News+and+politics religion philosophy the cynic librarian: Ike Liked Radical Islam Jihad

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Ike Liked Radical Islam Jihad

The twistings and gyrings of history are often filled with irony and, as Marx noted, farce. Or is it, in this story, that farce becomes tragedy, as Kierkegaard says somewhere?

Be that as it may, a recent story by Richard Dreyfuss describes how Pres. Ike Eisenhower courted a little-known Islamic jihadist to spread the Koran around the world in an attempt to stem the spread of that other, long since dead "axis of evil," Communism.

What's the proper attitude here and response to history like this? Malcolm X once said, quite controversially, that John Kennedy's assassination was a case of "the chickens coming home to roost." I have often repeated this in my diatribes on the Iraq war and the mideast conflicts in general...

Malcolm was not gloating when he said what he did. For him, he was merely stating a fact that a black man who'd been treated as he had would feel and think about the death of the leader of the very nation that had enslaved his family and those with his skin color had endured for over 200 years.

Of course, I have nothing of this background to give me any such backing in my belief and assertion that what has happened in the mideast is indeed a case of "the chickens coming home to roost." If anything, in my case it is shame, anger, and outrage at the actions of my country in that part of the world. And the more I learn about what America does in the name of me and my so-called freedoms, the more my shame increases.

This does not mean that I think all is lost. No, the Islamic people and their culture offer a unique opportunity for the west to regenerate its dead culture and social and economic norms. That's what this war is about; but I am not optimistic about this form of socio-cultural regenration. I believe that American consumeristic ways of life will conquer the world long before the US military does.

As is so often the case in individual lives, so it seems it is the case in history of nations: actions that at one time seem to be in place and logical return years later to kick you in the ass and make you realize how fallible and often self-deceitful are the things we undertake and do.

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