Fifteen Minutes of Peace

News has now come across the wires that Barack Obama has given his first interview as the President. Instead of giving it to a US station, however, he gave it to Al-Arabiya. His message? It was to the Sharia-loving Muslim nations:

AMERICA IS NOT YOUR ENEMY.

Really? When did this happen?

I have no doubt that there are people in Sharia nations that actually don’t hate us. Unfortunately, I do doubt that there’s enough of those people to make a real difference. It only takes one to strap a bomb to his body and walk into a crowded mall. It takes one to build, place and remote-detonate a charge in an underground parking garage. It only took a handful to hijack four commercial jetliners and crash them into three of the most famous buildings in America, killing thousands.

That minority in those Sharia nations that doesn’t hate us? They haven’t been able to stop the extremists. Why? Because their governments support the terrorists and their missions in any way they can. They provide money, shelter, and equipment to get the job done. If their country doesn’t, then Osama will. And there’s always another non-Sharia country out there willing to give these predatory ingrates the benefit of the doubt.

In reading some of the comments on local news sites, I’m reading things written by people who are either completely daft or deliberately ignorant. They say it’s all Bush’s fault, that US-Muslim relations suffered because of the policies that led to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I hate to tell you this, folks, but it started WAY before that. Ever hear of the Barbary Wars? When America was still a young nation, just after the Revolutionary War, Muslim pirates were raiding settlements up and down the New England coast. Our government appeased them: they paid the ransom demanded by the Sharia governments for a time. Then along came Thomas Jefferson, and he changed everything. He asked the emissary of Tripoli why their people were committing these crimes, and the emissary told him, “it is the right of all good Musselmen (Muslim men) to take what they wish from infidels and force the infidel into submission.” Jefferson bought a copy of the Qur’an and read it, then took the fight to them. We won twice.

More recently, in the mid-1970’s Muslims started becoming openly hostile to Americans again. Iranians raided the US Embassy in Tehran and took the Americans inside hostage, holding them for 444 days. What did Jimmy Carter do? He negotiated. He placated them. After that the Muslims thought we were pushovers. They bombed Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. They drove a truck laden with explosives into the Marine barracks in Beirut. Reagan bombed their turbans off, and we saw a lull in the action.

Then came Bill Clinton. Saddam stopped allowing weapons inspectors into Iraq, and the bombings resumed. The Khobar Towers, the World Trade Center, the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the USS Cole…nothing was done about these attacks. Clinton ordered a single building to be bombed in the Mideast, and the Muslims claimed afterward that it was a pharmaceutical factory (and presented evidence to prove it). Clinton had Osama in the crosshairs and his inept Secretary of Defense gave the order NOT to shoot. The Sudanese government offered Clinton help in capturing Osama and giving intel on militant Muslim organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, but Clinton refused the offers.

Along comes Bush, and eight months into his first term they hit the World Trade Center again. This time, the smiling Osama bin Laden gets his wish–the towers fall, the Pentagon is hit, and we’re shaking our heads wondering how it happened. To this day we have people claiming Bush didn’t do enough to stop it. These are the same people who decry the US PATRIOT Act as unconstitutional and wail for us to close Guantanamo Bay.

The lesson I’d have thought we’d have learned by now is that the more you placate an extremist, the more time and resources he has to figure out how to kill as many of us as he can. They don’t dislike Americans because of Iraq or Afghanistan; hell, we helped ’em win their war for independence from the Soviets. They don’t dislike us because of Guantanamo bay. They dislike Americans because we’re infidels, we are an open ally of Israel, and we do not obey Sharia law. According to their religion, they’re supposed to kill us for those reasons. We have two options here: submit or die. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like either of those.

Obama was quoted saying thus: “…the U.S. has made mistakes in the past, but the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.”

I’d like to know which alternate reality he was living in 20 or 30 years ago. I have no interest in restoring that hell. We’re not the ones carrying out suicide bombings, so I don’t see how the mistakes were ours. If you appease them now, you may win your fifteen minutes of peace, but they’ll only come back with the same murderous bloodlust, ready to kill you as soon as look at you.

I know. I’m just being Islamophobic.

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21 thoughts on “Fifteen Minutes of Peace

  1. “Obama was quoted saying thus: “…the U.S. has made mistakes in the past, but the same respect and partnership that America had with the Muslim world as recently as 20 or 30 years ago, there’s no reason why we can’t restore that.””

    I guess Obama has never heard of Israel and the events of the last month have not come to his attention?

  2. Just curious.

    What is it that you want then?

    To bomb the entire Muslim population until we suppress them? Then what..? How about South America and Venezuela and Bolivia? Then Sudan. Then North Korea. Then China/Russia eventually.

    I’m just curious as to what you want. You make this argument that it takes on a few. Takes a handful of crazy nationalists to hurt America, so does that justify killing off entire populations?

    I know your going to rebut, but please honestly answer what you want to happen in the world in 50-100 years? Imperialism for the sake of order?

  3. “I know your going to rebut, but please honestly answer what you want to happen in the world in 50-100 years? Imperialism for the sake of order?”

    Probably the same thing that happened during WW2. A guarantee that these savages know the USA isn’t backing down!

    This idiocy that scares people into believing that something that is tied to a stone age set of ideals as opposed to the Nazis is just too big to defeat is shocking to say the least.

    No, we get whining about the collateral damage caused by the Jews in Gaza. Or a few years ago when they were attacking Hezbollah in Lebanon. The regard we have for collateral damage is becoming our worst enemy. Where was that regard when we took out entire German cities during WW2?

    You don’t win wars by worrying about how much damage they cause. You win them by destroying the will of fanatics, we’ve done it before and we can do it again.

    If the alleged peaceful over there want an end to the violence, how about they step up and fight the fanatics themselves so Americans don’t have to die in the meantime?

    Of course not. We’re here to fight, to give aid, to send financial help, to be the humanitarians…but we can’t fight against evil.

    You don’t stop a fowl-smelling fungus by spraying cheap air freshener over it. You stop it by getting yourself a scrub brush and a bottle of bleach.

    War is hell. But it’s also necessary.

  4. Alright. Thank you for answering. If you wouldn’t mind answering a few more..

    How do you feel about social Darwinism?

    How do you feel about hypernationalism?

    and how do you feel about self-determination?

  5. Here’s what I want to happen, Michael.

    I want for “the problem” (which is those who feel that strapping bombs to themselves or flying airplanes into buildings to be a perfectly good way to spend a morning) to understand that when they do that, there will be repercussions. If those repercussions are understood to be severe enough, they won’t do that.

    I don’t want their land. In fact, I wish we would get off our lazy asses as a nation and have an alternative to their oil so that we don’t need them for ANYTHING.

    They can go about their business, and I can go about mine without worry about bombs.

    That’s what I want.

    On a macro level, of course. There’s always nuance as John Kerry would say.

    And the obstruction in this scenario is not us – it’s them.

  6. “I know your going to rebut, but please honestly answer what you want to happen in the world in 50-100 years? Imperialism for the sake of order?”

    If you allow a drug dealer to operate without obstruction in your neighborhood, then get ready for more drug dealers to come around.

    If you take a stand and help get rid of that drug dealer, then other drug dealers will stay away.

    The neighborhood of Islam has drug dealers (radical Muslims) in it and not enough people are standing up and helping get rid of this lot. Even the most basic tolerance of them is destructive. Helping them is far worse.

    I want the people of the Islamic world to rise up and deal with this infestation. It’s in their own best interest even if the entire West never existed. Do you think the average Muslim in Tunisia or Morocoo wants to live under Taliban rule? Do you think Sharia Law in its most purest form is what the people of Turkey look forward to?

  7. “How do you feel about social Darwinism?”

    If it’s not raising my taxes, I couldn’t care less.

    “How do you feel about hypernationalism?”

    If it’s not raising my taxes, I couldn’t care less.

    “and how do you feel about self-determination?”

    I think it’s innate in all of us to be determined about what we believe in. The general will of the folks across this globe, I personally believe have an instinctual preference for freedom.

    There are those; however, that believe letting large governments have their hands in every decision we make is best. We call them Nazis, Islamic Fundamentalists (in the case of a Theocracy), or liberals (in the case of Husseinism).

    The trick is destroying the fanatical wills that drive that self-determination. Much like we did with the Nazis.

  8. I have to go with what AFW said (she beat me to it and said it better). There are a number of very inappropriate things I could say, but if we weren’t dependent upon their oil, they wouldn’t have the ability to find resources to keep attacking us.

    I don’t want to make the world America. I just want to know that I’m not going to have to start worrying about suicide bombers on buses in my hometown. Trust me, that is the next step.

  9. “They can go about their business, and I can go about mine without worry about bombs.

    That’s what I want.”

    We are a tad more linked together than that.

    The country of Haiti is dreadfully poor. But the people somehow get by. I don’t envy them. If things collapse there, then look for tens of thousands of Haitians to try and make it to the U.S. by boat. We don’t need an innundation like that. I don’t think we can ignore what is going on in Haiti.

    As for oil and Islam. If we don’t buy the oil then many Arab nations will have to find some other way to pay the bills. If that doesn’t happen, then we don’t need a collapse and poverty to drive the people of that region into bad action.

    I don’t know what the solution is off the top of my head. But I know we can’t wall our nation off from the rest of the world and expect international troubles to not impact us. I am not saying AFW that is what you want.

  10. I think you missed my point. I’m talking about social Darwinism and hypernationalism. I meant to ask if you believed in them.

    Under Wilson’s definition, self-determination is the right for a sovereign nation to control and allocate its own resources/laws/etc. Case in point, when Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal. Who was right in that case, Egypt, who country/people/resources the company was using, or Britain, who owned the company?

    But back to my point. Reading this post and a few others, I think that you believe America to be the best and most singular nation, if not the only worthy nation, and that America (in the sense of national security because everything is about national security) must spread and preserve its interests abroad. Aka force respect/fear from all other countries.

    And PS. on a side note to everybody. Muslims span a very wide range of values and ideologies (like Christianity), there are many applications of Sha’ria. So please refrain from using sweeping statements, don’t ignorant. Quantify who your talking about.

    Reason for these questions is mostly my curiosity in gauging the actual breadth of your political views.

  11. “How do you feel about social Darwinism?”

    Didn’t that philosophy die out over a hundred years ago?

    “and how do you feel about self-determination?”

    Here in CA since the election self determination is a huge issue; a huge and dividing issue.

  12. I don’t disagree with you, John. See here:

    On a macro level, of course. There’s always nuance as John Kerry would say.

    Fear of punishment is not the only thing that keeps people within acceptable societal standards. If 1/3 of people obey the law because it is the right thing to do, and 1/3 of people only obey because of threat of punishment, we still need to find a reason to keep the majority of that final third from bringing the fight to us.

    I think that is where other American actions come in.

    You are so right that the world is too interconnected to live parallel lives that never meet.

    I do think, however, that it is of absolute importance for there to be an understanding that there WILL be consequences to an attack.

    Far more effective than any law is societal pressure. Their societies need to be actively involved in preventing terrorism instead of complicit in it through words and deed.

  13. I have to respond to this personally, though:

    PS. on a side note to everybody. Muslims span a very wide range of values and ideologies (like Christianity), there are many applications of Sha’ria. So please refrain from using sweeping statements, don’t ignorant. Quantify who your talking about.

    Why is it that many people, particularly if they don’t agree with something, start lecturing this as if no one has a clue about any part of Islam?

    Because it’s simply not true.

    My husband has spent quite a bit of time in Muslim countries, talking to Muslim people, eating with them, visiting with them, and immersing himself in their customs. Varied customs – since the way things are done in Iraq is not the way they are done in Afghanistan, is not the way they are done in Pakistan.

    Even my 8 year old knows the difference between Shia and Sunni, and the 10 year old just wrote a report on Alawites. Oh – and we did a unit on the Marsh Arabs last year and a study of the history of Islam in Indonesia. And those are just MY KIDS.

    When you speak about something in a manner to fit in into a comment section, it will of necessity be abbreviated. The last thing I have seen Mel, Steve, John, or any other regular commenter here demonstrate is a “lack of understanding” about the variety in Islam.

    It’s not only doing a disservice to the discussion at hand to assume that people speaking are clueless, it does a disservice to the person making the assumptions – it makes people not take them seriously.

  14. “But back to my point. Reading this post and a few others, I think that you believe America to be the best and most singular nation, if not the only worthy nation, and that America (in the sense of national security because everything is about national security) must spread and preserve its interests abroad. Aka force respect/fear from all other countries.”

    Well…not exactly. If I were born, raised and lived in Italy or China then I would want my government to protect me the same way if I were born and lived anywhere else.

    We can argue to what extent a nation should go to protect its interests and we can argue the methods to be used. But the need to feel safe and protected is a human need not an American one.

  15. We can argue to what extent a nation should go to protect its interests and we can argue the methods to be used. But the need to feel safe and protected is a human need not an American one

    And frankly I think that is where our federal government should be utilizing its efforts and spending. Not on Birth Control. Not on job creation (since when is that the job of the government). Not on bailouts to banks. Give me good roads. Give me safety. Let me know that Muslim Extremists know better than to mess with us.

  16. If you notice, during WWII, whenever we found a munitions factory in German territory we bombed the factory and the entire area around it. Eventually, the German people got the message: if you keep supporting the Nazi government that you love so much, we’re going to kill you until you stop giving them that support. Some people only understand power. Again, I don’t advocate killing for the sake of killing, but if you’ve got an adversary that won’t leave you alone…beat him until he stops moving. Make sure he’s not going to get back up and hit you again.

  17. “Case in point, when Egypt nationalized the Suez Canal. Who was right in that case, Egypt, who country/people/resources the company was using, or Britain, who owned the company?”

    I am not familar with the Suez Canal matter to comment in detail. If the Egyptians were not getting paid then they have a legit gripe.

    The company that owned the canal is entitled to fair compensation should Egypt wish to take it over. Taking the canal without compensation discourages foreign investment.

  18. “In reading some of the comments on local news sites, I’m reading things written by people who are either completely daft or deliberately ignorant. They say it’s all Bush’s fault, that US-Muslim relations suffered because of the policies that led to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan”

    So, it’s ignorant to say that our policies have influence? It seems like that’s what you’re saying in essence. While Bush certainly inflamed the situation, it didn’t start with him. What I think is incredibly ignorant is the argument that we are hated because of the freedoms we enjoy. Some folks like to pretend that 9/11, for example, just happened in a vacuum. There is such a thing as cause and effect, and I have no doubt that our policies are what make us hated. Osama Bin Laden himself gave his reasoning for the terrorist attacks, saying that is was because we had our troops stationed in the “holy land” of Saudi Arabia. What did Bush do? Closed down the Bin Sultan airbase and pulled our troops out. Sounds a bit like appeasement, no? Now, I know some that read this will take enormous leaps to say that I am justifying terrorist behavior. I am not. Just because a reaction is completely overblown does not mean that, to those psychos, it’s unwarranted.

    “Iranians raided the US Embassy in Tehran and took the Americans inside hostage, holding them for 444 days. What did Jimmy Carter do? He negotiated. He placated them”

    Um, I remember reading about something called Operation Eagle Claw. I don’t see how Carter placated anyone. He tried negotiations on the last day of his presidency. He failed in both military action and in negotiations, there’s no denying that, but to portray him as a pushover while puffing up Reagan strikes me as odd, especially considering that he was the one who negotiated with terrorists, giving them weapons in exchange for the hostages. I understand the desire to bash the opposition, but you’re wandering into revisionism here…

    “They drove a truck laden with explosives into the Marine barracks in Beirut. Reagan bombed their turbans off, and we saw a lull in the action.”

    So, let me get this straight: when Clinton bombs Iraq, it’s just him lobbing a few missiles at an abandoned pharmaceutical lab, but when Reagan drops a few shellings, it’s him bombing their turbans off? Why have you completely ignored the fact that, again, the reason for the attacks was a perceived foreign occupation, and again, the response was to appease the attackers by removing troops? Reagan removed the Marines from Lebanon because more attacks were threatened, that’s why we saw a lull in action. It was because he capitulated to terrorists, not because he silenced them with brute force.

    “Clinton had Osama in the crosshairs and his inept Secretary of Defense gave the order NOT to shoot”

    Again, you’re leaving out some fairly important facts here. Like how Bin Laden was in a tent city of sorts, surrounded by hundreds of civilians. And, I also remember that all the Republicans were screaming that Bin Laden wasn’t a big deal, we didn’t need to go after him, they even accused him of trying to divert attention from the Lewinsky scandal. Remember “no war for Monica”? All the folks who said Clinton didn’t do anything were saying he was doing too much at the time. You really can’t have it both ways…

    “The Sudanese government offered Clinton help in capturing Osama and giving intel on militant Muslim organizations such as Hamas and Hezbollah, but Clinton refused the offers.”

    A pretty big screw up in hindsight. But at the time, the CIA had not certified that Bin Laden was responsible for the Cole or for Tanzania. From what I understand, the offer was refused because sufficient evidence was lacking. Do we know if that was the case in October of 2001, when the Taliban offered to hand Bin Laden over to a third party, a separate country, for trial? George W. Bush refused that offer for the more diplomatic option of dropping bombs in Afghanistan. But I suppose it’d be a bit much to ask that you mention that, right?

    “Along comes Bush, and eight months into his first term they hit the World Trade Center again”

    But that was Clinton’s fault, right?

    “This time, the smiling Osama bin Laden gets his wish”

    He did, because, as I stated earlier, Bush pulled the troops out of Saudi Arabia…

    “These are the same people who decry the US PATRIOT Act as unconstitutional and wail for us to close Guantanamo Bay.”

    Do you have some idea how many military men want Gitmo closed?!

    “They don’t dislike Americans because of Iraq or Afghanistan”

    Uh, what?

    “hell, we helped ‘em win their war for independence from the Soviets”

    We helped ourselves there, let’s not be naive.

    “They don’t dislike us because of Guantanamo bay”

    I would submit to you that that is a very large reason for the hatred. That’s like saying that Japan didn’t mind when FDR threw every Japanese American into internment camps. That’s no reason to hate us…

    “They dislike Americans because we’re infidels, we are an open ally of Israel, and we do not obey Sharia law”

    The only valid point that makes any sense is the part about Israel. You’re basically arguing that Islamic groups only recently (1970’s-present) took issue with us not imposing Sharia Law on our citizens.

    “According to their religion, they’re supposed to kill us for those reasons.”

    Yeah? According to mine, my wife should be stoned to death for committing adultery, people should be put to death for eating shellfish on fridays, and getting a haircut is a mortal sin. Now, there are some nuts who would prefer to adhere to this, but for the most part, we’re sane…

    “We’re not the ones carrying out suicide bombings, so I don’t see how the mistakes were ours”

    If you aren’t willing to admit that mistakes were made regarding foreign policy, then this cycle is doomed to repeat itself. Like I said, all the terrible things that extremists have carried out did not happen in a vacuum. As unfathomable as it is, they had their reasons. I do not condone or give one iota of validity to their fucked up, crazy way of thinking, but it’s equally crazy to believe that they want us all dead because our women walk the streets with exposed ankles…

  19. “So, it’s ignorant to say that our policies have influence? It seems like that’s what you’re saying in essence. ”

    Of course they have influence. They always have and they always will. Yet, our policies aren’t the roots to the evil of what it is we are fighting against now.

    Say, did you hear about the peaceful elections that went on today and yesterday in Iraq? And again, more record numbers of Iraqis voting proudly and enjoying the freedom you and I took for granted. Even returning Iraqis who fled to Kuwait in the early days made sure to be back in time to vote – especially the women who had never been given any regard at any time.

    That’s out influence. It’s a damn good one and it always will be.

    Violence is down now, people are voting, Iraq is begininng to function in a peaceful democratic way. It didn’t get there without enduring hard times. The hard times and the blood and sacrifices are what make it great.

    This happened during my generation and I’m so proud. No matter how sick that attitude may make others.

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