Thursday, October 18, 2007

Understanding Counter-insurgency

“You reconcile with your former enemies, you don’t have to reconcile with friends."
-General Petraeus

An old man feeds the pigeons near the Shrine of Hazrat Ali on the first day of the Eid al-Fitr Festival in Mazar-e Sharif, northern Afghanistan, Thursday Nov. 3, 2005. The three-day Eid al-Fitr festival marks the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Tomas Munita)

Amy Proctor wrote an excellent and informative comment at Marie's Two Cents:
One of the things that makes it so difficult is that we, particularly Christians, lump all Muslims together. We think reconciliation means 1)appeasement or 2) condonment of their theology. It means neither. What it really means is that our children may have a chance of not being involved in the same war we're engaging in today.

My husband met many good Muslims in Iraq who were very devout and peaceful. It is mostly the uneducated and unemployed young Muslims who are wooed by the thrill of a supposed purpose proposed by al-Qaeda types. They are not the embodiement of their religion, however.

If you read the entire open letter you'll see this is a sincere effort to bridge the gap between the faiths. It doesn't mean we have to validate each other's theology, but that we can accept that we are both religions who want to live in the world together without bloodshed. St. Paul urged Christians to live peaceably among ALL men, not just those who theologically align with us.

On another note, here's something I learned from my husband: MUSLIMS RESPECT YOU MORE IF YOU STAND UP FOR YOUR RELIGION THAN IF YOU HAVE A PC VERSION OF YOUR RELIGION. In Iraq last year, a chaplain went to meet with an Imam, and rather than risking offending the Imam, the chaplain took off his cross before entering his home. In essense, he hid his religion. When the Imam questioned the chaplain about the missing cross, it was clear that this was a huge mistake and that the chaplain had blown a major opportunity to meet with an equal: a religious scholar. The Imam asked point blank: "Where is your cross? Are you trying to trick me?"

The message to the Imam was that the chaplain was sneaky and plotting something cinister because clearly he wasn't being who he proported to be in the Army. Why esle would he HIDE his religious symbols? Our version of separation of Church and state is killing us on the battle field.

A Muslim would rather you be 100% committed to and proud of our faith than to worry about our dedication to it offending a Muslim. They see it as cowardice and weakness. They are correct.

Essentially, there is no doubt in my mind that these Muslim scholars are sincerely reaching out to the Christian community. Pope Benedict is notorious for meeting with Muslim leaders, praying in Mosques and synoguges, and doing so jointly with those respective religions. Muslim leaders respect this.

So why make peace with Muslims? Because we want to win the war. At least I do. My husband does. We have been given a gift in that Muslims are extending a hand of friendship.... this is truly a great opportunity for us to stop talking about world peace and to work towards world peace.

Finally, I posted an entry last night that I hope all your readers will check out. 3 videos with the Army and GEN Petraeus saying the same thing Wordsmith and I have been saying here. Please do yourself a favor and view the videos. It will really help everyone to clarify their own understanding of what is transpiring in the war on terror.

Amy has left many impassioned comments throughout the blogosphere (I linked to some of them in this post). I encourage everyone to check out her most recent post on Counterinsurgency for dummies (that would be us).

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Blogger Nightcrawler said...

Excellent post. We should stand up for our faith and simultaneously tell the Muslims that we accept their faith. Only then can we put the issue of faith behind us and move on to the important issues of developing the Middle East economically, socially and politically.

There are more issues than povert facing us, however. Remember that none of the 9/11 hijackers were "impoverished" or "uneducated". They were middle to upper class Muslims who were devout in their extremist beliefs. We must take steps to embrace and promote "tolerant" Islam and eradicate "extremist" Islam.

Friday, October 19, 2007 9:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We should stand up for our faith and simultaneously tell the Muslims that we accept their faith.

No, no, no! We should not accept Islam at all, we need to remember that Islam is an ideology which makes a similar ideology, namely that horrible ideology of Nazism, look benign in comparison.

I assume Nightcrawler wouldn't want us to accept Nazism, so why does he want us to accept an ideology an order of magnitude worse than Nazism? Has he completely lost his mind?!

We must take steps to embrace and promote "tolerant" Islam and eradicate "extremist" Islam.

"Extremist" Islam is normal Islam. "Tolerant" Islam is a logical impossibility, so there is no need to embrace and promote it, that is, unless one wants to commit civilizational suicide.

Friday, October 19, 2007 1:43:00 PM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

anonymous: So what's your solution? The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim?

Friday, October 19, 2007 9:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous: So what's your solution?

As I've said before, what we should do is to halt all Muslim immigration and gradually deport Muslims who already live in our societies. The reason we should do this is not because Muslims are necessarily bad human beings, but because we realize that Muslims belong to a religion that is fundamentally incompatible with, and indeed hostile and dangerous to, our Western societies.

The only good Muslim is a dead Muslim?

I think the reason some people are willing to believe in fairy tales about the possibility of a "moderate" Islam, even as its existence is a logical impossibility, is because they somehow believe the implication of its non-existence is that we need to kill all Muslims. Of course, this is not a necessary implication at all, but even if it were, it would not be a good reason to reject the fact that moderate Islam cannot exist, because truth should not be rejected because one does not like its (supposed) implications.

Saturday, October 20, 2007 1:32:00 AM  
Blogger Mike's America said...

One little problem with your banning Islam and deporting Muslims.

It's called the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights:

Amendment 1 - Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Got any other ideas?

Saturday, October 20, 2007 10:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One little problem with your banning Islam and deporting Muslims. It's called the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights

Yes, as of today, that is a problem, especially since it is not recognized that Islam is not a religion as ordinarily understood, but a tyrannical religio-political system aimed at the destruction of every non-Islamic government, a "religion" which should therefore have no rights as a religion in the US.

Got any other ideas?

As I pointed out, Islam should not enjoy First Amendment rights in the first place, so we should stop granting it these rights.

Then again, perhaps Lawrence Auster's suggestion could be a good idea here, ie. "We could pass a Constitutional amendment declaring that, notwithstanding any other provision in the Constitution and any laws of the United States, the religion of Islam cannot be practiced in the United States. By placing the prohibition of Islam in the Constitution, by saying that Islam is incompatible with our existence as a society, we would be making a fundamental statement about the kind of society America is, and that is precisely the kind of thing that belongs in the Constitution."

In general, it should be noted that principles should be our servants, not our masters, thus the First Amendment should not be used to commit civilizational suicide, which is what we're doing by allowing Islam's presence in the US.

Sunday, October 21, 2007 3:54:00 AM  

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