Mudcat Café message #3650017 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #154894   Message #3650017
Posted By: Richard Bridge
11-Aug-14 - 04:30 AM
Thread Name: BS: Caliphate
Subject: RE: BS: Caliphate
1. I know the accurate meaning of the word "decimate". Historically it means to kill one in ten, as Meyer says. I do not agree with him that the prevalence of ignorance makes ignorance wisdom. I said "decimate (or worse)". Any attempt to assert that there is a material difference between that and "decimate or worse" is a manifest stupidity. To exterminate a set of people is in many respects worse than killing one in ten of them. I was, therefore, right in what I said.

2. Yes, there are rules of war. Anyone who asserts that that is not so, or that that should not be so, is an actual or potential war criminal.

3. Whatever their religion, Isis are criminals. Their actions, not their religion, make them legitimate targets. The problem is how to stop them. No-one here has ever suggested that what Isis are doing is right or justified. What some have appeared to argue is that if not enough is done about Isis it somehow justifies Israel's (actual or alleged) war crimes. That is another manifest stupidity.

4. It might be interesting to examine whether the sources of Islam (see here - - and as to the forms (yes, plural) of teh Quran see here: - including the Sunnah and the Hadith - do support the establishment by force of a caliphate and the "conversion" by force of those conquered.   I doubt whether any of us here are sufficient Islamic scholars or could in the available time become sufficient Islamic scholars to spread light, rather than heat, on that subject.

5. A side question would be the reliability of the text of the Quran. It is wholly unintelligent to assert that its form is divinely cast and certain in that there is no single text that predates Uthman's consolidation of previous texts.   

6. What is the best way to stop Isis? Previous US reliance on air power has largely led to disaster, or, over time, the worsening, in one way or another, of the situation, in many different places. Is a ground war likely to be more effective? The Nigerian experience with Boko Haram is a poor parallel because of the systematic weakening of the Nigerian army, over a considerable period, for political reasons - but the experience of ground forces in Afghanistan should worry those who want armies sent in.