Thursday, September 13, 2012

The embassy attacks: Let's be clear what's happening

The attacks on US embassies in Libya (where the Ambassador and several other staff members were killed), Egypt and Yemen have several elements that have not been discussed in any mainstream media report that I've seen so far.  I'd like to highlight them.

1.  These attacks were not random events.

These were clearly well-planned, co-ordinated attacks across national boundaries.  They happened on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11;  they happened within hours of each other;  they were encouraged and co-ordinated by a Web site run by a Saudi fundamentalist who published blatant lies about a movie being made in the USA, thereby whipping up popular emotion;  and demonstrators in Egypt chanted the names of 'Obama' and 'Osama', bragging that there were a billion Osamas-in-waiting (supported by the appearance of Al Qaeda flags, which is a clear indication of who's behind them).

Apologists who try to insist that these demonstrations were spontaneous popular events are either misguided to the point of being delusional, or they're lying.

2.  The breeding-ground for fanaticism in the Islamic world exists because the First World allowed it to persist.

Don't let anyone try to persuade you that all Muslims are responsible for these actions.  That's like saying that all Catholics are responsible for the actions of the Provisional Irish Republican Army and its splinter-group terrorist successors, or that all Protestants are responsible for the actions of the Westboro Baptist Church, or all fringe sects are responsible for the actions of Aum Shinrikyo.  There are good and bad Muslims, just as there are good and bad Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, or what have you.

That said, it's true that Islam has produced more than its share of fundamentalists and their sympathizers.  Why?  Because some Islamic nations have typically never invested much time, energy or resources in secular education systems.  They've relied on the mosques and imams and madrassas to educate their citizens - and the imams have taken full advantage to entrench their position in and influence over Islamic society.

What makes this doubly tragic is that many Islamic nations were formerly colonies of European nations, who had decades - sometimes centuries - in which to inculcate more enlightened attitudes there, promote secular education, and curb the influence of militant reactionaries in religious matters.  They failed to do so because they simply weren't interested in doing more than the minimum to administer these territories.  They wanted to first conquer or annex them, then retain them, as a source of raw materials, markets, and revenue.  They were there for what they could get out of them, not from any great nation-building purpose.  As a result, more than a few nations that could have become enlightened leaders in their regions are today no better off, in terms of religion and education, than they were before the colonial era.

The result of that neglect you see before you today, in the ignorance, bigotry, zealotry and fanaticism demonstrated by the mobs that stormed our embassies.  Those who planned and led those demonstrations knew precisely how to whip up and manipulate those elements to achieve their objectives.

3.  President Obama, through his foreign policy vacillations, has brought this upon America.

I lay the blame for these events firmly at President Obama's feet.  He's pandered to Islam, pulled our forces out of Iraq, is busy pulling them out of Afghanistan, and has not taken a hard line with those nations such as Iran, Pakistan, etc. who are trying to push us around.  As a result, radical Islamists have lost all respect for him.

From a Christian perspective, Luke 11:21-22 puts it very well.  "When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace.  But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils."  President Obama has been neither a strong man nor fully armed, and has not guarded his palace (to whit, our nation).  Does anyone really believe those behind these embassy attacks would have dared to launch them three and a half years into the presidency of Ronald Reagan?  No?  Then I rest my case.

Victor Davis Hanson sums it up admirably.

Expect more violence. The Libyan murderers are now empowered, and, like the infamous Iranian hostage-takers, feel their government either supports them or can’t stop them. The crowd in Egypt knew what it was doing when it chanted Obama’s name juxtaposed to Osama’s.

Obama’s effort to appease Islam is an utter failure, as we see in various polls that show no change in anti-American attitudes in the Middle East.

. . .

At some point, someone in the administration is going to fathom that the more one seeks to appease radical Islam, the more the latter despises the appeaser.

These terrible attacks on the anniversary of 9/11 are extremely significant. They come right at a time when we are considering an aggregate $1 trillion cutback in defense over the next decade. They should give make us cautious about proposed intervention in Syria. They leave our Arab Spring policy in tatters, and the whole “reset” approach to the Middle East incoherent. They embarrass any who continue to contextualize radical Islamic violence. The juxtaposed chants of “Osama” and “Obama” in Egypt make a mockery of the recent “We killed Osama” spiking the football at the Democratic convention. And they remind us why 2012 is sadly looking a lot like 1980 — when in a similar election year, in a similarly minded administration, the proverbial chickens of four years of “smart” diplomacy tragically came home to roost.

There's more at the link.



Stuart Garfath said...

"The more one seeks to appease, the more the appeaser is despised".

To those born after 1960, look up Neville Chamberlain, and let that be a history lesson you must learn, and apply.

Dirk said...

Yep. Worked really well for Neville. Works real well with the playground bully, too. Ask some victims of armed robberies how well it works to just give 'em what they want. And so on.

Appeasement DOES NOT WORK. The more you try to appease, the more they hate you and the more they hold you in contempt.

Anonymous said...

Barack Milhous Carter failure

SiGraybeard said...

I love Prof. Hanson but "At some point, someone in the administration is going to fathom that the more one seeks to appease radical Islam, the more the latter despises the appeaser." is way too optimistic for these self-declared philosopher kings.

These guys will never realize that.

Brock Townsend said...

Well said and posted.

Anonymous said...

Very well stated. Too bad we don't have a Ronald Reagan in the wings this time boys and girls.

Miss Violet