–¦the Americans have done nothing to screen the people they’re working with, in Iraq or anywhere else, for [jihadist] sympathies.” — Robert Spencer
They can’t. They have no idea how to screen people who are well-versed in the art of deception. They have no how to screen people whose innermost thoughts, whose desires, whose loyalties, are a mystery to those Innocents Abroad.
But they are also Innocents At Home. How can those in the I.N.S., how can members of Congress, how can members of the Executive Branch offer to take in 7,000 “Palestinian” Arabs, favored by Saddam Hussein, now under pressure in Iraq? (Of course, this is a government that has taken to giving permission for en-masse emigration to Muslims, including Meskhetian Turks out of Russia — could they not have gone to Turkey?) This is a mad policy. Is there no consideration of the views, for example, of those “Palestinians,” down to the last man and woman, and of what their admission will mean for American security?
Would Condoleeza Rice blithely admit into this country a group of neo-Nazis, or, to put the matter more bluntly, fanatical racists who would make the followers of Eugene Terre Blanche in South Africa blush? Would she admit those whose fondest hope was to enslave the non-whites of this world, a subjugation which involves necessarily the degradation, humiliation, and physical insecurity of those enslaved? (Yet that is also the status of non-Muslims in the ideal Muslim state, a state unsubject to outside Infidel pressure or modification.)
And imagine, further, that 7,000 or 10,000 of these fanatical racists, harboring their ideology, regaded their en-masse admission to the United States as not only providing them refuge, but sooner or later, would naturally allow them a splendid way to spread their program in America?
Would Condoleeza Rice still favor their admission?
Admission of Muslims to the United States or to any Infidel nation-state is premised on the notion that “they must, most of them” be “just like us” or “that they can become like us,” in the case of the United States. The first is the result of simple ignorance, of unfamiliarity with history, of refusing to believe that ideologies matter.
Why should it be so hard for Americans to recognize this ideology?
One might have said that America is different. One might conclude, with the late Professor Louis Hartz, that the absence of feudalism and its historical aftereffects allowed for a blessedly non-ideological history in the United States, an absence of class warfare. It might be argued that Americans, not being given any training in philosophical or abstract thought and tending to reject it, fail to recognize the ideologies of others, and don’t quite take anything except “religion” as a belief-system seriously. One may also say that they don’t know how to regard Islam except as a “religion” just like any other, rather than as a “religion” that in its politics and geopolitics is quite unlike any other.
But then what explains the equally naive view in Europe that its Muslims can somehow be “integrated” — a view becoming less popular, more self-evidently absurd, all the time? Perhaps in Europe it is merely a case of not wanting to believe the size and depth of the wound that Europe has quite unnecessarily inflicted on itself over the past several decades. And instead of sober home truths being spoken by those in the government whose duty it is to instruct and protect, we have an entire Continent’s ruling class merely Whistling in the Dark.
In any case, the Americans cannot possibly distinguish Sunni from Shi’a, Kurd from Arab, or True Believer who will kill them now, no matter what, from the Less True Believer who may wish them ill but will allow others to do the killing. Then there are those who are True Believers but are also Pragmatic, and who want to get out of those rich and powerful Americans every last dollar, every bit of military equipment, they can. And so they will play along, just a bit, for now, and also carefully direct the Americans to focus, if possible, in hitting the enemy — for Sunnis, that means the Shi’a militia, and for Shi’a it means the Sunnis, whether or not they are in Al Qaeda. And the Americans have indeed been making mistake after mistake, not limited to Bremer who was first described at Jihad Watch, long ago, as doing his imitation of a big-hearted but clueless “Jack Armstrong, All-American Boy.”
The Americans in Iraq are hopelessly dependent on Iraqis for information about Iraq. They never know whom to trust. They never know who might turn on them, as they embed themselves in those small, spread-out units, throughout Baghdad. They never know who is their friend today, smiling and assuring them that yes, you are my friend, you mean more to me than my mother, amriki, more to me than my father and, by the way, my brother has a rug store, and because I love you so much, he loves you too, and before you go I suggest you visit and get a fantastic bargain, just for you.