To be sure, many conflicts throughout history have been ostensibly for religious reasons, with many different religions involved. For example, in Christianity, there occurred (just to name a few):
• The Crusades — A series of campaigns from the 11th to the 13th centuries with the stated goal of reconquering the Holy Land from Muslim invaders and coming to the aid of the Byzantine Empire
• The French Wars of Religion — A succession of wars in France during the 16th century between Catholics and the Protestant Huguenots
• The Thirty Years’ War — Another war between Catholics and Protestants during the 17th century in what is now Germany
This list is by no means exhaustive. In addition to this, one could add the Taiping Rebellion and the Troubles in Northern Ireland. Christianity has certainly been a factor in many conflicts throughout its 2,000-year history.
In Islam, we see the concept of jihad, or “holy war.” The word jihad literally means “struggle,” but the concept has been used to describe warfare in the expansion and defense of Islamic territory. The almost continual warfare in the Middle East over the past half century certainly has contributed to the idea that religion is the cause of many wars. The September 11 attacks on the United States has been noted as a jihad against the “Great Satan” America, which in Muslim eyes is almost synonymous with Christianity. In Judaism, the wars of conquest chronicled in the OT (the book of Joshua) at the command of God, conquered the Promised Land.
The point should be obvious that religion has certainly played a part in much of the warfare in human history.
Citizens as well as military argue that these Koranic ayahs are only for self-defense when non-believers endanger Muslim life. It should be noted that a number of well documented religiously motivated massacres by Muslims of largely Christian ethnic groups in the Near East occurred long before the United States became a presence on the world stage, such as the massacres conducted by Tamurlane in the 14th century, the Massacres of Bader Khan in the 1840s, the Hamidian massacres of the 1890s, the Armenian Genocide, Assyrian Genocide and Greek Genocide between 1915 and 1921, and the Simele massacre of 1933.
The warriors in the holy war are urged not to harm non-combatants, women and children, “unless they attack you first.” A point on which they insist is the need for a clear declaration of war before beginning hostilities, and for proper warning before resuming hostilities after a truce. What the classical jurists of Islam never remotely considered is the kind of unprovoked, unannounced mass slaughter of uninvolved civil populations that we saw in New York two weeks ago. For this there is no precedent and no authority in Islam.
Jihad is an unlimited offensive to bring the whole world under Islamic law; Christian crusades a defensive, limited response to, and imitation of, jihad
Just last week, hundreds of Shiite men were coldly massacred by Sunnis near Tikrit, and dozens of Sunni prisoners, in turn, were executed in a Baqouba police station north of Baghdad. There gunshots to the head of helpless captives, mass decapitations. The killers of God are back, and not just in Iraq. In Kenya last week, Somali gunmen from the Al Qaeda-derived Al Shabaab terrorized townspeople by knocking on doors and demanding to know the religion of those answering.
When people answered they were Christian they shot them in the head. Dozens were killed in this way. The United Nations reports a dramatic recent escalation in “high levels” of overtly religious violence, afflicting fully half of the nations of the Middle East and North Africa.
The United Nations reports a dramatic recent escalation in “high levels” of overtly religious violence, afflicting fully half of the nations of the Middle East and North Africa.
In 1986 I, a counter terrorist expert became only one of a few hundred Bounty Hunters in the nation. My coverage originally was most of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Carolina and California. Working closely with law enforcement, I earned undying respect and contacts that culminated arrests on a regular basis.
With no technology and no communications as we have now, raw instincts were the only form of “getting the job done”. It was an art form. Street survival skills and working with Confidential Informants and criminal instincts working inside the box. Bernstein developed the first ever Fugitive Investigative Strike Team (FIST) which the Marshal service had used the same monicure. His methodology was to move fast and possess an inane ability to quickly disseminate information and collect information of acquired increased case-loads and focus his efforts on areas where intelligence indicates the existence of a significant number of fugitives from justice most often using bait to set the trap. His objectives were exact and modified to for each defendant he chased down apprehend as many fugitives as possible. He was relentless and epitomized failure as no option ever. He took risks that other Bounty Hunters and law enforcement literally ran from.
He was also known to all law enforcement agencies that he had the abilities to track down other violators such escaped federal prisoners, parole violators, sex offenders, pedophiles and probation violators.
Bernstein’s work as an undercover investigator proved an incredible asset first with the NYPD working venues from night till dawn. Bounty Hunters infiltrate underground crime operations which result in numerous arrests and filtering critical Intel resulting in hundreds of arrests in bail jumpers. Most of them in narcotic trafficking and other offenses which included homicide, bank robbery, kidnapping, assault, armed robbery, alien smuggling and counterfeiting.
It has become evident to me that US government lawyers have been fettering with justifications and legal acrobatics about interventions to shut down terrorists actions both domestically and globally.
The stonewalling continues to take the proper action against terrorist savagery by both ISIS and ISIL by the intervention of approval of the United Nations. I believe the argument which lies herein is Isis a threat to the United States domestically? Does it justify an attack on Iraqi soil to protect its citizens?
The 2003 involvement in Iraq was perpetrated with alleged Intel that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and therefore posed a threat and gave the US and its allies the right to attack.
Now, the government of Iraq is pleading for the US to lead international efforts to strike ISIL and ISIS military strongholds in Syria to end continuing attacks.
US politicians up for re-election in November are balking to vote for a third military attack and being sucked into a Syrian quagmire, thus avoiding to seek a fresh authorization for the use of military force.
What US politicians is missing or ignoring with their heads buried in the sand and their greedy hands stretched out for CASH is that terrorists have only one agenda and you cannot over analyze or assess justifications to end this conflict. Terrorist groups in Syria are a threat not only to Iraq but other countries and prevalent everywhere.
Terrorism is a cancer or an airborne virus. You cannot treat it. You must kill it permanently or it will come back.
About the author: Scott Bernstein is the CEO of Child Recovery International headquartered in the Research Triangle of North Carolina. He has extensive experience as a Counterterrorist Consultant, International Apprehension Operative, Human & Sex Trafficking Expert and a Military and Law Enforcement Trainer. He is available as a Consultant and as a Speaker. In addition to his LinkedIn profile, you can also interact with Scott on his LinkedIn group http://bit.ly/1LMp2hj.
Scott Bernstein is the founder and director of Child Recovery International (www.thelost.net). They implement unconventional techniques such as criminal profiling, victimology, behavioral Psychology, Neuropsychology, pre-text art and expert skip tracing. To reach CRI (Child Recovery International), reach them at 984-235-4816 or in writing at email@example.com.
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