Monday, June 21, 2010

Islam: instrument of war, not an aggressor

Bush's 'war on terrorism' has been translated often as 'war on islam,' because terrorists are islamists, for the most part and worldwide.

I am not counting capitalists, USA or Israel as terrorists because I don't think we are, but I know communists (aka as leftists... or under many other names) accuse us of being major ones. Islamists too, only they would also identify us as sinners (and that will also include well-meant liberals, of course)

Somehow, Islam is often portrayed as the aggressor warrior (some islamists might argue their war is defensive, but that is not what I want to talk about in this post).

Of course, it is easy to realize that an idea or religion, although an extremely powerful instrument as it can be, can not be a subject aggressor... but we tend to take the easiest path, so we equal instrument with actor.

And that is dangerous. Very dangerous.

Let's accept that religion can be a potent inductor of conducts and even that some religions are prone to aggression and, even more, that countries with strong islamic dominance are today's font of terrorism... it is still very dangerous to confuse instruments (islam) with actors (people in power).

It is dangerous because it misleads us.

War (today in the form of terrorism) is always launched by people with power in search of a bigger power. They often cover their ambitions with religious justifications (and islam offers plenty of handles for that purpose) but if we want to understand what is at stake, key to winning the war, we have to keep focused on the actors and their ambitions, because they are our threat and our target.

Of course, if they use religion as an arm we have to learn how to neutralize it and how to overcome it... but above all we have to keep our full attention on the aggressors and their ambitions.

This is a political issue not a religious one.

For many years during the XX century, Western peoples (prime time audiences, in today's slang) were not even aware that there were countries and peoples in the Midle East, even less that they once dominated the 'world.'

We began to have a hint when petrol for our cars doubled in price and we were told that it was because of the Arabs. Arafat and the Munich Olympics' massacre of Jews did their part in the path of awareness. Yes, the Jews in Israel battled against those people, but since they always won (more or less) we lived through it without paying any attention.

They didn't have anything attractive to offer us (petrol was delivered to us by Texaco, Shell or Gulf), no Elvis, no movies, no TVs, no Chevrolets, so we didn't pay attention nor cared.

And the evil role was very well played by Russia and a few minor accolytes.

If we were interested in exoticism, we turned our heads to the Far East where Japan was starting to produce amazing stuff, China cheap stuff; Vietnam immigrants and...

But what did the Middle East have to offer us? Niente, niente.

Now we talk a lot about them. We are very much aware of them. Terrorism has such an effect.

But, hell, we don't even have time to learn the history of our own country, how the heck do you want us to learn anything about those complicated people?

It was hard enough trying to distinguish between a jap and a chink, and now you want us to know about suffies, shias, sunnis, assassins, syrians, turks, mamelucks, armenians, kurds, niqabs, burkas, suras, hadiths, agk, ihh, jihad, emirs, sultans, caliphs, imams.............? Ugggggghhhhhhhh!!!!

And you are right. We are not going to learn any of that. But people in charge should not be confused.

In those countries live people in power with ambitions as big and far-fetched as in ours, and those people are the aggressors, not the ideas they cover up with.

And in those countries live people that realize that if they want a better life for their people they might need to confront neighbors and other entities worldwide to impose what better suits their needs and their wills... and they might fight for that... with all the instruments at hand, including religion, of course.

But it is the people and their needs and ambitions we have to look at if we want to win the war. And the war should be fought, I think.

Without forgetting that even if they all look alike to us, they might be very different one from the other (of course they are!) ... the closer ties they have the more probable is that they are irreconcilable enemies.

So, let's not mix Turks and Persians...

Yeah, I know, why the heck did I waste my time writing such a bunch of simplistic givens?

The answer my friend is blowing on your TV... or maybe I didn't have anything better to play with.

P.D. On July, 3rd, 2010, two weeks after I posted this entry, Muhammad Daoud Oudeh, aka Abu Daoud, the mastermind of the PLO's massacre of eleven Israeli athletes during the 1972 Munich Olympics that I mentioned above, died. Today's Palestinian Authority Chairman, the so-called 'moderate' (it's amazing what people are ready to beleive!) Mahmoud Abbas, touted him as, "a wonderful brother, companion, tough and stubborn, relentless fighter," and described him as "one of the prominent leaders of the Fatah movement," as cited by Caroline Glick from the London-based and Abbas-controlled Al-Hayat al Jadida newspaper (here the original news in Al-Hayat, in arabic, of course).
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