One took issue with the Ron Paul post, saying “Those who oppose the War on Islamo-Fascism are not just unpatriotic, but rather treasonous.” I can only imagine, since Ron Paul was addressing the pending war in Iraq, that the war in Iraq is part of this war on Islamo-Fascism.
Overthrowing the government of Iraq under Saddam Hussein (without question, a brutal dictator, much like the Shah, Pinochet or Ngo Dinh Diem) and a secular baathist regime that tried to do everything in its power to keep fundamentalist fringe elements out the country, including (with the support of the U.S. I might add) starting a war with Iran. Overthrowing that country’s government, where none of the 9/11 hijackers were from (arguably the opening shot and call to action) is part of a War on Islamo-fascism?
If we were truly fighting a war on Islamo-fascism, wouldn’t we attack Saudi Arabia? Not that I am advocating that position either, I’m just saying: if you are looking for hot-spots of Islamo-fascism, noting that 15 of the 19 known hijackers came from that country, it would seem to be the place to start. Of the 19 confirmed, how many came from Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, or Afghanistan? I’ll save you the trouble looking: Zero.
The accusation of treason is a serious charge. And, I think before one starts brandishing such terms sure to evoke visceral reactions careful reflection should be made, since it can quickly disintegrate civil discourse which is the foundation of democracy. In the face of McCarthyism, Edward R. Murrow gave his advice quite eloquently and briefly: “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. When the loyal opposition dies, I think the soul of America dies with it.”
As for what Islamo-fascist want, the scary thing is some of those positions are advocated in the United States as well. For outlawing booze, American’s had the temperance movement, and we did institute prohibition. It was later repealed, but marijuana is still a serious offense in the States. The right routinely calls for stiffer penalties. Neo-nazism still exists, and homosexuals are often victims of horrendous crimes in this country.
In short, I am more concerned about the rise of an American theocracy here in the states than one-man mustachioed armies of supposed Islamo-fascism.
There is a deeper meaning to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s statement that “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Fear is the mind-killer. The day that we abandon reason is the day the great experiment of American democracy, for all of its flaws, dies. There will be no wisdom of the group through debate, there will be leaders who trot out vague boogeymen and tell you what to be afraid of and what you have to do. Discordant events will be woven into a vast tapestry of conspiracy that the public doesn’t understand beyond universally acknowledged malevolent intent that political leaders, as oracles ordained by God, have the ability to decipher the signs and will tell the public what to do in response.
I’ve rejected divine right. So, please do not appeal to transcendental or privileged knowledge about the world and the way it works. Although, for my part, I will approach an argument with a reasonably open-mind, that tries not to be swayed by mere repetition or fear. If the case is so obvious, then it shouldn’t be that hard. I’ll consider books or articles that you wish me to read. And I’ll tell you straight-out what you have to do to convince me that the Iraq War is part of a War on Islamo-fascism.
- Explain why none of the 9/11 Hijackers were from Iraq or Iran.
- Explain why Saddam attacked Iran shortly after the Iranian revolution.
- Explain the connection between Iraq under Saddam and Islamo-fascist organizations, including support infrastructure, training camps, etc. that must be evident before we invaded.
- Give a plausible scenario on how Islamo-fascists would overthrow the American government (or Western World), in the face of vast military superiority of the United States, including our ability to make any region of the Earth practically uninhabitable.
- Explain the findings of “Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism” in terms of Islamo-fascist threat, and why your opinion is more authoritative than a Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago
In fairness, I think opponents should provide a similar list. What issues would need to be addressed before I could change your mind? Again, if the Islamo-fascist threat is so baldly apparent, then addressing my issues should be a cake walk. Until then, I call the specter of Islamo-fascism a fabrication of domestic politics, much like the red-scares were for communism and socialism and the drug lords were for the war on drugs, before it. If people want a better understanding of the actual issues in the world, and why people are so angry at us, it is important to look at what they say and run the thought experiment of putting yourself in their shoes, much like how Ron Paul explains his positions on various issues. Some we will reject, like “death to Israel” or the adoption of Sharia. However, the issue of a sovereign Palestinian state is not as unreasonable and the pre-June 1967 borders seem to be a good place to start. Building military bases in Saudi Arabia and supporting brutal regimes, I could see how reasonable people would get angry at the policies of the United States.
The truth of the matter, there are terrorists in the world. Their methods are dastardly, but are the deaths caused by our “collateral damage” bombing campaigns less so? The fundamental question isn’t fear or victory, it is have we advanced justice and liberty in the world? That is the war that I think we are losing, strategically, with our blatant unilateralism, and tactically in Iraq. The world is a frightening and indifferent place as it is without inventing boogeymen based on xenophobic fears.