Tuesday, August 02, 2005

An Arab Speaks Sense

From Melanie Phillips Diary and Arab News Dr. Mohanned T. Al-Rasheed writes:

The summer of heat and bombs continues unabated. The condemnations of terrorism are deafening yet meaningless. Are we to get used to the sight of the wounded being carried away from beaches, hotels, and transport modes? As for the dead, the charred bodies leave nothing to contemplate.
The Brits have tempted fate with their “stiff upper lip” till their police lost their cool and killed an innocent man. Chalk up one more for the terrorists. The Egyptians on television keep telling the world that it was “imported” and could not have been an Egyptian that did the Sharm atrocities. Well, possible, but Ayman Zawaheri is an Egyptian and bosom buddy of Bin Laden.
Are we seeing and experiencing the dementia and frustration of the powerless? I think we are. The world seems impotent for the time being in the face of these atrocities. The world does not lack the means to combat this menace. The history of humanity is full of such struggles and invariably the majority wins and terror recedes. But today we lack the will to combat it. If you want to catch a fish, you do not go to the desert. And if you want to catch a terrorist you do not man tube stations. Once you are in the station trying to catch the perpetrator, you have already lost the game. The most effective way to combat vermin is to strike at their breeding grounds and not under your sink.
It took a heavy price for Tony Blair to recognize that he is fighting an “ideology.” Good for him. Now that this basic premise is clear, let us see what he is to do about it. Rushing off to war in Iraq did not bring terror to London. Those who are in their ivory towers pontificating about this matter are wrong — dead wrong! For once Blair is right and he should be supported unconditionally.
It is too late to ask for American and British withdrawal from Iraq. If that happens, Iraq will sink into a more gruesome, if at all imaginable, bloodbath and bring down the area with it. So let us stop discussing this matter for the time being and concentrate on the real and dangerous issue: Terror at home and abroad — home being where you actually live and abroad is just about fifty yards from where you are all the way to the South Pole.
Here is the solution: If we know that at least one of the London bombers is a teenager, and assume that many in Iraq and elsewhere are of the same age, the question is what sort of brainwashing pushes these people to do what they do. If you talk to government officials you will not get anywhere. They will simply tell you that they “condemn” it. Go to the streets, enter the schools, and infiltrate the dreamy paradise-seekers. In their eyes, if not in their actions, you will find the answers.
Read the books that their mentors publish and distribute for free. If you must, dress up your best agents as veiled drag queens and send them to “study” in those madrasas. Listen to the voices in the wilderness that are crying for help. Trust that your global interests are best served by helping those who want to bring their children up as citizens of the world and not by tying them to short-term political gains. In other words, be a visionary and not simply a mundane politician.
One question to Mr. Blair: Do you, sir, want to be an Eden who fought to preserve an empire that did not exist, or a Churchill who saw his empire swallowed and chose to save the homeland?

You just read the whole thing. Indeed

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