Sunday, June 20, 2010

American culture, alienation, and homegrown terrorism

Alessa_Almonte.JPGThis courtroom drawing shows Mohamed Alessa, 20, and Carlos Almonte, 24, appearing in U.S. District Court in Newark on terror conspiracy charges.
by John Farmer Jr.

The recent arrest of two wannabe Wahhabis at JFK airport as they attempted to fly to Somalia to engage in jihad has highlighted the problem of so-called “home-grown” terrorism. Carlos Almonte, a 24-year-old naturalized American citizen, and Mohammed Alessa, a 20-year-old natural-born citizen, have come quickly to symbolize the second generation of the Islamist threat to America: the Americans who hate America.
What are we to make of them?
At first glance, it’s hard to take these two chuckleheads seriously; why should we, when al Qaeda apparently didn’t? They traveled to Jordan, offered to travel to Iraq to blow themselves up, and were sent home. Their escapades — lifting weights, paintballing, watching real jihadists using the monkey bars — verge on goofiness. They drove their parents nuts.
But homegrown terrorists, however fatuous, are dangerous for two reasons. First, from a practical law enforcement standpoint, because they are here and have rights, they will be more difficult to identify and track than foreign terrorists — unless, of course, like our two wannabes, they decide to leave the country. Foreign terrorists, on the other hand, must run a gauntlet of security and intelligence detection measures before they ever arrive in this country.
Homegrown terrorists pose a larger, more difficult cultural challenge. To meet that challenge honestly is to face two stark realities: the alienating effect of our culture generally; and, compounding the problem, the appeal of simple solutions, particularly fundamentalism, to disaffected youth.
President Obama and the government can, as the 9/11 Commission suggested, play a role in shaping the cultural debate by providing a “vision of the future” that includes “respect for the rule of law, openness in discussing differences, and tolerance for opposing points of view.” But those values have, for many, become so entwined with the rampant greed and wasteful excesses of our culture that they have become, for some, inseparable from them.
Let’s face it, there is something profoundly alienating about our culture. It didn’t take a disaffected young Muslim to condemn western culture as rapacious, materialistic in the extreme, pornography-obsessed, drug-and-alcohol addicted and corrupt to its core. Holden Caulfield, the prototypical disaffected youth, said it more than 50 years ago in “Catcher in the Rye,” and his song of despair has been rehearsed by countless artists, reverends, rabbis, swamis and rock bands before and since.
We project throughout the world, in our movies, our television shows, our relentless marketing, a life dedicated to the fulfillment of boundless appetites. To many, images of the consequences of unbridled desire — of childhood obesity; of oil despoiling nature in the Gulf of Mexico; of whole economies rocked by our rampant speculation — have come to represent our idea of freedom.
Unfortunately, to know us — to live immersed in a culture where the burning question is who will be Paris Hilton’s new BFF — is not necessarily to love us. As a consequence, Daniel Pipes points out in “Militant Islam Reaches America,” “the experience of living in the west often turns indifferent Muslims into Islamists.” According to Pipes, fully one-eighth of the Muslim community supports militant Islam. An even greater percentage is sympathetic with its disaffection with western values.
Alienation is not limited to Muslims. Virtually every major religious and moral tradition has been dedicated, at least in part, to curbing our desires, not cultivating them. But militant Islam offers vulnerable Muslim youth a dangerously simple and murderous outlet for their disaffection.
We may face, as some have suggested, a clash of civilizations; if so, however, it is not so much a clash among Christian, Muslim or Jewish civilizations as a clash within each. It’s simple really: some think that the future of human civilization depends on the marriage of the moral restraint of tradition with a spirit of open inquiry; others believe that the answers to all important questions were recorded centuries ago, when the few who realized the world was round thought it rode on the back of a giant turtle.
By seeming to value the freedom that produces material gain over everything else, we have led many to devalue freedom itself as corrupt. The freedom that matters isn’t, however, the freedom that produces material excess but the freedom that encourages open inquiry. That freedom — a freedom that rejects both the enslavement of fundamentalism and the license of material excess — must somehow become our cultural message, or a Ghost Dance of Islam will arise from within us.

John Farmer Jr., dean of Rutgers School of Law-Newark, was senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission. He is the author of “The Ground Truth: The Untold Story of America Under Attack on 9/11.”

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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

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