Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On US drone attacks and "American aggression"

On the Independent Institute (USA) website discussing this topic, there is the following:

"Have U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan put Islamic terrorist groups on the run--or have they instead weakened U.S. security by creating more enemies eager to attack American targets? John O. Brennan, the White House's chief counterterrorism advisor, recently defended the drone attacks, claiming that they have degraded the capability of anti-U.S. terrorist groups. In contrast, Independent Institute Senior Fellow Ivan Eland argues that the drone attacks have helped to radicalize Islamists, both strengthening them politically in Pakistan and increasing the likelihood of attacks against Americans in retaliation....It failed to dawn on Brennan that the terrorist attacks wouldn't be occurring in the first place without aggressive U.S. behavior in Islamic lands"

This is simple-minded. Of course there is US "aggression" in many places, some justified and some unjustified. But the question in this particular matter is: what is the definition of "US aggression" according to Islamists?

If it is, as appears to be the case, the existence of Israel, and the existence of US military bases in the Middle East (particularly Saudi Arabia), then it is clear that the US can never stop "aggressing", and that the US will therefore always be under attack by Islamists.

That is what is not understood by those who deride Huntington's thesis regarding the clash of civilisations.

The very ntion of free speech, for example, is anathema to Islamists, as is the very existence of secular states such as India, or Maoist states (such as Nepal) or pseudo-Marxist states such as China.

Islamists will always seek some particular example of excess or wrong on the part of the governments of these countries in order to gain our sympathy. But they will never be satisfied simply by the acknowledgement or correction of excess or wrong on the part of non-Islamists (whether notionally Muslim or otherwise).

What Islamists seek is the imposition of their version of civilisation on the whole of the world. So if universities stop teaching courses on Islam that do not follow the Islamist version, will that satisfy Islmists? No. If Israel stopped existing, would that satisfy Islamists? No. If the US withdrew all its military bases from Saudi Arabia and every other country outside the US, would that satisfy the Islamists? No. Islamists will be satisfied only when their version of Islam is imposed by force on the whole world.

If we do not understand that, we are living in a dream-world that has nothing to do with reality. Sphere: Related Content

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