|Go for it
U.S. confronted Communism in Vietnam. It must now stand against Mediaeval
Islam in Iraq
By Hamid Bahadori
February 21, 2003
As an Iran-Iraq war veteran still carrying an Iraqi bullet in my body, I can
provide eyewitness testimony to Saddam Hussein's possession and use of weapons of
mass destruction -- weapons that have remained in the Iraqi arsenal for more than
20 years. So why should we be concerned with them now?
Control of oil supplies is an important reason. But as much as 21st century Hippies
want you to believe, it is not the main reason for going to war with Iraq. The U.S.
can ensure the flow of oil by easier and more covert avenues -- as it has for decades.
The war with Iraq, regardless of its outcome, will be one of those turning points
in human history like the defeat of Persians at Marathon, the battle of Waterloo,
the defeat of crusaders in the hands of Saladin, and the Mongol invasion.
Why such a high historical value on a relatively minor military campaign when for
all practical purposes the Vietnam War was more complex and a lot costlier? This
conflict is the biggest flash point between the modern Western civilization and the
Islamic civilization that the West, and the U.S. in particular, has been hoping to
avoid for a long time. But now, the time has come and we must act or face the consequences,
as did the great empires before us.
We will either stop the Vandals before they sac Rome, suffocate the barbaric Arabs
before they destroy the Persian Empire, take the sword out of Genghis Khan's hand
before he kills millions of people, or we will be remembered as one of those nations
who seemed invincible in their own times and failed to take action, when they could,
to prevent their demise.
I am dramatizing, you may say, because there appears to be an imbalance of power
between the parties. But is there really a significant imbalance? Not really! What
has stopped modern Vandals and Mongols has been technology, fueled by oil, and Western
civilization's supremacy maintained by nuclear weapons.
If you are a Muslim or of Middle Eastern descent, like myself, you might be furious
as I compare the Iraqi regime to Vandals and Mongols, or that I refer to early Arab
Muslims as barbarians. But, please, set aside your predisposition and let me explain.
Looking at history, Christians have not been any less barbaric than Muslims, but
something happened in Europe that many Muslims still deny is needed in the Islamic
World, and that's the Age of Enlightenment and the Renaissance. These resulted in
at least the theoretical proposition of emancipation of politics from religion by
some great thinkers such as Machiavelli, and the eventual establishment of secular
governments based on secular doctrines such as the U.S. and its Constitution. Needless
to say, it was also the Renaissance made the soil fertile for the Industrial Revolution
and not the other way around.
The West, through its technological superiority, started the process of colonialization
in Asia and Africa. Meanwhile the Middle East has been cursed by "Black Gold",
although freedom-loving people of the region -- inspired by the secular ideas of
the West and the Renaissance -- have been desperately trying to overcome age-old
superstitions that have enslaved the Muslim masses for the centuries.
This question may give you a flavor of the complexity of this issue: Should freedom-loving
Iranians have supported Ayatollah Khomeini with his Medieval philosophy against the
corrupt, yet modern government of Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1979? We can debate
this question for the rest of the century and still not reach an agreement. Nevertheless,
with the 1979 Revolution, barbarians prevailed once again, and the U.S. made a huge
historic mistake of accommodating them -- thanks to the wrong policies of Jimmy Carter
who has now come out in opposition to stopping these barbarians.
Since 1979, there has been a clear shift against the West, culminating in the 9/11
terrorist attacks -- the straw that broke the camel's back. The U.S. must act now
or it will not only lose the battle but an historical war as well.
Islamic fundamentalists -- modern-day barbarians and Vandals -- act on two distinct
premises, that the U.S. is not invincible and that the Muslim masses can fight the
"Great Satan". The whole purpose behind the 9/11 operations was to prove
these two points. Young angry Muslims believe both.
And make no mistake. These zealots will never become
friends of the U.S. -- no matter what the U.S. foreign policy might be towards Israel
or any other country. It is only their degree of hatred that we must monitor and
contain. We should keep them technologically inferior until Islam goes through its
Renaissance -- just like the containment of Communism until it collapse under the
weight of corruption, hypocrisy and immorality.
In Vietnam, the U.S. showed Communists that it means business. The cost was heavy,
but the cost of inaction would have been far greater. In Iraq, the U.S. must again
show Islamic fundamentalists that it means business. The cost, in my judgment, will
be far less than Vietnam. But if the U.S. does not show resolve towards Iraq, the
consequences would be far worse than if Communism had become the dominant power.
The battle line is clear, and I am glad that at this historic time adults are in
control of the U.S. foreign policy.
Does this article have spelling or other mistakes? Tell
me to fix it.