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Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’

Prejudice, Who of Us Is Innocent?

01 Dec

This is the “other” post I thought I’d make before I occupy my time today with the tasks of the day. I [usually] try to discourage others from embracing prejudice of any kind.

After all, if you “feel the need to judge”, you would fair better by taking their personal and uniquely individualistic characteristics into consideration — remembering that we ALL fall far short of perfection on any given day.

Of course, such advice is sometimes difficult to follow and far too often it falls on deaf ears.

Do I have a prejudice? Yes, I must [sadly] admit I’ve at least one.

Such a prejudice has been cultivated by many years of reading the “death to Americans” bullshit propaganda that usually comes out of the very countries where we purchase much of our raw oil (from the Middle East, etc.) Our money is desired but our presence and our very lives are seemingly held in disdain in these regions.


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How much longer do we continue?

26 Feb

It’s time to pull back and leave them to themselves.

Soldier in Afghanistan

The New York Times reports of the burning of an [undisclosed] number of Korans at a landfill near Bagram Air Base on Monday, February 20, 2012. It seems to me that, according to witness accounts of laborers AT the landfill, those burning the books were unaware of the significance of their actions. (In large part, because the Korans were among many other books that were being disposed of. Further evidence of this is supported by the fact that they were doing so openly. After all, who in their right mind would burn the Koran, a book of religious significance in the Middle East, openly for others to observe when people have been murdered for just drawing a cartoon of Muhammad?)

I believe it was a mistake; one that could have been avoided but a mistake all the same! It wasn’t done with malice; it was NOT done out of disrespect.
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Muslims in America

05 Sep

I readily admit that I’ve a sense of prejudice when it comes to those of Middle-Eastern descent; have had ever since the terrorist attacks of 9-11-01 wherein I lost a good many people that I’d been working with alongside in Tower II. These were people I’d never seen but spoke to on the phone regularly, while working on a 400+ site transaction for U.S. Restaurant Properties.

Combining this with my already well-developed disdain for the conflict-ridden lands of the Middle East and my prejudice only grew.

I’m distressed by what I see as the manipulation of our country by outside interests and certainly disgusted by our leaders, as well. I believe it’s fair to ask the following two questions (received via email):

“CAN MUSLIMS BE GOOD AMERICANS?”
“CAN MUSLIMS BE GOOD CANADIANS?”

This is very interesting and we all need to read it from start to finish. And send it on to everyone. Maybe this is why our American Muslims are so quiet and not speaking out about any atrocities.

Can a good Muslim be a good American?

This question was forwarded to a friend who worked in Saudi Arabia for 20 years. The following is his reply:

Theologically – no, because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia ..

Religiously – no, because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam. (Quran, 2:256)(Koran)

Scripturally – no, because his allegiance is to the five Pillars of Islam and the Quran.

Geographically – no, because his allegiance is to Mecca , to which he turns in prayer five times a day.

Socially – no, because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.

Politically – no, because he must submit to the mullahs (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America , the great Satan.

Domestically – no, because he is instructed to marry four Women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him. (Quran 4:34 )

Intellectually – no, because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt. (Not so certain I’d agree with the claim that the Constitution is “based on Biblical principles.” That doesn’t sit right with me, considering that the forefathers had the good wisdom to value a separation of Church and State. However, this blog entry isn’t intended to be a discussion of whether we’re a Christian/religious nation or otherwise. Moving along…)

Philosophically – no, because Islam, Muhammad, and the Quran does not allow freedom of religion and expression. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist. Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic.

Spiritually – no, because when we declare ‘one nation under God,’ The Christian’s God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as Heavenly father, nor is he ever called love in the Quran’s 99 excellent names.

Therefore, after much study and deliberation… Perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country; they obviously cannot be both ‘good’ Muslims and ‘good’ Americans. Call it what you wish it’s still the truth.. You had better believe it. The more who understand this, the better it will be for our country and our future. The religious war is bigger than we know or understand!

Footnote: The Muslims have said they will destroy us from within SO FREEDOM IS NOT FREE.

THE MARINES WANT THIS TO ROLL ALL OVER THE U.S.
(Personally, I’m with the Marines on this one!)

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Hypocrisy, Who Isn’t Guilty of It?

16 May

New York Post: Osama Bin Wankin'!I’ve been looking back through some of the recent news articles and this one caught my eye (“Pornography Is Found in Bin Laden Compound Files, U.S. Officials Say“). The article drives home an important point; this isn’t the first time somebody has denounced another (person, group, country, etc.) only to later discover the phrase “The lady doth protest too much!” is quite apropos.

In bin Laden’s case, he accused America of “lax sexual mores” (citing the preoccupation of Americans with pornography, of which he apparently had an abundance of himself). I won’t deny many of us are too preoccupied with porn but I don’t see the issue as being limited only to our country. Porn is readily available on the Internet, in stores and on the street; those who indulge in and help to create the demand for same hail from all over the globe. Hell, even I have a predilection to watch it. Am I proud of that? No, but in the spirit of open-ended honesty I’ll admit to it. Odds are that most who spend any amount of time on the Internet, yourself included, have indulged in a peek “under the covers” from time to time.

Hypocrisy comes in all forms, from crooked politicians who bilk their constituents out of thousands and millions of dollars to ministers who preach one thing and do quite another…


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My thoughts on the Middle East and our Departure

22 Aug

Photo of tank with rocking chair on flag backgroundNo one person can, rather simply and with certainty, nail down just why the Middle East conflicts continue today but there are many contributing factors of influence which drive the war(s) that carry on. I doubt that our entering into the frakkus, post 9/11 really matters so much but there are compelling arguments some might make concerning our involvement prior to the terrorist attacks that fateful September day.

I’m proud to be an American and quite proud of what “America” stands for … but in this matter, our hands are not without their own fair share of blood.

My opinion has consistently been that we should never have allowed George W. Bush to drag us into two full-scale wars; one in Iraq and another in Afghanistan. I also believe there was much more going on behind the scenes, in the White House, than any of the nation’s constituents have ever been aware of. Had we been, we’d have probably been yelling more loudly for our own government’s reform and as well, impeachment, than we were for Osama Bin Laden’s head on a skewer.


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A Mosque in Manhattan

15 Aug

Click on photo to see one of the best photos, in my opinion, that has ever been taken of the Twin Towers in New York City.I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t been thinking about this ever since the news first took to the national stage. Collaborative efforts between two groups (the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative) have targeted New York City for the site of a 13-story community center which includes a Muslim mosque.

“What’s the problem”, you might ask? It isn’t so much that I have a problem with the proposal (and I admit that I do), but that I feel it’s in bad taste.

This is one of those times when I find it difficult to set aside my own prejudice whereas the Middle East is concerned. The loss of even ONE life, as the consequence of violence in the name of an extremist’s cause is too much but MANY lives were needlessly snuffed out on the day of the terrorist attacks in NYC on September 11, 2001. Regardless of whether the motivation behind the building of this center is of good intentions or not, surely those who are trying to build it in such close proximity (which is tasteless in and of itself) to Ground Zero must be able to understand why so many oppose it.


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Another Held Hostage by The Taliban

10 Jun

cartoon-terrorist-31I had originally written this in March of last year. Having just realized I’d never published the entry, I’m looking it over and feel much of what I had to say still applies given the current environment overseas. After all, we’re still in the Middle East all these many years post 9-11 and the area is no more stable than when we first went in. I’m still of the mind that the sands of the Taliban would look better with an application of nuclear heat to its surface; let’s just turn the whole damned region into a sheet of glass!! Anyway, what follows is what I originally did write in March of last year (along with an update at the end).
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When the Walls Fell

14 Sep

NY Times front pageWhere were you on the morning of September 11th, 2001, when those two magnificent towers in New York City did fall (each tower large enough that it had its own zip code)? Were you glued to the television screen, aghast that such a thing could be happening right here within our borders? Were you frantically attempting to reach a loved one on the telephone to ask, “Have you heard? Turn on the TV!” or hoping in the face of all odds your friend or family member was nowhere near what would come to be known as “Ground Zero.” As the minutes drew on it became clear that New York was not the only target; other planes had been commandeered by the terrorists as well, heading for other locations (including the Pentagon).

I had left my ex earlier that year and was staying with a friend temporarily as I prepared to embark on a 10-day meditation retreat (scheduled for a week or two later). If not for the retreat I don’t know how I would have weathered the feelings I did experience. I’m sure I would have been fine but I don’t know if I would have been “as okay” as I was.

The morning of 9-11-2001 was brutal; the emotions going through my mind as I watched first one then the next tower fall. The feeling of total helplessness and agony for the lives lost that day, their souls rushed on to the next destination – the next leg of their journey.


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Honoring the Fallen

14 Jul

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Every day it is the same around the world but for some their journeys upon this earth have come to an end. So many of us are caught up in our own daily lives we sometimes fail to remember those who make the freedoms we enjoy possible. Sadly, it takes news of “the Fallen” to reach home before we are motivated to stop and pay reverence for that which we enjoy within the boundaries of this great nation. Certainly we look back and give thanks during the holidays (such as Memorial and on Independence Day) but given the ultimate sacrifices others have given, shouldn’t we try a little harder to be thankful every day?
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The Middle East, Real World and Tomorrow

18 Mar

741677388_lThe ending to tonight’s episode of Real World brought up some emotion for me. While the terrorist acts of 9-11 still make me angry as all hell I’ve never felt we should have sent troops over to the Middle East. I know, I know; I’ve heard all the arguments about protecting our interests and stopping terrorism abroad, yada, yada, yada… But my problem is I think we have more than enough issues right here at home to attend to without adding the task of policing a region that seems so obviously “anti-American” (the impression I get).

This attitude doesn’t sit too well with many conservatives; especially those who placed their faith in George Walker Bush right up to the last days of his presidency. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve seen it suggested that if you’re against the war you must be against our brave men and women in the armed forces. Bullshit! It’s BECAUSE I support our service members that I rail against this war so much. I understand this is what they train for but you just don’t put your military in harm’s way without a really good reason to do so (and in my opinion President Bush was far too eager to use 9-11 as a tagline for Party votes, counting upon bad intelligence {go figure} to justify his war chest.)


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