- - Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

So now we bring journalist James Foley’s killer to justice? This sounds like Sen. John McCain’s and President Obama’s determinations to “get bin Laden.” With the rise of the Islamic State, shouldn’t the most gullible finally realize that bin Laden’s death hardly constituted victory when we face the first campaigns of a long war?

Our real enemy is Wahhabist jihadism, not the latest mercurial, sociopathic prophets emerging from the Wahhabist-Salafi heresy. These teachings provide the ideological framework converts embrace to justify not only totalitarianism, but also stateless terrorism. This heresy considers Jews, Christians, Sunnis, Shias and secularists as subhuman, legitimate objects for slaughter. It rejects traditional Muslim allegiances to family, tribe, ethnicity and country. The caliphate sought requires no particular human or physical remnant. Therefore, those using terrorist political stratagems become immune to diplomacy, containment or retaliation.

The Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 3, tells us terrorists are not the armed forces, militias, volunteer corps, insurgents or freedom fighters of any country or authority. They are not an organized resistance movement carrying arms openly, and they have no distinctive identifier. The focus of their campaigns is the torture and killing of people defined as “protected persons” by all conventions. Such cunning, ruthless adversaries fit the Webster Dictionary’s definition of a virus better than definitions for a foreign power or authority. Their existence beyond the pale means the rules of war presuppose eradication.

However, eradication will not come through political theater. Sustained political and military intervention must fracture terrorist organizations and promote representative governments guaranteeing universal speech, religion and private-property freedoms.

NOLAN NELSON

Eugene, Ore.


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