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Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

Debating with the enemy


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Old 07-09-2010, 12:27 AM   #76
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Originally Posted by Hog1 View Post
While I am not much of a proponent of feel good nonsense for the sake of it, where nobody keeps score so nobody loses and....feels bad and the whole juice boxes for evereybody mentality, that is not the issue.
The issue is....Why is a space agency doing diplomatic work?
BTW, John Esposito has an opinion. The truth can be more elusive...
I didn't give you a feel-good argument for the sake of it. I gave you an argument based on serious research. I even pointed out who some of the world-recognized experts on the issues are. In other words, I gave you an educated, reasoned argument.

As the old saying goes, "know thy enemy." While experts can be wrong, most of them are right more often. I'm going to learn from them.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:14 AM   #77
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Originally Posted by Lotus View Post
You seem to be confused in terms of experts. Robert Spencer is a consultant regarding how to militarily engage Muslims. John Esposito is an expert on Islamic culture. The two are not the same. And, considering my original point was about Islamic culture, experts on Islamic culture like Esposito and Rohan Gunaratna are the relevant experts for this argument.
I am not confused at all. Your statement about Spencer is incorrect. He is just as much, if not more an expert on Islam and its culture as Esposito/Gunarantna.

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We can't beat an enemy that we don't understand. The people who study Islamic cultures know Islamic cultures best. I have indicated some of these people already. Now I am reminded of the saying, "You can lead a horse to water..."
I agree, hence my reading of Spencer and others. And regarding your saying, I'll not drink from your watering hole, thank you. It's quite dangerous IMO.

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As for your statement about Sharia law, you vastly oversimplify a complex issue. You seem unaware that through most of the Muslim world, those injunctions remain unenforced, just as injunctions to stone people in the Bible are not enforced here. Also, those Americans who use the Bible to support capital punishment are doing a similar thing. Thus the situation regarding Sharia law is much more complex than you indicate. Perhaps you should read someone like John Esposito or Rohan Gunaratna.
This is quite common, equating the actions of violent Muslims to Christianity in some way. Your comparisons are not accurate or relevant.

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In other words, I offered you an aspect of a complicated situation and you dumbed it down so that you could dismiss it. Again, we can't beat an enemy that we don't understand.
I'm not dumbing anything down. My point with stoning is, it's another instance of Muslim extremeists killing over religious beliefs. And it does occur on a regular basis in countries ruled by sharia law.

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Educating ourselves about Islam helps to fight terror.
I absolutely agree with your point. I understand your position and have researched the issue over the years since 9/11 as well. I think we are focusing on two different elements within the Muslim community, you're focusing on mainstream Muslims who are peaceful and just want a good life for their families. They may not like the U.S., but no more so than many mainstream people in Europe, China, etc. I'm focusing on the violent extremist minority who you cannot reason with or negotiate with. Unfortunately the violent element has a lot more power in that region because they often reach into the governments and will resort to violence.
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Old 07-09-2010, 09:20 AM   #78
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
You are all over the place. I don't know whether you think NASA shouldn't be involved in outreach, we shouldn't do outreach at all or limit our outreach? Or perhaps you really think NASA's new primary mission is to appeal to the Muslim World.
How's this? NASA's job is to do "space stuff". The amount of focus the NASA Administrator should be paying to outreach to Muslim countries should directly correspond to the funding NASA has in its budget for this. The funding amount is zero, so any outreach by the NASA Administrator to the Muslim world should only be incidental and as necessary within the scope of a specific program. It should not be a "top three" priority.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:09 AM   #79
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Originally Posted by Lotus View Post
I didn't give you a feel-good argument for the sake of it. I gave you an argument based on serious research. I even pointed out who some of the world-recognized experts on the issues are. In other words, I gave you an educated, reasoned argument.

As the old saying goes, "know thy enemy." While experts can be wrong, most of them are right more often. I'm going to learn from them.
It appears many experts agree we should "know our enemy" and acknowledge it.

FOXNews.com - Terror Experts Blast Obama Move to Drop References to Islamic Extremism

From the link:
(Sen. Joe) "Lieberman raised the issue in a letter to the White House, saying that "the failure to identify our enemy for what it is violent Islamist extremism is offensive and contradicts thousands of years of accepted military and intelligence doctrine to 'know your enemy.'"
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:11 AM   #80
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Originally Posted by dmek25 View Post
and...
Obama said after the inauguration that he hoped to close Guantanamo within one year, and administration officials admit they won't make that deadline. During the campaign, Obama gave himself no such deadline, and we're judging him here on his campaign promises. He said he would close Guantanamo Bay, and concrete steps are being taken to do so. The promise remains In the Works.
I still say in two years from now when we are getting geared up for elections Gitmo will still be open.
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Old 07-12-2010, 04:42 PM   #81
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
I'm sure it won't be their primary focus, he's on Al-Jazeera and is pitching a sale. The White House backed off?
I guess I was a few days early:

FOXNews.com - Muslim Outreach Not the Job of NASA, White House Says
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Old 07-12-2010, 06:08 PM   #82
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

Quote from article:

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Monday that NASA Administrator Charles Bolden must have misspoken when he told Al Jazeera last month that one of his top priorities is to reach out to Muslim countries.

"That was not his task and that's not the task of NASA," Gibbs said.

Bolden, though, said last month in the interview that it was President Obama who gave him that task. He made a similar claim in February.

The White House also backed up Bolden last week when his remarks first stirred controversy. A White House spokesman last Tuesday said Obama wants NASA to engage with the world's best scientists and that to meet that challenge, NASA must "partner with countries around the world like Russia and Japan, as well as collaboration with Israel and with many Muslim-majority countries."


Funny how now they are throwing him under the bus saying he must have misspoken after last week pretty much agreeing with what he said. I guess someone finally told them it was not the job of NASA. Go figure.
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:18 PM   #83
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Re: Obama directs NASA to Improve Relations with the Muslim World

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Originally Posted by Slingin Sammy 33 View Post
I am not confused at all. Your statement about Spencer is incorrect. He is just as much, if not more an expert on Islam and its culture as Esposito/Gunarantna.

I agree, hence my reading of Spencer and others. And regarding your saying, I'll not drink from your watering hole, thank you. It's quite dangerous IMO.

This is quite common, equating the actions of violent Muslims to Christianity in some way. Your comparisons are not accurate or relevant.

I'm not dumbing anything down. My point with stoning is, it's another instance of Muslim extremeists killing over religious beliefs. And it does occur on a regular basis in countries ruled by sharia law.

I absolutely agree with your point. I understand your position and have researched the issue over the years since 9/11 as well. I think we are focusing on two different elements within the Muslim community, you're focusing on mainstream Muslims who are peaceful and just want a good life for their families. They may not like the U.S., but no more so than many mainstream people in Europe, China, etc. I'm focusing on the violent extremist minority who you cannot reason with or negotiate with. Unfortunately the violent element has a lot more power in that region because they often reach into the governments and will resort to violence.
1) Actually I'm talking about both moderates and extremists and my original comments were directed as such. When moderates are unhappy enough for long enough, they sometimes turn extreme. Therefore we can fight terror in part by recognizing sources of happiness for moderates. Recovery of their historic traditions is such a source. Hence my original point that we can fight terror by recognizing historic contributions of the Muslim world.

2) You don't know that Spencer is a better expert because you haven't read the works of Esposito or Gunaratna. You're just talking out of school here. Read their works and get back to me. Otherwise stop commenting on books that you haven't read.

3) Since you refuse to study texts such as those of Esposito and Gunaratna, and they are widely considered to be experts on Islam, you countermand your own claim that we should be educated about Islam.

2) I did not "equate" violent Islam with Christianity. I just provided context by showing that some similar processes occur. It's not like Islam has a monopoly on religious extremists - ever hear of Eric Rudolph? (and he's just one example). You continue to refuse to contextualize your claims and thereby dumb them down. You're too smart for that.
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