Category Archives: Islam

Iran’s Role In Middle East

The American government has just decided that action must be taken against ISIS and other terror groups in the Middle East. US Secretary of State John Kerry made clear that Iran’s presence was not desired in any conference dealing with policy in the Middle East. He argued their presence “would not be appropriate” on grounds that “Iran has been deeply involved with its forces on the ground in Syria.” Kerry is absolutely correct, Iran HAS been involved in fostering the civil war in Syria by aiding dictator Bashar al-Assad. Of course, one could argue this involvement is all the more reason why Iran should be at conferences dealing with the region. Reality: Iran hates the Sunni led ISIS and wants it destroyed. Iran wants the Shiite led Iraq to be a successful entity. In other words, the foreign policy goals of Iran are the same as those of the United States of America. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, a concept that is a realistic approach to foreign policy.

Iran has troops which can be directed to Iraq and quickly crush ISIS. A combination of American air power and Iranian forces on the ground would result in destruction of ISIS within a few months. It is time to bring Iran into discussions that center on how can the Middle East become a region that is at peace and economically successful? Oh, and invite Israel to participate in such discussions!

It’s Saturday, Surprise, No NFL Player Hit Anyone!!

Today is Saturday and we feel comfortable reporting that not a single member of the National Football League beat up on a woman or on his kids. After a Mr. Rice was depicted in a video punching out his wife with a right hook to the face that sent her to the floor, Minnesota half back Adrien Peterson was arrested by police for using a switch to beat up on his FOUR YEAR OLD SON! Oh, his defense is that his parents beat the hell out of him so, naturally, he had to do what was done to his FOUR YEAR OLD SON. Hardly a day goes by without another story of beating women, using drugs or hitting someone. Perhaps it is time that NFL players received a lecture each week that if you want to play football, restrict your anger and desire to hit someone to players on the other team!

It is rather ironic that on the weekend of football games in the NFL, the main stories are about players hitting people who are NOT on the football field! There are moments when one wonders what is happening to football players that leads to such physical assaults on their loved ones? Is there something going on that we don’t know about? For God’s sake, just play FOOTBALL!!

John McCain Is Always Right!

Senator John McCain is ready to fight someone at the drop of the hat. He is ready to portray Barack Obama as the cause of any and all problems in the world. The Senator has now charged Obama policies for the current rise of ISIS. He charges that leaving Iraq was a mistake. “And the fact that they didn’t have a residual force in Iraq overriding his military advisers is the reason why we’re facing ISIS today.” Let’s look at the record:

1. President George Bush negotiated with the Iraq government to have American forces out of the country by 2011.

2. President Obama AGREED to leave a residual force of about 5,000 American troops PROVIDED that US forces were not subject to trial in an Iraq court of law.

3. The Iraq government refused to this request. I wonder what Senator McCain would have said if an American soldier was tried for a crime in a Muslim sharia law court!!

ISIS is the result of the George Bush invasion of Iraq that was supported by Senator John McCain!

Oh, the Wall Street Journal has concluded that Dick Cheney was correct all the time.

Hamas Ready To Talk?

The history of the 20th century is marked with examples of two groups which hate one another finally recognizing it is time to end disputes and live in peace with one another. Irish people fought against the British for over two hundred years before both parties agreed in the 1920s to live in peace with one another. During the 1990s, Nelson Mandela, leader of black South Africans reached an historic agreement with whites that ended apartheid. Israeli leaders insist their opponents are savages, terrorists, and it is impossible to negotiate with them. Of course, within a few years after the founding of Israel its leaders worked cooperatively with German leaders despite the fact Nazi Germany murdered SIX MILLION JEWS!

Hamas leader, Musa Abu Marzuk openly made comments of the intention of his group to discuss issues with Israel. “Just as you negotiate with weapons, you can negotiate with talk. UP to now our policy as no negotiation with Israel, but others should be aware that this issue is not taboo.” OK, Hamas is a terrorist group. So was the African National Congress led by Nelson Mandela. If Prime Minster Netanyahu would issue a statement agreeing to talk, who knows what might occur? Better to jaw, jaw, then to war, war!

“Them Or Me!”

Among the ongoing myths propagated by the National Rifle Association is that Americans in 2014 confront serious threats by criminals in the course of their daily lives. In every mayor American city, the number of murders is now at a record low. Crime has drooped, and the reasons have nothing to do with carrying guns. Whenever the number of males in the age bracket, 18-27 drops, so does crime. This group constitutes the major age bracket from whence comes crime. Second, the growing use of security firms to protect homes means greater protection against crime. Finally, police are drawing upon improved use of technology to identify potential areas of crime.

Theodor Wafer, was in his home in suburban Detroit, when he heard banging on his door. He became frightened, grabbed his gun and headed toward the door. “It was them or me” according to Theodor. Actually, the “them” was Renisha McBride who had crashed her car, was dazed and seeking some assistance. For some reason, she had stumbled onto his porch hoping someone would provide assistance. But, if your mind is filled with tales of hordes of criminals banging away at your door, what else to do but blast away through the door with your shotgun and kill the woman?

The jury found Mr. Wafer guilty of manslaughter. The Prosecutor pointed out a simple fact–why didn’t he pick up the phone and call the police? No one had broken through the locked door, so why not wait for the cops? Of course, in gun crazy NRA land, shoot first and ask questions later!

Republicans On Iraq Air Strikes

This intrepid reporter decided to seek reaction from leading Republicans about President Obama’s decision to send humanitarian aid plus air strikes in order to assist stranded Christians and other minorities in Iraq who are faced with death from ISIL.

Senator John McCain: “For months I have been telling the wimp President to show some balls and blast away in Iraq. How about sending in Special Forces to end this fiasco?”

Senator Rand Paul: “I am completely in favor of aiding Christians, and also any Jews. But, how much will this cost?”

John Boehner: “If this stuff has anything to do with ObamaCare, I am against it.”

Senator Ted Cruz: “First, protect our border against the hordes descending upon it. THAT is our priority!”

Senator Lindsay Graham: “Whatever John McCain goes double for me.”

Mitt Romney: “I told you, elect Obama and terrorism would increase.”

Sarah Palin: “Could you please point out on the map this Iraq?”

NRA: “Just another example as to what happens when people don’t carry around guns.”

Marco Rubio: “Does this have anything to do with illegal immigrants?”

George Bush: “Sorry, I don’t have time to comment, got some wood to chop”

Israel Jewishness Hijacked Democracy!

I was raised in a Conservative Jewish family by a mother and father who had endured incredible prejudice in Russia and Poland which led them to flee. I was raised in an East European Socialist Jewish environment in which one was taught from childhood that to be a Jew meant that one had to support the rights of all people. I was educated to believe that as a Jew it was impossible for me to oppress others or to support policies that made others suffer. Israel Sociologist Eva Illouz in a recent interview with Der Spiegel clearly outlined what has happened to Israelis as a result of half a century of being a colonial power ruling over Arabs. From the day when the West Bank became the center of Jewish settlements that, essentially drove out Palestinian land owners, the people of Israel have grown to accept their “right” to posses the land of others. Generation after generation has grown up living in a world in which Jews seize land of Palestinians, walls are constructed to prevent Jews from interacting with Palestinians, and the old dream of equality has gone bvy the boards.

According to Illouz, “Isral has a split schizophrenic self awareness. It cultivates its strengths and yet cannot stop seeing itself as weak and threatened…Israel is a colonial military power, a militarized society, and a democracy all folded into one. Israel has lost the capacity to identify with the suffering of a distant other.” Since Hamas is a vicious anti-Semitic entity, most Israelis feel justified in hating Arabs who they regard as inferior and a threat to the existence of Israel. “Fear is central to the psyche of Israel.” In other words, the “Jewishness has hijacked democracy.” Just about every action taken against Palestinians was taken against their ancestors in Europe. Just about every comment regarding Palestinians was made about Jews in Europe. Dirty, evil, criminals, can not be trusted, name any evil uttered about Arabs and it is an evil attributed to Jews in Europe.

Can any changes be made in this equation of hate? Perhaps, it is necessary for American Jews to assume responsibility for working with Israelis in an effort to connect them with their past. The “past” I refer to is that being a Jew means one fights for social justice for all. Being a Jew means that one supports the dream of a society based on equity. Perhaps, it is time for Israelis to journey to America and connect with their democratic past?

Whatever Happened To?

These days I wonder about, Whatever Happened TO:

The end of the Cold War in Europe?

The balanced budget that President Clinton left newly elected President Bush?

The promise of Barack Obama to end secrecy in government?

Our failure to pay attention to the words of wisdom of Sarah Palin?

The agreement that in view of John Kennedy’s assassination something had to be done to control access to guns?

The concept that a business was just that, a business, not a person?

Michelle Bachmann who daily offered her thoughts which led to another column about nonsense?

Firing those in government who lied to the President and Americans?

When we called people, people, not folks?

The end of violence in the Middle East now that Saddam Hussein was dead?

The end of violence in the Middle East now that Muammar Gaddafi was dead?

Creation of the independent state of Palestine?

When people at lunch talked with one another rather than with a machine?

Arabs, An Appointment In Samarra

There is an old Arab folk tale which should be read every morning by every leader in Hamas. “Once upon a time, a servant went out into the market place to shop for his master. As he gathered up fruits, he suddenly noticed that Death was in the marketplace. He ran home and told his master that he had seen Death in the marketplace. His Master grew frightened and decided to flee to the town of Samarra. He left in a hurry. The servant returned to the marketplace and walked up to Death. He berated Death for frightening his Master. Death apologized if his presence frightened his master and told the Servant that he had merely halted for a few hours because he had an appointment in Samarra.” The leaders of Hamas have an appointment in Samarra. The problem is that they will not go to that town, but people living in Gaza will be forced to head in that direction. The 72 hour ceasefire ended, and Hamas sent 35 rockets headed toward Israel. Naturally, Israel artillery responded with shells. Naturally, more civilians in Gaza will receive a premature appointment in Samarra.

Leaders of Hamas insist they won the recent war. The last time they fought the Israel Army only about ten Jewish soldiers were killed, but during recent weeks they killed 60. A Hamas spokesperson said there would not be a ceasefire until Israel agrees to its demands. On which planet are Hamas leaders living? The only “victory” for anyone is–an end to violence!

Collateral Damage In Iraq

Since day one of the great invasion of Iraq that was initiated by the dynamic trio of Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, the collateral damage of this conflict has simply been ignored by the American government and media. For example, how many Americans know that in March, 2003 there were nearly a million Christians in Iraq who traced their ancestry back nearly 2000 years? How many Americans know these were descendants of early Christians who followed the word of Jesus Christ? Today, thanks to the Born Again Christian, George Bush, only about 400,00 of these CHRISTIANS still remain in Iraq. George and the boys created a Muslim fanatic government which did not intend to grant Christians any favors. Of course, the Kurds in northern Iraq said “goodbye” to Iraq and went their merry way of independence. In fairness to George, he is not responsible for the flight of 150,000 Jews who left Iraq by the 1970s.

Let me explain something to the Dynamic Trio–Christians were a second class minority within Muslim societies. They lacked power and existed due to sufferance of Muslim rulers. Saddam Hussein granted them equality in order to have a group that was disliked by Muslim clerics. In other words, “my friend is the enemy of my enemy.” By the way, Georgie boy, as you chop wood and go to church on Sunday in Texas, just remember, YOU are the one responsible for the flight of Iraq Christians from their homeland.

Today, yet another example of Collateral Damage. There is a minority Muslim group called the Yazidi. They are deemed heretics by Muslim clerics. They have been around for several hundred years. However, since growth of ISIS, the latest form of fanatical Muslims, the Yazidi have fled their towns. Over 100,000 are now in Kurdistan. About 40,000 are trapped on Mount Sinjar. As one refugee noted: “we are being told to convert or to lose our heads. There is no one coming to help.”

How about contacting George Bush? At least he could provide wood for your fires!