Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Jihadism One Year After The Elections

The United States military has been efficiently winning the war against Al-Qaeda in Iraq ever since the mid-term elections sent the message to Washington to either achieve victory or accept defeat. I’ve read the various Republican apologists making the case the Democratic victories a year ago were a response to failed promises or perceptions of corruption, but I don’t believe it. The media chose sides and chose defeat. Their influence served to convince enough voters that the good we are achieving is bad.

The media's Iraq con job: The big con job the media has inflicted on the American people, by systematically distorting so many details about the conflict in Iraq, does more than skew politics back home; it makes Americans distrust the sources of their information and is an assault on democracy. Don't get me wrong. We need a critical press. Government, policy and soldiers should be scrutinized. The only question I ask the reader is: Who will hold the press responsible?

I distinctly remember being taught to distrust common knowledge. Over time I have learned it is even more important to distrust individuals who believe they have uncommon insights. For several weeks now the wave of aggressive Islamic fundamentalism has been rising not in Turkey or Iraq, but rather in Pakistan with its vast interior border region of tribal primitivism.

The danger inherent in Islamic terrorism has always been the fusion of a religious belief that God only values believers with technology capable of destroying unbelievers. I am in no position to evaluate whether the political maneuvers in Pakistan are good or bad, but I am sure the stakes of the game are very high.

Pakistan: the perils of cutting expedient deals with lunatics: To cut to the bone, Pakistan is a rogue state selling nuclear technology and equipment to any government willing to purchase. Much of the story has been suppressed. But with the October publication of Deception: Pakistan, the United States, and the Secret Trade in Nuclear Weapons, it's harder to maintain the argument that if other governments (most notably China and the US) don't support Musharraf, Pakistan will be taken over by foaming Islamists who won't hesitate to deploy the Bomb.

The real world is infinitely complex and it is impossible to foresee all future consequences of action or inaction. It is always possible to point to the trough in the waves that follow events through time. The critics of America’s efforts to contain and diminish Jihadist violence are very adept at pointing out the low points and I’m quite sure they take pride in their skill of the passive observation.