Virtual Church of the contact | map
Blind Chihuahua

More to religion
than pleasing
your imaginary friend

The so-called "civilized" countries of the world are now embroiled in what looks to be a decades-long struggle against a world-wide Islamist insurgency, which we are now calling the "Global Fundamentalist Hirabah." (Unlike jihad, which is a duty of every Muslim to struggle for his or her faith, hirabah connotes illegal conflict not sanctioned by Allah - it might be translated as "brigandage" or "banditry, or even "terrorism." There are those who disagree with this designation. A better name is being used by Christopher Anzalone, who calls them jihadi-takfiris, which means "holy war - apostates." They are apostates - those who have turned away from true submission because they make their Islam serve the purposes of their jihad, rather than the other way round.) If the Cold War was World War III, then this is World War IV. Essentially, we are experiencing the confluence of three major threads: Globalization and its spread of Modernity, the development of Fundamentalism in reaction to Modernity and its Islamic expression in a perversion of Salifiyya, and finally, the rapid evolution of 4th Generation Warfare in the 20th Century as a way of waging and sometimes winning war against Superpowers. Many people are wondering what in Hell is going on, and how did it come to this? Here is our ongoing attempt to pull the threads together.

Globalization Salafism 4GW

George Herbert once remarked, "Love thy neighbor, but pull not down your hedge." The peopling of the earth after the last Ice Age set the stage for Globalization. That is to say, population movement was possible, but it was so slow that populations became isolated from one another and developed distinct languages, traditions, and cultures. When various distinct populations came into contact, the results included conflict, co-existence, and intermixing. In the 20th century, an explosion of technological developments in Western Culture accelerated the growth of communication, trade, and population movement between cultures — what we now call Globalization. Globalization is now pervasive, fostered by the Internet, and the rapid movement of investment capital that it enables.

The promise of Globalization is the adoption of uniform standards of financial accountability, transparency, and performance — practices that can only be enabled by good, responsive, transparent, accountable governments — i.e., democracies, according to Friedman.

The perils of Globalization are the "winner take all" nature of the global marketplace (due to the nature of both social and economic networks), alienation caused by the influx of ideas and people into cultures more rapidly than they can be assimilated, and — unless "Green" business practices are demanded by consumers and citizens — environmental damage.

Currently the most dangerous of these downsides may be alienation. Consider that most of the volunteers for al-Qaeda are upper middle-class Muslim men from the Arabian Peninsula and the Maghreb who have studied in Europe and England. In Muslim countries, they enjoyed a certain status relative to and deference from women. In Europe, no such status and deference is recognized. In Muslim countries, they lived in a culture suffused with Islam. In Europe and the West, they live in a culture suffused with secularism, in which children are viewed as a burden rather than a blessing, and in which the only avenues to public status are wealth and fame. Naturally they seek the comfort of the mosque. And it is there that they sometimes meet radical companions, or radical Imams [ put there or maintained there by now globalized radical Islamic fundamentalist "charities"]. As Marc Sageman notes, such alienation and dislocation can be antecedents to conversion experiences. Some of these young men become radicalized, as did, for example, Muhammad Atta, the German-educated engineer and leader of the cells that carried out the 9/11 attacks.

But this alienation can occur even in one's own home country. Consider that the Internet can change the relations between generations in traditional cultures. Whereas the young used to look up to the old for wisdom, now the young know more than the old do about the Internet, and the ideas flowing across it. Suddenly, one is no longer at home even in one's own culture. This can create resentment, and a desire to stop Globalization.

Now, Globalization can be kept at bay — one can protect one's olive trees, as Friedman would put it — but at the price of alienating the Global Capital markets. In other words, keeping out the world's ideas keeps out the world's wealth as well. This can create further resentment, and a desire to change the rules of the game by trying to dominate Globalization — to turn one's own threatened cultural norms into global norms. It is this desire that leads the Global Fundamentalist Hirabah to attack the current economic and political engines of Globalization, the West in general, and the United States in particular.

For the radical Islamofacists, the drivers of the Global Fundamentalist Hirabah, it boils down to this: if Globalization comes to your country, you will no longer be able to force your women to live their entire lives under virtual house arrest. You may do it for a while, but not indefinitely. So they attack the West. They are the army of what Barnett calls the "non-integrating gap," those regions of the world that refuse to accept what are the growing global norms.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that what they want is not so much to stop the spread of those norms, but to spread their own norms in their place. The Hirabis demand respect for their interpretation of Islam (which is both idolatrous and blasphemous), to the extent that no one will be free to criticize them publicly - which amounts to dhimmitude (second class status) for the rest of the world, including the majority of the Islamic world. If they were to prevail, the best the world could hope for is the way Saudis currently live under the yoke of their own mutaween, or "religious police."

The current minimal norms of international behavior must be enforced (and improved) if they are to be effective in creating a sustainable and liveable international order. Like it or not there is only one military force of global reach left to what Barnett calls the "functioning core" of the international community. And that force is the military strength of the United States of America. That is to say, somebody must be the "enforcer" for the international community, and the US is it by default. But the world wants the US to be a champion, not a bully.

Nevertheless, the US cannot sustain unilateral action indefinitely. The West, if it is to survive in a livable world, must regain its solidarity and purpose, and continue to lead — and when necessary force — the shaping of international order. To do less will abandon the world to a technology-enabled patriarchal honor/shame based tribalism.

Vengeance is mine, saith the LORD. In the case of Global Salafist Hirabah, those who claim to wreak God's vengeance are Muslim clerics and laypeople who fancy themselves to be clerics. In reality, these people are prisoners of their own really, really bad theology. They worship not God, but an image of God, an idol that is as wedded as they are to the honor-shame cultures they mistake for Islam. They perceive that their honor/shame cultures are under siege from modernity and globalization, and therefore they delude themselves into thinking their religion is under siege. By this method they justify all manner of evil. For them, the God of the Qur'an and the Bible is like a blank screen onto which they project their own prejudices, hatreds, and longing for revenge and domination. With such projection, they can deny that their destructive urges come from within themselves. Instead, they can believe that their will to kill is but submission to the Will of God. Yes, the same God who willed that 113 of the 114 suras of the Qur'an begin with the words, "In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful...." (They begin every sura but one to stress their importance and their intendedness — they are worth repeating, and they are not an empty formula!) We maintain that the Hirabis have allowed themselves to be seduced by what the Qur'an calls "the Slinking One, who whispers into the hearts of men, " that they are idolaters who worship what they imagine God to be rather than God, and that by associating the evil in their hearts with God's Will, they are blasphemers.

The term "Salafist" derives from the Arabic salifiyya, meaning a "return to the ancestors," more specifically to the ways of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his Companions (Abu Bakr, Ali, Salman al-Farsi and Sa'ad ibn Abi Waqqas, may God be pleased with them), and the Rightly Guided Ones (the first four Caliphs — Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali). After this time (about A.D. 661) a dispute arose as to who should succeed as Caliph (Commander of the Faithful) which led to the schism between Sunni and Shi'i Islam. The Salafists believe that by returning to the purity of the Islam of the Rightly Guided Ones, Islam can be rescued from its cultural decline relative to the West since about A.D. 1400. (They do not consider that Right Guidance can come from the whole people as well as from an enlightened leader, and that therefore democracy could open a "ground up" channel for Right Guidance and renewal in Islam.)

The Salafists have divided into two camps: those who emphasize a gradual salifiyya based on preaching, persuasion, and setting a good example, and those fundamentalists who extol a violent revolutionary struggle, whom we call Hirabis. Some Hirabis aim to achieve the violent overthrow of all the regimes of the Middle East (whom they call the Near Enemy), particularly of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Since Western powers with economic interests in the petroleum in the region are correctly seen as supporting these regimes, the Hirabis target these powers (the Far Enemy). Thus, the Global Fundamentalist Hirabah is an insurgency targeted at the political will of the Western Powers in general, and America in particular to support the status quo in the Middle East. More recently, the Hirabis have added the Palestinians and US support for Israel as a concern, in order to gain legitimacy and support from a wider Muslim audience.

Changing world policy toward the Middle East, however, is not the final aim of the Hirabis. The reason they want to erode support for the current regimes is not to establish freedom for oppressed Muslims. Instead, they want to become the oppressors, forcing all Muslims to live according to their version of Islamic Law, and killing any Muslim who does not. For example, the Taliban (al-Qaeda's puppet government) used to execute women in Afghanistan for not properly covering their heads. All non-Muslims will become dhimmis (second class citizens) with no political rights. In other words, what the Hirabis want is power, and the more they see themselves succeeding (or at least not being defeated) the more ambitious they become. Many Hirabis now want to make their version of militant, expansionist Islamic Fundamentalism the dominant politio-military power on earth, forcing dhimmitude upon the rest of us worldwide, starting in Europe and Britain.

In their theology, the Hirabis believe that God loves for them to kill men, women, and children of the Enemies of God (anyone who opposes the Global Fundamentalist Hirabah). Thus, even Muslims can be targeted if they oppose the Hirabis, or even if they just happen to be around other targeted areas or individuals (because they should not have just "been around" — given the access they had to the Enemy, they should have killed the Enemy themselves.) In particular, since suicide attacks have been discovered to be their most effective weapon, the Hirabis have so glorified suicide attacks that they have created within some Muslim communities what can truly be described as a "culture of death." Suicide attackers are publicized as having been "wedded to the dark-eyed," referring to the houris (youthful ones) that attend the every need of the blessed in the highest heaven. Thus, the posters, leaflets, and websites listing the names and photos of the dead suicide attackers look not so much like funeral notices as like wedding announcements.

The effect is to seduce children into wanting to become suicide attackers themselves. Since the Qur'an states that God made the various religions so that we may know each other, we point out that to readers of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament to Christians), this looks like "sending your children through the fire to Moloch," so roundly condemned by the Hebrew Prophets. To this reader of Eric Berne's Games People Play, it also looks like the game, "Let's you and him fight." That is to say, for many, the Global Fundamentalist Hirabah has become a business, for which it is necessary to recruit a steady supply of cannon fodder.

Fourth Generation War, or 4GW, is the name that Hammes (see below) uses for politico-military insurgencies in the 20th and 21st centuries. While insurgency and terrorism are not unique to this time period, they have undergone rapid evolution in the recent past, because the insurgents have made a special effort to learn from each other's efforts. I abstract his history of 4GW below:

Mao Zedong: Began 20th century 4th Generation Warfare. With his co-comander Zhu De, he summarized its tactics in a sixteen character folk rhyme, which translates roughly as:

Enemy advances, we withdraw,
Enemy rests, we harass,
Enemy tires, we attack,
Enemy withdraws, we pursue.

Mao and De pursued three-phase warfare:

  1. Build political strength.
  2. Consolidate base areas.
  3. Launch final (military) assault.

Mao showed that an insurgency could start and win a civil war.

Ho Chi Minh: Innovated in the use of propaganda, mass media, and manipulation of international public opinion. Ho showed that an insurgency can destroy an opponent's will to continue the struggle, and thus win a war against a foreign superpower without having to defeat it militarily. It is noteworthy that the neither the North Vietnamese Regular Army nor the Vietcong insurgents won a single significant battle - including the famous Tet Offensive. Phase III succeeded only after the US withdrawal and its refusal to supply parts and ammunitiion to South Vietnam. That is, North Vietnam got the US to simply give up and withdraw — and wars are lost by whoever quits fighting first.

One major difference between the Global Fundamentalist Hirabah and the Vietnam War is that the North Vietnamese were content with a regional victory. They did not pursue their enemies after they withdrew. Though it should be obvious from 9/11 and subsequent attacks and foiled plots worldwide, this is not the case with the Hirabis. Emboldened by their success against the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan, they are now taking on the world. To withdraw, it would be necessary to withdraw from planet earth, and even then the withdrawers would be pursued.

The Sandinistas: Refined the use of political propaganda, media manipulation, manipulation of religious sentiment (Liberation Theology) to overthrow its country's government without the use of major military force. The Sandinistas showed how an insurgency can defeat the government of its host country without a Phase III military assault, or even an army of its own.

The First Intifada: Used limited force (adolecent boys throwing rocks) against limited objectives (Israeli military and police forces in the Occupied Territories) to delegitimize the Occupation in the eyes of the world, the United States, and even the Israelis themselves. Brought about a change of Israeli government from Likhud to Labor, and a willingness on the part of Israel to withdraw from the Territories in exchange for peace. The Palestinians showed how an insurgency could defeat an occupying power without a Phase III assault, a military force, or even modern weapons.

The Second Intifada: The gains of Intifada I were squandered by Arafat, who on returning from Tunisia to take over leadership of the Palestinians, returned to the rhetoric of destroying Israel. Subsequently, he allowed Ariel Sharon to manipulate him into the Second, or Al-Aqsa, Intifada, and sanctioned the use of suicide bombers against civilians in Israel proper. This brought Likhud back to power in Israel (with Sharon as Prime Minister) and legitimized the expansion of Israeli settlements in the Territories as a "First Line of Defense" against terrorism.

Al Qaeda: Largely through the resources of one wealthy man, combined with the exiled Egyptian Islamic Jihad, built a global insurgent organization composed of both tightly organized command-cadre elements, and loosely affiliated elements that more like a social movement. Exploited the civil war in Afghanistan to help the Taliban win all but 1/6 of the country. This yielded a sovereign "front government" to provide shelter for training camps and other logistical support.

Mike Scheuer notes that the grievances Al-Qaeda uses to generate volunteers in his book Imperial Hubris:

  • US support of Israel's domination of the Palestinians
  • US troops on the Arabian peninsula
  • US occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan
  • US and Western support for Russia, India, and China
  • US and Western pressure on Arab governments to keep oil prices low
  • US and Western support of corrupt Arab governments against Muslim Fundamentalists

I think Scheuer appreciates that these grievances are recruiting/propaganda tools in a 4GW, and that how and when we go about changing the above situations (or perceptions thereof) are of critical importance. What he fails to appreciate is that al-Qaeda is in business to stay in business, and that they will invent new grievances is their old ones are dealt with. What counts most in 4GW is ideas, rather than weapons, and will to continue, rather than resources.

That is to say, 4GW is really a conflict of ideas, and, generally speaking, you can't kill an idea. You simply have to come up with a better one.

Currently, Al-Qaeda offers a vision of a return to the Caliphate and the time of the Rightly Guided Ones. So far, this has amounted to a backward-looking culture of death, inspired by an idolatrous identification of Islam with honor/shame cultures, and a blasphemous identification of God's Will with their own rage, which violates what used to be accepted norms in Islamic culture and jurisprudence. America offers a vision of democracy, religious freedom and progress. The coming decades will tell which vision is more appealing to the populations from which al-Qaeda and its like draw volunteers.

So, pulling the threads together, we have the international community as the Modernist Globalizers, fighting a loose collection, a social movement, of 4th generation warriors (of which al-Qaeda is but one organization) inspired by radical Islamic Fundamentalism as the Medievalist Globalizers. The Modernist Globalizers do indeed have their faults, but the Medievalist Globalizers are much worse. The conflict will probably take decades, and to win it we must learn to fight 4GW with 4GW techniques (minus the terrorism). In particular, much of the war is being fought in the media.

Like the Cold War before it, there is no exit strategy from the Global Fundamentalist Hirabah. We are in this until the Hirabis delegitimize themselves to the point that they are no longer able function. This time can be hastened or delayed by creative foreign and economic policy and diplomacy on the part of the West in general, Europe in particular, and especially the United States. [In fact, a case can be made that the Hirabis transgress the rules of engagement for jihad, which could be used against them.] Encouraging the current democracy movements in the Middle East and elsewhere is crucial in this global struggle. Insurgencies can be limited by force, but they are defeated by the provision of basic services, social services, and the development of civil societies.

The next most effective thing to do is judicious use of Military force. Since we cannot seem to get inside the decision cycle (aka Boyd cycle or OODA loop) of the Hirabis, the next best thing is to force them to consider what is going on in our decision cycle. This means keeping up military pressure on regions where terrorists may be hiding or passing through. The more energy the bad guys spend avoiding death or capture, the less energy they have to plan and carry out attacks on us, the Far Enemy. As evidence to support this hypothesis, consider the tape that Bin Laden sent just prior to the US Presidential Election of 2004. Most likely, he would rather have sent a massive attack, but all he could manage was a video greeting card. (This is accomplished by activity in Afghanistan, and near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. I think that the mission in Iraq denies the Hirabis a region that they were going to use, and puts Iran on notice regarding its relationship with Hirabis, and draws off some of their capability toward that they would otherwise have used against the Far Enemy, but it does not press them as hard as the activity in Afghanistan.)

Finally, there is Homeland Security. It really does help to "harden the homeland," but only in so far as the measures taken respect the human freedoms that they are instituted to defend. Measures that cross this line (some provisions of the USA Patriot Act have been suggested as examples) are self-defeating, because they may undermine the legitimacy of the governments that institute them.

And don't kid yourself. Not only are we dealing with a "democratization" of war, in which terrorist groups learn from each other how to wage war against their favorite enemy group, even against nation-states — nation-states are also learning from the terrorists. See, for example, the chilling document, Unrestricted Warfare, written by two Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) Colonels.

Hirabah Links

  • Al-Jazeera, a major Arabic news outlet, believed to be owned by the Emir of Qatar, with an onboard cleric who is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, who have become Hirabis.
  • The Al-Qaeda Manual (free download) from the US Department of Justice
  • The Noble Qur'an in English, "translated" with anti-Jewish and anti-Christian interpolations and insertions by Muhamad Taqi-ud-Din Al-Hilali and Muhammad Muhsin Khan, if you want to see the lengths to which Wahhabis will go to insert their message into that of the Prophet. Print version published by Darussalam Publishers and Distributors in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • Bin Laden, et al.,1996 Fatwa, 1998 Fatwa urging hirabah against Americans.
  • SOFIR (Society for Internet Research) tracks hirabah websites.

Anti-Hirabah Links


The Sling and the Stone, Col. Thomas. X. Hammes, USMC. Hammes, both a practicioner and a student of war, traces the development of insurgency as "Fourth Generation Warfare" or 4GW for 70 years from Mao Zedong and Ho Chi Minh to al-Qaeda. Noting that 4GW is the only form of warfare that has defeated superpowers (both the US and the former USSR), Hammes claims that, until the US military, government, and citizenry come to understand 4GW, we will continue to be unable to defeat it, our superior and evolving technology notwithstanding. On the other hand, some claim that while Hammes' insights are interesting, they are not new — they are generally implied in Sun Tsu's The Art of War. Moreover, the West is perhaps better than anyone else at organized violence — a point made by Victor Hansen in his Carnage and Culture: Landmark Battles in the Rise to Western Power. Xenophon's Anabasis (Persian Expedition) documents the first large army in Western Civilization and seems to support Hansen's thesis. However, Hammes emphasizes not that 4GW is new, but that it has undergone significant development during the latter 20th century, and that each generation of insurgents has learned from the one before it. Finally I must note that each insurgency has unique features. See Tactics of the Crescent Moon, by LTC John H. Poole, for example.

The Pentagon's New Map — Thomas P. M. Barnett. Barnett takes Friedman's ideas and claims that the US must be the principal accelerator of Globalization, which he sees as a process of bringing societies from the "Non-Integrating Gap" into the "Functioning Core" of the emerging global economy and international legal order. He argues that there must be two "rule sets," one for the Core which continues to resemble the Westphalian concept of non-interference in each other's internal affairs and emphasizes deterrence over pre-emption, and another for the Gap, which emphasizes pre-emption over deterrence, because the Gap cannot be deterred, and does not respect the core's rules. The military force to support Globalization must continue to come mostly from the US, which needs to augment its traditional military "Leviathan" force, with a "Sysadmin" force that can run a country until it can stand on its own. Combine this book with that of Col. Hammes above, and Prof. John W. Bodnar's work on Revolution in Military Affairs, particularly on Warning Intelligence, and you begin to have the military part of winning the GWOT triangulated. But the military part is necessary, not sufficient. See below. Moreover, the situation is complicated by the "Non-integrating Gap" having a very different cultural context and concept of war than that of the "Functioning Core," as made clear in John Keegan's A History of Warfare.

Through Our Enemies' Eyes: Osama Bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of America — Anonymous (Michael Scheuer). Perhaps the definitive work on Bin Laden and the rise of al-Qaeda, by a former CIA analyst who spent years studying them. Sheuer has written another book, Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror, but I do not recommend it here, because I think The Sling and the Stone, by Hammes is a better assessment of the situation. For more on the Western roots of virulent anti-Westernism, see Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies, by Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit (more on that here). In particular, Sayyid Qutb, through his writings, brought a virulent occidentalism into radical Islamism, even though his knowledge of Islam has been considered by some Wahabbi apologists to be superficial. For insights into European anti-US sentiment, see Anti-Americanism, by Jean Francois Revel and Diarmid Cammell. (For an example of Occidentalism see A Terrible Love of War by James Hillman, a Jungian psychologist with anti-Christian/anti-Western pagan sensibilities).

Understanding Terrorist Networks — Marc Sageman. Sageman is a psychiatrist and a former US foreign service officer. He presents evidence to show that the Global Fundamentalist Hirabah (which he calls the Global Salafist Jihad) participants are psychologically normal. They join mostly because they know others who have joined, and are experiencing alienation, usually from recent emigration. For an illustration of how almost anyone can become radicalized see My Year Inside Radical Islam, by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, reviewed here, and The Islamist, by Ed Husain, reviewed here. Sageman includes an interesting chapter on social networks, pointing out strengths and vulnerabilities that such organizations have. See also Albert-Laszlo Barabasi's Linked, a popular introduction to social (and other) networks.

The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization — Thomas L. Friedman. Argues that the solution to the present world crises (conflict, environmental catastrophe, etc.) is to accelerate globalization, with its free exchange of ideas and the "Golden Straitjacket" that the "Electronic Herd" of the global markets place on governments. In particular, the demand of capital markets for transparency translates to a demand for democracy, laws, property rights, and good banking and accounting practices. It will take some creative effort to make Globalization "Green," but Friedman thinks it can be done. Friedman does point out the downside of Globalization, and how it can alienate and embitter entire peoples, but he believes the negative impacts can be softened, and that the overall impact can be made positive. In the end, he believes we can have a wealthier, healthier, happier and safer world. He has written a follow-on to this book, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century which some critics claim is not nearly as good as the original (I haven't read this one yet.)

What went Wrong: The Clash between Islam and Modernity in the Middle East, by noted scholar Bernard Lewis. A chronicle of the decline of Islamic culture since its high watermark of A.D. 1400. See also The Crisis in Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror , which continues Lewis' thoughts past September 11, 2001.

The Dream Palace of the Arabs: A Generation's Odyssey by Fouad Ajami, is a really outstanding guide to the recent intellectual history of the Middle East, recommended by Howard. Daniel Pipes says this about the book:

As a scholar, Ajami focuses not on the usual questions of statecraft and foreign policy, but on intellectual developments in the Arabic-speaking world. By making issues and personalities come alive, he manages to interest an impressively large American audience in debates conducted by Egyptians, Lebanese, and Saudis. As a public commentator, Ajami has regular access to leading television and magazine outlets, making him the Middle East specialist with probably the greatest public reach. Though English is not his first language, Ajami's command of language has few rivals in the world of political analysis. Whether speaking on CBS News or writing for The New Republic, U.S. News and World Report, or Foreign Affairs, he dazzles with his metaphors and panache.

Among the Believers: An Islamic Journey (1982), by Nobel Laureate V. S. Naipaul. A glimpse inside Islamic societies from an outsider. See also his Beyond Belief: Islamic Excursions among the Converted Peoples (1999). These books give a personal glimpse of the people Naipaul met in his travels through regions where the Hirabis now look for recruits and shelter.

The Trouble with Islam, by Irshad Manji. A Muslim refusenik questions the violence and bigotry that has become mainstream in popular Islam. For a rejoinder of sorts (as well as to Bernard Lewis) see What's Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

Terror in the Name of God: Why Religious Militants KillJessica Stern. Stern interviewed real terrorists over a four year period, including members of the Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord (CSA - an American neo-Nazi Christian Fundamentalist white racist organization) Hamas, al-Qaeda, the "Save the Babies" movement (American abortion clinic bombers and assassins of abortion providers), the Laskar Jihad in Indonesia (formed in response to Indonesian Christian massacres of Muslims), the Temple Mount Faithful (an organization of Israeli Jews dedicated to destroying the mosques on the Temple Mount and building a Third Jewish Temple), and others. Her book provides essential understanding of Religious Terrorism (whether it stems from perversions of Judaism, Christianity or Islam) and how to defeat it.

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order — Samuel P. Huntington. Huntington argues that the order emerging from the dust of the Cold War will be based on "civilizational" lines, with civilizations defined along historical-linguistic-religious lines. Thus we have Western, Eastern Orthodox, Latin American, Islamic, Japanese, Chinese, Hindu, and African civilizations all vying for dominance in the world. Absent from this classification is Israel, which according to Huntington, belongs to no major civilization. This is an informative and provocative thesis, but the emerging consensus among scholars and world leaders is that a clash of civilizations is not inevitable, nor will it be the dominant mode of self-organization of the world of the 21st century — if the leaders of the world work hard enough to avoid it. Arab-American psychiatrist Wafa Sultan does believes that the present conflict is not a clash of civilizations, but rather a confrontation of a medieval vs a modern worldview. I believe it is a clash, brought on by globalization, between honor/shame cultures and modern cultures. And that religion is being abused as a proxy for pride.

For a psychological interpretation of war in general, see Anthony J. Stevens, The Roots of War: A Jungian Perspective. Also, War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, by the journalist Chris Hedges.

Recommendations by Arthur "Zucky" Zuckerman, of the Emergency Response Foundation:

So, they're here. I have a suggestion. Let's make "attempted incitement to murder" a crime.

And for those of you who still think this is only about foreign policy, that it isn't globalized, or that this social movement can be appeased in any way, here are three photos emailed to me by an acquaintance who claims they are from a post 9/11 demonstration in London:

Don't wallow too long in this cesspit.

Post 9/11 reason and rancor.