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Old 07-16-2014   #21
Bob's World
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Seriously?

How about Catholics and Protestants virtually every where?
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Old 07-16-2014   #22
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Seriously?

How about Catholics and Protestants virtually every where?
Virtually everywhere...?

RCs and the Prods settled that thing a long time ago and when they did, the settlement was largely preserved I think because of western cultural environment, which of course was influenced by the nature of the religion itself along with the Enlightenment and all that. Slaughtering Episcopalians just isn't done. Unless that Episcopalian wanders into Raqqa where he will have to flee, convert, dhimmi or die.

I'll riddle something back. Suppose IS achieves the supremacy they dream of and establish an unchallenged caliphate that runs from the Atlantic coast to Indian Ocean, north and south as far as your imagination lets them go; do you think they will allow freedom of worship? How long do you figure it will take?
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Old 07-16-2014   #23
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Seriously?
Yes, seriously.

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Why is it that people of these same diverse religions live together in natural harmony when these inequities of illegitimacy, power and opportunity are resolved??
Diverse religions or sects of the same religion?
Natural harmony is a term begging for a propounded definition.
The emphasized text does not comport with any geopolitical region of which one is aware.

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How about Catholics and Protestants virtually every where?
Both have been subsumed, generally, by Western secularism following a long and oft bloody struggle between the partisans (going back to the issue of the Western sociohistorical experience). Of course, "virtually everywhere" still has its flash points.

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More than 700 mainly young Protestant men have been convicted of rioting in protests linked to parades and the union jack dispute in Belfast, it has emerged. The news came ahead of a potentially violent standoff involving Ulster loyalists and a banned Orange Order march in Belfast. As loyalists were preparing to light their bonfires on the eve of the 12 July – the climax of the marching season – Northern Ireland's justice minister, David Ford, told the Guardian that he was concerned that more and more young Protestants were joining the ranks of those already convicted of public order offences.
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Old 07-16-2014   #24
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I see where COL Jones is going with his point, and it is very valid on many angles.

The Protestant-Catholic dramas of Northern Ireland were not about the raw differences between the two sects of Christianity, but rather the privileges and benefits afforded those who were from a particular sect. Definitely inequalities of legitimacy, power and opportunity unresolved.
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Old 07-16-2014   #25
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We are too quick to focus on the sizzle, rather than the steak.

"The sizzle" is those distinguishing factors, be it shared grievance (powerless peasants vs entitled landholders in Asia and virtually every place colonized by Spain); or some characteristic such as race, tribe or sect that has served to determine who is in power and who is out of power.

"The Steak" is the real issue: Governance and Power. When governance is not equitable and when no effective legal means within the context of the culture of the people involved exists to address inequities, or illegitimacies, or flat out abuses of power - Revolutionary energy will build and teams will form along the lines that divide the issue.

Power. When such conditions exist all manner of opportunists will arise to exploit that popular energy to coerce change upon the offending system of governance. Sometimes these are honorable leaders who represent the greater interests of the people. Washington, Ghandi, King to name three. Usually these are individuals and organizations who are either self-serving or seek to advance some darker purpose. If you build it, they will come. Governance builds these conditions, and they always come eventually. They always come.

And governance (and many of those paid experts who advise governance) almost always blames it on the sizzle. This is why so many Kings who ignore these conditions end up with their heads in baskets or on pikes. This is also why these conditions of instability tend to keep coming back even when some insurgent is "defeated." The insurgent is not the insurgency.
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"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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Old 07-16-2014   #26
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Originally Posted by Bob's World View Post
We are too quick to focus on the sizzle, rather than the steak.

"The sizzle" is those distinguishing factors, be it shared grievance (powerless peasants vs entitled landholders in Asia and virtually every place colonized by Spain); or some characteristic such as race, tribe or sect that has served to determine who is in power and who is out of power.

"The Steak" is the real issue: Governance and Power. When governance is not equitable and when no effective legal means within the context of the culture of the people involved exists to address inequities, or illegitimacies, or flat out abuses of power - Revolutionary energy will build and teams will form along the lines that divide the issue.

Power. When such conditions exist all manner of opportunists will arise to exploit that popular energy to coerce change upon the offending system of governance. Sometimes these are honorable leaders who represent the greater interests of the people. Washington, Ghandi, King to name three. Usually these are individuals and organizations who are either self-serving or seek to advance some darker purpose. If you build it, they will come. Governance builds these conditions, and they always come eventually. They always come.

And governance (and many of those paid experts who advise governance) almost always blames it on the sizzle. This is why so many Kings who ignore these conditions end up with their heads in baskets or on pikes. This is also why these conditions of instability tend to keep coming back even when some insurgent is "defeated." The insurgent is not the insurgency.
All well and good but if you are unfortunate enough to be under the IS and you are a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Zoroastrian, a Sikh, a Wiccan or any sort of disapproved of variety of Muslim you have a choice of flee, convert, dhimmi or die.

That's religion.
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Old 07-16-2014   #27
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Default Not So Fast...

The Irish situation is almost a classic situation on how you will have to handle this type of religious war because BOTH sides are claiming the MORAL right to rule....thye fight to establish legitmacy first before all else. Just like Islam! Allah is everything and Allah is always first until that happens nothing else matters.

That is why the 4GW have it right when they say we need to change how we think about these things by using the 3 filters of a Moral level,a Mental level,and Physical level of war before we even get started.

Islam does this very well which is why they are so hard to beat. They establish Moral authority then move to Sharia law and then decide on physical challenges. It is an integrated system which makes them very tough!

Much of our college boy intellectual leadership isn't even capable of this kind of thinking. Compared to our leadership during the Barbary wars who were very well educated, yet most did not even have what by todays standard would be a high school education,but they had learned to think in principles and think through situations very well.
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Old 07-16-2014   #28
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"The sizzle" is those distinguishing factors, be it shared grievance (powerless peasants vs entitled landholders in Asia and virtually every place colonized by Spain); or some characteristic such as race, tribe or sect that has served to determine who is in power and who is out of power.

"The Steak" is the real issue: Governance and Power. When governance is not equitable and when no effective legal means within the context of the culture of the people involved exists to address inequities, or illegitimacies, or flat out abuses of power - Revolutionary energy will build and teams will form along the lines that divide the issue.
Agreed sir but we need to stay abreast of what is going on with that sizzle since that is what the most malevolent actors focus on, and beat the drum about when whipping up more adherents to the cause.

It follows along the line of "some folks are never happy".
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Old 07-16-2014   #29
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Originally Posted by carl View Post
All well and good but if you are unfortunate enough to be under the IS and you are a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Zoroastrian, a Sikh, a Wiccan or any sort of disapproved of variety of Muslim you have a choice of flee, convert, dhimmi or die.

That's religion.
No, that is human nature.

Try being a white settler in Comanche territory in the 1800s; or a black person in white territory in the same period; or an accountant at a biker bar. There are many ways one can be the wrong flavor in the wrong place at the wrong time. Religion is only one of those ways. But it is a way widely leveraged by systems of governance, and it is therefore a way widely leveraged to challenge governance.

ISIS may well be the initial organization in charge of an emergent Sunni state in modern Syria and Iraq - but either they will mellow in time, or they will be replaced by voices that speak more for what the people of that region want going forward, rather than for what they are currently against.
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"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)
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Old 07-16-2014   #30
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Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
The Irish situation is almost a classic situation on how you will have to handle this type of religious war because BOTH sides are claiming the MORAL right to rule....thye fight to establish legitmacy first before all else. Just like Islam! Allah is everything and Allah is always first until that happens nothing else matters.

That is why the 4GW have it right when they say we need to change how we think about these things by using the 3 filters of a Moral level,a Mental level,and Physical level of war before we even get started.

Islam does this very well which is why they are so hard to beat. They establish Moral authority then move to Sharia law and then decide on physical challenges. It is an integrated system which makes them very tough!

Much of our college boy intellectual leadership isn't even capable of this kind of thinking. Compared to our leadership during the Barbary wars who were very well educated, yet most did not even have what by todays standard would be a high school education,but they had learned to think in principles and think through situations very well.

Sorry Slap, put your bible, torch and pitchfork away; and break out a map and history books that attempt to portray English control of the northern section of Ireland from the perspectives of each party equally.

While the treaty of Westphalia essentially stated that "might is right" and that if you can take and hold some land, then you are the legitimate governance over the people who live there - that in no way deletes the fact that those people are unlikely to recognize that legitimacy and will resist that presence and imposed foreign system of governance. Just because the original occupants were Catholic, and the invading occupants were Protestant, does not make it a religious war. It just means the conflict will be waged between parties with different religions.

Same is true of the Jewish occupation of Palestine, btw.

As to 4GW, IMO that is another batch of hocus pocus to rationalize why people dare to resist the wonderful things governance plans for them, but that is a debate for another thread...
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"The modern COIN mindset is when one arrogantly goes to some foreign land and attempts to make those who live there a lesser version of one's self. The FID mindset is when one humbly goes to some foreign land and seeks first to understand, and then to help in some small way for those who live there to be the best version of their own self." Colonel Robert C. Jones, US Army Special Forces (Retired)

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Old 07-16-2014   #31
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No, that is human nature.

Try being a white settler in Comanche territory in the 1800s; or a black person in white territory in the same period; or an accountant at a biker bar. There are many ways one can be the wrong flavor in the wrong place at the wrong time. Religion is only one of those ways. But it is a way widely leveraged by systems of governance, and it is therefore a way widely leveraged to challenge governance.

ISIS may well be the initial organization in charge of an emergent Sunni state in modern Syria and Iraq - but either they will mellow in time, or they will be replaced by voices that speak more for what the people of that region want going forward, rather than for what they are currently against.
...and religion is an intrinsic part of human nature which gets us back to religion.

Religion is indeed only one of many ways to be out of favor but in the particular place and time we are discussing, it is THE way. You want to get yourself killed quick, start passing out Bibles on a Mosul street corner.

I don't share your confidence that IS will prove unpopular and therefore lose its grip on power. The history of the 20th Century shows us well that a group of ruthless, determined and well organized men who have a strong enough police force and some kind of ideology to play off of, in this case a religion, can grab and hang on to power for generations regardless of what the people they rule want or don't want.

Your outlook seems to be guided by the idea that secular concerns trump all. I think that is a grave error. Religion and religious belief have been amongst the most powerful drivers of human action, as we are witnessing right now and as history has witnessed for all the time it has been watching. For these guys, secular is not the prime concern, religion is.

This is not an academic point. It is important that we accurately gauge the motivations of the enemy because they will cause us to take different paths when contesting them. In this case if the motivation is religious, then the most important allies we can seek are people of religious standing and Muslims who oppose takfiri killers on religious grounds. If the motivation were at its heart secular (which it is not) then the aforementioned people are just nice to have, not vital.

David posted a number of things on a thread about moderate Muslims, to include an excellent TED video by a woman who was born in Algeria and saw the conflict there first hand. She wrote a book about Muslims who risked and are risking their lives to voice opposition to the takfiri killers. Those people are actually more vital to us in this fight than the spec-ops super soldiers and the drones. We must recognized that and support them to the extent we can.
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Old 07-16-2014   #32
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Those people are actually more vital to us in this fight than the spec-ops super soldiers and the drones. We must recognized that and support them to the extent we can.
Bingo!!!

That speaks to the question I have carried for a long time, which wonders whether we are investing enough resources to strengthen those moderate voices. If they are more important than a FID actor or a kinetic drone, what are we doing to demonstrate that importance?
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Old 07-17-2014   #33
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Bingo!!!

That speaks to the question I have carried for a long time, which wonders whether we are investing enough resources to strengthen those moderate voices. If they are more important than a FID actor or a kinetic drone, what are we doing to demonstrate that importance?
I think this is the key to ultimately quelling the violence in these sectarian conflicts. However, I don't think "we" should or can empower them. How much money does it take? How much money did Martin Luther King need to start a movement? Different issue, but I don't think credible voices need a lot of money. We're not talking about buying air time and putting out propaganda that will fall flat to begin with, especially if the audience thinks we support it.

We can't resolve their religious conflict anymore than we can mandate a peace between Israel and Palestine. We may be able to help mitigate it, and we can certainly target the actors that threaten us, but I suspect this will be a long fight.

I recall someone else who shared Bob's secular view and that was Paul Wolfowitz (or witless). If you recall prior to invading Iraq he stated there was no ethnic conflict, so somehow this key advisor and architect of the war seemed to forget the recent history (post DESERT STORM) uprisings of the Kurds and Shia. What he saw in Baghdad is Saddam imposing a relative peace between the different ethnic/religious groups just like Tito maintained an imposed peace by recognizing the Muslims as a separate group, which incised the Serbs and they took revenge (religious conflict) when presented with the opportunity.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worl...se-report.html

Religious conflict in global rise - report

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Violence and discrimination against religious groups by governments and rival faiths have reached new highs in all regions of the world except the Americas, according to a new report by the Pew Research Centre.
http://www.religioustolerance.org/curr_war.htm

Religiously-based civil unrest and warfare

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The role of religion in civil unrest and war:

Often, the media does not identify the precise causes of some of the conflicts around the world. Clashes are frequently described as being ethnic in origin, even though religion may have been a main cause.

The true causes of unrest are sometimes difficult to determine. Frequently, there are a mixture of political alliances, economic differences, ethnic feuds, religious differences, and others:
I think they're right, most conflicts are due to a variety of issues, but the predominate issue/identity factor frequently is religion. This has nothing to do with steak and sizzle. That is simply an attempt to sound superior, the analogy is void of any intellectual rigor. You can't wish religion away by calling it sizzle.

Is governance/government going to be part of the solution ultimately? Most certainly, there won't be a solution without it, but good governance alone won't be enough, credible religious leaders will have to work with the government as part of civil-society to convince the different religious groups to stop fighting. Much easier said than done.
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Old 07-17-2014   #34
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Another site worth looking at for exploring the topic in further detail. I used the word explore instead of argue, because the bottom line is religion, identity politics, governance, and economics all play a role. The only outliers are those who are attempting to dismiss the power of religion altogether.

http://www.center2000.org/northern-ireland/

Northern Ireland

Roman Catholics versus Protestants

Quote:
Though many allege that this conflict and ensuing violence may not be the result of any single cause, there appears to be little doubt that if the emphasis on the religious-based differences has not been the cause, it has certainly contributed to and exacerbated an already difficult situation.
Actually his was mostly about political power, but religion is being leveraged.
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In spite of the 2007 peace agreement serious tension remains between the Catholics and the Protestants. In early 2013 the Protestants hung out the English flag in vast numbers, a move which offended the Catholics. Violent demonstrations erupted. This was not the first time, nor probably the last, that that such actions would be on display. As the French are fond of saying: “the more things change, the more they remain the same”.
http://www.center2000.org/indonesia/

Indonesia

Christians versus Moslems

Quote:
Until his demise, Suharto, the former president, had been able by sheer force, to repress these differences in this and throughout this nation of 13,000 islands. Until now, that is.

Today, the fear is that the violence in places like Ambon will spread. Already, one sees similar clashes in the resort island of Lombok, attacks on churches in Jogjakarta and rallies in the capital of Jakarta itself, where tens of thousands of Moslems enraged by accounts of violence against them, shout their readiness to die in a Moslem holy war.
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As Strategic Forecasting wrote in its February 13, 2002, intelligence briefing, the so-called Indonesia Island Agreement recently signed won’t halt religious clashes, stating the “Rival Christian and Moslem factions in Indonesia’s Molucca Islands signed a peace agreement Feb. 12, 2002. But given the highly volatile conditions, there is little reason to believe the violence will end any time soon.”
This gets to my previous point, ultimately the religious leaders have to agree to stop the fighting, and this creates an opportunity for the government to help ensure the peace through better governance.
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Old 07-17-2014   #35
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Bill,

You are an ideolog. I won't cure that.

I give you rigor, and you dismiss it. I give you common sense, and you dismiss it.

This is why ideology works. It blinds one to the facts before their face.

If we focus on governance and oppression there are cures to conflicts that history bears out. If we focus on ideology there are no cures. Governments being challenged by popular uprising tend to disparage their challengers and to blame causation on anything other than their own governance. This is what politicians do.

I'll let you all enjoy your pity party on this thread. There is no profit to be made in jumping on the "ideology made them do it" band wagon - or in trying to steer that band wagon onto a path actually based on fact.
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Old 07-17-2014   #36
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I think this is the key to ultimately quelling the violence in these sectarian conflicts. However, I don't think "we" should or can empower them. How much money does it take? How much money did Martin Luther King need to start a movement? Different issue, but I don't think credible voices need a lot of money. We're not talking about buying air time and putting out propaganda that will fall flat to begin with, especially if the audience thinks we support it.

We can't resolve their religious conflict anymore than we can mandate a peace between Israel and Palestine. We may be able to help mitigate it, and we can certainly target the actors that threaten us, but I suspect this will be a long fight.
I think there are some things we can do, not big dramatic 'Operation Yanks to the Rescue' type things, but there are things. For example, if Mr. Obama or various governors to take note of Muslims who oppose the takfiiri killers and publicly honor them, that would be a good thing. Honorary degrees are good things. Things like that are useful. If a Hollywood producer took note of it, on his own without gov prompting, that would be a great thing. We should publicly recognize these people and their bravery. It is wrong that PC makes us afraid to do that. They are not afraid and their lives are actually at risk.

Also perhaps we could, on the qt, expand what we consider to be the 'us' that we will act to defend against threats. That might be helpful also. For example, if the people who shot Malala were to be found mysteriously dead in the street one day, I think bit by bit, that would be good.

Your ultimate point is good though, we can't do it, they will have to. But I think there are things we can do to help.
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Old 07-17-2014   #37
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When the 'oppressed' are demanding a state on theological formulations what secular grievance would one suggest government focus upon (outside the religiously motivated calls for its dismantling and replacement)?
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Old 07-17-2014   #38
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When the 'oppressed' are demanding a state on theological formulations what secular grievance would one suggest government focus upon (outside the religiously motivated calls for its dismantling and replacement)?
That is an excellent question!
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Old 07-17-2014   #39
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Religion is often the primary identifier in conflict, but it is rarely the primary instigator. N Ireland exemplifies this. The drivers are Fear, Honour and Greed (welcome back my old friend Thucydides ), primarily power and resources. The Troubles are focused almost entirely in time and space on deprived urban ghettos on both sides of the sectarian divide. The middle classes in N Ireland may not talk to each other, but they certainly do not fight each other.

I believe that it is an accepted social trend that the more affluent and secure a society is the less religious fervor is apparent. This would seem to link with religion as an identifer and not necessarily an instigator.

The problem in the Middle East at the moment is that religion is seen not just as an identifier but as a solution, and under many of the brands of Islam being marketed, a solution that brooks no compromise (and compromise is the essence of politics).
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Old 07-17-2014   #40
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Religion is often the primary identifier in conflict, but it is rarely the primary instigator. N Ireland exemplifies this. The drivers are Fear, Honour and Greed (welcome back my old friend Thucydides ), primarily power and resources. The Troubles are focused almost entirely in time and space on deprived urban ghettos on both sides of the sectarian divide. The middle classes in N Ireland may not talk to each other, but they certainly do not fight each other.

I believe that it is an accepted social trend that the more affluent and secure a society is the less religious fervor is apparent. This would seem to link with religion as an identifer and not necessarily an instigator.

The problem in the Middle East at the moment is that religion is seen not just as an identifier but as a solution, and under many of the brands of Islam being marketed, a solution that brooks no compromise (and compromise is the essence of politics).
I think we risk misleading ourselves when we use Northern Ireland as a paradigm for what we're seeing in Muslim lands. This gets back to cherry picking an example of religious conflict (in this case it is actually is a political power conflict) to fit the proposal that governance is the fix.

If you look at other examples, oppressive governance has been effective in suppressing violence between sects (Indonesia, Iraq, Syria, Yugoslavia, etc.), but when the oppressive government loses the means to oppress (by whatever means) we often see sectarian conflict. Other forms of governance that don't discriminate, provide opportunity for all, etc. also seem to work if they can get to the left of the problem. I'm not aware of any historical examples, where changes in government policy (other than oppressive) have resolved deep rooted religious conflicts without religious leaders (civil society) mutually agreeing to stop the violence.

Bob is calling the kettle black in my opinion, the ideologues in the U.S. were the neo-conservatives who pushed for regime change in Iraq, Afghanistan, and hoped for more regime changes in the Middle East during the Arab Spring in the belief that if democratic governments were installed peace would break out throughout the land. Wolfowitz dismissed the potential for religious strife in Iraq, and the civil war that erupted between Sunnis and Shia has spread throughout the region. While I respect Bob's views, and I think they will ultimately play an important role in the ultimate solution, I don't think you focus on government while excluding the reality of religion's impact.

Yes Bob despite your excessive arrogance in tone, I actually agree with much of what you write. The problem is it is not complete.
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