Wednesday, February 15, 2006

More Thoughts On War


Yesterday, I wrote that the United States should make clear to Iran and like-minded regimes, that the full military might of the United States is sufficient to literally obliterate any nation in the Middle East, an option which no other nation possesses. Part of that article was a simple emotional vent, a certain frustration that our State Department cannot express the clear intentions and requirements of American foreign policy and the applied Doctrine of the Administration. And I am forced to concede that the effectiveness of any initiative or policy directed by the White House runs into dilution and opposition from a host of petulant egos and rebellious malcontents. In peacetime this is bad enough, but in war it is to my mind nothing short of seditious. Unfortunately, as things stand this concern must be set aside for another time, with the hope that the reforms intended by Goss, Negroponte, and Rice will improve the conditions under which we must fight.

Returning to the question of a possible Iranian nuclear weapon, however, I believe our best course is to explore the matter with an open mind to all the possibilities and the most effective means to preventing the most undesirable events. Among the possibilities, must be considered the chance that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad understands the West well enough to lay a trap for us, or at least that he plans to use our various factions against each other. Certainly we have fallen for such tactics often enough, that such an effort would seem reasonable.

But to the essentials. First off, we can start by separating the question into whether Iran does or does not already have the Bomb. A great many people seem to have forgotten that Iran has had a large amount of weapons-grade uranium on hand, ironically ever since we started to invade Iraq in 2003, but I will leave off that interesting speculation for another time. The second question surrounds why Ahmadinejad would make the statements he has, in the light of either already having the Bomb, or not having it. An object lesson for this condition can be found by studying the recent decisions by Saddam Hussein.

Bearing in mind that tyrants are not known for peer review or serious consideration of their judgment, it is still interesting to me, to examine the motivation behind Hussein’s refusal to cooperate with the terms of the 1991 Cease-fire. After all, acting as if you have WMD when you know the United States is particularly sensitive to threats from terrorists is just about as stupid as bathing in beef broth and then dancing in front of a pack of pit bulls, and the reaction is also pretty much a foregone conclusion. And yet there he was, the Butcher in Baghdad acting as if he was in complete control of the situation. From his transmissions and recorded statements, Saddam kept up the act almost as long as Baghdad Bob did.

Well, that is until he did his ‘dictator in a hole' routine, the international signal for ‘coward caught running away from justice’. My point is, that Ahmadinejad seems to have caught the same fever, believing that if he can just not be as stupid as Saddam, he can beat the West at the game of brinksmanship. In his eyes, Saddam made the mistake of trying his run without Islam behind him, and even then he almost got away. To Ahmadinejad, having Allah at your back means you can’t lose. And yes, I think he really believes that.

Since I am one of those who believes Iran already has a nuclear bomb, I will start by examining what if Iran does not yet possess a nuclear bomb. In such a case, a person might reasonably ask why Ahmadinejad is raising such a ruckus. One must conclude either that the President of Iran has a more subtle method in mind, or else he is simply stupid beyond what we normally experience from elected officials. Of course, it must be recognized that in the light of Al Gore’s recent rhetorical attack on his own homeland, presumably for reasons involving a hefty honorarium and a bitterly wounded pride, that Ahmadinejad seems almost reasonable in implying that getting a nuke means he would use it on America and or Israel, as if a bomb or two could rid him of his two most enduring enemies.

Of course, if one presumes that Iran has already constructed such a bomb, Ahmadinejad could be testing the waters of regional opinion to see what would happen when he tests the thing. Because that is the next stage of the process; whether or not he has the bomb, Ahmadinejad’s science guys are sure to have told him that the weapon must be tested, for yield and fallout and all the things a Jihadist needs to know.

It should be understood, that for a great many years Muslims had no taste for Chemical Weapons, to say nothing of Bio-weapons of Nuclear bombs. This is because Islam requires a ritual cleanliness in all matters of importance. Sharia, for example, is quite strict about how to treat a body for burial and interment . It speaks to just how much the world has changed, that a Muslim should not only be willing to destroy his body in the pursuit of Jihad, but that such men should be praised for it. Aside from the little moral question of murdering innocents en masse, the sacrifice of one’s body to a condition unsuitable for traditional burial must either mean that the deceased was an abomination to Allah and a great fool besides, or else a hero willing to accept the disgrace of unclean demise for the greater Jihad. While opinions change over time, it should be understood that an unclean death is still a great taboo for many Muslims.

Of course, the Jihadist has no qualms about causing others to die an unclean death, and so it suits the men so willing to hijack the Will of Allah to their own ends, to hope for and plot a nasty demise for their enemies. And yet, if WMD were the ends to their objective, one must wonder why the Jihadists did not simply use some of the available Bio-weapons they had developed, or some of the Chemical weapons available? In a word – cowardice. For the use of any WMD will bring a response. Knowing this, the Jihadists hide their intent, greatly preferring a battle where their victim cannot strike back, and so they settle for women, children, innocent passersby where they may find them, while they hope for a lucky break, a moment of weakness on our side, or a lapse in attention.

It should be noted that the Jihadists are often described as ‘Islamo-Fascists’, and there is ground for that comparison. For one thing, religion is usually an intensely personal practice and a path to peace for many people, but Fascism is about death – the adoration of murder, and the bloody path to power through the blood of your enemies. It hardly matters whether the present Jihadists are echoing the mantra of the Nazis, or the Nazis echoed the Hashashin so many years before, they are kindred spirits – demons all.

And so, just as many ritualist Muslims find themselves praying to Allah by way of a rock in Mecca, the Fascist Muslims find themselves praying for their victory by way of another sort of idol – the talisman of death embodied in a nuclear weapon, the quintessential peak of technology, violence, purity of hatred and racism contained in an elegant case, as if a terrible genie waiting to be unleashed upon the infidel.

Yet the Jihadists pause – because the Americans have such genies as well – and so also do the Israelis. And there are many of those genies, and the Americans know so very, very much about war, and when roused they are fierce beyond the ability of any nation to restrain. And so Ahmadenijad watches how we react and speak among ourselves, trusting to boredom and affluence to blunt the edge of our weapons and our vigilance, and his speeches are consequently made to inflame passion, hoping it will die all the quicker when there is no immediate attack. Enough times with the call, and he will both embolden his troops and lull the West, thinks Ahmadenijad. Time and our counsel will tell whether this evil man is clever, or a great fool doomed by his pride.

No comments: