A friend suggested I take a look at a “promising” Republican presidential candidate, Kerry Bowers. So I did. I went to his website at http://kerrybowers.com/index.html and looked over some of his belief and platform statements.
I noticed there was nothing mentioned about either national security or Islam (the primary reasons the US is spending billions of dollars per year and causing massive heartburn with regard to government invasion of privacy). These are the same omissions I noticed about Obama early on in his first presidential campaign. This void caused me to send Mr. Bowers the following email asking him his views on these oddly avoided topics:
Sent: Friday, July 11, 2014 11:27 AM
I read much of your website with interest.
I notice there was no specific mention of Islam or National Security, both hot buttons related to foreign policy.
What is your view of Islam, or the threat it may pose to the West, to Christianity, or to the US specifically?
Do you believe the historic, orthodox ideology breeds the "radicals", or the "radicals" are being "un-Islamic."
A week or so later I received the following reply posted below in its entirety. His first two paragraphs do not relate specifically to the topic of Islam (I dimmed the font), but the balance of his comments do:
Kerry Bowers via eigbox.net
First, thank you for taking the time to begin reading the material I have provided on my website and thank you too for your inquiry. I believe the number one priority of the Federal Government is to provide for the defense of the nation, something I devoted 30 years of my life to as an officer in the US Air Force and would continue to do as the nation’s executive servant. I addressed in the documents ‘Introduction’ and ‘Foreign Policy,’ accessible from my website, both my principal and principled ideas on the threats and the strategy I propose to engage them when diplomacy is exhausted. I invite you to review those if you have not and, hopefully, they will answer your question about my focus on national security. Bottom line, this nation will be protected from all threats to the extent it can be through both defensive and offensive operations inclusive of preemptive attacks against unquestionable war- or terror-postured threats. Time and the vastness of an ocean are no longer on our side to react with a defensive response alone to every conceivable threat, leaving preemption as the least favored but perhaps best option.
Let me say too, I will not violate the 4th amendment right of our citizens to be secure in their persons, papers, houses and effects to the extent I believe they have been violated under the Patriot Act, among other measures since 911. Freedom comes with a certain amount of risk to security and I will work to achieve the proper balance between risk and lawful surveillance.
With respect to religion, does religion breed terror or is it the individual criminals of humanity who beckon or force the vulnerable to follow them under the banner of a particular religion to achieve their own agenda? I have read the Quran, cover-to-cover, as a military officer trying to understand the threat and I have not been drawn to be an Islam-proclaiming terrorist. In fact, it drew me closer to Christianity for what Christianity holds for me over that of Islam, and to make that statement is not a condemnation of Islam. So, is it Islam from which the terror rises or the tyranny from the inability to decide for oneself when forced into a form of subservience under the banner of Islam? I tend to think the latter is true as has been demonstrated throughout history under more banners than that of just Islam.
I reflect on the atrocities committed under the banners of Christianity and particularly between Catholics and Protestants over the last millennia? Did the banner of Christianity and our New Testament create the terror or did those few with an agenda indifferent to Christ create the terror and leave no reasonable option to the pawns of their tyranny?
Perhaps the greatest fundamental threat to our nation today is not from Islam, but from the increasing exclusion of Judeo-Christian values, the very same upon which our nation was founded. If we exclude those values, then we create a void to which evil may evolve and under any banner it so chooses to raise above those vulnerable to such demagoguery.
It will be my responsibility as the nation’s executive servant to protect the right of every individual to practice their religion (or none) as they desire, but within the confines of the Constitution and other laws that may apply.
I apologize for the brevity and some reflective questions to answer questions, but, hopefully, I have satisfactorily responded and given you some confidence of my focus on these issues. Thank you again for your questions and your interest in this campaign to Restore America’s Blessings.
His comments on Islam and the Qur’an reflect a shallow, naïve, inaccurate, and dangerous understanding of that ideology. His gloss-over is as naïve as calling Nazism a neutral, peace-loving ideology highjacked by a few radicals as Hitler was rolling through Austria in the late 30’s. Except Islam is worse because there is a psychotic religious component and 1,400 years of cultural perversion behind it.
I found Mr. Bowers portrayal of Islam so far removed from reality that I had to reply. And so I did. His comments are in quotes. My responses are in white:
Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
Yes, I see that you address "national security" more or less indirectly through your other topics.
I do have something to add with regard to your approach to Islam and the Qur'an. I will address your comments in the context of your paragraphs, below:
"With respect to religion, does religion breed terror or is it the individual criminals of humanity who beckon or force the vulnerable to follow them under the banner of a particular religion to achieve their own agenda?"
My own 13 years of study and writing about Islam, learning intently from experts such as Robert Spencer, Bill Warner, Andrew McCarthy, and a number of former Muslim terrorists, and observing the actions and motivations of virtually thousands of so-called "radicals", many of whom were thought to be "moderate", I am firmly convinced that in the case of Islam, it indeed breeds what we call criminal and psychotic behaviors. Islam both reflects and forms the culture. The Islamic culture has a radically different morality from Judeo-Christianity. Today's Islamic radicals reflect the behaviors, pronouncements, and teachings of Muhammad. These teachings promote Jew hatred, abuse of women, lying and deception (taqiyya), intolerance and violent supremacism. These behaviors are integral to the orthodox and most popular interpretations of the Islamic trilogy today.
"I have read the Quran, cover-to-cover, as a military officer trying to understand the threat and I have not been drawn to be an Islam-proclaiming terrorist."
I am pleased for you that reading the Qur'an did not draw you to be an Islam-proclaiming terrorist. However, your above statement makes it clear you understood neither what you read, nor the influence of what you read on over a billion souls, sadly. To proclaim something that you do not understand to be "harmless" takes a lot of faith. Why is there no other religion that instigates so much violence, terror and hate by such a huge margin, in the name of Islam, as Islam? To ignore this disparity is to practice self-deceptive moral equivalency.
"In fact, it drew me closer to Christianity for what Christianity holds for me over that of Islam, ..."
For the Christianized western mind, that would be the expected outcome.
"...and to make that statement is not a condemnation of Islam."
That is because you do not yet understand Islam.
"So, is it Islam from which the terror rises or the tyranny from the inability to decide for oneself when forced into a form of subservience under the banner of Islam? I tend to think the latter is true as has been demonstrated throughout history under more banners than that of just Islam."
It is Islam from which the terror rises. The "banner of Islam" is what Islam has taught for 1,400 years. Islam has been awakening from a century of slumber and is becoming what it was meant to be. We are seeing an Islamic reformation - it is reforming itself back to its violent, intolerant roots.
“I reflect on the atrocities committed under the banners of Christianity and particularly between Catholics and Protestants over the last millennia? Did the banner of Christianity and our New Testament create the terror or did those few with an agenda indifferent to Christ create the terror and leave no reasonable option to the pawns of their tyranny?”
You have reasoned yourself into a bad case of moral equivalency that does not exist. If you understood the Islamic trilogy and tradition, you would understand that today's Muslim leadership (both the mythical "moderates" as well as the mainstream "radicals") are faithful to the historic spirit of orthodox Islam. To compare that to atrocities of Christians who deviated 180 degrees from orthodox Christianity is making a comparison that is at odds with reality.
"Perhaps the greatest fundamental threat to our nation today is not from Islam, but from the increasing exclusion of Judeo-Christian values, the very same upon which our nation was founded. If we exclude those values, then we create a void to which evil may evolve and under any banner it so chooses to raise above those vulnerable to such demagoguery."
Loss of our Christian compass and the rise of Islam go hand in hand. A giant void is being filled by evil.
One of the greatest disservices to our nation ever committed by a sitting president (except for Obama's entire term of office) was committed by George Bush a day after 9-11 when he proclaimed that "Islam is a religion of peace." You appear to be following in his footsteps.
Thank you for your reply and your willingness to be transparent in your positions. An educated electorate is our best hope.
Mr. Bowers, while articulate with (I assume) good intentions, should be an example for all of us of how a single issue – a single snafu of understanding and logic – in this case his Pollyanna-esque understanding of Islam – should disqualify a candidate from election to public office.
He could be the most wonderful man, the most fiscally conservative human to walk the planet. But if he refuses to understand Islam, what it is, how it works, what it wants – and the fact that the people who call themselves “Muslim” generally agree with that evil –that should be a deal-killer for any intelligent voter.
Sadly and outrageously, Mr. Bowers is repeating what our military is promoting to its flag officers concerning Islam: That Islam is not the problem – it is the “radicals” who misunderstand Islam and distort it.”
No. No. No! Islam is not being distorted by radicals. Islam is creating the radicals - making radicals of Islam’s most devout followers. Islam is the root of the evil. And don’t be deceived into believing the “moderate” Muslims are benign. Most of the higher profile “moderates” have been found to side with terrorist groups and vile Islamic doctrine every bit as faithfully as the so-called radicals.
Our military leaders are being reeducated to tolerate the intolerable and intolerant – Islam. That has GOT to change, and a Commander-in-Chief like Mr. Bowers will not do that.