Friday, August 04, 2006

Diplomacy, Rationality, and Muslim Honor

Hat tip to Cox and Forkum for the cartoon. You can read their related commentary and links HERE. A sample of one of their excerpts, from Robert Tracinski:

The new Lebanon War, like much of the War on Terrorism, has a strange character. It is a war in which everyone knows the enemy's strategy, in which it is child's play to see through all of his ruses and propaganda tricks--and yet our leaders, rather than devising their own counter-strategy, fall for every ruse and play along with the enemy's game. ...

Everyone knows that Iran is using Hezbollah's war in Lebanon to distract attention from its nuclear weapons program. ...

The Iranian strategy to buy time is utterly transparent and not especially clever. It is simple to defeat: declare that Hezbollah's aggression against Israel is proof of Iran's evil intentions and that we don't require any further diplomatic justification to bomb Iran's nuclear sites and bring down its regime.

Instead, Western leaders fell for the Iranian strategy, and the Iranians have pretty much gotten what they wanted. ...

Secretary Rice has a reputation as an intelligent, hard-charging woman who doesn't scare easily. Over the past few months, she has blown that reputation, caving in to Iran and its European sympathizers--and now allowing herself to be panicked into appeasement by predictable images of Lebanese civilian casualties. The Iranians have not been playing a sophisticated diplomatic game--yet they have consistently outplayed Secretary Rice.

Just as obvious as the strategy of the Iranian Axis are the destructive consequences of America's diplomatic retreat in the face of Hezbollah's war.

Ouch! Pretty harsh words.

Tracinski is a hawk, and while he may have some justification for his criticism, I have to wonder if it is as bad as all that. Has Bush stopped being a cowboy, or is he simply "playing the game", exhausting all diplomatic avenues open to him, before fighting the good fight? History will be the final judge, and perhaps for the sake of history, he won't have it said that he didn't cooperate with our allies and try diplomacy first.

Seeing as the Iranian President has just said that the answer to Middle East Peace is the destruction of Israel, I don't think diplomacy stands a snowball's chance in hell.

Related Links:

There Are No Civilians Here
...Hezbollah seeks to set up an Islamic government in Lebanon modeled after the one in Iran. Hezbollah officially supports the destruction of the state of Israel; the eradication of Jews from the Mediterranean. From birth, Hezbollah trains Lebanese Shiite to hate and desire to kill Israelis. It trains man, woman and child to do what they can to drive Israel into the sea and end the Jewish state. That is why Lebanese Shiites accept Hezbollah rockets, barracks, and weapons depots in their neighborhoods, and why those killed today will be celebrated as martyrs.

The 34 children who died in this Israeli strike were innocent in that they know no other way of life than to hate Jews. But they were not civilians.

Not in any way we'd recognize at all...

Hezbollah purposefully put children in a building in a combat zone and launched rockets from outside their location, knowing the Israeli response. Hezbollah targeted Lebanese children with Israeli missiles.

They served their purpose. They're martyrs, you see.

There are no civilians here.

The cradle-to-grave Jew hating isn't exactly rational, but it is deliberately cultivated and harnessed. We are seeing it's results.

It's worth reading the whole thing, there's more photos, too.

Islamofascism -- an enemy like no other
"If other people in al Qaeda are really as sadistic as this guy seems to be, then we're really in for a long and awful war." National Public Radio's Daniel Schorr made this comment about the anti-American courtroom tirade of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker. Yes, Mr. Schorr, the Islamofascists -- the ones who want us dead -- are, indeed, that "sadistic."

This shows that a lot of people, who should know better, still don't get it...

Read further for some sadistic examples. It ends with an historical footnote, which shows that this behavior is not from anything WE have done... at least, not anything other than just existing outside of Islam.

It's Not Just About Land
...So, if the most recent war in Lebanon and Gaza is not about land per se, then whence arises the elemental desire to destroy Israel?

The answer boils down to Islamists feeling their reputation is at stake. Words like "honor" and "pride" are evoked -- in the sense that they need to be regained -- by every insecure radical in the Islamic world, from al-Qaida's Osama bin Laden to Hezbollah's Hassan Nasrallah and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Fist-shaking crowds, fiery mullahs and terrorists all boast of not giving an inch to infidels, and of the restoration of the now sullied honor of the Islamic people.

Why their hurt?...

Why indeed. The Muslim sense of honor is too often ignored and underestimated, yet it is something I keep comming across again and again, as a motivating factor in so much that I read about Islam and the middle east. What has the Muslim sense of honor got to do with Israel and the West? Victor Davis Hanson offers up some pretty good answers.


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