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Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Ministry of Lies

With its recent public statement on Syria, the U.S. government has gone full 1984:
The US has seized on Syrian air force strikes on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) stronghold of Raqqa to denounce Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and push for his government’s removal. For the past three years, the Obama administration has backed anti-Assad militias in Syria. The main aim of its new Middle Eastern war remains regime-change in Damascus.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Wednesday said the US was “horrified” by reports that Syrian air strikes the previous day killed scores of civilians. She condemned the Syrian regime’s “continued slaughter of Syria civilians” and “callous disregard for human life,” declaring that “Assad long ago lost all legitimacy to govern.”

According to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at least 95 people were killed in the air strikes on Tuesday, including 52 civilians. A Raqqa activist with the Syrian opposition network—the Local Co-ordination Committees—told the BBC that further deaths were likely because only one hospital was operating normally in the city and “a lot of people [are] dying from their wounds.” Both organisations are aligned with the pro-Western opposition in Syria that is hostile to both Assad and ISIS.
 Meanwhile:

Although the US-led coalition has conducted about 300 air strikes in Syria since September, it has evidently failed to weaken the Islamic State, stated Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem. "All the indications say that (Islamic State) today, after two months of coalition air strikes, is not weaker," Walid al-Moualem emphasized in an interview with the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen TV broadcast, as quoted by Reuters.

It's like a very bad, very dark joke. Washington is denouncing Syrian air strikes on the Islamic State while simultaneously launching 300 of its own air strikes on the Islamic State in Syrian territory.

Do you still seriously question the obvious fact that the US government are the bad guys here? Do good guys ever behave in a manner indistinguishable from Orwell's fictional monsters? Do you still wonder why fewer and fewer people believe a single word coming out of the U.S. federal government? Perhaps the biggest irony is that Washington is decrying Syrian air strikes that caused LESS collateral damage, in percentage terms, than the AVERAGE U.S. air strike.

If Assad's government is said to have lost its legitimacy to govern on the basis of a single day's air strikes, has not the U.S. government also lost its legitimacy on the basis of the hundreds of air strikes it launched over the course of three months?  I also note that this further supports William S. Lind's statement about the effectiveness of air power:

"Air power works against you, not for you. It kills lots of people who weren’t your enemy, recruiting their relatives, friends and fellow tribesmen to become your enemies. In this kind of war, bombers are as useful as 420mm siege mortars."
 -  from "Incapable of Learning", ON WAR

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66 Comments:

Anonymous Steveo November 30, 2014 9:40 AM  

Incitatus would govern better; at least you know its a horse, doing what a horse does.

Anonymous Will Best November 30, 2014 9:48 AM  

Washington is denouncing Syrian air strikes on the Islamic State while simultaneously launching 300 of its own air strikes on the Islamic State in Syrian territory.

White Privilege

Blogger Shimshon November 30, 2014 10:18 AM  

All Obama has decided to do is adopt the Red Queen's attitude to foreign policy. Through deconstructionist techniques, impossible is rendered as contradictory. Believing in six mutually contradictory things before breakfast is even more impressive, really.

"I'm just one hundred and one, five months and a day."
"I can't believe that!" said Alice.
"Can't you?" the Queen said in a pitying tone. "Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes."
Alice laughed. "There's no use trying," she said: "one can't believe impossible things."
"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Anonymous zippo November 30, 2014 10:30 AM  

Remind me again why we care at all about Assad? ISIS of course are such grand guignol monsters that it's sorely tempting to bomb them into the earth's core, but that doesn't mean that we should actually do it, or that we're obliged to. But Assad is a legitimate ruler putting down a rebellion as he sees fit. What difference does it make to us?

Blogger Shimshon November 30, 2014 10:34 AM  

"We" don't care about Assad much at all. What "we" seem to care about is his alliance with Iran. So, in another 1984-ish move, Obama actively courts Iran while simultaneously doing his best to topple its sole ally in the Mideast.

Blogger Zimri November 30, 2014 10:38 AM  

"If Assad's government is said to have lost its legitimacy to govern on the basis of a single day's air strikes, has not the U.S. government also lost its legitimacy on the basis of the hundreds of air strikes it launched over the course of three months?"

The Federal state lost its legitimacy in the 1860s.

Blogger Hunsdon November 30, 2014 10:42 AM  

Hmm. Iraq is inarguably not better off now than it was under Saddam. Libya is inarguably not better off now than it was under Qaddafi. Ah, but Syria! That will be different. We'll find some more moderate anti government elements to support . . . and that cash and material won't end up in ISIS/fundamentalist/extremist hands, pinkie promise!

When we started funding "moderate antigovernment elements" in Syria, I said that the guns and money would end up in the hands of extremists, because when moderate elements hear gunfire in the streets, they hit their knees and pray to God or Allah or the Flying Spaghetti Monster that it passes them by. The people who, when they hear gunfire in the streets, trot towards the sound of the guns? Hillbillies, rednecks, gang bangers, religious fundamentalists . . . .

Blogger Ragin' Dave November 30, 2014 10:48 AM  

Well, having a coherent military policy would help, but in order to have that, you first have to have a coherent foreign policy. The Obama clownshow has neither. Iraq was won. We weren't winning, we won, and then we ran away like scared little girls and surrendered to whomever wanted to win.

The only real foreign policy Obama has ever had is "America bad!" It shows in how he deals with everybody else on the world stage. I don't think America will ever recover from Obama, because Obama is only a symptom of the disease; that being a majority of people who would vote for a thin-skinned narcissistic buffoon just because he promised them free shit.

Were I an ally of the USA right now, I would seriously be ramping up my military spending and finding ways to cut ties, because America just proved that they can't be trusted on the world stage at all. Yeah, we might elect someone who actually knows what they're doing, but we might just elect another communist anti-American Constitution-shredder like Obola.

Anonymous Dan in Tx November 30, 2014 10:59 AM  

Anyone who couldn't see that the sudden urgent need to fight ISIS was nothing more than the needed excuse to attack Syria that they had been denied last year has got to be blind. Just amazing how that just happened to work out, huh? Kind of like how ISIS is this radical, crazy fundamentalist Muslim jihad group that only ever seems to kill Christians and other Muslims but never, ever, ever attacks Israel. It's a mystery!

Anonymous bob k. mando November 30, 2014 11:02 AM  

Will Best November 30, 2014 9:48 AM
White Privilege



sorry, the US President identifies as Negro.

this is clearly Black Privilege demanding racial reparations from the peoples ( Arabics / Semitics ) who historically went into the interior of southern Africa, captured blacks by the hundreds of thousands and slaved to them to markets from Indonesia to North America.

it's social justice, really.

in your regularly scheduled NFL OT, Ray Rice has his suspension overturned ...

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/ray-rice-ruling-disparages-goodell/story?id=27246842
"The commissioner of the National Football League came up so small and weak in initially handing Ray Rice a two-game suspension that he deserved to have a former federal judge reinstate the running back and announce to the world that Goodell was full of it."

Anonymous bob k. mando November 30, 2014 11:04 AM  

Will Best November 30, 2014 9:48 AM
White Privilege



sorry, the US President identifies as Negro.

this is clearly Black Privilege demanding racial reparations from the peoples ( Arabics / Semitics ) who historically went into the interior of southern Africa, captured blacks by the hundreds of thousands and slaved to them to markets from Indonesia to North America.

it's social justice, really.

in your regularly scheduled NFL OT, Ray Rice has his suspension overturned ...

http://abcnews.go.com/Sports/ray-rice-ruling-disparages-goodell/story?id=27246842
"The commissioner of the National Football League came up so small and weak in initially handing Ray Rice a two-game suspension that he deserved to have a former federal judge reinstate the running back and announce to the world that Goodell was full of it."

Blogger Salt November 30, 2014 11:24 AM  

sorry, the US President identifies as Negro.

I've even heard him, though I'm sure [snicker] it was a mis-speak, identify as Kenyan.

Anonymous crazy-talkin' zen0 November 30, 2014 11:27 AM  

One would think the administration is trying to re-establish the caliphate, but of course, anyone who thinks that is obviously crazy, kind of like the people who insist Michelle is a man, like that crazy Joan Rivers who just happened to die soon after in a medical mishap.

Anonymous Stilicho November 30, 2014 11:35 AM  

Refresh my recollection: when was it that Congress authorized war against Syria. Because that is what providing "military assistance" to effect "regime change" is...war against a sovereign state. The War Powers Act only authorizes 90 days of military action without Congressional approval (which was sought and denied last year), but apparently it is permissible to deploy defense contractors and the munitions indefinitely. Because democracy.

Anonymous Gecko November 30, 2014 11:38 AM  

Further evidence that the U.S. is actually assisting ISIS rather than working against it. Saudi Arabia must be pleased.

Anonymous Stilicho November 30, 2014 11:40 AM  

Zeno, she isn't a man, she's estrogen-challenged (or just a very Y's negress).

Anonymous Bz November 30, 2014 11:43 AM  

"Incitatus would govern better"

At least he would reliably vote nay.

Blogger IM2L844 November 30, 2014 11:46 AM  

All Obama has decided to do is adopt the Red Queen's attitude to foreign policy.

Foreign AND domestic, but they are convinced you will be won over by the all important catchphrases.

This is so bizarrely schizophrenic, it difficult to imagine it's mere bungling.

Blogger Tommy Hass November 30, 2014 11:46 AM  

What exactly is the problem with Assad? He is a Godsend: the elusive moderate, secular muslim that knows how to deal with extremist, Islamist muslims.

I would say who is probably responsible but then, they will whine about Jooos.

Blogger Tommy Hass November 30, 2014 11:50 AM  

""Incitatus would govern better"

At least he would reliably vote nay."

Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus November 30, 2014 12:10 PM  

Do you still seriously question the obvious fact that the US government are the bad guys here?

No.

Anonymous The other skeptic November 30, 2014 12:40 PM  

And the Oligarchy moves to protect the banks yet again.

Anonymous FUBAR Nation Ben November 30, 2014 12:43 PM  

Iran plays the long game just like China. The only way to defeat Iran is to invade, occupy and settle it. Which has never been done except for the Arabs defeating the Sassanids 1400 years ago. Even then the Persians retain much of the ancient culture that spans 2,500 years.

Anonymous Mike M. November 30, 2014 1:01 PM  

Ah, but the goal isn't to defeat Iran, it's to de-nuclearize it. Possibly with a side helping of regime change, IF a suitable alternative could be found.

Americans get so obsessed with total surrender that we forget it's usually cheaper to win a limited victory.

Blogger ajw308 November 30, 2014 1:07 PM  

"Our airstrikes are better than yours, I could teach you, but I'd have to charge."
Barack Obama's lyrics to the Airstrike Song

Anonymous The other skeptic November 30, 2014 1:16 PM  

Amusing comparison of activities that require a photo id vs those that don't.

Anonymous Storm Saxon's Gall Bladder November 30, 2014 1:28 PM  

POTUS has adopted the Muzzlum Brotherhood's foreign policy. That is why "our" policy is that Assad must go.

Blogger Ghost November 30, 2014 1:36 PM  

I'm surprised more leftists aren't upset about the carbon footprint of all those drones and bombings. That can't be good for mother Gaia, right?

Wait, did I say surprised? I meant the opposite of that.

Anonymous Rolf November 30, 2014 2:39 PM  

You should take a knife to a knife fight.

It's a good plan to take a gun to a gun fight.

We've been trying to fight a religious war with political correctness and lawyers. We should be armed with at least a coherent counter-point philosophical position, a modern and appropriate equivalent of Martin Luther's 95 Theses to nail to the mosque door to encourage a serious discussion among the muslim faithful and leadership, ideally something with the possibility of leading to a major reformation and clarification.

Anonymous Drone In Chief, Droning on and on November 30, 2014 2:45 PM  

We have to bomb them over there, else we'll have to bomb over here.
Besides, Aquinas and Just War.

And I Won

Blogger Tommy Hass November 30, 2014 4:35 PM  

"We've been trying to fight a religious war with political correctness and lawyers. We should be armed with at least a coherent counter-point philosophical position, a modern and appropriate equivalent of Martin Luther's 95 Theses to nail to the mosque door to encourage a serious discussion among the muslim faithful and leadership, ideally something with the possibility of leading to a major reformation and clarification."

Eh, Muslims are often descended from warlike, savage people. Trying to reform the doctrine on it's own is insufficient.

If western people had even half of the common sense that some other nations have (Japan, China, Russia) this wouldn't even be a remote problem.

Blogger Salt November 30, 2014 4:43 PM  

I'm surprised more leftists aren't upset about the carbon footprint of all those drones and bombings.

PETA too, with all the goats and camels that have probably been smoked.

Anonymous Rick Johnsmeyer November 30, 2014 5:03 PM  

"Iraq was won."

Nope.

"I don't think America will ever recover from Obama"

Are his war policies materially-distinct in any important ways from what those of McCain or Romney might have been? It all ambles toward the same end - useless and pricey "interventions" which make little sense when examined even briefly, unless you start imputing some really malign motives to their architects.

One problem with "corporate approved" Republican rhetoric is that assigns all the blame to a figurehead (Obama in this case) and absolves itself of responsibility for our ruinous foreign policy. The idea being that by tossing out the figurehead, all would be right again.

But that's hardly even the beginning of our woes. Until the GOP purges its ranks of the neocons, it will remain worthless (and in fact actively harmful) when it comes to foreign affairs.

Anonymous kfg November 30, 2014 5:52 PM  

" . . . unless you start imputing some really malign motives to their architects."

Run the equation the other way around, examine their actions, then find the motives that fit them.
This isn't assignment, it's deductive analysis. The result is what the result is.
I can't do anything about people who then apply the fallacy of undesirable consequences to the result.

Blogger Markku November 30, 2014 5:52 PM  

Rolf, well, I think it is patently obvious that ISIS is theologically in the right, which is exactly why it is so easy for them to recruit. They don't need complicated theological arguments. They just need to point to the text.

There is just no place for a reformation. I mean, even if you don't think Luther was right, I would expect that the majority of detractors would still agree that he honestly THOUGHT he was right. This couldn't be the case for the prospective reformer. He would damn well know he's spewing bullshit.

Anonymous Titus Didius Tacitus November 30, 2014 6:04 PM  

Rick Johnsmeyer: "Until the GOP purges its ranks of the neocons, it will remain worthless (and in fact actively harmful) when it comes to foreign affairs."

That's true.

Blogger Tommy Hass November 30, 2014 6:17 PM  

"They just need to point to the text."

I don't think you know what you're talking about. Nowhere does it say that you#re permitted to kill kids because they're non believers.

Anonymous Daniel November 30, 2014 6:18 PM  

Put another way, ISIS is Martin Luther. He wasn't trying to combat Catholic ideology. He was trying to cleanse its practice.

Blogger Markku November 30, 2014 6:21 PM  

"The Prophet passed by me at a place called Al-Abwa or Waddan, and was asked whether it was permissible to attack the pagan warriors at night with the probability of exposing their women and children to danger. The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)."
Sahih Bukhari 4:52:256

It is narrated by Sa'b b. Jaththama that he said (to the Holy Prophet)" Messenger of Allah, we kill the children of the polytheists during the night raids". He said: "They are from them".
Sahih Muslim 19:4322

---

Now, I don't remember right now, which Hadiths are accepted by the Shi'ites and which by Sunnis. But at least if you belong to the sect that does accept these particular hadiths, then nothing could be more unambiguous.

Blogger Markku November 30, 2014 6:35 PM  

Put another way, ISIS is Martin Luther.

Agreed, absolutely.

Anonymous Salt November 30, 2014 6:52 PM  

The Prophet replied, "They (i.e. women and children) are from them (i.e. pagans)."

ABOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) - Pope Francis said on Sunday that equating Islam with violence was wrong and called on Muslim leaders to issue a global condemnation of terrorism to help dispel the stereotype.

Anonymous Godfrey November 30, 2014 7:26 PM  

This is the reason I don't watch the MSM and literally haven't for decades. It is nothing more than a tool of manipulation and to the best of my ability, I attempt to be manipulation free.

Manipulation is the true political divide. There are those who are unaware of the manipulation and those who are aware of the manipulation. Most here are in the latter category.

Anonymous zippo November 30, 2014 7:27 PM  

"and called on Muslim leaders to issue a global condemnation of terrorism to help dispel the stereotype."

And then........... they declined to do so.

Funny, that.

Muslims themselves equate Islam with violence. It's an article of faith for them. This pope is a retard.

Anonymous VD November 30, 2014 7:53 PM  

I don't think you know what you're talking about. Nowhere does it say that you#re permitted to kill kids because they're non believers.

Care to retract that one, Tommy? You should know better than to make claims like that around here. People do their homework.

Blogger Robert What? November 30, 2014 8:31 PM  

We have a full rogue, criminal government in Washington DC. Paid for by our taxes extracted at gunpoint.

Blogger Tommy Hass November 30, 2014 9:13 PM  

I didn't know that Christians were polytheists but whatever.

There are a couple of problems here:

1. That's not from "the text".
2. In the OT, God orders the genocide of the Canaanites, IIRC. You excuse this, since it is a one time commandment and it isn't a requirement for modern Christians.

I'm not sure if you were aware of it, but back then, the pagans/polytheists of Mecca wer waging war against the Muslims of Medina. It is reasonable to assume that this was a specific statement about the war against "the pagans" (that are attacking us) rather than pagans as a whole.

Then there is this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_military_jurisprudence#Ethics_of_warfare

"During his life, Muhammad gave various injunctions to his forces and adopted practices toward the conduct of war. The most important of these were summarized by Muhammad's companion and first Caliph, Abu Bakr, in the form of ten rules for the Muslim army:[7]

“ O people! I charge you with ten rules; learn them well!
Stop, O people, that I may give you ten rules for your guidance in the battlefield. Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man. Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy's flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.[7]"

Cherrypicking? Not any more than you do.

You may argue that I am biased, but read this passage of the Quran:

"Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.

And kill them wherever you overtake them and expel them from wherever they have expelled you, and fitnah is worse than killing. And do not fight them at al-Masjid al- Haram until they fight you there. But if they fight you, then kill them. Such is the recompense of the disbelievers.

And if they cease, then indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.

Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah . But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors.

[Fighting in] the sacred month is for [aggression committed in] the sacred month, and for [all] violations is legal retribution. So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him."

Al Baqarah 2:190-194

I actually meant to say is that "what is ISIS is doing is observably wrong as described in the Quran".

Given your knowledge of the Dhimmi system, you cannot possibly arrive at the conclusion that killing non Muslims is a Muslims sacred duty.

What ISIS is doing clearly breaks the rules I just cited. The Christians that live in Iraq and Syria are not attacking Muslims and therefore, don't deserve death.

Blogger Markku November 30, 2014 9:36 PM  

I didn't know that Christians were polytheists but whatever.

Quote: S. 9 (29) And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the saying of those who disbelieved of old. Allah (Himself) fighteth against them. How perverse are they! (30) They have taken as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One God.

(Note that this is from Quran, so this would be something that ALL Muslims believe. The problem with Hadiths is always that the Sunni will deny the Shi'ite Hadith and vice versa.)

1. That's not from "the text".

It is from theirs. Just like for a Mormon, a passage from Doctrines and Covenants is just as much from "the text" as a passage from The Book of Mormon. But, granted, you might be Sunni, and therefore have grounds to reject the Hadith, if it's Shi'ite-only. Can't remember, nor be bothered to check.

Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man.

Which is exactly why the narrator would ask Mohammed about killing THESE particular children. And so, the doctrine gets clarified: That rule didn't refer to children of pagans and polytheists.

I mean, if this was Christian theology, then this would be among the most basic apparent conflicts to resolve. Grade-school stuff.

What ISIS is doing clearly breaks the rules I just cited.

No, it doesn't.

http://edition.cnn.com/2014/07/19/world/meast/christians-flee-mosul-iraq/

Salman al-Farisi, the ISIS-appointed governor of Mosul, declared that any family that planned to on staying in Mosul and not to converting to Islam would be required to pay 550,000 Iraqi dinar (about $470).

---

They had the jizya option.

Blogger Markku November 30, 2014 9:48 PM  

As a side note, I'm still amused by an SJW some ten years ago, when I made a similar point, and he said something like "Blaming Islam for the Hadiths would be like blaming Christians for the Acts of Apostles!"

Exactly, mr. SJW. Essentially all of Christendom has always considered the Acts to be precisely as authoritative as the Gospels.

Anonymous zen0 November 30, 2014 9:55 PM  

It is very simple. Muslims who justify killing women and children based on their faith are not true muslims, even though they seem to think they are.

Nor are they Scotsman, apparently. But some may be someday, the way things are going..

Those suicide bombers and airplane hijackers that killed women and children were not muslims, nor were they inspired by true Islam.

They sure will get a surprise, I suspect, when they get to Paradise and all the street signs are in Hebrew.

Blogger Tommy Hass November 30, 2014 9:56 PM  

"(Note that this is from Quran, so this would be something that ALL Muslims believe. The problem with Hadiths is always that the Sunni will deny the Shi'ite Hadith and vice versa.)"

Except Christians are the people of the book and have a privileged standing among non muslims. It's cute seing you try to lawyer your way through this, but despite that passage, Christians aren't what is referred to when Arabs back then talked about "pagans/polytheists".

"Which is exactly why the narrator would ask Mohammed about killing THESE particular children. And so, the doctrine gets clarified: That rule didn't refer to children of pagans and polytheists.

I mean, if this was Christian theology, then this would be among the most basic apparent conflicts to resolve. Grade-school stuff."

Actual muslim scholars choose a different tack.

"Muhammad ibn Idris ash-Shafi`i (d. 820), founder of the Shafi'i school of thought, was the first to permit offensive jihad. He limited this warfare against pagan Arabs only, not permitting it against non-Arab non-Muslims.[18]

Javed Ahmad Ghamidi believes that after Muhammad and his companions, there is no concept in Islam obliging Muslims to wage war for propagation or implementation of Islam. The only valid basis for military jihad is to end oppression when all other measures have failed. Islam only allows jihad to be conducted by a government.[22][23][24]

According to Abdulaziz Sachedina, offensive jihad raises questions about whether jihad is justifiable on moral grounds. He states that the Qur'an requires Muslims to establish just public order, increasing the influence of Islam, allowing public Islamic worship, through offensive measures. To this end, the Qur'anic verses revealed required Muslims to wage jihad against unbelievers who persecuted them. This has been complicated by the early Muslim wars of expansion, which he argues were although considered jihad by Sunni scholars, but under close scrutiny can be determined to be political. Moreover, the offensive jihad points more to the complex relationship with the "People of the book".[21]"

"According to all Muslim scholars it is not permissible to kill women or children unless they are fighting against the Muslims. According to the Shafi'i school it is permissible to kill all types of adult men. According to the Hanafi, Hanbali and Maliki schools it is not permissible to kill old men, monks, peasants, employees and traders (this meaning male non-combatants).

Harming civilian areas and pillaging residential areas is also forbidden,[33] as is the destruction of trees, crops, livestock and farmlands.[29][34] The Muslim forces may not loot travelers, as doing so is contrary to the spirit of jihad.[35] Nor do they have the right to use the local facilities of the native people without their consent. If such a consent is obtained, the Muslim army is still under the obligation to compensate the people financially for the use of such facilities. However, Islamic law allows the confiscation of military equipment and supplies captured from the camps and military headquarters of the combatant armies.[33][36]"

Furthermore, the ten rules laid out came AFTER that quote by Muhammad. Meaning, it cannot be understood as a clarification of Abu Bakr's rules of engagement.

It is far more sensible to use the "it was different back then" argument that you guys mention when handwaving the genocides of the Jews against their enemies. Muslims were vulnerable against the Meccans so I suppose they couldn't abstain from night raids just because it there are children, who might be exposed to danger. Given the large number of scholars who read it that way, even when there was no reason to go the "taqiyya" route, I'd say it's the truth.

I was unaware of the jizya option. Thank you for your correction.

Blogger Tommy Hass November 30, 2014 10:03 PM  

Pretty sure that the hadiths are not as important as the gospels are to Christianity.

Anonymous zen0 November 30, 2014 10:09 PM  

@ Tommy Hass

Pretty sure that the hadiths are not as important as the gospels are to Christianity.

Speaking of which, what is your take on the Sunni /Shia split? Its not like Catholic/Protestant because it happened much earlier in the movement.

Anonymous 2 Muslims 3 Opinions November 30, 2014 10:18 PM  

The duty of the Messenger was not just to communicate the message, rather, he was entrusted with the most important task of explaining and illustrating that message. That is the reason why Allah Himself has commanded the following:


{Say: Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away, he (the Prophet) is only responsible for the duty placed on him (i.e. to convey Allah's Message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messenger's duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way.} (An-Nur 24:54)

This verse clearly tells us the overriding importance of Hadith to Muslims. They should be eager to learn and follow the teachings of the Prophet as expressed in Hadith. If we are negligent in this respect, it is we who have to answer before Allah.


Why Hadith is Important

Blogger Tommy Hass November 30, 2014 10:23 PM  

I was raised Sunni. Logically speaking, I think I will go with the argument that my religious friend used:

"Ask a Jew who the best Jews were and he will tell you: "Moses and his closest friends." Ask a Christian who the best Christians were and he will tell you: "Christs closest friends.(Apostles I suppose)" Ask a Sunnite who the best Muslims are and he will tell you: "Muhammad's closest friends." Shiites will say that they are the worst Muslims."

I find it hard to believe that those men that the Prophet considered to be his closest companions to be evil power hungry usurpers. Sunni Islam focuses more on orthodoxy/orthopraxy rather than genetic lineage. It says that the most qualified person should lead.

Shiites have some good arguments too, but ultimately, Sunnites seem to be both more focused on the message sent down by the Lord and their way seems more sutainable.

Blogger Tommy Hass November 30, 2014 10:25 PM  

I never said that Hadith weren't important. Just not as important as the Gospel are to Christianity.

Blogger Markku November 30, 2014 10:33 PM  

Actual muslim scholars choose a different tack.

Actual muslim scholars with a fatwa on their ass.

http://www.giffordlectures.org/lecturers/abdulaziz-sachedina

In 1998, Ayatollah Ali Sistani of Najaf, Iraq, issued a fatwa against Professor Sachedina, prohibiting him from presenting any lectures or teaching on the subject of Islam. Though he was born Shi’a, Dr. Sachedina has also served as an imam in the Sunni mosque in Charlottesville, Virginia.


It is far more sensible to use the "it was different back then" argument that you guys mention when handwaving the genocides of the Jews against their enemies.

Well, it WAS different back then. But, to say that those genocides were BAD, is not Christian. They were very good. The difference is, that we have been given different instructions because we are a different group of people. We need to wait for Jesus to return, until we start the slaughter. But the slaughter is coming, and it will involve the majority of mankind. That's pretty explicit in the end of Revelation. The Jewish genocides will be small potatos compared to what we'll do at the Second Coming.

However, the reason it was different is due to the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. The Jews were commanded to do it all by themselves. We are commanded to wait. There is no contradiction between these.


I'll look more closely at the polytheism argument, but what I've heard often from the Jehovah's Witnesses is that Muslims CONSTANTLY accuse Christians of polytheism, and that it gives them a big advantage in missionary work because they are monotheists in a way that a Muslim would agree on also.

Blogger Markku November 30, 2014 10:40 PM  

You see, Christianity and Islam are both religions of peace, though the annihilation of everyone else.

But there is one, huge difference. Christianity requires a very particular, absolutely supernatural event (involves actually visiting Heaven for one) before we bloody our swords. If Christianity is wrong, Christians will end up just forever waiting for it. So, it will be a religion of peace in actuality.

But with Islam, it is not the same. If Islam is wrong, they will still do conquest while being consistent with what they believe.

Anonymous zen0 November 30, 2014 10:46 PM  

The Jewish genocides will be small potatos compared to what we'll do at the Second Coming.

That is one of the things I like about you, Markku. You are a hardcore kind of guy. I think I will have to quote you on this just to screw with folks.

I'll look more closely at the polytheism argument

Tommy seems like an odd kind of Muslim, because that is the main complaint against Christians by people of the Muslim faith, whether they are Scotsman or not.

Blogger Markku November 30, 2014 10:50 PM  

I mean, I totally get why a Muslim would see a Sunday-school, kum-bah-yah Christianity as nauseating. Namely, because it is. But the REAL Christianity, and the REAL Islam, are quite the same. Only, there is one very big difference about our respective strategies. And for everyone else, that's good news in Christianity's case.

Anonymous Porphyry December 01, 2014 12:29 AM  

"We need to wait for Jesus to return, until we start the slaughter" I'm highly confident that we're not going to be the ones to start the slaughter, not that's inconsistent with your comment.

Anonymous Porphyry December 01, 2014 12:59 AM  

Slightly Ot: "For before the boy knows how to say ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria.” My best guess is that Israel is going to fall next.

Anonymous FrankNorman December 01, 2014 6:29 AM  

Porphyry December 01, 2014 12:59 AM

Slightly Ot: "For before the boy knows how to say ‘My father’ or ‘My mother,’ the wealth of Damascus and the plunder of Samaria will be carried off by the king of Assyria.” My best guess is that Israel is going to fall next.


It already did. The Assyrians conquered Israel and deported it's entire population to elsewhere in the Middle-east.

Anonymous Cheech And Chong Found God December 01, 2014 10:51 AM  

"But there is one, huge difference. Christianity requires a very particular, absolutely supernatural event (involves actually visiting Heaven for one) before we bloody our swords."

Patently false. For example, what supernatural event led Christians to justify butchering Africans who defended their territory against slave traders?


"But with Islam, it is not the same. If Islam is wrong, they will still do conquest while being consistent with what they believe."

Christian projection on your part. Christians have demonstrably proven they are NO different than Muslims or Jews in this regard. Conquest stems in part from a perceived attitude of superiority by a particular group of people, with that superiority being derived from the belief that a higher power has conferred that superiority onto that group.

Anonymous Bill December 02, 2014 12:57 PM  

Our behavior is explained parsimoniously by positing that we are on ISIS's side. ISIS is a production of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey (our allies). Our behavior in Syria has been to destabilize the only force capable of resisting ISIS: the Syrian government. We are now and have been vigorously objecting to any Syrian effort to defend themselves. Then there is our ludicrous Sarin false flag. Helping ISIS would be a continuation of our longstanding policy of helping Islamic extremists to destabilize inconvenient middle eastern regimes.

As far as I can tell, the only reason to doubt that we are on ISIS's side is "ISIS bad. USA good." Which kind of sucks as an argument, overall.

Anonymous Bill December 02, 2014 1:01 PM  

Iran plays the long game just like China. The only way to defeat Iran is to invade, occupy and settle it.

OK, so how 'bout instead of trying to defeat Iran, we instead try to befriend Iran? They are the most reasonable, level-headed major country in the middle east. They'd probably warm up to us if we gave them nuclear weapons, for example. Not only would they warm up to us, but a nuclear-armed Iran would be a tremendous stabilizing force on the middle east. Win-win.

Anonymous Discard December 03, 2014 2:05 AM  

Cheech and Chong Found God: Christians did not butcher Africans who defended their territory against slave traders. It was Africans, the winners of tribal wars, that sold other Africans to Christians. Troops of Whites with muzzle-loading muskets could not have gone traipsing into the African bush and come out alive and leading prisoners.
You might say that my objection is a trivial one, that it matters not whether the Whites stole the slaves themselves or bought them, but it does show that you're really ignorant of the slave trade and the limits of 18th Century European technology. Given your ignorance, and your willingness to expound despite that ignorance, why should anyone listen to you? You're just spouting the ahistorical nonsense that lefties do. Best if you shut down the keyboard and did some reading.

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