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Counter-Jihad not "War on Terror"
"My son just joined the Marines, what exactly are they fighting and dying for?....all this Muslim double talk crap." -- from a posting at JW
Tell your son it is not because of some gobbledygook about a misnamed "war on terror." It should properly be defined as a counter-Jihad, a war to prevent the spread of a belief-system, and the aggressive proponents of that belief-system, that threatens the laws, customs, manners, and understandings of all Infidels. Tell him to learn as much as he can about the tenets of Islam and the history of Islamic conquest. Send him the books of Spencer, Bat Ye'or, and others. Have him educate others. The generals apparently are too old to learn new tricks, and are too much, some of them, careerists (for who gets to rise in the ranks, if not those who parrot the party line), and are stuck in the esposito-michael sells-armstrong mud of apologetics.
As for that "Muslim double talk" -- the "war on terror" is nonsense that comes not from Muslims, but from Infidels. Ask yourself if, had you been alive in World War II, you would have been satisfied to hear a Fireside Chat in which FDR said "our war against the blitzkrieg" proceeds in France and Italy. No, you wouldn't. And you would know why.
Because the Administration initially failed to learn enough about Islam -- lack of knowledge can be excused up to 9/11/2001, but is not excusable, in any government officials, whose first duty was to remedy their own considerable ignorance -- it never understood that the only argument that made sense in invading Iraq was not that there was a necessary connection between Al Qaeda (merely one among many similar groups, and not even now the most important or necessarily the most dangerous) and Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein was most interested in Saddam Hussein. They he was interested in his friends and relatives from Tikrit. Then in the Sunnis of Iraq. Then in being King of the Sunni Arabs. The idea of Islam conducting a world-wide Jihad was simply beyond his ken, not that he wouldn't have minded it, just so long as he could be King of the Caliph's Castle -- in order words, Mr. Big.
The failure to understand Islam meant that all sorts of goofy or messianic ideas were proposed and, in being proposed, believed. The belief that "democracy" is a plant easy to transplant to stony soil, with no thorough investigation of why Islam appears to favor despotism, since only Lebanon (with a large and powerful Christian presence) and Turkey (with 80 years of Kemalism, i.e. systematic constraints put on the political power and influence of Islam) have shown signs of tolerating, to some degree, a version of democracy. Not the full-fledged Western version, but at least the head-counting and to some degree, some legal protections against the force of Islam and the Sharia.
The failure to understand Islam meant that we would try to help Iraq, rather than to simply remove the dictator, and leave Iraq to dissolve, as it inevitably would, no matter what the Americans did (this was perfectly foreseeable in 2004, and had nothing to do with what the American policy was, or how long its presence lasted -- civil war became inevitable when the Sunni despotism was removed over the 60-65% of the population that is Shi'a, and deeply resentful, justifiably, with its previous treatment, and by the 20% of the population that is Kurd, not ethnic Arab, which is deeply resentful, justifiably, with ditto.
And the failure to understand Islam was accompanied by a failure to recognize, fully, the depth of that Shi'a resentment, and the depth of the Sunni rage at the perceived loss of power, and the depth of Kurdish desire to move from local autonomy to Independence. Very few intelligent people employing their intelligence in Washington. The Administration was wrong, and so -- horribly -- have been almost all of its critics.
Except here, where the most consistent, unrebuttable, criticisms, based not on a desire to appease or ignore the menace of Islam, but to take it, and the instruments of Jihad, all into account, and to figure out the thousand ways, little and big, from threatening Iran not only with destruction of its nuclear facilities but, as a delayed result, with dissolution (the Azeris, the Baluchis, the Kurds, the Arabs all rising), or in Europe, supporting intelligently those who, in each country, have perceived the menace and understand the kind of things that need to be done, but still lack political power.