My mom sent me a link to this article:
President Bush did make a bad mistake - National Word
The only reason that Muslims around the world are sympathetic to the radicals is because this time around we, as a country, no longer have any idea what we stand for and we're instead willing to fall for anything. Because we ignored the Israel/Palestine situation for decades, or supported Israel against the people they took their land from, we made the situation worse. Because we caused an popular elected government in Iran to be replaced by a brutal dictatorship, we made the situation worse. Because we have, for the past 60+ years, provided the Saudi royal family with billions of dollars traded for oil, allowing them to create and support the Madrases around the world like the ones that trained 15 out of the 19 hijackers in 2001, we have made the global situation worse.
In 1941, we had a government in our country that had been focusing for 9 years to support the people of this country in our struggle for daily life. We had elected FDR by 57% in 1932, 60.8% in 1936 and 55% in 1940. Unlike Bush's administration, Roosevelt understood early on the threat posed by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and Imperial Japan. But instead of being allowed to do anything meaningful, the conservatives and isolationists pushed a neutrality bill through Congress, preventing him from openly supporting Britain, France or China. He had to wait for the fall of Paris, where 1.6 million people fled the city in May of 1940. How does that number compare to 3,000? The America First Committee, an isolationist group led by Charles Lindbergh, argued that our oceans would protect us, something that Roosevelt understood was false. Pat Buchanan says "By keeping America out of World War II until Hitler attacked Stalin in June of 1941, Soviet Russia, not America, bore the brunt of the fighting, bleeding and dying to defeat Nazi Germany." What a wonderful way to make friends in Russia, allowing their people to die while we watched and waited to pick up the pieces. The founders of this country, who all bled and died to create our land of opportunity, must be spinning in their graves.
As a contrast to the 1940's, the 2000 election has been proven stolen, the 2002 election had Senate seats that were stolen, the 2004 election was stolen, and Bush holds hands with the head of the Saudi royal family, his Vice President plans to divide up Iraq's oil before we were even planning attacks, and his Secretary of Defense proceeds to eliminate any true planners in the Pentagon who were focused on avoiding war by undermining the Secretary of State's office. Most of the "intelligence" that Colin Powell used in his speech to the United Nations Security Council was drummed up by intelligence agents within the Pentagon, not the CIA or other intelligence services. The President says that oceans will not protect us, something we learned 60 years earlier. But protect us from what?
Religious Fundamentalism, from any religion, is dangerous. Those who believe in the literal interpretation of Revelations are just as dangerous as those who believe in the Return of the Third Imam. The parallels are obvious.
Tenets of Islamist terrorism have been summarized by one counterterrorist as being:
* A belief that Muslims have deviated from true Islam and must return to “pure Islam” as originally practiced during the time of the Prophet.
* The path to “pure Islam” is only through a literal and strict interpretation of the Quran and Hadith, along with implementation of the Prophet’s commands.
* Muslims should interpret the original sources individually without being bound to follow the interpretations of Islamic scholars.
* That any interpretation of the Quran from a historical, contextual perspective is a corruption, and that the majority of Islamic history and the classical jurisprudential tradition is mere sophistry.
Compare that to what the Evangelical Churches here in the United States are saying.
The characteristics of Evangelicalism have been defined by David Bebbington in his study of British evangelicalism. Known as the Bebbington Quadrilateral the four characteristics of evangelicals are :
1. Conversionism - Emphasis on the conversion experience, also called being saved, or new birth or born again after John 3:3. Thus evangelicals often refer to themselves as born-again Christians. This experience is said to be received by "faith alone" and to be given by God as the result of "grace alone".
2. Biblicism - The Protestant canon of the Bible as the primary, or only, source of religious authority, as God's revelation to humanity. Thus, the doctrine of sola scriptura is often affirmed and emphasized. Bible prophecy, especially as interpreted according to dispensationalism, is often emphasized.
3. Activism - Encouragement of evangelism (the act of sharing one's beliefs) -- in organized missionary work or by personal encounters and relationships with others.
4. Crucicentrism - A central focus on Christ's redeeming work on the cross as the only means for salvation and the forgiveness of sins.
Fascinating parallels, don't you think? I like my secular humanism values much better.
Things were a lot different in the 1940's. We didn't have US Senators looking for sex in airport bathrooms. We didn't have Vice Presidents collecting money from corporations that got no-bid contracts from his own government. We had a 1.9% unemployment and we trusted our government to look out for our welfare first. We had CEO's making maybe 40 times what the average worker earned; now that ratio is 500:1, and the conservatives in government are trying to keep wages as low as possible, driving a third of our population onto the brink of poverty and nearly a quarter outside of the existing health care system.
There is a war going on in the world. It's a war of ideas, and it's a hot war. Hot tempers flare up and encourage violence within families and communities here in the US as often as suicide bombers kill people in the middle east. Nobody has a clear picture of what the United States stands for anymore, because the current administration leadership doesn't care about the people and the current congressional leadership is gaming their words to encourage electoral victory instead of moral victory.
We can win this war. It's easy. All we have to do is care. If we cared about our fellow citizens, and cared about the rest of the people around the world, we could show that by building a strong foundation at home and a foreign policy based on morality instead of money. It's really not that tough. Jesus showed us the way 2,000 years ago. Too bad we stopped listening.