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Thread: Saving their Souls in Fallujah?

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    Council Member Tacitus's Avatar
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    Default Saving their Souls in Fallujah?

    I don't know what to make of this one. The Seattle Times story describes Marines apparently proselytizing as Christian missionaries in Fallujah.
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...qgospel29.html

    Would this not play into the hands of Al Qaeda's claims that the war in Iraq is cover for a war against Islam? I'm just sort of wondering out loud why a soldier or marine in an Islamic country would think this is a really good idea.
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  2. #2
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Sounds like some idiot's trying to do something he

    has no business doing -- American Soldiers and Marines excel at that. -- and some NCO is NOT doing his job of making sure that doesn't happen...

    Heh. I foresee reverbrations descending from E-ring to the fire team level...

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    Council Member Danny's Avatar
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    Default Yes

    Whomever is doing this should stop, and even as a Christian I can say this with certainty. Constabulary authority doesn't mix well with evangelism. Some well-meaning but unwise young man just needs to be counseled. Good job for a 2nd Lt. Ten or Fifteen minute conversation, everything cleared up.

    However ... I doubt that the story is as big as made out to be in this article. It sounds to me like someone was searching for a story to write.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Nah, LTs need to do LT stuff -- that's an NCO

    failure, pure and simple. I have little doubt his first line boss knows he's doing that -- and NO doubt that he should know and should've never let it happen.

    If, of course it happened at all...

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    Whomever is doing this should stop, and even as a Christian I can say this with certainty. Constabulary authority doesn't mix well with evangelism. Some well-meaning but unwise young man just needs to be counseled. Good job for a 2nd Lt. Ten or Fifteen minute conversation, everything cleared up.

    However ... I doubt that the story is as big as made out to be in this article. It sounds to me like someone was searching for a story to write.

    All true...

    but it was in the Ebird so Ken is prolly right about E-ring reverberations...

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    Council Member RTK's Avatar
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    Default Here's my guess....

    2 COAs.

    1. Someone really believes it's his duty to convert the Fallujah people to Christianity.

    2. Some one or some platoon got their seventh care package from a Christian group and thought it would be funny to hand all the coins out.

    "I'll take 'Second and Third Order Strategic Effects of Tactical Actions' for 2000, Alex."
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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I'll take door 2...

    and the rest of the day off...

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Default

    You have no idea how this is playing in the bayous and backwoods of the bible belt. Oh my gosh the absolute riot that any muslim who takes offense should be crucified (direct quote).... Ouch...
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    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RTK View Post
    2 COAs.

    1. Someone really believes it's his duty to convert the Fallujah people to Christianity.

    2. Some one or some platoon got their seventh care package from a Christian group and thought it would be funny to hand all the coins out.

    "I'll take 'Second and Third Order Strategic Effects of Tactical Actions' for 2000, Alex."
    How about "Monty's Cookie Jar (a variant on Door Number 2)--
    Some evangelist gave the young stud a bunch of coins prior to deployment--sort of like the lady who got on the bus I was taking from San Fran International to Travis AFB en route to places Oriental. She gave me a handful of religious tracts and said, "Read this son and pass some out. It will comfort you when your plane crashes into the Pacific, like mine did."
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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default White's Razor...

    Where Joe is involved, never put down to serious intent anything likely to be seen by him as 'fun' ...

    IF it happened at all. That is a McClatchy report...

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default This just in...


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    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Default

    Can anyone tell me about what exactly those being deployed to Iraq are being taught about Islam's views on converts? Specifically what is being taught about those who convert from being Muslim. From what I've read, this is the most evil of actions. Infidels are apparently better than those who convert away from Islam. (This isn't meant to sound critical. I am actually curious about what troops are being taught.)

    Adam L

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    Default

    You cannot single-handedly accomplish the mission. But you sure can screw it up.

    Flagrant stupidity should be an offense meriting judicial punishment under UCMJ. It is certainly more damaging to the mission than smoking pot during leave or getting a DUI (both candidates for UCMJ action).

    Target practice with a Koran in Iraq (a Lithuanian Soldier and two ANA Soldiers were killed in Afghanistan after people freaked out over this) and handing out coins with bible verses in Fallujah (thanks for reinforcing the AQI propaganda) seem to fit neatly into that category.

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    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmedlap View Post
    You cannot single-handedly accomplish the mission. But you sure can screw it up.

    Flagrant stupidity should be an offense meriting judicial punishment under UCMJ. It is certainly more damaging to the mission than smoking pot during leave or getting a DUI (both candidates for UCMJ action).

    Target practice with a Koran in Iraq (a Lithuanian Soldier and two ANA Soldiers were killed in Afghanistan after people freaked out over this) and handing out coins with bible verses in Fallujah (thanks for reinforcing the AQI propaganda) seem to fit neatly into that category.
    You are absolutely right. It's hard to get things right, but it is too easy to screw things up. Incidents like this have almost unlimited utility as propaganda for our enemies. It actually plays into their long running propaganda that we have been waging a holy war against them. On your point of judicial punishment, you have a good point. I am not familiar with the UCMJ. As far as I am concerned, with it being all but impossible for someone not to know how people have reacted to similar incidents in the past, this is reckless endangerment at minimum.

    Adam L

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    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Default

    Ironically enough, this "Christian" gets a FAIL for "obeying the authorities God has placed over him...."

    We have an idiot on post who tries this crap with our COBs. He hasn't been UCMJ'd.... yet.

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    The unformulated question in my mind is could this be an example of America producing our own radical Christian analog to Al Queda? That is likely a poor way to phrase it, but this Marine went against all of his training, did something so far from mission, and all of this following another severe incident involving the physical destruction of the Koran.

    If it isn't psyop/IO on the part of Al Queda they aren't trying hard enought.

    It could just be media sensitivity to the issue rising from the previous incident.

    When patterns start to emerge there is usually agency behind them even if we don't understand it.

    Musings sorry.
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    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Post I think the answer is probably no

    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    The unformulated question in my mind is could this be an example of America producing our own radical Christian analog to Al Queda? That is likely a poor way to phrase it, but this Marine went against all of his training, did something so far from mission, and all of this following another severe incident involving the physical destruction of the Koran.

    If it isn't psyop/IO on the part of Al Queda they aren't trying hard enought.

    It could just be media sensitivity to the issue rising from the previous incident.

    When patterns start to emerge there is usually agency behind them even if we don't understand it.

    Musings sorry.
    The key things to remember here are

    1- Soldiers have a mission and that is to secure a population so that it's governance can learn how to take care of it.
    The key thing missing in the thought processes behind both incidences (besides perhaps a little bit of psychosis in one) is the understanding that for that population the one thing they have felt secure in throughout all the crap in their recent history is their faith(emphasis added). As a soldier the issue of whether their faith is correct or even fair is irrelevant but as a human being our soldiers also carry beliefs which help them make it through trying times.

    The real question is how to get everyone to accept that if you truly believe what you believe then it can and will speak for itself through your actions, words. I don't think this soldier sat at home making up those coins but probably some very caring individuals here who don't know the culture nor see the implications on a mission they don't understand probably provided them.

    That said there is a point at which we should set forth limits for our actions in so far as if we become expected to put aside our own beliefs and yet are required to be receptive to the local messages then we are failing to set the example of freedom of religion within our own ranks. This is an area where we simply let actions speak louder than words. We probably just need to work harder on making sure our soldiers know what that really means.

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    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Default Eschatological Religions

    Religions that focus on eschatology, which BTW includes the whole Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, tend to be much more focussed on what happens in the afterlife than in the current life. As a result, such true believers have little problem with martyrdom and the effects on the living of other actions that they may take in this world, as long as those actions do not hinder the actors' chances of achieving a better state in their afterlives. For example, I heard a minister say, post 9-11, that he was not really concerned about the increased danger of flying--he viewed it as a blessing because he might die sooner and, therefore, be reunited with God sooner. He said he had no fear of death since death brought a greater reward for him. He also had no real concern with the impact of his plane crashing on the other passengers and those who might be in the path of the debris.

    I think it is probably pretty hard to engage in a rational argument with those who hold ardently to such beliefs about the impact of one's actions in the here and now on the folks who continue to live on after that person goes to his/her "reward."
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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default Home grown fanatics....

    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    The unformulated question in my mind is could this be an example of America producing our own radical Christian analog to Al Queda?....

    When patterns start to emerge there is usually agency behind them even if we don't understand it.
    You know, Sam, you folks have had your AQ analog for quite some time now both at the ideological level (e.g. the Moral Majority, some of the extremist White Supremacist groups, etc. BTW, I'm not saying they are the same outside of their analog as fanatical ideological groups ) and at the level of action cells (the Militia movements, etc.).

    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    Religions that focus on eschatology, which BTW includes the whole Judeo-Christian-Islamic tradition, tend to be much more focussed on what happens in the afterlife than in the current life. As a result, such true believers have little problem with martyrdom and the effects on the living of other actions that they may take in this world, as long as those actions do not hinder the actors' chances of achieving a better state in their afterlives.
    Good point, WM. The type of radical transcendentalist theology that really pushes the eschatalogical agendas in this tradition usually doesn't change until its believers get their faces rubbed in it. For Judaism, it was the period from 68 bce to 135 ce that did it, for most of Western Christianity, it was the Thirty Years War and its aftermath. So far, no analog fr Islam comes to mind...

    Quote Originally Posted by wm View Post
    I think it is probably pretty hard to engage in a rational argument with those who hold ardently to such beliefs about the impact of one's actions in the here and now on the folks who continue to live on after that person goes to his/her "reward."
    True. And have you also noticed that, in its extreme form, it also never seems to impact their judgement of what will happen to them in the afterlife?
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    Council Member wm's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by marct View Post
    You know, Sam, you folks have had your AQ analog for quite some time now both at the ideological level (e.g. the Moral Majority, some of the extremist White Supremacist groups, etc. BTW, I'm not saying they are the same outside of their analog as fanatical ideological groups ) and at the level of action cells (the Militia movements, etc.).
    Actually, I think it has been around in what was to become the USA since around 1620 when a group of folks landed at Plymouth Rock.

    Good point, WM. The type of radical transcendentalist theology that really pushes the eschatalogical agendas in this tradition usually doesn't change until its believers get their faces rubbed in it. For Judaism, it was the period from 68 bce to 135 ce that did it, for most of Western Christianity, it was the Thirty Years War and its aftermath. So far, no analog fr Islam comes to mind...
    It has a habit of resurrecting itself (pun intended) until it gets slapped back down through other corrective belief experiences--I think most folks can identify further, more modern examples for Judaism after the Zealot Rebellion or Bar Kochba. And WWI played an analogue to the 30 Years War for Christianity IMHO. I think the latter half of the 19th Century and the establishment/success of the modern Israeli nation state ought to be belief correcting experiences for eschatological Islam but, for reasons that elude me, have not yet become such.
    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit
    The greatest educational dogma is also its greatest fallacy: the belief that what must be learned can necessarily be taught. Sydney J. Harris

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