Friday, July 29, 2005

President Bush Has a Big Problem

One of the great difficulties that President Bush and other leaders of the West have in fighting Islamic terrorism is that they can’t be completely honest about it. In order not to antagonize the majority of Muslims, who are peaceful, and even enlist their help in fighting terrorism, the President must refer to the terrorists in terms that aren’t completely correct.

I agree with this policy, but the more I study the causes of this terrorism, the more I understand that Islam is not a religion of peace. Islam calls for the killing of non-believers. Christianity went through periods when non-believers and those who did not subscribe to the favored form of Christianity were routinely put to death. The problem is that Muslims live in a society where some of them take this seriously now.

Fundamentalist Islamic terrorists have chosen as their targets symbols of Western culture, like the World Trade Center and also leaders of secular Muslim countries, like Anwar Sadat. To understand why, you must first understand that they believe that all human beings must follow the teachings of the Koran in all aspects of daily and municipal life. To them, the idea that people should make their own choices as to how they live their lives and how their government should function is blasphemy. But this is not the whole story.

Every point on the globe that has been touched by Western and especially American culture has been overwhelmed by it. The freedoms that we take for granted have been a magic elixir to peoples who never tasted it before. The progress and benefits that flow from our ideals are irresistible, and the terrorists are quite right in concluding that they must kill us to retain their culture. There is no chance that their hearts and minds can be won over by good deeds, and there is really no chance that they can win in the end.

Fortunately the great majority of Muslims has embraced some degree of liberalism and seems to be willing to trade some aspects of their culture for the benefits of modernization, and we must not let this war be seen as a religious war. We also have to stop the foolishness, let politics stop at the water’s edge and kill or capture the terrorists before they can kill many more of us.

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At 10:07 AM, Anonymous steve said...

I definitely do not, and am not siding with the terrorists. However, you correctly make the case that they must take the bad with the good. Western (US) impact on foreign (and older) cultures means the benefits of freedoms...speech, press, religion, protests, democracy, etc. But, it also means the "contamination" of morals - choose what you take offense to - rap, porn, feminism, capitalism...It means that the terrorists have valid concern. Obviously we abhore their methods in fighting this, but their concern is legitimate.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger RussWilcox said...

You make an excellent point, and I agree. It's too bad that the counter-culture revolution of the 1960's and 70's resulted in a new definition of freedom that leads to such behavior, but there's not much we can do about it - certainly not commit suicide.

At 12:22 PM, Anonymous steve said...

I'm trying to think how to reply....and I notice the name of your post - "President Bush Has a Big Problem"
It's not Mr. Bush that has the problem, it's ALL of us. And this issue will be continueing for generations long after Mr. Bush has moved on.


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