Wednesday, April 17, 2013

An Islamic Bomb

Philosopher Sam Harris has the dubious honour of sharing fellow "New" Atheist Christopher Hitchens' bigotry against Muslims. (Richard Dawkins appears to think that Islamic fundamentalism is the worst sort of fundamentalism but I'm not sure that he supports the US-backed invasions of their countries.) While it's not out of line for an atheist to see many things in Islam that are insane and dangerous, it is out of line to believe that Islam is more insane and dangerous than any other religion and to target their populations with military assault (all protests that when one calls for military actions against their countries it is not targeting them specifically notwithstanding).

Here's the skinny on Harris from Glenn Greenwald.

Here's Harris providing some nuance to his views in the face of Chris Hedges' accusations that Harris endorses a nuclear first-strike against the Islamic World.

Here they are facing off in person. (Haven't watched much of it.)

But dig; When the Arab OPEC states started to get super-rich in the 1970s, did they loan their money out interest-free to the less-developed nations that needed some sort of way to adjust to the massive dislocation of a 300% oil price rise? After all, Islam forbids usury. Nope. They deposited their dollars in Western banks who in turn, loaned it out at interest to the LDCs.

That's just one example (but a big one) of how Muslim elites can be depended upon to be just as materialistic as anyone else. The same thing goes for martyrdom by the way. You'll find that most Muslims try to avoid  getting killed. They go to the doctor when they're sick, in order to avoid getting worse and dying. Just like Christians and every other religious adherent who supposedly believes in a glorious after-life of clouds and ponies and eternal youth or whatever the fuck.

Because deep down, religious people know it's bullshit.

Which isn't to say that SOME Muslims (including Muslim leaders) are fanatical nut-jobs. But let's not forget Chairman Mao, who believed that China could come out on top of a nuclear war between the Communist Bloc and the USA. At a meeting of international communist leaders, when the Italian Communist Party leader Togliatti said that he wanted peace because Italy would be destroyed in a nuclear exchange in Europe, Mao told him words to the effect of "Whoever told you that Italy had to survive? If there is a nuclear holocaust, 8 million Chinese will survive and that will be more than enough for humanity."

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Red Army generals told Premier Kruschev that the honour of the military depended upon meeting any US-American provocations with an equal response. When Kruschev asked them if the lives of tens of millions of people were worth it to defend the prestige of the Red Army, he said that his generals looked at him as if he were simple.

At the same time, President Kennedy was facing off against generals and advisors who told him to man-up and teach the Ruskies a lesson by starting a nuclear war. To this day, more and more monkey-brained Christian fundamentalists are infiltrating (infesting) the US military. Like that wingnut general who said that his god was bigger than Saddam Hussein's god and that's why America won.

As much as I think the present political crisis is Obama's fault, I still think that the present "Dear Leader" of North Korea is loony-tunes. But they're not a danger to the world. Their bomb is for self-defense.

Pakistan has a nuclear bomb. They've had one since 1998. They haven't bombed India to glorify Allah in all this time.

Most Muslim rulers are the same sort of grasping, power-mad assholes as the rulers of other societies.  They like the privileges of power and they like staying alive to enjoy them. By inventing a non-crisis out of whole cloth, Harris unnecessarily increases the tensions. The same tensions that are encouraging Islamic fundamentalism by convincing more and more Muslims to rally around God and country in the face of foreign insults and attacks.

And now for some eye-candy:
That's Myrna Loy (before she did those "Thin Man" movies I suppose).

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