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I'm personally embarrassed as an American that the United States was not the first country to offer asylum to Abdul Rahman. We've failed on freedom of the press (most of our press refusing to publish the otherwise despicable Mohammed cartoons to make it clear that we don't support their fatwa-- I posted them here), we've failed on freedom of speech (when stadium security kicked a bunch of anti-Castro demonstrators out of a game where the Cuban team was playing-- I blogged on that here, and now on this why didn't more bloggers call for the U.S. to do this?If we don't stand for free press, free speech and free religion, then what the heck do we stand for anymore?I've been very disappointed in the response by our press, by the blogosphere and by our government to each of these events.
Imagine the permutations.You're an Afghan teenager, wanting out of picking opium in the fields, you convert to Christianity, a free-trip to Italy, if UN people find your body first, and if you get good right press. Once in Italy ...A new group of Al Queda black-on-black ops "defect" via pretense conversions, get extradition, and once on the plane ...The Russian mafia quits smuggling teenage girls out of Russia into sex slavery in eastern Europe and Mexico City when they discover that governments and NGO's give free air-fare to the same destinations for Afghan girls (who want out) confessing Christianity .. some details of pick-up and recruitment on the other side, but, even the Red Cross has problems ... M.A. students in poly-sci and sociology of religions measure the public opinion effects of Afghan press releases, like "gee, we can't execute that Christian because our mental evals say he's hearing strange voices, is deranged, i.e., doesn't have mental capacity to stand trial," a quick excuse for catch-and-release, and then ask whether the same psy-spin might work in the U.S. on current-day Oly North's running ops from the White House basement, NSA grant pork galore ...
I am reading “A War Like No Other” by Victor David Hanson and am struck by his observation, “Both sides would employ fear in unconditional ways, reminding us that terror is a method, not an enemy, a manifestation of how a particular belligerent chooses to wage war rather than some sort of independent entity that exists apart from men, money and places.” I find this view not reconcilable with President Bush’s oft repeated statement that we are fighting “A war against terror”.So, if we are at war but we are not fighting a war against ‘terror’, who exactly is the enemy? Is it a certain country or certain countries (or their regimes)? I don’t think so, or we would be at war with Iran and North Korea among others. Is it Al-Qaeda? Well, maybe Al-Qaeda is an important subset of the enemy but I do not believe it is the root. To blame every terrorist attack on Al-Qaeda before the smoke has even clears (literally) seems a little Orwellian to me.I believe the enemy is Islam. I believe we are in a religious war because the enemy believes it is a religious war (if this is correct, it is irrelevant whether or not we believe it is a war about religion). Unfortunately, I believe this is the most charitable interpretation of our present struggle. The worst case is that the Koran is an Islamo-fascist manifesto; a totalitarian roadmap that restricts not only religious freedom but virtually all basic human rights. I fear that if we continue to define this struggle in terms of 9/11 only, limited to the eradication of a relatively few religious zealots utilizing terrorist tactics, we will lose.
Victor Davis Hanson, I mean.
twwren:So you are suggesting that we are in a war with all 1 billion plus muslims (one out of every five people in the world)?I find that pretty troubling in itself. And just based on population alone, if that were the case we would probably lose.I reject your premise outright. I've had friends who were muslims and were in no way violent or threatening.
Eli:I think my comment was pretty clear but I will try again. What I am suggasting is that (i) we are in a war, (ii)it is not a "War aganst Terror" as GHB states(and as VDH rightly refutes)(iii) it is a war with Islam and (iv) it is a religious war because the followers of Islam choose to make it so.I don't want a war with 1 billion muslims. But the solution is in the hands of the 999,999,999,999 moderate muslims, including your friends presumably, whose voice I cannot hear over the din of their actions.
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