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Whatever hope there may have been for victory over Islamic terrorism has faded. In its place as a fallback position is a flawed policy that spells mortal danger for Israel and the West.
How's the "war on terror" going? Not very well, looking at it from a high-level vantage point.
First of all, it's been dragging on much too long. Military analysts have determined that only about half the wars fought since the early 1800's have lasted more than five months, and on the average a war is over in less than 17 months. Four years appears to be about the limit for a major war in the modern world -- very few Western nations have the resources or the fortitude to sustain a war much longer than that. The First World War fit this pattern, and if you reckon the theaters of the Second World War from when the Soviet Union and the United States got involved, they each lasted a little less than four years. Considering September 11, 2001 as the beginning of the Islamic terror war on the West, however, four years have already come and gone with no end in sight -- Western nations have not even come close to turning the tide against Islamic terrorism.
And then there's the way people view the "war on terror." By all accounts, it is a true war, but it's nothing like the "conventional" wars of the past. For one thing, Islamic terrorism is a global phenomenon, something much bigger than any single nation or coalition of nations. Besides being inscrutable and frightening, it has managed to infiltrate modern Western culture and blend invisibly into the cosmopolitan background. It surfaces without warning in spectacular pinpoint atrocities, and then vanishes like a phantom back into the shadows. These are battles over minds rather than materiel or territory, and they give the impression that terror attacks are more a media event than a tangible reality. So if the war on terrorism requires any kind of on-going self-sacrifice -- like higher prices at the fuel pump -- the average citizen isn't likely to have much enthusiasm for it.
These and other factors add up to the inescapable conclusion that if the Western nations ever had any concept of victory in this war, they have since abandoned it. Naturally, it is not a conscious admission of defeat. It isn't something they are willing to talk about, and they'll even deny it if pressed. Deep inside, however, the Western nations -- including the United States and Britain -- have resigned themselves that from a social, economic, and military standpoint they cannot defeat Islamic terrorism.
But even if the average citizens of the West don't have much stomach for fighting Islamic terrorism, they still don't want it invading their home towns. They find the gruesome and horrifying televised images of terrorist attacks entertaining in a morbid way -- provided, of course, that the terrorism stays where it is, "over there."
Western nations therefore don't have to defeat Islamic terrorism. They just have to keep it away, at a suitable distance. And in that case, they might as well take a position that opposes defeating Islamic terrorism. That way, they can benefit from being politically correct about Islam, and avoid alienating the Arabs.
This is one reason Western policies regarding terrorism are so confused and contradictory. The Bush Administration, for example, is committed to fighting Islamic terrorism to the bitter end in Iraq, but at the same time it's doing everything it can to protect Islamic terrorism in the Palestinian areas.
Mention of the Palestinians reminds us that there's another important factor that enters into this picture, one that has to do with the Jews. Western civilization has quite a long history with the Jews, who in many ways are still considered outsiders and are subject to different standards. In particular, Western tradition has not forgotten how convenient it is to blame the Jews for whatever has gone wrong -- and Islamic terrorism must surely be one of those things that has gone wrong.
The most prominent aspect of Islam throughout its history has been its tension and conflict with Christianity. Radical Muslims make no secret of their envy and vindictive hatred of the Christian West. Nevertheless, those Muslims are clever folks, and they know how easy it is to manipulate intimidated Western nations. They simply complain that it's the Jews who are to blame for all the trouble: Why, if it weren't for the Jews, there wouldn't be any need for the Muslims to carry out the terror attacks in the first place.
Don't waste your time finding fault with this silly logic. The argument is music to Western ears, and it works like magic on Western leaders and their media. Predictably, Western society strives to "understand" Islamic terrorism by making excuses for it -- and is it any surprise that Western apologists have discovered that the "root causes" of Islamic terrorism just happen to involve the Jews? At the highest levels of Western society, the Muslim terrorists have been overlooked and practically forgotten in the rush to lay off the blame on the Jews. It is no accident that the recent epidemic of anti-Semitism throughout Europe and North America coincides with Islamic terror attacks on the West.
In the polite corridors of international diplomacy, anti-Semitism means putting the screws to Israel. It is, however, more than just vindictive reprisals against Israel, and more than just sacrificing Israel to appease the Arabs. Western tradition knows that there are objective gains to be realized by cornering the Jews and putting pressure on them.
For a long time in Europe, the Jews were trapped between the aristocratic rulers and the discontented lower classes. When the rulers wanted something, they let the masses vent their anger on the helpless Jews, who would then beg for protection and submit to whatever the rulers demanded. When the Jews paid up, the rulers would restrain the masses, allowing their bitterness to build up for the next repeat of the cycle. Not only were tangibles such as money extorted from the Jews this way, but the Jews would also be pressed into other useful service for the rulers, like shielding them from the dissatisfaction and resentment of the lower classes. One of the most tragic by-products of this abuse was that the Jews became culturally-conditioned to actively internalize the blame for whatever happened to be going wrong at the time. Part of the reason the Jews couldn't defend themselves was that deep inside, they felt that they were at least partly responsible for the attacks against them.
The notorious Jewish neurotic guilt complex came out of this cycle. The Jews naturally wanted to avoid acting in any way that might justify blaming them for anything, so they mesmerized themselves into believing that they have special moral and ethical responsibilities that other people don't have, and they sensitized themselves to be especially concerned about what the gentiles might be thinking of them. These traits became an ingrained part of the Jewish character. Even today, whenever trouble strikes there are guilt-ridden Jews whose habituated thinking is that it's the Jews' fault for not living up to their higher moral responsibilities. Ever since Israel's founding, its national policy regarding the Palestinian Arabs has been dictated by these Jewish neuroses.
It turns out that this pattern of accepting blame and responsibility is precisely what the Western nations think they need for dealing with Islamic terrorism. They won't merely keep it away from their home shores, they'll use Israel to localize and contain the Islamic terrorism far off in another part of the world. This is not some sort of conspiracy against the Jews -- it is a more-or-less unconscious expression of deep-seated Western cultural tradition. Western leaders give it little, if any, thought. They grew up in an environment where the Jews were seen as different and not to be treated quite the same as others. Now that they are running the Western nations, they apply these principles and act out these attitudes through instinct and reflex.
The theory of local containment goes like this:
The above points, as noted, are only the theory. In reality, something else entirely should be expected.
What does it mean for Israel to be designated for localizing and containing Islamic terrorism? It means that the Palestinian areas are for the active breeding of Islamic terrorism, and the Israeli areas are the targets of terrorist activities. Western economic, diplomatic, and military efforts will be directed so that the terror remains confined to Israel and generally stays within limits which can be tolerated by Israeli society. This sets up an ideal arena for the battle. The Arabs view Israel as a Western enclave, so the Israelis are natural surrogates for the West. The Arabs also identify prominently with the Palestinians in their anti-Western jihad, so the Palestinians are their natural champions on the field of honor.
The Palestinians have already dedicated themselves as sacrificial martyrs to the cause of terror. Israel is being narcotized economically and politically to dull the pain of the death and destruction caused by terrorism. The Jews have already exhibited a high tolerance for Arab terrorism, and manage to carry on what they consider to be "normal life" under ongoing attack. Western economic-diplomatic enticements and pressure will assure that Israeli society continues to tolerate Arab terrorism. Israel's dependency on foreign aid and investment to maintain its materialistic lifestyle, coupled with the Jewish addiction to gentile approval, and apprehension over gentile disapproval, can be exploited to guarantee Israeli cooperation in maintaining the containment policy.
Containment of terrorism to Israel will also allow close monitoring and control of Israel itself, to prevent independent Israeli activities from disturbing the imposed balance of power in the Middle East or elsewhere. Should Israel exhibit undesirable independence in any manner that does not readily respond to ordinary diplomacy, the West need only permit an increase in Palestinian terrorism to force Israel into compliance, in exchange for Western pressure on the Palestinians to reduce the terrorism back to acceptable levels.
This is a policy that is already being put into effect. The West, with the full collusion of the Israeli government, has been giving political, diplomatic, moral, and financial support to Islamic terrorists in the Israeli containment zone. Gaza, now cleansed of Jews courtesy of the Israeli government, is the new upscale venue for Islamic terrorism: Al Qaeda is moving to Gaza. Terrorist groups formerly ensconced in Damascus are moving there, too. Terrorists and their weapons are freely flowing into Gaza from Egypt. Meanwhile, the world cannot pump money fast enough into Gaza, nearly all of which is being siphoned off to fund terror. With the exit of Israel from Gaza, the only stabilizing element has gone, and the entire area is sinking into anarchy and lawlessness. These are ideal breeding conditions for terrorism.
Keep in mind that although the leaders of the PA wear suits and ties, comport themselves as gentlemen, and otherwise put on a presentable appearance, the PA is every bit as much a terror organization as Hamas. Western leaders know this. So do Israeli leaders. That is why they supported Arafat, and it is why they continue to support Mahmoud Abbas, Mohammed Dahlan, and the other terrorists who run the Palestinian Authority.
The process of containment is an obscene, immoral experiment that is neither expected nor intended to bring peace or stability to the Middle East. It places innocent and trusting people at grave risk, and will result in large-scale death, destruction, and human suffering.
But will it even manage to contain Islamic terrorism?
Of course not. Islamic terrorism is insatiable, and appeasement merely increases its hunger. Keep in mind that Islam is the only one of the three "monotheistic" religions that has never experienced military defeat -- Jewish belligerence was crushed by the Romans, and the Christian world was militarily humbled toward the end of the Crusader era. These defeats tempered both Judaism and Christianity to appreciate the virtues of peace. In contrast, however, Muslims consider Islam to be invincible, and they continue to dream of world conquest. The Arabs -- who are the most virulent of the Muslim terrorists -- have developed a culture of death and sacrifice that looks with contempt on the desire for peace and security, as a mortal weakness. And why not? In all their history, the Arabs have never known anything but victory. What about the wars in 1967 and 1973? As things are going now, it won't be long before the Arabs will be able to successfully rewrite them as victories, too. Delayed victories, perhaps, but victories nevertheless.
If the West cannot bring itself to allow Islam to be defeated in war, what chance does it have of defeating Islam in peace?
Arab culture places no value on democracy or upon improved living standards. The Palestinian Arabs, for example, enjoyed their highest living standard and greatest political freedom when Israel administered the territories where they lived. Despite their material and political prosperity, however, it was a humiliation they could not endure. Collectively, they would rather live in servitude and squalor under Muslim despots than in freedom and abundance under Jewish humanitarians. Look how the Gazan Arabs savagely destroyed the greenhouses that would have given so many of them a decent living, a home, and a delightful environment with a satisfying purpose to life. This is just another example of how the naïve liberal assumption about the Palestinians -- that they will forsake war after tasting the blessings of peaceful democratic living -- is a deadly mistake. Nevertheless, this fantasy is a reliable narcotic in persuading the Israeli people to continue advancing the containment policy in the guise of a "peace process."
Sacrificing Israel to appease and contain Islamic terrorism is an utter delusion and will fail spectacularly. Despite this, however, it is the ultimate goal and purpose of the "Road Map" -- this is what the President of the United States, the U.S. State Department, the Israeli Prime Minister, and the Israeli Government, with the full support of worldwide and Israeli media and political establishments have agreed to do to Israel and its people.
Moshe Brody is an Israeli high-technology consultant with four degrees from MIT, including a Ph.D. in Physical Electronics. For seventeen years he served as a private investigator for major insurance companies in the United States. He is author of "Troubleshooting in the Promised Land: an Independent Investigator's Report on Israel, the Middle East, and Other Parts of the World," (ISBN 965-90577-0-9). Contact him at email@example.com
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