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Why do we continue to believe killing & war will lead to peace?

To The Daily Sun,
I had the privilege of listening to Mark Welton at a meeting the other day. In addition to being a retired JAG, he spent a good portion of his career as a professor of international law and a noted scholar of Islam. He taught at West Point for many years, as well as at Stanford University, Georgetown Law School and The Pentagon. He lived in the Middle East, married a Iranian Muslim woman who converted to his Episcopalian faith. He donated 1,100 books from his personal collection on the history of Islam and Muslims to West Point.
Professor Welton was able to give us an overview of how Muslim faith and lifestyles has evolved. Those of us at the meeting learned much about truths and myths concerning Muslims and Islam.
He gave enlightening and insightful straight forward explanations of Shari'a Law, Jihad and the Koran that dispel many of our false beliefs and prejudices. We were given insight into the spiritual and secular beliefs of the Muslim world. Welton defined the meaning of Shari'a Law. It means the path, and gives guidance to how people should live lives. Shari'a Law is not standardized; it is different in many countries where Muslims live. The Koran was compiled two hundred years after Mohamed died. The meaning of Jihad has evolved over time. There is no central person to interpret Islamic Law: there are many voices and scholars who provide the intent, significance and purpose of the law.
There are three main components of the Koran which are meant to guide Muslims:
1. Family Guidance — discussing marriage, divorce and family life;

2. Criminal Law — violations, murder and property;

3. Commercial Law — referring to religion and business. Islamic Commercial Law does not charge interest. This is a standard applied worldwide.

In Part Two of his discussion, Welton talked about radicals and terrorism. Of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world 80 percent are very much like Americans in that they are democratic and moderate in their daily lives and how they practice their religion. Moderates can be part of public life as long as they do not violate traditional laws. The other 20 percent are known as the Puritans and Traditionalists. The Puritans are radical. They are the ones who have a major problem with Western culture. They practice the piety of their ancestors and want their religion to be pure, perfect and idealized. An idealization which never really existed except in myth. They want to go back to the "Golden Age" of Islam.
This group hates their colonial legacy because of the various ways they were mistreated by the British. It is well known that they were "treated worse than dogs". The British carved up their territories creating "false borders."
This group is referred to by various names:
1. Daesh, which is a very derogatory term;

2. ISIS;

3. ISIL.

The above mentioned basically meaning: Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Uprisings are nothing new: it happens in any civilization that lasts centuries. What do they want? Two things:
1. To make the Western world so disgusted as to leave them to fight their own wars;

2. Reaction against, and rejection of, Muslims in the West. They want the Western world to marginalize them and thus they can be recruited to fight against a perceived enemy.

Professor Welton has taught and strongly suggests that we NOT fight their type of war because that would be "playing right into their hands." Welton stressed "know your enemy" and their philosophy. Know that the Puritans are trying to turn this conflict into a worldwide fight. He suggests, "don't fight their type of war, do not play into their hands."
Iraq has been in existence for 2,500 years. Other Muslim countries in the area were created only 60 years ago. Their borders were artificially drawn by the British without consideration to the tribes in those areas.
During this meeting we were able to ask many questions. I can truly say that we came away from his talk with a new insight of Muslims and Islam and indeed much more free of ignorance and misunderstanding of our fellow human beings. The knowledge, background and experience that Mr. Welton shared was priceless. Maybe we should actually try to learn about others rather than blindly being stampeded by fear, ignorance, and hate. Maybe we should try something more useful than being rushed into counterproductive action being whipped up by those who are driven by their own personal political ambitions.
"When I look at everything going on in the world, my heart truly aches. Why can we not understand, we are ONE? Why do we continue to believe killing and war will lead to peace? How do we get fooled, into believing some lives are more valuable than others? Why would we consider anything other than providing refuge, to those in need? How can we be humans, without humanity?" — Anonymous

Bernadette Loesch

Laconia

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Obama has spent entire presidency vilifying the private sector

To The Daily Sun,

We are drawing to the close of year seven for Barack Obama's presidency. The nation is fractured along ideological lines. The electorate is divided and divisive as any time in modern history. Tens of millions of Americans are anxious, tired or angry — sually all three. These feelings have blown the political doors wide open for Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders trying to monopolize on the pent-up frustration ignited by Obama's failures. The old joke used to be the fear was government was on its way to "help" you. The new joke, government at the minimum is on it's way to "screw you." How could voters believe anything else. Only the wealthiest among us have seen their fortunes rise during the Obama presidency despite his tireless, empty rhetoric promising to improve economic opportunity for the masses.
Recent polls suggest only 14 percent of Americans believe their children will have a better life than they have had. That is the lowest reading ever taken. We are one of the few countries that reflect such deep despair for our future. The people of China and India expect the exact opposite for their children. Depression has indeed set itself in concrete during the Obama years. The economy barely slugs along while the federal reserve has kept interest rates at zero for fear the economy wasn't strong enough to increase rates. The Obama recovery has been the slowest since 1945. The vast majority of jobs created have been low-paying jobs, part time in sectors notorious for low incomes. Productivity improvements that lead to better living standards for all have been non existent. New investment has dried up, banks won't lend, especially to small, risky business. New business start ups are at decade lows in the constant back drop of Obama demonizing businesses of every type as he creates mountains of new regulations that cost hundreds of billions in added expense on them and consumers, all while refusing to reform the tax code which is driving our biggest and best companies to the arms of other countries. Pfizer is just the latest American gold nugget to announce a tie up with a foreign country in order to escape our draconian tax rate that prevents them from competing long term in global markets. Barack Obama knows exactly what the problems are. He simply refuses to fix them for fear any fix might get politically out-of-hand, costing Democrats the election. This leaves the average American on Main street "hung out to dry."  And "hung out to dry" they surely have been. If what I say is wrong, why is Hillary Clinton's biggest promise to rescue the falling fortunes of hundreds of millions in the middle class? Obama talked a lot, but that is all he did. If Obama, one of the biggest liberals of all time, refused to do it, why the hell would any one think Hillary will, or has the vaguest idea how.
Fifty-nine percent of Democrats say they want Hillary to emulate the presidency of Obama. Is that not insanity given where this nation has withered to both economically, socially and militarily over the past seven years. Who in their right mind wants the rich getting richer as more government programs go broke as they have under Obama while the national debt keeps ringing all-time-high bells. The Federal Reserve, through bond buying and other liquidity measures, has injected 23 TRILLION DOLLARS into the economy to stimulate it, but it still barely breathes while Obama's "no cost interest rates" has made millionaires into billionaires through stock by-backs with FREE MONEY.
Barack Obama has spent his entire presidency vilifying the private sector, banks insurers, utilities, and health care to name a few while he has continually mocked institutions he does not control like the Supreme Court, Congress and the Seanate. Almost all his condescension came to cheering crowds of hard-core Democrats. It should surprise no one that Donald and Bernie's are finding success in exploiting and expanding the incredible loss of public faith in this country over the past seven years.
I end with this question. When did one of the most politically-connected, scandal-ridden, Wall Street-centric multi millionaires all of a suddenly become in touch with the plight of the less fortunate and the middle class?
Tony Boutin
Gilford

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