We have met the enemy, and this is them.
Posted by sanityinjection on August 3, 2009
Americans are tired of war and military intervention in foreign countries. Some no doubt cast their vote for President in 2008 in part with that frustration in mind. And the weariness is understandable. No one can be blase about young American soldiers coming home in body bags.
It’s understandable, then to question why we are fighting. After all, it’s been almost a decade now since America was attacked by terrorists. Is the threat really still that serious?
It’s important to remember the nature of the foe we are facing. Unlike Americans, the terrorists do not weary of the struggle, because they do not have Xboxes and swimming pools and American Idol to go back to. They are not concerned with whether their goals can be practically achieved, because to them dying in the course of struggle is preferable to not struggling at all.
With this in mind I offer this article on Boko Haram, a homegrown Nigerian al Qaeda that unleashed five days of terror on a northern province of that country until federal authorities intervened. Boko Haram means “Western education is sinful,” and this is a brief glimpse at their program for mankind:
“He was taken from his house by Boko Haram. They stabbed him and he was losing blood…They insisted he was to convert to a Muslim. He refused, so on that basis they killed him.”
This philosophy at least has the virtue of simplicity. Groups like Boko Haram do not spend much time and energy agonizing over ethics or human rights, or arguing about when violence is justified the way we do. In fact, they must enjoy quite a serenity after being brainwashed: the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, if you will.
Let’s recall that Nigeria is not a Middle Eastern country, and indeed is predominantly Muslim. This action had nothing to do with Israel or the Palestinians or US troops being in the Middle East. This was very simply a case of religious fanatics trying to violently impose their beliefs on fellow Muslims and non-Muslims alike in their own country. But it is in no way different from the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Hamas, Lashkar in Pakistan, or any of the assorted Islamic terrorist groups. Let the point be underscored: These people cannot be appeased. They cannot be bought off. They cannot be reasoned with, they cannot be negotiated with. America’s abandonment of its international responsibilities and national security interests would not pacify the Boko Harams of the world. On the contrary, it would embolden them and spur them on to greater violence, knowing that the one consistent champion of peace and freedom in the world is out of the fight.
So if you wonder why we must send our troops overseas to fight in strange lands, here is my answer: So that it will not be your father getting the knife in the side of the stomach.