Sunday, September 03, 2006

American al Qaida speaks and my conversation with Indians

"CAIRO, Egypt - An American thought to be an al-Qaida activist appeared in a videotape with the terror group's deputy leader Saturday and called on his countrymen to convert to Islam and for U.S. soldiers to switch sides in the Iraq and Afghan wars."


"Gadahn delivered a lecture on Islam and the "errors" in Christianity and Judaism. He also said the United States is losing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and told U.S. soldiers they are fighting President Bush's "crusades."

"Instead of killing yourself for Bush ... why not surrender to the truth (of Islam), escape from the unbelieving army and join the winning side. Time is running out so make the right choice before it's too late," he said."

Too late??? Hmmm...

Sometimes it feels like we are a part of some Arnold Schwarzenegger movie with bad dialogue. I have mentioned before that I have heard from many people who think we should let those in the Middle East kill themselves and have nothing to do with anything over there. But those are Americans who have never been to the Middle East and I expect that sort of islolationism.

Last night I was at a party at my neighbor's house, an Indian couple. Most there were from India. I asked a few of them what they thought about the Iraq war and all that is going on over there. Many told me stories of the history of the Muslims. Brutal and sick acts of defiance and war. They all agreed that Muslims rule by the sword and there is no reason or negotiation with them. I said to them, "But you mean radical Muslims, right?" No, they said all the Muslim leaders were brutal and all Muslims agree with them too. They said there might be a few peaceful Muslims, but they have no power and never speak out because of fear. One woman told me that in history Pakistan was given to the Muslims as a Muslim Nation and India was given to the Hindu's for a secular nation. But she said that the Muslims who live in India have been multiplying and now even have govt. positions. I said, "they are having more children?" "oh yes, she said, about 30 more." "30 each??," I asked" "Yes, they have about 6 wives." She went on to say that Americans don't understand the danger of these people. "For Muslims," she said, "it is convert or we will kill you. Period."

So I asked them if they thought we should have gone into Afghanistan or Iraq. They said no. They said there will never be Democracy in a Muslim country. They said Muslims cannot even think that way. So I asked them what we should have done. This is what they said. They said we should have used every dollar we spent on the war on terror and built a wall along the Mexican border. We should have security at the borders and airports like the Israeli do. They said we should have deported every single Muslim out of the country and closed down the Mosques. "Even the American Muslims?" I asked. "Yes," they said.

I laughed. I couldn't help it.

I said, "You realize that that would not only be politically impossible, but also there are grave constitutional concerns there." I said "Even if we just did the border thing you suggest, the ACLU and all the Democrats would have howled to the moon and created lawsuits after lawsuits. Deporting even those Muslims who are not Americans would have sent the liberals into a snarling fit. Look at Gitmo! Those Muslims were seen as a danger to our country and look at how the liberals have fought for even them. We can't even specifially pull a person of Middle Eastern descent out of a security line to check him further."

That, they said, is the saddest thing of all. We can't do what we need to do to protect our country, and we can't do the impossible over in the Middle East. These people from India made no bones about how they felt about Muslims. Another woman said "History has shown us what the Muslims do and who they are, why don't we learn this? Theirs is a brutal and aggressive belief. It is basically us or them."

I can tell you that this conversation made me more than a little depressed. When I pointed out that we were killing the radical leaders, they just said that more will grow up and be the same. They saw no hope for change. I asked if we should just kill them all? The ones who practiced Hindu said no, of course. But we should just become a world within ourselves. The ones who were secular said yes.

Of course, both actions are unrealistic and wrong. We cannot isolate ourselves and I don't think that would work even if we did. We cannot "kill them all" either. It seems to me that Bush did the only viable thing. We had to fight them over there, protecting our homeland, and we have to convince the ones who are not radical now that democracy can work for them. The Indians say that is impossible. Is it?

We shall see.