Thursday, January 31, 2008

Terrorism and Jihad

Jihad means ‘holy war’. This description of Jihad is about as informative as ‘lightning war’ describing Blitzkrieg. I can’t think of a single war in the thousands that I have studied where people did NOT want the war to end quickly. Everyone ALWAYS wants a ‘lightening war’. But what was Blitzkrieg?

Germany used a new formation, the panzer division. They took about 400 tanks, placed them into a 2 square mile area. They would use this formation to punch a hole in an enemy line. They would do this in 4 places, 30 miles apart from each other. They would link all of them together 100 miles behind the enemy line. This would create a hole 90 miles wide and 100 miles deep. No army in the world could hold that front. In many cases, the war would be over. THAT was Blitzkrieg.

What does Jihad really mean?

Traditional Islam views the world as being in one of two houses. You are either in the house of Islam, or in the house of war. You are either Muslim, or you are an infidel. Islam has 4 enemies:
1) Infidels
2) Apostates (People who have left Islam)
3) Rebels
4) Bandits

Fighting Infidels and Apostates qualify as Jihad. In Jihad, you qualify for booty in this world, paradise in the next. The penalty for leaving Islam is death. (Apostate) The implication is that you can kill Infidels and Apostates and seize property. Want to start a war? Here is one of the most effective ways that I have ever seen. (I have seen quite a few)

A major problem here is this is NOT the view of a few, fanatical people. As Bernard Lewis points out "For most of the fourteen hundred years of Muslim history, Jihad has been MOST COMMONLY interpreted as being ARMED struggle for the advancement and defense of Muslim power".

Think a political solution is available for this? It makes sense why a political solution has been so difficult to accomplish in the Arab-Israeli confrontation. Ex-President Bill Clinton is probably one of the best political strategists that this country has produced in the post World War II era. His Oslo agreement ended in open warfare between the two signatories. (No fault of his)

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