To The Daily Sun,
The United States has negotiated a treaty with the Islamic Republic of Iran that would lift certain economic sanctions imposed upon them because of their perceived nuclear weapons program. In exchange for this, Iran has agreed to certain restrictions and monitoring of their nuclear facilities and activities. These restrictions, even if adhered to, will only delay, not prohibit, Iran's goal of attaining nuclear weapons. The whole process is at best a high stakes Iran has not been bashful about their mortal disdain for the U.S., the West in general, and Israel in particular.
The day after the completion of the contract, Ayatollah Khamenei stated that the state of enmity between our countries does not change with the implementation of the treaty. We are still the great Satan to Iran and, as a kafir (infidel) nation, we can be nothing else as long as Iran remains an Islamic Republic. Remember, Islamic fundamentalists stormed our embassy in 1979 and held 59 members of our diplomatic corps hostage for 444 days. We have not staffed an Iranian embassy since.
There are some historical lessons that would be wise to visit. It involves a crisis faced at the very dawn of our republic. It involves the capture and plunder of U.S. merchant ships by the Barbary corsairs of the Ottoman Caliphate, the enslavement of the crews, the demands for ransom and tribute, their payment by the U.S., and the subsequent breaking of the many treaties negotiated with the various Islamic Barbary states.
During the Revolutionary War and thereafter, the protection for our merchant shipping by the British navy ended. When we resumed international trade after the signing of the peace treaty with Great Britain in 1783, our merchantmen began plying international waters again to Europe and the Mediterranean. This put us in the sights of the Barbary corsairs. They began seizing our ships and enslaving the crews in 1784, demanding ransom and tribute to prevent further plunder and enslavement. Note the time frame. We were an independent nation under the Articles of Confederation, but the Constitution was not signed until 1787 and President Washington and the Congress were not seated until 1789. The Barbary states consisted of Morocco, Algiers, Tripoli and Tunis and were part of the Islamic Caliphate under the Ottoman Empire. Plunder and enslavement of captured infidels and their property is permitted by the Quran and the Hadith Books, which include the Sunna and Surah, which together make up Islamic doctrine and Sharia Law.
The slave markets of these Barbary States were thriving entities and included slaves of all colors and ethnic backgrounds. Their ports were heavily fortified and their ships fast and well armed. Black slaves were captured and brought up from the South and other captives were taken from other parts of the Ottoman Empire and beyond. In addition, the corsairs regularly raided the coastal villages of Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, Holland, Scandinavia and as far north as Iceland. They were mining "white gold" and there were, over time, between one and one-quarter million white captives enslaved and put up for ransom. The slavery in America was racial with mostly white masters and Black slaves but the Islamic masters and slaves knew no color line; it was based on religion. The Masters were Muslim and the slaves were Kafir (non-Muslims or infidels).
In 1785, Thomas Jefferson, our ambassador to France, and John Adams, our ambassador to England, met in London to negotiate with Tripoli's envoy "concerning the pretensions to make war upon those nations who had done them no harm." Ambassador Sidi Haj Abrahaman responded, "It was written in the Koran that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet (submitted to Islam) were sinners and it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave, and that every Mussulman (Muslim) who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise."
This response was reported to Congress (pre-Constitution Congress under the Articles of Confederation). Adams and Jefferson were against paying ransom and future tribute but we did not as yet have a navy to confront the corsairs or their fortifications and so the Barbary states prevailed and were paid.
Individual treaties were negotiated with the various Barbary states from 1786 to 1801, but every one of them was broken and raiding resumed each time after ransom and tribute was paid. The payments over a 15-year period averaged a staggering 10 percent of each year's national budget. Finally, by 1801, the frigates ordered by President Adams were on line and so our newly sworn president, Jefferson, refused all further payments and sent a fleet to the Mediterranean beginning the First Barbary War (1801-1805). This war had to be called off before completion because of serious complications on the seas between the U.S., England and France and the build-up of hostilities between the U.S. and England prior to the War of 1812-15.
After this war was concluded, we were able, with the help of England, who along with other nations had been likewise plundered, to engage the Barbary states in the Second Barbary War.
This all leads up to the fact that none of the treaties prior to 1815 was honored. The only way the raiding and enslavement were stopped was with the application of overwhelming force.
The assessment of the relationship between Islam and any other belief system as presented to Adams and Jefferson by the Tripoli Ambassador in 1785 reflects the correct fundamental Islamic position regarding Infidel nations and kafir. This has been valid from the time of Muhammed through more than 1,300 years of history to the present, including the actions of the Islamic State (ISIL). Islamic doctrine permits deception (Taqiyya) if it protects or forwards the cause of Islam. Flexibility in following either the peaceful early (pre-hiraj) texts or the later (post-hiraj) violent texts of the Quran is granted in Quran 2:106, the abrogation verse. The key sanctions for redress of any oath or contract are found in at least six references in the two most authentic Hadith books, Sahi Bukhari and Sahi Muslim. Iran and its Ayatollah have history and the authority of their holy books to give them sanction to do whatever they so desire to attain the Islamic goal of a pure Islamic world under Sharia Law. This includes the abrogation of any treaty made with infidels. Iran is an Islamic State and Islamic doctrine trumps any standard we as infidels might apply to them.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 09:17
To The Daily Sun,
Seeing Hillary Clinton three times in three days was hardly enough for me. She is so intelligent. But more importantly, she is engaging and empathetic.
Hillary's passion and fire brought down the house at the New Hampshire Democratic Party state convention last weekend in Manchester. In Plymouth, she charmed a room full of local Democrats of all stripes and in Laconia, Hillary hosted a discussion on substance abuse. The latter made the deepest impression, not only because of the moving stories of the Laconia community and their coming together to combat substance abuse, but because of my own experience meeting Hillary.
I was lucky enough to meet with her before the discussion began and told her that my daughter was on Capitol Hill that very minute, trying to convince her elected representatives to put more resources into preventing veteran suicides. Hillary lit up. She was excited to hear about the work my daughter was doing, to make a real difference tackling such a serious problem, and she clearly understood how proud I felt.
I mentioned that my daughter told me that it's not just younger veterans who are suffering from substance abuse and suicide, but that it's a problem among older veterans, too. So you can imagine how I felt during the question-and-answer session an hour later, when Hillary, in her comments, was quick to draw attention to older veterans struggling with such abuse and suicide.
The Hillary I met couldn't be more different from the Hillary I read about in the media. She is a warm, compassionate, thoughtful listener, and I can't wait to see her in the White House.
Patricia P. Schlesinger
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 09:11
To The Daily Sun,
In the heart of Dixie, Alabama has just approved a new science education overhaul for 2016. They will be teaching both evolution and climate change as established science. They have decided they want their kids equipped for the real world of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Being ignorant can have profound consequences in this fast paced and demanding world. Some of the chief proponents of this change are quite religious.
Intelligent Design Theory (ID) is not science. It can't be tested. It can't be verified. It has no gathered lines of evidence. Science attempts to develop hypotheses that best explain the observations in nature. Intelligent design assumes as certain fact that there is a God and then tries to build a case within that box. True scientific explanations always admit uncertainties. ID masks itself as science with ideas like "irreducible complexity" which always crumble when examined.
Science is neutral on a creator, but science isn't neutral about what is established science to this date. While science can disprove a great deal of what religions claim in their texts and doctrines, it is pretty quiet on the notion of a creator. How exactly do you define a creator? Is it an "eternal" ground state? A being? An energy or force? Is it just too incomprehensible for us? Since science can only measure the natural world, how could it ever know anything about an alleged supernatural world? Its not in physical evidence and it certainly has never been measured except in Ghost Busters and old Vincent Price movies.
Evolution can be reconciled with faith if one is intellectually capable of revising their definition of a creator. After all, a "personal God" presented by the fundamental religious texts of Jews, Christians and Muslims really is a case where primitive humans created a creator and "king" in their own image with their own tendencies, willfulness and egotism. What cracks us unbelievers up the most is the notion that an all-powerful, all-knowing deity needs our recognition and worship. It's bizarre to us that an omnipotent creator is obsessed about humans taking notice of him. What kind of omnipotent creator needs our attention?
It amazes me that people can believe this stuff. Worship and obey the king or lose your head. Prostrate yourself or else, slave.
Last Updated on Wednesday, 23 September 2015 09:05
To The Daily Sun,
I'm in the process of compiling a historic walking tour of Meredith Village Cemetery and have hit a few snags and bugaboos.
Does anyone know what year Meredith Village Cemetery (old name Plymouth Street Cemetery) actually started or was consecrated? Has anyone have any of the old Meredith Village Cemetery Association burial records or the minutes to their annual meetings?
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 September 2015 10:14
To The Daily Sun,
I read with interest Bob Meade's letter in which he lauded the Bush tax cuts, again, and criticized Obamacare, again. He was wrong about the tax cuts and what he said about Obamacare confuses the forest for the trees.
President Bush was responsible for two tax cuts, neither of which did much for the economy. The first came during an economic decline and was followed by ... more decline. The second coincided with the beginning of the housing bubble which, when it subsequently burst, nearly destroyed the world economy. If the cuts were responsible for the subsequent growth, such as it was, they led to the collapse, too. But, they weren't. All the cuts did was enrich the so-called job creators who mostly pocketed the money while job growth and wages remained stagnant. Forbes business magazine reported that Politifact found that the claim that the Bush tax cuts led to job growth was "wholly false".
As to Obamacare, Mr. Meade made some good points about problems with the law which should be fixed. The point, however, is that the law did not destroy job growth as the Chicken Littles kept predicting. The law was a decent, though clearly not perfect, compromise between leaving millions uninsured and expanding government involvement in health care.
What we had wasn't working. There were too many uninsured and medical costs were skyrocketing. With Obamacare, there are fewer uninsured and cost inflation has slowed. Most of my doctor friends dislike Obamacare but they acknowledge that it's better than what we had. I wonder what Mr. Meade's solution is to getting full insurance coverage and controlling medical cost inflation?
Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 September 2015 10:09