For the past few days, the media have been covering the publication in Britain of a fatwa that “absolutely” prohibits suicide operations, a tract claiming that anyone conducting such an attack will go to hell. The author of the fatwa is an eminent UK-based Pakistani Sunni scholar named Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri, and over the course of 600-pages he decides that: “there is no place for any martyrdom [by Muslims] and their act is never, ever to be considered jihad.”
I recall the admirable General Colin Powell, the general who use to say that the U.S. military was meant to completely defeat America’s enemies when war begins so that the same war would not have to be re-fought. The media certainly did not like his attitude, but before the 1990-91 Iraq war he stood by his position that the U.S. military’s job was to “surround and kill” the Iraqi army and then come home. His advice was ignored and look where we are today.
Fox News this morning (24 Feb. 10) showed a film clip of the Israeli ambassador to the United States being shouted down by Muslim students during a speech he was invited to make at a university in California. Fox’s announcers took the ambassador’s side in the name of free speech and the fact that he had been formally invited to give the talk. I agree with that argument, and believe that almost any suppression of free speech is a sure road to civil violence over the long term.
There has been much discussion about what President Obama and his administration should do about Iran. I participated this week in a discussion on the National Journal’s national security blog on this issue, which included two questions:
The men and women of the U.S. military and intelligence services are the most important part of America’s defense capital. When they enter the service of their choice they are well aware of the implicit contract between the nation and themselves. In return for their career, America has the right to call on them to go into harm’s way, very often at the risk of their lives. I have never known a Marine, a soldier or a CIA officer who did not accept this reality, and I have never known one who balked when called on to deploy. That said, each I have known — and I suppose all — hope that if defending America costs his or her life, the cause for which it is spent is clear and worthwhile. It is precisely on this point that the U.S. government’s executive and legislative branches are lethally failing these men and women.
In his less-than-fifteen-minute, 28 December statement on the Detroit airliner attack and Iran, President Obama exhilarated America’s Islamist foes and neatly encapsulated the U.S. governing elite’s absolute inability to see that its full-bore interventionism is leading America to ruin.
- The go-light strategy in Afghanistan is a joke. If Obama’s serious about victory, it’s time to start making unpleasant choices.
How many Marines and soldiers will die in Afghanistan before the mainstream media dares to speak the truth and ask questions based thereon? Yes, it is the mainstream media that is keeping us locked in Afghanistan, and they are doing so for two reasons:
I guess I would say that the Taliban are in the lead, but that overall the Muslim Afghan people are — as always — winning against foreign Christian-Pagan occupiers. As long as we are in Afghanistan to nation-build and “protect Afghans,” we are losing. As long as we are senseless enough to deem all those who fight us as “takfiris” — the most extreme of religious Muslims — we are losing. As long as we are led by generals who prefer “shielding Afghans” at the cost of dead soldiers and Marines, we are losing. As long as we continue to permit the Indians to keep increasing their presence in Afghanistan, we are losing. As long as we are encouraging Asif Ali Zadari and the Pakistani Army to worsen the civil war in their country, we are losing. As long as we continue trying to build a strong central government in Kabul, we are losing. As long as we are supporting the corrupt and incompetent Hamid Karzai and his family, we are losing. As long as we are to afraid to deal harshly with the Saudis and other Gulf states that are funneling aid to the Taliban, we are losing. As long as the resupply lines for our soldiers and Marines run through enemy territory in the Pakistani tribal zone and the Russian Federation, we are losing. As long as we believe that any number of elections in Afghanistan will ever make a difference, we are losing. As long as we believe we have as much time as we need to get our act together in Afghanistan, we are losing.
As is the custom of American interventionists, President Obama spoke in Cairo as if our Islamist enemies have no vote in how their conflict with the United States will henceforth proceed. The adolescent geniuses who wrote Obama’s speech apparently spent no time at all perusing what Osama bin Laden and other Islamists have said or written over the past 13 years, and especially since 2001. At repeated points in that corpus of material, for example, bin Laden has offered a truce to the United States and its allies on terms eerily similar to those Obama described in Cairo as the intentions of his administration.