How NOT to Confront Islamism

Thursday, October 06, 2005

This is unbelievably disappointing. [Update: See Note at end.]

Via Matt Drudge is an interesting story about goings-on behind the scenes among the leadership of the Arab refugees near Israel. (By the way, "Hudna" is Arabic for "armistice".) As with many news stories, one of the most interesting parts occurs near the end. In this case, it is at the very end of the article.

According to [Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mahmoud] Abbas, ... [President] Bush said: "God told me to strike at al Qaida and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East. If you help me I will act, and if not, the elections will come and I will have to focus on them."
So the leader of the United States of America -- a secular republic -- is stooping to the level of the Islamists?

If this is true, and I can think of no good reason to doubt it, Bush called the "War on Terror" a religious war in the above quote. While this is true for the Islamists, it is definitely not true for the West. George Bush, as the leader of the United States, should have simply told Abbas (if he were to speak to him at all) that any acts of aggression against American interests (including Israeli sovereignty) would be met with an overwhelming military response. If asked why, Bush should have said that it is his job to protect the inalienable rights of his citizens. Period.

Man's rights to think, speak, and act freely, and to profit from his actions are necessary for his survival. It is the President's job to make sure that we Americans can survive by protecting those freedoms. It is this very truth that requires a secular state -- so that those who would abridge our freedoms on "God's orders" will be rendered unable to act. It is also precisely this point that must be impressed on the mostly theocratic Islamic world, and especially on the Palestinian Arabs.

"God told me to do it." This is not a positive reason to wage a war. It is an excuse. In fact, it's Osama bin Laden's excuse.

Someone please tell me this report is wrong.

-- CAV

PS. Here's another such report.
[PA Foreign Minister] Nabil Shaath says: "President Bush said to all of us: 'I'm driven with a mission from God. God would tell me, "George, go and fight those terrorists in Afghanistan." And I did, and then God would tell me, "George, go and end the tyranny in Iraq …" And I did. And now, again, I feel God's words coming to me, "Go get the Palestinians their state and get the Israelis their security, and get peace in the Middle East." And by God I'm gonna do it.'"
Note: Via LGF and Thrutch, it appears that the White House is denying these assertions. I must say that I'm relieved to hear this!
The White House has dismissed as "absurd" allegations made in a BBC TV series that President Bush claimed God told him to invade Iraq.

"He's never made such comments," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

The comments were attributed to Mr Bush by the Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath in the upcoming TV series Elusive Peace: Israel and the Arabs.
Also, there is a very good roundup on the war over at Self Uncensored.


Today: Added reference to second report and quote.
10-7-05: Added update notices and Note to end.


Vigilis said...

CAV, putting GWOT in historical context for the U.S. it is neither a religious war nor an all-out mobilization. To assure the latter does not eventuate requires an outreach to Muslims wondering if a 'Crusader' rallying cry is in their best interest.

The Bush religious rhetoric claims the same high ground staked out by the enemy for the same reason, God's imperative for mankind. Let no one misunderstand then, the leader of the free world has spoken, and terrorists are plain thugs without authentic, moral high ground that should attract any support for them. Amy religious
element is neutralized.

In the DOD are civilians who specializes exactly in this kind of communication. Yes, it may trump the sensibilities of some Americans, but very purposefully.

Bush may not be stellar in higher, academic circles, but this man does back up his bluffs in ways the chatty, authoring crowd entirely escapes.

Gus Van Horn said...


Part of your point as I understand it is that Bush is simply speaking the same language as Abbas et al. This has occurred to me.

I have a couple of small problems with it, though. First, the "Palestinians" long ago forfeited the right to negotiate with this country or any other. Second, the only moral high ground this nation's government should be concerned with is the high ground of individual rights.

In the Middle East, we are dealing with a society with one foot firmly planted in the Middle Ages and one toe testing the waters of the modern era. Its leaders sometimes openly and sometimes covertly act to sabotage our national interests, not to mention the freedom of their subjects.

To timidly mouth pieties to their more backward beliefs while pulling punches injures our cause by making it look like we "know better", but choose "evil" actions. We should instead stake out the actual high ground and then act resolutely on it, demonstrating once and for all that we are both moral and efficacious.