What the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Algeria, and elsewhere throughout the Gulf region and northern Africa fear most right now is the demand for human rights and the implementation of freedom through representative governments. In short, they fear everything America represents. They are right to fear this because it is coming. The tide of history everywhere has been turning against the despots, the monarchs, the oppressors who cite Allah or Karl Marx as their gods.
The United States, always a revolutionary force for freedom, is now led by people with the will to change history rather than merely react to events. The desultory and indifferent inaction of the Clinton era gave us two colorless Secretaries of State who effected only a simmering status quo. Our fruitless, feckless foreign policy was little more than a series of "photo ops." The result was 9-11.
I predict severe, bloody, and lengthly struggles in the Middle East and elsewhere. This will occur, in part, as the U.S.A. pro-actively imposes its will in places like Iraq and Somalia. Elsewhere the kings and princes are likely to be overthrown or exiled by their own people. No where is this better understood than in Saudi Arabia. No where has repression been more ruthlessly exercised than in Iraq. It exists, however, everywhere throughout the Middle East.
There is an inherent conflict between Islam and modernity and betweem Islam and progress. This has created the schisms manifesting themselves throughout the Middle East and elsewhere. The religion, as it is currently practiced, puts its believers in conflict with all non-believers. This is the reason for the bloodshed we read about daily. "There are 123 verses in the Koran about killing and fighting," noted an Islamic fundamentalist in 1994. "Ours is not a passive religion." There is a great need for a moderate, tolerant Islam. I do not see it happening. Islam, the religion of more than a billion people, will pass into history. Not swiftly, but surely.
Imposing change is absolutely vital for the future of the Middle East because it is mired in ignorance and poverty. Little of the oil money reaches the people, nor improves their lives. Government censorship and oppression is the order of the day. However, just as the former Soviet Union fell as people began to glimpse the fruits of real freedom, so too the war in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region will shine a light where only darkness dwells.
War is the great transforming agent of history.
Sometimes it brings freedom as our Revolution did and as our many other wars have been fought to achieve, but sometimes it leads, as World War I did, to Communism in Russia, and, as World War II did, to Communism in China. In both cases, there was little that America could have done to have averted the changes. Russia, previously ruled by the despotic Czar, succumbed to a seventy-year history of economic and social failure. China, a land of competing warlords, was taken over by Communists promising a better life. The flame of freedom was suppressed in Tienenmen Square, but it burns secretly in the hearts of many Chinese.
If the nations of the West unite against the true aims of Red China's leaders, Communism will suffer a defeat there as well. So far, however, even the United States has been willing to assist China, thinking foolishly that, if China can experience the commercial success of the West, it will relinquish its Communist ideology. This is naive and dangerous. Red China intends to expand Communism and its hegemony.
The Bush administration understands this. That is why the President wants to build a missile shield, and that is why, if Communism does not end through internal events, war with Red China will be the war that your grandchildren will fight. Pray that its end comes sooner than later. China is arming itself for a great and horrific war.
In the Middle East, North Africa and the Pacific Basin, Islamic fundamentalists will fight with the tenacity of men who know their world is coming to an end. Islam is a seventh century religion incapable of functioning in the 21st. century. Islam is a warrior cult that puts its believers into endless conflict with all non-believers. This is an utterly self-destructive path to history's ash heap of failed ideas.
The lesson to be drawn from the September 11, 2001, attack is that America must act not merely to protect itself domestically, but to pro-actively effect change in those parts of the world that threaten the fulfillment of the Christmas wish for "peace on earth."
War & Peace in the Real World
Page Two Page One
Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Terrorism & U.S. Homeland Security
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
U.S. National Security Strategy
Alan Caruba is the author of "A Pocket Guide to Militant Islam," available from http://www.anxietycenter.com, the Internet site of the National Anxiety Center.
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