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9/11: Launching the War of Ideas (September 11, 2011 / 12 Elul 5771) …item 2.. We Are Spartacus –- and act on it every day in small ways (June 21, 2012 / 1 Tammuz 5772) …
6136304135 4ce553199c m Nice Make Money photos
Image by marsmet542
I believe much of the divisiveness in the world is caused by religious fanaticism, even in the time of Spartacus when they worshipped many gods. As you study history, you find that millions of people have been killed because of religious divisions based on false orthodoxy, not genuine spirituality.

After 95 years on this planet, I have come to the conclusion that the human spirit can never be crushed, no matter how cruel the oppressor or fanatic the belief. If we remember that simple truth–and act on it every day in small ways and sometimes in large movements–then freedom will ultimately win.

And then we are all Spartacus.
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…….***** All images are copyrighted by their respective authors …….
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… marsmet542 photo … Black text on white background …

m.flickr.com/#/photos/66309414@N04/6136304135/

Thursday, April 3, 2014

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America’s war on terror was launched when the heroes of United Flight 93 rushed the hijackers over Shanksville, Pa., aborting what would have been al-Qaeda’s fourth 9/11 attack. In the decade that began on that terrible day, the goal of disrupting and crushing the Islamist terror network has been pursued with remarkable versatility:

The United States has fought this conflict with military, diplomatic, and financial weapons; it has relied on aggressive intelligence-gathering and sensitive counterinsurgency; it has reshaped airline security and rewritten civil-liberties law.

Jihadists have been killed with Predator drones abroad, detained as enemy combatants at Guantanamo, and thwarted in undercover stings at home.

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…..item 1)…. aish.com … HOME CURRENT ISSUES SEPTEMBER 11 …

9/11: Launching the War of Ideas

Radical Islam could be weakened by deploying the moral force of liberal democracy and equality.

www.aish.com/ci/sept11/911_Launching_the_War_of_Ideas.html

America’s war on terror was launched when the heroes of United Flight 93 rushed the hijackers over Shanksville, Pa., aborting what would have been al-Qaeda’s fourth 9/11 attack. In the decade that began on that terrible day, the goal of disrupting and crushing the Islamist terror network has been pursued with remarkable versatility: The United States has fought this conflict with military, diplomatic, and financial weapons; it has relied on aggressive intelligence-gathering and sensitive counterinsurgency; it has reshaped airline security and rewritten civil-liberties law. Jihadists have been killed with Predator drones abroad, detained as enemy combatants at Guantanamo, and thwarted in undercover stings at home.

Yet in the long run it may turn out that more significant than any of these was the war of ideas that followed 9/11.

Almost from the outset, President George W. Bush recognized that the United States was engaged in an ideological struggle. During the Cold War two decades earlier, Ronald Reagan had argued that the promotion of freedom should be a key priority in American foreign policy. By advancing the ideals of liberty and human dignity, Reagan told the British Parliament in 1982, America and its allies would undermine the Soviet Union and eventually relegate Communist totalitarianism to "the ash-heap of history." In much the same way, Bush saw, radical Islam could be weakened by deploying the moral force of liberal democracy and equality.

Related Articles: Remembering 9/11

Just nine days after 9/11, addressing a joint session of Congress, Bush began to lay out an ideological strategy for defeating the jihadist threat.

"Al Qaeda is to terror what the mafia is to crime, but its goal is not making money," Bush said. "Its goal is remaking the world — and imposing its radical beliefs on people everywhere." Terrorism was not caused by the religion of Islam but by the Islamists’ political fanaticism. "They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions — by abandoning every value except the will to power — they follow in the path of fascism and Nazism and totalitarianism."

The only way to prevent al-Qaeda and its allies from imposing an "age of terror" was for America to sustain an "age of liberty, here and across the world."

The war on terror, Bush accurately foretold, would be a long struggle fought on many fronts. But ultimately the only way to prevent al-Qaeda and its allies from imposing an "age of terror" was for America to sustain an "age of liberty, here and across the world." While Bush would get plenty of things wrong after 9/11, this ideological insight — that the root of Islamist terrorism was the lack of freedom in the Middle East — was one of the big things he got right.

There were plenty who didn’t. Many voices insisted that terrorism was fueled by poverty or lack of education. Other analysts rushed to explain 9/11 as the fruit of US "arrogance," or as a reaction to Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In reality, as Princeton economist Alan Krueger demonstrated in a 2007 book, What Makes A Terrorist?, the best predictors of terrorism are "the suppression of civil liberties and political rights, including freedom of the press, the freedom to assemble, and democratic rights."

Bush’s campaign to democratize the Middle East — what came to be known as the "freedom agenda" — was rooted in the conviction that the way to break the back of jihadist hatred was to drain the swamps in which it breeds: the dictatorships and theocracies of the Muslim Middle East.
"Terrorists thrive on the support of tyrants and the resentments of oppressed peoples," he said in 2003. "When tyrants fall, and resentment gives way to hope, men and women in every culture reject the ideologies of terror, and turn to the pursuits of peace."

For decades, foreign-policy "realists" argued that stability in the Arab world was more important than liberty, and so it was better to tolerate oppressive regimes than to risk the upheaval that democratic change might bring. That was the roadmap that led to 9/11.

Today, 10 years after 9/11, the region is more unstable than it has been in generations. Iraq’s dictator is dead, Libya’s is on the run, and demands for freedom and democratic reform have shaken regimes from Tunisia to Syria to Iran. Yet who wouldn’t prefer today’s churn and ferment to the illusory stability of 2001?

No, Islamist terror hasn’t been eradicated. Liberal Muslim democracy has a long way to go. But we have engaged the struggle of ideas. And as we fight not just the terrorists, but the poisoned ideas that motivate them, we are slowly winning the war that began on 9/11.

This article original appeared in The Boston Globe.
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…..item 2)…. aish.com … www.aish.com/j/as … HOME JEWLARIOUS ART SMARTS …

You do not need to be a movie star to stand up for basic human freedom.
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img code photo … We Are Spartacus

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June 21, 2012 / 1 Tammuz 5772
by Kirk Douglas

www.aish.com/j/as/We_Are_Spartacus.html

Kirk Douglas’ recently published his tenth book, "I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist."
When you reach 95, after you get over your surprise, you start looking back. I’ve been thinking a lot about my parents, Russian immigrants who came to this country in 1912 – exactly one hundred years ago.

For them, the United States was a dream beyond description. They couldn’t read or write, but they saw a better life for their children in a new country half a world away from their tiny shtetl.

Against all odds they crossed the Atlantic. And like millions of people before and after, they passed close to the Statue of Liberty as they entered New York Harbor. Perhaps someone who could read English translated the beautiful words of Emma Lazarus, etched in bronze on the pedestal:
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"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

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What would my parents think about America if they arrived here today? Would they even want to come? I wonder.

A century ago, America was a beacon of hope to the world. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness were ideals not clichés. Any boy could still grow up to be president. Today, few boys–or girls, for that matter–dream of that. The American dream has become about quick fame and easy fortune, not public service and hard work.

Click here to receive Aish.com’s free weekly email.

I know something about this. I have been an actor for most of my life. When I started out, I didn’t think about anything except what was good for me. Like many movie stars, I became all wrapped up in myself. When I threw off the wrappings, I wrapped myself in the character I was playing.

Related Article: Touching Bedrock

My change came suddenly when I heard these words spoken by President Kennedy in his Inaugural Address in 1961:
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"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
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It was a moment of clarity for me – like somebody had flipped a switch and the lights came on.

I had been lucky. Fame is as much about luck as it is about talent, perhaps more. My luck hadn’t come without a lot of hard work, but I now realized that it carried a responsibility along with it. JFK’s call to conscience made me understand that.

His words also reminded me of something my mother taught me.

For years we lived in a little town called Amsterdam, New York. We had a house near the carpet mills and the railroad tracks. We were very poor and often didn’t have enough to eat. Although we had nothing to spare, the hobos from the trains still came knocking on our door in the evening, asking for food. It scared me to look at them–disheveled, dirty. My mother was never frightened. Somehow she always found a little extra food to give them.

Then she said something I never forgot: "Issur,"–that was my name then–"even a beggar must give to another beggar who needs it more than he does."

The fight against oppression and tyranny depicted in Spartacus is still going on all over the globe from Syria to Egypt to Iran.

I was an American movie star whose pictures were seen all around the world. This gave me the opportunity to do something for my country that most Americans couldn’t do. So I became an Ambassador of Goodwill for the State Department and traveled to 40 countries talking about America. I wasn’t viewed as a Democrat or a Republican. They only saw me as an American. By the way, I paid all my own expenses–I didn’t want anyone to say that Kirk Douglas traveled abroad on the taxpayers’ dime.

But you do not need to be a movie star to stand up for basic human freedom. The fight against oppression and tyranny depicted in Spartacus is still going on all over the globe from Syria to Egypt to Iran. Even the Russians are once again facing the threat of a popular uprising.

Related Article: I Am Issur

I believe much of the divisiveness in the world is caused by religious fanaticism, even in the time of Spartacus when they worshipped many gods. As you study history, you find that millions of people have been killed because of religious divisions based on false orthodoxy, not genuine spirituality.

After 95 years on this planet, I have come to the conclusion that the human spirit can never be crushed, no matter how cruel the oppressor or fanatic the belief. If we remember that simple truth–and act on it every day in small ways and sometimes in large movements–then freedom will ultimately win.

And then we are all Spartacus.
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A few nice u.s. economy images I found:

2013 Global repercussions: The impact of today’s U.S. economy
8471356860 11dcc8842f m 2013 Global repercussions: The impact of todays U.S. economy
Image by University of Michigan’s Ford School
A Washington, DC conversation with Edwin Truman, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute; the Ford School’s Marina v.N. Whitman, a professor of public policy; and Susan M. Collins, Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy.

More at: www.fordschool.umich.edu/events/calendar/1491

2013 Global repercussions: The impact of today’s U.S. economy
8471362182 6c7054b74f m 2013 Global repercussions: The impact of todays U.S. economy
Image by University of Michigan’s Ford School
A Washington, DC conversation with Edwin Truman, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute; the Ford School’s Marina v.N. Whitman, a professor of public policy; and Susan M. Collins, Joan and Sanford Weill Dean of Public Policy.

More at: www.fordschool.umich.edu/events/calendar/1491

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