"A Sickness in the Soul of Middle-Eastern Islam"

I don’t agree with every syllable of Ralph Peters’s column in today’s New York Post, but this part works:

Israel hasn’t killed a single civilian in the Gaza Strip. Over a hundred civilians have died, and Israeli bombs or shells may have ended their lives. But Israel didn’t kill them.

Hamas did. …

Peace is the last thing Hamas terrorists and gangsters want. Peace means the game is up. Peace means they’ve disappointed their god. Peace means no more excuses. They couldn’t bear peace for six months.

This is a war to the bitter end. And we’re afraid to admit what it’s about.

It’s not about American sins or Israeli intransigence. It’s about a sickness in the soul of a civilization – of Middle-Eastern Islam – that can only be cured from within. Until Arabs or Iranians decide to cure themselves, we’ll have to fight.

Instead, we want to talk. We convince ourselves, against all evidence, that our enemies really want to talk, too, that they just need “incentives” (the diplomat’s term for bribes). The apparent belief of our president-elect that it’s possible to negotiate with faith-fueled fanatics is so naive it’s terrifying.

Yet, it’s understandable. Barack Obama’s entire career has been built on words, not deeds, on his power to persuade, not his power to deliver. But all the caucuses, debates, neighborhood meetings and backroom deal-making sessions in his past haven’t prepared him to “negotiate” with men whose single-minded goal is Israel’s destruction – and ours.

Pictures: Little Green Footballs

6 thoughts on “"A Sickness in the Soul of Middle-Eastern Islam"

  1. We also have a Muslim insurgency as well as a communist one. What drives these kids to follow in the footsteps of their fathers? I can only think of one, because they saw death around them. It’s a vicious cycle really. If anyone saw the film “The Kingdom”, they would understand why children grow up with so much hate in their hearts. Having a family member die in front of you would give you a motive for revenge.

    These are things we the supposed to be civilized world would never understand because we never experienced the same experiences these kids went through.

  2. I agree that the cause of war Gaza is more fundamental than we’d like to meet. Furthermore I agree that no one–not even President-elect Obama–can negotiate with fundamentalists; it’s by definition impossible. But here, Peters’ loses me: “Until Arabs or Iranians decide to cure themselves, we’ll have to fight.”

    I’m not so sure fighting radical Islam is an option; we’ve seen how it has resulted in Iraq and we’ve seen how Israel’s fighting has resulted. Luckily, we have one option Israel doesn’t and that’s isolationism. That’s a dirty word these days, and it’s a loaded one. I’m no isolationist, but I do believe that sometimes when there’s no way to resolve a conflict, you need to resist getting involved.

  3. Bob, I think we’ve previously established that you’re more hardcore than I am 🙂

    Schumey, I’m not sure what you’re referring to by a “communist insurgency,” but what drives the kids to follow in their fathers’ footsteps is a indoctrination from an early age into a perverted brand of Islam that glorifies death — see pictures above, and many more at Little Green Footballs.

    David, I think fighting radical Islam is the ONLY option. NOT fighting radical Islam led directly to 9/11, and isolationism will lead to more 9/11s. There will be defeats and setbacks along the way, but that’s the nature of any conflict.

    The Cold War seemed unwinnable, too… then all of a sudden we won. The Iraq War isn’t over, but it’s looking more and more like a success story.

    Here’s the part of Peters’ column where I dissent:

    “While it’s impossible to fully eliminate extremism, killing every terrorist leader hiding in a Gaza bunker is the only hope of achieving even a temporary, imperfect peace. The chance may not come again.”

    I don’t think it’s realistic to kill “every” terrorist leader in Gaza — not without truly horrific civilian casualties. But it’s realistic to kill a lot of them, and to destroy a lot of their munitions and infrastructure.

  4. The Philippines has a communist insurgency brought about by social injustice. The landlords use paramilitary forces to terrorize the farmers. Abductions and summary killings have driven the children of those abused to a life of rebellion, not because of ideology but because of vengeance. This is the communist insurgency I refer to. This is the same cause of the continuing Muslim rebellion in my country.

    I beg to differ from your indoctrination theory. You have to understand the Islamic culture and religion first. Indoctrination is the easy way for propagandists to get the sympathy of those who do not understand Islam.

  5. Schumey, I didn’t realize you are in the Philippines — welcome. Lots of Entrecard users in the Philippines — my fourth-biggest source of traffic, after U.S., Canada and UK.

    Check out the Palestinian Child Abuse slideshow. How is that not indoctrination?

    Do you have something specific in mind when you say “you have to understand the Islamic culture and religion first”? Because I’m actively working to increase my understanding. My current text is No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam by Reza Aslan. My favorite text is Infidel by my hero, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. I’ve also read Militant Islam Reaches America by Daniel Pipes, American Jihad by Steven Emerson, The Foreigner’s Gift by Fouad Ajami, and Bernard Lewis’s What Went Wrong and The Crisis of Islam. (Hm… maybe I should add an Amazon store to my blog.)

    In all of that reading, I’ve not seen anything that excuses Islamist attacks on civilians in the Philippines, Israel, America, London, Madrid, Bali, Mumbai and elsewhere.

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