Thursday, February 09, 2006
The Mohammed Cartoons, Islam, Ahmadinejad, al-Assad and the Muslim People - Background
History has been defined by great warriors and great diplomats. And while today Western society puts a higher value on the diplomat, that certainly has not always been the case, and may not be the case now in the Islamic world. The United States Currency represents a balance between the country’s evaluation of statesmen versus warriors, as 3 warriors (Washington, Jackson, and Grant) and 3 statesmen (Jefferson, Hamilton, and Franklin) are portrayed on US Bills. The fifth bill shows Lincoln, who was revered both as a warrior and as a statesman.
Other countries have not shown the same balance. Russian cities are all named after the warriors from their past. In Israel’s short history, every Prime Minister has been a hero of one of the major Israeli wars. In France, the great warriors of the past are revered in the monuments and artwork that define the country, but the same reverence is shown for the thinkers, philosophers and artists that came from the country. And Germany continually grapples with issues derived from their reverence of military success versus the atrocities committed by their military heroes.
In the Islamic world, warriors are also revered. For a modern example, look at Yasser Arafat, who was treated as a minor deity for much of his life out of respect for his continual struggle against Israel. After the destruction of Hama, Syrians may have hated Hafez al-Assad, but Islamic leaders honored him for his swift approach to a mounting insurgent crisis.
But the region has been searching for the big leader of modern times, the one person who can mobilize the collective force of the Islamic people, and create a world power to rival any in the world, and show the real superiority of Islam. I know, you’re thinking this would only be the views of extremists. Well, I have news for you: this is the dream of oppressed people everywhere, and it’s justifiable. The Torah, Bible, and Koran all say that all men are created equal in God’s eyes (I’ll take that to mean all people), and any time people are not treated as equals they wish for the day when they will be on top. This is natural.
Along those lines, the Islamic world has been looking for one of it’s own to fill the vacated seat as the world’s second super-power. They certainly have a valid claim to that position; the world Muslim population is a considerable portion of the overall world population, they have been an active player in the world political scene over the past century, they were allies in the second world war, donating previous lives to protect freedom around the world, and they represent a strong force in the UN. But no Islamic country has risen to the superpower level, predominantly because the US is protecting their position.
It has long been my view that one leader can, and at some point will, rise from the Muslim people and unite the Muslim populations against a common enemy, probably the West. But I believe to accomplish this the leader must prove to the Islamic people that he can compete with the West and that he does not fear Israel or the United States. Further, I believe that the attack on Kuwait in 1990 was Saddam Hussein’s way of trying to prove to the Muslim people that he could defy the US, and that the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon in 2001 were Osama Bin Laden’s way of saying he could defy the US.
In both those cases, The US acted swiftly and brutally, and showed that there were consequences for attacking a super-power. This not only acted as a deterrent to the leaders trying to grab power, but it also made an emphatic statement to the Muslim people that the leader was not strong enough to tangle with the West. But now I believe a 3rd leader, or group of leaders, has engaged the US, this group being led Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and this time they have not been checked by US retribution, and have actually made swift retribution an impossibility.
If this is the case, we are watching the first scene of what could be, and I think will be, a long conflict between the acting super-power, the United States, and the newly emerged super-power, a Muslim coalition. I will site the evidence for my argument in the next article, and will then address the specific implications of the Mohammed Cartoon controversy in the last article.
Two final statements. First, it should be noted that of course this is all my opinion, and I hope that I am wrong. Please, I beg you to come up with your own conclusions, but think about the issue. If I am right, you may se no greater issue for a long time. Second, I am publishing these articles so they will appear in the correct order on the web site, and be easier to read. This will put them in reverse chronological order as far as the time stamps. I hope this makes it easier to read these articles, as opposed to harder.
Posted by Scottage at 3:32 AM /