The enemy hasn't changed...July 8 2004 at 7:56 AM
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The last thing Nick Berg heard as his head was being sliced off in Iraq were the chants of his executioners: "Allah is great."
Add in, American journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan two years ago, civilian contractor Paul Johnson in Saudi Arabia last month, and the other unfortunates beheaded in this sadistic ritual, an ancient, honored Islamic practice which has become the signature of Muslim radicals. The terrorists know how offensive and ugly this act appears to the Western eye, and they're using the Arab media and internet to great effect, in advertising just how "ruthless and savage" their true believers will be, as they attempt to impose their radical Islamofascism on the rest of the world.
"Allah is great." The chant is mostly glossed over, treated as just another war cry, or the Arab equivalent of the American "rebel yell." That's crap.
We cannot afford to ignore the religious motivation of our terrorist tormentors. The European media, and the leftist media in America, want to pretend this is merely a political conflict, that could be smoothed over neatly if we'd just abandon Israel and stop investigating terrorist-plots and terror-supporting countries. It's not political, except in the sense that all things are political, in at least a minor way.
This is basically a religious conflict, not a political one. Why is this so important a distinction?
Because, in a civilized world, the one imagined by the men(Americans) who invented the United Nations, there's at least a chance that political disputes can be resolved through negotiation, compromise, shifts in policy. It happens, occasionally.
Settling religious battles almost always demands blood. Not as much in the West, anymore, except in the case of our Islamist terror-guests. In the medieval days, religious battles were always the bloodiest, and longest-lasting of wars.
The Bush administration, for political reasons, has bent over backwards not to identify our enemy in the War On Terror as "Islam," choosing to call it a "War on Terror." But, in many ways, that's like calling World War II a war on Zero fighter planes and Panzer tanks, instead of on the fascist states of Germany, Japan and Italy. Terror is the tool, not the root-cause.
The enemy we're fighting is radical Islam, the ultra-conservative and extremely intolerant religious movement that has taken deep root in the Middle East, and is fast becoming a beacon for legions of dispossessed and disenchanted Muslims worldwide.
Its followers are willing to kill "the infidel, "everyone who is not them," without conscience. Even Muslims who get in the way of killing infidels, or who are considered by Islamist leaders as aiding or consorting with "the infidels," are fair game for the most violent of attacks. Not all that surprising, from a religious cult that still believes firmly in the concept of "honor killing" and "castrating" (sexually-mutilating) women.
They don't hate us "because of our freedom, democracy and capitalism," as Dubya repeatedly insists, again for politically-correct reasons. They hate us, because our theology doesn't match theirs. Not even close. Understanding this basic fact could conceivably keep us from making disastrous mistakes.
Forcing a settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, even if this was possible, would not solve this basic issue. Still, this simplistic, erroneous idea is what passes for compelling wisdom in places like the United Nations and European Union. We won't win peace through realignment of our relationships in the Arab world, discarding old friends and choosing new ones. Many fools think we should dump our allies(treacherous as some of them may be) in Saudi Arabia, for instance, as if their likely Islamist replacements would be more receptive to controlling the teaching of Islamist hate to Saudi children.
We certainly won't prevail through appeasement, as Spain is attempting, by pulling out of places where they don't want us to be. Spain's disgusting show of weakness only emboldened further attacks in that country.
Don't even get me started on France, which is apparently trying to suck up to the Islamist threat the same way they sucked up to Communism and Hussein, trying to work out a "Third Way" that simultaneously appeases the more dangerous threat, and brings the less-dangerous, but larger superpower down a notch in the international scheme. France is putrid, stinking, rotten cheese. Let Canada suck up to them, if they think that's a good strategy.
Our mission isn't to wipe out the suicide belts and car bombs favored by terrorists, which are cheap and easy to obtain and deploy whenever and wherever, but to wipe out the ideas that drive the Islamist zealotry.
Those who profess to be moderates in the Muslim world can't be allowed to continue harboring extremist leaders, exiled terrorists, and permitting their sick, barbaric ideas to flourish in state-sponsored schools.
Our targets must include the radical mosques, where the militants are nurtured and encouraged, and the clerics who fuel their hatred. A basic social change, that is understandably very threatening to the current status quo in the Middle East.
It's not a war on all of Islam, just the twisted, evil part. This is a lot more than mere semantics. Refusing to clearly identify the enemy makes the enemy impossible to defeat.