A Most Important Question
In my last post I referred to this interesting article written by Brigitte Gabriel and presented in February of this year to a forum known as "The Intelligence Summit". In this article she describes how we in the US are hated and targetted for terror because we are the 'infidels', and (like so many others) calls Islam the real enemy in the War on Terror. Ms. Gabrielle's point of view is that of someone who escaped persecution in the Middle East:
My only crime was that I was a Christian living in a Christian town. I learned at 10 years old the meaning of the word infidel. I had a crash course in survival not in girl scouts, but in a bomb shelter where I lived for seven years in pitch darkness, freezing cold, drinking stale water and eating grass to live. At the age of 13 I dressed in my burial clothes going to bed at night waiting to be slaughtered and by the age of 20 I had buried most of my friends who were killed by Muslims. We were not Americans living in New York, or Britons in London, we were Arab Christians living in Lebanon.
I also referred to an equally compelling comment on the article from someone who is in my extended circle of military e-mail 'correspondents', and that I would post it if I received permission. I received that permission yesterday on the condition of 1- anonymity, 2- that I not identify his employer, and 3- stress that this is his personal views only. Consider #2 & #3 "done".
If I just posted the comment as is, references to his background alone would reveal the author: instantly to quite a few people and in about 5 minutes to anyone with a passing interest and access to a search engine. To meet the condition #1 above. I have redacted a minimum number of words in the text.
This individual takes a slightly more narrow view than "Islam is the Enemy":
A little editorial response from one who has spent over a decade working the "Middle East", ultimately becoming the Deputy Division Chief for Middle East Policy in XXXXXXX and also a tour as the Ops Group Commander and Installation Commander for XXXXXXXX XXXXXX.
What she describes is right on track for Lebanon in the 80s and 90s. What is left out is the Arab Vs Arab struggle for power that virtually destroyed Lebanon. There was horrendous blood on all sides. One of the worst atrocities was a Christian attack on several Muslim villages aided (or at least overlooked) by the Israelis. It cost Ariel Sharon his Job as the head of the IDF.
I have said repeatedly that this a struggle for the control of Islam that is now engulfing the whole world and that alone may ultimately cause this to eventually be referred to as WWIII. Also remember that Arab cultures embrace power and the raw, brutal exercise of it (hence mostly dictators and Monarchs in their governments).
However the real majority of Muslims (there are many more Non Arab Muslims that there are Arab Muslims) want what everyone wants, peaceful prosperity and respect for their culture and practices. Unfortunately they are not leading the effort to confront radical Islam for fear of lack of support in the West where the real power in the world has been focused since WWII.
Take a look at Vietnam, Somalia, Angola, Cambodia, Afghanistan with the Russians and where is a strong Western dictated outcome. Our (US/EU) attachment to negotiations and appeasement have been weak responses in their eyes and only embolden those, beginning with Iran in 1979, who think we are spineless and will cave to threats and pressure. So are we in a mess, yes, and the battle is for control of Islam.
The US and Europe and the rest of the world must choose sides and through economic, political and military support insure the radicals do not achieve any more objectives.
I think it was Rumsfeld who said we are in for a long hard slog......well we are and surrender is not an option.....
I agree. The game theorist in me also tells me we should first attempt to address the problem as an Arabist one. If we're wrong, we can always expand the scope later.