“I wanted to visit the ruined village of Um al-Nasr, in northern Gaza, some miles away from lush Tel Aviv. A few months earlier, a number of villagers, including two toddlers, had drowned in what the press was calling a “sewage tsunami.” The deluge had been triggered by the collapse of a treatment facility just above the village that had been slowly and steadily leaking sewage. For months the villages of Um al-Nasr had pleaded with Israeli authorities to allow the importation of the pumps, pipes, and filters necessary to stem the flow. But Israel, rattled by a ceaseless barrage of crudely constructed rockets launched daily from Gaza, some of which were—in short of grim irony that can exist only in such a place—constructed from old sewage pipes, refused.
The villagers built an earthen embankment around what was fast becoming a giant lake of human waste. But the embankment would not hold. On the morning of March 27, 2007, while most of the villagers of Um al-Nasr slept, the embankment gave way. The village was inundated.
This is what we talk about when we talk about Gaza: that human beings—men, women, children—could literally drown in shit.”
Source: Reza Aslan. How to win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization and the end of the War on Terror. Random House, New York, 2009.
wow just wow!
“It is no accident that the rise of anti-Semitism in nineteenth-century Europe coincided with the rise of nationalism. Nationalism, you will recall, presupposes a measure of ethnic or cultural homogeneity within a nation-state—something to bind a population together under a single collective identity. But the Jews represented a conspicuously alien culture that, despite centuries of living and thriving in every corner of Europe, had, in the minds of many, yet to sufficiently assimilate into European society (at least not enough to have disappeared altogether). The secret trial and false conviction of Alfred Dreyfus was a human tragedy. But the affair also raised much broader issues of a national identity among the French. The right-wing newspaper editor Edouard Drumont captured the sentiment of many French nationalists when he declared that Dreyfus’s betrayal was the inexorable destiny of his race. The Jews were a nation within a nation; it was inconceivable to think that their loyalties would be to France.”
“How to Win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the End of the War on Terror” by Reza Aslan, is one of the best books I read on current events lately. It talks about the War on Terror and the Radicals and Extremists ideology/movements among Christians, Jews and Muslims.
I was asked what is this Cosmic War, and while I was writing this my friend asked me the same question. So what is Cosmic War, the author describes it in detail through out his book and I will try to summarize it in a paragraph or two:
A cosmic war is a religious war. It is a conflict in which God is believed to be directly engaged on one side over the other. Unlike a holy war–an earthly battle between rival religious groups–a cosmic war is like a ritual drama in which participants act out on earth a battle they believe is actually taking place in the heavens…
A cosmic war transforms those who should be considered butchers and thugs into soldiers sanctioned by God. It turns victims into sacrifices and justifies the most depraved acts of destruction because it does not abide by human conceptions of morality…
A cosmic war partitions the world into black and white, good and evil, us and them. In such a war, there is no middle ground; everyone must choose a side. Soldier and civilian, combatant and noncombatant, aggressor and bystander–all the traditional divisions that serve as markers in a real war break down in cosmic wars. It is a simple equations: if you are not us, you must be them. If you are them, you are the enemy and must be destroyed.
[Introduction, Page 5.]