Walk back the cat.
Walk the cat all the way back to the real problem, which is not the nauseating speech given by Rice, wildly inaccurate and wrong in its every phrase, wrong in its diseased sympathy, wrong in its implied geopolitical calculation.
Whoever crafted this speech with and for her (was Philip Zelikow now coming into his own?) and whoever has been bending the ear of this dutiful student of Kremlinology (who is not particularly adept either at Russian history or Russian language — her one attempt to use it in public, while in Russia, led to all kinds of mockery, and she won’t be repeating that kind of thing) is ignorant about virtually everything that is important to know about this present crisis. But as far as George Bush is concerned, she is a towering intellect. One understands why he may think that.
Nevertheless, this speech reveals that she still hasn’t a clue as to what the immutable geopolitics of Islam are about. Indeed, she has demonstrated a belief in various falsehoods: the entire edifice of the Arab rewriting of the history, cadastral and demographic, of the sliver of territory, that of the Mandate for Palestine, intended by the League of Nations for the sole establishment of the Jewish National Home (without prejudice to the “religious and civil rights” of “other communities” but carefully leaving out the phrase “political rights”). She also seems to believe that the local Arabs have abandoned, or soon could abandon, their goal of Jihad against Israel.
They haven’t. They won’t. They can’t. Unless this is grasped, unless the difference between Fatah and Hamas is seen only as one of tactics and facade, between those who like Abbas believe, but only out of necessity, in the Slow Jihad, and Hamas that believes, out of ideological firmness, in Fast Jihad, and unless the impossibility of Muslims ever accepting an Infidel state continuing to exist (whatever its size) on land once possessed by Muslims, then there will no possibility of an intelligent American policy. That is assuming, of course, that the survival of Israel is seen as it should be, as essential to the moral, intellectual, and possibly physical survival of the West. Nothing will come of this nothing.
Grim recognition of the basis of Muslim jurisprudence in regard to all treaties with Infidel lands would not or should not dishearten. If Rice, or Zelikow, or the others who have exhibited for decades a kind of genius in reverse by avoiding coming to grips with clear Islamic texts and doctrines — does no one in the State Department have a copy of the Qur’an and Hadith? Does no one have a potted summary of the Life of Muhammad, the Perfect Man? Does no one read the Muslim jurisconsults? Does no one have a CD-Rom of the Encyclopedia of Islam? Does no one have the money — cannot the American government spring for — a copy or two of Majid Khadduri’s “Law of War and Peace in the Law of Islam”? Yes, I know the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost a lot, but you can find a copy on Amazon for about $20, so why not give it the old college try? And then once you have the book, skip a reception or photo opportunity or two, or just napping on the damned plane, and actually start to inform yourselves about the one subject you most need to know: the doctrines, the tenets, the attitudes of Islam. And it is not merely a matter of reading, and re-reading, but of making sense of what one reads, of thoroughly assimilating it, of applying what one reads, or making connections between what one reads — Islamic history and the present, and the likely future. It means, above all, stopping the grotesque amount of attention given to ways to appease Muslims or to pretend that they can be appeased, and to focus instead outside the Middle East, and especially on present and growing threats to the West, through the instruments of Jihad known as Da’wa and demographic conquest. What will happen to the armories of the Western countries, what will happen to NATO, in thirty years, or twenty, or even ten, if Muslim populations, if adherents of Qur’an and Sunna, continue to grow, and grow more powerful and more demanding, and if Muslims are taken into the security services, and the military, and into the inner sanctums of political power? Anything? Nothing?
That someone of Rice’s incapacity, aiding and abetting someone of Bush’s incapacity, and whisperingly advised by those of the incapacity that this hideously ill-advised speech demonstrates, dripping as it is with misconceptions, is cause for the greatest alarm. And those who continue to prate, as loyalists to Bush, that “he knows what he is doing,” should, at long last, shut up or, still better, distance themselves completely from him and his crew of incapables, beginning but not ending with Rice and her vaporings.