Archive for Saturday, September 22, 2012

Violent acts

September 22, 2012


To the editor:

This is in response to David Omar’s recent letter (Public Forum, Sept. 18) asking why a Coptic Christian would want to inflame the Muslim world. The reason would probably be because the Coptic Christians who live in Egypt and other predominantly Muslim lands have had their churches destroyed, their people killed and/or displaced and other horrible crimes done against them while the Muslims of that land and the world have done very little. I should mention that in other Muslim-dominated areas such as Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Tunisia, Pakistan, Indonesia, northern Nigeria, Christians in the last 25 years have suffered similar or worse atrocities at the hands of Muslims.

Unfortunately, the governments of those areas have mostly turned a blind eye to them. Fortunately for you and all other religious people who live in the United States, we do not have to endure such problems because our forefathers came from Europe where religious groups dominated the government. So, our constitution now protects religious rights and free speech whereas the present day Muslim nations do not.

So, Mr. Omar and other Muslims, instead of justifying the inane and violent acts of your brethren, you should band together and use the freedoms you enjoy to fight for freedom of religion and speech in Muslim nations. When no one has any doubts that the Muslim world is drastically changing, perhaps we will pay closer heed to your words. Until then, you cannot and should not expect Americans or anyone else to not place blame on the violent actions of any Muslims.


Liberty275 1 year, 7 months ago

Very well written letter. I never thought of it from that angle. I accept that Islam holds the west in low regard because we meddle in their affairs, destroy their countries and commit atrocities against their people, but as you note, they equally oppress other less-well-armed groups to the point that Islam becomes the target. They are us writ small. But none of that matters.

Whether the guy is a in different sect of some religion is really irrelevant to the discussion in general as our constitution is more important than actions of others abroad. Americans should respect Islam, but they should be ready to fight for our constitution.


voevoda 1 year, 7 months ago

Why should Mr. Omar, even if he happens to be Muslim, be responsible for inculcating appreciation for freedom of speech in the non-Western world? Why should he and Muslim Americans be charged with restraining co-religionists in other countries? After all, American Christians did not "band together" to restrain their co-religionists from violent attacks in Ireland. American Christians didn't "band together" to keep Croatian and Serbian Christians from killing Muslims in Bosnia. You, Mr. Wents, haven't assigned to American Christians remediation of the prejudicial treatment of non-Christians in the Christian countries of Eastern Europe or in Ethiopia.

Maybe, Mr. Wentz, you should be the one to take the lead to educate citizens of Muslim countries about the benefits of free speech. Start by retracting your prejudicial statements about Muslims in general, and clarify that you meant to indict only those individuals who engage in violence.


Flap Doodle 1 year, 7 months ago

This statistic is a couple of years old. I doubt it's changed much. "..Of the 1,575 victims of anti-religious hate crimes, 71.9 percent were victims because of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias..."


Flap Doodle 1 year, 7 months ago

Look at how often Methodists have rioted in American streets and murdered people because an artist insulted their faith? Or Amish? Or Mormons?


Getaroom 1 year, 7 months ago

Let's us not forget all the Churches, Temples and Mosque's that have burned to the ground here in the USA for one reason or another and some recently. How's that for honoring our forefathers dreams?


observant 1 year, 7 months ago

Mr Wentz, shoud we condemn all christians because of Timothy McVeigh as well as the Waco fruitcakes?


Peter Macfarlane 1 year, 7 months ago

Violence justified in the name of religion is usually caused not by religious differences but rather by economic or political factors. A look back at how Christians have dealt with religious minorities would tell you all about this. Most atrocities, including the Crusades, were politically or economically motivated.


Abdu Omar 1 year, 7 months ago

Mr. Wentz, Obviously you have also fallen into the trap of condemning a whole religion for the acts of a few. This was the point of Mr. Omar's LTE and you missed it. Coptic Christians in Egypt are being harrassed and offended by a few, not the whole of the Muslim world. Elsewhere in the world people are harrassing Muslims, offending them, killing them, burning their mosques, destroying their livlihoods and the Christian world supports those terrorists because they are our "friends". I will be the first to say that the world is imperfect and cannot be perfected when there are so many different cultures that are at odds with each other. But we can get along if we stop terrorism from the Arabs, Israelis, Irish, Russians, French, Etc.


Richard Heckler 1 year, 7 months ago

Strategic Errors of Monumental Proportions

by Lt. Gen. William E. Odom

Text of testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

Strategic Overview

The role that US military forces can play in that conflict is seriously limited by all the political decisions the US government has already taken. The most fundamental decision was setting as its larger strategic purpose the stabilization of the region by building a democracy in Iraq and encouraging its spread. This, of course, was to risk destabilizing the region by starting a war.

Military operations must be judged by whether and how they contribute to accomplishing war aims. No clear view is possible of where we are today and where we are headed without constant focus on war aims and how they affect US interests. The interaction of interests, war aims, and military operations defines the strategic context in which we find ourselves.

We cannot have the slightest understanding of the likely consequences of proposed changes in our war policy without relating them to the strategic context.

There are the four major realities that define that context

Confusion about war aims and US interests. President GW Bush stated three war aims clearly and repeatedly:

The destruction of Iraqi WMD's. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein. The creation of a liberal democratic Iraq.

The first war aim is moot because Iraq had no WMD.

The second was achieved by late Spring 2003. Today, people are waking up to what was obvious before the war -- the third aim has no real prospects of being achieved even in ten or twenty years, much less in the short time anticipated by the war planners.

Implicit in that aim was the belief that a pro-American, post-Saddam regime could be established.

This too, it should now be clear, is most unlikely.

Finally, is it in the US interest to have launched a war in pursuit of any of these aims?

And is it in the US interest to continue pursuing the third? Or is it time to redefine our aims?

And, concomitantly, to redefine what constitutes victory?

The war has served primarily the interests of Iran and al-Qaeda, not American interests.


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