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Recommended Reading

Top billing! Spengler BOOK REVIEW Reason to pause The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis by Robert R ReillyI am not a regular reader of Spengler except when friends draw my attention to him, but this column had a heavy dose of intellectual and cultural history, theology and epistemology. Much food for thought here ( hat tip to the Warlord):

Mainstream Islam rejected Greek-derived philosophy at the turn of the 12th century, when Abu Hamid al-Ghazali established a theology of divine caprice. In the normative Muslim view of things, Allah personally and immediately directs the motion of every molecule by his ineffable and incomprehensible will, according to the al-Ghazali synthesis, directly and without the mediation of natural law. Al-Ghazali abolished intermediate causes, that is, laws of nature, leaving great and small events to the caprice of the absolute tyrant of the universe.In place of Hellenistic reasoning, Islam turned to a literal reading of the Koran. Robert Reilly recounts Islam’s abandonment of Hellenistic reason, and blames it for the subsequent decline of Muslim civilization and the rise of radical Islam….

John P. Sullivan and Sam LoganLos Zetas: Massacres, Assassinations and Infantry Tactics

Two expert and cutting edge thinkers on Mexico’s narco-insurgency: 

In the aftermath of the massacre, the lead investigator and another police officer were reported missing. Car bombs exploded near a police station and a Televisa office; a grenade exploded in a Puerto Vallarta bar; and, the mayor of Hidalgo was assassinated. The Zetas are suspected in those actions, too. Such is the tempo of extreme violence in areas contested by the Zetas: primitive car bombs, grenade attacks, assassinations, and massacres. Tamaulipas, Nuevo León, and Jalisco-states contested by the Zetas-are deluged by the spate of violence.Urban blockades, or narcobloqueos, are a quasi-political tool recently employed by Los Zetas in Monterrey and Reynosa. For example, on August 14, 2010, members of the Zetas blocked off at least 13 major roads in Monterrey, preventing access to the city’s international airport and major highways entering and exiting the northern industrial city. The narcobloqueos were deployed in the aftermath of a shootout between the military and Los Zetas that killed reputed Monterrey Zeta leader “El Sonrics.” Drivers were carjacked and their cars were used to close the roads. These blockades are a “show of force,” a demonstration of the Zetas’ power….

HG’s World –How Will Two Goliaths Meet?

….Today our national creed has become to spread American style democracy around the globe, even to the point of a gun. The results have backfired in several places as nationalistic tendencies led to the election of leaders now bent on confronting our hegemony by inciting disdain for all things American. We should all be reminded of America’s first foray into imperilism cum, “nation building” in 1900, which saw the Philippines racked with a war of resistance that cost thousands of American and Philippine lives and ended in the United States tarnishing it’s image of being the shinning hope for the down-trodden. Ultimately we left behind a country still struggling to make it’s way beyond the grinding poverty that still resides on many of their far flung islands.Many Americans still see the rise of China in Cold War terms. China is continually referred to as Communist or the Chi-Coms who are still bent on changing the world into a collective farm and concrete block apartments of robotic people dressed in  drab Mao jackets and riding bicycles in mass transit to equally drab work assignments. For anyone who has visited China, you will quickly learn that image has joined Chairman Mao in his tomb. Mao jackets along side Russian style fur caps are sold only to tourists by hundreds of vendors, all eager to gain a middle class existence. This is aptly apparent when one considers that just a short thirty years ago, over 65% of the Chinese people lived in extreme poverty on less than $1 per day, but by 2007 it had fallen to 4%. Today, it is even lower, but still far behind our American standard of living. Bottom line, they accomplished this by emulating the best traditions of liberal Capitalism, not Communism. If anything, China is returning to her roots, as the Communist Party assumes the role traditionally held by the Mandarin class who administered policy for the imperial court. We may not like it, but with the growing nationalist pride many Chinese feel, seeing them elect a firebrand who becomes bent on starting wars is not in any one’s best interest at this time. So in the short run it is better to allow them to progress towards a popularly elected representative government at their own pace.


“Soft Power” theorist Joseph Nye on global power shifts

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