's senior clerics used their pulpits on Friday to condemn the violence, while other imams said it was a Muslim's duty to drive the infidels from the country.

== end of excerpt ==

Muslims are "debating" whether the beheading of an innocent man is justified by their religion. Sounds like somebody needs a new religion.

Shark's take:

1) We'll never win this "war" on terrorism;

2) "war" is probably not a good word; a war is between states with armies; one can either win or lose a war -- this is more of a battle, a battle that we'll be fighting for decades. (I predict that the central conflict of the 21st century will be the ongoing struggle between Islam and the West.)

3) The Saudi Monarchy is ripe for old cliches: "they're between a rock and a hard place, the chickens have come home to roost, the worm turns, and be careful what you wish for."

The Saudi "government" has to respond to their home-grown terrorists, who have now decided to turn against their previous masters, the Royal Family. If the Royals get any closer to the US, they'll further isolate and encourage the poor, disenfranchised in their country, who already show some 'support' for bin Laden and his agenda. If they don't respond hard/effectively enough, America will put more pressure, send more FBI/CIA, and make more demands on their security forces, which -- again, will "...further isolate and encourage the poor, disenfranchised in their country, who already show some 'support' for bin Laden and his agenda."

The Royal Saudis are in a LOSE-LOSE situation. Their time is limited. They will not survive pressure from militant Islam. It's only a matter of time.

4) No civilized nation can stomach the idea of a nut-bar facist theocracy of terrorists running the world's gas station. BTW: The FIRST interview given yesterday by a Republican Senator mentioned that this beheading, etc. was the signal for us to open the Arctic wilds for oil exploration. Not a FUCKNG WORD about conservation.

5) As I see it there are only two possible scenarios for the future:

a) An ongoing escalation, ending with violent, facist theocracies popping up all over the Middle East, (Saudi Arabia being the most critical because of their oil + our addiction) -- followed by military take-over the entire Middle East, occupation, and possibly explicit genocide of all males over a certain age. (Then we'll end up exactly where we are now in Iraq; a long occupation facing an incremental urban guerilla nightmare/"quagmire", not to mention becoming facist "barbarians" in the process.)

(Actually, I think the NEO-CONS might further their own long-term "plan" for the US EMPIRE by encouraging the above scenario (a) -- ie. Let the militant Islamic whackjobs take over Saudi Arabia, execute all the corrupt, Westernized males, including most, if not all, of the Royal Family, set up a "State" that we can actually fight a legitimate "war" against.)

That sounds a bit conspiratorial (I don't trust anybody these days, especially the Bush Administration's invisible puppet masters), but it could work. If you remember, that was one of the justificiations for the war in Iraq; get all the murderous Islamic roaches to move into the kitchen; that way, they're easier to exterminate... etc. etc.

b) A REFORM OF ISLAM - Judaism and Christianity had theirs; it's about time this barbaric, medieval "religion" was updated for a world of bipedal, domesticated primates who have opposing thumbs, cell phones, computers, and reality TV.

This religion badly needs a "Luther" to nail 95 theses to the door of Bin Laden's forehead -- or the Kabba -- wherever they think might be appropriate. One man needs to arise who has the intelligence, charisma, influence, and political skills to reform this dangerous, fucked-up religion. (Don't start with me on the 'racist' shit; any religion whose spiritual leaders have a quiet, "rational" debate about the value of beheading an infidel needs to be exterminated from the face of the earth. (BTW: I don't discriminate. My suggestion: eliminate ALL religions from the face of the earth, but some might think that's a tad harsh, although I would argue it might give us a slight chance to avoid extinction by the year 2100.)

Islam also needs a feminist uprising modeled on many western feminist movements, from suffragettes to bra-burners (they could light up the entire city of Riyadh on the darkest night by burning those tent-robes and medieval masks they wear!)

The women of Islam could do the world, their children, and the future of humankind some good by taking a clue from Lysistrada and cutting off their men from sex (under the black mobile tent) until the men agree to stop making war, killing innocent infidels, and finally allow them to drive cars and dress like Paris Hilton.

So Islam needs some reform, or -- dare I say what's on everybody elses' minds -- IT'S GOTTA GO, (get voted off the spinning blue carbon-based Island known as Earth).

The bad news: after The Reformation, a few decades of bloodletting had to take place before things settled down, which indicates that if Islam produced a reformer TOMORROW, it might be closer to the end of this century by the time the blood stopped flowing and Muslims started to be peaceful, corrupt --- and party-down like the rest of us.


I think the ultimate IRONY in all this: while we call for a more LIBERAL ISLAM, our own country is quickly drifting toward a more conservative, less tolerant, state-sanctioned form of FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIANITY.

I think... a species...