Courtesy of StrategyPage.
In the West, the object of the war on terror is to stop the terrorism. In the Islamic world, the goal is the same, but only if you are in an area subject to terrorism. This particular angle is often overlooked in the West. But if you go take a look at Islamic, particularly Arab, media, you will find some very scary stuff on this subject. Mainstream, mass media kind of scary stuff, not obscure, fringe kind of scary stuff. How scary? How about "news" that calls suicide bombers, attacking Western targets, heroes, and praises their work. This stuff rarely gets translated into English, for inclusion in English versions of Arab media. It's apparently considered an insider thing, a family secret that is best not shared with the rest of the world.
This stuff is nothing new. On September 11, 2001, Western expatriates working in Arab countries were shocked to see many of their Arab co-workers quite happy with the two towers coming down. High fives all around. When some expats confronted Arabs associates about this, they got a shrug, or perhaps a muttered, "you wouldn't understand." Apparently not. Opinion polls in late 2001 showed Arab populations rather sympathetic towards the suicide terrorists who killed all those kafirs (non-Moslems). The Arabs also tended to be against the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan, and even more hostile towards the invasion of Iraq. But when al Qaeda started setting off bombs in Saudi Arabia, public opinion there quickly turned against Islamic terrorists. Same thing happened in Jordan, when an al Qaeda suicide bomber massacred Moslems attending a wedding.
Al Qaedas popularity has declined, year by year, as the terrorists continue to slaughter Moslems in Iraq. Yet the same Arabs who condemn killing Moslems in Iraq, are more forgiving when the victims are kafirs. In other words, a lot of Moslems talk peaceful coexistence, but approve of Islamic terrorists killing non-Moslems.
Many Moslems know that this attitude will not play well in the West. Thus the official policy of Moslem countries is to condemn Islamic terrorists. Yet the mass media in those countries is rather more sympathetic to these killers. There is also a tolerance for talk of a global Islamic empire (the "caliphate," despite the fact that the last one that meant anything went away a thousand years ago.)
Palestinian mass media is particularly effusive towards Islamic terrorists, especially if they are killing Israelis. Same with Iranian mass media. When Saddam was in power, it was the same in Iraq. With Saddam gone, and Iraqi media uncensored, there's still a lot of praise for "holy martyrs" (except for the ones killing Iraqis).
Many in the West believe that all this pro-terrorist talk will go away once economic prosperity comes to the Islamic world. Somewhat, but keep in mind that most middle and upper class Moslems share these pro-terrorist attitudes. So let's just face the fact that, if you are a kafir (and most people on the planet are), a whole lot of Moslems want you dead or converted to Islam. Unless you're Jewish, in which case only dead will do. You can look it up. In the Arab media.
In the terminology of Mao, the jihadists of our era have a very large 'sea' to swim in, a sea of hundreds of millions of Muslims that reside in every nation on the planet. When I lived in Malaysia, the only terrorists ever mentioned specifically in the local media were the ones from the Great or Little Satan. All the other Islamic terrorists, no matter how craven or barbaric their actions, were invariably referred to as 'militants', 'resistance fighters', 'rebels', 'insurgents', etc.
What do you do when faced with a psychosis on a planetary scale?
Welcome to the 21st century. Have a nice day.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Courtesy of StrategyPage.