American Elephants


Deeply Misunderstanding the Nature of the Enemy by The Elephant's Child

In his speech to the State Department’s Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum yesterday, Secretary of State John Kerry not only exposed the administration’s disastrous misconceptions about the climate — there has been no warming for 18 years and 9 months — but the “extremism,” as the administration insists on calling it, of ISIS and al-Qaeda. President Obama said once something about the Iranian rulers being people just like us, who care about our families and our people. They are not. Kerry said:

The other being the rise of radical extremism, sectarianism, and the failure of states simultaneously surrounding it, and vast populations of young people needing jobs instead of mind-bending theories of false assumptions about Islam and other things. Both are gigantic challenges.

Secretary Kerry is also wrong about the rise of “radical extremism.” It is very clearly Islamic radical fanaticism. Its proponents are not poor young men needing jobs, but for the most part middle class, educated, and their “extremism” is religious in nature. They believe that the current state of the Middle East is a result of Allah turning away from his people because they have not adhered closely enough to his rules. The Sunnis long for a return to the seventh century and the era of the prophet, and they believe they must purify Islamic lands by removing those who do not submit. The Shias long for the return of the Mahdi.

In the days following the death of the Prophet, the Armies of Islam swept across the lands surrounding the Mediterranean conquering everything in their path. Islamic scholars knew mathematics and astronomy, and the people of the West were barbarians. Islam never had a Reformation nor an Enlightenment.

We’re not going to get very far if we insist on believing that they just need jobs and opportunity. Their calls for Death to America and Death to Israel are quite serious. ISIS televised executions of Christians and others who do not submit and adopt Islam are meant to show the world just how serious they are. Obama has said that he believes that the Iranians would never actually use a nuclear weapon — a statement that demonstrates all too clearly the depth of his misunderstandings.

Looking back at the history of crisis and wars, misunderstanding the nature of the enemy has always been a forerunner of disaster.


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