Why the U.S. Keeps Losing Against Militant Islam

“The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. We will be vigilant and we will be relentless,” the President said in televised remarks.

Obama vowed justice for James Foley, calling his killing by ISIS, which refers to itself as the Islamic State, an act of violence that “shocked the conscience of the entire world.”

Calling ISIS a “cancer,” Obama said across the Middle East there has to be a common effort to put an end to the group.

“Friends and allies around the world, we share a common set of values that are rooted in the opposite of what we saw yesterday,” he said. “And we will continue to confront this hateful terrorism and replace it with a sense of hope and civility.” [reported at CNN.com 8/21/14]

Whatever might be the right way to fight terrorism, this surely cannot be it. The beheading of an American journalist posted on YouTube ought to be proof enough.

First of all, it’s vague — and contradictory — to describe “hope and civility” as the goal of fighting violent, irrational evil. By definition, if someone is hell bent on torture and force, the only way to respond is with greater and overwhelming force, quite literally all that you’ve got.

If you don’t think that it’s right or moral to even be involved in the Middle East, and that you have no right to attack militant Muslims in the Middle East before they attack us (again), then you simply get out.

But you can’t have it both ways. When you try to have it both ways with such a mentality, you end up stirring them up even more while at the same time implying, “We’re only going to hit you so hard.” They will see you as a paper tiger (which you are), and their contempt / lack of respect for you will grow even more. That’s precisely what’s happening.

It’s disastrous, as we’re seeing. The horrifying and cruel beheading of a journalist is meant to teach us a lesson, for different reasons, by the Islamic State; but our leaders are not learning it. Obama’s response essentially amounts to, “We’re going to keep doing what we’ve been doing.” And how well has that been working?

Some people say that we shouldn’t be involved in the Middle East at all. I would agree, if the Islamic State was peaceful and respectful of individual rights; and if we had no legitimate, objective interest in that region. However, we do have real, tangible interests in the Middle East. The price of oil would skyrocket if we gave up on that part of the world, and totally withdrew all military forces tomorrow; and, we’d also have to drill more in North America, something that our present government establishment will simply not ever permit us to do, probably not under any circumstance, because of their rabid environmentalism.

Notice how the Islamic State is trying to have it both ways, too. On the one hand, they dress the victim of beheading in an orange jumpsuit, to remind us of how they consider themselves victims because we have imprisoned perpetrators of 9/11 and other terrorist attacks to prevent them from doing further damage. At the same time, they persist in orchestrating as much terrorism against America as they can.

It’s important to understand here the mindset of a criminal. A criminal always sees himself as a victim, even when he is not. Advocates of militant Islam see themselves not only as victims of specific actions by the United States; they see themselves as victims merely because of the existence of alternate societies. It infuriates the militant types, and sends them into fits of insecure rage, to merely think of women living as equals alongside men; to think of human beings operating in secular contexts, under the freedom of separation of church and state; and living with the material and worldly comforts brought about by the reason, science, technology and economic freedom that have dominated most of Western history. In their rage, some people become very determined and calculating. They organize, they plot, and they destroy.

That’s precisely what organized Islam has been doing for the last 35 years or more. Yet we keep treating them as if they’re merely recalcitrant children. These targeted drone and air attacks are like slaps on the wrist. “Come on, little boy, you know right from wrong. Get yourself into line.” This is the kind of policy by the United States that leads to statements like this from ISIS:

“The West are idiots and fools. They think we are waiting for them to give us visas to go and attack them or that we will attack with our beards or even Islamic outfits,” said one.

“They think they can distinguish us these days – they are fools and more than that they don’t know we can play their game in intelligence. They infiltrated us with those who pretend to be Muslims and we have also penetrated them with those who look like them.” [Source: Thomson / Reuters, reported at Newsmax.com 8/21/14]

When I read something like this, I think: Of course they’re right. We do look like fools. Why? Because we contradict ourselves, try to have it both ways and send conflicting messages. I am on completely the opposite side of the Islamic State; yet I agree with them on this point.

The present types of military action against the newly formed and growing Islamic State won’t do a thing. Military or drone strikes are a big deal to us, and those of us who appreciate and value living in peace would find an air strike or drone attack over Omaha, Los Angeles or New York to be a very significant thing. But to medieval criminal mindsets who feel no responsibility for anything they do, and who feel morally justified as being nothing but victims, it’s well worth it. They probably even love the battle.

Remember, these are people who actually want to live in the stone age, compared to those of us in America and the West (including nations like Israel). That’s inconceivable to anyone reared in the comparative joys of Western secularism and capitalism. But we’ve got to face facts here. Not everyone wants to live this way. And, unlike the peaceful Amish, some people who don’t want to live this way wish to eradicate and obliterate everyone who does. Or, failing that, to pepper us (psychologically and physically) with relentless threats of violence to wear us down.

Check out your local airport security terminal, and contrast it with ten or fifteen years ago. It’s working, isn’t it?

Obama’s comments openly state that you should expect more of the same, with regard to foreign and military policy. Consequently, you should expect more of the same from our enemies, so long as we keep treating them like they’re basically reasonable people who will be subdued, after we express verbal outrage just one more time.

Reason only works with reasonable people. If you keep expecting the fundamentally unreasonable to turn around, it’s a dangerous and futile waste of time.


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