Many people worldwide are concerned about the human condition, especially the multiple crises in the Middle East in general, and within the Muslim community in particular. As an American executive working in the region, Donald L. (“Skip”) Conover, shares such worries, pondering current events there and their implications for the future. Like all of us, Skip was profoundly affected by two horrendous happenings in the opening of our new millennium – the 9/11 attacks of 2001 upon the United States, and the London bombings of July 7, 2005, in the United Kingdom. The perpetrators were all anarchists and terrorists who happened to be Muslims bent on destroying Western power and values. In human civilizations, anarchy has periodically arisen among extremists aiming to destabilize society by overthrowing governments, authority, as well as the rule of law, so as to cause political disorder and social confusion. Londoners have learned to cope with many of this ilk over the centuries, experiencing a series of bombings and uprisings from many quarters.
Thus, the future author of Tsunami of Blood analyzed these events, worsened by America’s 21st century precipitous interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, both Muslim societies. He became incensed at the way modern media, especially CNN and Fox News, reported such happenings superficially, indiscriminately blaming the global Muslim community of some 1.3 billion people. From his extensive travels in the Middle East and friendship with many Muslims, he knew that 99% of them were moderate persons who peacefully practiced the religion of Islam. Apart from writing letters of protest, his first project to remedy the distortions and promote more balanced views was to initiate a current affairs program called Words Matter, which has been broadcast nationally.
Then on June 12, 2006, Skip started his on-line diary to share his own thoughts and experiences on these matters. These electronic communications became, in effect, the original edition of Tsunami of Blood. The blog was intended to forestall a future bloodbath between East and West, while promoting mutual understanding between Christians and Muslims. His “stream of consciousness” writings would result in reactions from thousands of readers in 115 countries. Subsequently, Conover’s Internet installments (www.tsunamiofblood.com) became the basis of this second edition of his book, now in print for those of us who prefer to read a bound, hardcopy.
Conover is an astute observer of the contemporary world scene, who brings a rare perspective to a variety of related topics. Raised during formative years in Japan and educated in the United States, he served as a Marine in Vietnam, ending his military career with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Then Skip went on to become an international attorney and executive, as well as founder of his own company with partners in India. His extensive Middle Eastern travels have given him unique insights about the many crises in that region.
In this current version, the writer’s Prologue sets forth his premises for this volume, as well as a listing of his personal beliefs. This Prologue enables readers to respond to the author’s purposes and convictions in preparing this publication. In these pages, Skip’s commentary covers many themes, such as: the evolution of his mindset; position on the war and chaos in Iraq; disgust with international media reporting; results of video interviews with prominent experts and authors; hijacking of Islam and distortions of the Koran by fundamentalist fanatics; arrogance and misunderstanding by American political “leaders”; terror management theory; Western misperceptions of the Muslims in 57 countries; how to build bridges of understanding with the Muslim world, especially in North America; diverse Muslim reactions to imperialistic interventions in their societies and the divisions within Islam; how to win the “war on terror” and prevent a “tsunami of blood”! Finally, in the Epilogue he summarizes his major points, adding his views on more recent developments in Iraq, like the emerging civil war and the inchoate execution of its dictator, Saddam Hussein.
Skip Conover has “bared his soul” in this forthright book. Readers may not always agree with him, but his input is “mind stretching”! As the author/editor of some 45 books, myself, I welcome this published text of Tsunami of Blood, and hope readers will share my enthusiasm. Both the electronic and published versions of this work demonstrate how one person can indeed impact, and maybe, even change our world!
Philip R. Harris, Ph.D., La Jolla, California
Co-author and co-editor of the Managing Cultural Differences Series