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Are YOU a Real American?

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Written by Monte

March 18, 2008 at 2:16 pm

Americans of a Lesser God?

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I came across this honest piece at the excellent Blog for Iowa.  Sounds like it was originally published in my home-town newspaper, The Burlington Hawk-Eye.  [That’s beautiful Burlington,  left, at the top.]

I had the following published in the Burlington newspaper last Saturday. I offer it here for people to use, distribute further, etc. My essay is a little long and rambling, but I have been silent too long. And we dare not lose this fight.

David Ure
Burlington, Iowa

~To what lesser God do those people who have no health care insurance belong? What sin did they commit? I have no doubt some of them have made mistakes, made bad choices, engaged in illegal or immoral activities in some instances, didn’t get themselves elected to the state house or Congress; but not all 47 million plus.

The time has come, if we are to continue to call ourselves a nation of God and faith and fairness, for every American to have health insurance. My preference is to plop everyone into Medicare whose operational costs are half to 2/3 lower than the private sector, and allow the insurance companies the opportunity to sell all of us supplemental policies as my elderly, now long-gone, relatives purchased for years.

But I won’t say it has to be this way or nothing. More than anything else, I want to see coverage in place for everyone, and for it to be there in as direct and obvious a manner as can be cobbled together. Read the rest of this entry »

What a Billion Muslims Really Think

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“[N]o one in Washington had any idea what 1.3 billion Muslims were thinking, and yet we were working on intricate strategies that were going to change the world for all time.” (-Jim Clifton, Gallup Chairman and CEO.) But there’s good news:

Muslims prayingIn order to discover what Muslims truly think, Gallup spent 6 years interviewing nearly 50,000 Muslims from 35 countries representing the most comprehensive analysis of the wishes, desires, grievances, complaints, and opinions of nearly 1.3 billion Muslims.

The results were collected and analyzed by John L. Esposito, a leading American expert on Islam and University Professor at Georgetown, and Dalia Mogahed, a senior analyst and executive director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, in their new, groundbreaking work: “Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think.

Get it? For the first time, ever, we have a basis for saying “most Muslims are of the opinion … “ And the conclusions may shake things up.

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When Muslims are asked, “Do they admire anything about the West?” contrast that to Americans when asked, “What do you admire about Muslims?” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Monte

March 6, 2008 at 12:33 pm

Arab Americans, Jewish Americans in agreement: Zogby

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Amazing! American Jews and Arab-Americans are overwhelmingly in agreement about what needs to be done in Israel. Lobbyists must be powerful, indeed, to prevent such a majority from moving forward.

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Strong majorities of both Arab Americans and American Jews still support the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both want an end to the forty years of occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (two-thirds of American Jews and 89% of Arab Americans). Over eighty percent of both Arab Americans and American Jews agree that the U.S. should support negotiations between Israel and Syria, and over three-quarters of both communities favor a diplomatic approach over a military confrontation with Iran.
What is striking about the results is the depth of the agreement. In many instances, the responses given by the two groups are near identical or, at least, within the margin of error of each other.

  blog it

Furthermore, eighty percent of both communities agree with the finding of the Baker-Hamilton Iraq Study Group that “The United States will not be able to achieve goals in the Middle East unless the United States deals directly with the Arab-Israeli conflict” and seventy percent of American Jews and eighty-two percent of Arab Americans support the 2002 Arab League Peace Initiative as the “basis for negotiations.”

Sometimes I wonder how much conflict we’d really have if we just quit believing people who tell us we have irreconcilable conflict. The whole story’s worth reading, here.

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Written by Monte

June 4, 2007 at 4:06 pm

Posted in Iran, Iraq, Islam, Politics, Terrorism

American Muslims and terrorism

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Michael W. Hobson, at Seedlings, asked why American Muslims fail to raise a huge outcry against jihadism. I responded something like this:

It’s a really good question, and sometimes mystifying. But I wonder if such Muslim reticence is more reasonable than it seems. Consider:American Muslims rally against terrorism

Muslims worldwide appear to be asking the West three big questions:

1. Why are so many American troops so close to Islam’s holiest places?

2. Given Israel’s appropriation of territory that modern Palestinians’ grandfathers and grandmothers once cultivated, why does the U.S. government so unqualifiedly and unilaterally arm and encourage Israel?

3. When millions of Muslims long to embrace freedom, and love the idea of free enterprise, why does the U.S. government prop up oppressive regimes that prevent the surge into modernity that they have long sought? (Jordan, Saudi Arabia – and, not that long ago, Saddam’s Iraq and the Taliban’s Afghanistan)

Terrorists answer those questions by assuming the worst about America’s motives. Meanwhile, the U.S. gov’t (USG), busy defending current policies, shrugs off such questions as insignificant. Bill Maher’s line becomes true: “The reason they hate us is that we don’t know why they hate us.”

So the Muslim in America is caught between a rock and a hard place. He or she not only despises terrorism, but finds it heretical. But he or she looks at US policy, and wants to say, “Man! What did you expect?”

Perhaps it seems that America asks American Muslims to go on record against Islamism without a serious American government commitment to facing and removing the motives for terrorism that American and British policies have thrust upon the Middle East for a hundred years. “Why bother?” American Muslims might reason. What good would it do?

Sure, they oppose terrorism – but they also oppose the poverty, tragedy, and fear rampant in the Middle East that are held in place – at least in part – by western foreign policy. And it’s pretty hard for Muslims to side with the USG on terrorism without appearing to join the USG in shrugging off the legitimate questions of their middle eastern brethren.

So, America looks at American Muslims and says, “Why don’t you shout louder against terrorism? You must not be serious!” And perhaps American Muslims look at the deliberate hegemony of neo-conservative foreign policy and say, “When will you stop throwing bait to terrorists? You must not be serious!”
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Written by Monte

September 27, 2006 at 1:42 pm

Posted in Iraq, Terrorism