Mosul is falling to Iraqi insurgents


#321

There are Muslims who say that Islamism is not Islam, as well.

Honestly, I don’t really buy it - the core values are the same, just twisted.


#322

It has. I mentioned it earlier, though I didn’t call Uganda by name. But yes, it’s something worth mentioning again.


#323

This is probably the best example of Christian extremism influencing a nation’s laws that’s out there right now.

It interesting though – people commonly label it as US “exporting” extremism, but I’m not sure that the label fits as well as we’d like to believe. To be sure, the stomach-churning anti-gay laws in Uganda have been directly influenced by US missionaries… to the point where they probably would not exist if not for the US persons pushing them.

But is it actually “exporting”? There are no similar US laws, and if there ever have been any (e.g., jailing people for being gay), then they are long gone. The anti-gay attitudes that the laws reflected are certainly present in a small percentage of the US populace, but it’s a far, far minority. You commonly see numbers close to 50-50 for gay rights in the US, but they are a little misleading since they are almost always referring specifically to gay marriage, still a charged issue (also a bit dated since more recent polls show support for gay marriage near 60-40 in 2014). If you ask the question “should being gay be illegal” or something similar, I wager you’d get positive responses somewhere down in the single digits.

So anyway, I’m not arguing that those ideas didn’t have their genesis in US persons or fundamentalist US Christian culture. It’s a nit, but I’d say that this is really “exiling” of Christian extremist views out of the US and into one of the few places where those toxic ideas can still flourish (Russia being another I guess). Really, those missionaries are hoping against hope that they can re-import those ideals back into the US where they have largely been uprooted.


#324

I suppose if you wanted to you could say rather than the US exporting, its Scott Lively himself (although most of the groups you’d expect, like the FRC, are supporting it in some way or another). More of an “international arms-dealer” sort of thing rather than “state-sponsored”. He and his don’t have the power (whew!) to go all Seven Mountains on the US, so they’re taking their show overseas.


#325

Probably another viewpoint that hasn’t been discussed yet?

‘Another war in Iraq won’t fix the disaster of the last’:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/13/war-in-iraq-yazidis-aid-military-intervention


#326

The ****?

Without aid, there’s a decent chance the Kurds would have been pushed back (they’re now, WITH aid, on the offensive). Where does he think they’d go?

There is already a war in Iraq. And we should act against the IS.


#327

Do the math (as you say in the USA). More ‘brown’ people (mostly Muslims i suspect) have been killed by your radical Christians. The FEAR of the radical Islamist is important and a growing issue, because we have made it so by our actions. And that is exactly how it was planned to pan out. The War On Terror was always a war about spreading terror (across the globe where we Christians do the large scale killing, and at home in our countries were the radical Islamist is yesterdays commie under the bed), because it is good for business.

Just do the math Olaf, math never lies.

This is not saying radical Islam is not a thing, because clearly since the foundation of the Muslim brotherhood and the writing of people like Sayyid Qutb in the 1940’s to 1960’s, it became a very real thing, and most recommended viewing is the series of films ‘The Power of Nightmares’ as it covers many of the reasons Islam became radicalized in the modern era.

Ultimately the people ‘winning’ out of all this are our arms industries, and that is what it is all about. Everything else is, sadly, just semantics to that issue.


#328

I’d like to see your math on this Zak. I just stated my opinion on this one a page earlier: if you are talking people killed by radical religious people here, you have to expand your definition of “radical Christian” to include pretty much every American soldier in order to achieve parity in this century…

… but I guess that’s what you’re saying here, right? Western military-industrial complex == radical Christian?


#329

Do the math (as you say in the USA). More ‘brown’ people (mostly Muslims i suspect) have been killed by your radical Christians.

I find this extremely hard to believe, given that almost all of the deaths in Iraq were caused by radical Islamic extremists. Who exactly are these radical Christians, and where are they killing everyone? Cause I’m pretty sure radical muslims have killed way more muslims than anyone else has.


#330

Historically speaking, extremists of any stripe are the ones who generally commit atrocities. That’s because non-extremists adhere to societal norms, like “don’t kill people just because they’re different than you.” Also, people whose mindsets have strayed so far from mainstream are also more susceptible to manipulation because there are few to no established touchstones of rationality where they’ve ventured. It’s just bad news all around.

There’s nothing inherently more violent about Islam than there is about Christianity, but rather it’s just where the pendulum has currently swung in terms of social movements, and therefore you have a lot more violent extremists who happen to be of that faith at the moment. Step back to the Crusades, and you have a very different group to blame for the bloodshed. Heck, go back not too far in the history of the US, and you’ll have some extremist Christian groups which took a heavy toll in loss of life and terrorist acts, like the KKK (and for anyone who reflexively says “they aren’t Christian,” remember that’s the way most Muslims feel about ISIS, et al).

Extremist groups will always be there, because there’s always a fringe to society. However, they gain strength largely through periods of suffering - whether it’s after losing wars, plagues, economic disasters, or anything else that comes our way. People feel powerless against these huge forces, and one of the (maladaptive) ways to cope with that is to blame something more tangible than the concept of “sometimes life just sucks.” As a metaphor, think of how many people express hate for their bosses, when it’s often driven from a dislike of their job and the feeling that they’re stuck in it (although some bosses are certainly worthy of despising, don’t get me wrong).

Anyway, just saying that “Islamic extremists” are the bigger threats than “Christian extremists” right now is certainly true (despite what Zak says), but it doesn’t have a lot more meaning than remarking on the weather - it’s something that has changed in the past and will change in the future, and forecasting it is sometimes only a little more accurate than flipping a coin. The common enemy regardless of scenario is twofold: hardship and human nature. We’re pretty much stuck with who we are, but hardship is something that at least people can rally around. So relieving the pressure on the people of Gaza would hopefully disenfranchise Hamas and show them more clearly to everyone as the thugs and terrorists that they really are. Unfortunately, that’s such a delicate operation that it’s easily said but very difficult to pull off without presenting tremendous risks to everyone else, both in terms of potential loss of life and in political cost - something which matters, as it can indirectly lead to even larger scale suffering if things go terribly awry. EMpowering the people in Iraq would hopefully have a similar reaction against ISIS.


#331

Cite? I recall the current estimates are around half a million dead, and we were the ones with the big guns.


#332

Does anyone here watch vice news? They recently did a piece on this very subject, from the perspective of ISIS, or as they like to be called, The Caliphate. I found it both interesting and terrifying. 42 mins long, and at the end of it I was considering if genocide was a good thing or a bad thing.


#333

Radical Christianity is a thing of the past. Comparing historical crimes or theoretical crimes to actual crimes is intellectually dishonest. Radical islam demands a stronger response than its getting currently. Sadly I don’t think the world will get the message until some band of evil assholes sets off a nuke somewhere.

edit:

And it seems like some of you are putting US military inflicted casualties in the radical Christianity column…thats a scoring error. While its fair to call the US a Christian country, I don’t think its fair or accurate to say the US fights wars on behalf of Christianity. I don’t think that has ever been the case, let alone now. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were far from religious crusades and the US military bent over backwards to avoid insult to islam during those conflicts, pathetically so IMO.


#334

The thing is, what does this actually mean? The logical approach to any given situation is to handle it as threat X with capability Y gets response Z. Is there some special treatment that should be given if it’s threat X(Islamic)?


#335

They are related, but really our military business is agnositc. What tends to happen is religion is used to motivate public and political opinion, to ensure profits continue. No US President will get elected that stands against this ‘money’. It’s the way of our world.

Yes exactly, and do not forget a lot of the supposed Muslim on Muslim violence is initiated by us, be it mosque bombing etc. We have quite a history of these kind of black ops, and there is a reason Iraq is the destabilized quagmire it now is, we’ve directly made it to be so this time around, because war = money.

Olaf, well i suppose you are atleast consistently racist vs Islam and muslims. Can you concede there is such a thing as a peaceful Muslim not out to eat american babies? That would be a start :)

Did you forget ‘that’ american officers training program, you know the one that encourage hatred against Muslims? It was quite infamous for a brief while, but it also shows that radical Christianity (i have no other way to describe it) is deeply ingrained all through the American military. Most American soldiers (officers and grunts) believe they are doing ‘Gods work’ by bombing and killing civilians (any number of those docu-films around the Iraq or Afghanistan wars will show you this ‘on the ground’).

heck even elements of Britain’s army, while not close to radical Christianity, are ‘twisted’ enough to get involved in all that Gitmo/Abu Ghraib stuff. I certainly never saw those kind of levels of ‘sickness’ when i was serving, but i had heard stories about the Falklands conflict and taking ears from the dead, so i know that all armies have people within them capable of forgetting the Genevra Convention and Rules of Engagement when ‘required’.

Radical Christianity is from the past, but is alive and well across American society, be it in growing racism at home, or in your Armed Forces and Police Forces, all the way to the top of Government and being a ‘good’ credential to have a pop at the White House (see Bush and Sarah Palin for examples in action). It is intellectually dishonest of you to try to dismiss it as not being a thing, when clearly it is front and center of your society and it’s foreign policies. Even if it is just being used as a vehicle to achieve required ends, it does not make it any less of a threat to peace and stability around the globe.

Is it a greater threat than radical Islam? maybe? It certainly has the capacity for greater levels of destruction and violence when unleashed. Both are Evil™ off course and both will not offer their followers a path into heaven.


#336

There’s an argument to be made that the Iraq war was a Christian war in the sense that neoconservative thought was couched in Manifest Destiny, which flows all the way back to religious exceptionalism. The execution of the war was normal military but the kickoff probably had more than a little White Hippie Jesus informing it.


#337

I do remember “that” training program. I also remember the the branch of the military whose Inspector General program investigated and dismantled it, the officers whose carrers were ended because they ran it, etc. Where there is smoke there tends to be fire, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that a tiny puff is indicative of a raging inferno.

You know, if you believe this, there is likely nothing I or anyone else can do to persuade you otherwise. If you spent any time around actual professional military people (there are a few million of them between the US and the UK) instead of cherry picking “docu-films” I doubt you could sustain such a belief for more than a couple minutes.

I’m not sure what to make of you Zak. Your posts occasionally allude to being well-traveled and worldly, but then you make naive statements sometimes that make it seem like you’ve never spoken to anyone outside a tiny circle of like-minded friends.

This is a good example. Racism is absolutely a thing that US persons obsess about constantly. But “growing”? Really? Don’t mistake talking about it more than we used to for increased incidences.

Furthermore, trying to conflate Christianity and racism in America is a tough row to hoe. Despite the noisy but ever-shrinking white evangelical minorities, white Christians are generally less-observant and less conservative than black or Hispanics, and many a predominantly-white church have tried to make up for their dwindling white parishioners by catering to minorities. Now racists often use religious justifications (e.g., the KKK), and I’m sure you could dig up some small churches hither and yon across the US that have bigoted practices, but mainstream US religions have to be colorblind to survive.

As for politics… yes. Some 80% of Americans are vaguely Christian, so the chances of a Jewish, Muslim or (openly) atheist Chief of State are pretty unlikely in the near future. Of course for every GW Bush you cite, I can point to a Clinton or Obama that are essentially non-religious. And remember that the US came uncomfortably close to electing a Mormon president; this is a religious sect that the US government actively warred against 150 years ago. And I’m not sure you’d find anyone who thinks that Palin’s religious views helped her more than they hurt.

Of course it’s a thing. No one has claimed it’s not a thing. The religious and ethical beliefs of the people who produce a democratically-elected government will necessary bleed over into that nation’s policies. That’s actually the goal of democratic processes.

What we (or at least I) am finding hard to parse are your scatter-shot attempts to tie all US actions to each and everything that you find objectionable in America (which appears to be a LOT). Lots of Iraqis died in the last ten years, and just in this thread you have blamed it entirely on (depending on the post): US hunger for oil, the US military-industrial complex, US racism, or US radical Christianity.


#338

Yeah, I don’t think there’s any evidence of racism growing in America. It seems to be withering more and more every year.


#339

It isn’t dying off as fast as we all hoped, but it sure as hell isn’t growing. Look at what was acceptable in even the 80’s versus now.


#340

I think that what is happening is that we’re much more aware of even relatively low level and isolated outbreaks of racism, thanks to the pervasive media coverage of everything in our lives, and the ubiquity of social media. A few decades ago, there was a lot more overt racism, but if it happened in Podunk, Ohio, no one knew or cared, outside of Podunk. Now, it’s on Twitter, Facebook, LiveLeak, etc. as it happens. So we hear a lot more about what is probably a much less prevalent phenomenon.