Last night I posted some comments on another blog, which I rarely do, because there’s rarely any discussions or even debating issues, that is a give and take of ideas in online forums or in the public square or townhall. For whatever the issue, people quickly choose their partisan affiliation, break up into virulent factions and thus begins the hurling talking points back and forth, the name-calling and the automatic dismissal of what anyone with an opposing view presents.
Perhaps, my naturally snarky disposition predisposes me to raising hackles, because last night I was called pompous, an armchair expert, one who presents “quisling appeasement arguments” on the matter of dealing with radical Islamists intent on killing us (being Americans and other Westerners). I probably should have just turned the other cheek and walked away and I admit freely, without nearly as much contrition as I probably ought feel, I responded in a catty fashion.
I’ve quoted this blog many times, even though often the comments section runs into what I consider racist commentary, because they work on the crowd-sourcing method, where lots of posters generate lots of information. Even this thread allowed a comment that I felt was outright racist. This blog fixates on the high-profile black/police controversies and high-profile race cases. After my exchange with that poster, I submitted two other, what I considered, thoughtful, comments in response to other posters on the topic and as of this morning, those comments are sitting in moderation, making me suspect I was banned. Yes, yours truly, libertybelle, managed to offend someone, lol. Who would have thunk that…The other poster, who called me names from the beginning, is still posting there,
In any group of people not ALL of them are the same – they are INDIVIDUALS. You can check out the exchange and judge me and yes, I regret getting catty and hope that I don’t come across as pompous or as someone who throws out “quisling appeasement arguments”. I took umbrage at being summarily cast into some group by a person, who dismissed me out of hand, without explaining where I was wrong or presenting evidence to show the information I presented was a “quisling appeasement argument”. She dismissed me as not worth even talking to and I call women like her queens, they try to lord it over others, based on illegitimate power. That is what offended me – not the personal attack, but the, “Well, that’s just precious. It’s really sweet that you can read stuff and be an armchair expert.” attitude. I tried to explain who I am and that I do have some knowledge of military strategy and I told her, “I don’t know what “like-minded people” you think I am like. I support national security 100%, but I believe in comprehensive strategic-planning, not knee-jerk reactionary “go kill ISIS!”
I relay this little catty exchange for a higher purpose. The purpose is to discuss FREEDOM and hopefully I won’t present a “quisling appeasement argument” and I hope, I don’t come across as an armchair expert, but I am going to defend myself. I have spent part of almost every day since 1980, reading and trying to understand “war” and “military strategy”. I try to understand both the strategy and tactics that armies, past and present, employ to wage war. I read history and more history. I follow the news. I look at maps and try to understand the geography of various regions. I look at old ideas successful armies used and try to think about ways those ideas might be used in our military. I hope I don’t come across as pompous and as this is my personal blog, people are FREE to consider my views or not, but my purpose is not to impress anyone or get noticed. The purpose is I refuse to ever let anyone silence me -especially some arrogant woman using illegitimate or borrowed power! Whether wearing her husband’s rank on a blog or being a co-President in America, I don’t care, as an American, I will exercise my right to FREE speech. Being banned from that blog is no issue to me, because I am FREE to express myself here on my own blog and publicly. I’ve faced bigger challenges to my FREE SPEECH and even my very LIBERTY and I am not a quisling!
I’m going to talk about an exchange on that blog last night in the big picture, global context first and then in the next post, I want to talk about the little picture, FACTIONS in America:
The other poster said to me:
“I hate to break it to you, but ALL Islamists are radicals.
Islam is a cultural and political philosophy that is antithetical to the Enlightened West.”
“All Islamists are radicals, All Islamists are Muslims. Not all Muslims are Islamists, Therefore, not all Muslims are radicals – sorry that’s logic, I have yet to find any two people anywhere I have been, here or abroad who are both ALL anything – human beings tend to be INDIVIDUALS. As an American. I love meeting people anywhere as individuals and trying to get to know them, not accepting what I have heard about ALL of their group (nationality, religion, race, whatever).”
In the Muslim world Sharia law, practiced to varying extremes, is a totalitarian political system masquerading as a religion. Muslims are taught to conform, from cradle to grave, to the dictates of the enforcers of Sharia law. They have very little FREEDOM. I have known some Muslims who aren’t radical Islamists, and while the poster is likely right that all those who join up with an Islamist group are radicals, her other comments led me to believe she feels this applies to Muslims in general.
In places where religious indoctrination squashes free thinking and free choice, most people conform to the rules. If minor infractions like being a female riding a bike in her neighborhood can result in public lashing or imprisonment, it’s easy to understand the deafening silence from the purported vast, moderate majority of Muslims we’re told exists.
Even in America, the silence surprised me. We have lots of leftist indoctrination going on in our colleges and universities, where free speech is under attack, we also have leftist activists fueling anti-American causes and anti-Semitism. We’ve got radical jihadi recruitment going on in many American mosques and communities too. Another factor in the silence might be when former Muslims, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, speak out, they live with the daily burden of needing constant security, because their very lives are on the line in this battle against radical Islamists. What’s that saying, courage is rare, cowardice legion.
There’s been debate about “winning the hearts and minds”of Muslims. SOME fear criticizing Islam offends ALL Muslims and therefore might incite more terrorist attacks. SOME fear openly criticizing or offending Islam might create more radical Muslims. SOME fear private citizens criticizing ISLAM might negatively impact American foreign policy or put US troops, at home and abroad, at risk. I’ve unequivocally stated that I feel that argument is nonsense and that we need to speak up, loud and clear, and defend FREE SPEECH. We should use these opportunities to explain that in America INDIVIDUALS are FREE – they are FREE to THINK, BELIEVE and SAY whatever they want. Women here can even DRESS however they choose. There are NO CONSEQUENCES in our legal system for being able to enjoy FREEDOM. Throughout man’s history, INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM scares totalitarian regimes – whether it be a brutal king, a crushing communist regime or a 7th century religion casting holy terror, on it’s own people, and far beyond.
Our foreign policy response to the threat from the escalating radicalization taking place within the Islamist movement ranks as disjointed, lacking any sort of coherence and frankly between soft people’s revolts, which the US government encouraged, walking away from Iraq, the entire ME sits as a powder keg of explosive radicals engaged in brutal battle, dangerous power vacuums, massive instability from fleeing refugees, unstable governments and a looming nuclear arms race between the two houses of Islam, the Sunni and the Shia. A detailed foreign policy plan is something I’ll hold for another day. Defeat ISIS is a way too simplistic stance, without a clear, long-range comprehensive strategy to bolster some sort of regional security framework and as a general idea, I believe we should:
“Every effort should be made to reduce ethnic and regional friction points, but in the big picture world, we all need a geopolitical structure that offers some stability. That comes from global leadership and strength, not from the major world powers feverishly eliminating their nuclear arsenals and hoping others follow suit. A phrase like “greatest threat” presumes a whole heck of a lot and basically it’s sheer arrogance to believe one problem poses the greatest threat.”
I like to dissect strategic challenges into long range goals (the traditional Ends) and sift through ways and means too. I like to think about short and intermediate goals and I am always thinking about, “well if that doesn’t work, what then”, or I try to step into our adversaries’ shoes and brainstorm how the world looks from their position. Now, how I started thinking about all this was because long ago, I was a young woman assigned to a Pershing missile unit in 1980 and trying to wrap my mind around “mutually assured destruction” scared me. I have been reading and thinking about our national security strategy almost every day since 1980 and asking myself “Why?” I am seeking a different path forward to provide, not just a national security framework, but an international security framework for ALL of us. Yes, quite an insurmountable obstacle, a pipe dream perhaps, but there you have it – that is my personal mission and I’ll keep studying, reading history, and considering new ideas unto that end. I am a nobody homemaker, but I am an American and no one ever told me I can’t succeed. I started writing my thoughts and ideas here and welcome other ideas.
I believe too much effort is directed toward extremes of “kill them all” or “bow down in submission to Islamist nuts intent on killing all of us“. Hopefully, my determination to explore other avenues, than the extremes, doesn’t make me a quisling, an armchair expert or naive. I’m a mother and a grandmother wondering about the future for them and I believe, we need to explore new ways of bolstering an international security framework and that demands LEADERSHIP.
What America needs most is better LEADERSHIP. Policy failures dealing with the rising radical Islamist threat abound in both the Bush and Obama administrations, but in the Obama administration, America has abdicated it’s role as a global leader. The weak and appeasing foreign policy decisions by this president have sown international distrust, instability, and chaos. Into the void, the Russians, the Chinese, Iran and dangerous radical Islamists smelled that fear and moved. That is where America stands now – we have a weak, cowardly person to lead us. There aren’t any easy ways forward with an incompetent and cowardly leader, so railing for military action just puts our troops at risk, creates more chaos in the ME and emboldens the above mentioned adversaries to easily thwart any move President Obama makes. Anyway, he’s too busy bowing to the mullahs in Iran to notice the disintegrating security situation, at home or abroad. And most of all I don’t believe he cares one bit about the troops.
In my next post I am going to talk about the danger factions in America pose to remaining the United States of America.
I decided to add one more link to a post I wrote last year, which expands on some of my thoughts: “Who will defend our castle?”