Tuesday, October 31, 2006

OCTOBER 29 2006 NEW YORK TIMES

Yes, I am a few days late. Indeed. It happens, you know? Anyway, there were not really compelling stories that I *needed* to blog. Just some that I wanted* to blog.

First, Noah Feldman did a very interesting piece about suicide bombers, nuclear weapons, and Islam. The article discusses whether there is anything inherent in Islam (Sunni or Shiite flavor) that makes Muslims more dangerous with the Bomb (as we called it when I was a kid) than others. I can't summarize the whole thing. For god's sake, do some reading on your own! In any case, the two things that were most interesting to me were: (1) the slow, steady expansion of the doctrine that non-combatants were not to be killed in war; (2) the statement that bin Laden has never advocated an end-of-the-world view.

With regard to (1), apparently killing *any* women or children was an atrocity. Then Israelis were all "fair game" because all Israelis are required to undertake military service. Then Americans were all "fair game" because Americans voted for George Bush. This, apparently is without precedent in Islamic thought. With regard to (2), a bunch of the jihadists (although not certain "Twelver" Shiites) are seeking to reinstate the Caliphate, with themselves in charge. This actually militates against suicidal use of nuclear weapons. There would not be much of a Caliphate if a significant part of the Muslim world is incinerated. Interesting analysis.

Honestly, that is the only thing that I am still thinking about on Tuesday, and perhaps that's a good guide for what to blog.

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