President George W. Bush said: "We will bring freedom to others, and we will prevail."
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld suggested that terrorists are being created faster than we can arrest or kill them.
One might wonder if they're fighting different wars. Bush suggests "reprogramming" his enemy; Rumsfeld wants to wipe them out.
Daniel Pipes, a scholar specializing in militant Islam puts it correctly:
"Ending terrorism requires more than targeting terrorists, their leaders, or their organizations. It requires recognizing and defeating the body of ideas known as militant Islam or Islamism. The war cannot be won until politicians and others focus on this ideology (taught in the madrassas, Islamic schools) rather than [just] on terrorism, which is merely its manifestation."
Bush and Rumsfeld are indeed fighting the same war. Rumsfeld suggests the need to use invasive therapy to root out that enemy; Bush wants to "inoculate" Iraqi society with a healthy dose of preventative medicine: democracy.
This two—pronged "war—and—peace" plan will not be easy to pull off. The medicine has had unexpected and unwelcome side—effects. The patient has not responded as we had hoped. One of the problems is that the patient did not request our services. Sure, he feels better now, but he still doesn't trust us. Also, the source of his illness is still there. That source is radical Islam. Specifically, Wahhabi Islam.
Wahhabism embraces an inflexible doctrine responsible for sowing intolerance, sedition, violence, hatred and "holy" war in the Muslim world and elsewhere. This doctrine feeds radical Islamism. According to Daniel Pipes, ten to fifteen percent of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims adhere to militant Islam. That 10—15% translates into an "army" of 120—180 million... and some feel that Pipes' figures are an understatement.
As the scholar of Islam Hugh Fitzgerald notes,
"Wahhabi Islam differs from other currents or schools in Sunni Islam mainly in its supposed "purity" —— that is, its strict adherence to what is taken as the original form of Islam, practiced by the Prophet and his Companions. This brand differs from the others chiefly in its "puritanical" imposition of the full severity of the sharia, (Islamic law) especially as regards the restrictions on women, and in the punishments meted out to criminals. These are examples of "pure" Islam, unmediated and unsoftened, whether by time, or the relaxation that comes from extra—Islamic influences and local customs and behavior. Yet, when it comes to Infidels, though the teaching in the schools of hatred for all Infidels is perhaps strongest in Wahhabi Islam, it is part of orthodox, mainstreams Islam, and should be understood as such.
"It was foolish to claim that the current crisis is the result of a "handful of extremists" (Bin Laden is wildly popular all over the Muslim world), or that is simply a matter of the "Wahhabis." It is not. The Jihad is rooted in such central tenets of Islam as the uncompromising hostility between dar al—Islam and dar al—Harb, and the requirement that the war between the two go on forever, until the final triumph of the former over the latter. Only a truce of ten years' duration is possible between Muslims and Infidel powers in the dar al—Harb, except insofar as darura (necessity) may prevent the Muslims from immediately instituting hostilities. These tenets are common to all of mainstream Islam, and any Muslim denying it is engaging in taqiyya or kitman, the religiously—sanctioned deception that explains so much of the lying about the nature of Islam that goes on all about us."
The West preaches freedom and equality —— two notions in very short supply in Arab/Muslim culture —— and this is why Islamists see the West as their enemy. Islamists have declared war on America, Israel, Spain and, indeed, the entire West. The West was never their enemy, but now we must recognize that radical Islamic fundamentalists are our enemy.
Attempts to coddle them in the hope that they will finally "get it" and cut themselves free of medieval barbarism are naive. Instead of waiting for them to "get it", it is time to "give it to them".
We must unapologetically take steps to counter the rise of the belligerent and ruthless juggernaut of radical Islamism. No efforts should be spared to "encourage" Arab/Muslim leaders to reduce significantly or totally remove the hostility toward the non—Muslim world expressed overtly in their nations' schoolbooks, in their mosques and in their government—controlled media.
Target Israel (The Little Satan): Epicenter of Arab/Muslim Intolerance
Some might argue that things are getting better vis—a—vis the Arab—Islamic world and Israel. Egypt and the Kingdom of Jordan have both signed peace treaties with Israel. Maybe other Arab states will follow. Is this a realistic expectation or simplistic naivet�? Let's take a look at how these "moderates" relate to the "Great Satan's evil child", Israel. Here are some of the "calls for peace" coming from these sought—after "moderate" Arab voices:
Saudi Sermon: "Time for Christians and Jews to convert to Islam." (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia TV1 in Arabic, official television station of the Saudi Government; carried on February 27, 2004 at 0945 GMT a live sermon from the mosque in Mecca)
Another Saudi sermon: "Jewish paws"; "defeat the usurper Jews." (Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia TV2 in Arabic, official television station of the Saudi Government, on February 6, 2004 at 0950 GMT carried a 22—minute live sermon from the mosque in Medina)
Jordanian sermon: "O God, destroy your enemies, the Jewish and crusader enemies of Islam." (Amman, Jordan Television Channel 1 in Arabic, official television station of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on March 5, 2004 at 1002 GMT carried a 17—minute live sermon from Martyr King Abdallah mosque in Amman)
Palestinian Authority—supervised sermon: "Palestine [including all of Israel] is an Islamic land that must not be relinquished." (West Bank, Ramallah, Voice of Palestine, official radio station of the Palestinian Authority, on February 6, 2004 at 1000 GMT carried a 24—minute live sermon from Al—Aqsa Mosque)
PA—supervised sermon: "Jews, the sons of apes and pigs." (Gaza, Palestine Satellite TV Channel in Arabic, official television station of the Palestinian Authority, carried on March 13, 2004 at 0958 GMT, a live sermon from Zayid Bin—Sultan Mosque in Gaza)
Yemeni sermon: "O God, destroy the aggressive Zionists and the tyrant Americans." (Sanaa, Republic of Yemen Television in Arabic, official television station of the Republic of Yemen, on February 6, 2004 at 0926 GMT carried a 21—minute live sermon from the Grand Mosque in Sanaa)
Qatar sermon: "...aggressor Jews and their wicked Crusader allies...." (Doha, Qatar Television Service in Arabic, official television station of the State of Qatar, on 20 February 2004 at 0858 GMT carried a live 60—minute sermon from Umar Bin—Al—Khattab Mosque in Doha)
Syrian sermon: "O God, deal with the criminal Zionists and those with them and behind them." (Damascus, Syrian Arab Republic radio in Arabic, official station of the Syrian Government, carried on February 27, 2004 at 1010 GMT, a live sermon from Al—Uthman Mosque in Damascus)
So much for waiting for the Arab—Islamic leopard to change its spots. What Israel really needs is for that leopard to change into a totally different animal — one that is not such an aggressive carnivore.
Fast—Forward to America: "The Great Satan"
The Bush Administration is in "hot pursuit" of Bin Laden and his Al—Qaeda network. America is also trying to create a stable post—Saddam Iraq even as it continues to neutralize both indigenous Arab—Muslim terrorism and terrorism imported from "Greater Arabia."
Sadly, yet predictably, America is beginning to feel the utter frustration that Israel has felt for years: full—throttle Arab violence, fueled by an Islamic engine that never quits.
There is also some hypocrisy here. While America aggressively fights terrorists, she denies Israel the right to fight her own war against these same savages. This sends a message to the Arab—Islamic terrorists that America's war on terror is not completely sincere, nor is her heart totally in it. For if America were truly committed to "root out terrorists," she would turn the Israel Defense Forces loose on Yasser Arafat and his so—called Palestinian Authority, Hamas, Al—Aqsa Brigades, Hizbullah, Tanzim, PFLP, etc.
And if Israel were unable or unwilling to do this, then America would do it for Israel.
So why is there a double standard vis—a—vis Israel in the war on terrorism? President Bush should be asking (perhaps demanding) that Prime Minister Sharon launch an all—out attack on the terrorist organizations surrounding Israel. These areas are the breeding grounds that fuel anti—Western sentiment and send jihadists against Israel and against American forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.
These killers of Jews in Israel are indistinguishable from killers of Americans in Iraq, Afghanistan and downtown New York City. Israel's enemies are America's enemies, and Israel's enemies are also enemies of the shrinking civilized world.
Are you listening, Spain? France? Germany? Italy? England? Sweden?
One should never dialogue with terrorists. When the bombs went off in Madrid on March 11, the Spanish electorate indeed decided not to dialogue with the Arab—Muslim murderers who perpetrated the act. They simply took the cowardly route of appeasement. The Spanish matador took a goring and the crowd yelled, "Ole!" That same Arab—Islamic bull is on the loose elsewhere. How will others react to setbacks in our war against these savages? Stay tuned. If the Madrid response is any indication, you ain't seen nothing yet.
Rachel Neuwirth is a freelance journalist residing in Los Angeles