Friday, June 17, 2005

Sometimes You Just Gotta Love Your Enemies


Here's an excerpt from this week's Victor Davis Hanson column, in which he notes that a Syrian Jihadist gave us the War on Terror from the Jihadist perspective. From National Review:


In a single day last week, in various media — the liberal International Herald Tribune and the Washington Post — the following information appeared.

A Syrian smuggler of jihadists to Iraq, one Abu Ibrahim, was interviewed. He made the following revealing statements:

(1) that the goal of the jihadists is the restoration of the ancient caliphate ("The Koran is a constitution, a law to govern the world")

(2) that September 11 was "a great day"

(3) that two weeks after the attack, a celebration was held in his rural Syrian community celebrating the mass murder, and thereafter continued twice-weekly

(4) that Syrian officials attended such festivities, funded by Saudi money with public slogans that read, "The People ...Will Now Defeat the Jews and Kill Them All"

(5) that despite denials, Syrian police aided the jihadists in their efforts to hound out Western influence: They were allowed to enforce their strict vision of sharia, or Islamic law, entering houses in the middle of the night to confront people accused of bad behavior. Abu Ibrahim said their authority rivaled that of the Amn Dawla, or state security. "Everyone knew us," he said. "We all had big beards. We became thugs."

(6) that the Syrian government does not hesitate to work with Islamists ("beards and epaulets were in one trench together")

(7) that collateral damage was not always so collateral: "Once the Americans bombed a bus crossing to Syria. We made a big fuss and said it was full of merchants," Abu Ibrahim said. "But actually, they were fighters."

(8) That once Syria felt U.S. pressure, there was some temporary cosmetic change of heart: "The security agents said the smuggling of fighters had to stop. The jihadists' passports were taken. Some were jailed for a few days. Abu Ibrahim's jailers shaved his beard."

(9) that supporters in Saudi Arabia always played a key role: "Our brothers in Iraq are asking for Saudis. The Saudis go with enough money to support themselves and their Iraqi brothers. A week ago, we sent a Saudi to the jihad. He went with 100,000 Saudi riyals. There was celebration amongst his brothers there!"

Note how in this one Washington Post story how almost every one of our Western myths promulgated by the antiwar Left is shattered by a candid jihadist himself. First, there was always radical Islamic anti-American hatred that preceded Iraq. Indeed, celebrations were spontaneous immediately after September 11 on the mere news of slaughtered Americans.
We have been told that jihadists and secular Baathists have little in common, and that only our war brought them together. But like the Japanese and Nazis in World War II, autocrat and jihadist have shared interests in hating liberal democracies — and well before our response they were jointly fanning efforts against the United States.

Note too the passive-aggressive nature of Syria that gives into rather than resists American pressures. When the U.S. threatens, it backsteps; when we relent, it goes back on the offensive.
Americans worry that captured terrorists have proper Korans and are allowed traditional grooming. Arab jailors immediately shave the traditional beards of those they arrest.

Saudi Arabia claims to be our ally, but its Wahhabi roots are so deep and its oil revenues so vast that much of its multilayered ruling class could not cease its support for jihad even if it wished. We forget that their 'war against terror' is a war against Muslim terrorists who attack Muslims — not necessarily against Muslim terrorists ("militants") who attack Westerners.

Some claim that anti-Semitism is an exaggerated charge, yet the jihadists blame the Jews, not just Israel, instinctively.

Westerners also worry about collateral damage; the terrorist Ibrahim confesses that military operatives routinely count on falsely claiming civilian casualties.


See? You just gotta love your enemies when they tell the truth.

But, predictably the Left doesn't want to hear our enemies tell the truth:


Arab reformers, few though they are, most certainly don't blame the West for the misery of the Middle East. Instead, they confess that the Arab world itself is parasitic: "Western governments, reformers say, should question why curriculums are so weak and why Arab societies contribute nothing to the world's scientific or technological advancements."

In the words of one persecuted novelist Turki Al-Hamad, "The problem is not from the outside, the problem is from ourselves; if we don't change ourselves, nothing will change."

In the United States, we are told that we have created terrorists. Saudi liberals would beg to differ. So the theologian Al-Maleky confesses, "If Wahhabism doesn't revise itself, it will produce more terrorism."

Free-thinking Arabs refute all the premises of Western Leftists who claim that colonialism, racism, and exploitation have created terrorists, hold back Arab development, and are the backdrops to this war.

Indeed, it is far worse than that: Our own fundamentalist Left is in lockstep with Wahhabist reductionism — in its similar instinctive distrust of Western culture. Both blame the United States and excuse culpability on the part of Islamists. The more left-wing the Westerner, the more tolerant he is of right-wing Islamic extremism; the more liberal the Arab, the more likely he is to agree with conservative Westerners about the real source of Middle Eastern pathology.


Well, if the liberal Westerners are telling us they agree with the Islamic extremists, then we ought to listen. You just gotta love your enemies, when they tell the truth.