Fewer horses and bayonets


Romney: Our navy has fewer ships now than it did in 1916.

Obama: Yes, the military has changed. Our military also has fewer horses and bayonets, too.

Of course, this raises the question: how will we defend against suicide-horses? 🙂

So, obviously that was a pretty funny zinger by Obama, but I’m curious, what else does the American military lack, in comparison to 1916?

There must be many, but I can think of a couple:

– fewer cases of trench foot and dysentery

– fewer trench shovels and latrines

Any other ideas?

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Recently I had a discussion with another blogger, Sacredstruggler, about her article, Islam: A Cult of Violence?

You can read the article, but in short, her thesis was that we, I guess either America or Westerners, are the terrorists now because we responded to 9/11 and in fact the numbers of deaths in the Afghan and Iraq wars outnumber 9/11 so, we may in fact be worse than the terrorists.

If you’ve read my other articles, you’ll know that this is the kind of nonsense that I’m absolutely against.

Ironically, I’ve had a discussion with a devout Muslim, Musingsaudi, which was informative and friendly, on this same issue! She never got angry at me for my opinions, and I was never angry about her opinions. I am especially impressed because I was arguing that Islam is not a religion of peace. You can see how amicable the conversation was with that link.

However, my discussion with Sacredstruggler was not the same 🙂

She threatened to censor my comment, so I copied everything that was said and I’ll paste it below 🙂

——

3 thoughts on “Islam: a Cult of Violence?

OCTOBER 20, 2012 AT 12:04 AM REPLY

I think that you are conflating two activities that are distinct. The attack on 9/11 was a terrorist attack with the intent of spreading terror. The campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq were wars against the Taliban and the Saddam Hussein regime, respectively. Unfortunately, there is a growing and unfounded belief that people in both of these countries despise the American intervention in their countries.
This is not the case. Although many are upset about how the wars were carried out or abuses of power that occurred (which, few will deny, were atrocious at times), the ousting of the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Hussein regime in Iraq were praised by people with adequate education. The problem, most especially in Afghanistan, is that many people don’t have access to even basic education, and only learn about world affairs from their imams or mullahs. The opinions of these uneducated people do not have merit, I’m sorry to say. They are just parroting what they hear.
Talk to Malala Yousafzai about Afghanistan or the Kurds in Iraq, and see if they’d rather be living under the previous regimes. These are only two examples.
Without deeper examination of the situations in both countries, that is, just looking at the death tolls of 9/11 verses the two wars, it is easy to say that, “Now, we are the terrorists!” But, you have to look at more than just deaths; there are many things that have been positive in Iraq and Afghanistan but nothing positive has come from 9/11.

By the way, I was NOT a supporter of the Iraq war, I just like to look at things critically. I don’t just force myself into a political box and sit there.

OCTOBER 20, 2012 AT 12:23 AM REPLY

This man’s family were far from “uneduacted”. And all people’s opinions have merit. The people in this country allow the media to control their minds and opinions. Shame on you for thinking you know more than people who live it because you have media access. Empirical knowledge is the only kind that is logically defensible.

Shame on you for pushing an idea that people have only as much worth as they do their education. Shame on you for thinking it’s all honkey dorey over there. The government, wealthy, and powerful have a vested interest in maintaining war, so of course they strictly control the way we receive information about it. ie. transfer tubes.

I prefer to talk to real people, not pundits. I’ve talked to friends who have served telling me about lakes filled with dead bodies many of which were women and children, so if you bought the idea that they are kissing every American soldier’s hand. You got served.

The number of civilian deaths doesn’t go away by focusing on the “good” we’ve done. And the “good” we’ve done wouldn’t have been necessary in large part, unless we had trained, armed, installed the same people we were seeking there.

I’m a registered independent, so not sure what you’re accusing me of as far as a political box.

I want to reply to your comment, but I don’t want it on my page. So, I’ll be deleting it very soon. And this will be the first comment I’ll ever have deleted off my page. So be proud.

OCTOBER 20, 2012 AT 12:42 AM REPLY

Ok, censor me.

——–

Well, it’s pretty hard to censor someone in the age of the Internet. 🙂

To be honest, I was writing off the cuff, so I probably made some statements that can be refuted, but the way she responded was ridiculous. So, let me analyze some of the ridiculousness.

“This man’s family were far from “uneducated.”

– Of course I don’t believe that ALL people who are educated from Iraq or Afghanistan agreed with the Iraq or Afghanistan interventions.

“And all people’s opinions have merit”

– Really? So an uneducated KKK member who says, “Jews control the world” has merit? Oh, wait I get it: it seems that you believe when ignorant people from other countries state stupid things, then it has merit. Ok, I got it.

“Shame on you for thinking you know more than people who live it because you have media access”

– I didn’t say this. You don’t actually know how I know what I know. I didn’t say my information came from the media alone. This is an assumption. BTW, shaming me? Really? Ok, I feel shame… go on.

“Empirical knowledge is the only kind that is logically defensible”

– Do I even need to respond to this? So, what about the statistics that she wrote about so confidently in her initial post? Hmmm….

“Shame on you for thinking it’s all honkey dorey [sic] over there”

– I didn’t say this. In fact, I mentioned the abuses of power “which, few will deny, were atrocious at times”. So, actually, I don’t believe it’s hunky dory “over there” (Iraq or Afghanistan?). I never disputed the numbers of deaths you stated, so unless I think death is a good thing, especially death on a large scale, then I probably wouldn’t think that things are hunky dory, would I? BTW, who says “hunky dory” ?? 🙂

“I’ve talked to friends who have served telling me about lakes filled with dead bodies many of which were women and children, so if you bought the idea that they are kissing every American soldier’s hand. You got served.”

– That’s great but you should always fact-check people’s statements. I also met a soldier who was in Iraq who told me they found nukes. I said, “How do you know that?” He said, “Look, I’m a soldier, I get access to this kind of info.” That is obviously a lie. He probably heard this from someone and just trusted it. Further, first hand accounts have been shown to not be as reliable as you would think. Look into it. It’s surprising what people think they saw or didn’t notice and so on. So, I think I just returned your “serve”. BTW, “you got served”?? Are we having a dance battle here, or what?

“The number of civilian deaths doesn’t go away by focusing on the “good” we’ve done.”

– I didn’t say that.

“I want to reply to your comment, but I don’t want it on my page. So, I’ll be deleting it very soon. And this will be the first comment I’ll ever have deleted off my page. So be proud.”

– I like my response, “Ok, censor me”. Also, I am proud. It means I forced you to think so differently it made you irrational 🙂 Enlightening someone is always something to be proud of. 🙂


There are many writers who claim to have a solid idea of what the world will look like in the near (and sometimes far) future. The standard methodology that “experts” tend to use is to consider the past and try to project that into the future. I will not go into the fact that this is actually a logical fallacy (I know this only because I had an artificial disc put in my neck, and all studies in the past 10 years have shown it to be superior in every way to the older alternative surgery, cervical fusion, but just because all of these factors demonstrate it to be superior now, this doesn’t mean that this trend will continue further into the future) but instead I will just try to get peoples’ opinions about which country or countries will be the superpower or superpowers twenty years later.

There are my top three choices. I will put some pluses and minuses that I notice for each country’s present conditions.

America – Pluses

– massive GDP

– a draw for talent from around the world due to its liberal economics and civil liberties

– high pay for technical and specialized work

– English as a global language

– soft power (culture) is unparalleled

– a large population with a high GDP per capita (i.e., mass consumption)

– technology leader in the world

– a powerful military.

America – Minuses

– economy seems to be slowing and maybe contracting

– military power declining

– continuous contention with Islam and Islamic terrorism particularly

China – Pluses

– largest population

– tech-savvy population

– nimble command economy (has shown it will do things that harm its citizens for the advancement of the country)

– not afraid to use espionage to acquire new technologies

– growing military

– very large economy

– technology quickly improving

– mass mobilization of citizens for civil or military projects

China — minuses

– unstable politically, especially on its peripheries

– slowing economy dependent on US imports

– disparity in GDP per capita

– little soft power on a global scale

– tensions with Japan and South-east Asian countries

– censorship and mistreatment of its citizens discourages immigration from citizens from developed countries

– lacks oil resources

Russia – Pluses

– largest landmass

– large population

– massive untapped resources

– some parts of the tech industry are advanced

– nimble command economy

– large economy not dependent on US imports

Russia – Minuses

– growing dissatisfaction with government

– Islamic terrorism

– insurrections at peripheries

– poor image worldwide

– large disparity in GDP per capita

In twenty years time, I’d bank on America still being the global superpower, but with a much diminished role on the global scale. My major reason for this is the instability of the hegemonic contenders.

What do you think?

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