These are a couple of respones of mine to a blog. I have written two messages I thought might interest you.  They are directed to

In response to The World Post July 20, 2015 John B. Alexander, Ph.D. Retired Senior Military Officer and Retired Los Alamos National Laboratory ISIS: The Latest Bean Counter's Folly (Sorry this is in purple, like it was done by a pimp, Black and blue have already been taken.)

I thought you might be interested.  My first message is:

I agree, and I think any thoughtful person will agree.  So what is the relevant alternative to a materialistic quantitative analysis of global strategy?  My personal exposure to Islam has been minimal, but my sense is that there are a few very strong elements.  One is a sense of honor.  People in that part of the world wish to see themselves as honorable and look for such friends.  The speed with which we will change is dizzying.  One moment we are close enough to Libya that the Scots send a known terrorist to them.  The next moment we contrive to  let Quadaffi be murdered by an angry crowd.  Second factor is Religious and cultural tradition. They love it.  We despise it.  The Shah was set up by treachery and proceeded to undermine their culture.  Another factor is local loyalty.  In many countries the "country" is a myth only we believe in, like Iraq.  If we insist on having countries we should at least support the obvious partitions.  But we, for opaque reasons, are terrified by partition even though it's known to work as in Yugoslavia.  But partition as you will, it's still the local leader people will respect.  And guess what?  He's honorable, loyal and traditional.  The final thing is family.  In parts of the world where  you can't just get anything for cash, family loyalty is primal.  If anything it trumps the tribal leader.  We have no interest in family at all.  We'll have sex with anybody.  We almost never marry cousins, even though biologically the necessity to do so is absolute: the alternative is to have such low fertility as to die out.  They almost always marry cousins.  Can you imagine how that makes them want to gag?  Just think of your own reaction when somebody crosses our own lines and has sex with a child, a corpse or an animal.  That's what we look like.  That's what your proverbial beans can't count.
As I said, I have little experience and can only give my own impression. 

My second message:
I think it’s clear we are all highly impressed with your analysis.  Let me add a little more to what I was saying before about what it seems to me that ISIS and others are thinking.  Obviously they are at war with us and they hate America, but what do they think America is?  Well for that matter what do we think America is?  We might be a geographical area, and indeed we go frantic at the notion of losing territory.  But if someone were to offer to sell us territory we’d probably be in a buying mood as we have been before.  And if someone else is losing territory be it a friend like the British Empire or an enemy like the Soviet Union (I do not think of Russia as an enemy.  Vladimir Putin has not said, “We will bury you,” as Nikita Nikita Kruschev memorably did.) we tend to stand by rather smugly.  So we are not the land.  Are we the people?  Many of us think so but the government does not agree.  If there is a population decline threatening we are only too happy to bring in more people.  It doesn’t matter.  If most of the present population doesn’t like it.  I think it was summed up by Kennedy, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”  It would be hard to make a clearer statement of who is master.  So the government regards our institution, the Constitution so far as it serves them, as America.   It might be well to get them into line on that point.

And what does ISIS think?  Woe betide an American who falls into their clutches.  Were we to dismantle the US into states I don’t think they’d care ate all.  They are at war with America the people, not America the institution.

A second point is that I mentioned marrying cousins is necessary for adequate long term fertility, but I gave no evidence.  Look at the new textbook Handbook on Evolution and Society, specifically the 19th chapter by the brilliant Robin Fox, “Marry in or Die Out.”  Fox is a far better scholar, scientist and writer than I; his title alone makes it clearer than I could.

We have a birth rate – among the p0pulation that has been here a few generations – that is below replacement.  How does that play out?  We don’t know.  It might depend on choices we make.  But for them it is obvious. 

I must digress.  The Muslims worship at the Kaaba.  Perhaps they worship the Kaaba, but I would rather think the location was much like an occasion of worship.  The Kaaba is a building made of granite and includes the Black Stone, which is fragmented but has been around longer than the building itself.  When I look at it I think “megalithic.”  You might disagree, but this is about what I think they think, so bear with.  When did the megalithic “thing,” and I cannot say “religion,” “culture,” thought pattern or anything like that for lack of evidence – when did it start?  I may be pushing it, but I’d say at least as far back as the building of Göbekli Tepe, some ten or eleven thousand years ago.  Forget American troops in Saudi, our dropping of Bin Laden after he had served our purpose in Afghanistan, the expulsion of the Moors from Granada, the Crusades and Alexander the Great.  These guys have a really long attention span.  

So if they see our population dying, as far as they are concerned we are already dead.  They might be willing to make a short term self-serving bargain with us, the only kind we understand anyway – but they see us as dead men walking. (Yeah, that’s sexist, but give me a break: they are.)  All they need to do is maintain the conflict until we are all dead, and they will be victorious.  So they think.  Obviously they can’t stand up to us, but they can and do defy, insult and attack us and in so doing attract anybody who hates us however you define us.  I don’t mean to contradict Ilham Kocache of course; I value what he says.

By the way, they don’t think that our institution will necessarily survive the death of our core population.  It generally does not.  (Here’s a link.)

Rome survived as an institution, or at least a name, through a few population swaps, but that isn’t their heritage. They identify more with Mesopotamia where it hasn’t happened … at least not in Southern Mesopotamia.  I have promised a friend I’d look at Syria, but haven’t been able to do that yet.

So there you have it.  They’re fighting us as people, and they think they’re winning because we are dying out.  We need do make some changes if we want a chance to prove them wrong.


Oh, yes.  The Iran deal.  Makes no difference.  Not Iran or any Muslim state is going truly to threaten an Israel that has subs with nukes that could vaporize the Kaaba.  They might be happier if the name were changed to Judea.  They’ve got this long attention span, remember? 

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