Who Is the Enemy?
Rev. Terry Jones may just have exposed the ultimate
futility of America`s war in Afghanistan. Consider the
portrait of frustrated impotence America presented to
the world last week.
Our president and the secretaries
of state and defense deplored
Pastor Jones` plan to burn 100 Qurans but
could do nothing to stop him, other than to plead
with him. Jones decided to call it off himself.
What was the message received by a
"Muslims must understand that our
Constitution protects the desecration of your holiest
book. America is a place where people have a right to
denounce Islam as a religion `of the Devil` and burn the
Quran in public."
Having gotten the message,
Afghan mobs chanting,
America," burned the American flag and set off
to kill our soldiers.
Can rural Afghans understand the
refusal of a U.S. president to stop what they see as a
televised sacrilege against their faith? In their
would have been stoned to death. That is
who they are.
What would a U.S. soldier say to an
Afghan soldier who asked,
"If you Americans
believe it is the exercise of a precious right to burn
our holy book, the Quran, why should we fight beside
you, against fellow Muslims, who would fight to protect
Had Jones` Quran-burning gone
forward, the televised pictures would have gone out to
the world. The impact would likely have been of the same
magnitude as that of the
Danish cartoons of the Prophet that ignited riots
across Europe and the Islamic world, and the
anti-Islamic scribbles of
Salman Rushdie that
earned the novelist a fatwa—a death sentence—from
Now consider the message sent to
Their commander, Gen. Petraeus,
warned that, should the Quran burning proceed, it could
endanger their lives and imperil the mission President
Obama sent them to fight and die for.
To those troops, President Obama
was saying that his read on the First Amendment forbids
him from interfering with book-burnings in America that
could get them killed in Afghanistan.
How do you fight and win a war like
that, with a war president like that? Saturday, the
"Americans are not—and never will be—at war with Islam.
It was not a religion that attacked us … it was
al-Qaida." President Bush declared Islam
"a religion of
Both statements are understandable,
for if we are perceived as at war with Islam, we will
lose that war, and Osama bin Laden will have won by
having broadened and defined what the war was about.
But, while understandable, are the
two presidents` statements wholly credible? For tens of
millions of Muslims and growing numbers of Americans are
indeed coming to see this as a religious war.
If we are not at war with Islam,
why are we fighting the Taliban? They did not attack us.
If Islam is a religion of peace, why are
Muslims massacring Christians in
Nigeria and Sudan? Why did those Afghan mobs also
yell, "Death to Christians"? Why are Christian Copts being attacked in
Assyrian and Chaldean Christians in Iraq? Did these
Christian communities start a holy war against their
vastly more numerous Muslim brethren?
What do the terrorists and
"state sponsors of terrorism"—Mohamed
Atta, bin Laden, al-Qaida, the Taliban, Hamas,
Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—have in
common, except for Islam?
Is not the one thing that
differentiates them from our friends in the Middle East,
such as President Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah of
Jordan, that our enemies exhibit a more rigorous Islamic
What motivates the jihadists who
conduct suicide attacks on American soldiers and drive
car bombs onto U.S. military posts, if not the Quran`s
promise of paradise if they die a martyr`s death?
If some Muslims hate us because we
are the new Romans, is that hatred not grounded in the
Islamic mandate to drive infidels out of the Dar
al-Islam, the House of Islam?
If other Muslims hate us for our
corrupt culture, what is the source of that hatred,
other than Islam`s puritanical teachings? If others hate
us, as neoconservatives argue,
our freedoms, what is the taproot of that hatred?
When Obama and Bush hail Islam as a
religion of peace, do they know more about Islam than
those who are dying for it?
Describing Islam as a religion of
peace is like saying Prussians were a people of peace.
It is at best a partial truth.
According to a
two-thirds of Americans do not want the Cordoba
House mosque built near Ground Zero, and half of all
Americans harbor negative views about Islam. They don`t
the mosque by Ground Zero because they think Islam
had something to do with
those 3,000 massacred Americans. Are they entirely
How do we win a long war when we
cannot name the enemy?
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
be ordered from Amazon.com. His latest book
Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.