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Imagine

Reader comment on item: Counting Islamists

Submitted by Zentrist (United States), Oct 8, 2008 at 14:35

It all starts, as John Lennon sang, in the Imagination: "Imagine." No, in this case--not heaven on earth. Rather, the opposite: hell on earth. We have 150 million Islamists who are imagining, in one way or another, the end of Israel, the end of America, the end of Europe and the beginning of Shari'a.

My opinion goes with many who've been saying that hard power alone obviously won't solve the problem but in all probability will make it worse. As Michael Ware recently pointed out in an interview, al-Qaida excels at exploiting any and every weakness. It has mastered or is mastering the public relations battle of winning over hearts and minds--let me correct that: instilling fear in hearts and minds. Personally, I'd be lying if I said I've experienced no fear whatsoever after 9/11. I have. In this sense, in one case, al-Qaida has succeeded--to some extent.

But reason must stand strong against any and every fear. Peter Bergen opines that bin Laden truly underestimated the strong response of the West under President Bush's leadership. If so, so much the better for freedom for now. Perhaps the fact we've not been attacked heavily, here, since 9/11, is due to the proactive disruptions of al-Qaida led by Bush and Company. On the other hand, 9/11 raised the bar so high, so to speak, that the next calculated attack will "take its time." And top 9/11.

From this perspective, maybe NOW would be a good time , so they might think, for another major "bomb." I don't really know. But I do think that our enemies do not give a hoot about our five-year plans or even ten-year plans. Their whole way of thinking, strategically, I'd suppose, is based on a patience and intelligence that few of us can imagine. In any event, we should not be so very proud of our "success" in the war on terror. We're talking a generation or more--thirty, fifty, eighty years. Why so long? Because of the very facts pointed out so deftly in the article today by Daniel Pipes. There are one point four billion Muslims in this world, 150 million of whom are imagining, as we speak, our downfall. (Moreover, I agree with Mr. Pipes that this number is very, very conservative.)

Can we do anything to ameliorate this hatred on the part of the 150 million serious Islamists who can, have already or could easily resort to bombs--even here?

As a non-expert, my hope is that we change our entire strategy in such a way as to take on the hatred, the resentment, the anger and "sense of offense" wherever it is found. In the meantime, we beef up our military in order to be ready for anything. In the meantime, we are gradually becoming free of our addiction to oil. In the meantime, we are showing more "sensitivity" to LEGITIMATE complaints of Muslims who are almost violently prejudiced against Jews and Americans for their "conspiracy" to deprive them of their way of life.

Specifically, What if we addressed bin Laden's "issue" with us? What if we became so energy independent that we took away one or two points of complaint, whatever those happen to be. (As I say, we are in the meantime stengthening our military, not naively hoping that bin Laden will "appreciate" our efforts to leave his land or whatever the case may be.) Why not give it a try? The "hardball" aspect of my idea, again, is that we triple, at least, our Army and Marines, etc. We are ready for anything. But we are also SERIOUS about winning the hearts and minds battle, which, in my opinion, is the decisive one. IMAGINE.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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