After watching the Sunday newsies with clips of Bush, Cheney on camera and Hadley the functionary, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that we, Americans are chasing phantoms in the world, phantoms carefully cultivated in a surfeit of seminars and an excess of Jungian memory.
The president says that we are locked in an ideological struggle —– OK, So what are the ideologies involved?
!- Freedom? On our side? That includes the Pakistanis, Saudis, Israelis, The Siniora government in Lebanon, Abu Mazen in Palestine, the Shia government of Iraq? The Iraqi Kurds? Turkey? Libya? Egypt? Yemen?
2- "Islamic Fascism" On the other side? Hamas, Syria, Iran, The Sunni insurgents (various), the jihadis?
This is tricky stuff. The Saudis? The administration’s "pet" Lebanese? The "freedom" list looks more like a list of our client states than anything else. Saudi Arabia has no consitution other that the Quran, no law except for Sharia and that of the Hanbali variety. Pakistan is one man’s life away from being a Shariah state. Yemen? Libya? My God! The Israelis? Sorry folks, but Carter is right. From the point of view of the the Palestinians Israel/Palestine is not a free place.
"Freedom" and "Islamic Fascism" clearly have "special" meanings here. I say that "freedom" as the bushies use the term is code and really means westernization and "globalization" in the sense that we want to see the world "ironed out" flat so the it meets the egregious Friedman’s dream of a homogeneous world. "Islamic Fascism" means, I think, simply "Islam." That is, Islam as it has been understod by millennia of Muslims. That is, as an all encompassing view of the world and man’s relationship to God. "Ah, but these are not real Muslims," I can hear the outcry now. Rubbish. We non-Muslims can not dictate to any particular group of Muslms what Islam means to them. We want an Islam similar in its role in life to the emasculated role that Christianity plays for most Americans in their lives? Sorry! We do not get to choose for them. There wil be a reaction to what I have written here. It will be similar to the outrage vented on me by a former congressman from the Midwest who went on and and on about the nice ladies who come to his office to tell him that Muslims are a peaceful lot. Peaceful? Yes? Within limits.
My analysis leads me to the belief that in reality we are fighting against traditional Islam. What do I mean by that? I mean that the US government claims that it is opposing only the extreme jihadis whether Sunni or Shia, but, in fact is opposing the whole structuire of traditional Islamic life and law in the name of “universal values” which are, in fact, Western in origin. In this context “democracy,” “globalization” are mere code for the goal of acculturating the Muslims in the direction of the West.
Iran and the international jihadi movement are existential threats to Israel. They are not existential threats to the the USA. Fight over that one. Just think about what it would take to kill the USA. It would take a lot, a hell of a lot. Think about potential jihadi or Iranian capabilities. Think about ranges, throw weights. Think about "the unthinkable." Undertand that the death of a city will not kill the United States. We are Israel’s ally. We are prepared to go to war for Israel. I do not question that as policy, but if we go to war with Iran at root it will be because of the Israelis reasonable fear them as an existential threat. pl