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Learning The Wrong Lessons

This morning's Boston Globe has a column today that talks about the lessons to be learned from some recent terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, they learned the wrong lessons.

According to the Glob's editors, the terrorists (mainly personified in Al Qaeda and its wannabes) are mainly interested in overthrowing governments in Muslim nations that they view as corrupt or not sufficiently Islamic. They only get mad at us when we meddle with them, so we ought to leave them alone.

It's a nice little fantasy. It's warm and fuzzy and hopeful and precisely the kind of thing that led to 9/11.

Apparently the Globe thinks that once the terrorists have overthrown the governments they don't like (and replaced them with Islamist tyrannies, but the Glob glosses over that little detail), they'll stop and be content. They don't seem to actually listen to the Islamists, who say that their goal is a three-step process: first, to bring "true Islam" (meaning their version of Islam) to the Islamic world. Then comes step two: to reclaim all lands once held by Muslims, because once a land belongs to Islam, it is Islam's forever. (Take careful note, Europe -- a good chunk of Spain qualifies, as well as parts of other nations.) Finally, step three -- the rest of the world.

Sound a bit hysterical? Then you haven't been paying attention. According to Islamists, the world is divided into two segments -- Dar Al Islam (House Of Islam) and Dar Al Harb (House Of War). The goal is to expand the former until it encompasses all of the latter. "Encompasses" being the polite term for "conquer."

There's a term for giving an aggressor what they ask for in the hopes it'll satisfy them. And appeasement has a wonderful track record.

For failure.

And there is another danger to this theory -- "let them do what they want over there, and they'll leave us alone." As we saw in Afghanistan, a terrorist group with the resources of a nation behind them can wreak incredible havoc on the world. That was Afghanistan, whose biggest natural resources are opium and rocks. Toss in the incredible oil resources of Saudi Arabia, the nuclear weapons of Pakistan, Indonesia's position vis-a-vis shipping channels, and the key strategic placement of Egypt (with the Suez Canal, which allows cargo to avoid going around all of Africa), just to name four nations threatened by Islamist terrorists, and we see the dangers of letting the Islamists have their way.

It's too bad that scientists have disproved the myths of the ostrich sticking its head in the sand to hide and lemmings running off cliffs in mass suicides. They'd be perfect metaphors for the Boston Globe's attitude.


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Comments (10)

And there is another dan... (Below threshold)
wolfwalker:

And there is another danger to this theory -- "let them do what they want over there, and they'll leave us alone."

There's also a one-word summary of this attitude: isolationism.

And historically, it's been about as successful as appeasement has.

Ah, but THIS time it'll wor... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

Ah, but THIS time it'll work! All they want is the Sudetenland, and they won't want anything more...

Oh, wait. Wrong century...

So who's this century's Neville Chamberlain? Reid, Pelosi? Or some as-yet-to-be-determined contender?

Them strawmen just ain't go... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

Them strawmen just ain't got a chance around you, Jay.

The Thunder Run has linked ... (Below threshold)

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 12/17/2007 A short recon of what's out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

Interventionism got us to w... (Below threshold)
Jardinero1 Author Profile Page:

Interventionism got us to where we are today. Why not try something different?

Half-assed interventionism ... (Below threshold)
Veeshir:

Half-assed interventionism with a heady helping of Run Away When it Gets Tough (See Iran, Beirut, Mogadishu and more!) got us where we are today.

Bush's intervention in Iraq is "something different", it's something radically different from what we did before.

The "Leave them alone and they'll leave us alone" is specious and lame.
The list of grievances is long and lame from the Islamists.
A partial list of the lamest:
They are angry over the Crusades.
They want Andalusia back.
They want the Middle East to be Jew Free.
They want a world-wide caliphate.

How do you negotiate with people like that? What good is running away when they just take that as weakness?

That whole argument is just another facet of the "Fighting back only creates more" 'argument' that's so popular.

Because interventionism ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Because interventionism didn't get us where we are today. Al Queda and its offshoots arose before the US intervened in the Middle East in any significant ways. Actually learn some history of the muslim brotherhood, Qutb and the other movements that evolved into Al Queda.

Veeshir - What ... (Below threshold)

Veeshir -

What good is running away when they just take that as weakness?

Well, it serves several purposes.

First, it delays the inevitable point when we realize we've GOT to fight, and fight full-out, using every weapon in the arsenal, including things we wouldn't think of using under a normal scenario.

Second, it gives the 'peaceloving' people a chance to see that giving the enemy what they want in order to be left alone ends up with them having everything they demand... and still wanting more.

And if you don't have anything to give, what's the point in keeping you around?

Running away is precisely w... (Below threshold)
Ben:

Running away is precisely what landed us in the present predicament. Reagan sent the Marines to Beirut to save Arafat's bacon (a sorry AssIdiot idea!!!) They got bombed, and Ron hauled. Carter chickened out in Iran. Slick hauled from Somalia. Then came the attacks on the WTC.

Islam is a predator. Display weakness or irresolve to a predator and you will be attacked.

I suggest you a little bit ... (Below threshold)

I suggest you a little bit exaggerate the possibilities of Islamists...




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