From: "James F. Tims"
>DATE: 16 Jan 93 20:12:01 -0600
>FROM: David Nye
>I heard on NPR the other day that Bush praised the pilots who attacked
>Iraq, saying they were "doing the Lord's work". After letting out a
>groan, I reflected that they probably were, but not the way Bush had
>envisioned. Common Arabs see this as a personal fight between Bush and
>Saddam Hussein (as indeed it is), and just one more in a long history of
>intrusions of Western imperialists beginning with the Crusades. They
>wonder why we haven't been as eager to enforce UN sanctions against
>Israel. By weakening Iraq we have increased the power of Iran, the most
>fundamentalist government in the area. There are signs of an upsurge in
>the popularity of Islamic fundamentalism, which will be to the detriment
>of the secular governments in the area. It's the Lord's work, all
Amen, Brother Dave. More than signs, though, I should say, unless you
mean that IsFun took a nosedive when Khomeini died and only now is
regaining top form. At what point does the upsurge become high tide?
Herr Bush prides himself in diplomacy and international intrigue. He
must know that religious implications in these actions against Iraq can
only infuriate Moslems everywhere. Where was Jesus when they were
inspecting the nuclear facilities? You misused the tense, perhaps?
Maybe you meant: Herr Bush's remarks will create an upsurge in
I would also like to note that such remarks will cause immediate
problems for Clinton, who may have to officially backpedal the U.S.
religious stance in the face of his own devout professions of faith.
Talk about dancin' and jivin'! Bush loves it. Despite Bush's remarks
about disenfranchising atheists, I doubt if he buys into any of the Xian
stuff. Doesn't fit my idea of the Machiavellian CIA type. Despite Bush's
public appearance of stupidity, I always sense a sneaky, self-serving
evil in his actions. The BBC, during its coverage of the election,
suggested that his rambling, incoherent style of discourse was an
affectation developed for political purposes -- to appeal to the largest
number of stupid voters.
I suspect Herr Bush may have tossed out his prayers like a bunch of loose
handgrenades in the White House, while he scurries for the front door.
If anybody knows how to use religion as a weapon, it's George.
From: "Robert Knowles"
>>By weakening Iraq we have increased the power of Iran, the most
>>fundamentalist government in the area. There are signs of an upsurge in
>>the popularity of Islamic fundamentalism, which will be to the detriment
>>of the secular governments in the area. It's the Lord's work, all
Not only do the Islamic fundamentalists gain when we bomb them, but apparently
they benefit when we help (as in Somalia). My trusty Jan. 17 Sunday Houston
Chronicle has an article entitled:
"Fundamentalist message gains appeal among hurting Somalis"
Apparently an Ahmed Bille Hassan is head of a large growing I.F. movement
called Al-Itihad which is growing in popularity as a means of preventing
clan warfare in Somalia. Some women fear this uprising and point to a
recent stoning of 5 women accused of adultery in Hargeisa (the alleged
male partners were unharmed).
Al-Itihad is somewhat popular because it has opened schools and feeding
centers which offer traditional Somali food and drinks which are not
available at western run centers. Many Somalis are concerned that when
the troops leave, the I.F.s will take over.
One quote from Rakiya Omar (former director of the human rights group
Africa Watch in Mogadishu) was interesting:
"They have been very clever with their focus on education, creating Islamic
schools. There are no alternatives. Either your child goes to an Islamic
school or doesn't get educated".
It is certainly interesting that the I.F.'s have waited so long to finally
give some relief to their brethren. I have long held the opinion that many
religious institutions actually encourage misery because it is such fertile
grounds for their growth. There is nothing like masses of poor, ignorant,
starving people, desperate for some order in their lives, to set the stage
for a big religious revival. I wouldn't be too surprised to find that the
CC's opposition to family planning and birth control is based on a similar
need to make the grounds fertile by promoting general misery.