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The Expansion of Islamic Jihad
It's about time we stopped expecting Muslims to behave like westerners and faced up to a few significant facts: Islamic jihad is not going away any time soon, and it's not just radical Islamists who are waging it.
The recent international conference in Iran - attended by the likes of David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan and, like the conference's host, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, no friend to Jews - has re-emphasized what we've known all along: Muslims (and not a few others) broadly desire the destruction of Israel on grounds ranging from the "fact" that Jews are "descended from pigs" to the "fact" that the holocaust never occurred, even though the Jews richly deserve such treatment.
Chilling evidence that this mindset is a characteristic of most Muslims, and not simply extremists like the above-referenced Iranian despot, was presented by American Enterprise Institute resident fellow Ayaan Hirsi Ali in a piece entitled "Confronting Holocaust Denial." In it, Ali recounts how, until he was in his mid-twenties and was granted permission to study in Holland, he had simply never heard of the holocaust. He had come to adulthood in Muslim countries, and the message that Jews were evil had been inculcated into him since his childhood.
Ali had reacted with horror when he learned of the slaughter of 6 million Jews, but when he attempted to tell his 21-year-old sister about the holocaust, her response was to deny it vehemently, insisting , as her anti-Jewish education led her to conclude, that the Jews were lying about their fate during World War II, that they "were not killed, gassed nor massacred." Upon hearing her brother speak about the Holocaust, she repeated her hope that "all the Jews in the world will be destroyed."
Despite overwhelming evidence such as this that we're presented with on at least a weekly basis, diplomats like former U.S. Secretary of State James Baker continue to insist that, somehow, we must "engage" Iraq and Syria, open a dialogue with them and settle our problems through diplomacy. It's one of the reasons the report of the Iraq Study Group has virtually no credibility with thinking people. During the early years of the present Bush administration, an ongoing diplomatic dialogue with Syria was carried out, with the result that Syria continued to insist that the Golan Heights be returned to them, but that they would give up nothing in return.
Aside from Syria's and Iran's habitual refractory behavior, not to mention outright treachery, in international diplomacy, indeed, despite their ideologically- and culturally-driven inability to even consider recognizing Israel's right to exist, Baker continues with recommendations worthy of the dunderhead he is. His anti-George W. Bush leanings are well known, and they've almost certainly entered into his apparent need to repudiate the current administration's actions through the report from the committee he co-chaired.
The situation on the ground is so different from anything Baker's recommendations would even begin to address that it's really as if the former Secretary of State were a visitor, and an unwelcome one at that, from another planet.
First, the ongoing attacks by Muslim terrorists against U.S. interests - attacks that have killed thousands of Americans as well as at least an equal number of other innocent victims over the past 20 years - don't seem to be an indication for Baker and his cronies of what in fact amounts to a permanent declaration of war by Islam against the west. The Iraq Study Group's recommendations blithely discount the Arab history of treachery and lying and terrorism in its dealings with the west.
And so the first lesson Baker and others who recommend "engaging" the enemy diplomatically must learn is that the enemy cannot be dealt with rationally. The enemy is insane. Period. By any rational standards, Islam supports beliefs and actions that are pathological.
And conversely, anyone who's not aware that we're involved in a war for the survival of western democracy against (directly) the terrorist wing of Islam is as guilty of pathologically irrational behavior as the most ardent Muslim extremist.
The list of these folks includes many American Democrats,
who seem to be convinced that withdrawing from Iraq would bring some sort
of, to use a favorite lib word, "closure" to the whole mess.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
There is a war to be fought, and we're attempting to prop up Iraq so they can do some of the fighting for us. If we're stupid enough to abandon our efforts there, we'll suffer another egregious assault at the hands of Muslim extremists soon enough, and the whole thing will probably start up again. At some point we're going to have to dispatch these Islamist terrorists; it's just a matter of when. One only hopes Israel isn't the victim of Iran's first nuclear strike before we complete our mission.
But the problem doesn't stop with the Middle East. There are enough disenchanted and disenfranchised Muslims in Europe who are not, strictly speaking, terrorists that the Continent should be damn worried. These Muslims are already, thanks to the politically sensitive left-leaning Euro politicians, making such serious legal and social inroads into democratic processes, in England and France particularly, that it's quite clear that the Islamic jihad has taken on that aspect as well.
It's also clear that demographically, with the aging populations of Old Europe unable to maintain even replacement reproduction (their numbers are dwindling fairly rapidly, to the point where within 50 years by some estimates Arab Muslims will be the majority ethnic/religious population in France, Spain, and England), the Euros are going to have to figure something out pretty quick and develop a strategy for maintaining an autonomy threatened from within by their second- and third-generation North African immigrant populations.
I have no doubt that if we were to wage all-out war, we'd annihilate any Middle Eastern enemy in a heartbeat, so it's not that I fear military defeat at the hands of an Ahmadinejad (by the way, the little pipsqueak shops for his suits in the boys' department of Sears in Tehran); I do fear the widespread destruction and suffering that jimber-jawed idiot (to quote a favorite descriptive phrase of mine from William Faulkner) might wreak if he actually does get his hands on real nukes.
I think there's time, but I also think we'd better not waste too much more of it before we take out the key militia leaders in Iraq, install a real prime minister there (this one just doesn't get it, doesn't get what his recalcitrance means for his people and for the Middle East in general), and get on with it.
We can only say "It's still not too late" until too late finally happens.