Monday, July 12, 2010

Scope of the war

One problem everyone faces is the ‘fog of war’. In addition, we all see what we want to. Toss in the fact that the news media has the problem of seeing just about everything through a political lens. This makes it difficult to separate the important events from the rest, not to mention seeing past your own prejudices. In reference to the BIG picture, it is easy to draw incorrect understandings of what is happening. This will be particularly more difficult as we enter into what I am calling the ‘Quiet time’. This is the quiet before the storm.

The U.S. is withdrawing from Iraq. We have announced our intention to withdraw from Afghanistan beginning in July of 2011. I fully expect our forces to be at least publicly out of both countries prior to the beginning of the presidential election cycle of 2012. Supposedly, this will end the war. A major problem that I see here is that this war is much too large for this to be the case. However, with direct engagement by the U.S. military winding down, the amount of combat will fall. Hence, our enemy’s attrition as a result of engagement with our military will also fall. It will take some time (Probably years) before our enemies will have redeployed enough assets to raise the level of attacks to the point where open warfare is the obvious thing to do. A major problem is the size of the populations that are in conflict.

I found this poll just a few months ago. It helps me understand the scope of the problem. 83% of Pakistanis believe stoning the adulteress to death should punish adultery. Almost half of the population of Indonesia backs the practice. This indicates that well over a hundred million people favor this practice, just in these two countries alone! This type of issue is as volatile as slavery and abortion. And like getting rid of slavery, (it remains to be seen about abortion) people will not change their minds without open violence. (Example: Nigeria)

A number of practices within Islamic law have no place in the modern world. Stoning is one of the worst. In general, I am not a proponent of interference within other countries. If a government decides that they want the death penalty, it is their business. I would like to point out how stoning is a barbaric practice that must go. Bury a person up to their waste or chest and throw rocks at them until dead? I am not sorry that this practice must go, and I am not sorry if we have to wage warfare to end it. However, one major problem is much larger than just this one issue.

Islamic law is in question here. Ignoring or dropping the stoning ‘clause’ will overrule an important Islamic law. Islamic law is very rigid and not subject to change. Your choice is to either enforce or ignore. As is being seen all over the world, resistance to ignoring Islamic law is being fought violently. Stoning is only one of the laws where this issue of violence triggered by ignoring Islamic law is found. And well over a hundred million people just in Pakistan and Indonesia favor stoning! This is just one of the issues that are the cause of the wars. The people who favor this practice are fielding an army in order to establish a government that will enforce these rules. And many that live in other countries also back this ‘religious’ army because they back many of the concepts within Islam that are so hostile to the United States and the rest of the world. Not only is this ideology hostile, it is aggressive. Like those who supported slavery, they understand that this ideology needs to grow. When held in check, the supporters become violently aggressive. When it is growing, the supporters find it easy to become more agreeable. However, it does not change any of the basic concepts.

While I do not favor interference within other countries jurisdiction, this problem is so widespread that it is of international concern. Similar to dealing with fascism and slavery, acceptance and working with those who support this ideology can only postpone the day of decision. The longer this takes the more of a disadvantage those who are against it will find themselves. It can only be a matter of time before WMD are used. This will make any conventional war that could be fought to limit this ideology a minor war in comparison.

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