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The most depressing thing about the Obama administration’s foreign policy debacle unfolding in the Middle East is that for sixty years we’ve repeatedly experienced the same Islamist game plan for defeating us that is being employed today. There is no tactic currently being used by the Muslim Brothers and other jihadist groups that wasn’t perfected by the Palestinian Arabs in their fight to destroy Israel.
Selling the West a Specious Pretext
Thucydides first taught us that states pursue their interests under the cover of “justice” or some other pretext when they can’t achieve their aims and interests by force. Three military defeats at the hands of the Israelis convinced the Arabs to pursue their aims by employing deceptive pretexts designed to appeal to the West and erode support for Israel. Thus arose the goal of a “Palestinian state” and “Palestinian self-determination,” even though no such distinct people as “Palestinians” ever existed. That’s why before 1967 the other Arab nations did not make the creation of a Palestinian state their reason for attacking Israel. So too with the “illegal occupation of the West Bank.” The Jewish regions of Galilee and Samaria since antiquity had never been an internationally recognized sovereign state, and so could not be “occupied.” Those territories are disputed, their final disposition and borders to be settled in a formal treaty.
Yet shrewdly appealing to Western political sensibilities, the Arabs have offered the pretext of nationalism, a concept alien to Islam and forced upon Muslims by the West after its defeat of the Ottoman Empire. So successful has been the selling of this pretext that most people today believe that there is a historical reality called the Palestinians, whose homeland is the “occupied West Bank,” and that giving them that sovereign state will bring peace to the region. Yet the reality this pretext obscures is that a critical mass of Arabs wants to destroy Israel, as the charter of Hamas and the still unrevised Palestinian National Covenant make clear. You can measure the power of the pretext over the truth by looking at the media’s outraged reaction to Mitt Romney’s statement that Palestinians are “committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel” and “have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace.”
Over the years Islamists have similarly ginned up pretexts for violence in order to bully Western governments into serving the jihadists’ long-term goal–– the establishment of a global Islamic super-state founded on shari’a law. The most successful pretext has been the canard that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians is the cause of Muslim anger and violence against the West, even though more Palestinians have died at the hands of other Arabs than have been killed by Israel in its wars of self-defense and attempts to prevent the terrorist murder of its citizens. Numerous other pretexts are regularly produced by the Islamists, from novels and cartoons to comments by the Pope. In each case, the West has uncritically accepted the pretext, agreeing with the aggrieved Muslims that something or other has “insulted” their prophet or Islam and that they are justified in their anger.
The 14-minute video that surfaced on 9/11 is just the latest example. The Obama administration and its media shills immediately validated the pretext as an explanation for the violence, most recently U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who said that the violence was sparked by “a very hateful, very offensive video that has offended many people around the world.” Yet within hours this assertion was exploded, as evidence piled up that the murder of our ambassador was a carefully planned act of vengeance for the drone killing of a Libyan al Qaeda leader, and the assaults on our other embassies were planned and executed as a celebration of the 9/11 attacks. That’s why rioters in Cairo chanted, “We are all Osama!”
The larger point of the violence is to demonstrate power and influence over the U.S. and its foreign policy by compelling our government spokesmen to validate the pretext, no matter how preposterous, and admit that Muslims are justly aggrieved by the West’s depredations. And the violence is used to change U.S. behavior, which the most recent attacks and murders seem to have achieved, if the reports of State Department negotiations to release the mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing, the “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel-Rahman, are true. In the end such appeasing behavior confirms the superiority of Islam. After all, even the infidel affirms that Islam, unlike all other faiths, deserves special treatment and deference, and that the sensibilities and feelings of the faithful are more important than the feelings and lives of the infidels routinely insulted, attacked, and murdered by Muslims without a peep of protest from Susan Rice, Hillary Clinton, or Barack Obama. The ensuing apologies, never reciprocated by Muslims, likewise confirm the superiority of Muslims.
All this anxious obsessing over the feelings of Muslims proves to the jihadists that Islam’s spiritual power trumps the greater material power of the infidel, whose submissive, apologetic behavior and willingness to compromise its own core belief of free speech confirm that Islam is the true faith destined to rule the world. Indeed, the Obama administration has colluded with the Organization of the Islamic Conference to make shari’a blasphemy laws part of international law, thus weakening our First Amendment, merely the latest example of Obama’s groveling “outreach” to the Muslim world. In a long war of morale, such incidents hearten and strengthen the jihadists to continue and intensify the fight against what bin Laden called the “weak horse” whose civilization rests on “foundations of straw.”
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