We still do not get it. The good citizens of this country are tearing into each other over the war in Iraq. The real issue is NOT IRAQ! The real issue is ideas. The anti-war crowd thinks that we are wrong to fight a war in a country that was not a threat militarily. They do not understand the US has to show the enemy that we will make a stand in the global conflict of competing ideologies. Our navel-gazing, self-absorded hand wringing over the moral basis of this war reveals the short-sightedness of their perspective.
On the other hand, the Administration has had five years to educate the country about its goals and strategies, apparently to no effect. The citizens, for the most part, do not understand the larger issues beyond the short-term emotional urges of honor and pride. Even today, in the halls of Congress, our elected leaders cannot differentiate between the major sects of the Islamic religion. Their ignorance, especially among those "in charge" of important committees, is appalling and an unforgivable shortcoming.
So it is not surprising, in a sense, to read this. The author notes, in part:
What is amazing is that, five years and billions of dollars after 9-11, we are falling behind in the conflict. We are not even really competing in the field of ideas, and we have done little to mitigate the broader problems.
Part of the problem is that there is still no general consensus on who the enemy is and if a war exists. Until we decide that, little else of import can happen.
The enemy is the ideology and theology that is still be funded by billions of dollars a year to spread its poison. There are two different poisons-the Salafist-Sunni version funded by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, and the Shia poison funded by Iran. Both are aimed at killing us before they turn on each other.
The Washington Post has the full report here.
It’s disturbing to me that, in a country that has created the universal freedom of ideas, we have so blithely given up on the notion that what we represent to the world is not worthy of defending. That despite our proud history of freedom we are not willing to fight and die for our most cherished, important principles. That we think so little of the notion of freedom that we are not willing to help those peoples who seek to achieve what has been ours for more than two hundred years.
Are we living in the last years of our Ozymandian empire?