Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Hell no! We won't go!

From Tom Hilton late last week.

There it is: it comes from al Qaeda. They may or may not have posted it after Obama's executive order (none of the stories is any more specific than 'this week'), but at the very least it coincides with the arrival of a new President who has consistently said he plans to close Guantanamo.

'Coincides.' Right.

So it seems to me the big story here is not that one former Guantanamo detainee joined al Qaeda (whether because the administration blew it in the first place, or because he was radicalized by the Guantanamo experience, or maybe both); the big story is that al Qaeda is trying to sabotage efforts to close Guantanamo.

Well, Al Qaeda may be heartened to have Eric Fehrnstrom working in concert with them on this one. Well, not that heartened, but beggars can't be choosers. While there's probably no love lost, he throws out a few helping hands.

Bush generously gave us a choice of names in describing the terrorist forces: "Islamic radicalism," "militant Jihadism," and "Islamo-fascism."

Our enemy is distinguishable from the religion of Islam, but also a subset of it. Tony Blair called it "a strain within the worldwide religion of Islam." Those who belong to it want to establish a religious caliphate. They demand the end of Western influence in their lands. They call for the annihilation of the Israeli state and the collapse of the United States, economically and militarily.

As should be obvious, our tying emnity to America and terrorist violence to Islam is a question of identity. And that's a funny thing about identity. Imposing it can create enemies where they weren't before.

Anyway, this little masterpiece is titled "Guantanamo: A symbol of US resolve." Which it is. Any stupid thing you continue to do after you should know better is a symbol of resolve.


susan said...

I'm really waiting for cutbacks in the US military budget but that subject is so far off the table it's not even in the next room or around the block. As the world economy continues to totter toward collapse at least there's still an employer of last resort. You might find in this article an interesting counterpoint to making real enemies from imaginary ones.

susan said...

Oops, counterpoint was the wrong word. I meant to say addendum.

Ben said...

I got what you meant. And that's a very interesting article. The fact that these apopleptic comments on the book are coming from American bloggers (has this book even been published in the US?) lends some credence to the assertion that there's more free speech on that issue in Israel than there is here.