The chaotic scramble of the Obama administration to defend their use of the words “Islamic” and “terrorism” is indeed laughable, but it is also indicative of an extremely dangerous policy.
There are two very basic reasons why Americans must realize that our enemies are “Islamic.” First, much like the attackers in World War II and the Cold War, we must realize that we are dealing with an ideology — which leads its adherents to seek world domination through totalitarian government just as Nazism and Communism did. This ideology is being defined by its believers as “Islamic.” We are their enemy. It is therefore not our prerogative to define their beliefs; that is their prerogative. And they have chosen to identify themselves as “Islamic.”
The second reason that this term is important is because this modern version of Islam (really a return to Islam of the Bedouin Muslims of the Middle Ages) Islam has the potential of becoming an ecumenical force within Islam. Today, there are both Sunnis and Shia who practice this extreme form Islam. While historically and politically distinct, the two branches of the extremists have more in common than in conflict. Both are dedicated to a theocratic form of government ruled by their very harsh interpretation of Sharia law and an intense hatred of the West, including the USA and any activities which demonstrate Western influence.
A United States government which treats these people as “criminal anarchists,”in the words of Secretary of State John Kerry, has no hope for the “defeat and ultimate destruction” of the Islamic State (ISIS), as President Obama has promised. A clear indication of this muddled thinking is the administration’s insistence on separating the nuclear program negotiations with Iran from the localized activities of the Islamic State. This strategy simply ignores the fact that Iran, while a bit more subtle in its barbarity, is the prime example of the caliphate to which Islamic State aspires, as well as the center of the Shia movement in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and now Yemen.
They have to be stopped or they will eventually defeat and then most probably be joined by Islamic State, the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, and the revived Islamic terrorists in Libya, and then move into consolidating their African brethren into a caliphate.
We cannot let that happen. Such an Iranian caliphate would lead us sooner or later to a shooting war. In fact, the almost certain breakdown of the current Iran nuclear talks may be a near term catalyst for another Mideast war.
This column has previously described “Why we need the Arabs” (The Washington Times, Sept. 22, 2014) but it is clear that we also need the Iranian opposition to the Imams on our side.
The longterm challenge of this war is to so discredit and ostracize the merciless radicals among the Islamists that they cease to exist as a group. Only when other members of their faith take up arms against them and treat them as outlaws and losers will the seeds of success in the war of ideals be sown.
Thus the necessity of the countries of the Middle East to take a leading role in the military and subsequent contests with the radicals. When mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers of the Islamic army against Islamic State see what has happened to their loved ones at the hands of these barbarians, there will take deep root in their souls a horror and disgust aimed at Islamic State.
Thus the focus of American policy must be to facilitate and support with arms, intelligence and training a strong coalition of Islamic allies to fight the military war against the extremists, knowing that this strategy will also foster their defeat in the ideological war.
We can’t let an Islamic caliphate emerge in the Middle East, but the Obama people are doing almost nothing to stop it. They can’t even say it.