Assessing American Policy A Year After Obama’s Visit To Cairo
America and the Manufacturing of a Jinni
Would modifying the American Strategy Save It from the Effects of Manufacturing a Jinni?
Before modifying the American strategy:
It is easy to transform a friendly ally into an enemy.
At the end of World War II, The world was split into two camps: the Axis and the Allies. After the annihilation of the Axis powers and the dominance of the Allies, the Allies camp itself split further into two camps: the Warsaw pact and the NATO pact. Due to nuclear deterrence, among other reasons, the conflict between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was epitomized in the Cold War, in which the U.S. launched against the Communist camp, a soft ideological war utilizing radio broadcasts, artistic dramas and printed materials. With advancements in communications and transportations means, this ideological warfare penetrated the typical Soviet citizen imprisoned behind the Iron Curtain. It portrayed a robust, bright, free capitalist world in contrast with the dreary, deprived and repressive reality in which he was living. At the same time, the U.S. exhausted the Soviet Union with an armament race that sapped its resources, diverting it’s priorities away from basic needs of its citizenry, eventually losing the ability to keep pace. Additionally, the culture of freedom and human rights essentially made the Soviet Union a dinosaur living out of its times, thus leading to the collapse of the Soviet Union and its satellites without a single shot being fired, with the NATO alliance as the only remaining power on the international arena, in wait for the emergence of a new threat to the new world order. Fearing the rise of a new threat into this void, which could be a unified Europe or a Japan allied with China – thereby reviving the Eastern camp – it was imperative for the U.S. to manufacture this enemy, preferably one which would be easy to triumph over, and also easy to unify the new world order against as well. The United States has utilized the Muslim World in this cause by making it a universal enemy, thus replacing the old Soviet System.
In doing so, the U.S. did not realize that it had now created a Jinni for itself.
Many contributing factors led to the successful creation of this new Jinni. One of which is the traditional animosity towards the colonial West held by the two most popular and widespread trends in both, the Arab and Islamic worlds; the Nationalists and the Religious Salafi (The Muslim Brotherhood and the Wahhabis), coupled with the alliance of the West- especially with the state of Israel. Furthermore, the oppressive regimes not allied to the West, directed its populace’s animosity and hatred towards both Israel and the U.S., further spreading and circulating the myth that the West is conspiring against the Arabs and Muslims. Yet, the most prominent factor in all of this is the Islamic Republic of Iran, who is leading the cause and raising the banner of war against the U.S. and Israel, in order to hide its nationalistic and sectarian goals: to control the oil in the Persian Gulf region, assume leadership of the Sunni World, and revive the Khosrauite Persian Empire.
These factors assisted Iran in formulating an Islamic front against the Americans, the leader of the world community, at times accompanied by the United Nations and the 7th clause of its Charter. The war started with the September 11th attack and the U.S. answered through its entrance into Afghanistan then Iraq. Ten years later, it had become evident that defeat would be certain for the U.S. and its allies, mostly because it had not created a traditional enemy in a traditional camp; rather it created a Jinni with all the connotations of such a word.
A few factors contributed to the American miscalculations:
The United States does not posses England’s expertise in dealing with the Islamic World. The United States, despite its power, is but 3 centuries young, most of which was spent isolated from the outside world, both before and after the Monroe doctrine. It only truly entered the world arena during the outbreak of the Great War. American experts, with their superficial outlook towards the Islamic World, thought that it was living in a backward civilization that would last for centuries, and that this condition would render them a defeated enemy. America would invade and impose its will upon it as it pleased. It would enjoy this hegemony over the Islamic World for few centuries until the latter had reached the proper of level of developmental maturity.
The United States looked at the Islamic World through its defeat by Israel. Yet, there is no comparison between Israel’s population and the population of the Arab World, much less with the Islamic World, so what gives? The mistake in the perception here is that Israel did not truly “defeat” the Islamic World, not the Arab World, not even the Egyptians; it only defeated oppressive militarized regimes indulged in politics, thereby forgetting the art of war – besides many of the regimes are at odds with its population, and such regimes need enemy Israel to maintain its role in controlling its people.
America confused the Arab and Muslim people with their oppressive rulers, thinking that it was dealing with a billion and a half Muslims, while in reality it was the 30 or so despot that it was dealing with, most of, if not all of them acting as cronies of America. When America was forced to deal with a few thousand of Arab and Muslim people (represented by Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations), it found itself, with all its military might, fighting unseen ghost, not knowing when they strike, where they appear and to where they disappear. The question is, what if a billion of those Muslims turned into ghosts?
It is true that there is a gap, civilization wise, between Islam and the Wes and between Israel and the Arabs, but this is merely a temporary transitory gap, created by a regional oppression that would only last by maintaining the current state of backwardness. That state could not survive for long, due to current factors and modern cultural influences: culture of democracy, human rights, the spread of technology and the transformation of the world to become a global village, in which time and distance are reduced to nonexistence, which are destined to triumph. In addition, the Muslims of today are the descendents of Muslims of yesteryear, leaders of civilization in medieval period, from whom Europe acquired its knowledge. They will not start from zero (for they were the ones who invented it); did we forget that human civilization originated in Iraq and Egypt, lasting for tens of centuries before advancing to Greece?
The U.S. viewed the Muslim World in a similar context as to how it perceived the Soviet Union, thinking that if the former Soviet Union’s nuclear capability was a deterrent for America from attacking, then it was a different case with the backward Muslim World, which was banned from entering the nuclear club. The outcome was the Muslim world’s discovery of a more potent weapon than a nuclear arsenal, a weapon America could not face with its traditional armory: suicidal explosion.
America dealt with this new enemy in a confrontational militarized style only. Consequently, based on this erroneous assumption, it sent its troops to fight a mistaken battle at a wrong location. It found itself stuck in a quagmire. Every time it tried to pull itself out, it sank deeper into it; for it is fighting militarily in an arena that is better suited for an ideological warfare. It is impossible for tanks, warplanes and missiles to chase religious concepts out of the mind of a youngster, poised for a bright future, yet hell bent on racing to blow himself up to enter paradise and enjoy the company of those un-betrothed virgins. How is it possible for American military hardware to learn the inward thoughts and feelings of others, or to distinguish between a friend and a foe? That is why an American tank in the streets of Iraq stands still, confused and puzzled. If it were to fire, it might kill innocent people, even some who support it among the Iraqis; and if it stops, destruction befalls it from all directions.
(Worthy note to those interested: one of the numerous differences between ideological and military wars is that the objective of the military approach is to physically annihilate its opponent, whereas the ideological approach’s objective is to save and preserve its adversary. In this war, the real enemy is the ideas and thoughts dominating the average individual’s mind, and by convincing and persuading him with what is right and true, he transforms from an enemy into a friend…).
Through its miscalculations, America has jeopardized its position in many ways:
Your supposed enemy within the confines of the battlefield is unidentifiable, meaning he is a Jinni or a ghost. You could expect a blow from any location…your enemy could be the closest to you…your closest Muslim supporter could turn against you in no time to become an explosive device… (exactly as it is taking place now).
The supposed enemy is not confined to the battlefield or to specific Muslim lands, it now extends to the depth of America and Europe, embedded among American and European Muslims, with their antagonistic propaganda and ideology, they become a fifth column transferring the war to American soil, as it is happening now.
With the ease by which to acquire or to manufacture weapons of mass destruction, from primitive to nuclear, chemical and bacterial devices, and it’s legality in accordance with fundamental Salafi ( in its Wahhabi Sunni or Iranian Shiite components) doctrine, the destruction of Western and American major cities becomes a declared target, pursued by all opposing groups, a possibility that American authorities take every precautionary measure to prevent. (The likelihood of which in the near future is very possible.)
The terrorism camp is ready with its convincing argument: America is the one who came here with its armies, invading our country, killing hundreds of thousands of our innocent relatives, and if it is said they were mistaken casualties, the ready reply would be: who brought you [America] here in the first place?
The near future would bring even a greater threat: the exploding Muslim population. While the White population of Europe and America is on the decline, the Muslim population in Asia and Africa is bursting at the seams; their influx to the West is on the increase, carrying with them their hatred for Judeo-Christian West. Within a few decades, Islam would increase its folds, and Muslims will certainly become the majority in many parts of the world. If this majority decides to bear animosity towards Christianity, Judaism and the West, then there will be massacres awaiting future white generations in America, Europe and Israel. The current American and Israeli policies, through the use of its weaponry, are establishing all the justifications to be used in the near future – say by the middle of this century – by Muslim extremists in explaining, theorizing and implementing the massacres intended for future innocent white generations, who as a minority will paying the price for current American and Israeli policies carried out in our times.
Continuity is one of the main differences between ideological and military wars.
Military warfare uses devices that become obsolete as the war winds down. However, its aftereffects remain vivid in the psyche, carrying hatred, animosity and a burning desire for revenge. Military planes drop their loads; tanks fire its ammunitions. Bullets, rockets, bombs, warplanes, tanks and all military hardware end up as rubble, yet what remains is the victims’ hatred and the desire for revenge. Pictures of the dead and demolished homes atop its inhabitants’ bodies are being recorded, documented and widely circulated in our times. It is being preserved forever. The images’ continuous display renews the victims’ painful cries, agitating the emotions for vengeance from one generation to another. For weapons are not permanent, their effects are – they remain bloody and full of hatred.
Everything is different with ideological wars. When won, its weapons are continuous – permanency is one of its deadliest aftereffects.
The means of ideological war are permanent. They comprise of letters and pictures within an article, a research paper, or a book. It could be a documentary film, a drama or a television program. Most traditional Sunni books about Hadith and Jurisprudence were written and recorded during the Abbasid period, about 12 centuries earlier, yet with its wide printing and circulation it is considered the most valuable ammunition for extremists in their war of ideas against Christians, Jews and the West.
The impact of these (weapons) is permanent, be it in waging war in accordance with the Sunni tradition, or in waging peace by calling for justice and freedom as in the case of the Quranists tradition, using the peaceful reformative approach inspired by lofty Islamic values of freedom, justice, peace, benevolence, tolerance and compassion.
The strange thing is that America tried both approaches in its war with Japan: armed warfare in its ugliest form, and the ideological war in its most brilliant form. America committed its nuclear massacre in Hiroshima and Nagasaki; right afterwards, Japan fell under American occupation, and the United States atoned for its misdeeds by waging a war of ideas. Through that, Japan got rid of its chauvinistic, racist Samurai war society, the culture of imperial despotism, Emperor’s adoration, establishing instead a culture of peace, freedom and democracy. Consequently, Japan rose to become one of the mightiest economical and industrial powerhouses in the world and one of the greatest friends for America, thereby forgetting and forgiving the twin massacres of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Is it possible for America to employ the war of ideas to reform Muslims and to confront the culture of terrorism from within Islam itself?
This is what was ignored by the New American Strategy formulated by President Obama, only one year after he addressed the Muslim World from Cairo.
One a final note: this New American strategy is insufficient, though it does not consider the Muslim world as an enemy, rather the terrorists only. However, it does lack a clear stipulation indicating the adoption of the war of ideas as a tool in interacting with the Muslim World. The “war of ideas” absolutely does not mean animosity to Muslims. On the contrary, it means rescuing Muslims through political, educational, social and religious reforms, from within Islam, thus confronting religious extremism by showing its contradiction to Islam.
Lastly, please do not forget that the number of Muslim victims of extremism, religious and otherwise, by far exceeds all non-Muslim victims.