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Friday, 30 March 2007
Military Education
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A good source for more information: Victory in Tripoli: How America’s War with the Barbary Pirates Established the U.S. Navy and Shaped a Nation. By Joshua E. London. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley, 2005. --from a reader

The book recommended above, that by Joshua London about William Eaton's overland trip from Cairo, even after being discharged by Jefferson, in an attempt to rescue the hundreds of Americans held hostage by Yusuf Karamanli, bey of Tunis, and to replace him with his less-vicious and more-compliant brother, should be assigned to every Marine as part of their training. It will do them good, and help teach them about the history of Islamic conquest, and Muslim attitudes -- immutable as the sacred texts of Islam itself -- without a knowledge of which so many Marines, and soldiers, and sailors, and airmen, simply will not be able to understand the nature of the enemy -- this year's enemy, and that for the foreseeable, possibly endless, future.

The American government has a captive audience: its military. It should use the training period to teach them about Islam, and if that offends some Muslims outside or inside the military, that is simply too bad. As long as it is based solidly and irrefutably on the texts of Islam, and on what Muslim Qura'nic commentators, theologians, historians have said -- such as those whose statements on Jihad are collected in Andrew Bostom's "The Legacy of Jihad" -- such an effort will be unassailable.

And it needs to be done, lest the officers and men, in their justified disenchantment with the wasteful and misguided effort in Iraq, an effort that, if understood rightly, is merely another form of appeasement, of refusing to recognize that Islam, and not merely "extremists" who "if we don't stay will take over Iraq," is and will remain the problem, and that "democracy" or "freedom" is not, pace Lewis, the solution, but the only solution, when facing an enemy that cannot be changed in its essence, is first to render less immediately menacing the forces of that enemy overall -- to weaken the Camp of Islam by permitting rather than attempting to prevent, the natural divisions within it -- and then to help create the conditions that, little by little, will cause non-Arab Muslims to recognize Islam as a vehicle for Arab imperialism, eventually whittling down Islam, or re-dimensioning it, until its universalist pretensions are revealed as phony, and it again can be reduced or pruned back until it becomes what it always, in truth, has been -- the "Arab National Religion."

Educate the officers and then the men, in the history of Islam, and the tenets of Islam, and in the historic treatment, over 1350 years, of non-Muslims under Muslim rule. Start now -- not in ten years. The future of the West depends on such measures being taken, while there is time.

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Posted on 03/30/2007 3:23 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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