They win. Osama bin Laden was very clear in stating his goal: he wanted to ignite a holy war. We took the bait and he won. We didn’t declare war on terrorism, we declared war on Islam. A strategic mistake and a huge tactical error in my opinion. That these violent thugs are muslim doesn’t extrapolate into all muslims are terrorists. Timothy McVeigh was a white supremacist Christian; using flawed logic, that would suggest that all white Christians are both racist and domestic terrorists. Let us not forget that Timothy McVeigh perpetrated the most heinous act of “domestic” terrorism this country has ever experienced.
Devout muslims are fleeing radicalized Islam in droves, seeking sanctuary in countries where they might live normal lives. Radical Islam is not about religion, it is about political power. Osama bin Laden used religious fundamentalism to whip up anti-western hatred amongst his people, do you see a possible similarity to what we are now doing here in the west? Osama bin Laden was not religious, Osama bin Laden was political. There is a big schism in Islam, with muslims killing muslims in record numbers. This is called sectarian violence.
In our efforts to nation build in the mideast we have completely destabilized the entire region. We as a nation are naive and continually demonstrate that we lack historical maturity and perspective. We are big and mighty, but we lack wisdom and humility. Without petroleum we would have no interest whatsoever in the middle-east. We have almost no economic interest in Africa, hence we rarely get involved in their sectarian, tribal, domestic disputes and genocides. We are a capitalist nation, therefore our political decisions are governed by economic interests.
Seemingly, our solution to terrorism is to isolate ourselves from the threat. Close the borders, suspend immigration. By God, lock up all the goddamn Muslims. Why not? After all it worked so well during World War II when we interned all of our Japanese-American “citizens” and confiscated their property. There are those amongst us that are loudly advocating those very same measures, and they [sadly] have a listening audience.
It’s FEAR, of course, spelled in all capital letters. Osama bin Laden has won. He’s reduced the mightiest nation on earth to wallowing in fear. Fear mongering and mob mentality rule the day, and blatant racism and xenophobia run rampant amongst our people. America, Home of the Brave, seems to have faded into the past (if it ever existed at all). We should welcome and embrace devout and moderate muslims, for it is they who will be our greatest allies in this fight against terrorism.
Make no mistake about it, I am not a pacifist. We must fight terrorism both abroad and at home. But lets be clear on the target. The target is not Islam, the targets are the thugs who commit crimes against all humanity. In recent years much of our domestic terrorism is of the homegrown variety. Timothy McVeigh is the poster child, but we’ve got a whole new crop coming up and gunning down innocents in our schools. For the most part they are white, Christian and middle-class. What does that say about us? As an American I am appalled, saddened and sickened.