How the War was Won

When I was a child, I made a conscious effort to explicitly reject everything I'd ever been told, e.g. "respect your elders", and develop my own philosophy. To strip things back to my "natural self". I didn't have a genetic desire to harm others, I had a genetic desire to protect the innocent. I also had a desire to destroy my enemies. Sometimes in a fight (of which I had many), I would try to strangle my opponent to eliminate the threat. I didn't believe that people who started a fight with me deserved to live.

I sort of had the whole world in an out-group, not really befriending anyone. Just analyzing people's behaviour. But I also had the whole world in an in-group, in that I wanted to protect them from harm. I basically wanted criminals to be wiped off the face of the earth. People have unemployment benefits in Australia, so I believed that thieves should receive capital punishment. We don't need people in society who are going to produce a negative above and beyond the unemployment benefits. I was more worried about protecting future victims of theft.

I was basically trying to find the group that I belong to. My identity. Who I could call a friend. I wanted to be friends with someone who shared the same goals that I did. And I have never met that person. Well, the closest I have come is Ali Fidhal from the ITM brothers. And essentially that is a concept I have befriended rather than a person. And that concept is anti-dogma, anti-non-humanist, anti-subjugator. That is who I am, and it took a lot of effort to arrive at that description. I spend all my time dealing with concepts and institutions rather than people.

It never occurred to me to study philosophy. It did occur to me to study psychology, but I didn't. I chose instead to just derive everything myself, by experimenting. I have experimented with pacifism, and formed the conclusion that it leads to human rights abuses, both of me and of others, and it is bad advice to give people.

I didn't learn history or geography at school, I managed to get out of that, and concentrated on science. Anyway, for that reason I didn't have any historical baggage, and wasn't raised to be racist, a religious bigot, a sexist or a nationalist. So I am an individual, a member of the human race, and I look to institutions for protection (I didn't receive protection at home, I was persecuted at home).

This has given me a very clinical outlook on life, and it was only when 50% of Australia opposed the Iraq war that I realised that something was seriously wrong and I was in a unique position as a non-American and non-Christian to champion the dual causes of eliminating dictatorship and eliminating the threat from Arabs/Muslims. The only thing I could figure out that I had in common with Americans was that we both spoke English. But there must be a deeper bond between us that caused us to have 50% pro-war while Europeans were only 10% pro-war. Finding out that deeper bond was my challenge. It would also answer who exactly I was, and how I could identify my friends. People who appreciated the charge of Beersheba by the Australian Lighthorse as much as I did. People who appreciated the forces of freedom winning a battle and expanding the frontiers of freedom. Unfortunately, no-one seems to fit that description. Just me.

Throughout my life I have refused to donate to all the usual causes. I wanted to put my money somewhere that was going to make a real difference. So I instead set about trying to secure myself, saving my money hard. So that when I was needed, I would be ready.

Then suddenly and unexpectedly, Gorbachev came to power and introduced "glasnost". I was ecstatic. I was especially interested to find out what the Russians REALLY thought. I assumed that the Russian people would be our good allies, appreciating the fact that we stood up for their human rights all these decades. And then we had the Tianamen Square protests, and again I was ecstatic. World freedom, which I never expected to come in my lifetime, was suddenly within reach. Then the Chicoms massacred the students. Totally devastating. For the first and only time in my life I went to a demonstration - against the Chinese Embassy in Sydney. One of the Chinese there gave me a headband to wear, which said "democracy" (in Chinese characters). After the demonstration I asked my Chinese wife to write those characters on a piece of paper and I stuck it to my cupboard. But while I was there in spirit, I didn't see that I had anything in my power to change the events.

Fortunately we had better luck with the Russians. They released Eastern Europe from their grip and then disintegrated the Soviet Union. And I finally found a worthy charity to donate money to. The Red Cross Romanian appeal. The Romanian revolutionaries had put their life on the line to overthrow the communist Ceausescu. I figured that if they were brave enough to put their life on the line for freedom, the least I could do was provide the bandages.

Then things were dormant for some time, as we slowly and carefully allowed Eastern Europe to join NATO, without spooking the Russians. For reasons unknown, the Russians hadn't become enthusiastic members of the Free World. "Give me liberty or give me death" turned out to not be a universal human value after all. Some time along the way I had two opportunities to speak to Russians. I was unable to discover from them why Russians were not overjoyed at their newfound freedom. One of them indicated that Stalin was seen as nothing more than a "stern father". Quite shocking.

In the 1999 Kosovo war, something beautiful arose - the end of dictatorship in Yugoslavia. The Russians had been going ape-shit over NATO's bombing campaign. But what we saw was that a free Yugoslavia/Serbia wanted to JOIN NATO! Totally wonderful. And the Russians were absolutely stunned. Why the "treachery"? They couldn't understand why Yugoslavia would want to join NATO, while I couldn't understand why the Russians would not. There was a serious misunderstanding somewhere, and someone should have been working on it.

Then there was the Afghan civil war. I had hoped that the Afghans would install a democracy after the Soviets left. For some reason it hadn't happened, and instead we had an Afghan government that was treating women abhorrently. But there was a "decent" party still fighting that would not treat women that way. But it was losing. I wished the Russians would intervene again to help the pro-women crowd win the war. But for some reason no-one was doing this obvious thing.

Then we had the Sept 11, 2001 attacks. My first reaction to that was that I hoped we could now finally liberate Afghanistan. My other reaction was to make sure those people didn't die in vain. I wanted to see if the war could be won by simply supporting the Northern Alliance. I figured if they were able to hold ground already, then with the addition of US air support, they should be able to take territory. I expected that the war could be won in a week. It took longer than a week, seemingly because the US wasn't pounding the frontlines to clear a path for the Northern Alliance, and also because the Northern Alliance didn't seem to be in a hurry to try to advance. Regardless, 5 weeks at least set a benchmark. I spent all my time reading everything I could about the progress.

I wanted Afghanistan to be a democracy, not just a new dictatorship run by the Northern Alliance. And for that to happen, some very delicate manoeuvres needed to take place. Could we land international forces without provoking a war with the Northern Alliance? Could we get the Northern Alliance out of Kabul? Could we get Ismail Khan out of Herat? Could we get Rabbani to move aside? Most importantly, could we get Fahim (Massoud's replacement) to give up control of his goons and allow a new Afghan National Army to take its place? These were heart-stopping questions, but they needed to be answered in the affirmative in order to get a viable democracy in Afghanistan. Fortunately all these aims were achieved. It wasn't easy, but we were successful. We avoided a war with the Northern Alliance and got a democracy in place. It was a beautiful success, and would set a standard for the imposition of democracy by force of arms, and also the resolution of civil war via the use of US air power.

Then Bush announced that Iraq was on the target list. This was truly wonderful, as it was the "last unknown". Despite there being numerous Arab Muslim countries, not one of them was a democracy. We needed to find out why. The only way to find out was to topple the government and make some sort of contact with the residents, to find out why on earth these people seemed to prefer brutal tyrants to liberal democracy. And finally in October 2003 we made contact. With Zeyad from Healing Iraq. I sent him an email on 2003-10-21. I deliberately stayed out of the comments section on his blog, because I didn't want to influence "nature". I wanted to see why other westerners supported the war. None of them were using the obvious argument that women were being raped by their own government, and that whenever women are being raped, we have an obligation to arrest the rapist.

Also, the Iraqi blogs opened up somewhere to donate money to. I was willing to fund their internet expenses so that they could continue bringing a pro-liberation message to the world. Especially to let Americans know that they had done the right thing by liberating Iraq. As it was, others were also willing to donate money to this, so I didn't need to take on the whole burden myself, I was merely one of a number of contributors.

From reading the comments in the Iraqi blogs, I was put onto Faith Freedom which is where I think I was introduced to the concept of "secular humanism", basically a philosophy derived from the Golden Rule. Previously I was not aware that it was possible to derive everything from that. Via an article on that site, I was introduced to Mukto-Mona, a rationalist site for Bengalis. That's how I was introduced to the concept of rationalism. They even published an article which I wrote for "rationalist day".

It wasn't until 2004-03-23 that I finally started engaging in the comments sections, starting at The Mesopotamian. I started by espousing the view that Islam needed to be wiped from the face of the earth, by force, to see how that opinion would go down. As an atheist, I was able to bash Christianity at the same time. And as an Australian, the hoary old line of being an "American imperialist" didn't work on me either. It forced the enemies of freedom to have to engage in debate rather than simply make ad hominem attacks. My presence also forced the debate to be altered from Islam vs Christianity. The conflict needed to be redefined. My first attempt to define the conflict was humanist vs non-humanist. But I recognized that during the Cold War, we supported non-humanist governments so long as they were anti-communist. So the global wars that we fight were actually anti-dogma ahead of anti-non-humanist.

It wasn't until Sarmad of "Road of a Nation" presented us with Maha and Rana, two anti-war Iraqis, that we were finally able to query why on earth any Iraqi would prefer to live under Saddam. It was finally ascertained that they were simply whingers, they were basically Democrats, they weren't offering an alternative. It was in this blog that I was first introduced to the concept of in-group/out-group psychology. Another piece of the puzzle was the concept of "tribal acceptance". Another piece was someone finally offering a definition of "freedom" as "the ability to change/influence the rules" as opposed to the ability to break the rules. It was wonderful to see the best minds of the western world come together to solve the riddle of why anyone would fly a plane into a skyscraper in an attempt to restore the Caliphate. But there was still unexplained behaviour from the Iraqis. What made Al Sadr pick up a gun and try to overthrow the government? And what made gunmen flock to Al Sadr? And what inspired one of Sarmad's friends to support Al Sadr? I actually verbally spoke to Sarmad via the internet, and he said his friend hadn't given him a reason why. That is when I came up with the idea that people are attracted to power. That's the primitive man response.

But I still felt we didn't have the full story. The definition for "freedom" was too intellectual. I read an article saying that the best the Arabs could interpret "freedom" as was "justice". But that wasn't it either. There was something in our bodies that could detect whether we were free or not. It wasn't simply "not a slave". It was something that made me jump for joy when I turned 18. There was a stark difference between being free at 18, and being whatever status I was before 18. It wasn't until the Beslan tragedy that I finally snatched the word that would explain everything - "subjugate". Freedom was "not subjugated". Prior to turning 18, I was not enslaved by my parents, they were attempting to subjugate me. And as an experiment I cleared my head of empathy and tried to imagine chaos, to see how I would react. And the way I reacted was to reach out with my hands to try to control all moving things in my environment. And there was a beautiful rush that came with being able to do so. I've only ever experienced it the once. It took a lot of effort to get myself into that alien mindset. To be a primitive man. Basically there is a "subjugate or be subjugated" instinct, and people are attracted to power, including who is able to create the best artificial monuments. That is how we evolved our creative ability.

And this completed the description of the global conflict. Anti-dogma, anti-non-humanist and anti-subjugation. This is the tribe that the freedom-lovers belong to. This is our in-group. And our in-group is open to everyone on the planet, regardless of race, religion, sex or nationality. This is the solution to our problems. This is what the US needs to spread to make it safe from further terrorist attacks. And the US is in a very strong position to do exactly this. There is nothing standing in the way of the US doing a blitzkrieg across all the Arab countries, forcing everyone to join our tribe or die. The alliances are all in place, developed with great effort. The gun is cocked, ready to be fired. All the US President needs to do is nod his head. It just needs the political will to do so. It also needs Iraq to quieten down so that the bulk of the troops can be freed up.

But if we are compassionate, we should understand that from the Muslim point of view, their in-group is "Muslims" and they assume (incorrectly) that our in-group is "Christians", and that they are thus not welcome. It will take some time to explain to the Muslims exactly what our in-group is. In the meantime, Ali Fidhal from the ITM brothers introduced the world to this post where he first mentions the Mu'tazilah. Actually he mispells it and calls it "Moa’atazila". This post was dated 2004-09-20. This was the cue for Christians to invoke "love thy enemy" and convert to the Mu'tazilah sect, and reform Islam from within. Actually they should have taken the initiative and asked Ali what sect of Islam he was in earlier, as I had done. After doing an internet search, I thought that "moatazilla" was the correct spelling. So I created a website www.moatazilla.org. And unbelievably, after 2 years of promoting Mu'tazilah, not one person in the entire world thought to register it under the correct spelling to help reform Islam themselves. Well, my website was paid 2 years in advance, and now that it has expired, I took the opportunity to change the name. I am now the proud owner of www.mutazilah.org. And that is every piece of the puzzle in place. All it needs now is the political will to carry it out.

After having come up with the solution, I started to spread it, via IRC, to see what the reaction of strangers was. That is when I met a pro-liberation Afghan. I encouraged him to start his own blog. Once again I donated money to his internet expenses. Later on I found he was spending $200/month on taxi fares because he couldn't get a car loan. So I loaned him the $4000 myself, and got him to pay it back by buying pencils to be distributed to Afghan children by US soldiers. It was the best bang per buck you could get anywhere in the world. Something that no-one else was funding. And now the most optimal place to spend my money is by advertising www.mutazilah.org.

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