Tag Archives: How to Win a Cosmic War

From Ascribed Identities to the world of Self-Identification

Just as modernity altered the way individuals understood their relationship to society at large, so did it fundamentally change the way individuals understood themselves. It used to be that a person’s identity was defined by the society to which he or she belonged. But as society was increasingly deemed to be nothing more than the product of human imagination, so too were social identities cast aside as mere human constructions. After all, if there are numerous alternatives to the present social order, there must also be numerous alternatives to the identities that society ascribes to us. Thus, with the rise of modernity, new collective identities began to arise, constructed not through societal mandates but through conscious self-reflection—not “Who do you say I am?” but “Who do I say I am?” In short, the modern age has ushered a transition from a world in which identities were bestowed to a world in which identities can be gained or lost through deliberate action—from a world of ascribed identities to a world of self-identification.”

[Page 132-133 Chapter Six- Generation E]

Source: Reza Aslan. How to win a Cosmic War: God, Globalization and the end of the War on Terror. Random House, New York, 2009.

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Gaza: Human beings literally drown in shit!

“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.

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wow just wow!

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How to Win a Cosmic War by Reza Aslan

“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.

Cosmic War?

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.]

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