If we are going to continue to engage in the Wars of the Muslim Reformation we need to use theology. Bombs are useless.
by Tom Barnes, Staff Writer
In today’s Washington Post there is a lengthy article about Americans and Europeans travelling to the Middle East to take Taliban training in jihadist causes, mostly learning how to fight Western coalition forces already stationed in western Asia. This is a large group of people.
The story is here.
Now, I don’t agree with our involvement in these Wars of the Muslim Reformation. We were attacked on 9/11 by ultra-Orthodox Muslim religionists. They believed that our ongoing support for Israel somehow threatened Islam in general and their militant view of a new dawning of The Golden Age of Islam in particular. Obviously they were deluded, but they were stringent enough in their belief system to kill 3,000 people that day. We decided to engage them in modern warfare. That was our mistake.
We need to engage them in ancient warfare. That is to say, if we are going to fight them, we must recognize that this is ultimately a war of their belief system warping itself to a sort of Muslim version of Imminent Apocolypse versus the more moderate voices within Islam. This is a war between differing versions of gods. This is an ancient war, not a modern one. We need to adjust to that.
That is to say that we need to openly court and aggressively engage Muslim moderates throughout the world to neutralize this religious fervor among the ultra-right wing fanatics of Islam. We need to financially support and openly engage the theological and secularist moderates within the Islamic World itself if we are going to have any chance of a victory here.
These super-fundamentalist nut jobs within Wahabist Islam are more than willing to take the entire planet to the very edge of annhilation for the greater glory of their version of Allah. Bombs will have no effect here. Bombs only make martyrs.
If you are going to fight a theological war, you must use theology.
We need to immediately and aggressively find, finance and totally protect moderate imams and mullahs to teach both Koranic studies and secular training skills to Muslims which will hopefully replace the theocentric and dangerous ultra-radical madras training available now under the Taliban and other like minded religionists. There is no such option available now in most parts of the Muslim world. That is an oversight that we are now paying for quite dearly.
This is essentially a war between differing versions of gods, about who is right and who is ultimately wrong, about restoring Islam to its past glory through the power of the sword. We made a mistake when we played into this militarily. We did not truly understand what was happening.
One out of every four people on the planet is a Muslim. There is not enough bullets on the planet to take care of this if all of these people turn radical and dangerous to our interests. We should not be in this fight in my opinion. But if we are in the fight to stay, we need to get smart very quickly and re-evaluate the fight that we are engaged within. We are using bombs and bullets to try and kill an idea. That never works.
No, what we need is a war between gods and we need to orchestrate it. We don’t need another Crusade, we don’t need another Christian vs. Muslim death match in the sands of North Africa and the plains of Spain. We tried that once and still have not recovered on many religious and cultural levels.
What we need is a clear and definite battle plan to launch a moderate Islamic version of the Deity into reality. This would be a deity that the average, working Muslim will accept for his own and one that will not induce him to violence against non-Muslims. We need to start taking a philosophical stand in which direction we want the typical Muslim to view his own version of the godhead. We need to get smart.
We need to take an active and aggressive role in rebuilding Islam into a modern and practical power in the world. We need to neutralize the allure of ancient and militant Islam for those who would use it to satisfy some inner need to "strike out" against non-Muslims.
You cannot kill an idea with a bomb, no matter how big it is. And in the end, this is a war of ideas. As we read this, Europeans and Americans are attempting to join the Islamist Jihad in greater numbers than governments are willing to openly admit. This says something important. It says that the West is losing the war of ideas here.
We cannot afford this under any circumstances. If we are going to be engaged in this series of religious wars, we have to fight them correctly. This is a death match between competing ideas of Islamic gods. We have to do all that we can to construct the one that wins.
CWO3 Tom Barnes, USCG (Ret.)
Addendum to this post as of 1600, 19 Oct 09:
Bruce Drake of Politics Daily has posted new polls taken of the American people regarding their position on Afghanistan. A clear majority now believe that Afghanistan has turned into another Viet Nam. The story is here.
We need to get out of there, readjust our strategy for dealing with a worldwide meltdown of traditionalist Islam and stop trying to fight militant adherance to ancient gods with bombs. It won’t work. We have to bolster a moderate and a new look at old gods or else this will go on for hundreds of years.
We need to find a theological solution for them, they seem to be incapable of this themselves and the American people clearly do not support troop involvement in these continual religious wars.