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American politicians, most of whom do not think about anyone else or anything else until some event forces them to, did not understand the socioeconomic ideology that drove the Vietnamese Communist; now they do not understand the religious ideology that drives the radical Muslims, particularly those in Iraq. We blunder around the world trampling on people’s toes and ideas while wondering the whole time why they are irritated with us instead of being thankful. When are we going to make an effort to understand the driving force behind the people with whom we have a conflict?

I have lived in the Middle East and studied their culture and religion; so I understand a little about the problems we are having now and will continue to have in the future. The foundation of the problem is that European and Western countries have a basic, almost intrinsic, understanding of the differences between the role of civil law and the role of religion in our society. Our law and our religion are held in two separate hands. We have this understanding because we inherited the concept from the Romans. For Muslims, however, the idea of law came from their religion and for them law and religion are held in one hand. Their law and religion come from the Qur’an. We have separate and independent political, judicial, educational, and religious leaders; Muslims have clerics who control everything. The clerics are the political, judicial, educational, and religious, leaders who teach and control Muslim minds from birth to death. Muslims raised under this system who are madras schooled have a limited concept of self determination; they think and they are what their clerics tell them to think and to be.

For the United States to try and introduce and develop the concept of separate social compartments for the ideas of law, religion, and education in a short period of time will be just about as successful as trying to separate Siamese twins with a chain saw. Any change in Islam must come from the inside and I don’t look for that to happen for at least the next one hundred years.


The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

John Simpson

During my twelve-year navy career I served as an electronics instructor and flight crew member tracking NASA manned apace shots. I took the first pictures of the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker Lenin as it traveled south along the coast of Norway; one of the photographs I took was on the front page of the New York Times. I was a member of the navy’s Operation Deep Freeze in New Zealand and the Antarctic. During President Johnson’s South East Asia tour, I was assigned to President Johnson’s White House staff in Wellington, New Zealand and served as a security team leader. In 1967 I switched to the army and trained young army officers to be avionics maintenance officers. I was recruited by the Green Berets and assigned to jump school. After my airborne training, I was assigned to the 46th Special Forces Company in Thailand where I traveled from Malaysia to Burma installing and upgrading communication sites. On one occasion, I provided support for Special Forces operations in Laos. I was also an instructor for small weapons, jungle survival, physical security and combat-in-cities. In 1970 I graduated from primary flight school and Cobra attack-helicopter training; then went directly to Vietnam and the 25th Infantry Division just outside of Saigon. After six months, I was reassigned to the 101st Airborne Division just south of the dividing line between North and South Vietnam. I received nine air medals, two bronze stars and one army commendation medal in Vietnam. My next assignment was in Munich, Germany where I flew the border between East and West Germany. While stationed in Germany I was recruited by the Criminal Investigation Division and later Military Intelligence to track military drug dealers; my investigation led me to a French Communist woman who was supporting an underground newspaper that was providing instructions on how to sabotage military aircraft, vehicles and generators. While serving with the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment in Germany I also trained the unit's Aero Rifle Platoon in combat-in-cities and combat-in-forest techniques. During my long military career I was trained in and pursued independent studies in special warfare, psychological warfare, and physical security. My presentations on the military prove that I understand the difference between the problems inherent to war and problems caused by poor military planning, leadership, and management. I have lived and worked in a number of Muslim countries and have studied Islamic culture and religion for more than twenty years. My presentations on the Middle East and Islam provide insight into current world events and our relationships with the Middle Eastern countries of Iran and Iraq. After retirement, I worked for Bell Helicopter and was assigned to Isfahan, Iran as a Cobra test pilot. I enjoyed Iran until the terrorism started. They blew up my favorite Korean restaurant just moments after I had walked out. I escaped from Iran just prior to the overthrow of the government. Upon returning home to Ohio, I learned from the evening news that some of the Iranian military officers I had worked with had been executed (murdered) under orders from Ayatollah Khomeini. Since leaving Bell Helicopter, I have had three novels published and have worked as a technical writer, publications consultant, and engineer for Siemens, IBM, Motorola, and Dresser Industries. I have written more than 300 technical manuals on computers, computer controlled equipment, central-office telephone equipment, pagers, robots, hydraulics, pneumatics, diesel engines, jet engines, helicopters, and mining equipment. Today, I am employed as a research and development engineer for a South Florida Aerospace company; I also continue to do public speaking and radio appearances. I live in Florida with my wife JoAnn and my four-pound Chihuahua named Chiquita.


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