The so-called Clash of Civilizations is upon us if you ask the alarmists who have been banging the warning gong at the center of town for, some of us, decades now since the founding of the PLO (Palestinian Liberation Organization) June 2, 1964, and the assassination of Robert Kennedy on June 05, 1968 or as the latecomers claim was the start, September 11, 2001 despite the earlier attempt to bring down the World Trade Center Towers on February 26, 1993 using a truck bomb weighing 1,200 pounds that detonated around 12:17 PM knocking out the World Trade Center’s incoming high-voltage lines which feed much of the electrical energy to the complex. Making matters worse was that the explosion also knocked-out the generators, elevators, sprinklers, emergency command center disabling everything necessary for an emergency situation, which may have been a blessing in disguise as it exposed numerous weaknesses. The truth is that the problems the world is currently facing began and have continued at varying levels since the Seventh Century, yes, that’s right, approaching fourteen hundred years ago when the Arabs first poured out of the Arabian Peninsula and began their age of conquest. What is very difficult for people in Western civilizations to grasp and get their arms around is that people were capable of conquering much of the known world starting with a few bands of tribes and reach within two decades from India and the Ganges River to Andalusia, Spain and Portugal for the Eurocentric, and all of Northern Africa and on across Turkey and into the Balkans eventually reaching Vienna. What makes their incredulous reaction to the Arab conquests would be even further challenged if they were to also realize that these Arabs and their Empire fell to a single tribe from northeastern Turkey known as the Ottomans. The Ottoman Turks began their conquest and establishing the last caliphate in the mid-1300s. The entirety of the Pan-Arab Empire known as the Ottoman Empire at the start of World War I chose the wrong side to ally with and thus was amongst those who lost and were placed under the whims of the allies, Britain, Russia, France, Italy and Japan as the United States hemmed and hawed as they sat on the sidelines thus not needing to take on any supervision or ties beyond the final peace treaty. The Sykes Picot Agreement and the San Remo Conference set up the Middle East as it was in 1944 at the end of World War II which miraculously changed nothing outside of Europe which means the Middle East remained as it was divided at the conclusion of World War I even at the end of World War II.
Islam had been in remission of a sort after World War I as the Ottomans discovered that the battle plans and formation used by Islam during World War I only proved favorable when defending or holding a stronghold, and even then it was questionable. The Middle East had slowly grown angrier and less stable as the divisions made in the Sykes Picot agreement had drawn the borders of the states seemingly at random and with little concern. That concealed the reality which was the centerpiece of the European plans at the end of World War I and also a large part of the reason the United States desired absolutely no part of the settlements made at the conclusion of World War I.
Let us start with the part mostly ignored other than the predicament faced by Germany. The Austria-Hungarian Empire which was demolished and defeated was basically sliced and diced to produce a number of smaller nations which were largely drawn along ethnic lines. The main exceptions were Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia and Germany. The former two were combined nations having at least two separate and rival tribes and were strategically placed so as to foil any plans for rebuilding the Empire. Germany lost some prime lands to France and Poland as a punishment along with being saddled with heavy debts which crippled the German economy. These vindictive arrangements and disposition after World War I all but guaranteed a World War II or at least a pan-European War. The other half of Sykes Picot rearranged the Ottoman Empire lands into independent countries which were almost drawn randomly, the question being was there actual animus driving the actual drawing of the borders. Common understanding believes that there was actual animus and that the problems currently and previously were by the intentional design of the countries and their borders. What came next?
As the borders of these new nations were apparently random but actually did have one major consequence, the tribal allegiances were ignored. An example would be the Kurds who were promised a nation for their people which never was formed largely due to Oil found on their lands so their lands were incorporated with those whom the Europeans had agreements for their oil, always favorable arrangements. The Kurdish lands ended up split between Iraq, Turkey and Syria while the Kurdish communities in Iran remained untouched as Iran was not part of the Ottoman Empire. With the different tribes and even forms of Islam there would always be problems in these new nations keeping the peace. This lent the situation to needing a strong and unrelenting leader such as Saddam Hussein, Hafez al-Assad, Mubarak, Kaddafi and too many others. These problems was the one idea where the Islamic State actually had a legitimate complaint against Europe but they long since squandered any hope that they would be trusted to make necessary changes. Their ploy to use the Sykes Picot to dictate the new borders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) was destroyed by the Islamic State with their slaughter of the Yazidis and the raping of women, Christian or Islamic with little difference shown to either religious background. The atrocities committed by the Islamic State should have been sufficient to galvanize an alliance set on the singular task of the destruction and dismemberment of the Islamic State. What is strange is that the Russians are willing, the European Union is indifferent and unwilling to commit, while some European nations such as Britain and Italy are willing to take a stand against the Islamic State but lack the gravitas to destroy this manifestation of evil. The main source remains on the sidelines as President Obama refuses to see any threats which originate from Islam.
All of this will be the past, what we will call the ‘then’ and now we will look ahead after the United States has had their fall elections and the next President has just taken the oath of office and returned to the White House. The two major party candidates are Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. We can predict what the main differences will be between the two. Hillary Clinton will pretty much continue the Obama politics domestically allowing the economy to be largely stagnant but slowly gaining some momentum where growth may actually approach the one and a half to two percent growth with measured unemployment remaining around five to six percent. A Trump White House would probably also freeze the economy in place with everything waiting anxiously to see what path he will decide to take. The most important figures will be one that has remained pretty much out of the public eye as it is a true and horrifying indicator of the sad state of the economy since sometime in late 2002 and just accelerated downward to levels not witnessed even during the ‘Great Depression’ of the 1930s and ended by World War II. We had best hope that the seemingly unavoidable events, which would change the economic picture as such resets do their magic through destructive employment accelerators, as when half of the cities are bombed to rubble and employment accelerates, is not what will be the path of economic repair in our future. While the Labor Force Participation Rate (LFPR) will level out at long last as the economy and the long term unemployed settle into a brief equilibrium and the next step will depend on the policies put in place in the first few months of the new administration. We really have little to judge what Donald Trump might do and we have a fair idea what Hillary Clinton will do, but this article is not about the economy though below is a graph of the LFPR.
The real challenge before the next President, whether it is Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, one of the minor party candidates or some knight in shining armor come to save either of the major parties from their less than wonderful choices will be setting a course and then have the faith and fortitude to keep to that path. Now while the choice may fall entirely upon the United States, a scary thought at best knowing the probable choices for their coming elections, but there is also a channel where the Europeans may save the day and the future which currently is charging headlong to a dark-age which may last for the foreseeable future. The first test has already been passed by France but only if their recent actions are the beginning of a new path forward. Another test is coming up tomorrow with Brexit. Should the British decide to pull out from the European Union and make a determined exit in less than six months, not the two to ten years different predictions claim it will take, they can then take immediate control over their borders and refuse any undocumented refugees and only allow documented individuals in after an application has been accepted and a full background investigation all the way back to their first school or madrasah they attended. Should anybody have mostly unreliable or complete lengths of no references and that is made a disqualifier and the backgrounds are fully validated to assure honesty and an actual verified history before allowing emigration, and a similar qualification system even for visitors on vacation, then the British Isles will be far more protected than is currently the case. A checkpoint on the exit into Britain side of the Chunnel would also be a great idea. The future in Europe needs to be all about security and keeping the freedoms that Western Civilization has worked centuries developing and realizing that human individual freedoms and free expression are conducive to an advanced and productive society and limited freedoms and closed government intrusions leads to economic collapse as people have less to live for thus less to work for. The United States and Europe over the past two centuries plus have proven that more freedom equals a stronger economy and higher productivity. The unfortunate item is despite this knowledge the politicians are still hankering for greater control and less freedom. There have been politicians who have expressed ideas such as requiring travel permits if one desires to cross arbitrary lines going from one zone to the next. This could lead to people who live away from the major cities not being able to go to the store or visit the neighboring farm without a permit. These are the people who have no voice in their governance as the cities now control governments and this will lead to less and less freedom as people prefer dependence on government over self-reliance. The reason behind this trend is directly tied to the increased city dwelling. When one lives in a rural area many times you actually have to repair items with what you have or can borrow from a neighbor just to get through the day or week. In the city you call a repair person, a handyman or an expert. City life is conducive to dependence while rural life requires independent thinking and often ingenuity. Add the terror threats and the willingness of many to sacrifice certain freedoms for additional appearances of safety and you end up with a vicious cycle which eventually leads to totalitarian governance, even if the government is elected. People will end up electing those who promise to keep them safe while regimenting their lives further in order to be capable of detecting something amiss. Amiss will define people like many of us because we value liberty and freedom.
There have been polls conducted at numerous colleges and universities in the United States and the students actually desire to make certain types of speech illegal and people caught using such language fined and if they persist then they would need to be sent to a school to learn why their speech is dangerous and injurious. So much for what we learned as children, ‘sticks and stone may break my bones but words will never harm me.’ These word police are playing into the hands of the Islamists who desire Sharia be imposed where any language which denigrates or demeans or insults Islam would be severely punishable. The results of surveys and research can be found starting on this First Amendment site with numerous links to further information and a wealth of eye-opening information. Free and open speech is necessary for a free society and there is no guarantee against being offended. This is necessary because if only speech which offended nobody were allowed there would be very little ever spoken. Going out of ones way to offend a person by following them shouting or even whispering words that one knows would be upsetting, that comes under harassment laws and is preventable or bringing such activity to a halt legally. What is a far greater danger is allowing for one group of people to dictate what is permitted and what is forbidden in a society by dictation completely separate from the governance. Allowing such is dangerous especially in mixed neighborhoods or areas where disparate groups have access and reason to visit the locations. Areas which have been purchased by a group such as a compound or fenced neighborhood where those residing decide whether other people may enter can have their own cultural system but that system must never be permitted to become a general system covering others. Freedom of religion includes freedom from having a religion. People must be free to believe or not and those who choose to believe must be free to choose what to believe. The limitations come at some blatantly obvious points such as no human sacrifice, even if the subject for sacrifice volunteers as by definition in Western society such a person is not rational and thus needs help, not their beating heart removed in an ancient ritual worshipping Ba’al. The limits on religion need be similar to general laws governing interaction between individuals. Your religion is absolutely wonderful as long as it stops between you and other adherents.
Proselytizing is another area which can be sensitive. That too needs to be limited in that ‘no’ or ‘please leave me alone’ means exactly that and ‘tell me more’ is a license to inform to your heart’s content. No religion can be allowed to dictate laws. That is one guarantee that freedom demands. No religion is superior or should be permitted to dominate by force or threat especially. Those who believe their religion has the right to dictate the law and force others to live by their religious laws, they need to be returned to whatever place they came from as in a free and open society such must never be permitted. Even in Israel which identifies itself as the Jewish State there is no restriction on other religions. If there are any restrictions on religion in Israel, it is on Judaism and its practice at certain holy sites where religious purity is required by Jewish law. But even such rules do not apply to a non-Jew. An example would be that there are certain locations upon the Temple Mount where a Jew is forbidden from treading as it may be too close to the location where the Holy of Holies was located when the First Temple and Second Temple existed. A non-Jew can walk freely as can be seen in many videos where Arab youths are playing soccer in central areas near the Dome of the Rock, an area where Jews are restricted from walking as this was close to where the Holy of the Holies was located (video below).
Temple Mount Visit Sunday, March 6th 2016- Arabs playing Soccer
Islam has spread over the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and in much of these lands Islam is almost the only faith and Jews are so rare that the Christians and other native religions from Africa are now being victimized and persecuted. We look at the nations where fifteen-hundred years ago over 90% of the people were Christians and Jews and now the area has changed and is predominantly Islamic. Below is a basic representation of the current religious breakdown. Where Muslim is only figure given we assumed that the vast, if not all, were Sunni, the predominant form of Islam (map of Islam by percentage of population below).
Algeria 98% Islam 1% Christian 1% other
Bahrain 70% Muslim 15% Christian 10% Hindu 3% Buddhist 2% Other
Egypt 90% Muslim 9% Coptic Christian 1% other
Iran 99.4% Muslim (89% Shiite 9% Sunni) 1.2% Christian 0.4% other
Iraq 99% Muslim (65% Shiite 35% Sunni) 1% Christian
Jordan 92% Muslim 6% Christian 1% Druze
Kuwait 100% Muslim 0.02% Christian
Lebanon 54% Muslim 40% Christian 6% Druze
Yemen 99% Muslim 1% other
United Arab Emirates 77% Muslim 12% Christian 4% Hindu 2% Buddhist 2% other
Libya 97% Muslim 0.7% Christian 0.3 Buddhist 2% other
Morocco 98.9% Muslim 0.9% Christian 0.2% Jewish
Oman 95% Muslim 5% Christian or Hindu
Israel 80% Jewish 16% Muslim 2% Christian 1.5% Druze 0.5% other
Qatar 67.7% Muslim 13.8% Hindu 13.8% Christian 3.1% Buddhist 1.4% other
Saudi Arabia 100% Muslim
Syria 87% Muslim 10% Christian 3% Druze (est. in 2006)
Tunisia 98% Muslim 1% Christian 1% other
France has taken steps that may mean they are pointing themselves in the right direction to resist their otherwise certain submission to Islam. It has been reported and confirmed that France raided three Mosques and discovered over three-hundred fully automatic rifles and other weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition. In an article from Al Jazeera claiming that France intends to raid and shut down more than one-hundred and as many as one-hundred-sixty Mosques over their either being suspected of weapons, preaching hate, are run illegally without proper licenses, or use takfiri speech. Takfiri is preaching Muslim on Muslim violence due to apostasy. It is estimated that there are 2,600 Mosques in France. These raids and the decision to take these actions is believed to be due to the November 13 attacks on the capital by well-armed Muslims striking multiple locations using military tactics and murdering over one hundred innocents. Time will tell if France has decided to clamp down on instigating violence from the pulpit and is ready to take a serious look at what is happening inside the Mosques and other places where intolerance may be taught or used to instigate violence. Europe has a choice as do the rest of the western nations of protecting their freedoms and liberty or slowly sinking under Islamic pressures until they have bowed away their constitutions and after that their lives. There had to be blowback and it may be starting in France and about to strike again in Britain starting with Brexit.
Beyond the Cusp