The Obama Administration’s misapprehensions in this regard all stem ultimately from an unwillingness to examine the belief-system of the jihadists honestly, and to deal with the implications of such an examination. “EDITORIAL: Obama is enabling jihad,” from the Washington Times, March 2:
Al Qaeda and Iran are cheering on the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East, so why does the Obama administration think the Islamic extremists are losing?
On Tuesday at a Pentagon press briefing, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates claimed, “The protests elsewhere that are leading to reforms for a number of governments are an extraordinary setback for al Qaeda.” He reasons that the transitions of power contradict “al Qaeda’s claim that the only way to get rid of authoritarian governments is through extremist violence.” Supposedly, the Islamic regime in Iran is facing a setback because the professional conduct of the armies in Tunisia and Egypt “contrast vividly with the savage repression that the Iranians have taken against anyone who dares to demonstrate in their country.”
It’s strange the Defense Department would think a destabilized Middle East is not in the interest of two of the primary actors who have been attempting for years to create just this kind of instability. Al Qaeda’s Islamist message has focused on violence because the regimes they”ve been seeking to overthrow – most importantly the Saudi monarchy – have been too strong to undermine in any other way. That these regimes are suddenly facing varying degrees of public protest does not work against al Qaeda’s radical “hope and change” agenda, but rather brings it that much closer to being realized.
The Obama administration mistakenly fixates on the “violent” aspect of violent Islamic extremism as though the terrorists consider violence an end in itself. However, the terrorists don’t want to remain terrorists; they want to assume power. Osama bin Laden said it would be preferable if everyone who opposes him, especially the Americans, would simply convert to Islam so that differences could be worked out peaceably under a Muslim-to-Muslim framework. Mr. Gates”˜ comment raises the question whether he understands that terrorism is simply a means to an end, and that opportunistic extremists will utilize whatever tools are available. Chaos is an extremist’s best friend.
Another question is whether the Obama administration opposes Islamic extremism per se, or only that which is violent….
Good question. Read it all.