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Terrorism and Violence


12-3-15

Terrorism and violence are in the headlines with the recent bombing of the Russian airliner, attacks against civilians in Paris, mass shootings and protests against police abuses in the United States.

Most coverage of violence is shallow with counter-productive commentary that dismisses any possible underlying cause for the violence.

The reality is that violence is rarely completely unjustified, often misguided or misdirected, and sometimes completely justified. Dismissal and condemnation of all shocking violence allows of to return to "normal" life while setting the stage for worse acts in the future.

The Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) or Daesh is clearly delusional in openly supporting the targeting of civilians while attempting to hold territory however their violence and calls to violence are partially justified by religious/spiritual beliefs and Natural Law.

Most mass shooting events are partially triggered and/or justified by Natural Law.

Most riots and revolutions are triggered and/or justified to some degree by Natural Law.

Natural Law describes fundamental human rights and violation of these rights often results in inhumane acts.

One good example is the recent action by police in Minneapolis who tore down a valid protest camp in apparent violation of Natural Law (recognized under U.S. law as Freedom of Speech). The result of the violation of Natural Law will almost certainly be [fully, partially, or misdirected] violence and or lawlessness with an underlying justification. The likely criminal deprivation of rights by the police/government will almost certainly result in justified lawlessness which will not technically be illegal (as a justified act is inherently legal) but the "lawlessness" will give the police/government an excuse to further crack down on protests in an increasing cycle of violence. Without recognition of the underlying justifications, the only possible long-term outcomes are oppression by the police/government or a form of revolution by the people.





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Posted by: Joey Berry on 12-06-2015

The mass shooting in San Bernardino is being fairly generally recognized as domestic terrorism tied to support of the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL/Daesh).

Clearly no sovereign state can allow a group of possess territory and resources when it promotes/supports attacks against its civilians. However, quasi-war only provides Natural Law, Spiritual Law, and Religious Law justifications for additional attacks meaning the deprivation of territory must occur via actual war or not at all. Additionally, since a great deal of radicalization has grown from quasi-war acts post 9-11, a plan for peace must address true religious freedoms for Muslims (including realistic outlets for fairly extreme individual views as opposed to hollow "hunt them down one-by-one" political sound bites that tease genocide).

President Obama could have been channeling the hollow post 9-11 propaganda of George W. Bush following the Paris attacks. He now plans to address the nation from the Oval Office following the San Bernardino attack.

Clearly, more of the same is not the answer...

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Posted by: Joey Berry on 12-07-2015

Unfortunately, President Obama choose to outline a hollow Bush-style War on Terrorism with his recipe being more of the same. He used his address to pervert the foreseeable failure of government to provide protection/prevention into an excuse to call for additional limitations of gun rights.

Obama's plan to keep doing what we were doing when the most recent threat emerged with added limitation on freedoms of American citizens is a suspect formula at best. Allowing an openly terrorist supporting state to continue holding territory is an invitation to escalation on all fronts. Ignoring a clear and present danger to chase a liberal gun-free society fantasy is insane (but it meshes well with Hillary Clinton's proposals)...

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Posted by: Joey Berry on 12-07-2015

A realistic strategy to contain Islamic Extremism can't include repression of Freedom of Religion.

Obama paid lip service to not defining this as a war between America and Islam then he calls for a repression of Islam: "Muslim leaders ... have to ... speak out against ... those interpretations of Islam that are incompatible with the values of religious tolerance, mutual respect, and human dignity."

Since some fairly moderate interpretations of Islam can be viewed as conflicting in some way with a liberal ideal of religious tolerance, mutual respect, and human dignity, Obama's statement can be viewed as a fairly open declaration of war against Islam.

The call for repression is a call for genocide as dramatically increasing numbers of Muslims will face conflict and condemnation if there isn't a swift resolution to something that President Obama isn't publicly preparing to resolve quickly in any way, shape, or form.

The challenge of containing the Islamic State is not repressing and exterminating certain interpretations of Islam; it is creating structures where individuals are free to practice their religion except to the extent that their views are imposed on others.

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Posted by: Joey Berry on 12-07-2015

Clearly the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL/Daesh)
fails as a general Islamic ideal BUT some of the core successes of the group are and should be appealing to the vast majority of Muslims:

1. Establishing a Caliphate.

2. Expanding Islamic territory and influence.

3. Fighting unbelievers and oppressors of Islam.

4. Vengeance for Muslims (including civilians and soldiers/fighters) killed in previous or ongoing occupations and conflicts.

5. A return to allowing (even if over-enforcing) fundamental aspects of Islam.

Without understanding some of the reasons for support of the Islamic State, it is virtually impossible to formulate a realistic plan to defeat them.

The greatest weakness of the Islamic State is that Islam is in many ways highly individualistic and their rigid, monolithic implementation of an Islamic state is currently a failure due to incompatibility with personal beliefs. The Islamic State appears to make the typical conservative mistake of attempting to place God's law beneath national (or Man's) law. Rigid implementation of Spiritual Law or Religious Law by imperfect men - even when the portions implemented are broadly supported - creates something different than the Religious Law accepted by individuals (and an inability to truly practice their religion).

The current plan of low-level conflict is virtually perfect for expanding support of the Islamic State globally. How would you respond if an outside force were dropping 10-30 bombs per day in your state but taking some care to limit civilian damage? Would the destruction of government resources and the killing of politicians, police, soldiers, et cetera prompt you to advocate surrender or would the mild threat to day-to-day life and outside oppression actually inspire support?

The politically correct mantra that violence and support for the Islamic State is completely without merit is naïve and counter-productive.

Ultimately there are three paths to dealing with the Islamic State:

1. War
2. Genocide
3. Appeasement



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Posted by: Joey Berry on 12-07-2015

The idea of a blanket ban on Muslims entering the U.S. a la Donald Trump is exactly the opposite of the reasoning needed to make progress against violence and extremism.

Unfortunately comments like this move beyond rejecting Political Correctness; they disqualify a candidate for the office of President; they conflict with the core of American values and the duties of an American President.

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Posted by: Joey Berry on 12-08-2015

Donald Trump is naïve and counter-productive when he calls for a complete ban on Muslims coming into the United States. However, the gut-instinct defenses of Islam are also often naïve and counter-productive...

For example, CNN posted an article entitled "The shocking truth about Muslims in America" which implies natural symmetry with Islam and American Muslims that does not exist; the article ignores the fact that American Muslims aren't truly free to practice their religion.

[cnn.com/2015/12/08/us/muslims-in-america-shattering-misperception/index.html]

By its nature, Islam is a fundamentalist religion with impact on virtually every aspect of daily life. On the other hand Islam is not currently a monolithic religion; it is highly individualistic. In short, Islam is not completely incompatible with America and Western values but it is not inherently compatible either. Individual Muslims can embrace any view from very peaceful and spiritual to very hostile and militant but religion is central and attempts to repress the religion or oppress Muslims are much more likely to incite militant and even terroristic movements.

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Posted by: Joey Berry on 12-11-2015

CNN has published an excellent article titled "What does ISIS really want?"

[edition.cnn.com/2015/12/11/middleeast/isis-syria-iraq-caliphate/index.html]

The necessity of depriving the ISIS of all territory is outlined well but the true justification for the mandate to deprive ISIS of territory is largely missing. There is one clear driving force requiring the deprivation of territory and that is official support for terrorism. No state may support terrorism or piracy, which are affronts to human rights and civilian security, without effectively declaring war on all other states; all other states have a sovereign responsibility to protect and defend their citizens which requires the destruction of the formal, organized threat.

ISIS (otherwise known as the Islamic State/IS/ISIL/Daesh) can't be targeted for its religious views and domestic policies without creating a misguided holy war. ISIS must be targeted and destroyed to protect all other citizens and ALL religious views without tying the war to repression of some "perverted" or "extreme" views of Islam.

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Posted by: Joey Berry on 12-13-2015

Donald Trump is at least asking the right question now...

Unfortunately he wants a broad three second answer to a complex and individual issue. Asking questions is great; proposing counter-productive and anti-American/anti-freedom bans without understanding or a plan is horrific (and disqualifying to potential Presidential candidates).

Donald Trump is asking, "Why do they hate us?"

[edition.cnn.com/2015/12/13/politics/donald-trump-muslim-ban-state-of-the-union/index.html]

Assuming that means why do some Muslims hate the United States, there is a broad three second generalization that any advisor worth his salt should be able to give a Presidential frontrunner:

Muslims who hate the United States do so because of perceived oppression and/or repression of Islam.

A few more seconds of briefing should reveal a much deeper problem:

1. Islam contains fundamental teachings related to jihad with individual interpretations allowing views to emerge that are anywhere from ultra-militant to ultra-peaceful but with a much stronger bias toward promoting pro-militant views and conspiracy theories.

2. The U.S. does not allow full practice of Islam. Our domestic population of Muslims is so small that problems related to that issue are generally dismissed (by officials and the public) due to pragmatic implementation; i.e. domestic problems related to Islam are currently largely contained by legal restrictions and police enforcement in conflict with a Constitutional guarantee of Freedom of Religion.

3. The U.S. had been involved in numerous military actions with clear Muslim civilian casualties; currently iraqbodycount.org lists 149,061–169,310 civilians killed since 2003 with total deaths at 224,000 including militants.

[iraqbodycount.org/]

4. The U.S. generally supports the state of Israel which was created after WWII as a Jewish state in spite of Arab/Muslim opposition.

5. Islam is likely the most effective major religion at self-promotion and expansion. Islam has approximately doubled its share of global adherents in the last 100 years while the proportion of Christians has declined.

[en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growth_of_religion]

6. Some of the interpretations that support expansion of Islam also justify intentional and unintentional distortions of reality to justify a pro-Muslim viewpoint including promoting views that Muslims are under attack (regardless of legitimate reasons for conflicts or incidents).

With the above in mind, what is that likely result of an anti-American, anti-freedom call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States? Is it a likely outpouring of support by moderate Muslims as Donald Trump claims or is it a rally cry for radicalizing future Islamic terrorists and encouraging a never ending cycle of violence?



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