Historical Parallels of Terrorism

 

Pankaj Mishra.

What if we are looking at the phenomenon of terrorism through the wrong lens? The vast majority of terrorism in the world today is coming from Muslims, that much is clear. But this observation must be tempered with its corollary that the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists. Is it right, then, to look at modern terrorism strictly through the lens of Islam? Or are there perhaps prior historical patterns and precedents that hold up a warped mirror to our own predicament? Does modern terrorism stem directly from Islam, or is modern terrorism just an Islamic spin on another expression of deeper problem of modernity, a problem whose prior manifestations we might recognize? This is just a short post as I don’t have time for a more in-depth one and would need to read this book to have a fuller response.

I ask because of an interview I recently listened to through BBC History Magazine’s podcast, History Extra. The interview was with Pankaj Mishra, who has authored a book entitled The Roots Of Modern Rage. From the book’s description at Amazon (emphasis my own):

[Pankaj] shows that as the world became modern, those who were unable to enjoy its promises―of freedom, stability, and prosperity―were increasingly susceptible to demagogues. The many who came late to this new world―or were left, or pushed, behind―reacted in horrifyingly similar ways: with intense hatred of invented enemies, attempts to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment through spectacular violence. It was from among the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the nineteenth century arose―angry young men who became cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally.

Pankaj sees in modern Islamism patterns very similar to Nazi Germany, revolutionary Russia, and many other groups besides. I do not have an interview transcript to quote directly, but in the interview he declares that the Islamism that guides terrorists of Isis and Al-Qaeda is a mish-mash of 19th and 20th century socialist philosophy with Islam thrown in, and thus itself of the same family as horrible philosophical responses to modernity that drove the Nazis and the Soviets. Far from actually reaching back to historical Islam for purity, it is far more akin to the Nazi obsession with old German pantheism, inventing a philosophical and religious past that never was and steering itself towards a purity that never could have existed.

I think he’s got a point here. Germany, after centuries of division as the battleground of the European powers, united, modernized, and industrialized extraordinarily quickly, and in feelings its oats while having a massive chip on its shoulder it sparked two massive wars, the second of which was sustained by an insane pagan racial ideology. Russia, being forced to modernize in a very short order, without having the educational or cultural foundation to sustain it, devolved through revolution into a brutal industrial dictatorship that threatened the rest of the world for many decades.

I’ve not had the chance to read his book in full, though, and as I recall from the interview he doesn’t necessarily have any good solutions for the problem, save that the West must have and express more faith in itself over its successes, the Islamic world must reconcile itself to modernity, and that the rest of the world and the West must together find a new a fusion of thought that respects the past while also facing up to the fact that it’s never coming back. Near the end of the interview, the author, himself an Asian, responds rather humorously to the query of whether Eurocentrism in philosophy should be set aside by saying that not only should it not be discarded, but that it should be embraced for its strengths.

For myself it has had me wondering if perhaps we ought to be taking the longer view too that Islamism will eventually burn itself out like the Soviets if we keep a firm resolve against it, or if it will by necessity be crushed like we had to do to the Nazis. Both solutions, though, have little to say on immigration itself and a lot to say in favor of having strength in our own history and culture as being paramount. Either way, If Pankaj is correct in his diagnosis, when Islamic nations and cultures do reconcile themselves with the modern world (and they’ll have to, though the process is proving extremely painful from within and without), the phenomenon of Islamism, with its terrorism, will eventually burn out or be crushed — either way it will not sustain itself.

I have no conclusions on this myself, but it does bear pondering and questioning.

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  1. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    There is an argument that the real problem with Islam is that the extreme denial of individual agency (e.g. everything, but everything, is Allah’s will) keeps Islamic cultures in a perpetual state of economic retardation, and that factor is what breeds discontent and violence.

    In this way, Islam is indeed very similar to Western socialism, which also denies individual agency.

    • #1
  2. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    I’m old enough to remember when the big thing was Croatian Terrorists in the 1970s. Before that, the only person I’d heard attached to the word “terrorist” was Yasser Arafat (when he became an actual head of state, I was appalled).

    As to Islam, though, it will not burn out, not for good. It might go quiet for a while, maybe even for centuries. But historically it always bubbles back up and tries to take over the world. Just ask the people of Spain who were under their control for 800 years. The Moors left an indelible mark on Spanish culture including their ceramic tile patterns and some of the music. In the song accompanying flamenco dancers, you can hear the Muslim call to prayer.

    • #2
  3. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):
    There is an argument that the real problem with Islam is that the extreme denial of individual agency (i.e. everything, but everything, is Allah’s will) keeps Islamic cultures in a perpetual state of economic retardation, and that factor is what breeds discontent and violence.

    In this way, Islams is indeed very similar to Western socialism, which also denies individual agency.

    The same could be said of the Nazis blaming all the world’s ills on Jews and Slavs.  There is something perpetually appealing in blaming all of your problems, and your own lack of agency, on a scapegoat.  That way you can think you are reclaiming your agency by destroying that scapegoat.

    • #3
  4. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    RightAngles (View Comment):
    I’m old enough to remember when the big thing was Croatian Terrorists in the 1970s. Before that, the only person I’d heard attached to the word “terrorist” was Yassir Arafat (when he became an actual head of state, I was appalled).

    As to Islam, though, it will not burn out, not for good. It might go quiet for a while, maybe even for centuries. But historically it always bubbles back up and tries to take over the world. Just ask the people of Spain who were under their control for 800 years. The Moors left an indelible mark on Spanish culture including their ceramic tile patterns and some of the music. In the song accompanying flamenco dancers, you can hear the Muslim call to prayer.

    The Greco-Romans left their own marks on the Islamic world in the construction of mosques – structures whose architectural lines descend directly from the Roman basilicas by way of the Byzantine domed cathedrals.  The Ottomans thought themselves the inheritors of the Roman empire in the East and even today in Turkey you will find constant reminders that the Turks adopted much of the culture of the Greeks whom they supplanted.

    • #4
  5. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Don’t know if we have any Bernard Lewis fans here, but just after 9/11 he released a book entitled What Went Wrong?  From the book’s description on Amazon:

    For many centuries, the world of Islam was in the forefront of human achievement–the foremost military and economic power in the world, the leader in the arts and sciences of civilization. Christian Europe, a remote land beyond its northwestern frontier, was seen as an outer darkness of barbarism and unbelief from which there was nothing to learn or to fear. And then everything changed, as the previously despised West won victory after victory, first in the battlefield and the marketplace, then in almost every aspect of public and even private life.

    In this intriguing volume, Bernard Lewis examines the anguished reaction of the Islamic world as it tried to understand why things had changed–how they had been overtaken, overshadowed, and to an increasing extent dominated by the West. Lewis provides a fascinating portrait of a culture in turmoil. He shows how the Middle East turned its attention to understanding European weaponry and military tactics, commerce and industry, government and diplomacy, education and culture. Lewis highlights the striking differences between the Western and Middle Eastern cultures from the 18th to the 20th centuries through thought-provoking comparisons of such things as Christianity and Islam, music and the arts, the position of women, secularism and the civil society, the clock and the calendar.  https://www.amazon.com/What-Went-Wrong-Western-Response/dp/0195144201/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1496772218&sr=8-2&keywords=bernard+lewis+what+went+wrong

    This was 16 years ago now, and is by its nature a narrower but deeper study of just the Middle East, but Lewis too looks at things through the lens of struggling to cope with the rapid imposition of Modernity on a culture that had long ago chosen to turn inwards.  It is a frequent topic in Lewis’s other works – the early transition of Islam away from philosophical inquiry followed by its sudden (in historical terms) re-exposure to it, and the reactions ever since.

    • #5
  6. Could Be Anyone Member
    Could Be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):
    There is an argument that the real problem with Islam is that the extreme denial of individual agency (e.g. everything, but everything, is Allah’s will) keeps Islamic cultures in a perpetual state of economic retardation, and that factor is what breeds discontent and violence.

    In this way, Islam is indeed very similar to Western socialism, which also denies individual agency.

    This is the root of the issue. Nazis, Fascists, International Socialists, BLM, and the original version of Islam (etc.) are all collectivist in how they view the world. They only see groups of people, naturally in conflict with one side having to win (kill off or subsume the other) in order to end the conflict. Aryans vs non aryans, black vs white, bourgeois vs proletariat, heretic vs faithful. Individuals are all subservient to the group and exemplify the group’s vices (non favored group) and virtues (favored group).

    This creates more than economic retardation. It limits the vision of the society and focuses it onto what is considered virtuous by said ideology, which is almost always a glorification of domination (and thus the violence needed to attain said domination).

    Not only is such a society then limited in what its members can create but that creative desire is further diminished, if not consumed, by the constant desire to destroy all that which is considered vicious. Destroying Jewish art in WWII, destroying Roman columns in Syria with ISIS, melting Christian relics in Russia during the revolution, and the list goes on.

    • #6
  7. Viruscop Member
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    skipsul:

    For myself it has had me wondering if perhaps we ought to be taking the longer view too that Islamism will eventually burn itself out like the Soviets if we keep a firm resolve against it, or if it will by necessity be crushed like we had to do to the Nazis. Both solutions, though, have little to say on immigration itself and a lot to say in favor of having strength in our own history and culture as being paramount. Either way, If Pankaj is correct in his diagnosis, when Islamic nations and cultures do reconcile themselves with the modern world (and they’ll have to, though the process is proving extremely painful from within and without), the phenomenon of Islamism, with its terrorism, will eventually burn out or be crushed – either way it will not sustain itself.

    I have no conclusions on this myself, but it does bear pondering and questioning.

     

    As I have said again and again, terrorism is not the greatest threat to the US. The greatest threat is China, which has the capability and will to displace the US as the most powerful country on Earth. The Chinese civilization has existed longer than Islam, and if things will keep going the way it will probably outlive the United States or at least push the US into irrelevance.

    • #7
  8. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    skipsul:

    For myself it has had me wondering if perhaps we ought to be taking the longer view too that Islamism will eventually burn itself out like the Soviets if we keep a firm resolve against it, or if it will by necessity be crushed like we had to do to the Nazis. Both solutions, though, have little to say on immigration itself and a lot to say in favor of having strength in our own history and culture as being paramount. Either way, If Pankaj is correct in his diagnosis, when Islamic nations and cultures do reconcile themselves with the modern world (and they’ll have to, though the process is proving extremely painful from within and without), the phenomenon of Islamism, with its terrorism, will eventually burn out or be crushed – either way it will not sustain itself.

    I have no conclusions on this myself, but it does bear pondering and questioning.

    As I have said again and again, terrorism is not the greatest threat to the US. The greatest threat is China, which has the capability and will to displace the US as the most powerful country on Earth. The Chinese civilization has existed longer than Islam, and if things will keep going the way it will probably outlive the United States or at least push the US into irrelevancy.

    I know you’ve argued this before, and it is beyond the scope of what I was addressing.  Have you thought of spinning this into its own post?  (and mind, I’m not asking you to leave off commenting here, it’s more that that topic is broad enough to require it)

    Nevertheless, I think there too the solution is likely a reinvigorating of cultural self-confidence.  We need to be able to stand up for ourselves as a nation and stop blaming ourselves for the ills of other nations.

    • #8
  9. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    skipsul (View Comment):

    Nevertheless, I think there too the solution is likely a reinvigorating of cultural self-confidence. We need to be able to stand up for ourselves as a nation and stop blaming ourselves for the ills of other nations.

    This.  A thousand times.

    • #9
  10. Viruscop Member
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    skipsul (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    skipsul:

     

    I know you’ve argued this before, and it is beyond the scope of what I was addressing. Have you thought of spinning this into its own post? (and mind, I’m not asking you to leave off commenting here, it’s more that that topic is broad enough to require it)

    Nevertheless, I think there too the solution is likely a reinvigorating of cultural self-confidence. We need to be able to stand up for ourselves as a nation and stop blaming ourselves for the ills of other nations.

    Ugh, I haven’t written a serious post in quite a while. I do think that it is within the scope of your post.

    China has similar grievances that many modern Islamic terrorist groups have . They just choose to approach the problem of destroying the West in different ways. Both have been victims of imperialism.  Radical Islam makes it hatred of the West known, so of course people see them as an obvious threat. However, they do not have the capability to destroy the United States or threaten the status of the US on their own. China did not always have the capability to destroy the United States but its leaders realized long ago that they can use the world order created by the United States against itself. Asymptotically, they will crush the US by becoming more powerful than the US. China will become more powerful than at any time in its history because modern technology will allow it to project power in a way that could not be done in the past.

    We need to take a long view against China, like they do with the United States. I don’t think that cultural self-confidence will do much when gdp growth is so low. It isn’t like they have much to admire about the US political system right now. The vast majority of Chinese citizens are not clamoring for a US-style political system, especially if it leads to a Trump.

    • #10
  11. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    I don’t think that cultural self-confidence will do much when gdp growth is so low.

    The two do tend go hand in hand, though.  There is much to be said for having confidence the in the future when it comes to trying to grow.  When you convinced that things will not get better, or may even get worse, then you hunker down and stop taking the sorts of risks that lead to innovation and GDP growth.  America anyway tends towards the self-flagellation when economic times are rocky (See FDR, Carter, & Obama) and gets quite boisterous when it feels self-assured (the 20s, 50s, and 80s through 90s for instance).

    • #11
  12. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    Ugh, I haven’t written a serious post in quite a while.

    Understood, which is why I’m egging you on to do so.

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    I do think that it is within the scope of your post.

     

    Fair enough!

    • #12
  13. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Misthiocracy (View Comment):
    There is an argument that the real problem with Islam is that the extreme denial of individual agency (e.g. everything, but everything, is Allah’s will) keeps Islamic cultures in a perpetual state of economic retardation, and that factor is what breeds discontent and violence.

    In this way, Islam is indeed very similar to Western socialism, which also denies individual agency.

    Which raises the question of why none of them ever stops to think that maybe what they’re doing is not Allah’s will. It seems obvious to me that their mindset combined with the fact that they keep getting annihilated by America and Israel can only lead to one of two conclusions. Either

    1. America and Israel are more powerful than Allah, or
    2. Allah is not on the Islamists’ side.

    Obviously I lean toward option 2,* but I wonder how can there not be any cognitive dissonance among the jihadis? They insist that their goals are Allah’s will, and that Allah’s will is inevitable, but they keep failing.


    *Assuming, for the sake of argument, that Allah = YHWH.

    • #13
  14. Viruscop Member
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    Let me ask a different question. If radical Islam disappeared tomorrow, would that change anything? I don’t think it would. The US would still have troops in the Middle East. Defense spending won’t decrease. US infrastructure will not be repaired. Sovereign enemies like China and Russia would still exist. Indeed, both may get a boost from the disappearance of radical Islam.

    What am I missing? What would be the benefit of its disappearance?

    • #14
  15. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    Let me ask a different question. If radical Islam disappeared tomorrow, would that change anything? I don’t think it would. The US would still have troops in the Middle East. Defense spending won’t decrease. US infrastructure will not be repaired. Sovereign enemies like China and Russia would still exist. Indeed, both may get a boost from the disappearance of radical Islam.

    What am I missing? What would be the benefit of its disappearance?

    Fewer dead Europeans, for one thing.

    • #15
  16. Could Be Anyone Member
    Could Be Anyone
    @CouldBeAnyone

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    Let me ask a different question. If radical Islam disappeared tomorrow, would that change anything? I don’t think it would. The US would still have troops in the Middle East. Defense spending won’t decrease. US infrastructure will not be repaired. Sovereign enemies like China and Russia would still exist. Indeed, both may get a boost from the disappearance of radical Islam.

    What am I missing? What is the benefit of its disappearance?

    If you truly mean radical islam gone (Iran’s government started acting more like Egypt or Turkey after the reforms of Kemal or Jordan) then a lot of problems would be gone.

    1 ) It would first weaken Russia’s claims on fighting terrorism because without radical islam said terrorism would be gone. That would delegitimatize one of putin’s biggest talking points.

    2 ) It would also drastically limit our need for troops in the region because the region would be pacified without religious and sectarian violence.

    3 ) Resulting from that pacification would be that America could focus on other theaters of the world (Pacific) and that would mean greater resistance to China’s aggressive acts.

    4 ) It would weaken arms sales to the Middle East from Russia and China because no sectarian civil war or religious hatred between shia and sunnis.

    I think the governments of China and Russia definitely want radical islam to exist.

    • #16
  17. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Which raises the question of why none of them ever stops to think that maybe what they’re doing is not Allah’s will. It seems obvious to me that their mindset combined with the fact that they keep getting annihilated by America and Israel can only lead to one of two conclusions. Either

    1. America and Israel are more powerful than Allah, or
    2. Allah is not on the Islamists’ side.

    Obviously I lean toward option 2,* but I wonder how can there not be any cognitive dissonance among the jihadis? They insist that their goals are Allah’s will, and that Allah’s will is inevitable, but they keep failing.

    I do not think that fanaticism, of any sort, leaves any room for the contemplation of such things as cognitive dissonance.

     

    • #17
  18. Viruscop Member
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    Let me ask a different question. If radical Islam disappeared tomorrow, would that change anything? I don’t think it would. The US would still have troops in the Middle East. Defense spending won’t decrease. US infrastructure will not be repaired. Sovereign enemies like China and Russia would still exist. Indeed, both may get a boost from the disappearance of radical Islam.

    What am I missing? What would be the benefit of its disappearance?

    Fewer dead Europeans, for one thing.

    In the long run, I don’t know if that’s true. Russia would have the ability to kill more Europeans.

    • #18
  19. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Islam has been using violence to spread since its early days. It is baked into the religion, as much as the caste system was baked in to keep different ethnic groups down.

    And, Islam suffers from an ongoing culture shock. Their faith tells them they are the chosen people, and their way of life is the best. Everything they see in real life counters that. The West is dominate. There is not one technology that any Arab has come up with. Heck, they had to steal Western Oil companies facilities. The only reason they have any power at all, is using Western Technology. It is all so horrible. And, it results in a need to point the finger someplace. It is like one vast Cargo Cult.

    • #19
  20. Viruscop Member
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    Let me ask a different question. If radical Islam disappeared tomorrow, would that change anything? I don’t think it would. The US would still have troops in the Middle East. Defense spending won’t decrease. US infrastructure will not be repaired. Sovereign enemies like China and Russia would still exist. Indeed, both may get a boost from the disappearance of radical Islam.

    What am I missing? What is the benefit of its disappearance?

    If you truly mean radical islam gone (Iran’s government started acting more like Egypt or Turkey after the reforms of Kemal or Jordan) then a lot of problems would be gone.

    1 ) It would first weaken Russia’s claims on fighting terrorism because without radical islam said terrorism would be gone.

    2 ) It would also drastically limit our need for troops in the region because the region would be pacified without religious and sectarian violence.

    3 ) Resulting from that pacification would be that America could focus on other theaters of the world (Pacific) and that would mean greater resistance to China’s aggressive acts.

    4 ) It would weaken arms sales to the Middle East from Russia and China because no sectarian civil war or religious hatred between shia and sunnis.

    I think China and Russia definitely want radical islam to keep going.

    1. The end of radical Islam would also relieve Russia of a burden.
    2. The US would still have troops there to protect the sovereign states from each other.  Sunni states have issue with other Sunni states that have nothing to do with Islam.
    3. Maybe, but radical Islam is also a problem for China due to the Uighurs. Plus, in the future radical Islam might be able to imperil China’s One Belt One Road initiative.
    4. Again, the sovereign states hate each other for reasons that have nothing to do with radical Islam. Radical Islam is often a convenient excuse to disguise common geopolitical issues.
    • #20
  21. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    Let me ask a different question. If radical Islam disappeared tomorrow, would that change anything? I don’t think it would. The US would still have troops in the Middle East. Defense spending won’t decrease.

    I don’t believe either of those statements is true.

    • #21
  22. Viruscop Member
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    Let me ask a different question. If radical Islam disappeared tomorrow, would that change anything? I don’t think it would. The US would still have troops in the Middle East. Defense spending won’t decrease.

    I don’t believe either of those statements is true.

    Why not? How would the US project power into the Middle East without those Middle Eastern bases, and what would stop the sovereign states from attacking each other?

    • #22
  23. PHCheese Inactive
    PHCheese
    @PHCheese

    I don’t see how the IRA can be left out of any discussion about  terrorism. There is even arguably a religious element.  They unwitting perhaps prepared GB for the current wave of Islamic terror.

    • #23
  24. Umbra Fractus Inactive
    Umbra Fractus
    @UmbraFractus

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    Why not? How would the US project power into the Middle East without those Middle Eastern bases, and what would stop the sovereign states from attacking each other?

    You assume that we would “project power” where none is needed. It’s not surprising given your background, but it is false.

    • #24
  25. Viruscop Member
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    Umbra Fractus (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    Why not? How would the US project power into the Middle East without those Middle Eastern bases, and what would stop the sovereign states from attacking each other?

    You assume that we would “project power” where none is needed. It’s not surprising given your background, but it is false.

    My background?

    Why wouldn’t the US need to project power? Even if the Middle Eastern states had no grievances with each other, power has to be projected into the Middle East in order to counter Russia.

    • #25
  26. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    I don’t see how the IRA can be left out of any discussion about terrorism. There is even arguably a religious element. They unwitting perhaps prepared GB for the current wave of Islamic terror.

    Definitely.  I noted this in another post because Mark Steyn brought it up yesterday on Rush’s show.  They used to target the royals, the ministers, and the extended families, but those targets were hardened and protected, so the IRA went after ordinary civilians instead.

    • #26
  27. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    Let me ask a different question. If radical Islam disappeared tomorrow, would that change anything? I don’t think it would. The US would still have troops in the Middle East. Defense spending won’t decrease. US infrastructure will not be repaired. Sovereign enemies like China and Russia would still exist. Indeed, both may get a boost from the disappearance of radical Islam.

    What am I missing? What is the benefit of its disappearance?

    If you truly mean radical islam gone (Iran’s government started acting more like Egypt or Turkey after the reforms of Kemal or Jordan) then a lot of problems would be gone.

    1 ) It would first weaken Russia’s claims on fighting terrorism because without radical islam said terrorism would be gone.

    2 ) It would also drastically limit our need for troops in the region because the region would be pacified without religious and sectarian violence.

    3 ) Resulting from that pacification would be that America could focus on other theaters of the world (Pacific) and that would mean greater resistance to China’s aggressive acts.

    4 ) It would weaken arms sales to the Middle East from Russia and China because no sectarian civil war or religious hatred between shia and sunnis.

    I think China and Russia definitely want radical islam to keep going.

    1. The end of radical Islam would also relieve Russia of a burden.
    2. The US would still have troops there to protect the sovereign states from each other. Sunni states have issue with other Sunni states that have nothing to do with Islam.
    3. Maybe, but radical Islam is also a problem for China due to the Uighurs. Plus, in the future radical Islam might be able to imperil China’s One Belt One Road initiative.
    4. Again, the sovereign states hate each other for reasons that have nothing to do with radical Islam. Radical Islam is often a convenient excuse to disguise common geopolitical issues.

    If they would just murder each other, and keep it there, I would be able to live with that.

    • #27
  28. Viruscop Member
    Viruscop
    @Viruscop

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    Let me ask a different question. If radical Islam disappeared tomorrow, would that change anything? I don’t think it would. The US would still have troops in the Middle East. Defense spending won’t decrease. US infrastructure will not be repaired. Sovereign enemies like China and Russia would still exist. Indeed, both may get a boost from the disappearance of radical Islam.

    What am I missing? What is the benefit of its disappearance?

    If you truly mean radical islam gone (Iran’s government started acting more like Egypt or Turkey after the reforms of Kemal or Jordan) then a lot of problems would be gone.

    1 ) It would first weaken Russia’s claims on fighting terrorism because without radical islam said terrorism would be gone.

    2 ) It would also drastically limit our need for troops in the region because the region would be pacified without religious and sectarian violence.

    3 ) Resulting from that pacification would be that America could focus on other theaters of the world (Pacific) and that would mean greater resistance to China’s aggressive acts.

    4 ) It would weaken arms sales to the Middle East from Russia and China because no sectarian civil war or religious hatred between shia and sunnis.

    I think China and Russia definitely want radical islam to keep going.

    1. The end of radical Islam would also relieve Russia of a burden.
    2. The US would still have troops there to protect the sovereign states from each other. Sunni states have issue with other Sunni states that have nothing to do with Islam.
    3. Maybe, but radical Islam is also a problem for China due to the Uighurs. Plus, in the future radical Islam might be able to imperil China’s One Belt One Road initiative.
    4. Again, the sovereign states hate each other for reasons that have nothing to do with radical Islam. Radical Islam is often a convenient excuse to disguise common geopolitical issues.

    If they would just murder each other, and keep it there, I would be able to live with that.

    What about 1 and 3?

    • #28
  29. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):

    Could Be Anyone (View Comment):

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    Let me ask a different question. If radical Islam disappeared tomorrow, would that change anything? I don’t think it would. The US would still have troops in the Middle East. Defense spending won’t decrease. US infrastructure will not be repaired. Sovereign enemies like China and Russia would still exist. Indeed, both may get a boost from the disappearance of radical Islam.

    What am I missing? What is the benefit of its disappearance?

    If you truly mean radical islam gone (Iran’s government started acting more like Egypt or Turkey after the reforms of Kemal or Jordan) then a lot of problems would be gone.

    1 ) It would first weaken Russia’s claims on fighting terrorism because without radical islam said terrorism would be gone.

    2 ) It would also drastically limit our need for troops in the region because the region would be pacified without religious and sectarian violence.

    3 ) Resulting from that pacification would be that America could focus on other theaters of the world (Pacific) and that would mean greater resistance to China’s aggressive acts.

    4 ) It would weaken arms sales to the Middle East from Russia and China because no sectarian civil war or religious hatred between shia and sunnis.

    I think China and Russia definitely want radical islam to keep going.

    1. The end of radical Islam would also relieve Russia of a burden.
    2. The US would still have troops there to protect the sovereign states from each other. Sunni states have issue with other Sunni states that have nothing to do with Islam.
    3. Maybe, but radical Islam is also a problem for China due to the Uighurs. Plus, in the future radical Islam might be able to imperil China’s One Belt One Road initiative.
    4. Again, the sovereign states hate each other for reasons that have nothing to do with radical Islam. Radical Islam is often a convenient excuse to disguise common geopolitical issues.

    If they would just murder each other, and keep it there, I would be able to live with that.

    What about 1 and 3?

    That covers it all. Let the USA be a problem for China and Russia. ;)

    • #29
  30. skipsul Inactive
    skipsul
    @skipsul

    Viruscop (View Comment):
    Why wouldn’t the US need to project power? Even if the Middle Eastern states had no grievances with each other, power has to be projected into the Middle East in order to counter Russia.

    If we don’t need their oil anymore, what would be the purpose other than Great Game type maneuvers?

    • #30

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