Tag Archives: ISIS

101. Worldwide Chaos?

26 Apr

Is there “worldwide chaos” or is it normal to have a certain amount of danger, struggle and warfare. I feel that recently, chaos has taken a step upward,
and there is more to be concerned with now — particularly in the USA — than in the last several years.

Here is a list of factors that currently are particularly disturbing:
1. Endless war in Syria and the resulting massive migrations.
2. Our current leader, Trump, is unprepared for high office, and lacks “ideals.”
3. Brexit: Britain leaving the European Union.
4. Russian attack of Ukraine.
5. Israel and Palestinian endless conflict.
6. Worldwide terrorism, including the dangers of ISIS, Taliban, others.
7. Failure of many leaders to recognize climate-change danger.
8. In some countries there is assassination of reporters and dissidents.
9. Greedy leaders scam the citizens, promoting personal wealth for a few.
10. Significant interference in USA elections by a foreign power (Russia).
11. Christianity and Islam sometimes are compatible, but often clash.

The search for chaos “causes” can take many forms, and for most important events, there are many factors that can be causal. There are many places to start the search. I believe a good point is the industrial revolution, usually dated from about 1760 to 1830.

As governments and technology developed, there was a parallel evolution of greed and corruption. The basic principle is that in any society or nation, a few aggressive and intelligent citizens will become leaders. As they improve their political skills, they learn how to communicate with citizens to achieve power, and to make use of rich donors. Congressmen are “bribed to help the wealthy with tax breaks and loopholes, and subsidies, creating a financial cycle: rich donors support desirable legislation and in turn, get even richer.

Once in office for a few years, they also can become adept at increasing their personal wealth. It is a matter of “learning” and of the eventual irresistible temptation to become richer. Those in office gradually separate from the people and form what could be called a “royalty” class. In many cases, a leader that starts out with good intentions will eventually fall into corruption.

The end result of this process of corruption is often violent or non-violent revolution. Excessive greed at the top will produce more poverty and more poor people. This has taken place for centuries, but recent improvement in communication, like the Internet, focused on this oppression, and helped with the organization of protest. One result was the “Arab Spring”, which began in Tunisia around 2010. Revolutions in Egypt and several other countries followed. Syria was the worst case, resulting in a disastrous deadlock between rebels and its President.

So a basic cause for much of the current world crisis is the rise of a greedy “Royalty Class” in many countries (even in the USA). The Syrian disaster became a basic cause to many other international problems. War in Syria resulted in a massive migration to other countries. This refugee problem I see as the major cause of BREXIT, the rise of Pres. Trump, and perhaps the rise of ISIS and other terrorist activity. In the US, the fear of refugees was recognized by Donald Trump, and promoted by him.

Here is a summary of some major (not all) causal links:

The rise of technology was accompanied by gradual governmental corruption.
Greedy and corrupt leaders exploit the citizens and increase poverty.
Citizens, helped mostly by the Internet, discover the corruption.
They are able to organize and revolt in Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Libya, etc.
The revolution in Syria caused massive migration and associated fears.
Migration fears caused Brexit, the rise of Trump, terrorism, ISIS?, etc.

Final thought. I have condensed what could be a whole book, into a brief blog.
My purpose here, is to promote thought and analysis. As ordinary citizens better understand the world, it can become a better place.

85. We Need Change ?

17 Jan

Trump is the man who will make “change” and deliver us from big, bad government. He is not a politician, he needs no donors, ignore what he says because there is goodness in his heart, he is smarter than the generals (and just about everyone else), all past negotiations are pathetic, and he will rid us of ISIS in a month. He is never wrong and will make you suffer for any criticism. He almost never addresses the criticism itself, but instead attacks the person who made it (even the Pope).

He paints a picture of a failing nation with incompetent leaders and government workers, rampant crime, poor negotiation, widespread poverty, etc. — “things could not be worse.” Black people have not made any progress — an insult to the millions that are doing well and have even achieved the presidency. His motto is “make American great again” without any explanation of when, how, and the meaning of “great.”

.                 False, rigid beliefs interfere with common sense

The Trump movement shows how many people are prisoners of their false and rigid beliefs, and cannot see the obvious and exercise common sense. Sad to say, there are many who voted for Trump just as a protest or just to do something based on frustration. Those persons may be responsible for a new direction leading to our country’s decline. Impulsive superficial voting may be the end of our world leadership and all of the good things developed to date. Trump will make change, but change for the better is unlikely. Here are some possible changes that have been mentioned at least once (but may have been retracted and/or restored at some time):

1. Changed healthcare legislation will cause millions to lose their insurance and many will die.

2. NATO is obsolete. Our long-standing, beneficial, and powerful pact with many nations is under threat.

3. Instead of sanctioning Russia, we will support their authoritarianism, attacks on the press, and take- over of countries like Ukraine. We will ignore their meddling in our elections and their efforts to undermine many nations.

4. We will pull out of the multi-nation “Iran Nuclear Deal”, allowing Iran to go back to making the bombs and delivery systems — prevented by the Deal. We will also pull out of climate-change treaties, which could prevent massive flooding (Florida, NY, etc) and catastrophic human migrations due to massive droughts.

5. Taxes for the very wealthy will be lowered by decreasing the tax rate and by allowing more loopholes. The rich will celebrate while the rest of us will either pay more tax or have reduced benefits — and/or our national debt will surge.

6. We will change trade policies and tariffs so that trade-wars will arise and prices for goods, everywhere, will increase. The chaos will affect our valuable relationships with long-standing allies.

7. Pres. Obama has at times been criticized for inaction, but Trump may impulsively engage us in wars, costing lives and greater national debt.

8. He may generate more terrorists by his abuse of Muslims, various other insults, and dangerous policies.

9. Our valuable press, which is required to keep our democracy honest, may be thrown out of the White House and attacked so viciously that it is ineffective. If Trump’s ideas are so laudable and clearly beneficial, why all the press criticism?

10. Is anyone suspicious of the fact that Trump’s cabinet is filled with extremely rich people and/or persons with questionable histories.

11. Trump would restore vicious torture and wants to keep Guantanamo prison. He also admires the strength of tyrants around the world. Are we setting a good example (under Trump) for the rest of the world? Traditionally the USA has been known for its might, and also its moral authority. Is Trump leading us in the right direction?

After Trump is in office for a while, the appreciation for the positive change that Pres. Obama caused will grow even more.  And the candidate, Hilary Clinton, that Obama so enthusiastically endorsed and was attacked so unmercifully by the GOP will be much more appreciated.  Ironically, she won the national vote count by almost three million.

Just added: I have been working on this blog for several days and at times almost scrapped it, because it may have been too negative. But after hearing Trump’s unnecessary and incorrect abuse of the civil-rights hero and self-sacrificing activist, Congressman John Lewis … well, here it is.

33. Jihadist attacks vs. Auto Accidents

13 Dec

I truely sympathize with those who have suffered from Jihadist attacks both here and abroad. I pride myself on being rational and reasonable, and these senseless killings are a very sad part of our current human experience. Not only have the attacks directly ruined lives, but relatives and  many others have been emotioally damaged.

That said and recognized — currently, the ordinary USA citizen has little
to worry about regarding jihadist extremisn. I researched the rate of USA auto accidents and each of the USA Jihadist events since 2009. For the past five years, a total of five terrorists killed a total of 30 USA citizens (Fort Hood, Boston Marathon, and San Bernadino). Our total populaton is 320 million. In  the USA, there are about 33,000 fatal auto accidents per year or 165,000 for five years. Thirty deaths caused by terrorists versus 165,000 deaths caused by autos.  So you are 5500 times more likely to be killed by an automobile than a Jihadist. I have not counted injuries, but there are plenty in both cases.  Remember that for hundreds of years, lots of USA criminals have been killing  USA citizens.

The “press” is always interested in making any possible event as dramatic
as they can. It promotes their goals. But, this has the effect of making
susecptible people very anxious. Anxious people often make poor decisions, like how they vote in elections, and in other areas. People who fear terrorism (only a minor threat for ordinary people), think nothing of getting into their far more dangerous vehicles to go shopping, etc. One more word about the press: it is sometimes imperfect, but absolutely necessary, and occasionally heroic.

My suggestion is not to worry, but do continue law enforcement efforts to keep the numbers low. Every animal species has aberrant individual members that  do strange things. Some humans are criminals, sadists, murderers, killers of abortion doctors, serial killers, etc. When you have 320 million of something, there are bound to be a few defective ones. There is nothing that can be done about a few people who go crazy and kill others. The crazy ones can have any religion,  national origin, and cause. For example, some people born Christian have been terrorists and/or murdered others.

Some people think that President Obama isn’t doing enough and appears
“timid”. My personal preference is for someone like Obama, who calmly thinks things out and tries to make the best possible decisions, considering all of the relevant factors. Given the extremely difficult problems that he is faced with, I think he does remarkably well. And, yes, he does have a plan for the defeat of ISIS, which is clear if you read his recent speeches. The plan includes: forming coalitions to fight ISIS with “boots on ground”, drone attacks, a few of our soldiers to spot targets and help in other ways, economic pressure, forming good relations with peaceful Middle-Eastern citizens, etc. Sending in USA battle troops would cause USA deaths, local resentment, creation of new terrorists, an obligation to occupy for many years, and other problems.

31. ISIS Hysteria

19 Nov

First of all, I want to make clear that ISIS is so horrendous that people inclined to hysteria can be excused for their weakness. But hysteria cannot guide our response to this serious threat.  Our leaders do best when they think clearly and consider all of the consequences of any course of action. Past cavelier and impulsive military offensives have emerged us in an expensive quagmire of problems.  Predominantly Christian troops marching into Muslim countries can sometimes be effective, but the results are usually not permanent, and can lead to conversions of peaceable citizens to terrorists. Many Middle-Eastern countries have political systems that are markedly different from ours. Trying to impose our ways on others can have serious negative consequences.

The recent attack in Paris by ISIS has provoked a lot of unwarranted criticism directed towards President Obama. He has considered all of the factors listed above, consulted with military and governmental experts, and has coolly and carefully followed a safe and effective plan.  Likely, ISIS wants us to do hysterical aggressive things that will be used justify their plan, and aid in recruitment.

Senator Dianne Feinstein just felt she had to criticize the President. She is talking more like a Republican than a Democrat, and just says non-specific and meaningless things. She says they are “growing” and we have to “take them out.” Of course, we would all like to take them out, but what is her plan. Send in the troops and face all the problems listed above?  And after defeating ISIS, how long will our troops have to remain to hold on to our gains. In Afghanistan and Iraq, after many years, when we leave, the terrorists return. Senator Feinstein has the hysterical, unclear, and wrong solution. As far as ISIS “expanding” goes, she has not provided any evidence for this. ISIS threats are not proofs of growth.

When I think about the serious problems that Obama faced when taking office, and the unrelenting, unfair criticism that he has been subjected to; and how he has been thwarted by the Republicans in almost every endeavor, I have to give him the highest rating of all our U.S. presidents. Most everything he has attempted and achieved is right on the mark, and in the worst case, defensible if not perfect.