Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Edit Copy shifts its focus

I do not believe that we are at the dawn of World War Three. Nor is this the beginning of some new crusade. However, as 2006 has progressed, I have grown increasingly concerned about the direction of our military and political efforts against radical Islam. I believe the readers of this blog are very well informed, but here are some recent events that have shaped my judgement.

February saw the destruction of the Samarra Shrine, one of the most important mosques in Shiite Islam. From that point onward, the sectarian conflict in Iraq jumped into a catastrophic cycle of violence. There have been difficult negotiations with Iran throughout the year. Just this summer, we have seen the death of Zarqawi, a terrorist attack in Mumbai, a stalemate between Hezbollah and Israel, and accelerated video production output from al Qaeda -- warning of more violence. Pakistan has also entered into a non-aggression pact with tribes affiliated to the Pakistani Taliban. Last and perhaps most disappointing, in the wake of the fifth anniversay of 9/11, the Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan -- copying successful tactics from Iraq. Additionally, the genocide in the Sudan will be counted among one of this century's worst failures.

It might have been apparent for some time, but the focus on this blog has intensified on the military and political conflicts against Radical Islam. There may yet be domestic topics to discuss on this site, but this seems to be the exception rather than the rule. For this reason, I am taking steps to more noticeably direct this blog's attention on the disparate conflicts against Radical Islam.

Moreover, as my attention has focused on these conflicts, my perception for judging these conflicts has changed. I no longer see any possibility of a non-military response to Radical Islam in a number of its incarnations. I favor diplomacy. But, I am increasingly pessimistic on its chances for success. It should be noted that these diplomatic paths were not closed to the United States in 2002 and 2003. Our actions have made the world a more difficult place.

On a personal note, I have just returned from another weekend in Manhattan. If it is possible to love a city, then I am in love with that one. It's been just over five years from the terrible 11th day in September, 2001. I would also like to note that there have been tragic days in Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Iraq, Spain, Afghanistan, India, etc. since that morning. I hope that some day soon, our world will be a safer place. Today, and for the foreseeable future, competent military strategy must accompany our political and diplomatic efforts. The analysis of these three efforts shall be the focus of this blog.

This photo is from Silverstein Properties, depicting the plan for Ground Zero. Once these towers are built, they must be protected -- just as any innocent person on this planet deserves to live in safety.


Blogger zen said...

I've enjoyed reading this blog for quite some time now. I appreciate the enormous effort and attention that you put into it. It is a nice respite from the noise elsewhere to find factual, detailed and accurate information. I wish you well as you refocus your aim.

As I beleive you are aware, I made mention that this years passing of 9/11 seemed so very different than in years past. I still cannot put my finger directly on why, other than to say that I am increasingly exhausted of the bad news, spin, and disappointment in our leadership and their failures.

As well, I have been giving more thought to the specifics of what makes radical Islam so volitile. I am not certain that it can be rooted in religion itself, rather I Islam as but a vehicle—a tool—for those in power to manipulate the oppressed and those that have given up on this life, in the hope that the next will be better. I see it as an old tune, being played out yet again generation after generation.

I'd like to engage more with you on these thoughts, if you think it's interesting.

8:09 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate them imensely.

I agree that it is not Islam qua Islam that leads to violence. If it were, there would be many more militants on the planet.

There was a very different feel to this 9/11. I was on the island from 9/8 to 9/10. More and more of my close friends are living on Manhattan island.

I am greatly disatisfied with this administration. At present, I think our strategy is alienating allies and creating potential enemies. At the same time, we don't have enough troops to accomplish the mission as it is defined. This leaves us in a terrible position. It is my hope that I can focus on this subject matter and provide some helpful insight.

Thanks again.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

You’re doing a heck of a job my dear C.E.!

Read this man’s works if you want to understand the threat posed by “radical Islam” an overtly aggressive and expansionist ideology...mainly based on the Hebrew Pentateuch.

9:01 PM  
Blogger zen said...

What really stirs deep resentment in me for the political situation in this country is the complete disregard for facts and realities that we are facing. The entire administration is out in full Rovian force to wash over investigated reports about the war. They care only about winning the political argument, and care nothing about what is right. And they don't place any value in winning that argument through valid, reasoned, factual debate.
It pains me to consider where we are headed as a nation, as a society, if there is no common ground founded in confirmed facts and data. It is surreal and it sickens me.
Fortunately, I think it's becoming obvious in to many. The desperation has been transparent for some time, but it feels as if they don't even care any longer. Aye!

Are you familiar with Alaa Al Aswany? He had a small interview in the current National Geographic and makes some very interesting points. Link. One of these days I'm going to post on the abuse of religion and the broad misperceptions in the US of who is attacking us, why, and why I think that. Just forming opinions and gathering ideas now. And why I'm soliciting your thoughts as well...:)

9:03 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Thanks Doc. Thanks also for the attention you bring my page on your page.

Zen, I will check out your link tonight.

The complete disregard for sensible policy leaves me speechless. I don't understand how they can cheat and lie to that degree. Cheney is still doing it about AQ and Saddam and 9.11. Even when his boss says there was no link on a major address! Do they even talk? (<-- rhetorical) I know what is going on. One talks to one side, the other to a different side. Politicians have been two faced for some time. Now the electorate is two faced.

My MAJOR concern is that this incompetence will lead to more violence against our population, against the entire world, and we'll lose our republic because of it.

9:25 PM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Both of these links were very good reads. Thank you.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Joerg said...

"I no longer see any possibility of a non-military response to Radical Islam in a number of its incarnations. I favor diplomacy. But, I am increasingly pessimistic on its chances for success."

Isn't the opposite also true?
Aren't you (like me) also increasingly pessimistic on the chances for success of military responses to Radical Islamcists?

My opinion:
We are in a huge mess. The challenges are enourmous. It does not look good.

We need much more than just military responses.

We need the military, but also better intelligence services and police and law enforcement efforts etc. in order to fight the terrorists.

And we need all kinds of diplomatic efforts to prevent the terrorists from recruiting more and more followers and supporters. We need to work with moderates so that they become wistleblowers and informants and fight the radicals themselves. The military can't achieve that. Diplomacy is not perfect, but the only chance we got for that.

Limiting the war on terrorism on the military is insufficient and dangerous, but I guess you think so too, right?

7:33 AM  
Blogger Publia said...

A writer who understands supreme excellence must not only be smart, but a thinker. As a believer in making calculations in the temple, and always remembering that the dead cannot be brought back to life, I'm linking you on my blogroll.

4:14 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

Thank you, Publia. I'm going to visit your blog now.

12:47 PM  

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