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MY PERSPECTIVE: UNDERSTANDING THE MIDDLE EAST (Updated)

UPDATE: 12-28-08  IRAN'S LEADER ISSUES A FATWAH - AND MAY RECEIVE MORE THAN HE BARGAINED FOR!

From Reuters ...

"Iran's Supreme Leader issued a religious decree to Muslims around the world on Sunday, ordering them to defend Palestinians in Gaza against Israeli attacks 'in any way possible,' state television reported."

"Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also declared Monday a day of public mourning in Iran after Israel killed more than 280 Palestinians in two days of air strikes on Gaza. 'All Palestinian combatants and all the Islamic world's pious people are obliged to defend the defenceless women, children and people in Gaza in any way possible,' Khamenei said. 'Whoever is killed in this legitimate defence, is considered a martyr,' he said in a statement."

Perhaps Khamenei should issue a warning to those who fire rockets amid defenseless women, children and people in Gaza. Or perhaps set the Islamic world's pious people on the road to peace.

UPDATE: 12-28-08  BOTTOM LINE: PALESTINIANS, YOU ASKED FOR THIS!

What did the Palestinian people think would happen if they continued to allow Hamas to continually fire unguided missiles into Israel at civilians? What did they believe that other Arab leaders were saying when they asked Hamas to stop the continual provocation of Israel? And what did they think was going to happen when the terrorists hide among the civilian population and fire their weapons?

To those who are wailing and slapping their head -- perhaps instead of vowing revenge and demanding more violence -- perhaps they should ask Allah why this happened and why are they not seeking peace by removing the terrorists among them?

And, considering that there is an election in Israel, are they so stupid as to not realize that this will produce a hard-line political stance which is likely to result in greater restrictions.

Again, can you think of any people who refuse all international help and continue to live in circumstances of their own making?

Original blog entry ...

From my perspective, the nations in the Middle East operate under a simple set of rules.

One, the Muslim culture, as currently practiced in the Middle East and  in spite of the Western myth of the moderate Muslim, demands that one “be of the faith” or submit to those who “are of the faith.” There is no tolerance for other religions – to the point of severe and often fatal punishment for anything the religion considers blasphemy. Muslims have appealed to the United Nations to denounce, or better yet criminalize, anti-Muslim sentiment.

Two, Muslims ONLY respect force and the will to use it. They regard everyone that is not of their religion as weak and without the protection of Allah.

Three, Muslims are allowed to say or do anything to promote their religion. And I do mean anything, including killing, raping, lying, cheating and stealing. Anything as long as it does not involve a righteous fellow Muslim.

Four, the culture is borne of battle and death in the defense of the religion is not only honored, but a desirable outcome of battle. The more enemy you kill, the happier Allah will be.

Fifth, under Islam, cease fires and truces are ONLY acceptable as interludes to re-arm and re-group.

Sixth, the Western concept that the Muslim religion has been hijacked by a group of evil clerics for their own purposes is totally bogus. The religion remains mostly unchanged since the 12th Century and that modern behavior parallels behavior in past times – only the weapons and methodologies have changed.

Seventh, Israel is a clear and present danger to all Muslim states – not because of their religious differences, but because they are an obvious example of how the different cultures can co-exist and thrive – without the monarchy and in a democratic fashion. Remember, Arabs are openly welcome in Israel and treated with the respect accorded all Israeli citizens.

Eighth, those born into the monarchy or their friends will do or say anything to preserve their status and wealth – as well as to avoid an outright revolt based on the people’s shabby treatment while the so-called royals live the good life. Even places like Dubai, allegedly the gold coast of the Middle East, have repressive customs and do not tolerate something as simple as a public kiss between a couple on a beach.

Ninth, the American Constitution allows militant Muslims to use the “freedom of religion” against us as they fundraise and talk of jihad in mosques mostly funded by those in Saudi Arabia.

And tenth, and most controversial, is that much of the conflict may be inspired mullahs and carried out by sexually-repressed teenagers and young men who have little or no outlet to occupy their time. 

The Religion of Peace …

This is a publicity campaign waged in an Orwellian world where up is down, left is right, black is white and right is wrong.  How can the “Religion of Peace” continue to hurl rockets into neighboring sovereign states? How can the “Religion of Peace” not put down their weapons and simply accept the help of their neighbors to rebuild their land?

To my way of thinking, the Religion of Peace is a crock: they don’t want peace – their leaders want to live in their opulent and respected lifestyle, protected by 12th century laws which simply allows them to control all human rights and kill any dissenters at will.

So I have no sympathy for those who embrace their “culture of death” and attack their neighbors maliciously . And its not about ancient rights – as most of the modern Arab nations were created with a stroke of the pen by the British who divided territory by tribes and had little or no foreknowledge of the consequences.

Where is the United Nations?

One would believe that the United Nations would intervene in the situation and condemn the aggression. But considering the number of states that support the Islamic goal of an Islamic world – little is to be expected from this quarter. 

The news media …

According to the AP …

“Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says Israel's air offensive against militant sites in Gaza ‘will widen as necessary.’"

“Barak says Israel does not intend to allow Islamic Hamas militants who rule Gaza to continue firing rockets and mortars on Israel's southern communities.”

“Hamas says at least 192 Gazans were killed in the first day of the offensive and 270 were wounded.”

“Barak says there is a time for calm and a time for fighting. Speaking at a news conference Saturday, he said ‘now is the time for fighting" and that "the operation will expand as necessary.’"

“Israeli warplanes retaliating for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the Hamas-ruled territory in unprecedented waves of airstrikes Saturday, killing at least 155 and wounding more than 310 in the single bloodiest day of fighting in recent memory.”

The concept of innocent civilians …

War brings with it collateral damage. Innocent civilians killed during military operations. Property adjoining the battlefield destroyed. But what of a military which wears no uniforms, which hides in Mosques, hospitals and schools full well knowing that we do not attack such locations, or simply positions their weapons among the population – knowing that the return fire will kill so-called “innocents” and thus provide a media event to allow people to see dead women and children?

Perhaps, under these circumstances, there are no innocents as their own people have condemned these non-combatants to death. The are a casualty of their own religion and their accepted leadership.

“The vast majority of those killed were security men, but civilians were also among the dead. Hamas said all of its security installations were hit and responded with several medium-range Grad rockets at Israel, reaching deeper than in the past. One Israeli was killed and at least four people were wounded in the rocket attacks. With so many wounded, the Palestinian death toll was likely to rise.”

"The operation will last as long as necessary," declared Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, though it was not clear if it would be coupled with a ground offensive. Asked if Hamas political leaders might be targeted next, military spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich said, "Any Hamas target is a target."

What did they expect?

What do the Gazans expect: that you can simply lob rockets and mortars into another country without a response?

“The strikes caused widespread panic and confusion in Gaza, as black clouds of smoke rose above the territory, ruled by Hamas for the past 18 months. Some of the Israeli missiles struck in densely populated areas as children were leaving school, and women rushed into the streets frantically looking for their children. Most of those killed were security men, but civilians were among the dead.”

“Said Masri sat in the middle of a Gaza City street, close to a security compound, alternately slapping his face and covering his head with dust from the bombed-out building.”

"’My son is gone, my son is gone,’ wailed Masri, 57. The shopkeeper said he sent his 9-year-old son out to purchase cigarettes minutes before the airstrikes began and now could not find him. ‘May I burn like the cigarettes, may Israel burn,’ Masri moaned.”

What, he is not celebrating the death of his innocent son as a martyr to the cause of Islam? Perhaps some of that hatred should be re-directed to his leaders who set the stage for his son to be killed.  Where is his cry for peace? Where is his plea for a cessation of hostilities? And, just maybe, the son survived – slightly wounded, dazed and taken to a local hospital.

“Defiant Hamas leaders threatened revenge, including suicide attacks. Hamas ‘will continue the resistance until the last drop of blood,’ vowed spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.”

Revenge? The never-ending cycle of attack and counter-attack? This is a response to their aggression. And, resistance to what? Peace? Co-existence with a democratic Israel? Why is it that media sources do not point out that Palestinians are not welcome in other Arab nations as they are considered to be troublemakers. Better yet, why does the media remain silent on the fact that the real home of the Palestinians is now occupied by the modern state of Jordan?

“Israel told its civilians near Gaza to take cover as militants began retaliating with rockets, and in the West Bank, moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for restraint. Egypt summoned the Israeli ambassador to express condemnation and opened its border with Gaza to allow ambulances to drive out some of the wounded.”

Retaliating … or simply continuing the original attack which provoked the Israeli response? Condemnation is one thing … but we have seen ambulances used as ammunition carriers before as they shuttle back-and-forth knowing that they are relatively safe from attack.

More protests …

From people who will openly riot, kill and destroy property on encountering an anti-religious cartoon, one should consider exactly what they are protesting. No being able to molest Israel with impunity? No being responsible for the consequences of their actions? What did they think would happen? Israel has shown remarkable restraint. What do you think would happen in the United States if Mexican separatists decided to lob mortars and missiles into San Diego every few days? This is self-defense: pure and simple. And this is Israeli restrain. By all rights they should have reduced the entire area to rubble.

Protests erupted in the Abbas-ruled West Bank and across the Arab world.”

“Several hundred angry Jordanians protested outside a U.N. complex in the capital Amman. ‘Hamas, go ahead. You are the cannon, we are the bullets,’ they cried, some waving the signature green Hamas banners.”

If I remember my history correctly, it was the Jordanians who drove the Palestinians (PLO) from their lands into Lebanon – which they soon turned one of the most sophisticated and beautiful countries in the world into rubble and chaos.

“King Hussein of Jordan ejected Arafat's Palestinians in September 1970, called Black September because they were trying to take over his kingdom. King Hussein drove them into Lebanon after killing more than 10,000. The Lebanese welcomed the fleeing Palestinians into their bosom, but suddenly found themselves under attack by Arafat's Palestinians who set up a mini Terror State within Lebanon. For the next 12 years terror raged and over 100,000 Lebanese were murdered by their Palestinian brothers.” <Source>

“In Beirut, dozens of youths hit the streets and set fire to tires.”

Perhaps these kids should have studied their history along with their Koran?

“In Syria's al-Yarmouk camp, outside Damascus, dozens of Palestinians protested the attack as well, vowing to continue fighting Israel.”

Perhaps, over time, Syria will come to regret their position on Palestinians as they continue to multiply and become integrated into the Syrian government.

What will it take to halt Gaza aggression?

“Israeli leaders approved military action against Gaza earlier in the week. Past limited ground incursions and air strikes have not halted rocket barrages from Gaza.”

“But with 200 mortars and rockets raining down on Israel since the truce expired a week ago, and 3,000 since the beginning of the year, according to the military's count, pressure had been mounting in Israel for the military to crush the gunmen.”

“Earlier this month, Israeli security officials told the government that militants possess rockets with ranges capable of reaching farther from Gaza than ever before, including the cities of Beersheba and Ashdod.”

“Gaza militants fired several rockets Saturday, including one that struck a new target, the town of Kiryat Gat. A missile hit on the town of Netivot killed an Israeli man and wounded four people, rescue services said. In Ashkelon, TV cameras showed people huddle against a wall as a rocket alert sounded.”

There will come a time when words of peace and protest will not suffice …

If there is no apparent resolution to this continual barrage against Israel, there may come a time when there will be but a single warning: leave now! And the areas that are hostile to Israel will be completely destroyed.

Barak, the Israeli defense minister, said that the coming period "won't be easy and won't be short for the communities in the south (of Israel).

“Israel declared a state of emergency in Israeli communities within a 12-mile (20-kilometer) range of Gaza, putting the area on a war footing.”

What the media is reporting …

“Hospitals crowded with people, civilians rushing in wounded people in cars, vans and ambulances. "We are treating people on the floor, in the corridors. We have no more space. We don't know who is here and what the priority is to treat," said a doctor at Shifa Hospital, Gaza's main treatment center. He hung up the phone before identifying himself.”

“In the West Bank, Hamas' rival, Abbas, said in a statement that he ‘condemns this aggression’ and called for restraint, according to an aide, Nabil Abu Rdeneh. Abbas, who has ruled only the West Bank since the Islamic Hamas seized power in Gaza in June 2007, was in contact with Arab leaders, and his West Bank Cabinet convened an emergency session.”

Just which aggression is he condemning? The rocket firing which is an overt act of aggression against a sovereign state? And which party is he calling upon for restraint? The Israelis who are responding to being attack or the attackers who decided to target Israel? Considering Abbas is in contact with Arab leaders, one wonders what he is saying. Surely it can’t be anything against Islam which seems to be the root cause of the attacks?

The sad truth …

Israel left Gaza in 2005 after a 38-year occupation, but the withdrawal did not lead to better relations with Palestinians in the territory as Israeli officials had hoped.”

Instead, the evacuation was followed by a sharp rise in militant attacks on Israeli border communities that on several occasions provoked harsh Israeli military reprisals.”

Was this abandonment of territory simply a reaction to International pressures? And did Israel’s actions lead to the reinforcement of the idea that terrorism will eventually yield the attacker’s desired results?

“The last, in late February and early March, spurred both sides to agree to a truce that was to have lasted six months but began unraveling in early November. In recent days, Israeli leaders had been voicing strong threats to launch a major offensive.”

On to Iran …

Although the Iranians are not Arabs, they are Muslim and have the same outcome for Israel: death and destruction. As their once vibrant culture has almost been destroyed by the Mullahs, they are once again flirting with danger. It is well-known and accepted that Iranian forces are involved in the Iraq conflict and as Syria’s influence in Lebanon receded, Iran’s influence grew. Can you trust this country with a nuclear weapon? The answer is an emphatic NO! A “No” which is also silently echoed by their Arab neighbors who fear a nuclear-armed Iran and silently look to the Israelis to solve their problems.

We are now past Christmas, approaching New Year and the Obama inauguration on January 20th is looming large. Could the event that Vice President-elect Biden spoke of be the attack on Iran? And the response which will have people openly questioning Barack Obama’s actions be the sanctioning of Israel? We do not have much longer to wait for the answer.

And the attack will be justified. Just as the Muslims continue to wail about the injustice of Israel’s existence and continue to lob deadly missiles into their country – there will come a time when Israel says “NO MORE!” And I believe that time is fast approaching.

What can YOU do?

Recognize that freedom is a two-way street. There are those who want freedom, but must in turn grant freedom to others. Unless this is possible, conflict is inevitable. Both sides will lose men, women and children. Homes will be destroyed. A darkness will fall upon a barren land. Hope will dissipate until one side surrenders. And if they re-arm, the cycle will repeat. Until the leadership recognizes the benefits of human rights and stops stealing from the people – there will be no peace as the leaders must continually point to some scapegoat to account for their people’s misery.

Israel is a thorn in the side of the surrounding nations, not because of religious differences – but because it shows the people what can be done in a tolerant, cooperative atmosphere where certain men are not omnipotent kings of the realm. And that’s why the leaders of these nations continue to fight on.

Aided and abetted by the United States who will often overlook localized conflict to obtain reasonably-priced oil. So, if the United States does want peace in the Middle East, is it not reasonable to demand our leadership develop a comprehensive energy policy which will remove American dollars from the region and thus lower the level of conflict. The fastest way to do this would be to build out our national energy grid, use CNG (compressed natural gas) for our truck fleets, develop nuclear power sources and use our own oil while we develop alternative fuel vehicles.

Until the Muslim religion experiences a reformation, perhaps one should consider leaving them in relative peace to enjoy a 12th century lifestyle and preventing their leaders from visiting other countries. A zero immigration policy for nations which remain bellicose and hostile to Israel.

And if we need bomb them … perhaps we should use Playboy magazines, Britney Spears and Paris Hilton videos – and videos of the California lifestyle. Perhaps they would dream of the Mohave Desert instead of Israel?

Could this be the cover attack which is the diversion for a much larger attack on Iran? Especially since both Iran and Syria are the chief backers of Hamas. Or possibly a staged precursor to an Obama peace initiative -- complete with more humanitarian aid (e.g. money for the corrupt leadership)?

If anyone should have other opinions, send them along.

-- steve

Quote of the Day: “There comes a time when injustice must be addressed, the politicians and media be damned.” -- steve

A reminder from OneCitizenSpeaking.com: a large improvement can result from a small change…

The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane. -- Marcus Aurelius

Reference Links:

My Way News - Barak: Gaza operation will expand as needed

NABIL ABU RDAINAH, AIDE TO PALESTINIAN PRESIDENT MAHMOUD ABBAS: "President Abbas demands that the Israeli government stop this aggression immediately to spare our people its painful effects, and calls on the international community to intervene to stop the aggression."

WHITE HOUSE SPOKESMAN GORDON JOHNDROE: "Hamas' continued rocket attacks into Israel must cease if the violence is to stop. Hamas must end its terrorist activities if it wishes to play a role in the future of the Palestinian people."

RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY STATEMENT: "Moscow deems it necessary to stop large scale military action against Gaza, which had already led to big casualties and suffering among civilian Palestinian population. At the same time we call on Hamas leadership to stop shelling Israeli territory."

<More statements from world leaders courtesy of Reuters

Coincidental Note:

"Political scientist Samuel Huntington, whose controversial book 'The Clash of Civilizations' predicted conflict between the West and the Islamic world, has died at age 81, Harvard University said on Saturday. <More on this interesting scholar>


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"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

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