Why Akathleptos?

Why Akathleptos? Because it means Uncontainable. God is infinite. Hence, the whole universe cannot contain Him. The term also refers to the incomprehensibility of God. No man can know everything about God. We can know Him personally but not exhaustively, not even in Heaven.

Why Patmos? Because the church is increasingly marginalized and exiled from the culture.

Why Pen-Names? So the focus is on the words and not who wrote them. We prefer to let what we say stand on its own merit. There is precedent in church history for this - i.e., the elusive identity of Ambrosiaster who wrote in the 4th century A.D.

“Truth is so obscured nowadays, and lies so well established, that unless we love the truth we shall never recognize it." Blaise Pascal

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Why David Petraeus Really Wants You To Shut Up About Islamism

Christine Brim has written a must-read, eye-opening piece here entitled "Why David Petraeus Really Wants You To Shut Up About Islamism."

[For those that may not know, David Petraeus was according to Wikepedia ...

David Howell Petraeus AO (/pᵻˈtreɪ.əs/; born November 7, 1952) is a retired American military officer and public official. He served as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency from September 6, 2011, until his resignation on November 9, 2012. Prior to his assuming the directorship of the CIA, Petraeus was a highly decorated four-star general, serving over 37 years in the United States Army. His last assignments in the Army were as commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A) from July 4, 2010, to July 18, 2011. His other four-star assignments include serving as the 10th Commander, U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) from October 13, 2008, to June 30, 2010, and as Commanding General, Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF-I) from February 10, 2007, to September 16, 2008.[4] As commander of MNF-I, Petraeus oversaw all coalition forces in Iraq.

... On November 9, 2012, General Petraeus resigned from his position as Director of the CIA, citing his extramarital affair which was reportedly discovered in the course of an FBI investigation. In January 2015, officials reported the FBI and Justice Department prosecutors had recommended bringing felony charges against Petraeus for allegedly providing classified information to his biographer, Paula Broadwell (with whom he was having an affair), while serving as the director of the CIA. Eventually, Petraeus pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information

Petraeus was guilty of not only adultery, but also the unauthorized sharing of classified information - something that would have quickly sent anyone else not among the governing elite to jail. Don't believe the old adage that nobody is above the law. There are all-too-often two different implementations of the law:  (1) for the elite, and (2) for everyone else.

Brim starts out her article thus ...

On May 13, the Washington Post published an online op-ed by former CIA director and CENTCOM commander David Petraeus, titled “Anti-Muslim bigotry aids Islamist terrorists.” The op-ed was noteworthy chiefly for Petraeus’ use of rhetorical clichés more commonly expected from the Council on American Islamic Relations and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s “Islamophobia Observatory,” including such standards as “inflammatory political discourse against Muslims and Islam,” “blanket discrimination on the basis of religion,” “those who flirt with hate speech against Muslims,” “those who demonize and denigrate Islam,” “who toy with anti-Muslim bigotry,” and the ever-reliable “demonizing a religious faith and its adherents.” Although the op-ed seemed to target Donald Trump, it also admonished all Americans to limit what we say about Islam.

Petraeus’s attack was so over-the-top, no expression critical of Islamic doctrine would escape his censorship. Have you criticized mainstream Islamic doctrine or the laws of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates? You’re demonizing a religious faith. Do you object to authoritative Islamic doctrines justifying jihad, proclaimed by both Islamic governments and non-state Islamic militants alike? Stop toying with anti-Muslim bigotry; you’re just aiding “Islamist terrorists.”

Robert Spencer of Jihadwatch expertly summarized Petraeus’s specious logic: “So the upshot of Petraeus’ argument is that we must not say things to which Muslims might object, because this will just make more of them become jihadis. His prescription for minimizing the jihad against the West is for the West to practice self-censorship in order to avoid offending Muslims.”
Brim then goes on in the article to reveal that Petraeus's real motivation in writing the article is clearly monetary. Private financial gain, not some sense of ethical morality.

Perhaps the Post should have let their readers judge for themselves if Petraeus’s financial interests in KKR, and KKR’s financial interests in the Middle East, were relevant to his op-ed demanding an end to criticism of Islam. KKR has been trying for the past seven years to enter private equity markets in Muslim-majority countries, especially in Dubai (part of the United Arab Emirates) and Saudi Arabia. During those same years, the governments of Dubai and Saudi Arabia hardened their laws against criticism of Islam at home, and increased their lobbying spending to shut down criticism of Islamic doctrine abroad.

...  KKR had hired Petraeus as chairman of the Global Institute for exactly these opportunities, as Henry Kravis announced in KKR’s May 2013 press release announcing the Petraeus appointment: “As the world changes and we expand how and where we invest, we are always looking to sharpen the ‘KKR edge.’” Petraeus would help with “investments in new geographies,” presumably in those Middle East and Central Asian countries he knew from his years as CENTCOM commander and CIA director.

Petraeus got to work, presenting a sunny view of reforms in the region in a December 2013 interview with the PrivCap newsletter (video and transcript highlights): “Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, Morocco. . . in each of these countries there have been far more reforms than I think most people recognize. You have to understand the culture. You have to understand the conflicting tensions in these countries to appreciate how much, say, King Abdullah in Saudi Arabia has really done in a state where there is a lot of conservative sentiment.”

...  In Washington, reputation is the drug of choice, dealt on every corner of the K Street lobbying corridor.

Brim astutely summarizes:

...  In Washington, reputation is the drug of choice, dealt on every corner of the K Street lobbying corridor.

... The typical case: a highly placed official with a sterling reputation retires, someone whose career gave him contacts with foreign governments and foreign business leaders. His reputation has a respectable public part, his resume, and a valuable private part, his contacts, especially foreign contacts who control emerging markets and have money to spend on lobbying. When this useful individual speaks at conferences or publishes an op-ed or testifies before the Senate, his past resume is all that is presented when he is introduced as a speaker or summarized in a Washington Post “ID” accompanying his op-ed.

But his current employers, partners, and clients? Not disclosed, and neither K Street customs nor government regulations require the disclosure. If his speech, op-ed, or testimony just happens to align with the interests of his employers, partners, clients? That’s a serendipitous coincidence, an irrelevancy. As KKR stated, “General Petraeus regularly writes in his private capacity.”

Anyway, what difference does it make? The rules are clear. If you’re inside the Beltway, you already knew, and you have no need to know if you’re anywhere else.

David Petraeus is a tragic example of how corrupting an influence Washington DC is. It's a house of cards now built on money, power and sex that is unfortunately about to come crashing down.

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