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Monday, 14 May 2018


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Islam has been riven by internal division since it's inception. By its nature- any true believer is bound to oppose unbelievers and barring identical interpretation of the Koran and the Hadith every independent minded Muslim has a reason for opposing those with a different interpretation.
Islam is dying. The tenets of the belief system hamper both production and trade. It thrived for a while from the fruits of conquest, from the taxes of dhimmis and from possessing lands that controlled the silk road. It's decline started when western ships reached the Indies thus negating it's stranglehold on east-west trade, and accelerated as the non-muslims population in Muslim lands declined by conversion or emigration, reducing the tax base. Yes there has been a revival the last few decades from oil money, but even that depended on western expertise.
Please note, Islam is dying, but will not die quietly. The upsurge in Muslim violence is just lashing out- the death throes of a mortally wounded beast.
But you are right- many will be hurt in those death throes.

"[I]t is also very necessary to be exceedingly careful when a politician intends good!"

Speaking of which:


So David, all y'all non-Americans, after listening to both those I think David your, "particularly as my own country played such a large role in setting it up" load ought be somewhat lifted from your shoulders.

We Americans - or better the US State Department - bears the heavier responsibility. Always searching for "magic bullets."

Hopefully, beginning with Trump - No Longer!

When I lived in Israel in the early 1980s, the Israelis took great comfort from the fact that they were (beneath the inevitable quarrels which all Jews enjoy!) united, whereas their opponents were a seething mass of conflicting religious and political interests.

Soldiers came back from fighting in Lebanon, telling stories of internal and proxy politics so convoluted that few could make any sense of it. Lebanese Muslim, Lebanese Christian, Alawites, Druse, imported Syrians, Fatah, and displaced Palestinians. All good friends one day, and then - literally - cutting each other's throats the next. Lots of the Israeli soldiers had T-shirts with the slogan "Kill 'em all: let God sort 'em out!"

Oh Gaaarrrd Whyaxye,

Might we leave Lebanon and its multiplicity/duplicity of alliances aside for awhile? Might we please limit our "fixing of the Middle East" to the years betwixt 1979 and 1997?

(Yes yes yes 1979 is definitely arbitrary to the rest of y'all but it's not for me because, that's the year I personally "got invited" into the shit. 1997> because after the events of June '96 my personal "Welcome Mat" for the region [excepting Israel] was yanked from under me ... me faring tolerably well thereafter but for those of my acquaintance Their's was the hereafter! ... True I've since done some 'freelancing' .. some number of plausibly denied companies but more the number of time spent consulting with companies doing the primary export product business of the Greater Sandbox variety.)

For anyone who might, individually, take a shot at "understanding" Lebanon:

(Good luck with that!)

Oh heck Whyaxye I've lost my train of thought. Your inclusion of "the 1980s period" giving me some reason for thinking I might meaningfully contribute to this thread become a puff of smoke struck by a wind dematerialized.

One good thing, the only thing really, my thinking of those former times. Now after my trip to Missouri (see my comment on Conscience is worse than a nagging wife) I've got beer!

A last thought occurs ... Lebanon is not for sissies.

My old man served in the Middle East during the War for 5 years. He spoke fluent Arabic.
He emphasised that you could treat the Arabs like shite but never say anything against Allah.

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