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Response to Bisvas

Reader comment on item: Hold Damascus Responsible [for Hezbollah Violence in Southern Lebanon]

Submitted by Peter Herz (United States), Aug 8, 2006 at 21:50

America's confrontation with radical Islam follows the same pattern as its confrontation with Bolshevism. It is not a conflict that the United States sought, but one that its adversaries are eager to have. The USA chose confrontation only because its adversaries left no other option open.

As World War II was ending, Roosevelt believed that the USA and USSR shared much in common as "idealistic" powers. His successor, Harry S. Truman, believed that a post-war showdown between the USA and British Empire was imminent (a fear aided, no doubt, by the fact that Great Britain was still able to find 2,000,000 Indian volunteers against the Axis; the largest single voluntary enlistment of any World War II belligerent). Truman changed his tune only with the Berlin blockade and Soviet power plays in Eastern Europe; plus Soviet attempts to wrest territorial concessions from Turkey and Iran.

America even took a "wait-and-see" attitude towards the Chinese Civil War after the failure of the Marshall Mission. It's slowness to recognize the Beijing government started not with a visceral American anti-Communism, but with the Chinese Communists' own arrest of the US consul in Shenyang on trumped-up espionage charges. It is now apparent that this incident was calculated by Mao to ensure that a Communist China would have as little Western contact as possible.

How long have Indians complained about American patience with radical Islam (especially in Pakistan and B'desh!)? Has not America often hoped against hope that it could reach an accommodation with Islamicist Iran? Have we ever dared offend a Muslim "ally" over persecution of Christians or other religious minorities within its borders? Did we not label Yasr Air-and-Fathead and the Sa'udi dynasty as "Muslim moderates" despite their proven track records?

Yes, many Americans do have a foolish idea that nobody has a history or agenda until "we" get involved; even to the point that they suppose our misguided policies have taught hatred to the children of Muslims, idiotic utopianism to Marxists, torture to the Latin American heirs of the Spanish Inquisition, corruption to the heirs of the Confucian mandarinate in the Far East, and maybe even communal hatreds to the descendants of Mughals and Mahrattas in the South Asian subcontinent (but maybe we can shluf that one off on our British cousins). But with Bolshevism yesterday, it is the same with radical Islamicism today: trouble came looking for us.

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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