RECOMMENDED READING- LIVE FROM THE FDNF EDITION
I would like to join Curzon
of Coming Anarchy
in saluting Eddie
of Live from the FDNF
for a stellar post "The "Dark View" Of Islam/One Size Does Not Fit All
":"...Above all else, we lack a coherent understanding of the Muslim world. Blanket statements proclaiming Islam as a religion of peace or a religion of violence are useless, because they fail to provide for the MANY gray areas and frontiers of Islam, let alone the diversity of Islamic faith, interpretation and tradition across the world and the theological warfare being waged by everyone from Osama Bin Laden to an anonymous Sufi cleric in a mosque in Senegal over the direction of the faith.
This deficit leads to a highly dangerous tendency by well-meaning intellectuals like Newt Gingrich and the anti-jihad prophets of LGF, Jihad Watch, etc who seem to see a monolithic Islamist conspiracy and campaign against the West. We seem to have failed to learn from our Cold War Communist mistakes, not all Islamists are our enemies (yet) and they're not all of the same idealogical stripe. Realizing the different motivations and goals of the many strands of Islamists should constitute not a harried fear or overreaction on our part (like treating them all with the same tactics and judgment of intentions) but a serious estimation of “divide and conquer” possibilities, engagement/alliance opportunities and weaknesses for us to exploit through information operations and public diplomacy. (a recent example is the utter mishandling of Somalia by the USG, practically handing the failed state over on a silver platter to Islamist militias whose leadership contained a potent mix of schism-worthy opportunities for both engagement and dirty tricks, if only we could realize that one size does not fit all Islamists..."
Read the whole thing.
I have to applaud. I am all for a robust American policy sanctioning exemplary acts of violence on our part against al Qaida specifically and Jihadi suporters ( financiers, couriers, preachers...) in general, but the critical element of an " exemplary" lesson is precision - broadbrush yet vagely defined indictments and blanket policies are, to say the least, highly counterproductive. Simplicity of message at home gained at the cost of an extra eight or nine hundred million enemies abroad, strikes me as a poor bargain.
Feel free to label any lame apologetics on behalf of Islamist terrorism, offered by Muslim activists or western hardcore Leftists as the ill-intentioned, special pleading, propaganda that it is but also remember to say " thanks " when say the Jordanian government provides critical assistance in liquidating ghoulish Islamist psychopaths like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Or consider that letting Khatami visit the United States probably gave Ahmadinejad more heartburn than any of our official policies toward Iran yet have.
Nuance and strategic subtlety can go hand in hand with vitality and ruthlessness.