Monday, March 19, 2007

Who would have thought?

By reading about Worldwide protests as Iraq war enters fifth year and that Few Iraqis trust U.S. forces four years on and that Four years on, war costs Bush at home and abroad [what is it with Reuters and four years on?], you would never guess that violence has been slashed as troop surge hits Baghdad.

Murderous sectarian checkpoints have melted away as the Iraqi security forces and American troops extend their grip on the capital. Abu Mohammed, a 34-year-old taxi driver, who lives in the largely Shi’ite Sha’ab district in northern Baghdad, said: “Sometimes I would stop and wait for an hour or two rather than take a chance on passing a fake checkpoint with a customer. “We were so scared; anybody could be followed and assassinated.”

Figures released last week by Brigadier Qassim al-Moussawi, an Iraqi military spokesman, showed civilian deaths down from 1,440 in the four weeks before the surge began on February 14 to 265 in the four weeks that followed, although there may have been some undercounting. According to the American military, assassination attempts were down by 50%.

The number of US deaths was also down, from 87 to 66, although the concentration of troops in Baghdad led to an increase of 12% in fatalities in the capital.

Frederick Kagan, a military historian and leading advocate of the surge, said: “It is very early days but I’m very encouraged by what is happening. America only has two brigades out of five there and we haven’t even started our major operations yet. I had not expected this little resistance.”

Give our troops time, give the Iraqi's a chance to establish peace and order. It will come if we let it. The alternative is victory to the bloodthirsty jihadists, the Islamic fascists, and to the altar of "Theocratic Nihilism," as Christopher Hitchens so eloquently put it.

After all, as an Arab apologest in Arab News noted, Iraq's neighbors will be of little help, for they have to date been virtually mute on terrorism. And they're proud of it:

It is very easy to give simple answers to difficult questions. Anyone can do it, even George W. Bush. Why do they hate us? Because we elect our leaders. Why Muslims kill Muslims? Because they hate each other. Why young Muslims turn into suicide bombers? Because they hate life. Why no progress in the Middle East? Because Arabs are born lazy and backward. Why Islamic terror? Because Islam inspires violence and condones terrorism. Where is the Muslim outrage? Don’t hold your breath! They all support terror.

Simplistic, needless tautology

American columnist Thomas Friedman, in a recent article, wants to know why Muslims are mostly mute toward suicide bombing. He fully knows why 1,300 million Muslims are angry, and he also knows that only a few thousand Muslims are in a violent mode. As an “Israel-First” American, he must have known that his uniformed terrorists in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan kill thousands of civilians for every enemy combatant they eliminate, and destroy towns and villages for every enemy cell they demolish.

The terrorists in nice suits and cool uniforms are the ones who drive young men and women to so much desperation that life equals death to them. Some find no weapons to fight back the superpowers of the day but their own bodies. In World War II, the European resistance fighters were called martyrs when they jumped the enemy’s guns. The Japanese, who did similarly, were called maniacs. In our case, they are called terrorists. Victor’s justice includes name-calling.“Where is the outrage?” Friedman “innocently” asks. Answer: The public outrage due is against your wars on Islam and Muslims. Our terrorists fight us as much as they fight you, and we are fighting them back. Listen to our mosques and follow our media and you will find lots of battles, speeches, fatwas and articles against them — that is if you don’t limit your readings to Israeli MEMRI (founded and run by a former Mossad colonel).

And he sets conditions for Muslim condemnation of terrorist murderers

Yes, we have our hate speakers and fear merchants, but they are mostly in caves and prisons, hunted and doomed. Yours, however, are members of legislative bodies. They lead legitimate governments, businesses, churches, synagogues and media organizations. Friedman is trying to compete with a league of villains like Ann Coulter, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, James C. Dobson, and Franklin Graham. Google them out and see what kind of hate speeches they make against Arabs and Muslims every day. Our extremists are civilized in comparison. If you want us to go out of our way to denounce our extremists, you should show us the way by denouncing yours. It takes two to tango.

If the average Muslim on the Arab street has friends like this - with governments unable, unwilling and uninterested in denouncing terrorism because of [always somebody else's fault] American pundits [Television hosts, writers and blowhards] which incredulously make their extremists seem "civilized by comparison."

I don't know about you, but I'd rather have a barrage of xenophobic, patriotic lingo shot in my direction than the lethal, indiscriminate munitions from an AK-47.

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