Muhammad Abu Rumman, a researcher at the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan and a writer for the Jordanian daily Al-Ghad, published an article highlighting 10 notable Western scientific achievements from 2016, including the detection of gravitational waves, which were predicted by Albert Einstein, and the discovery of a ninth planet in the solar system, and compared them to 10 notable "achievements" in the Arab world during that year, including the perfection of the car bomb, the "development" of the concept of lone wolves and barrel bombs, and the destruction of archaeological sites. Abu Rumman implicitly invites readers to compare these achievements and draw their own conclusions.
The following are excerpts from the article:
Muhammad Abu Rumman (ikhwansyria.com)
"The BBC website published the 10 biggest scientific achievements of 2016, which include: the discovery of the gravitational waves that Einstein discussed 100 years ago; the arrival of the [Juno] probe to Jupiter; the discovery of a ninth [planet] in the solar system nicknamed 'Nine'; the discovery of a 99 million-year-old dinosaur tail preserved in amber; the finding of the largest prime number [yet discovered], which has 22 million digits; the development of a tiny disc that can store 360 terabytes of data and last for 14 billion years; stem cell injections for patients who suffered [a stroke due to] blood clots in order to restore motor function; the discovery of a new type of blind cave-dwelling fish that can climb walls; the first landing by a rocket [at sea after completing its mission]; and transplanting a chip in a paralyzed patient's brain, enabling him to move his fingers.
"Now, let us think of the prominent Arab achievements, both scientific and non-scientific, during 2016:
"1. The car bomb tactic, which ISIS and Jabhat Al-Nusra excel at, which transforms basic primary materials into a devastating mechanism of killing, without the need to develop inventions and carry out complex scientific research as is done in the West. It is enough to pack a large amount of explosives into a car, don an explosive vest, and embed yourself in the ranks of the 'enemy' in order to injure and kill dozens and cause horrid destruction. ISIS has announced that, according to a recent study [it conducted], in the recent period there have been 1,112 martyrdom operations, all of whose perpetrators obviously died, and that during that period, they killed a large number of people on the other side.
"2. Transforming any device or tool into a tank or lethal bomb, as happened when [ISIS] supporters in Europe, who are usually of Arab descent, ran over passersby in Nice, France and elsewhere. Thus, knives have become tools for carrying out stabbing [attacks] and axes and butcher knives have [likewise] become deadly weapons.
"3. The idea of the 'lone wolf': As opposed to the elaborate planning of operations such as September 11, 2001, and other [complex] operations that require financial expenditure, prolonged preparation, and increased coordination efforts, [terror] has [now] become much easier. It is enough to engage in 'brainwashing' – using the virtual world, or even relatives or friends – in order to turn a man into a 'lone wolf' who aspires to carry out an attack and kill as many people as possible. Since the lone wolf is usually incapable of targeting military or security installations, ISIS has granted him religious permission to harm anything that moves, and sometimes things that don't – whether it is a Shi'ite praying in his mosque, or a group of people at soccer [match] or in a church, nightclub or market.
"4. 'Barrel bombs' – an amazing achievement or discovery credited to the Syrian regime. If you wish to eliminate an armed uprising, instead of conducting urban combat with precise military planning and directly confronting [the rebels], and instead of using expensive missiles that might miss their targets, all you have to do is use 'barrel bombs' dropped from planes that kill hundreds of people, and terrify the others into 'willingly emigrating.'
"5. Successes in the field of ethnic cleansing.
"7. Destroying and blowing up antiquities.
"8. Our capabilities in the field of destroying our own people and structures. There have been cumulative achievements [in this field] in the past year, and according to the recent [UNDP] Arab Human Development Report, the Arab region's share of world's battle-related deaths in 2014 was 68.5%, its share of world's refugees was 57.5%, and its share of world's IDP [Internally Displaced People] was 47%.
"9. [Recognizing] the importance of tyrannical regimes in preserving stability.
"10. Rediscovering the Shi'ite-Sunni conflict."