Learning The Wrong Lessons

This morning’s Boston Globe has a column today that talks about the lessons to be learned from some recent terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, they learned the wrong lessons.

According to the Glob’s editors, the terrorists (mainly personified in Al Qaeda and its wannabes) are mainly interested in overthrowing governments in Muslim nations that they view as corrupt or not sufficiently Islamic. They only get mad at us when we meddle with them, so we ought to leave them alone.

It’s a nice little fantasy. It’s warm and fuzzy and hopeful and precisely the kind of thing that led to 9/11.

Apparently the Globe thinks that once the terrorists have overthrown the governments they don’t like (and replaced them with Islamist tyrannies, but the Glob glosses over that little detail), they’ll stop and be content. They don’t seem to actually listen to the Islamists, who say that their goal is a three-step process: first, to bring “true Islam” (meaning their version of Islam) to the Islamic world. Then comes step two: to reclaim all lands once held by Muslims, because once a land belongs to Islam, it is Islam’s forever. (Take careful note, Europe — a good chunk of Spain qualifies, as well as parts of other nations.) Finally, step three — the rest of the world.

Sound a bit hysterical? Then you haven’t been paying attention. According to Islamists, the world is divided into two segments — Dar Al Islam (House Of Islam) and Dar Al Harb (House Of War). The goal is to expand the former until it encompasses all of the latter. “Encompasses” being the polite term for “conquer.”

There’s a term for giving an aggressor what they ask for in the hopes it’ll satisfy them. And appeasement has a wonderful track record.

For failure.

And there is another danger to this theory — “let them do what they want over there, and they’ll leave us alone.” As we saw in Afghanistan, a terrorist group with the resources of a nation behind them can wreak incredible havoc on the world. That was Afghanistan, whose biggest natural resources are opium and rocks. Toss in the incredible oil resources of Saudi Arabia, the nuclear weapons of Pakistan, Indonesia’s position vis-a-vis shipping channels, and the key strategic placement of Egypt (with the Suez Canal, which allows cargo to avoid going around all of Africa), just to name four nations threatened by Islamist terrorists, and we see the dangers of letting the Islamists have their way.

It’s too bad that scientists have disproved the myths of the ostrich sticking its head in the sand to hide and lemmings running off cliffs in mass suicides. They’d be perfect metaphors for the Boston Globe’s attitude.

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