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Old 07-31-2006, 10:20 AM   #29
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good discussion, very good.

we need more like this with facts used and not cloudy opinions. refering to articles lets us all do a bit of research and relearn the use of quotes.

Regardless if we agree or disagree, a good discussion is mind exercise we all need.

go here for views of this subject from the other side too.

R
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Old 07-31-2006, 01:56 PM   #30
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RV,

Thanks for the compliment. The .01% that I don't agree with you on is only the religious issues, which, as you said, are not necessarily the most important point here. I love Jesus and have no qualms announcing it, but I do respect others and don't try to force my beliefs on others. Jesus never did either. He said what He had to say and moved on. You could accept it or not. Your choice. I fully believe that part.

I don't mean to bring religion into it as a theological issue though. I see religion with respect to the middle east as more of a historical thing. This conflict was predicted in the bible and, merely as a historical reference, there is much allusion to our crisis now.

Here is where the prob comes in. Christianity, as I see it, is merely the voice of reason. I believe we can be tolerant, as long as people are not being violated. At that point, we have to step in. I believe America, as a superpower, has that responsibility as well. The middle eastern nations however, are not tolerant at all. It is their way, or wrong. No middle ground, no live and let live. As I said before, not only do you have to be Muslim, but Sunni (or whichever sect is in power at the time). Our constitution give us freedom of religion. We are protected to practice any religion we want, or not any at all. I go to church because I want to. I do not want to be forced to go, even if it is a Baptist government saying I had to go to a Baptist church. (I am baptist, btw) It still should be a choice.

I am glad that we are fighting over there to protect our freedoms here. I can say I like Bush, or that I hate him, with no fear for myself or my family. I can wear a long skirt, or a mini skirt (OK, not a mini with my legs, but you get my drift). In the countries where religion is dictated, people are killed for their "sins". I think adultery is wrong and dangerous, but should someone be stoned to death for that? OH, and it is usually the woman being killed, not the man. If a woman is raped, her brothers kill her so that the family is not shamed. What happens to the rapist?

These people asked for our help before and we came in, did a halfway job and left and thousands were killed. We need to follow through. I cannot imagine being a woman in that society. Right now, as I sit typing, I would be putting myself at risk.

One more word on my beliefs. I believe that a real christian would NEVER persecute someone simply because they do not agree. NEVER. They would protect life, but as long as life was protected, they would allow that person to choose how they live.

"I am proud to be an American, where at least I know I am free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me. And I gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today. There ain't no doubt I love this land. God bless the USA!" lyrics to God Bless the USA
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Old 07-31-2006, 08:11 PM   #31
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Sandra,
I think Democracy is the voice of reason. Not Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Bahai, Hindu or whatever.

I'm sorry, but they never have been, when they, and I mean all of them, decide who are infidels, and who are not.

The beauty of our country is that despite the privately held thoughts that all who do not believe as we do are ******(and privately I think many find smug satisfaction in that,) that they cannot act out on those exclusionary clauses in their belief systems in our country where tolerance, like it or not, is real.

Now we are finding some who, from other non democracies, have attacked us. Here in our country many try to justify their angst. But cannot legally act upon it.

When religion is the problem, it cannot be the answer, here, where we must render unto Caesar.

Just MHO.
Lee Greenwood is apropos.
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Old 08-01-2006, 10:12 AM   #32
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RV,

I agree that many religions have exclusionary clauses. Even christianity does. The problem is when the religious person thinks that this exclusion means that person no longer has the right to live.

I am christian, and it is exclusionary in the sense that we believe that there is one way to heaven, Jesus. I, however, don't feel that just because we think someone is not heading for heaven that we have the right to dictate morality to them.

I do believe that democracy is the voice of reason as well. I also want to do more research into the roots of democracy. I would be willing to bet that it began in a christianized society. There is a great book entitled "what if Jesus had never been born". Whether you see him as the messiah, or just a person who altered the world as they knew it, his words definitely affected world change.

He started the women's rights movement way back then. He refused to put women in "their place". He accepted them as equals in a time when women were treated much as they are now in the middle east. He never would have killed someone because they refused to believe what he preached. Anyone who says otherwise, needs to reread the new testament.

I truly believe that Jesus is the answer, unfortunately religion is a man made thing and man will use any means necessary to seek the power the flesh desires. "Absolute power corrupts, absolutely." I think that often, men (read humans, not just the male gender) use religion to control people and force them to do what they want.

So, you are right. Democracy is the voice of reason. As long as we are human, the only way to keep the controlling nature under control is to have the checks and balances of the democratic system.

And like I mentioned, even though I am baptist, I don't want a baptist government, forcing me to attend a baptist church. I want to be free to worship as I choose.

I guess it is hard for some to understand my definition of christianity because most people claiming to be christians and doing things in the name of Christ do not meet my definition. There in lies the problem. If Jesus were walking among us and met a gay person, his disciples would turn their back on him, while Jesus would invite him over for dinner. It is that type of Christianity that I refer to. Not the judgemental, you went to a bar last night so you are going to **** Christianity that I refer to.

BTW, there are a lot of baptist beliefs that, even I, disagree with. Don't tell anyone, but I dance and think a drink every once in a while is fine. SHHHH that's a secret... LOL

So, back on topic here...

What is everyone's opinion on what's going on between Lebanon and Israel?

Is it OK to open that can of worms?

I am really enjoying this calm conversation here. It is making me think. This summer is frustrating to me because no homeschooling means my brain is on vacation and it is too hot to do anything outside right now.

There is a book I am considering getting. It is "the complete idiot's guide to the middle east". I have a few questions about events that happened that are pertinent to current events. They just happened when I was so young, that I don't remember them clearly.

Would you guys be interested in discussing this history with me?
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Old 08-01-2006, 11:54 AM   #33
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Sandra,

I'm up for this conversation. DH is an intel bubba, was in Riyadh during the Gulf War, at CentCom when 9/11 happened and in Iraq during the elections. He's been heavily involved in Middle East situations since before the Gulf War and because of that you'd think that would make me an expert but like everything elese in the universe, looks can be deceiving. He can't (and doesn't, darn him!) talk to me about anything intel. I have to do my own research.

A good book recommendation for you: "America's Secret War" by Dr. George Friedman Synopsis I'll tell you that DH scanned the inside cover of the book and dismissed it but we have a great friend still at CentCom (that DH has huge respect for) who read it and said it was a good analysis of the situation so I'm going to go with I thought Friedman's premise made sense. I think if DH actually read the book he might not be so dismissive. The book reads better than a Tom Clancy novel, I couldn't put it down and found it very enlightening about the Middle East.

Regarding religion, to this day, DH shakes his head and says he is astounded at how much the rest of the world underestimates the religious belief systems of the everyday Muslim. He says one of the biggest mistakes we make is trying to filter them through our own secular way of life. I showed him the article I referenced earlier with the quote from Andrew McCarthy about the fanatic Muslim fringe element. He responded with "Our mistake is believing that fanatic Muslims are a fringe element. The truth is the everyday average Muslim on the streets is very much a fanatic about Islam and we have never fully embraced exactly how important their religion is to them. We make a mistake every time we fail to understand that Islam is very much a driving force in their lives."

That statement right there ties in with the book I recommended to you. Dr. Friedman starts out explaining that according to the Koran, they believe themselves to be (essentially) the chosen people and by everything that is holy should be dominating the world. However, they look around at their lives and nothing could be further from the truth. The average Muslim lives in squalor and its a day to day struggle just to survive. But then! To defeat Russia when they invaded Afghanistan, (and for political reasons) we employed the exact same strategy that Russia used against us in Viet Nam: fund, train and arm the locals to do the fighting. The mujahadeen had been recruited from the entire Arab world under the rallying cry of "Holy War". (DH says that a huge problem with the insurgents in Iraq is they have either been trained by us or trained by someone who was trained by us.) Due to Reagan bankrupting the Soviets and the successful campaigns of the mujahadeen, what was left at the end of it was a highly skilled army of warriors in Afghanistan, strongly dedicated to their cause, who were suddenly empowered. After centuries of defeat, poverty and enslavement...a scraggly army of Muslim warriors had defeated one of the world's two superpowers, the Soviet Union. That started a wave of renewed calls for "Restoring the Caliphate" strengthened by "Holy War".

The unfortunate by product of this renewed faith and empowerment was their respective countries of origin, who are doing a balancing act of modernizing and becoming world players and trying to reconcile the Koran's teachings on infidels, DID NOT WANT THESE EMPOWERED MUSLIM WARRIORS TO RETURN HOME and start trouble. The Saudi Royal family was terrified of the mujahadeen returning, especially since the particular flavor of Islam practiced in Saudi Arabia is Wahhabism, practicing Sharia law, the most brutal and restrictive of the Islamic strains. The Wahhabis would have completely supported a Jihad. Or Egypt, that really wants to live in the modern world. Pervez Musharif goes to bed every night knowing that he is one guy away from assassination. Every government in the Arab world knows the mujahadeen's first move be would be to topple them. Too many Arab governments are finding it far too profitable doing business with the infidels to stop! Not sharing the wealth with the public in general notwithstanding.

So the mujahadeen found themselves stranded with their new found powers inside Afghanistan. The rest is history and is being written right before our eyes.

So...yeah...I'm up for this conversation.

Marcia
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Old 08-01-2006, 01:20 PM   #34
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">I do believe that democracy is the voice of reason as well. I also want to do more research into the roots of democracy. I would be willing to bet that it began in a christianized society. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>


Sandra,
Actually it began with the tribes in prehistory, in India before Buddha, and in Greece more than 500 years BC.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_democracy

If you want to really get grip on the early democracies and the emergence and history of the Christian and Muslim religions written brilliantly, accurately, with no religious or anti-religious slant, then either get a used copy of the complete set of "The Story Of Civilization" By Will and Ariel Durant, or get a used copy of volume IV, the age of faith, which covers AD 325 or so through AD 1300, and includes the history of the early Christian Church and the life of Muhammed (sp) and the rise of Islam.

Published in the late 40's early 50's it is my source for easy understanding, before I do the scholarly treatises that are soooooo boring.

It has always helped me sort the wheat from the chaff.

They may also be available at your library although currently out of print.

Why a 1950's history book instead of a newer edition?

The correct approach is since history already happened, it does not change except for revisionists with hidden or open agendas.

Thus earlier history books from the mid 20th century have the best of both worlds, for ancient and pre-20th century examinations, IMHO.

You can find them used and cheap here:
http://www.alibris.com/search/books/...Durant,%20Will

I highly recommend them. I have the full set and all of their other works, and have had them for 20 years or more.

When I went fulltime, as an RVr, I sold all my books except about ten collector editions that cannot be replaced, and the Durant series, as well as their "Story of Philosophy."

The Age of faith can be had used here:
http://www.alibris.com/search/search.cfm?qwork=167303&w...=works*listing*title

If all you want is Islam and Christianity through the dark ages.

Hope that helps.
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Old 08-01-2006, 02:12 PM   #35
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Thanks, I will look those up. We had tons of books that we lost in Katrina. Since then, we have a different mindset and don't plan on accumulating much anymore, so a trip to the library is in order.

I have a question about a couple of specific events that are in my memory, but I was so young that I don't remember them exactly. Here goes...

1)Wasn't some marine or other US military barracks bombed somewhere? Where was this, when, and by whom.

2)Wasn't a plane bombed? Same questions about that.

3)Wasn't one or two of our embassies bombed or attacked? Wasn't one in africa and one in the middle east? Didn't they have a hard time rescuing all of the americans from one?

After all of those events, what was our response? Oh, and which president was in power at the time?

Oh, and Marcia. I have read enough of the Koran to know that anyone who believes it with all of their heart is a danger to me and my family. They see a the USA as a country of not only nonbelievers, but horrendous sinners.

I do certainly wish there was some other way to deal with these people. If only they could agree to live and let live.
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Old 08-02-2006, 05:47 AM   #36
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In April of 1983, Hezbollah, trained by Syria and Iran, was suspected of bombing of the US Embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people, 17 of whom were American. Because of the bombing, the embassy was moved to a more secure location in East Beirut, but in September 1984, another car bomb went off at the new location killing 20 Lebanese and 2 Americans.

The Marine barracks in Beirut were bombed on October 23, 1983, again by Hezbollah no less. 220 Marines, 18 Navy, and 3 Army personnel killed, 60 Americans injured. The French barracks were attacked, as well, leaving 58 dead and 15 injured. The retaliation from France was an air strike in the Bekka Valley against Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Reagan planned to attack the Sheik Abdulla barracks in Baalbek that housed IRG troops training Hezbollah fighters but Caspar Weinberger talked him out of due to concerns with other Arab nations. Instead the Marines were pulled out of Lebanon .

The "Lockerbie Air Disaster", Dec. 21, 1988 is the airplane bombing. Google search for "Pan AM Flight 103".

In August 1998, two US Embassies were bombed almost simultaneously in East Aftrica--one in Kenya and the other Tanzania on. 74 people killed, 8 of them American.

On October 12, 2000, the USS Cole was bombed while refueling in the Aden port of Yemen. 17 Sailors killed and 39 injured. The USS Cole was part of the Abraham Lincoln battle group. (DH was the N2 on the Abe when that happened.) More importantly, on November 3, 2002, the CIA fired a AGM-114 Hellfire missile from a Predator UAV at a vehicle carrying Abu Ali al-Harithi, a suspected planner of the bombing plot. Also in the vehicle was Ahmed Hijazi, a U.S. citizen. Both were killed. This operation was carried out on Yemeni soil, possibly with the cooperation of the Yemeni government.

God forbid we should forget...Islam is a religion of "piece"...of blown up bodies.

Marcia
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