Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Know Your Enemy

I support the President's use of force against ISIS in Iraq (I have reservations, however, about what we're doing in Syria, although I certainly hope it works out well), but I think it was foolish of him to commit himself to not using American ground troops. That, like so many other promises Mr. Obama has made, may find itself being cast to the winds if it becomes clear that air strikes can't get the job done.

I also think it's both sad and funny that Mr. Obama is now doing pretty much what Mitt Romney was pilloried for predicting in 2006 that Mr. Obama would have to do if he pulled our troops out of Iraq, and it's also richly ironic that Mr. Obama, in launching a preemptive war in Iraq and Syria is really doing what he condemned Bush and Cheney for doing in the early years of the last decade.

The ironies mount when we recall that President Obama is a Nobel Peace Prize winner who is launching a war that will almost certainly result in civilian casualties, perhaps more casualties than Israel inflicted on the Palestinians in their recent engagement which outraged so many on the left (where is the anti-war left on this, anyway), but none of that is what I wanted to talk about in this post.

I wanted to comment that it'd be a lot easier to have confidence in our Commander-in-Chief's judgment in prosecuting this new war if we didn't have reason to believe that he doesn't really understand the nature of the foe. When he announced the other day that no religion condones the kinds of murders that ISIS and other Islamic radicals have perpetrated he showed that, despite his Muslim background in Indonesia, he doesn't really understand Islam.

I don't claim to either, but someone who does is the man in this video. He was raised a Muslim in Morocco and has studied the religion all his life, even though he left it some years ago. In this eight minute video he explains why Mr. Obama's understanding of Islam is at best incomplete:
If Brother Rachid appears nervous during his presentation, he has good reason to be. Apostates from Islam automatically incur a death sentence, and it's incumbent upon Muslims everywhere to kill him if they can.

One of the first principles of war-fighting, I'm told, is to understand your enemy. Until Mr. Obama recognizes that Muslims are taught to harbor an implacable hatred for their enemies, i.e. all non-Muslims, and that killing infidels - you, me and our children - is a notion woven into the warp and woof of Islam, taught in Muslim madrassas all around the world, including the U.S., and rarely renounced by practicing Muslims anywhere, we will always be at a disadvantage in whatever dealings we have with them.

This is not to say that any and all Muslims are our enemy. They certainly are not, and we should strive to treat them with dignity, respect and kindness, to the extent we are able. But ISIS has declared itself to be our enemy, and we need to realize that what they're doing to people everywhere they go - the beheadings, the crucifixions, the live burials - so far from being a violation of the Koran, is enjoined by it, as Brother Rachid points out.