Bending the Third Rail
Because We Should, We Can, We Do
Friday, March 02, 2007
Koppels Show
I found this from the news release regarding Ted Koppels upcoming show on Discovery about the "Great War on Terra" entitled KOPPEL ON DISCOVERY: OUR CHILDREN'S CHILDREN'S WAR:
U.S. military officials point out that Al-Qaeda and other terror organizations are not thinking in terms of a campaign that will end in five, 10, or even 20 years. Instead, they are looking as far as 100 years into the future, and the U.S. has no choice but to do the same. In this special report, Koppel explores the challenges this prolonged struggle presents and how America's military is trying to adapt. His interview with Gen. Abizaid is featured throughout the broadcast.
A hundred years war? Swell.

Actually this kind of thinking is major hyperbole. I would agree that Islamic fundamentalist will not easily, nor quickly, give up their aspirations to convert the world to fundamentalist Islam. All true. But I would also suggest that there have been and always will be plenty of crazies in the world (Tim McVeigh anyone?). There are still plenty of Nazi's around who want to overthrow the U.S. There are plenty of racists who want to return to pre-civil war society. There are plenty of religious nutbars of all stripes who are not casual about using violence to attain their needs. And yes, there are many many political factions who are committed to their ends ... forever and sometimes at any cost.

As human beings stand today, there will always be an ongoing "war" against those who are a virus in society. But what the above quote misses is that the GWOT is different because we've made it different. By the very over-reaction of the U.S., we've given Islamic fundamentalists more credibility, power, charisma, and international standing (and thus, many more recruits) than they ever deserved. We've created the monster and turned it from a rag-tag group of nutbars who got lucky on 911 to a rallying cry by those who oppose U.S. imperialism.

I've said, and written, a thousand times that the world always has nutbars. Always. What distinguishes a nutbar from being a fringe non-entity who is largely ignored in the course of business, and a charismatic nutbar leader who becomes dangerous are world conditions, and how the rest of the world responds to them. When world conditions become so pathetic that nutbarness begins to look attractive to masses of people, and when established institutions act stupidly in response while remaining unresponsive to the real problems, there will surely be nutbar there to meet the need. Always.

Until the U.S. begins to deal with the threat of Islamic fundamentalism with something other than slogans, wars, and brutal policy implementation that mimics our adversary, we will have international unrest. When the U.S. (and in this case, Middle Eastern governments) begins to implement effective policies to deal with the legitimate concerns of the "Arab street" with consistent credible policies, fundamentalist will go back in their cave and once again become a fringe element like their Nazi brethren. Hopefully it won't take a hundred years for our leadership to "get it", and we can get past this boogie-man phase of our nations history.