Over at Strategy Page, there’s a little something on what is going on – sort of a disagreement on how best continue the fight against the Taliban (Warrior vs Wimps). It seems that many of our NATO allies certainly do not see the war on Islamofascists the same we do. Their attitude seems to bribe ’em to shut up.
Upon a split second of reflection, this tends to summarize the disagreement between the Right and the Left here in this country (contrast the pronouncements of President Bush and Speaker Pelosi – a war to be won vs a situation to be managed).
There’s a basic disagreement over how to deal with terrorism. Some countries see the Islamic terrorists as a tangible enemy, who can be tracked down, fought and defeated. Others see Islamic terrorists as a bunch of criminals, that must be hunted down and arrested by police. All this comes apart in Afghanistan, where the Islamic terrorists move about in armed groups of over a hundred men, terrorizing, and killing, anyone who does not agree with them. You would think the Wimp countries would at least be willing to send their troops out to try and arrest these nasty fellows. But, no. That’s because the Wimps not only consider the Islamic terrorists criminals, but also criminals that you can make deals with. The basic deal in Afghanistan is, if we don’t send our troops after you, then maybe you won’t set off bombs in our countries. No one wants to say this out loud, but this has been a blatant policy of many European nations for decades. September 11, 2001 gave these countries a shock, but that wore off, and now they are back to trying to cut deals with the bad guys. And criticizing the more active counter-terror players for making the bad guys angry.
The difference in outlook is stark – win or lose, or make the bad guys simmer down and shut up.
Wonder what those people killed, or their familes, think of "cutting deals".
Much of this, I believe, is because it is happening "there" vs "here". I am NOT one of those that wishes for another attack to "wake people up" – life is too precious for that to be a mainstay of my life. But I reluctantly believe that many will not take this clash of civilizations seriously enough unless it becomes personal and close.