Thursday, March 24, 2016

Stop Feeding the Monster

After the tragedies of the bombings in Turkey, Belgium, and several other countries over the last few days, it would appear that radical Islam is taking over. Nothing could be further from the truth, but not if you listen to the media. In fact, the global media are the most powerful ally of radical Islam.

Without the attention put on their actions, the movement would slowly die out. Radical Islam is not new. It has been around since the beginning of the religion. Just as radical Christianity hit its height during the Crusades, the current global jihad will eventually fade. Generations will suffer, of that there is no doubt, but in the long run humanity will survive this insanity and go on to find new forms of insanity with which to torture and kill.

The one reason this particular horror will continue long beyond its due is the attention it is given by a prurient and scandal-starved media. The original Crusades had no worldwide media coverage. News of its victories and defeats took months or years to travel from one place to another. Today, news of a bombing in Brussels is broadcast to every corner of the world within minutes, with video and audio highlighting the terror while the newscaster gives a mandatory and half-hearted warning about how disturbing the images might be.

The terrorists know this. It is not a hard lesson to learn. It won the Vietnam War for the North Vietnamese forces in the 1970s. The VC and NVA were beaten and they knew it. It would take an all-out, last-ditch effort to convince the US media that they were still strong and give the impression they were gaining ground to push the US forces into retreat. Never mind the NVA were down to their last men and their supplies were dwindling. Colonel Bui Tin, who served on the NVA General Staff, said in a 1995 interview with the Wall Street Journal, 

"Support for the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us... The conscience of America was part of its war-making capability, and we were turning that power in our favor. America lost because of its democracy; through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win... We had the impression that American commanders had their hands tied by political factors. Your generals could never deploy a maximum force for greatest military effect."

Even though the US and the North Vietnamese came to an agreement that resulted in the removal of US forces two years before the fall of Saigon, that event is still considered to be a signal of US defeat in the war. Much is misunderstood about that conflict and about the waging of wars military and ideological since the beginning of the nuclear age. 

The conflict with radical Islam is one of constant struggle against an undefined and unidentifiable enemy. The days of uniformed combatants and banners and logos is passing. When you cannot tell who the enemy is, it is easy to consider everyone the enemy. Thus, all Muslims become enemy. Just as during the Crusades, everyone in the cities under siege -- Muslim, Christian, Jew, whatever -- were considered enemy.

What boggles my mind is that when the current radical Islamic murder is criticized, some people point to the Crusades and say the Christians did the same thing. It is as if they are saying the murders being carried out today are allowable because murder was done in the past. This kind of thinking is perverse in the extreme. Just because atrocities were executed in the past does not justify further murder.

Yes, millions died in the name of Christianity. No one denies that, but we don't try to justify that by pointing to the previous Muslim Crusade from the late 7th to 12th centuries that killed, maimed, and enslaved millions across northern Africa, eastern Europe, and into Spain. War is a horrible thing, but to kill in the name of one's God is more horrible still.

As long as the unintended glorification of radical Islam continues, it will grow. Just as the American media fed the fears and prejudices of middle America and made the monster we know as Donald Trump a possible presidential candidate, the global media will eventually create a religious war that could possibly tear East and West apart in a conflict that could mean the end of civilization as we know it. That may sound extreme, but consider how US political stances have become so radical in the last twenty years. Extend that into the global theater and put a religious cloak over it.

It is a chilling and terrifying possibility.