Over the years at Jihad Watch I have stressed several principal themes.
1) That the Iraq venture makes no sense not only because the goal or goals to be achieved are not the right ones, but because they are based on a belief that “democracy” or “freedom” can easily be transplanted, or transplanted at all, into a Muslim society in which most people locate political legitimacy not in the expressed will of mere mortals in their voting, but rather in the will expressed by Allah in the Qur’an as glossed by the Sunnah (derived from the Hadith and Sira). Mere mortals are slaves of Allah, and their highest and correct role is to be submissive to his will. And his will has by scholars been codified as the Shari’a, the Holy Law of Islam.
2) That the best way to weaken the Camp of Islam and Jihad is to have far less direct intervention, indeed to keep intervention at a minimum, and instead through careful study identify the weak points within the Camp of Islam, including the main fissures (sectarian, ethnic, financial) and where possible, to exploit those fissures. This will weaken the Jihad onslaught as nothing else will.
This Administration does not display, in its war-making, the intelligence and even cunning that members of the American government displayed during the Cold War (their names not all household words). Propaganda is non-existent, if by propaganda we mean information designed to lessen the appeal of the enemy”s ideology to others, and also to cause disaffection within the ranks of that enemy. Instead, Muslims are having their hearts and minds won by the constant repetition of praise for Islam, and by a misstating of Islam’s effects. Why have Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Wafa Sultan or Ali Sina or Ibn Warraq not been asked to broadcast about Islam, in both English and other languages? Have the defectors from the Army of Islam been allowed to enroll in our Office of War Propaganda, for as much or as little time as they wish? Or is it they who, out of the Administration’s timidity, and its determined unwillingness to recognize the nature and scope of the Muslim threat, who are kept out, not even brought in to at least offer their worldview to high government officials in the Executive Branch, in the Pentagon, or for that matter, before Congress?
Instead of such sensible measures, there is the blind willingness to keep squandering troops. Nearly half of all post-2001 West Point graduates have left the military. There is the blind willingness to keep throwing tanks and helicopters and Strykers and Humvees and planes, in a large, ill-conceived, Baby-Hughie operation, against forces that are all hostile to us, but much more importantly, are hostile to each other. And that latter hostility ought to be recognized and exploited for our ends, instead of allowing our enemies to exploit us for their respective ends.
Here and there some creative diplomacy might actually be necessary, as with getting Turkey to accept an independent Kurdistan with the right American guarantees (in turn dependent on American pressure on the Kurds, which could be considerable).
That idea, because it would require some mental effort, and some cunning, is one that probably appeals less to the Administration than its pursuit of this crazed policy in Tarbaby Iraq. Our rulers are simply not up to it, and they obscurely sense that.
But surely the American government can be a little less timid, a little more ruthless and willing to pressure old but temporary allies of convenience, such as Turkey, or for that matter, new but temporary allies of convenience, such as an independent Kurdistan.
In dozens of postings over the past few years I have explained how complicated this will be. I first noted that the Turkish government must have made known to it that its usefulness during the Cold War has not continued since, and that bases in Bulgaria and elsewhere make Turkey, and those listening-posts and airbases, no longer useful — if those bases cannot be used in the war that must now be waged. It would require our eliciting from the Kurdish government guarantees about not making territorial demands on Turkey, but at the same time giving the Kurds every encouragement to make such demands on Syria and Iran, where Kurds also live. This can be achieved only because the Kurds have nowhere else to turn for long-term diplomatic and military support.
The Turks will be unhappy with this, but might be made to see that it could work in their favor, and that the moral case of the Kurds in eastern Anatolia is lessened, not increased, by the existence of a Kurdish state to which they could, if they insist, move. It would never be easy to bring all this about. It would require intelligence, tact, cunning — and these seem to be lacking at all levels of our government.