Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2001 14:41:39 -0400

Author: George Collison

Subject: Re: CHAT WTC discussion.


>Paul: >We need to make them _like_ us.
> >
>Rick: You don't buy friendship and you'll never convince the
>current generations of terrorists that they are wrong. Given 50-100
>years of a MUCH different foreign policy you might reduce the number
>of fanatics (never eliminating them--we have fundamentally different
>philosophies/theologies/ethical frameworks). In the meantime--what?

This points to a much bigger issue. Foreign policy is one piece only.
The world is very rapidly coming together - there is an appreciation
and confluence of cultures that I for one greatly anticipate.

There are also parts of human culture that are not particularly
amenable to appreciating and sharing. I wish it were not true but
smoldering towers remind us. Islam is at a crossroads. A thousand
years ago another crossroad was reached; the Muslim world was at the
peak of achievement in literature, science and mathematics. The
first treatises on algebra, medical encyclopedias, use of
antiseptics, treatments for mental illness, were all pioneered at
that time. It collapsed. Abdurahman in his acceptance of the Nobel
prize in physics, in his response to a reporters asking what caused
the 14th century collapse, answered crisply, "the mullahs."

Foreign policy and internal vision must change; the latter is much
more important. The tribal world, evidenced in the Middle East for
one, charming in some aspects, is most horrifying in others. Mullah
thought asserts that they have access to "the truth" - a singularly
malignant idea. A corollary is that the mullah can lead others to
that truth, this is even more malignant in effect.

Rick is right. Frameworks need to be changed. Imperialism was a
phase the West entered and from which we are emerging one hopes as
rapidly as possible.

Spiritual certainty, a virulent form of spiritual imperialism, of
one's tribe is a blot on that Middle Eastern mind set. It will not
serve them well, that is quite plain, in the future. The West is not
without its "mullahs" for sure but their effect is much mitigated.
Consider that fraud Fallwell and his pronouncement the day of the
Sept 11 tragedy. This 'leader' recanted immediately on his
pronouncement of "God's wrath wrought" or some foul phrase brought by
gay and lesbian life styles, lack of prayer in the schools, and
access to abortion. I do hope his contributions take a huge hit for
this contribution to national morning.

We have to start thinking out of the box. And the other guys and
women have to start thinking in a much different manner than the
crusty philosophies/theologies and ethical frameworks our mullahs
have trapped us in with our blinded consent.