The War on Terra
I don't know when I've agreed more with a sentiment than I do with Robin Cook in this Guardian article. My husband, British bubba, who lived in the Muslim world for almost two decades, has said many times the West simply does not understand the Arab mind and so is doomed to repeat past failures. Arabs and Muslims are proud, unified and determined to keep their civilization, one of the oldest in the world, unique and genuine. We can cannot force our way of life on them, any more than we could on the Native Americans. Yes, we succeeded in the near genocide of the people who inhabited this country before us, but there are far more people in the Middle East, and technology got there before us.
Democracy and capitalism found their way to the Americas, Europe and now slowly through Asia, not by force from the outside, but from within. Why does the right so distrust the fundamentals they claim to hold so dear. The last great threat, Communism, has been virtually eliminated, not by brute force, but by globalization. Russia and China are now our great partners or our biggest nemesis, depending on your point of view. We are fighting wars of trade and market control, rather than Star Wars and ballistic missiles.
The same could be true of our Global War on Terror, if we viewed the problem in a similar light. Bring Middle Eastern countries into the power structure. Ask, beg, implore, demand, force them to work with The World in our fight against terrorism. Allow them time to find a middle ground between the new world and the old. Let democracy and freedom take a foothold and watch the results. If history has taught us anything, it is that what Hitler tried in Europe, what Balfour did in Israel, and what we are doing in Iraq, does not work. Terrorism is not fought on the battlefields, but in the hearts and minds of people everywhere.