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Oh yes, absolutely. I have taught college history for most of the past 20 years, and I try to emphasize the need for accurate facts. But here I was referring to the tendency of presuming that Western Civilization has been nothing but racism slavery sexism imperialism etc. It's rare to see Western Civilization classes at any colleges today, and liberal activists have often protested where it remains. I see it as a point in the West's favor that we readily discuss our failings. In comparison, Japanese students I have met had never heard of the Bataan Death March or the Rape of Nanjing.
The recurrent question of "how do these well-off kids in the West get radicalized so quickly to join ISIS" needs a bit of attention. It's not just ISIS propaganda, I have read Mein Kampf and plenty of Communist propaganda and it hasn't come close to converting me. Those who radicalize so quickly are already 90% there by the time they get to the slick propaganda. All though school they have been told that Western civilization is evil, that it "stole" everything from the superior civilizations it colonized, that believing that your culture is better than another is racist (for which their is no forgiveness), and, from Muslim families in the West, the constant remarks about how decadent our society is, that we have too much freedom, that Muhammad has no legal protection from insult, how evil it is that our Constitutions protect our inherent rights, that we make our own laws rather than accept Islam's, that the solution to all our problems is more Islam and Sharia law. . . that's the beginning of radicalization. The propaganda about ISIS is simply the final step.
In response to:

Resurrecting Supernaturalism

Carl31 Wrote: Feb 11, 2015 10:49 AM
Sounds lot like Thomas Aquinas here.
It does get tedious hearing criticism of the entreaty of "support the troops." Yes, it is possible to disagree with a policy while maintaining support for the troops. Supporting the troops means taking care of his dog while he is deployed. Supporting the troops is shoveling the snow from his driveway so his wife won't have to. Supporting the troops is welcoming him home, but not pressing him to reveal anything too intensely personal. Supporting the troops is granting him the chance, when he chooses, to unload some of the emotional baggage he carried home. Deployment to a combat zone is incredibly difficult (an experience from which I was spared during my naval service). Whatever support we can give our soldiers is, at the very least, the morally proper thing to do.
I have heard similar stories from North Korean defectors (rather, stories passed from their parents and grandparents). On a similar note, in Korea, Spam is very popular and is considered a generous gift for a holiday. Where else did the Koreans get it but from American soldiers?
Yes, I am offended. But that brings another cultural difference that needs attention. Soon, we will be hearing Islamic leaders going on and on about how "Islam condemns attacks against the innocent. " But what we need here is an Islamic definition of 'innocent.' In their view, none of us is innocent because we all had the chance to convert to Islam but refused. Trying to engage them in 'dialogue' is pointless because we don't even speak the same language
I agree with many of the posters here in that this article borders on "yes it's horrible but we shouldn't have offended them in the first place. . . " One aspect of all this which needs some attention is a fundamental feature of Islamic cultures ---- whether or not this feature is inherently Islamic. These people have a desperate need to look strong in front of others. Look at the "honor" killings, where some father just "had to" kill his daughter because her behavior made him appear unmanly (in his perception). What he really feared was how others would treat him had he not "honor" killed her --- "what kind of man lets his daughter humiliate him like that. . . she made him kill her, just what else was he supposed to do?" We see a similar dynamic here. These terrorists gain status for defending the "honor" of a "prophet" now dead for 1400 years. Any muslim who would speak against such an act risks accusations of cowardice himself. . . "you call yourself a muslim, doing nothing while the prophet is insulted.. . " Muhammad did in fact behave like this when insulted. Contrast this with Christ's humility in accepting his death and forgiving his persecutors.
In response to:

Colonel, United States Army, Retired

Carl31 Wrote: Jan 05, 2015 10:54 PM
Nice observations. While it may seem minor, I also hate seeing our troops in field uniforms while traveling. In airports I have complimented Marines on how good it is to see them in a proper uniform. 25 years ago the Navy didn't even let us leave the base when in shipboard working uniforms --- analogous to the army field uniform.
In response to:

Colonel, United States Army, Retired

Carl31 Wrote: Jan 05, 2015 8:02 PM
Charlie Foxtrot? Chickenstuff? What language is that (!!!). Good luck learning to speak Civilian, COL Schlichter.
Thank you for the intelligent remarks. While I detest the politically-correct left, many on the right often don't make much more sense. I was in Korea in 2013 during the tensions which arose from the annual ROK-US military maneuvers. At the time it struck me that we could probably force a collapse of the North just by keeping them on a prolonged military alert. Fuel expenditure, lack of maintenance for their obsolete equipment, strain on their supply systems, troops mobilized for war when they're needed for farm work, etc. They simply wouldn't be able to keep it up.
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