TCS Daily

The Age of Post-National Warfare

By Arnold Kling - August 10, 2006 12:00 AM

"Look," he says, "I'm sorry for reminding you of this, but if we still had laws, the Mafia would be a criminal organization."

"But we don't have laws," she says, "so it's just another chain."
-- Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

In Neal Stephenson's 1992 science-fiction classic, the two main characters have been hired by the Mafia and other ethnic corporate franchises to deal with a fanatic religious cult whose chief warrior possesses a hydrogen bomb. In the novel, governments are too powerless to deal with this threat. It is a brutal, post-national world.

Today in reality, Islam contains a fanatical religious cult whose chief warrior seeks nuclear weapons. Iran may be leading the world toward a post-national era.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah uses a combination of military might, ruthlessness, ethnic solidarity, and religious fanaticism to form an entity more powerful than the state of Lebanon, and arguably more powerful than the state of Israel. What we are seeing unfold in the Middle East may be a step toward the sort of post-national environment envisioned by Neal Stephenson.

Disarm Muslims

I believe that what we need going forward is a policy of disarming Muslims. I believe that we must keep devout Muslims away from weapons, and keep weapons away from devout Muslims. I can work with Muslims, send my children to school with Muslims, and be friends with Muslims. I do not have an issue with their religion, as long as they do not have weapons. However, the combination of weapons and Islam poses unacceptable danger to the rest of us.

To see what I mean, take a pencil and paper, and list all of the violent international disputes in the last five years that have involved Muslims. Next, come up with a list of all of the international disputes in the last five years involving Muslims that have been settled peacefully. For me, the first list is rather long, and the second list is rather, well, empty.

Winning Hearts and Minds?

Recently the Washington Monthly pundit Kevin Drum wrote,

"I believe that our fight against Islamic jihadism is analogous on a global scale to a counterinsurgency. To use the hoary phrase, we'll succeed by "winning hearts and minds," and conventional warfare just can't do that. In fact, it's mostly counterproductive: it won't succeed in killing the guerrillas and it will lose us the support of the local citizenry, which in turn will make the insurgency even more formidable.

...So what's the alternative? I believe it's fundamentally nonmilitary and revolves around engagement: trade agreements, security pacts, genuine support for grassroots democracy, a willingness to practice the same international rules we preach, etc. The idea is to slowly but steadily promote democratic rule, liberal institutions, education of women, and international commerce."

Kevin Drum is tragically mistaken. The other side does not want "trade agreements, security pacts, genuine support for grassroots democracy, a willingness to practice the same international rules we preach, etc." The other side wants to kill.

The problem is that you cannot win hearts and minds in what Lee Harris insightfully called a blood feud.

"In the blood feud, the orientation is not to the future, as in war, but to the past. In the feud you are avenging yourself on your enemy for something that he did in the past. Al Qaeda justified the attack on New York and Washington as revenge against the USA for having defiled the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia by its military presence during the First Gulf War. In the attack on London, the English were being punished for their involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In the blood feud, unlike war, you have no interest in bringing your enemy to his knees. You are not looking for your enemy to surrender to you; you are simply interested in killing some of his people in revenge for past injuries, real or imaginary -- nor does it matter in the least whether the people you kill today were the ones guilty of the past injuries that you claim to be avenging. In a blood feud, every member of the enemy tribe is a perfectly valid target for revenge. What is important is that some of their guys must be killed -- not necessarily anyone of any standing in their community. Just kill someone on the other side, and you have done what the logic of the blood feud commands you to do."

The idea of winning hearts and minds assumes that people are focused on the future, so that they pay attention to the carrots you are holding out to them. It assumes that people have a vocabulary that includes "satisfactory compromise," "peaceful solution," "splitting the difference," "settling the dispute," or "putting it behind us." That vocabulary does not seem to exist among Muslims, where every disagreement is treated primarily as a justification for violence.

The Failure of Government

A policy of disarming Muslims is not going to be undertaken by international bodies. To the extent that international institutions and laws ever were effective, this is not the case today. From the collapse of international trade negotiations to the failures of international development assistance to the rejection of the EU Constitution to the nearly-perfect record of futility of the United Nations, government institutions at a world level have reached a Snow Crash ebb.

Regardless of what resolutions may be passed in the UN, I am skeptical that any international force will ever set foot in southern Lebanon. Hezbollah is motivated to continue to fire rockets into Israel. Israel is motivated to fire back. What nation is motivated to get in the middle?

As far as the United States is concerned, my sense is that our national will to fight terrorism has been slipping steadily. Nearly five years after the war was brought home to us, we are not executing any strategy or creating any momentum in the direction for victory. There is a large segment of our society that wants to move forward against militant Islam, but there are powerful elements who want to do otherwise.

On September 13, 2001, two days after the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked, I wrote an essay called A Framework for Victory that still, today, offers a more long-range, strategic vision than I can find reading most pundits. I wrote,

"A victory in the war against terrorism would do two things:

    • Minimize the operational capability of terrorists.

    • Guarantee our right to pursue our way of life. Today, there are religious and political organizations that refuse to accept our right to pursue our way of life. Their leaders advocate violence and terror against us. Such groups either must be induced to change their behavior or face eradication."

I wrote that it was very important for this country to remain united, and I worried specifically about anti-immigrant hysteria. Our leaders, both Democratic and Republican, have failed to pursue unity. The divisions between mainstream media and alternative media have widened. The gap between college professors and military personnel has become a chasm. These internal divisions are using up most of the energy that ought to be expended on dealing with external threats.

In my essay, I raised, as I have many times since, the issue of surveillance policy. I wrote,

"The first objective is to minimize the operational capability of terrorists. It seems to me that this requires infiltration and surveillance.

Currently, when we think about surveillance and privacy, the focus is on various methods of gathering information. Is it legitimate to tap a phone line? To use a video camera? etc.

In this sense, our debate tends to be techno-centric rather than people-centric. If it were people-centric, I think that we would focus on:

    • What are the legitimate purposes of surveillance?
    • What are the legitimate uses of surveillance?"

We still have not had the open-minded policy discussion of surveillance policy that I saw was necessary nearly five years ago. Instead, we have an unproductive fight between knee-jerk opponents of any surveillance and an Administration that insists it should be able to do whatever it pleases, without oversight.

Arsenals of Hatred

In 2001, I also wrote:

"We tend to overlook the many religious and secular leaders who call for violence against America. I believe that it is a mistake to let this pass.

Probably the biggest error in the Oslo "peace process" was the fact that Israel and the United States chose to overlook the steady drumbeat of incitement and demonization that took place in the Palestinian media. Rather than preparing its people for eventual peace, the Palestinian Authority was building an arsenal of hatred.

A key strategic element in the war against terrorism will be to confront the arsenals of hatred and get rid of them. We cannot ignore them. We cannot appease them. We should not bother to psycho-analyze them. We need to eliminate them."

To this day, we continue to be squeamish about firing at mosques or assassinating "clerics" who espouse violence. Many people say that we need to "engage" Iran, even though the leaders of Iran want to kill Jews and other westerners. Just as we ignored Bin Laden's declaration of war, we ignore the declarations of war of the Iranian leaders and the leaders of the various militant Islamic groups around the world.

The Rat Thing Solution

In the post-national world of Snow Crash, the most effective force for order is the Semi-Autonomous Guard Unit, more commonly known as a Rat Thing. The Rat Thing is a sort of bionic dog, with an instinct for distinguishing nice people from bad people. Its barking mechanism is used for summoning other Rat Things, so they may act as a pack if needed. The Rat Thing is very fast and very powerful.

On two occasions in Snow Crash, the main characters are saved from villains by Rat Things. As the first incident ends, the heroine has just learned that their adversaries have been disarmed.

"They had guns just a second ago," Y.T. says, bulging her eyes and shaking her head.

"The Rat Thing has them now," Hiro says.

Individual governments cannot seem to get their act together to address the problem of militant Islam. Perhaps a network of people in various countries can put their heads together and come up with a way to disarm Muslims that works as well as Neal Stephenson's Rat Things.

The author is a TCS Daily Contributing Editor.



It's not about Islam...It's about globalism...
This is about ideology. Now that Financial Economics in the form of Western Style Capitalism has overcome its major opponent, Marxist Communism there seems to be nothing to stop the developing nations from...well, developing!

Sovereign nations governed by Shiite priests don't want to see their power dissolve with the inevitable secular political system that must follow the globalization of financial economics. Replacing military economics and autocracies.

Lots of sovereign governments aound the World don't like the way this thing will ultimately play out. North Korea is not particularly Islamic...but they are acting the same way as Iran is.

In the case of Iran, we need to stand by Israel or they will defend themselves "big time". In the case of North Korea, we really don't want Japan to seriously rearm.

Your position that Hezbollah constitutes a "post national" force that is more powerful than its host nation Lebanon is flawed. Hezbollah is a "left over" from the years that Syria occupied Lebanon and Hezbollah is purely a "funded client" of Iran. This is a proxy war between Israel and Lebanon with the buffer state of Syria taking much of the heat for Iran. This is classic geopolitics. It is certainly not a religious war and it is certainly not an ethnic issue. There is only the slightest touch of "racism" in your comments and that indulgence on your part hurts your central premise

disarm religious groups
While some religious groups are rebelling against the modern world with WMD's other are using weapons even more effective. One again the US is in the frontline the western world needs to win the war against fundamentalist Christians is just as important as the war on "terror". The tools to win both wars are the same funny enough though.

Very Clear Discussion
Except for Disarming Muslims. How do you mean exactly.
Perhaps you mean Muslim States?.

Nice...Let's GO!!
I really and truly believe we as a nation have lost the will to get "old school" with the people who are so obviously "Old Testament". Bombing campaigns that flatten city blocks are anathema to the new "sensitivity" "PC" of the world, basically cover, I believe, for moral cowardice.
I've learned to make no time for those who would believe discussing anything with these people who would dress s child in a suicide bombers outfit, and the fact that the "poor dumb bastards" like to hide with civilians is, I believe the civilians fault.
Yes, I'd flatten the city block. Yes, I'd go on a rampage through these radical infested neighborhoods until they were empty if necessary, bomb a mosque? You bet.
After all, isn't God everywhere? Let them bow to the East from the wide open air.

It's about Power
Islam is a lever to be pulled to exercise power.

Mulsim understand the idea of convert or die.

Convert to liberty or die!

Fundementalist Christians are an equivalent world problem????
wwgeek1; you are either
1)a troll looking to get a rise out of people
2)completely ignorant of 9/11; Madrid; London; Mumbai; Darfur; Hamas; Hezbollah; Iran; Taliban; USS Cole; Somalia; Embassy bombings in Africa; Bali; etc.

Who is being killed by the fundamentalist Christians in an offensive war?

No racism at all
In the first place, the great majority of Muslims are Caucasian (many people don't know that Arabs and Persians are of the Caucasian race).

In the second place, while you make some very valid points of your own, the author is right on the bull's eye with what he says.

Islam is, by nature, a religion completely intertwined with politics and government and, thus, the use of military force. It is really not possible for there to be a separation of mosque and state. Islam might mean "peace", but it's the kind of peace one gets from knowing that he has slaughtered all of his enemies to the last man.

Jews just want to be left alone, and Christian nations practice the separation of church and state, and are more interested in conversion than putting the sword to people. The West is now in the position of a traditional Buddhist monk: it only wants violence as a last resort, but it is supremely trained for violence and the time has come to fight or be cut down.

Disarm idiots like wwdweeb1
One again the US is in the frontline the western world needs to win the war against fundamentalist Christians is just as important as the war on "terror".

You sir, if this post is any indication, have a serious cognitive deficiency.

"Fundamentalist" Christians may not suit your ideology, but they do not pose any threat to you, much less one that has any equivalence to Islamofascism. You may get a chuckle when chose to educate their children instead of having them indoctrinated by the state, but they don't attach bombs to themselves, blow up subways, fly airplanes into buildings or plot the annialation of Israel or the Jewish people. Your assertion is so without merit as that to formulate it, let alone publicly assert it, you must be rendered stupid by your hate.

In fact, it is the secularist morons like you that pose a threat because your relativistic, nihilistic outlook is already the state religion of Europe, which finds increasingly finds itself unable to counter the Islamic threat because of the resultant lack of social and cultural vigor. Its your religion that poses a threat, not the Southern Baptists.

Just War Theory
As long as we fight under this doctrine, we will be doomed to lose.

It may not be racism, but there's an aggressive ethnocentricity
I used to work at an operation that employed Bosnian Muslims, who are European in appearance. By and large, they were reliable employees and didn't bother anybody. It was interesting that when they came stateside, they weren't welcomed into the local mosque, lacking Arab ethnic credentials.

I felt sorry for them, adhering to a creed imposed on their ancestors by force and then being left to feel that they weren't authentic enough because they weren't Arab.

Racism is an overused word, but there is an Arabcentric current in Islam.

Global gun control?
Arnold Kling is a great economist and I love his writings on the Econ Liberty site, but he slips a gear here. Disarming Muslims would involve gun control on a global scale. Gun control hasn't worked anywhere it has been tried in the West, why should he think it would work globally?

We can never eliminate completely Islamic terror. Muslims have been perps of terror since Mohammed left Mecca almost 1500 years ago. But it can be contained if peaceloving Muslims get tired of it. The terrorists, as all insurgencies, live among the "moderate" people like fish swim in water. Moderate Muslims must become convinced that betraying the radicals is in their best interest.

At the moment, moderates fear reprisals from terrorists more than they love peace or fear us. Perhaps we should try arming and training peaceful Muslim civilians so that they can defend themselves against terrorist reprisals when they turn in terrorists to authorities. That approach has worked well to reduce crime in states in the US that have enacted concealed weapons laws.

Tell the Iranians, cause they don't know that
Here is an illustration of the depth of the depravity of fundamentalist Islam.

The Iranians supply the Arab Lebanese, through the Arab Syrians, with weaponry and intelligence, the exclusive purpose of which things is to obliterate the Jewish nation.

Funny thing is, the Iranians are not Arabs. The Iranians are Persians, and they DESPISE Arabs. Perhaps the biggest motive that Iraq had for its war against Iran in the 1980s was the fact that the Iranians are Persians who despise Arabs (and hence most Iraquis).

Yet, these two disparate groups who despise each other are united in their religious fanaticism so strongly that they collude to exterminate a people and/or their entire nation.

I'm sorry, but as long as the use is rationally supported by the facts, then such techniques as "racial profiling" are perfectly legitimate. And in this case before us, Exhibits A through Z tell us that "ethnic profiling" is a legitimately used technique.

Bin Laden's still upset that the Muslim's were kicked out of Spain 600 years ago.

strange view their
you honestly think that Christian fundamentalists are a problem? Why? How many have they killed in the last 20 years?

Or is that you just hate anyone who pushes an agenda that you don't like?

It's a combination of 1 and 3.

Yes, now they are trying to get back in as.......
A true abuse of the word.
If Europe does not bring a halt to this uncontrolled invasion of islamic followers Europe will die and be outpopulated within 2 generations or so.

Get rid of infidels then work on Arabs
The US and USSR were once allies.

The Age of Post-National Warfare.
Our enemies went to school on the USA. The only time we have been defeated was through the use of guerilla war, where one significant tactic is terror. [Vietnam] Our foreign enemies have even been joined by many at home as what Stalin called during the Cold War, "Useful Idiots".

This time the war is an international guerilla war with almost as many fronts as there are Muslims populations in separate countries. Or as some have suggested even before Gingrich, we are in World War III or IV if you count the Cold War.

On a slightly different stage we are repeating almost all the mistakes that lead to World War II, especially Europe. One huge difference is that moderate Muslims have been quoted as saying over 20% of Muslim world wide are radicalized. If that is true that means the Western Democracies are facing a guerilla force larger than armies of Germany, Italy and Japan combined. [There are around 1.3 billion Muslims in the world. You do the math.]

The "Just War Theory" is well written, albeit long. The authors' conclusions could be simple stated as "“In war there are only two options and no more—---winning or losing. All other perceived options are not options but only paths that lead us back to war or to an even more horrible phase of war.”

Joining under false pretenses
What bothers me about Just War theory is that they fail to tell you that you will be fighting under those constraints. No one has a clue when they join up that they will be sacrificing their lives for a good outcome for the enemy. If it were well explained to the American Public under what conditions and methodologies we currently fight war, no one would support sending their children overseas. I plan on sharing the piece on “Just War Theory vs. American Self- Defense” with all the military age teens my son knows. Enlightened self interest is sure to modify their view on joining the military just now.

Spoken like a true Righty Redneck
Sure, disarm Muslims and let the "non-violent" Christian world keep all of the weapons? That makes a whole ton of sense - to idiots maybe. Once again, instead of using common sense that would have us stopping our support of Israel with annual millions and armaments, our brilliant righties want to embark on disarming Muslims. As if all Muslims are violent, and shouldn't have the same rights in the U.S. as Bhuddists, Jews, or Christians. I guess the Constitution should only be for the Judeo-Christian population? Because Israel is a real peaceful country now aren't they? The Mossad is known for their peaceful ways, and for placing flowers in the barrels of rifles? The war on terror (or is it terra?) is as winnable as the other brilliant righty idea - the war on drugs. It's a waste of time and tons of money. If you want people to stop bombing you then you might want to first get out of bed with their enemies, heighten border security, take back control of our infrastructure, and start focusing on the U.S.

I'm guessing that anonymous here thinks Israel is a Christian country.
OK, bright boy, how many of the world's current hotspots involve Christians?
How many of the world's hots spots don't have a muslim connection?

Age Old Story
Since the mid-90's I've talked to my friends that if you are going to fight a war, it has to be swift, brutal, and complete. Whenever I've talked about Palenstinian and Jewish relations, I've only ever come to the conclusion that the only ending is genocide by one or the other.

Here is my take now. The way things are there now, most people, especially the militants feel that they have nothing to lose. They live in squalor, they don't have a lot of amenities, and the regular bouts of violence prevents conditions from improving so the only option is to do more violence. The way I see, Iran is going to develop nukes and those nukes are going to get into the hands of the people who will want to use them all over Israel. Iran will try to deploy the nukes through Syria and/or Iraq especially if the US hasn't bugged out by then. Israel, if she is smart, will retaliate with nukes on Damascus and Tehran and another suitably impressive Iranian target. If things go wrong in delivering nuclear payload, there will be a nuclear explosion over Iraq. Nuclear fire will consume the region and survivors will realize that this tragedy was the inevitable outcome of their constant state of militancy and they will try to move on or they will simply continue to fight, but this time they won't have guns and rockets, they'll be back to rocks and swords.

I worry that that Pakistan will see the above as their opportunity to use their nukes in solidarity with their Islamic brothers, and try to blast India, who will have no choice but to blast back.

The model we have for disaming and rebuilding a hostile nation is Germany and Japan. In Japan, the urban centers were decimanted, but their god was the Emperor, and when the Emperor told the people that he was no logner a god and that the people needed to renounce violence and build electronics, they did just that. In the Muslim case, their god is Allah, and Allah is not going to go on TV and radio and explain Himself.

Germany militancy was built around a cult of personality and 20 years of resentment. WWII brutality was enough to expend any national rage and when the bad influence was gone, they had a lot of work to do to get back to driving nice cars and drinking good beer, and they settled in for the long haul. Radical Muslim's think they have 800+ years of resentment to express, and they have a cult of thousands of personalities to contend with, there are plenty of teachings and interpretions by Islamic leaders throughout history who show that violence against infidels is God's will.

Post-National Warfare
The age of colonial oppression is finished.
People are now better educated and informed (especially through the internet), fewer are governed by corruptable leaders and,(especially important) have access to weapons.
The West has had a very successful three or four hundred years when all the above factors were in its favour.(And we did very well.)
Now our best strategy would be to not squander our profits in anachronistic endevours but to withdraw to our part of the world.
If we don't bother them they won't bother us.

Anonymous you have no argument or sense.
Nobody wants to disarm muslims, but we definitely want them out of the western world as we do not go to their nations and abuse welfare to the utmost.
Muslims do not deserve any civil rights, human rights or any rights whatsoever as they deny all rights to us when we are in their nations.
They want to exploit our religious-political freedoms, to practice islam unhindered, recruit, and build mosques while all this is forbidden in any islamic nation.
What do you say to this reality?
Have you the nuts to visit an islamic nation to view their tender mercies and tolerance or just happy to knock American values which are firmly based in Christianity and not mohammedism?
Individuals as you truly boil my blood.
Continue to fight for their rights while your muslim friends daily plan to destroy and remove ours.

You ended well
Just like a true righty redneck; but the rest is jibberish. BTW Israel is a majority Jewish nation with many Islamics and Christians in the mix.

Unlike the war on drugs, which I see as a big farce, the war on terror is real and must be fought, even if it is done as no more than a holding action.

I agree fully with what you say after "get out of bed with their enemies".

Pakistan & Saudi Arabia
With allies like Pakistan & Saudi Arabia, who needs enemies?

Readin' up & gettin' juiced, yippee
Modern orthodox Jews and presumably many fundamentalist Christians believe that present day Arabs are descendents of various biblical peoples G-d told Joshua to kill. The Book of Joshua records that G-d punished Jews who refused to participate in genocidal ethnic clensing. So much for the modern liberal socialist Democrat America hating lie that Judeochristianity is a peaceful religion. You know what they say, "spare the rod, spoil the Moabites and the Phillistines". Let's get back to our Joshuite roots and kick some Phillistine behind.

But why stop there. Haven't you read the Illiad?? Let's try that trick again -- send the fleet from Athens to Istambul & knock off a few.

So much for your theories...
...even the U.S. has warm relations with Saudi Arabia. Let's not forget China!

The Problem is Not the Lack of Unity...
...but the fact that the U.S. fights against but also works with their enemies. U.S. government documents released by and business and political relations with countries ranging from Saudi Arabia to China to Pakistan support this view.

LG continues to proudly display his ignorance
I know of no Jews or Christians who believe that modern Arabs are all descendents of the Moabites and Phillistines. Especially since the Bible is very clear that those tribes were only two of many who lived in that region, at that time.

People who actually read the Bible also know that the instruction to kill was a one place, one time instruction.

But LG doesn't care about the truth, not when there is so much hatred left to spread.

Defeat the Hearts and Minds
Let's stop this nonsense of trying to win the hearts and minds of people. Since when did that ever work? Did it work in World War II with the Japanese or Germans? Didn't we actually defeat the hearts and minds of the population by killing lots of them. Well, that's what we need to do. Defeat the hearts and minds of a countries entire population by killing lots of them.

Israel could defeat Hezbollah if they wiped out most of the Shiite civilian population. I never said it was going to be fun.

Another Crusade?
"Israel could defeat Hezbollah if they wiped out most of the Shiite civilian population. I never said it was going to be fun."

Making martyrs out of innocent Shia civilians women and children would only increase Muslim extremisms and terrorism. And the only end-game for such a foolish tactic is to make all of Islam your enemy.

It is us that will be defeated
Islam is already at war with the west. So it already thinks of us as the enemy. Please, get a clue.

Either Islam has to go or the west has to go. Ultimately, it will be the west that will be defeated. There are too many people that just don't understand how a war is won.

Once Russia, China and Iran get powerful enough in the next decade, they will defeat America in war because of their ruthlessness. That means over 200 million Americans will die.

Koran is a constitution
The Koran is regarded as a constitution as well as a religious book.

To become a US citzen, you must renounce all alligience to any other government.

A muslim who regards the Koran as 'the law', by definition, could not become a US citzen.

Boring technical issues
Hi, Brant

Sorry, but I must fulfill my mission in life again and become a scholarly bring-down.

"In the first place, the great majority of Muslims are Caucasian (many people don't know that Arabs and Persians are of the Caucasian race)."

Arabic is a Semitic language. By tradition, the Arabs and the Jews are both sons of Abraham. And X-chromosome typology would consider most people of any ethnicity to be mixed-race. So let's say the Arabs are Semitic.

Farsi is indeed an Indo-European language. But the people are definitely swarthy and not what most would consider to be Caucasian.

The Chechens and other Muslim tribes of the Caucasus, and the Bosnians, are both authentically Caucasian in racial terms.

The largest Muslim nations are India and Indonesia-- neither are Caucasian or Semitic. One is South Asian and one is Malay.

Re the impossibility of separating mosque and state, it is certainly the fact that before the USSR's intervention in Afghanistan (1979) nearly every Islamic country had a strongly secular, socialist government. These governments were maintained in place by authoritarian regimes, Saddam's Iraq being a good example. Things have changed a lot since then, primarily because extremism thrives on threats and the Muslim nations have been under siege from a variety of sources.

So every crushing blow we deliver would seem to be making our foes stronger. Events now seem to be forcing a potential alliance between some Sunnis and the Shiite bloc.

Another piece of trivial knowledge
Bosnians were never forced to convert, Supe. They converted by choice.

The Raya in the European portion of the Ottoman Empire were tolerated and religious freedom was the official policy. Many new churches were built under the Ottomans, and the religious life of the Orthodox Serbs and the Catholic Croats both thrived.

However the tax rate under Ottoman rule was thirty percent higher for the Raya than it was for the faithful. And the reason for this was that the Raya were exempt from military service. So the Bosnians, who were never very religious in the first place, converted in droves to save money.

They remain as indifferent as Muslims as they once were as Christians. I'm thinking this is the reason most orthodox Muslims look down on them.

A possible flaw in the argument
You suggest "Perhaps we should try arming and training peaceful Muslim civilians so that they can defend themselves against terrorist reprisals when they turn in terrorists to authorities."

Arming and training local contras has gotten us into trouble before. It's nice to have local forces fight our battles for us, but when we armed and trained mujahedeen irreegulars to fight the USSR in Afghanistan. we gave birth to what became the Islamists, and Osama.

If we now arm and train others to fight them, what are we going to have once they've begun creating civil insurrection? It would look a lot like Iraq, with us pouring gasoline on the fire. I think every country in the Middle East would want to throw us out, and close the door on such a destabilizing influence.

Besides, local populations would undoubtedly consider any such American-sponsored militia members to be quislings and traitors to the Faith. It might be hard finding any takers.

Assuming you are correct...
Something experience has taught me to avoid, you still don't have a "choice" when there's economic coercion, which has been one tool in the hallmark of Islamic imperialism. Your assertion however makes no sense in that on one hand you talk about thriving churches on the other saying that they were indifferent.

I can't speak for all Bosnian Muslims, but the ones I knew were observant enough to seek out a mosque and avoid pork. The skinny about the plant was they were "shunned" because they weren't Arabic. My information is closer to first hand (even if its hearsay) and more specific than your casual speculation, so er I well, I think you're full of it, as usual. While I find their cult inane, they were decent folks who showed up on time, did their job and didn't bother others. As human beings, they deserve to be treated the same as everybody else.

In any case I find your defense of this behavior, somewhat interesting, you seem to find a curious amount of tolerance for behavior you would otherwise hit the roof over. Moreover, you don't mind making the generalization that all Bosnians are lacking in piety-and therefore deserving of being treated poorly. Funny how you find your selective outrage button when you want it.

Whats next? you going to tell me they all look the same and their women folk deserve to be raped by some Islamic honor "court"?

Religious fas cism
Actually wwgeek touches on a valid point. The Dominion Theology movement does not use violence in its drive to power because that would be counterproductive. But they are every bit as determined to replace our democratic government with a Christian theocracy as the Islamist movement is anxious to come to power in a worldwide caliphate. So the two movements are actually very similar in their ends, while using different means.

With the Dominion Theologists, a.k.a. Christian Reconstructionists, the violence would come later. They have a very long list of offenses punishable by stoning, including adultery, homosexuality, insubordination to one's parents, blasphemy and the teaching of false religion-- which, as you can imagine, covers a very wide range of sins. Not terribly different from the Taliban, in fact.

Slavery, in the New Order, will be legal:

"The bible permits slavery. This statement will come as a shock to most people. The laws in the Bible concerning slavery have very seldom been studied, much less preached upon. But the biblical laws concerning slavery are among the most beneficent in all the Bible.... 1. Obtaining slaves. Kidnapping is forbidden as a method of acquiring slaves, and deserves capital punishment (Exodus 21:16). Basically, there are only four legal ways to get slaves. They may be purchased (Leviticus 25:44-46), captured in war (Numbers 31:32-35; Deuteronomy 21:10-14), enslaved as punishment for theft (Exodus 22:1-3), or enslaved to pay off debts (Leviticus 25:39; Exodus 21:7). We should especially note God's merciful justice here. Heathen slaves who were purchased or captured in war were actually favored by this law, since It placed them in contact with believers. They received the relatively lenient treatment of the biblical slavery regulations, and they were also able to hear the liberating message of the gospel.... 2. The care of slaves Slaves have no economic incentive to work, since they cannot improve their situation regardless of how hard they labor. Therefore the master is allowed to provide that incentive by beating them (Exodus 21:20-27). " etc.

You might want to learn about them in their own words:

hate crimes
That vocabulary does not seem to exist among Muslims, where every disagreement is treated primarily as a justification for violence.

If Arnold keeps writing like this, the UN & EU will be want'in him up at The Hague for committing international hate crimes.

he he he.

Disarming Muslims
I'll be really interested in seeing what methodology we employ to get the job done. People in that part of the world have been reluctant to give up their guns ever since the Armenian business.

Back in 1915 the Ottoman Empire fell apart and it was a war of everyone against everyone. Like all the other groups the Armenians organized themselves into self defense units.

But the Young Turks, led by Talat Bey, Enver Pasha and Mustapha Kemal, accused them of conspiracy against the government. They ordered them to give up their arms, assuring them that they would be ably defended by the forces of the new Turkish government.

You know the rest. Once they handed their guns over they were rounded up and slaughtered. A million and a half people were murdered after becoming defenseless.

So, then. Lots of luck in our efforts to disarm the World of Islam. PS they have The Bomb.

The Bosnian national character
I would urge that you check it out, if you have the time to go reading medieval Bosnian history. I'm just some guy on the web, and could be mistaken.

But I think you'll find that's what the experts say. And the choice of converting in order to gain benefits is not "coercion". It's "choice". Those who chose to remain Christian were not penalized. They were subject to a separate body of law-- one that contained many protections but fewer privileges than the Muslims. Who in turn enjoyed fewer privileges than the warrior caste.

Going to mosque and avoiding pork certainyl qualifies one to consider himself Muslim. But I'm thinking there are many in Islam who would consider that pretty weak tea. And I have heard that such pious souls do consider Bosnians not to be "real Muslims".

There may well also be other layers to this world of racial superiorities. You've been there and I haven't, and Arabs may well feel themselves to be superior as such.

I do know that in the Balkans generally everyone feels superior to everyone else. Even in the relatively copasetic Bulgaria they look down on their Turks, Albanians and above all their Gypsies. They are not quite as far along as we are on that whole "We are the world" business.

Of course you then grasp at straws, and tell me I'm making a generalization about "all Bosnians". I'm passing along their reputation in the eyes of others, that's all.

Then you say "Whats next? you going to tell me they all look the same and their women folk deserve to be raped by some Islamic honor "court"?"

This kind of comment is just plain silly. You would make more points if you stuck to those things you knew best, and forgot the cheap jabs.

Dr. Roy.......
they had the bombs and missiles for years.
The only question is when will they use it.
Dr. Vinter

Context matters
The biblical regulations about slavery were much more humane than the prevailing rules of the time in other nearby countries. The rules were also much more humane than those in use in the southern USA 150 years ago.

The Bomb
Actually what I meant was Pakistan. They have the Bomb.

And no government on earth is as close to Al Qaeda as Pakistan, particularly elements in the ISI. It's something to be very concerned about, if one is to go declaring war on all of Islam.

ALL of them are already enemies.
There is nothing left to lose, but victory for the west.
They obviously dont care about making ALL the western world and non-islamic nations their enemies so dont worry.

Roy, if you want.....
contact me if you ever wish at your leisure

Re: The Age of Post-National Warfare
Sign me up.

Christian fundos
In the century that just ended, tens , perhaps 100 million people were murdered by athiest fanatics - communists and *****. Politics is a religon for some today and forest, wwgeek1 and roy_bean are essentially cultists.

What lefities and the Iranian mullahs have in common is they seek to immanitize the eschaton. The mullahs think the "end times" are upon us and it's going to be great and they intend to take steps to hasten the day. Surely anyone who gets in the way should be killed to bring about paradise. Likewise the commies in Russia or Cambodia, for example, were building socialism, and if the worker's paradise wasn't built yet, it was just be because some counterrevolutionaries were in the way. Surely it was right to kill them to allow the rest to enjoy paradise? That's how these fanatic swine think.

There are kookie millenarian Christian cults about, but who have they killed? The lefties and the Islamofascists are the dangerous ones. They are in Arab countries, Iran and in the West, too.

You forgot.....
the hundreds of dead Russian school children at Beslan.

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