George H. Smith

Superman v. Islamic Terrorism

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Go SuperWilliam!

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William wrote, "Then I would get back to Metropolis and give Lois a good shagging."

Well done lad. Say hello to your fellow Canadian, Gold Member for me. I liked your script. I think I would have also given all the proven terrorists brittle bone disease with my vitamin deficiency vision.

Peter

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Even worse, I was stuck with National Geographic as my sole prospect for seeing topless women.

George,

You left out medical books like ones for first-aid. I have very fond childhood memories of those.

:smile:

Michael

My mother was a nurse so we had a lot of old medical books around. But I never found those appealing, for various reasons. My favorite source overall was probably the underwear models in the Sears Catalogues. Although there was no nudity in those, occasionally one would find a topless model where the only thing revealed was her bare back. To this day I find that sort of photo very sexy. I suppose that's because of the sensory imprinting in my youth. During puberty even mildly sexual images can leave a lasting impression, and I'm convinced that those youthful perceptions play a significant role in determining at least some of one's particular sexual preferences and reactions later in life. Of course, after puberty strikes boys may experience 24/7 erections, so sexual excitement can cover a lot of ground. If it is true, as it says in those ads for boner pills, that an erection lasting more than four hours requires medical attention, I would have spent much of my boyhood in the hospital. Most boys have probably experienced the embarrassment of having to give a report in front of a class while sporting an erection that won't quit. The first time that happened to me (in the 5th grade, I think) it took me a while to figure out why my report was eliciting so many giggles from the girls. 8-)

Ghs

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While watching the Republican debate last night and pondering the most popular Republican strategy for achieving international peace -- which I call the Let's kick some butt! theory of foreign affairs--I devised a fantasy scenario to focus attention on the question of how effective that strategy might be

Here is the basic setup. You magically become Superman (or his female equivalent) with all of his traditional powers. I won't quibble over exactly which powers you have. The point is that you can kill whomever you like with super speed, accuracy and efficiency (e.g., by frying brains at super-speed with your heat vision). And you can do all this without anyone ever knowing that you are the killer. You can also fly, etc., etc.

In short, you have virtually unlimited powers to kill, maim, torture, etc. anyone you like, and to do so with complete anonymity, so you decide to deal with the problem of ISIS and Islamic terrorism generally. The only limitation is that your Superman powers will expire after one year, so after that year is over you will need to use your normal human powers to deal with any adverse blowback you may have generated during your year as Superman. .

Maybe you don't believe that you will be able to eradicate Islamic terrorism within a year, but you figure that a year as Superman will be time enough to make significant improvements.

Okay, so what specifically would you do in that year? And how would your actions make things better in the long run? Your only constraint would be moral in nature, not physical. Be creative.

Ghs

If I were Superman in this situation, I would use my brains and X-ray vision to surveil the centre of the ISIS 'caliphate' in Syria (Raqqah). I would take a month of intake of all the open-source intelligence on the hierarchy and location of the leaders and secondary leaders and the location of their weapons stocks and their tanks, communication structures and raw-materials and other war materiel. I would memorize each face, each history, each location.

Next, I would use my heat-vision to knock out the ISIS materiel. I would render their guns, mortars, explosives, radios, cell-phones inert masses of metal sludge. I would use my super-strength and my super-speed to wrap each trained suicide bomber with a net enclosing him.

Next, I would appear in the sky over Raqqah and advise the civilians that ISIS's power to intimidate and coerce and kill was stilled, and that they could collect the netted actors.

Next, I would raise whirlwinds that would take up the top echelon of other jihadi criminals and leaders and administrators into the sky, and then bring them down to Tadmor prison and other incarceration spots. I would fuse their financial system and computer servers into electronic sludge. I would fuse sand into glass and raise a barrier to any fleeing criminal actor. I would remove Jabat al Nusra to incarceration centres.

Then, I would ground the Syrian Air Force and stall all the motorized vehicles and helicopters that daily rain death on civilians. I would open the secret dungeons where civilians were/are tortured to death. I would collect the varied internal documents by which Assad's regime conducted a lawless war, and I would deposit them in the Hague.

I would defuse all bombs, including the mustard shells in play. I would render disabled the machinery and materiel just brought into Syria this week by Russia. I would, in every effort, bring a ceasefire. I would heat-vision destroy all the legal instruments of the special Terrorist Court, and then bring to Syria those political actors who were forced to flee torture and death.

I would remove President Assad to the Fortress of Solitude for later questioning. I would remove to the Fortress the essential corps of family/thug supporters of the dictatorship in power positions. I would render unto the civilians what they hoped for -- an end to the fighting and a possibility of returning home and rebuilding.

Then I would get back to Metropolis and give Lois a good shagging.

The sort of plan you outlined has occurred to me as well, though not in as much detail. But there remains the problem that physical force (including the destruction of resources) will never change a culture, especially a culture that is deeply religious. Even if Superman killed every member of ISIS, a similar group would arise and we would find ourselves in the same boat.

In view of this Whack-a-Mole problem, I have concluded that the best Superman scenario would be for Superman, after sufficient study in the theory and history of Islam (let us assume he is able to learn the needed languages), to present himself as a prophet from Allah, while corroborating his claim by using whatever "supernatural" powers he needed to appear authentic. This way, when Superman spoke, Muslims would listen, convinced that he is their messiah. Of course, Superman could never reveal himself in any other situation or his cover would be blown. Plus, I don't know whether some kind of future messiah with miraculous powers (similar to the second coming of Jesus) is consistent with Islamic theology, but I think Superman could figure something out. This plan, unlike the use of force (unless force was necessary to strike down a few skeptics and heretics to keep things real) would at least stand a chance of changing the minds of people. One problem, however, might arise if Superman proved highly successful in his role as the Muslim Messiah, namely he might convert many, many current non-Muslims to Islam. 8-)

The Superman qua Muslim prophet could also deal with the loss of his powers after a year. Shortly before becoming a normal person again, Superman could stage a major event in which he ascends to heaven, having announced that his mission is complete. And he could leave a new Holy Book behind that bans the use of violence, etc.

Ghs

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Poor Lois.

Larry Niven's essay, "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" (1969), discusses some of the problems if Superman were to have sex with a human female. Most of you are probably familiar with this piece already, but in case you've been living on another planet, here it is....

http://www.rawbw.com/~svw/superman.html

Ghs

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While watching the Republican debate last night and pondering the most popular Republican strategy for achieving international peace -- which I call the Let's kick some butt! theory of foreign affairs--I devised a fantasy scenario to focus attention on the question of how effective that strategy might be

Here is the basic setup. You magically become Superman (or his female equivalent) with all of his traditional powers. I won't quibble over exactly which powers you have. The point is that you can kill whomever you like with super speed, accuracy and efficiency (e.g., by frying brains at super-speed with your heat vision). And you can do all this without anyone ever knowing that you are the killer. You can also fly, etc., etc.

In short, you have virtually unlimited powers to kill, maim, torture, etc. anyone you like, and to do so with complete anonymity, so you decide to deal with the problem of ISIS and Islamic terrorism generally. The only limitation is that your Superman powers will expire after one year, so after that year is over you will need to use your normal human powers to deal with any adverse blowback you may have generated during your year as Superman. .

Maybe you don't believe that you will be able to eradicate Islamic terrorism within a year, but you figure that a year as Superman will be time enough to make significant improvements.

Okay, so what specifically would you do in that year? And how would your actions make things better in the long run? Your only constraint would be moral in nature, not physical. Be creative.

Ghs

If I were Superman in this situation, I would use my brains and X-ray vision to surveil the centre of the ISIS 'caliphate' in Syria (Raqqah). I would take a month of intake of all the open-source intelligence on the hierarchy and location of the leaders and secondary leaders and the location of their weapons stocks and their tanks, communication structures and raw-materials and other war materiel. I would memorize each face, each history, each location.

Next, I would use my heat-vision to knock out the ISIS materiel. I would render their guns, mortars, explosives, radios, cell-phones inert masses of metal sludge. I would use my super-strength and my super-speed to wrap each trained suicide bomber with a net enclosing him.

Next, I would appear in the sky over Raqqah and advise the civilians that ISIS's power to intimidate and coerce and kill was stilled, and that they could collect the netted actors.

Next, I would raise whirlwinds that would take up the top echelon of other jihadi criminals and leaders and administrators into the sky, and then bring them down to Tadmor prison and other incarceration spots. I would fuse their financial system and computer servers into electronic sludge. I would fuse sand into glass and raise a barrier to any fleeing criminal actor. I would remove Jabat al Nusra to incarceration centres.

Then, I would ground the Syrian Air Force and stall all the motorized vehicles and helicopters that daily rain death on civilians. I would open the secret dungeons where civilians were/are tortured to death. I would collect the varied internal documents by which Assad's regime conducted a lawless war, and I would deposit them in the Hague.

I would defuse all bombs, including the mustard shells in play. I would render disabled the machinery and materiel just brought into Syria this week by Russia. I would, in every effort, bring a ceasefire. I would heat-vision destroy all the legal instruments of the special Terrorist Court, and then bring to Syria those political actors who were forced to flee torture and death.

I would remove President Assad to the Fortress of Solitude for later questioning. I would remove to the Fortress the essential corps of family/thug supporters of the dictatorship in power positions. I would render unto the civilians what they hoped for -- an end to the fighting and a possibility of returning home and rebuilding.

Then I would get back to Metropolis and give Lois a good shagging.

The sort of plan you outlined has occurred to me as well, though not in as much detail. But there remains the problem that physical force (including the destruction of resources) will never change a culture, especially a culture that is deeply religious. Even if Superman killed every member of ISIS, a similar group would arise and we would find ourselves in the same boat.

In view of this Whack-a-Mole problem, I have concluded that the best Superman scenario would be for Superman, after sufficient study in the theory and history of Islam (let us assume he is able to learn the needed languages), to present himself as a prophet from Allah, while corroborating his claim by using whatever "supernatural" powers he needed to appear authentic. This way, when Superman spoke, Muslims would listen, convinced that he is their messiah. Of course, Superman could never reveal himself in any other situation or his cover would be blown. Plus, I don't know whether some kind of future messiah with miraculous powers (similar to the second coming of Jesus) is consistent with Islamic theology, but I think Superman could figure something out. This plan, unlike the use of force (unless force was necessary to strike down a few skeptics and heretics to keep things real) would at least stand a chance of changing the minds of people. One problem, however, might arise if Superman proved highly successful in his role as the Muslim Messiah, namely he might convert many, many current non-Muslims to Islam. 8-)

The Superman qua Muslim prophet could also deal with the loss of his powers after a year. Shortly before becoming a normal person again, Superman could stage a major event in which he ascends to heaven, having announced that his mission is complete. And he could leave a new Holy Book behind that bans the use of violence, etc.

Ghs

Clark Kent, the Prophet.

--Brant

needs work

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Larry Niven's essay, "Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex" (1969), discusses some of the problems if Superman were to have sex with a human female. Most of you are probably familiar with this piece already, but in case you've been living on another planet, here it is....

http://www.rawbw.com/~svw/superman.html

Ghs

For starters Lois would have to be on top while Super-duper-man is passive.

--Brant

I'm afraid it's really an unsolvable problem

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The sort of plan you outlined has occurred to me as well, though not in as much detail. But there remains the problem that physical force (including the destruction of resources) will never change a culture, especially a culture that is deeply religious. Even if Superman killed every member of ISIS, a similar group would arise and we would find ourselves in the same boat.

I tend to disagree with one of the assumptions here -- that destruction of (war) resources can never change a culture. For me, this suggests that a culture cannot evolve, that it is a relatively fixed thing. Maybe this is a bad analogy, but I think of Nazi Germany and the Federal Republic of Germany. I also think of the 'culture' of the Ottoman Empire versus the culture of the Turkish Republic of Ataturk.

But set that aside as unhelpful ... I find the next bit a bit hard to grant (rephrased): "Force will never change a culture that is deeply religious." It is clear to me from my obsession with the Syrian civil war that there is simply no one culture in that benighted land. There are many. The 'birth' of ISIS in Iraq was part of Saddam-era "Sunnification" of the Baath party. It is not a simple religious extrusion of Syrian 'culture,' and Syrian culture, such as it has been, has comprised Sunni, Shia, Ismaili, Druze, Alawites, Syriac, Kurds, Circassians, and other tiny sects and communities. There is no unifying Sunni extremist culture that comprises the ISIS 'culture' of death and terror.

I do think you are right, however, in arguing that ISIS (and the only slightly less evil Nusra Front) will be difficult to eradicate entirely, though I argue that ISIS are essentially comprised of actual 'foreigners' -- not only foreign to the state but to its people.

From the hidden dissidents of Raqqah, the situation there is very much an alien occupation -- the top rank lodgings, the ease of access to resources and all power positions are assigned to the non-Syrian imported jihadis. They are the 'ruling' class and they use every tool of coercion on inhabitants -- from torture, public execution by stoning, drowning, burning alive, blowing up with explosives, dropping from a height, to threats, intimidation, rape and actual slavery.

I'd argue, George, that these aspects of ISIS are not attractive to Syrian 'culture'. The 'silent majority' of Syrian Muslims finds ISIS to be a revolting distortion of Islam, in my opinion.

So, if my Superman could still the belligerents and render the evil actors without arms, I believe that subsequent peace would not result in a ruling class anything like ISIS. There are of course, issues at the margins. How much local support is there for any armed groups, jihadi or secular, that are committed to the downfall of the Assad dictatorship? We could argue for months on this, as Syria continues to depopulate.

One way of looking at it is, how have people voted with their feet? How many flee ISIS if given a chance? How many have fled the daily non-stop bombing and shelling of remaindered civilian populations by the regime?

The end of my Superman actions were to return the option of self-government to Syrians, without the 'head of the snake' who brought Syria to its hideous present.

My prejudice is, perhaps, that the greatest evil actor in Syria is the Assad regime. How many of the estimated 260,000 civilian dead were killed by Assad-allied forces, and who may were killed by ISIS? Who is fleeing who? These are questions I have rough answers to, but the answers would take many thousands of words to explicate.

Meanwhile, ostensibly Muslim folks are on their way to the former genocidal culture of Germany ...

CPW-HvgWcAAYFRE.jpg

In view of this Whack-a-Mole problem, I have concluded that the best Superman scenario would be for Superman, after sufficient study in the theory and history of Islam (let us assume he is able to learn the needed languages), to present himself as a prophet from Allah, while corroborating his claim by using whatever "supernatural" powers he needed to appear authentic. This way, when Superman spoke, Muslims would listen, convinced that he is their messiah. Of course, Superman could never reveal himself in any other situation or his cover would be blown. Plus, I don't know whether some kind of future messiah with miraculous powers (similar to the second coming of Jesus) is consistent with Islamic theology, but I think Superman could figure something out. This plan, unlike the use of force (unless force was necessary to strike down a few skeptics and heretics to keep things real) would at least stand a chance of changing the minds of people. One problem, however, might arise if Superman proved highly successful in his role as the Muslim Messiah, namely he might convert many, many current non-Muslims to Islam. 8-)

The Superman qua Muslim prophet could also deal with the loss of his powers after a year. Shortly before becoming a normal person again, Superman could stage a major event in which he ascends to heaven, having announced that his mission is complete. And he could leave a new Holy Book behind that bans the use of violence, etc.

I love it. Perfect justice in a perfect world!

Meanwhile, the Russians are just now entering battle in Syria, ostensibly to 'assist' Assad in beating back ISIS. Sadly, the Syrian government forces are primarily battling non-ISIS Syrian oppositionists. The Assad regime has crimped, managed or terminated the existence of any normal political life since the Baathist dictatorship was installed forty-five years ago.

On that happy note, thanks for the opportunity to be Superman for a year!

Edited by william.scherk

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I have concluded that the best Superman scenario would be for Superman, after sufficient study in the theory and history of Islam (let us assume he is able to learn the needed languages), to present himself as a prophet from Allah, while corroborating his claim by using whatever "supernatural" powers he needed to appear authentic. This way, when Superman spoke, Muslims would listen, convinced that he is their messiah. Of course, Superman could never reveal himself in any other situation or his cover would be blown. Plus, I don't know whether some kind of future messiah with miraculous powers (similar to the second coming of Jesus) is consistent with Islamic theology, but I think Superman could figure something out. This plan, unlike the use of force (unless force was necessary to strike down a few skeptics and heretics to keep things real) would at least stand a chance of changing the minds of people. One problem, however, might arise if Superman proved highly successful in his role as the Muslim Messiah, namely he might convert many, many current non-Muslims to Islam. 8-)

The Superman qua Muslim prophet could also deal with the loss of his powers after a year. Shortly before becoming a normal person again, Superman could stage a major event in which he ascends to heaven, having announced that his mission is complete. And he could leave a new Holy Book behind that bans the use of violence, etc.

Ghs

George,

This is an absolutely brilliant approach to changing the core story of a culture.

You build on the old one, not deny it. That would work. Too bad there is no Superman to help out. But this approach is the right path.

As you know, I have a semi-autistic step-son, Sean.

I talked about your idea to Kat and Sean, but soon he started scowling. The more I talked, the more he scowled.

Finally, I said, "Of course this would get boring for Superman, so a year after overhauling Islam, he would ascend to Heaven and go back to being himself." And I floated up my arms as if I myself were ascending.

Sean, sulking by now, asked me in an accusing voice, "Is there a heaven in the DC Universe?"

:smile:

Michael

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Sean, sulking by now, asked me in an accusing voice, "Is there a heaven in the DC Universe?"

:smile:

Michael

Yes, there is a heaven in the DC universe: To own a copy of Superman #1 in mint condition. 8-)

Ghs

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George,

This is an absolutely brilliant approach to changing the core story of a culture.

You build on the old one, not deny it. That would work. Too bad there is no Superman to help out. But this approach is the right path.

Have you read much about the Baha'i religion?

Throughout history, God has sent to humanity a series of divine Educators—known as Manifestations of God—whose teachings have provided the basis for the advancement of civilization. These Manifestations have included Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad. Bahá’u’lláh, the latest of these Messengers, explained that the religions of the world come from the same Source and are in essence successive chapters of one religion from God.

That's their explicitly stated approach.

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George,

This is an absolutely brilliant approach to changing the core story of a culture.

You build on the old one, not deny it. That would work. Too bad there is no Superman to help out. But this approach is the right path.

Have you read much about the Baha'i religion?

Throughout history, God has sent to humanity a series of divine Educators—known as Manifestations of God—whose teachings have provided the basis for the advancement of civilization. These Manifestations have included Abraham, Krishna, Zoroaster, Moses, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad. Bahá’u’lláh, the latest of these Messengers, explained that the religions of the world come from the same Source and are in essence successive chapters of one religion from God.

That's their explicitly stated approach.

Duncan,

Imagine if we made up a big-picture story where Ayn Rand was such a manifestation.

:)

I think she would wear the prophet mantle well. Especially if "God" were another name for "reality."

Michael

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