Robert Wright’s idiocy is truly a sight to behold. For those of you who don’t know who he is (and I don’t blame you), he’s the editor-in-chief of a blog nobody reads and a weekly online opinion columnist for a pathetic newspaper in decline. Despite his irrelevance, I think it’s important to point out his foolish misunderstanding of the global Jihad. His June 29th NYT opinion piece, The Myth of Modern Jihad is an attack on a Daniel Pipes article and an assessment Faisal Shahzad’s recent guilty plea as the failed Times Square Bomber. Wright, as do many other progressive knuckleheads and half-wits, suggests that we may be able to win the war against Jihadists if we would only immediately withdraw from Afghanistan and stop using military force against Muslim countries altogether.
Now we have Shahzad suggesting roughly the opposite — that the holy war could end if America would stop using military force. He said in court, “Until the hour the U.S. pulls its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and stops the drone strikes in Somalia and Yemen and in Pakistan and stops the occupation of Muslim lands and stops killing the Muslims and stops reporting the Muslims to its government, we will be attacking U.S., and I plead guilty to that.”
Should we really take this testimony seriously? It does, after all, have an air of self-dramatizing grandstanding. Then again, terrorism is a self-dramatizing, grandstanding business, and there’s no reason to think this particular piece of theater isn’t true to Shahzad’s interior monologue.
Indeed, it tracks the pitch of jihadist recruiters, notably Anwar Awlaki, the American sheik in Yemen who inspired not just Shahzad but the Fort Hood shooter and the thwarted underwear bomber. The core of the pitch is that America is at war with Islam, and the evidence cited includes Shahzad’s litany: Iraq, Afghanistan, drone strikes, etc.
Of course, this litany amounts to pretty severe terms for peace. Shahzad says terrorism will continue until we end two wars and all drone strikes? And quit “reporting” suspicious Muslims to our government? Anything else we can do for him?
But as a practical matter, taking any of these issues off the table weakens the jihadist recruiting pitch. (Different potential recruits, after all, are sensitive to different issues.) And if we could take the Afghanistan war off the table, that would be a big one.
Haven’t we gone over this before? Despite the overwhelming amount of evidence to the contrary, Wright decides to take a portion of Shahzad’s comments at face value in order to justify his leftist anti-war agenda. Wright once again falls pretty to the Islamists efforts to sway public opinion in the West and to portray themselves as victims of imperialist oppression. If the Jihad is merely a reaction to American involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, Israel, or other hotspots in the Middle East, why does the Jihad continue daily in places like Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Chechnya, Nigeria, and Europe? Wright would be wise to brush up on his Jihadist history by watching our flash video “What Every American Needs to Know About Jihad.”
As Samuel Huntington brilliantly noted in The Clash of Civilizations, “Wherever one looks along the perimeter of Islam, Muslims have problems living peacefully with their neighbors…Islam’s borders are bloody, and so are its innards.”