A place where I express my views on politics and religion.
What did Jesus look like?
If you think this is a good bet, you'd more than
likely be wrong. This is a better bet, based on
anthropological research on what a Jewish male born in the middle east 2,000 years ago
would likely look like (an actual 2,000 year-old skull recovered from a grave in Palestine was used in this
computer generator image).
Did the historical Jesus Actually Exist??
I recently came across an excellent piece addressing the issue of whether or not a historical Jesus actually existed. Click here to read it for yourself. The piece is well written, thoroughly researched, and makes a compelling case that there is absolutely no actual evidence that Jesus Christ ever existed.
Here is a piece on the current (9/07) situation in Iraq regarding the "Tribal Revolt" that is well worth your time. I hope this is an accurate reflection of the situation in Iraq because it holds out some hope for our future there.
GEN B. R. McCaffrey, USA (RET) presentation on "Global War On Terrorism" before the Society of American Military Engineers on February 28, 2007.
The National Intelligence Estimate tells it like it is in Iraq.
Please click here for an enlightening Brookings Institution January, 2007 assessment of the "Spillover" potential of an all-out civil war in Iraq.
Though many believe the solution to the Iraq disaster is to simply leave, the real world is not that simple. I am not a fan of the Bush administration's policy or strategy (if you can call it that) in Iraq, and
I do not believe the "surge" effort will do anything but make things worse, a precipitous withdrawal will likely have very serious consequences.
Please click here to read the February 14, 2007 testimony of Daniel Benjamin,
Director, Center on the United States and Europe, Senior Fellow in Foreign Policy Studies, The Brookings Institution before
the House Armed Services Committee, Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee. This is an astoundingly
insightful piece. You would be well served to read it thoroughly and carefully and reflect on it's message. This is a well
thought-through effort of an extremely intelligent and knowledgeable individual without a political bone in his body. He just
simply tells it like it is.
We in the United States and the "West" in general have a seriously dangerous enemy in radical
Islamic fundamentalism. There are two opposing schools of thought regarding the core of this phenomenon:
The first (School A) holds that Islam is a religion of peace and our enemy has
"hijacked" the religion for their own fanatical purposes which are in stark contrast to Islam as a whole.
The second (School B) holds that Islam itself in it's entirety is fundamentally violent and a basic tenant of
Islam is world domination achieved through violent "jihad" (struggle). I am engaged in my own continuing struggle
to educate myself enough to decide which of these two schools is correct.So far there is little evidence to
support School B.
An organization named "Quixotic Media" has produced a 98 minutes documentary called "ISLAM: What the West Needs to Know" intended to demonstrate that Islam is a violent, expansionary ideology that seeks the destruction or subjugation of other faiths, cultures, and systems of government. Here is a summary of the content of the documentary and
here is a link to Quixotic Media, LLC home page.
Although I have been told by some close friends that I should "get over" the fact that our President took this country
to war without justification, failed to level with us as to what his reasons were, and supported his stated reasons
with false and misleading disinformation, I find it very difficult to do so. This so-called "War on Terror" perpetuates a
serious misunderstanding of just exactly what we are up against. Terror is a tactic employed by our enemy, not a description
of them. The enemy can best be described as a loosely affiliated group of individuals who share an ideology described as
"Jihadism". For a good piece describing Jihadism and recounting the movement's history, click here.
It is as impossible to declare "war" (in the traditional sense) on an idiology as it is on a tactic, nevertheless, it is
Jihadism that is the problem and it is Jihadism's followers that attack the United States. This "Movement" must be countered before we
can be safe again. Acting against the Afghanistan pseudo-government that supported al Qaeda and provided the bases in that country
from which that Jihadist group operated, was a proper response to the events of September 11, 2001 and was, in fact, long
overdue. The invasion of Iraq which followed, however, was a huge mistake; misguided and disastrous in it's short and long term consequences.
I won't ramble on and on here about why I believe this so strongly, but instead, commend to your reading list a good book
on this and many other aspects of the Bush Administration's agenda. Please read "The Book on Bush"
by Eric Alterman and Mark Green. Yes, they are of the "progressive" political persuasion, but they have their facts straight, their arguments are strong, and their conclusions are hard to argue with.
Click here for my thoughts and reflections on the events of September 11, 2001. For a very insightful piece which puts the current situation in the Middle East in it's proper perspective, click here.Another excellent piece relating to the nature of our enemy is here. Here is another - and another.. Click Here for a very good (but long) piece by Deepa Kumar
Yes - Support Our Troops !
"It's the soldiers and Marines who are still there [in Iraq], many on their second or third combat tours, who continue to pay the price for poor leadership, half-baked tactics and no strategy worthy of the name.
Say a prayer for them tonight, and every night. That's more support than they'll get from the halls of power in Washington."
Joseph L. Galloway, The McClatchy Newspapers
This paper (Options for Iraq:
The Almost Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) by A.H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and
International Studies (CSIS) is food for thought when contemplating what the future holds for Iraq.
The full text of the Iraq Study Group (Baker - Hamilton Group) is available for review here as PDF and here as HTML.
And here is a 90 second history of the Empires that have
ruled the Middle East from 5,000 BCE to 2006 CE.
Here is a good piece by John L. Esposito on the concept of "Islamophobia".
Here is the recently declassified "Key Judgements" portion of the April, 2006
National Intelligence Estimate: "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States".
A comment on religion and faith is here.
A comment on the struggle for power by the Iraqi Shiites is here.
An important update on the situation in Iraq, written in April, 2006 by George Packer, is
For my personal views on why the George W. Bush administration should not have been re-elected,