Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses official Washington’s continuing misapprehension and dhimmitude:
The army is full of officers and men who, even if they once were sturdily willing to do what they saw as their duty, after their second or third tour in Iraq have come away, despite their best efforts at times to remain quiet about it, disgusted with the waste and the stupidity of the effort. They are now full of justified loathing not only for the Sunni insurgents or the Mahdi army boys, but also for so many in the general population who clearly are collaborating with those trying to kill the Americans, and who do so little, so unwillingly, to defend their own “Iraq.” So as the army becomes demoralized, more and more people are realizing that the Administration did not commit a few “mistakes” in the execution of the war, but rather misconceived the entire war as “a war on terror” — rather than as a war of self-defense against Islamic jihad. To understand this would mean to understand that no Muslim state can be permitted to acquire weapons of mass destruction, and that Iraq was, despite all this “secularist” business, a Muslim state, its not unrepresentative regime infused with the attitudes and atmospherics of Islam in the version that we all “Pan-Arabism.”
And so now many of the best young officers leave, and soldiers do not re-enlist, and the recruitment standards are dangerously lowered, and those who signed up for the Reserves or the National Guard in a burst of patriotism in 2002 and 2003 are disgusted by the behavior of so many of the generals who “do not get it” and keep prating about “winning hearts and minds” in Iraq, or Afghanistan. They are disgusted by leaders who are afraid to state clearly that not only did the Administration fail to identify the enemy, it also got Iraq entirely wrong. Those leaders miscomprehended the depth of the Shi’a resentment of Sunnis, which is not merely a result of Saddam Hussein, nor of the past 50 years (i.e., since the coup that overthrew the monarchy and Nuri as-Said) of Iraq’s history, but of 1300 years of Sunnis and Shi’a being at each other’s throats. They failed as well to realize that the Sunni Arabs will never reconcile themselves, whether in or out of Iraq, to the Land of the Two Rivers being dominated by Shi”ites. The Sunni Arabs will never be disabused of their crazed conviction that they constitute 42%, and not 19%, of the population.
Nonetheless, the Administration keeps chasing the will-o’-the-wisp of an “Iraqi” army and an “Iraqi” police force. It risks the lives of American soldiers who are told to train those “Iraqi” forces and even be embedded with them. But the notion that Sunni Arabs and Shi’a Arabs, and Arabs and Kurds, could fight in a cohesive unit, trusting one another with their lives, is nonsense. And the Americans there have no ability to detect the Muslim they can trust from the one they can’t. They certainly cannot know which Sunni Arab will suddenly turn on his Shi’a fellows, or vice-versa, or both, at different times, or else will turn on the American whom equally they detest. All this is making officers and men sacrifice possibly their lives on the altar of Administration stupidity, timidity, cupidity, and obstinate refusal to see how wrong it is — 180 degrees wrong — to decline to defend ourselves by exploiting, instead of trying against all odds to heal, those ethnic and sectarian fissures.
And now that the same madness is reflected in the State Department. Had Ambassador John Evans, the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia who was fired for referring to the Armenian genocide, not been forced to apologize for speaking the truth, had he not been forced to resign, had Turkish protests been met with steely indifference, it would have been good for American relations with Turkey. The Turks must in any number of ways be made to realize that a series of events has demonstrated that Turkey is not the ally that the United States thought it was. These include its refusal to allow the fourth division to enter Iraq from bases in Turkey, and the disgusting remarks of an important Turksih official declaring American soldiers in Iraq “worse than Nazis,” and the Turkish film that became a box-office smash depicting those soldiers as Nazis (and with a Jewish doctor who harvests organs from Iraqis supposedly murdered at Abu Ghraib prison). Then there was the best-sellerdom of Mein Kampf in Turkey. All of this shows that the Turkey of the Ankara generals (it just a few years ago that both Douglas Feith and Richard Perle were registered agents of Turkey) is a thing of the past under Erdogan. Kemalism is transient; Islam is forever. That is the lesson of Turkey. And if Islam is not bound hand and foot, as Ataturk tried to do, it will keep coming back, like Rasputin.
It was important to signal to both Armenia and Turkey that the genocide would be called what it is. It was important for Ambassador Evans to be celebrated. It was even more important to begin to tell the Turkish government and people that they have to face up to this history, and in so doing, should put the blame right where it belongs: not on some fault inherent in Turks, but on Islam, which made Muslim Turks willing to massacre Christian Armenians whom they deemed in violation of their dhimma. In that way, secularist Turks can claim that in taming or distancing themselves from Islam, they have tried to tame the ideological source for those mass murders in 1894-96 and then the later genocide (in its intent and scope, by many of those involved) of 1915-1920.
In the State Department, among the decent, there must be dismay. And at the European desks, there must be alarm at how the islamization of Europe proceeds without any signaling from the American government that it understands this problem, and a sentiment that NATO must meet (without Turkey) to discuss this matter, that it cannot wait.
Dismay among the soldiers. Dismay among the diplomats.
And fury, absolute fury, among the American people who watch the idiocy continue.