[lit-ideas] Re: Sustaining our Resolve

  • From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 18 Aug 2006 08:45:55 -0700



I just ran across something that relates to the current tangent or quibble,
that is, your assertion that the USA "supported and funded terrorist
activities."  I assumed you were referring to the support of the activities
in Afghanistan against the Soviets which would not qualify as "terrorist"
activities in that they were directed against the Soviet military rather
than Soviet civilians.  But here is something interesting from page 321 of
The Losing Battle with Islam by David Selbourne:


"The advance of Arab national movements, for example, owed much to the
patronage of the Soviet Union.  Non-Muslim nations have also had varied
histories in instigating and equipping the Islamist forces themselves.
Thus, the 'destabilisation' of the Soviet Union was accelerated by
investments in Islamist movements in central Asia by the United States,
especially under President Carter.  'Do you regret having supported Islamic
fundamentalism, giving arms and advice to future terrorists?'  Zbigniew
Brzezinski, carter's security adviser, was asked by Le Nouvel Observateur in
January 1998.  'What matters more to world history', Brzezinski asked by way
of reply, 'the Taliban, or the collapse of the Soviet empire?  Some
stirred-up Muslims, or the liberation of central Europe and the end of the
cold war?  'Some stirred-up Muslims?' responded his questioner with evident
incredulity.  'But isn't Islamic fundamentalism a world menace today?' the
journalist inquired.  'Nonsense, there is no global Islam', the former
national security adviser to President Carter replied."


If you can reduce the level of emotion you seem to be experiencing, you will
perhaps recall that Brzezinski's position is consistent with a position I am
slowly investigating, i.e., a position expressed on the "Jihadists" by
Francis Fukuyama found in his America at the Crossroads.  He follows Olivier
Roy (Globalized Islam) and Gilles Kepel (The War for Muslim Minds) in
thinking that the Islamist threat is overrated.  While I am slowly
investigating this position (I've begun Roy's book) I do not hold it.  I do
not think the Islamist threat is overrated.  Quite the contrary, I think we
in the U.S. are not taking it seriously enough.  Nevertheless I am willing
to believer that the positions of Fukuyama, Roy, Kepel, and Brzezinski (as
expressed in 1998) are honestly held.  Brzezinski and probably Schultz
believed while they were in office and Brzezinski at least until 1998 that
the Soviet Union comprised a far greater threat to Liberal Democracies than
Globalized Islam.


As to whom I might be inclined to agree with, well yes, of course, I am
going to agree with those who believe we are at war with Militant Islam.
That is my position so I am going to agree with those who share it.   As to
accepting other things they might say because they share my position on
Militant Islam, well no, I am not as credulous as you suggest.   I find that
sort of gullibility (at least this is my theory), among people inclined to
accept a party line or the opinions of leaders they respect.  I tend to
think that reading long articles all the way to the end and reading a
variety of books on a given subject does wonders for reducing credulity.  I
highly recommend it, as a matter of fact.








-----Original Message-----
From: Andreas Ramos
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2006 12:01 AM
Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Sustaining our Resolve


Lawrence, I remember the events. Schultz says the USA ignored terrorist
activities. No, the 

US supported and funded terrorist activities. Schultz is a liar. You simply
ignore that.


You are completely willing to give full faith to whatever someone says if
that person falls 

within your narrow and stilted view of the world. George Schultz can tell a
blatant lie, and 

you simply accept it, because he now supports your idea of war against
Islam. You 

consistently do this with everything you read.







----- Original Message ----- 

From: "Lawrence Helm" <lawrencehelm@xxxxxxxxxxxx>

Sent: Thursday, August 17, 2006 9:17 AM

Subject: [lit-ideas] Re: Sustaining our Resolve



> Andreas,




> You are muddying the water.  As has been discussed copiously, we were

> the period you describe at war with the USSR.  It was called the Cold War.

> The individual who created the policy that was used by all succeeding

> presidents was George Kennan who worked for Acheson during the Truman

> administration.  The policy was called containment.  In general it

> of opposing aggressive Communist activities wherever possible.  Sometimes

> opposed Communist aggression militarily as in Korea and Vietnam.

> we opposed it with the CIA.  The events you misrepresent were in that

> category.  The USSR invaded Afghanistan and we supplied those who opposed

> the USSR.  We were not opposing Islamism in those days.  As a nation we

> didn't even know it existed.  Al Quaeda, you may recall was created after

> the USSR left Afghanistan in 1989.  When the USSR left, we left as well.




> As far as I can see, your comments don't pertain to anything in Schultz'

> article, or anything in my comments.  I don't know what your problem is

> reading.  I wouldn't think you'd want to respond to an article you hadn't

> read.  I know I wouldn't.




> Lawrence


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