The Saudi connection

The Saudi brand of fundamentalist Islam, Wahhabism, and Saudi money are the source of much of the world’s terrorism, at least the terrorism that threatens the US. Israel is concerned with terrorists of the Shia branch of Islam, sponsored and financed by Iran. The US is threatened by the Sunni branch of Islam which represents the majority of the Muslim faithful.

ISIS is a Sunni organization. The Taliban, translated students, were taught and trained in schools, madrassas, in Pakistan financed by Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaeda is a Sunni organization founded and led by a Saudi, bin Laden,until his death. 15 of the 19 9-11 hijackers were Saudi citizens.

Saudi Arabia is a small country with few citizens. Some of them are dissatisfied with the royal family and desire change. Rather than pick a fight with populous Iran which does not threaten us, we should be concentrating our efforts on bringing change to Saudi Arabia. I am not suggesting that we invade another Muslim country, but we should and must confront the source of much of the terrorism that threatens the US. Although some Saudis might welcome an US invasion as a liberating force, much of the Muslim world would oppose the US occupying the land containing the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina.

Paul Bremer

Paul Bremer recently appeared on FOX News to criticize President Obama’s handling of Iraq. In his book, My Year in Iraq, Bremer made it clear that he issued the order to disband the Iraqi army, a decision that is one of the root causes for the current Iraq mess. It is unclear in the book if he made the decision himself or if he were carrying out orders from above. In any case, both he and Dick Cheney should be hanging their heads in shame, rather than criticizing a President trying to deal with the situation that they created.


ISIS is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. Some now contend that ISIS would not exist or be a threat if the US had intervened more forcefully in Syria. ISIS is a Sunni organization of people dissatisfied with their governments. Without Syria, the Sunni population of Iraq were dissatisfied with the al-Maliki government and probably would have formed an organization named ISI, the Islamic State of Iraq. However, Sunnis from Syria have joined with Sunnis from Iraq to form ISIS. With a population of about 27 million to Syria’s population of about 18 million, Iraq would be the dominant partner by sheer weight of numbers.

How many remember the short-lived union of Egypt and Syria from 1958 to 1961 under Egypt’s president Gamal Abdel Nasser? It was called the United Arab Republic and its goal was to unite all of the Arab nations of the Middle East. Since Nasser was not aligned with East or West and was considered a leftist, the West worried about the threat he might pose to western interests. The union broke down and Syria withdrew. This happened without western military action.

Today, scaremongers on the Right are calling for military action against ISIS for a variety of reasons. If we don’t kill them over there, we will be forced to kill them over here. I propose the reverse. If we let them live in peace over there, they will let us live in peace over here. Let’s try that strategy for a change. We cannot kill every loud mouth who threatens us and we should not try.

Please see ISIS is a crisis

Maintaining peace

In order to maintain peace and tranquility, we humans often resort to the use of weapons that kill or main each other. Why must we kill each other to maintain order? Probably because our civility is only a thin layer on top of our basic killer instincts. Isn’t it time to settle disputes between individuals and between nations in a less than lethal manner?

Could we not equip our armies with tasers or paint ball guns to settle international disputes? In the past, armies were sometimes represented by single champions who fought to decide outcomes. Could we not require our leaders to face each other in combat (hopefully not to the death) to settle issues not solvable by negotiation? The leaders of Israel and Hamas in single combat using swords, pistols or drones? Sounds outlandish, but it would be a vast improvement over the death and destruction of current warfare.

In his day, Teddy Roosevelt believed that war was a healthy phenomenon, making the strong stronger and killing off the weak. Britain disproved that theory during and after WW1, when the cream of British manhood died in the trenches, leaving the Empire to the survivors, the ill and the weak. Since Teddy’s day, only a few advocate war as way of life, and they do so only for others, not for themselves and their loved ones. Teddy, on the other hand, sent all his sons to war, and wanted to fight himself. Wilson would not let him, since Wilson feared Roosevelt as a potential rival in 1920.


As Israel attempts to weaken or destroy Hamas in Gaza, criticism of Israel is mounting. Defenders of Israel are charging critics of Israel with anti-Semitism. That is mostly false. It is possible to criticize the policies of the government of Israel without being anti-Jew. The Palestinians trapped in Gaza are also a Semitic people and innocent men, women and children are dying at the ratio of 20:1 for every Israeli killed. That is truly anti-Semitism applied to the people of Gaza.