War on Hate
The Global War on Terrorism continues, as it must, despite the death of Osama bin Laden. The post-9/11 “War” was declared against al-Qaeda who planned the attacks and their landlords, the Taliban (who gave them protection after Bin Laden was expelled from Sudan in 1996). Both al-Qaeda and the Taliban are thriving or, at the tragic least, doing much better than they should be doing and some could argue they've made recent restorative gains. This past Wednesday's DBD (Death By Drone) of the Taliban's Deputy Commander, Waliur Rehman, is unlikely to slow or halt their resurgence (as he was replaced on Thursday). Expanding the war, a growing number of independent and non-al-Qaeda or Taliban aligned radical Islamic fundamentalists are attacking ...pretty much any and everybody who doesn't share their “new” cruel and unusually hateful interpretation of Islam. We need to recognize a War on Hate beyond religious and religious sectarian differences and make some plans. And, as it's a global undertaking, we should talk with others about it.
In hindsight, ever keen and clever, the so-called “War on Terror” should have been termed a military campaign against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. “Terrorism” used to be the violent and despicable acts perpetrated by radical political groups to horrifically showcase their grievances, as in the Palestine Liberation Organization and related groups (PFLP, Black September, etc.), the Provisional Irish Republican Army and their ilk both Catholic and Protestant, the ETA (“Euskadi Ta Askatasuna” or "Basque Homeland and Freedom"), and other sickly sensationalist and nationalistic gangs and factions. Eco-terrorism was and is a mixed bag of trash and recyclables... Revolutionaries were always those who politely waved before they burned the villages... And, I can't even come close to a skinny overview of airplane hijacking because the reasons were and are so varied... The Ripley-ish “Believe It or Not” entry of the 1954 hijacking of a Syrian plane by the Israeli military to get back some spies is especially like the pot calling the kettle burnt umber. The goal of terrorism is to intimidate and impart terror and fear, yet much of the today's “terrorism” seems mantled in revenge with various hatreds as accessories. It would be strategic to begin to change the association and interchangeability of 'terrorism' with radical Islamic fundamentalism back to political and nationalistic evil whack-jobs. It would be great if non-radical Islamic fundamentalists, Islamic fundamentalists, and those who practice Islam who are neither radical or fundamentalist could assist in the War on Hate. It will be necessary to be honest.
America was founded as an imperfect federal republic (e.g. legal slavery, the lack of women's suffrage), though the U.S. did have some shiny-happy early moments. In 1775, as Commander in Chief of the Continental Army, Gen. George Washington ordered his troops to end the annual anti-Catholic celebrations of Gunpowder Treason, Guy Fawkes, or Pope's Day (November 5th). As America's first president, in 1790 Pres. Washington wrote to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, Rhode Island, “For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.” Tolerance was important to our founders (as long as the issue didn't concern Native Americans, Africans and African-Americans, and women's rights), and religious freedom and freedom from religion remains a noble, albeit difficult, struggle.
Following efforts begun by Washington, Pres. John Adams had occasion to sign into law the 1797 Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the United States of America and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary which declares “the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion,” and that our tolerance extends to “Mussulmen” or Muslims. This oft cited diplomatic agreement was fair and prudent, yet its existence demonstrates America's inaugural ability to get dirty for a greater good. Our “turning a blind eye” to Afghanistan's opium production is closely related. In the 18th century, Ottoman Tripolitania (today's Libya), engaged in state-sponsored piracy in the Mediterranean and were exceptionally good at it (read: nasty and efficient). Britain paid the Barbary pirates to ignore American ships before our Revolutionary War, the French continued to pay the extortion during the war, and after the war with the 1783 Treaty of Paris and Peace of Paris, it was up to us to lube or be lubed. Our current extremist criminal cult crisis management mantra, “We don't negotiate with terrorists,” makes for wonderful slogans on t-shirts and bumper-stickers, but could be made more accurate by some explanatory fine print which allows for cash and goods to be exchanged between us and some, but not all, mass murderers. It's been an ever-changing line we cross when we have to and the only sound and sure way to stop is to get rid of the lines. Or, in plainspeak, lose the metaphors and globally agree on good and bad, right and wrong, and if a person or group encourages life or is malevolently engaged in bringing about the deaths of others. Wait, hasn't the United Nations been doing this since 1945/1946? Oh, that's right; we still owe them a lot of money...
Most, if not all, religions and governments have atrocities in their past. As we grow and improve ourselves, Nature's Law is further clarified and beyond eat or be eaten is a place that's open twenty-four hours a day and has a divine (read: to die for) menu. Gosh, darn, and Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah; it's a most excellent menu and it's got something for just about everyone interested in menus. If some don't like this its got plenty of that, yet there are those who tear up the menu and threaten to systematically and horribly murder everyone in the restaurant, kill their pets, steal their credit identities and retire someplace no one will think to look. Hate is a dreadful look one gives to a guy who just stole his girl's heart and extreme hate is... Well, think Godwin's Law and the widespread extreme hatred for Jews by many who claim to practice a non-violent form of Islam. It would be really great if non-violent Muslims would denounce, repeat, and denounce again and again the extreme hatred of Jews and genocide. And, of course, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, aboriginals and pagans, atheists and agnostics, Humanists and Comic-Book Fan-Boys and Fan-Girls, and etcetera should also denounce on a regular basis any form of extreme hatred and genocide. Okay, I just heard a snippet of John singing, “All we are saying is give peace a chance...” It's time to put this shiny-happy peace screed to sleep and by “sleep” I don't mean euthanize...
In a 2008 memorandum released by the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, “Terminology to Define the Terrorists: Recommendations from American Muslims,” many cogent (and “Politically Correct”) suggestions are offered. Congressional Grammar Nazis continue to debate whether or not the Obama administration referred to those who attacked our embassy in Benghazi as terrorists soon enough. The radical Islamist militia protesting YouTube video clips of an unfinished anti-Islamic film (“Innocence of Muslims”) weren't connected to al-Qaeda, but they killed our ambassador and others and should have immediately been classified as terrorists! 'Cause timing and accurate elocution is everything...
As long as freedom endures there will likely be a “War on Terror” against arch-villains and super-creeps. We protect hate-speech, prosecute hate-crimes, ...and need to see a show of hands regarding the condemnation or condoning of extreme hate. With Russia supporting Syria who supports Hezbollah who actively works toward the destruction of the State of Israel (“extreme hatred of Jews and genocide”), it stands to reason and decency that Russia be formally advised on the best way to take its collective head out of its rubled rectum. We could boycott vodka and caviar again...
the Who burger with extra What and a side of Why,