Saturday, January 27, 2007

Do Most People Understand the Mindset of the Jihadists?

One reason I write about politics a lot on Scholar is that I feel there is a lot of information and a lot of ideas that need to be considered that are simply not available in the mainstream media due to their leftist agendas. As a result many voters and many political leaders don't have the perspective needed to solve this nation's problems--and, in many cases, the world's problems. There are many "solutions" that look good on paper or in the short term, but that would prove disasterous if carried out. And so I do my little bit to provide information and insight into truth and what is really going on out there in the world.

Today's feature is an article from The New Media Journal titled "Wake Up, America: Understand the Mind of the Jihadist" by David J. Jonsson. In his article, Mr. Jonsson explores the mindset of the Jihadist--what they are really after. He also discusses how we can counteract that--and why we need to. This is not about tolerance or intolerance--this is about human liberty. This is about protecting our agency, our will, our freedom.

Here is a quote from the beginning of the article:
The war on terror might be lost not on the streets of Baghdad but in the corridors of Congress. A divided America and Anti-Americanism serves our enemies well. Soon we may see a vote in Congress that says, "We can't stop the surge plan, but we don't support it." It is time for America to understand who the enemy is, the murderous ideology that is driving them and their strategy for success. This would be the Islamist's greatest fear.
It is important to understand that the goal of the Jihadists is – following in the footsteps of Muhammad to create the "Islamic kingdom of God on Earth." The primary goal is not primarily to conquer lands but to Islamize the world. The drive is to instill Islamic law (Shariah) into both Muslim society and the entire world, and ultimately to recreate society under their interpretation of the law. The strategy is to utilize the sword of Islam. The sword may include terrorism, but more importantly it is bringing together groups of people with a common hatred, which can cause the ultimate decline in will of the populous. This cabal has coalesced as the Leftist/Marxist – Islamist Alliance. As we will see pacifism, self-hatred, complacency and appeasement – deserve attention, equally important is the use of Islamic Finance to gradually make the West comfortable with accepting living with Shariah law.

The article is informative and contains links to further information. It is worth your while to read it carefully and think about it seriously. Human beings were not created to be oppressed and downtrodden.

Labels: , ,

Friday, January 26, 2007

An Editorial Review of Some Important Political History

At Investor's Business Daily an editorial titled "97 Reasons Democrats Are Weak On Defense And Can't Be Trusted To Govern In Wartime" shows how developments in the latter part of the 20th century have led us to where we are today.

This outlines a number of events and gives us a history lesson we would be wise to consider. Never mind partisanship--what is best for our country? Read thoughtfully.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, January 22, 2007

Science News

In this day and age, keeping up with science is important and interesting, but it is also overwhelming. There are any number of sites out there with news of science of all kinds and research as well.

One website that has a lot of news on different scientific topics, plus an encyclopedia to help explain things, is Science Daily. It covers a large area of the science world and is a good place to start.

Another such site is New Scientist. It, too, covers science news on an array of topics. There is also Science and Scientific American. There is science news out there that can affect us, in medicine, human behavior, weather, computers, and so forth. If you are at all interested in science, news magazines specializing in science news can be a good place to start.

I find the above sites interesting and informative, but, frankly, I would like to find a reputable science news website that didn't assume evolution is true or that global warming is a fact, and that covered most areas of science. (I do know of, but it doesn't cover many different areas of science. I also know of some sites that debunk evolution myths, but again, the coverage is limited to that one topic.) If any of you know of a good site or two that covers a lot of different scientific topics (I'm thinking something like Science Daily, but without the pro-evolution, pro-global warming biases), could you post a comment about it? Thanks!

I might add that I'm not necessarily looking for sites that are anti-evolution or anti-global warming (to use just two examples of unwarranted prejudice that can creep into science journalism), but I would like to find sites that don't assume those sorts of things are true and are willing to publish news that might contradict them.


Dinesh D'Souza Dispels Some Myths About Iraq

In an article at, author Dinesh D'Souza takes us through some well-rehearsed myths about Iraq in his article "What They Know That Isn't So." D’Souza is the Rishwain Fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Mr. D'Souza takes us through three myths that are commonly bandied about and tells us why they aren't true. First up:

They’re furious at us for stopping democracy in Iran. As the left-wing story goes, Mohammed Mossadegh was the elected prime minister of Iran in the early 1950s. The United States didn’t like the fact that he was anti-imperialist, so the CIA engineered a coup and installed the hated Shah of Iran. The people of Iran have still not forgiven us for this, and it is a continuing source of radical Muslim hatred against us.
The second myth is:

We provided weapons to both Saddam and Bin Laden. This leftist account says that America should not be too surprised at the weapons possessed by Saddam and Bin Laden, since we provided them to him. We may even have sold those weapons of mass destruction to Saddam. And certainly we provided ammunition and other material support to Bin Laden when he was fighting against the Soviet Union in the 1980s.
And last but not least, we have:

In Iraq we’re getting into a religious war that’s lasted for centuries. This theory, espoused among others by John Murtha, holds that the Sunni and Shia are fighting in Iraq because these two groups have been fighting everywhere since the seventh century. So who wants to get into the middle of an ancient conflict that shows no signs of abating? This would seem to be an argument for America to get out of a religious quarrel that it has no way to settle, and that shows no sign of abating.
D'Souza takes each of these myths and explains why they just aren't so. And why are they so prevalent in the United States? Two possibilities exist:

So where do all these myths come from? The benign explanation is the Internet. People get information off websites which get it off other websites, so that idiocy gets passed around frequently enough to become accepted as truth.

But there is a second possibility. The myths are part of the propaganda produced by the cultural left which is rooting for Bush to lose the war in Iraq and the war on terror. If Iraq is lost, the chances are it will be lost not in Baghdad but in the American mind. Bin Laden and the insurgents are completely outmatched in force, but they can still win, courtesy of the lobbying efforts of the enemy at home.
I think it is probably a mix of those two possibilities, but the important thing is that we learn to stop and think and do a little research so that we aren't buying into every myth floating around out there.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

What Does It Take for an Opinion to Count?

At Jewish World Review David Limbaugh makes some excellent points about what it takes for an opinion to count with liberals in his article, "The Left's Tiresome 'Chicken-Hawk' Mantra". He writes about Senator Barbara Boxer's attempts to silence Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice by saying that because Rice wouldn't pay a "personal price" (no children who might have to go to war), she shouldn't be making/supporting decisions about the war. He writes:

When questioning Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on the president's Iraq war policy, Boxer uttered a series of bizarre rhetorical questions. They were obviously intended to discredit Rice, not based on her support of the president's presumably dubious war strategy, but because she doesn't have children, which disqualifies her from participating in a decision that could affect people's children.

One could use this line of reasoning to discount almost anyone's opinion about almost anything. What might be behind Boxer's attempts to discredit Rice? Perhaps this:

Despite her professional and personal accomplishments, Rice is frequently a target for liberals, who apparently find Rice's Republican Party membership a particular betrayal, given her gender and race, which to liberals mean unquestioned allegiance to liberalism.

The liberal establishment demands that blacks and women and especially black women toe the liberal line, and when they deviate, they deserve the establishment's collective wrath. Indeed, such is the magnitude of their infidelity that they forfeit any expectation of civility from the left.

It would be amusing, if it weren't so serious in potential consequences, that the liberal faction, which often accuses conservatives of "toeing the party line", are the ones who insist on loyalty and fidelity to certain points of view. Anything else is unacceptable to them and results in the public castigation of the offending person(s). As Limbaugh points out:

We saw this on graphic display when liberal cartoonists savaged Rice in racially pointed cartoons during her confirmation hearings without so much as a whimper of disapproval from self-styled racially sensitive liberals.


The question is not who is qualified to opine, but whether an opinion has merit, irrespective of the characteristics of its proponents or opponents. Under liberal logic, the rich-from-birth Ted Kennedy is disqualified from empathizing with and advocating for the poor. And, the Framers should have limited the franchise in presidential elections to military personnel and their parents, and maybe their grandparents, but not aunts, uncles, brother, sisters or cousins.
Hmmmm. Does it seem that liberal logic might be flawed? As Limbaugh points out:

What this really boils down to is the antiwar left's intolerance for dissenting opinions and their propensity to make decisions on an emotional, rather than logical basis. If you don't agree with them, you either aren't listening — another charge Boxer leveled at Rice — or you don't have the right to opine. But Boxer's logic is self-defeating: If your personal circumstances disqualify you from opining, they do so regardless of the nature of your opinion.
There is a bigger question at stake in this situation, though. Limbaugh writes:

Further, Boxer's underlying assumption is that the Iraq war is not worth the risk of American lives. While that is something about which reasonable people can disagree, we can't ever get to that point in the discussion if one side intimidates the other into silence.

It is conceivable that the implementation of Boxer's antiwar opinion could put more American lives — military and civilian — at risk in the long run, by weakening the United States emboldening terrorists and contributing to the conversion of Iraq into a launching pad for global terrorism. Or do I have enough of a stake in America to entitle me to such an audacious opinion?

Many on the antiwar left are still oblivious to the global nature of the war and that Iraq's destiny is central to it. They seem to believe we can flip a switch and end this war — by a solitary executive order.

My question is this. If we want to solve problems in this world, why can't we actually discuss the problems and possible solutions instead of getting bogged down in all this extraneous effort by liberals to discount the opinions of those who disagree with them?

Labels: ,

Sunday, January 14, 2007


I have gathered some websites here for you if you are wanting to learn more about Israel. I don't plan to do a big series on countries on this blog, but Iraq (previous post) and Israel are much in the news these days and are of great concern to Americans (or should be!).

First up is Wikipedia's article on Israel. This will give you a good overview of Israel's history and culture. Also, the Library of Congress has A Country Study: Israel.

The Jerusalem Post is Israel's English language newspaper and a source of information for current events there.

The University of Texas at Austin has a maps page for Israel that you might enjoy perusing.

Last but not least, here is a link to the English language version of the official Israeli government website.

I hope these links will be useful and that you'll enjoy looking them over.



If you are interested in learning more about Iraq, I have gathered some websites for you.

First up is the official Iraqi government website here. I have linked to the English language version. It gives profiles of leaders, the constitution, and other government information. Lots to read!

A news site for Iraq is Iraq Daily, a part of the World News Network. Down the left side of the screen are links to other sites that you might find interesting. Iraq Daily has current events, sports, society, etc.

Also, there is the Wikipedia article on Iraq, which is full of links and outlines the history and culture, as well as the political life of Iraq. The Library of Congress has a page on A Country Study: Iraq which looks fascinating, as well.

The University of Texas at Austin has a site of Iraqi maps of all kinds. You might find that interesting, as well.

ThingsAsian has an article on Iraqi food here. A few recipes are linked to.

There are many more sites on Iraq, but maybe this will get you started. Enjoy!


Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Book about the History of the US's Middle East Involvement

At one of my favorite websites, Jewish World Review, Jonathan Tobin writes a book review of Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East 1776 to the Present by Michael B. Oren. Tobin says, "Until the release of this beautifully written and meticulously researched volume this month, there simply was no comprehensive history of American involvement in the region."

He goes on to say:

Oren, who is based at the Shalem Center in Jerusalem, has written a book overflowing with colorful tales of American travelers, pilgrims, businessmen, missionaries, diplomats, soldiers and sailors who weren't merely observers of this pivotal area of the globe (the term for which was actually coined by the American naval strategist Alfred Thayer Mahan). Americans have, from the very beginning of our own history as a nation, played a crucial role in shaping the Middle East. And as Oren illustrates, we, in turn, have been influenced by this interaction.
This is a book that is going on my "to read" list--it sounds fascinating, and useful as well. The more all of us know about this region, the better we'll know what would be good and what would not be good and, of course, the better we'll understand what is going on in the Middle East.

Also at Jewish World Review is a much different article by Rabbi Yitzchok Tzvi Schwarz titled "Small Deeds...Eternal Impact". The article discusses the impact that even the smallest things we do can have. Uplifting reading and very much worth contemplating.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, January 06, 2007

First Post of the New Year

What with the holidays and various minor illnesses that have left me not feeling up to par, I haven't made a brilliant first-of-the-year post yet. Nor will I today.

Be that as it may, I have a new toy. It's called LibraryThing and on it you can catalog all your books. You can list up to 200 books for free, then after that you can pay $10 a year, or $25 for a lifetime membership and list all the books you want. I have 190 up--and that is just the tip of the iceberg.

I have also rigged it to display random books in my sidebar on each of my blogs. You can click on "my library" in the phrase "Random Books from my library" in the sidebar and look at my catalog of books at LibraryThing. Cool, eh?!

Better posts to come in the future.