Browsing Tag

ISIS

Blog - God Blog - Politics

The Landscape of Being on Team Human

As you traverse the landscape of this thing we call life there are an endless amount of activities to take note of. Some of that activity manifests in a way that takes on physical shape – energy and matter are made of the same stuff, that sort of thing. Other activity takes form in how you see other humans living their life and their own personal lila.

Very quickly – the word lila comes from the sanskrit language and translated it means “divine play” in the context of ones own life. So you’r entire life is a play of divinity in which all the ingredients that make up a play thus make up your life. Success, love, tragedy, heartache, all of it. That’s your lila.

When observing someone elses lila why is that most of us fall into the mode of judgement and ridicule? Why is it that we simply can’t create a world in which literally everyone can live in peace and prosperity without active judgement and persecution?

There may be logical answers to this question. Morality and values comes mind. For instance, someone like Sam Harris can make a very articulate and thoughtful case that in order for our society to evolve that we must take note of ISIS and break down why their entire theosophical way of living is completely fucked up and thus a detractor of progress. I’m certainly not going to spin any new age anti-intellecualism and suggest that who are we to say that our morals are better than theirs? Certainly, I agree that it’s impossible to form a world that abides by a doctrine that says you must kill those that leave the faith. There is a certain barbaric aspect to much of the radical tenets of Wahhabism. I agree.

Where I get lost however, is the suggestion that the entire muslim faith is out of their minds (and then list reasons) much like Harris and Bill Maher do on a regular basis. When one side elevates themselves into a realm of superiority based on logic and reason it gets into the game of separation. No one benefits from saying that 1.6 billion people are out of their minds and need to change the way that live. With the modern world the way that it is that sort of dialogue will do nothing but result in more war, finger pointing, name calling and political escalation that ends up being a policy based excuse to escalate the war machine.

I’m tellling you – this method will not work. I think the doorway in needs to be far more compassionate and systemic.

Until we learn to not install our values on the entire world, no matter what, we will never know peace. I’m not suggesting ISIS gets a free pass but I suspect that if the US didn’t conduct so many foreign policy blunders in the first place that combined with the US idea of manifest destiny that ISIS would be in the forefront of the current conversation. ISIS just didn’t rise out of nowhere, out of nothing. It didn’t just appear because there were such a surplus of radical Islamic practitioners that needed to form their own state, an Islamic State.

If you forgot what the concept and mission of “manifest destiny” is and how it is defined, I encourage you to look it up and revisit it. It is so brazen and arrogant that it may shock your sensible values of the spiritual aspirant.

I initially got worked about this topic because of some podcast that Sam Harris rambled on about when trying to get everyone to read Dabiq, the magazine of ISIS. I too posted the same quest on Facebook thinking that it’s a good idea to understand how everyone is thinking, even if they are mad. It really pissed me of that Sam Harris called Chomsky and Greenwald “dangerous” for suggesting that US foreign policy played a part in ISIS’s hatred to us and that in fact George W. Bush was correct when he said “they hate our freedom.” First of all, Bush was not talking about ISIS when he said that – the landscape was so different back then that’s it not fair to say this was in fact true.

Many dozen global economic chess moves were played for decades that allowed that soil to get so fertile in the first place. Again, these things don’t appear out of nowhere. The basic problems of the US middle east policy still remain true – the presence in Saudi Arabia (the holy land), the support for Israel and the destruction of Iraq that split the country into warring tribal factions that we don’t understand.

Foreign policy dissection aside, I do come back to the idea that the attitude that exists  that suggests being a muslim sympathizer isn’t morally correct is also faulty. I realize that it’s often not so simple but I’m a human being sympathizer. I think we all have a place here to worship, exist and govern in the way that makes sense to ones true nature. The fact remains that a large portion of the global Islamic population enjoys being Islamic. It speaks to their heart and path. Yes, I find many of their extreme dogmatic instructions to be slightly insane –  however, I wish to leave them alone and let them figure out their own karmas. Again, a very powerful coalition of governments telling them that they are dangerous only makes them more dangerous. This is a fact. Instead, if we lead by example and make the opposite of their lifestyle attractive, calm, wise and loving that that will follow by attraction.

A few days later, Harris once again sent something out to his people, a speech that he thinks Hilary Clinton should make in regards to the muslim faith and how her position is different than her opponents. He was right on in saying that “Every religious community must interpret its scripture and adjust its traditions to conform to the modern world.”

That may be the best thing he ever said. The rest gets a little murky because he’s once again making Islam the hyper-focus here when it is not. It’s a symptom of the world not getting along and a symptom of dogma once again leading the left foot along the path.

For as long as we’ve recorded history we have known war. It haunts us like a virus that can’t be killed. What will change? I don’t subscribe to the philosophy that some war is just and therefore we must arm ourselves and constantly prepare because the enemy is near. That is a hallow and empty way to live. That is akin to settling for less. I’d much rater accept that peace is the only option and war is a strange anomaly that happens from time to time, but must be extinguished as quickly as possible when it does. And until we start changing our attitudes in how we see each other on the landscape of life nothing will ever change.

I’m on Team Human. I’m not on Team America, or Team Christian or Team Democracy. I’m on Team Human. I’m not going to go point by point on why 1.6 billion people need to change their way of life. Even if they probably do. But so do the people we now call the “alt-right” (Trump supporters) or so does a country that throws out 50% of it’s food. Think about that. This amazing nation of bounty and progress throws out 50% of the food it makes. Are we that fucked up and self destructive to think that’s ok? To me – that’s just as twisted as Islam extremists murdering women in these so called honor killings. Some people may find that offensive and I don’t mean it to be. I don’t think it’s ok to engage in these honor killings at all, obviously. But the point is no one here is getting out free of charge. No one can turn the lens on the other and place blame entirely on them.

Once again – I’m on Team Human. We all need to collectively view our part in this lila and take accountability for what we can immediately fix within our own sphere of influence. We need to do this while we simulatneously stop pointing fingers at others and what it is THEY need to do. If we could all exhibit a little humility here and admit that we’re in this together and we’re all complicit in the insanity, then we may have a chance in fixing all this.

It's All Happening Podcast

IAH – Episode 21 – Karen Greenberg

powered by Advanced iFrame free. Get the Pro version on CodeCanyon.

Karen Greenberg is the Director of the Center on National Security at Fordham University. She opens up the IAH spectrum by engaging in a healthy dialogue on post 9/11 global tensions, the rise of ISIS, American imperialism and the overall nature of conflict.

Finally IAH has an episode about US foreign policy with someone who actually knows what they are talking about! Enlightening, challenging and fascinating. Don’t miss this one, she’s fantastic.

Karen Greenberg is the Director of the Center on National Security, and a noted expert on national security, terrorism, and civil liberties. She is the author of The Least Worst Place: Guantanamo’s First 100 Days (2009), which was selected as one of the best books of 2009 by The Washington Post and Slate.com. She is co-editor with Joshua L. Dratel of The Enemy Combatant Papers: American Justice, the Courts, and the War on Terror (2008) and The Torture Papers: The Road to Abu Ghraib (2005); editor of the books The Torture Debate in America (2006) and Al Qaeda Now (2005); and editor of the Terrorist Trial Report Card, 2001–2011. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Nation, The National Interest, Mother Jones, TomDispatch.com, and on major news channels. She is a permanent member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

http://centeronnationalsecurity.org

@KarenGreenberg3

1401734127006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Politics

Who is “they”?

Who is “they?”

This video doesn’t cover everything and only briefly mentions the US funding of Syrian rebels which in part became ISIS. Nonetheless, its a good primer for how complicated this whole situation is.

Next time you ask yourself “why do “they” hate us?”…step back and consider who “they” really is.

It’s not just Islamic jihadists. Those folks are just the delivery mechanism for “they.” It’s a multi headed monster that includes several governments, US interests in the middle east, US sponsored training of specific groups who eventually become ISIS, an ancient tribal war that can be barely understood, the spread of Wahhabism through Saudi Arabia (a US ally) and the sheer ignorance and intolerance of Western nations toward Islam as a whole. All of these things when put into the blender come out to form the “they” we speak of.

There are probably a lot of elements to add to the list that I left out because I can barely understand it myself.

If you think a “war” with ISIS is the answer consider that if that were to happen the members of ISIS would simply slip back into the general population without a trace. Our course correction on this is going to require such a radical turn around in policy, ending our rabid hunger for war, energy independence and most of all an increase of tolerance and compassion towards our fellow man.

We are all Earthlings. There is no “they”. There is only us.