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vanaabegra
http://www.dansimmons.com/news/message.htm

That. The link. Clicky-Clicky, I'll wait. No, read it now, goddammit. Yes, it will take you longer than 30 seconds. But you will still read it.

And yes, it has been posted all over LJ today. To bad, I am posting it too.

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I think he is taking the logical extreme of the current "war on terror." After reading End of Faith, I can see where he gets the idea for the end-state he describes. And it is a good story too. One of those chilling moments where you can see the world he describes, and you can see the path of how it gets there. There are a few more books I need to read to get a better understanding, but from what I have read thus far, it is not entirely implausable. Except for maybe the time travel within two generations. :) But, war is the mother of invention.

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So how do we aviod this path?? Just leave?? Acceptance?? You do understand that radical Islamists want you dead too. They don't care if you accept them or not. They want you dead or one of them in their faith and Emily and her daughter in a total body vail waiting for a male to provide them with instructions for the day. I know you don't argee with Bush but to just let radical theology slide and not making it accountable to humanity is wrong. The war in Iraq is not about oil or Bush's vanity - you are thinking too narrow. Its about creating unstability in the radical theology (which is government there) and trying to offer a chioce which shows the grace and dignity of humanity. I hope I never have to live wearing a vail because we failed to act - if we tried to fight this monsterous theology and I still have to wear a vail at least I fought.

I started thinking along those lines after reading End of Faith. Maybe the Neocons were on to something, and that Afghanistan was about crushing a theocracy, and Bush already did not like Iraq, so lets hit them. WMDs were the original BS reason, and maybe the neocons had the whole upset theocracy mindset all along (but Iraq was not a theocracy - maybe it was just a juicy target and a way to get an additional 150k troops there). Hey - even Bill Maher says if Iraq works [democracy], maybe they were right, they still should not have lied about it...

But what scares me is that the people there seem to be voting in a theocratic government. Afghanistan just tried a man for Apostacy. Go look it up. I had to. They took the easy road and let him get asylumn in another country. But my friend jschmidt pointed out that other Muslim dominated countries have had apostacy trials fairly recently, and had to wake up to (at the time) the 20th century and realized that their theocracies and religious trials were not going to help them in the real world.

If it is an all out religious war and the end goal is to stop a rising Caliph and jihad against all non-muslims, then maybe Bush should listen to his Generals and commit more troops and get it over with. OTOH, I am not a war hawk, and would really like it if they would just wake the fuck up and get over their religion. That would actually be my preference. But I realize it is not likely.

I would like to point out to people that the christian conservatives in this country keep talking about the laws being based on the bible. Ahem. Which parts specifically? Do we get to exile people for wearing cotton-poly blends? Kill people for crop rotation? Stone misbehaving children? If you think our government needs more religion, look at Afghanistan and think again.

I think it did start out as a religious bent, them against us - vise versa-- but I think the theology has taken over the conciousness of people. The leaders manipulate minds and make people feel powerful those who have no power in day to day life. I mean it is easier to hate Americans and the fact that we live in the current century then to hate your faith and your cutlure for keeping you down. The reason muslims castrate women in Africa is not because the doctrine tells them so
(although they could twist any writing into saying this was a good idea including Humpty Dumpty) - they have power over a group of people and can control a population (I have my thumb on you and I will stop you from EVER enjoying sex or intamacy -HA_HA_HA). Uncontotrolled power makes one blind to ones own flaws especially if you are driving to get power.
They see people as an end to means -- I get my way/message/POWER if I blow up ... and now we have many/lots of people who hate and not really knowing why.
Our friend Geoff just came back from a trip to the middle east (Egypt etc.) and one night after dinner walking back to the hotel an arab man walking/passing on the other side of the street pointed his finger at him and his friends and made the motion of shooting them. They were simply heading back and this man not knowing them wants them dead. He said he finally understood they hate him. Before he thought oh well maybe we deserve a little angryness we did this and that to them ... now he gets it he lived it. They HATE US and want us dead. (I do aploygize for the use of they --that is not ment to infer towards ALL arab peoples) That to me is frightening.
There are people out there who hate me just because they can. Hate me after you figure out that I'm a bitch or something (or hate me for my beautiful HAIR).
Blending government and religion is a tricky and dangerous mix. Too much and you loose identity and become a tool of "faith mongers" who interpret law and religious doctrine BAD MIX and none and you have a thoughtless governemnt ruled by wims and lose of humanity BAD MIX.
The muslum faith is built around the idea that this world does suck and the next will be better - so if you die early hey you just get there faster. The Judeo-Christian faith believes in an after life but we are not in such a hurry to get there. Mostly becuase we have scared ourselves into beliving in HELL who wants to go there??? But that is for another discussion---- (but yes I don't believe in hell I do believe in an afterlife/heaven and yes EVERYBODY GETS IN -- including Hitler and Stalin and ... ) Well I guess that is a long way to say I can understand the Muslim relation to the afterlife and their value to this life. Am I ready to go NOW? - absolutly! Do I want to die now? - NO!
It is such a frightening era that we are in. But is guess fear of losing power (and your life or whatever ...) unfortunaly is what makes the world move - we feared the communists, we feared the native americans -- history is full of fear.

I hadn't seen it on LJ yet... so thanks for posting it. It was an interesting read (though I do have to re-read it because I was pressed for time).


Good story, worthy of some thought.
My first reaction was the knee jerk one that well it's just his idea for a story, but the rule of Sharia and Dhimmitude are more than just old fashioned religious retoric.
I don't know that it would do much good to point out the bronze age bullshit in the Bible about killing entire cities or the "hidden" Christian belief that they are the inheritors of the earth and everybody els should pile up the treasures of the world at their feet, But they are both in "The Book". Maybe freedom of information and something besides religious schooling will/would "enlighten" the muslims as well.
I also don't really think that the answer to the century war is to be more ruthless, shit we're pretty damn good (and very well armed) at that already, I'm sure the nuclear destruction of Tehran is the fantasy of more powerful people than a SF writer. We've done it before and according to this AM's paper consudered it recently.
Maybe the resolution to the century war lies down another path. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Just some thoughts off a tangent

I did like it, and it's definitely worthy of discussion.

We talked a little this weekend, of course, there's more I'd add on to what I said already.

All of the Children of Abraham follow the same bloodthirsty, covetous lunatic and none are any more wrong than any others. All of the Abrahamic faiths condone slavery and prescribe brutality and murder towards wayward women and children.

Despite all evidence to the contrary that I've seen, I am completely convinced that the Middle East conflicts are over oil. That the people who profit from oil have convinced eighteen year old kids to carry guns to defend themselves against a slightly modified version of their own bloodthirsty, raving, covetous deity does not surprise me.

What I meant by that second paragraph and never really summed up well, I don't think that there would be a war with Islam anymore than a war with Christianity.

And, to babble on some more, while it's going on now, I think that it wouldn't really be possible to force industrialization back that far.

There is a push in this country to go more towards serfdom, and it's destroying the economy. Rapidly. It's just too unstable and I expect that people won't tolerate it for longer than another decade or two. Soon, there will be nothing left for the rich to steal from us.

South America is moving economically forward, Europe is moving economically forward, if Asia ever recovers from their destroyed economy they will move forward too. U.S. workers will be behind them in education, health standards and productivity (as a result of poor education and health standards). And, the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle.

Because speculative fiction is fun, I've got to offer up my own speculations.

I expect that the United States won't remain a superpower for another five decades and I expect that there will be a general destruction of our economy, but I don't think that we'll go back to the bronze age. The planet's enviornment can't handle it.

Fun story! I enjoy alternate histories and "what if" musings from time to time. I don't think I've ever read any of Dan's stuff before.

Islam is dangerous. Christianity is dangerous. Most religions are dangerous. Whatever benign roots they may have came from -- Islam began as a liberating religion for a poor underclass of people seeking a more egalitarian existance -- they are now something else entirely. Oh sure, you can still find some kernels of goodness, some bits that can inspire humans to greatness... but when vital decisions are moored in fantasy, what the hell do you expect to happen when you add in human fear, greed, hate, and all the dark impulses of our kind? It only took a couple hundred years before Islam transformed into something Muhammad would scarcely have recognised. I suspect Jesus would have the same experience.

It's high time we grew the fuck up before millions or billions end up dead over tribal myths and pre-scientific explanations of the world.

but when vital decisions are moored in fantasy, what the hell do you expect to happen when you add in human fear, greed, hate, and all the dark impulses of our kind?

Well said! I may quote you on that someday.

Go ahead, use any of my words that you want. I'll make more.

It just annoys me to no end to constantly see religious apologists say, "but there are so many beautiful truths in my religion!". Sure there are, but there are a metric shitload of "really ugly 'truths'" mixed in too. Now go run along and use your critical thinking skills to sort out the good from the bad, then come back and tell me, given the reasoning skills that lets you discern good from bad, WHY YOU NEED THE DAMN RELIGION IN THE FIRST PLACE? Jettison the baggage and jump ahead a few centuries in moral reasoning, for the sake of all humanity.

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