Thursday, December 24, 2009

Yemen, Al Qaeda, Fort Hood, and All That

In my considered opinion, it would be nice if everybody were to be nice.

Reading a news report about quite a few people being killed isn't nice. It's not, I think, in this case, naughty: but it's sad, not nice.

War Isn't Nice

In the world I live in, Al Qaeda's arranging for thousands of people to get killed on September 11, 2001, wasn't nice either. That was naughty: even if they think God told them to, and their targets were what a college professor called "little Eichmanns". (April 3, 2009)

A psychiatrist murdering over a dozen people isn't very nice, either. Even if he felt tense at the time, and/or acted from deeply-felt religious beliefs. (November 5, 2009) I think that killing someone else for personal motives is naughty. Even if the personal motives involve deeply-felt religious beliefs: like "blacks, Jews, and Catholics are un-American." Or the now more-familiar "death to Israel! Death to the great Satan America!"

America Kills Civilians! That Line Never Seems to Get Old

On December 17, 2009, the "great Satan America" killed lots and lots of civilians all over the place near Mahsad, in southern Yemen. Or, attacked an Al Qaeda training camp. Or, attacked an Al Qaeda installation. Depends on who you listen to. I don't doubt that civilians were killed. Making sure that there will be civilian deaths in a military operation seems to be a well-worn page in the Islamic terrorists' playbook. (September 4, 2009)

Yemen doesn't show up in America's news as often as places like Iraq and Afghanistan, but it's been involved in the war on terror for some time. Remember the U.S.S. Cole?

It looks like over two dozen Al Qaeda members were killed - maybe, but not certainly, including Saad al-Fathani and Mohammad Ahmed Saleh al-Omir, local Al Qaeda leaders, and Imam Anwar al-Awlaki.

If "Awlaki" sounds familiar, it should.

The Fort Hood Connection

Imam Anwar al-Awlaki was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, was the immam at the Dar al-Hijrah Mosque in Virginia. That's where, according to the FBI, Awlaki had a close relationship with two of the 9/11 hijackers. Anwar al-Awlaki left America in 2002 - apparently winding up in Yemen where he cheered on "insurgencies" in Iraq and Afghanistan, and was building a following through speeches, and online.

Until, quite likely, December 17.

Anwar al-Awlaki also, apparently, is connected with Major Nidal Malik Hasan. Major Hasan is the chap who [allegedly] murdered just over a dozen people at Fort Hood November 5, 2009. The last I heard, investigations into the Fort Hood shootings were still going on - but someone reported that the Major said something like "Allahu Akbar".

As I've written before, I don't think these years are Islam's shining hour in history.

Christianity's gone through something like this, on I think a smaller scale, back in the fifties and sixties. White supremacists, who said they were Christians defending Christian America from blacks, Jews, and people like me (I'm Catholic), were - in rather loud taste - burning crosses in those "good old days." That sort of thing leaves an impression - a very unpleasant one.

I don't think that the KKK and similar groups represent Christianity. I sincerely hope that Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other Islamic terrorists are to Islam what the cross-burners were to Christianity: a small but impossible-to-ignore bunch of fanatics, following a perverse caricature of a major world religion.

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.