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Words from Winterbilt

A New Year, news, predictions & DAESH

Shannon Bohrer

(1/2016) I went looking for my New Year’s article for last year, to see if my predictions had any accuracy and to see if I kept my New Year’s resolution. The major news sources always talk about what happened the previous year and then the experts tell us what will happen in the coming year, but we never hear anything about their predictions from the previous year. You would think that if they were right, they would tell us. I could not find my New Year’s article from last year, so I will assume that my predictions were accurate and that I keep my New Year’s resolution. I believe that’s fair.

Is it possible that many of our predictions are never confirmed either way, because we just forget what they were? Maybe that is part of our problem. I do believe there is a greater probability of remembering what we predicted, when we are right. Conversely, maybe we just forget when we were wrong? On the topic of "predictions" I did a little research and found some interesting past predictions.

A Western Union internal memo, from 1876, said; "This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us."

Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, said; "Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." He said that in 1929.

Mr. Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, said; "Everything that can be invented has been invented." It was 1899 when he made that prediction.

I believe these predictions make my point, that we really don’t remember when we were wrong. But then with some more research I found a few successful predictions.

In 1909 a Serbian American electrical inventor; Nikola Tesla predicted "It will soon be possible to transmit wireless messages all over the world so simply that any individual can own and operate his own apparatus". Cell phones….

Robert Boyle an Anglo-Irish natural philosopher predicted that; "the cure of diseases at a distance or at least by transplantation." He predicted organ transplants and his writings are from the 1660’s.

Then we have predictions that are at best controversial. Nostradamus is a good example; he was a French apothecary who wrote prophecies that have since become famous worldwide. He is often given credit for predicting: The great London fire in 1666, which was 100 years after his death. And he is also credited for predicting the rise of Adolph Hitler. All of his predictions are from interpretations of his works, as we are told.

I never read any of Nostradamus writings, but wonder if he made any predictions about Daesh, or as many call it; ISIS. ISIS opponents use the term Daesh referring to an Arabic verb, which means; to tread underfoot, trample down, crush (from the Hans Wehr Dictionary of Modern Written Arabic, p. 325 and 326) Other meanings include; felon and dust (from Wikipedia) So given the connotations I like the term Daesh. Making predictions about Daesh could be very valuable – if we could do that. Of course we know many political types and talking heads have already done that, telling us what we need to do to defeat Daesh. Some of the same people told us how to defeat al Qaeda.

ISIS, or Daesh is nothing more than an of the evolution of al Qaeda, which still exist. Each organization has their differences, but they come from the same source. Before we went to Iraq, al Qaeda did not exist in Iraq. Our intervention into Iraq destabilized the country and allowed al Qaeda to obtain a foothold.

When we hear that Daesh came out of nowhere, we know that is not true. The al Qaeda in Iraq took advantage of the partial vacuum occurring in Syria which was involved in a civil war, and then changed their name to ISIS. ISIS, or Daesh, now has a foothold in six different countries, including northern Egypt. And while all we hear on the news and from the experts that we need to defeat ISIS, al Qaeda still exists and is in many more countries.

Of course you would expect everyone to be focused on Daesh, since they advertise their own inhumanity and brutality. Many have compared the event(s) in France to our own 911, and the comparisons are understandable. So, Daesh should be defeated, but how? Our history of defeating al Qaeda with the military has not always worked well. While we were fighting al Qaeda, al Qaeda was recruiting their soldiers from all around the world. Sound familiar? The recruiting focused on the hatred of Muslims by non-muslins, and the history of interventions of western counties into the Middle East. The keystone elements in the recruiting included the fact that we were fighting in the Middle East, the reported torture at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the indefinite detention at Guantanamo Bay.

Given this history, my prediction is the recruiting for Daesh will include quotes for our own politicians, telling us that we should not accept Syrian refugees since some of them could be terrorists. A few have even said we would take the Christian refugees but not the Muslims. Is that like saying we will take the gentiles but not the Jews? While the conditions at Ab Ghraib and Guantanamo helped al Qaeda with their recruiting, our words will be the focus of Daeshs’ recruiting and it will be successful. That is my prediction.

Sun Tzu, a General in China 3000 years ago wrote; "If you know the enemy and you know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle"

I don’t believe we know the enemy and I question if we know ourselves. Daesh is a problem, but Anti-Muslim rhetoric is not just wrong, it is truly not an American value, at least not from my perspective. Verbally demeaning Muslims is aiding our enemy with their recruiting. Has the land of the free and the home of the brave become the land of the free and the home of the timid?

Read other articles by Shannon Bohrer