Attacks Across Islamic World: Who is the Real Culprit?

Frank Weathers, whose wonderful blog, Why I Am Catholic, often displays his quirky sense of humor, authored a post with a decidedly more serious turn a few days ago.

The post, The Real Culprit Behind the Attacks in the Islamic World, is both insightful and thoughtful. Frank draws on his experience as a former Marine Security Guard at the American embassies in both Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and Cairo Egypt. I could tell you more, but it would spoil a fascinating read.

The Real Culprit Behind the Attacks Across

the Islamic World UPDATED

September 15, 2012 By Frank Weathers 12 Comments

The Colors flying at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo Egypt, at half-mast. September 13, 2012

I’ve been thinking about the attacks to our embassies all across the Islamic world. Like the rogue character Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, me thinking is a frightening prospect, I know. But I cannot help but do it, as I served in Cairo, Egypt and Kuala Lumpur Malaysia as a Marine Security Guard (MSG) at our embassies located in those two capital cities of predominantly Muslim countries.

I spent 15 months or so in both of these countries fairly soon after a barracks of Marines was blown up in Lebanon (1983), and the U.S. Embassy in Beirut was blown to kingdom come (1984). Under President Reagan, and his State Department, which at the time of my service as an MSG was under the leadership of George P. Schultz (who as a Marine Corps artillery officer, saw combat on Peleliu in WWII), the rules of engagement were a bit more straight forward than they seem today.

Nancy and me.

No one would be allowed to breach our walls and come into the embassy compound uninvited. Ever. Too many had died horribly in our recent collective memory to ever allow such an event to happen again.

Sustaining this resolve is the other awful memory of the American Embassy in Tehran having been sacked, and hostages held for 444 days, from November 04, 1979 until President Reagan was sworn into office on January 20, 1980.

Suffice it to say that when I served, it was a different time, under different leaders, who had a different background of experiences than what is the case today. Their idea that our embassies should be protected, and strongly, has merit. Actions approaching anything less courts disaster, and perceived weakness invites boarding parties to play “capture the flag” with impunity, as we are witnessing these days. (Read more here.)

  • Arkenaten

    And if there was no religion to fight about then there would be no motivation for such stupidity as the disgusting, reprehensible murder of the US ambassador.
    And you wonder why I am an atheist?

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Oh … pffft Douglas. Tell me about the Gulags and the killing fields.

      I added a grin, but I don’t think a grin suits the comment. Just know this is a friendly jibe.

      • Arkenaten

        We’ve been over this. Political ideology is not the same as religious ideology.
        People will always find a reason to kill. But without religion(especially as a motive) there is one less reason.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Douglas, that is a dodge.

          • Arkenaten

            Sigh…..let me reiterate. The objective of monotheism is to establish a single world religion under God, right? However, although you all worship the same god (“Oh no we don’t) your doctrines are diametrically opposed. Thus you will all end up fighting over who is right – and it’s all about interpretation, is it not?
            This is not a dodge, because all you religious lot are still fighting, whether it be on the blogs or the oil fields of the Middle East or Palestine , or Nigeria, the streets of Beirut or in New York.
            I’m not fighting with any other atheists because there isn’t anything about atheism to fight about.

          • Rebecca Hamilton

            Not true on both counts. Americans of all faiths live together without bloodshed. Debate, yes. Bloodshed, no. I would guess the violence in other parts of the world has more to do with their governments than anything else.
            Also, from what I see the “new” atheists are some of the most obnoxious bullies on the block. “Not fight?” They troll the world, looking for other people’s conversations to jump into and rudely disrupt in order to repeat the same arguments over and over and over and over.
            Not attacking you, Douglas. But “new” atheists are all about starting arguments, silencing others’ free expression and generally being social jerks of the first order. Looking at it from the outside, it appears that all they do is look for ways to start fights.

          • Arkenaten

            Free expression? Well there is a liner between proselyting and free expression.
            Besides, if you disagree with anything i write, press the ‘delete’ button. Oh, I forgot, you’ve done that already.
            Atheists do not condemn people to hell or car-bomb people for dissent.
            In matters not that many(most) religious folk live in harmony, when push comes to shove and the (religious) ‘Man’ comes calling you as a devout Christian will answer.
            Your own vociferous posts are a perfect example. And you base many of your answers to Government actions largely on Biblical/Catholic/Religious teaching, yes? Of course you do.
            Now religious extremists take this a step further and have attacked doctors and clinics.
            And the other day14 people including 8 South Africans died in a car bomb over this stupid chuffing movie!
            And Muslim protesters in SA are up in arms over the film, but not a word of sympathy for their fellow South Africans who lie in bloody bits in Kabul.
            It makes me sick and it can only get worse.
            This is, in part, why I despise religion. All religion.

          • Ted Seeber

            “The objective of monotheism is to establish a single world religion under God, right? ”

            Nope. The objective of monotheism is to recognize the rational idea that there was only one creator.

  • http://jessicahof.wordpress.com/ Jessica Hoff

    Men may use any excuse they like, and even the devil quotes scripture – but those who say they kill in the name of God add blasphemy to their crime.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      That’s true Jessica.

  • Peter

    Arkenaten’s argument above under the category of “And you wonder why I am an atheist?” are ultimately silly and simplistic. The numbers show that the killing fields of atheistic (usually socialist/communistic) regimes dwarf anything ever devised by any religious sect.

    But, I would argue that Frank Weather’s arguments to which you originally linked are also ultimately silly and simplistic: “With. Without. And who denies it’s what the fighting’s all about?”

    Uh, *I* do! What keeps third world countries in such squalor? Is it that we have oppressed them and stolen all their wealth?

    No! That’s ultimately a silly argument based on the assumption that God’s gifts of intelligence, creativity and (yes) natural resources are finite. This idea assumes that if we have more, others MUST have less.

    Bull! Generally, they are poor because their leaders have failed them and shackled them to collectivist ideas leading to misery. Those same leaders then cover their failure by various ideologies that shift the blame to others. George W. Bush got MANY things wrong. But the one truly inspired principle he had was ignored by too many. If we want lasting peace, then we must promote freedom and opportunity (NOT redistribution) across the globe and at every chance.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Peter I don’t know enough about the economies and governments in these various countries to have an opinion on this. But I would guess that the situations vary from one country to the next.

      • Peter Resweber

        Rebecca,

        You’re right. Economies, governments and situations vary greatly.

        Human nature, however, tends to be more constant.

        The genius of our founders and of free markets generally was/is to utilize human nature as it is (not as some central planner hopes he can alter it to be).

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          True.

          Thank you for your comments, btw. I appreciate them.

          • Peter Resweber

            My pleasure.

            (Now if I could just figure out how to get this system to remember and be consistent with how it “names” me – and how to have it let me know about updates without having to ‘check back’ on the pages where I comment.)

            Oh well, c’est la vie!

            :)

    • Arkenaten

      @Peter
      Dear Sir,
      I get a tad concerned when replying to a comment that uses terms such as ‘silly’ and ‘simplistic’ as these imply the author shows a disdain based on an intellectual capacity that I doubt the writer has a right to claim.
      As you provide no reference for your claims and no figures that atheism is responsible for more deaths than religion and neither shown categorically that genocides under the likes of Pol Pot, Mao and Stalin are purely anti-religious and not merely because of a deranged despot then you are, quite frankly, whistling in the wind. They may have been atheists, but ‘Atheism’ didn’t instruct them to murder millions. Or perhaps you truly believe it did? Now that would be something, would it not?
      Can you recall a single instance where a convicted murderer claimed “Atheism made me do it” ?
      There are plenty of atheist murderers just as there are plenty of Christian murderers. But you must try to understand the most important difference. Religious people have killed/do kill because of their god. Atheism is a non-belief, and I could give a hoot what a religious person believes as long as they do not proselytize or murder/blow stuff up in the name of their god.
      Furthermore, the greatest single act of genocide ever committed was by Yahweh, if memory serves? And did he not also order some bloke called Joshua to annihilate every living breathing thing in Canaan?
      However, as I do not believe in God and consider the bible a mere story, I would still have to revert back to your original claim for verification, please?
      You, on the other hand are likely religious and/or Christian and so it might force you into a tight spot were you to deny these biblical events ever happened. But I would be happy to hear your thoughts on the matter, all the same.

      • Dr. Peter Resweber

        I am curious about your parameters.

        Under your way of thinking about these issues, to what category does Hitler belong ?

        • Arkenaten

          I note you have now added Doctor to your title. may I ask of what discipline?
          Well, Doctor, there is not a my “way of thinking”, which suggests I have an axe to grind or will use semantics to unnecessarily strengthen my case.
          There is theism and there is atheism. Let use these simple terms.
          As for Hitler; there is enough written about this man and for you to ask would suggest you do not agree with what has been written: namely that he was a Christian.
          He was also a monster. I agree with both assessments.
          And he was wont to vocalise his interpretation of Christianity to justify his anti-Semitism and other abhorrent behaviour.

          • Dr. Peter John Resweber

            First a quick aside on the shifting “names”.
            For some reason, Patheos does not seem to “remember” my name each time I comment.
            (Perhaps this is due to accessing this website from various portals?)
            In any case, this may have lead to some confusion for which I apologize.
            My very first comments were in one place as “Dr. Resweber”.
            Later I commented on a different blog post simply as “Peter”.
            As there was no apparent overlap between the first two, I have since been trying to tie them together.
            My full name is Dr. Peter John Resweber. There was no attempt to mislead.
            Perhaps, if I establish an actual Patheos account it will keep a singular “screen name” in memory.
            So far, however, that has not seemed sufficient reason to do so (if it would even work).

        • Arkenaten

          Sorry; I have a feeling this may not be quite the answer you were looking for. So, just in case. Based on the historical records available he was not an atheist.

          • Dr. Peter John Resweber

            Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
            I think it may well be impossible to have a serious discussion with you.
            Hitler’s raging hatred of all things religious is credited to a “Christian”
            These are the words of a “Christian”:

            I start with the Hitler Youth song:

            “We have no need for Christian virtue.
            Our leader is our savior.
            The pope and rabbi shall be gone
            We shall be pagans once again.”

            I follow with a smattering of Hitler quotes:

            “The Ten Commandments have lost their validity.
            Conscience is a Jewish invention, it is a blemish like circumcision.”

            “The heaviest blow which ever struck humanity was Christianity;
            Bolshevism is Christianity’s illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew.”

            “Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature.
            Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure.”

            Hitler may have been born to a Christian upbringing; but, he very clearly rejected the faith (and all faith).
            It seems, he is considered a “Christian” only by those who want to add his death toll to the “crimes of Christianity”.

        • Arkenaten

          It seems, he is considered a “Christian” only by those who want to add his death toll to the “crimes of Christianity”.
          Er…to recap. You brought this idiot into the discussion , not I.
          As I have mentioned, he was raised a Christian, acknowledged a deity and was not considered an atheist neither did he consider himself one.
          But I will not get dragged into a ‘Hitler debate’ or pander to any cheap-shot churlish atheist jibes merely to make your unsubstantiated assertion about atheist murderers look a little more rosy.

        • Arkenaten

          Oh, and you STILL haven’t told me what you are a Doctor of?

        • Arkenaten

          And I nicked this Hitler quote from Wiki
          “My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded only by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and summoned men to fight against them and who, God’s truth! was greatest not as a sufferer but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in His might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders. How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian, I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice.”[13]

          I would be obliged if we left it at this.

          • Arkenaten

            Sorry, unless of course you are prepared to provide figures for your primary assertion?
            Then I would be very interested to continue.

          • Dr. Peter John Resweber

            Yes, we might as well leave it there.

            We can’t count Mao, Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Castro, etcetera.

            Millions upon millions stacked like cordwood in various attempts to create atheistic utopias.

            But they don’t count – because, because, well, BECAUSE ARKENATEN SAYS SO!!

            He’s the ultimate authority you know.

            Please, you aren’t serious.

            I suspect you never had any intent to be.

            Pssst. Pssst. Psst.

            (This blog appears to have been subjected to a rather bad infestation.)

            Toodles.

            :)

  • http://ackans.com Mr. V.

    Frank Weathers brings up some valid points, and I can understand his viewpoint.

    I do have some strong disagreements with the idea that we have incurred the anger of Muslims, and that the attacks we’re suffering are largely because of us. Now I do agree that our culture has become corrupted, and there’s a lot of cleanup that needs to be done, and I can understand that Muslims might look at America and conclude that ours is a sinful nation. However, the fact remains that from the beginning, Islam was a violent movement that strove to conquer all peoples and convert them by the sword. That was true in 750 A.D., and it’s still true in our time.
    If it were just America they were attacking, I would be more inclined to agree with Weathers. However, Muslims are attacking and killing and torturing Christians, Jews, and all other non-muslims in every country around the world. America is one of the few places that does not have a steady climate of fear where one never knows when the next gang of Muslims is coming through indiscriminately killing Christians.

    I’ve met with Ethiopian refugees, here seeking religious asylum, because of the constant muslim killing sprees. I’ve talked with more than one refugee, who upon learning that there’s an Islamic place of worship, was shocked that I’m not in fear for my life. I was told that in Ethiopia, if one is not a muslim and lives within 50 miles of a mosque, one is living on borrowed time, for sooner or later the muslims will be coming for him.

    I sat in a room while my wife tried to console an Ethiopian woman who had minutes prior received a call from family back in Ethiopia informing her that her father and brother had minutes before been shot dead as they were outside working in their yard. A truck with muslims riding in the back, armed with rifles, had come riding through and had shot at them and others who were outside. After shooting the place up and killing a few people, they rode off again. But that’s a common occurrence over there.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      People who’ve been there, wherever “there” happens to be, often see things more clearly than those who haven’t. Thank you for sharing this.


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