Time To Gather Our CourageOil and vinegar do not mix well, if at all. Ask anyone who prepares a dressing for salads-this explains why each appears in separate bottles on a dinner table. The same is conceptually applicable to politics and the truth. Case in point is the representation that the root cause of international terrorism is the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Nothing could be further from the truth; yet, nations' policies, actions and their respective populations beliefs are based upon this misrepresentation. It is an intentional misrepresentation, our leaders know better. Examination of the facts should and can lead to the truth but it takes courage, effort and energy to learn the details.
Let us begin with the understanding that the more accurate description of the "war on terror" is the "war of values" currently engulfing much of the world today. Terror is only a tactic used by one's enemies. The major difficulty with misrepresenting what is really going on is that the tactics, strategies and the identification of the real enemy is inadequately and improperly identified. The result is the development of unclear objectives and outcomes thus the perceived confusion of our plans to defeat our enemies. The following questions beg to be asked: Why does our government refrain from labeling the war incorrectly? What's the payoff for the West for improper war identification? Do our elected officials still believe that we "can't handle the truth?"
At long last one Western leader has spoken the reality of today's war; Tony Blair has written the following:
"In my view, the situation we face is indeed war, but of a completely unconventional kind, one that cannot be won in a conventional way. We will not win the battle against global extremism unless we win it at the level of values as much as that of force. We can win only by showing that our values are stronger, better, and more just than the alternative."1
The Prime Minister of England has gone where other Western leaders have chosen not to go-he offers the truth.
"The roots of the current wave of global terrorism and extremism are deep. They reach down through decades of alienation, victimhood, and political oppression in the Arab and Muslim world."1
Prime Minister Blair argues that religious radicalism was made respectable in the minds of many people within and outside the Islamic religion. He suggests that the Muslim Brotherhood, supported by Wahhabi extremists, coupled with teaching in madrasahs in the Middle East and Asia developed and then exported an ideology of hatred and intolerance across the internal arena. The result has been an attack upon the West and its values! There are others who argue that Mr. Blair's interpretation of current Islamic events is incomplete. In a recently published book, Mr. Gregory Davis offers the following:
"It is crucial to understand that Islam's division of the word into the House of Islam and the House of War is not merely a question of practice but of principle. In the Islamic worldview, Sharia law is the only legitimate means of organizing society; any other social or political system violates the edicts of Allah himself."2
The author provides a litany of data and documented facts to support his point of view. This belief is currently manifesting itself across the entire planet. War has been declared. Their believers have massed an international "army" funded by a multiple of nations in several geographic parts of the world. It is beyond time to acknowledge that this is occurring, that they are not reticent in their use of multiple tactics and strategies. Their objective is clear: eliminate the West, its vales and all it stands for; replace it with a political, social and religious doctrine contrary to what we hold dear. The composition of this war is unlike anything we have experienced and/or understand in the last several hundreds of years. To not recognize and acknowledge this leads nations, societies and individuals to make incorrect assumptions, hold invalid beliefs and ultimately to incorrectly identify our enemy. If you have incorrectly identified your enemy, you develop tactics that are doomed to failure. This failure leads to societal unrest, acquisition of beliefs that your leaders have lied to you, the development of appeasement strategies that ultimately deny the energy, efforts and courage to persevere. This is happening today in the West.
Our enemies are using a comprehensive plan against us. Components of this plan include:
intentional misrepresentation of the facts "on the ground"
recruiting a fifth column within most of the Western countries
funding, building and promotion of Islamic mosques inside these same Western countries designed to promote a particular anti-western rhetoric
formation of social, educational and political groups espousing values contrary to ours
holding the West hostage to oil supplies
blaming others for the world's unrest
initiating and funding war behavior and attacking Western institutions and populations
using the media to promote its goals through sophisticated information dissemination techniques
This is an incomplete list but it does demonstrate the new war plan that is upon all of us. Note that this is not our "parents' kind of war", it is cleverly crafted to utilize the Achilles heel of western democracies against us. The result has been: disbelief, emerging discontent, distrust of leaders, use of guilt and divide and conquer techniques. Regrettably we have begun a stage of acquiescence.
Here are but two examples of the preceding. A former USA President, Jimmy Carter, has been promoting his latest book. In it he says the cause of all the world's problems is the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. This book is replete with revisionist history, misrepresentation of facts and improperly drawn conclusions. As USA Congressman Mark Kirk recently presented to Congress the following errors in Mr. Carter's book:
#1: On page 62, President Carter quotes Yasser Arafat as telling him, "The Palestine Liberation Organization has never advocated the annihilation of Israel ." No evidence is provided and the book does not contain one footnote.
Fact check: Article 22 of the PLO's Charter stated that "the liberation of Palestine will destroy the Zio nist and imperialist presence." Yasser Arafat supported this charter and lied to President Carter.
#2: On page 215, President Carter writes that one option for Israel is "withdrawal to the 1967 border as specified in U.N. Resolution 242."
Fact check: U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 does not define a border.
These are only two examples of misrepresentation and the Congressman concludes his testimony with this profound and important statement:
"Madame Speaker, these errors diminish the credibility of President Carter's book. President Carter is entitled to his own opinions, but not his own facts.
The errors I present here are only a sampling of those included in the book. Now in the twilight of his career and with many at the Carter Center resigning their posts, President Carter should recall this book and hire competent assistants to ensure his future work does not reflect poor scholarship."3
As a resident in the Middle East I can report how our enemies utilize the words of a former USA President to embolden their respective populations and they use these words here, within our own borders. Is it any wonder that our national resolve is currently being undermined?
One final expose of our enemies' techniques is offered. The most prevalent explanation for international terrorism and frankly its root cause is the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Not only does this resonate with residents in Arab countries, it also receives reverberates within the entire Islamic international community and now is the mantra heard inside our Western countries. It is simply not true! Yoram Ettinger has provided an enlightening report, the following represent but a few of the conclusions.4
1. ISLAMIC TERRORISM HAS BEEN A MIDEAST FIXTURE since the seventh century, when three of the first four Caliphs, succeeding the Prophet Muhammad, were murdered by political rivals: Umar ibn Abd al-Khattab (644AD), Uthman Ibn Affan (656AD) and Ali ibn Abi Talib (661AD).
2. ANTI-WESTERN ISLAMIC TERRORISM dates back to the basic Muslim legal/theological view of the struggle between the Abode of Islam (Dar A-Salam) against the Abode of War-Sword-Infidels (Dar al-Kharb).
3. SCAPEGOATISM HAS TARGETED THE USA, the West and the Jewish State as scapegoats for Arab/Muslim frustration, humiliation and rage over the failure to reclaim the splendor of ancient Islamic dominance.
4. IRRESPECTIVE OF ISRAEL'S EXISTENCE AND THE PALESTINIAN ISSUE, Islamic terrorism has recently plagued Australia, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka, Russia, Lebanon, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Nigeria, Turkey, Scandinavia, Holland, France, England, Spain, the US, etc.
You do not need to believe me; I finish this piece with words from Professor Fouad Ajami of John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies:
"No American diplomatic scheme would spare America the fury of those bent upon eradicating its presence in the region. It is a false reading of a large civilization to say that the terror springs from the impasse between Israelis and Palestinians... It springs from deeper social, economic and political pressures within Mideast society, from the traumas of dislocated newly urbanized youth...Some of it is hatched by merciless men for whom terror is a profession that pays... It does not advance peace between Israelis and Palestinians to pretend that it would solve a problem much larger than their conflict..." (NY Times, April 17, 1986).
We are not engaged in a war on terrorism, we are in a war for our very future and survival. It is time to have the courage to shift the commentary that I believe is leading us to defeat. I join the growing number of individuals here and abroad who are redressing those who are our enemies. The question becomes, what kind of world do you want your children and grandchildren to inherit from us?
End Points1. Blair, Tony, "A Battle for Global Values", Foreign Affairs, January/February 2007, reported January 15, 2007.
2. Davis, Gregory, "A Religion of Peace", World Ahead Pub., 2006.
3. Kirk,Mark Steven, "Peace Not Apartheid: More Fiction Than Fact", testimony before the USA Congress, reported January 18,2007
4. Ettinger, Yoram, "Expose of the Israeli-Palestinian Claim to Being the Root Cause of Terror", Straight From the Jerusalem Cloakroom, 201st issue, received January 20,2007
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