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Disingenuity of thinking now is different from the Middle Ages

Reader comment on item: [Hasan Akbar and] Murder in the 101st Airborne

Submitted by Walt O'Brien (United States), Mar 25, 2003 at 22:25

Clashes of cultures are an elective activity engaged in solely as a function of who thinks who has the right to dominate the other's culture. While little attention is being given to the matter of denominations of Islam which are non-Shariah and non-Wahhabist driven, Dr. Pipes is dead on in his evaluation of our violation of our own rules of engagement when dealing with an internal threat of this nature. Imagine, if you will, the response by the Federal authorities if the subject in question has stated he was a Marxist-Leninist, and had committed the act out of his feelings of persecution because he was a Communist.

The nobility and Achilles' heel of our civilization is that, because our nation is founded on the principle of freedom of belief and right to one's practice of the rules of one's faith, that we are predisposed to tolerance respecting religious extremism. We are even excruciatingly tolerant of others' religious intolerance.

Were we but to act according to the appropriate response to others' action, and maintain the principles of the "law being blind," including to alleged political and religious motivations, such problems as these would not arise, as preventative measures would have made clear to potential assailants such as the sergeant that no motive for the taking of human life is acceptable except the prevention of the immediate threat posed to others by an active threat. Hypotheticals and possibles are what motivated the culprit. They are not excusable. nor allowable as a justification for the gunning down and fragging of his peers and leaders in a combat environment.

Had he felt so strongly about the issue, he ought to have made his feelings abundantly clear prior to engaging in military service. The ball is most definitely in his court on all counts from a culpability standpoint.

The military needs also to re-evaluate its standards for admission of individuals into its ranks according to rational criteria. At least the sergeant was not positioned at a Minuteman silo near the Big Red Button!

It should also be mentioned that prior to and during the Second World War, many, many German-Americans were screened and rejected for military service, and 250,000 of them spent the entire war in detention camps in Arizona and Washington state, and rightly so. As well, 300 German language dailies in America were forced out of publication by Presidential edict in 1940. Similar action needs to be exercised in the case of those who view our nation's democratic system as similarly anathema and as "the enemy" of their belief system. Communism did not kill as many Americans on American soil as has Islamic extremism. One would do well to also see the Al-Jazeera English language Webite at http://www.cursor.org to see the horrific attack their brand of Islam is aiming at the USA. It is worse than Third Reich rhetoric.

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