Military News Analysis - "This is not a War against Islam."- President George Bush

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New York, with inputs from correspondents at Brussels and New York:

"This is not a War against Islam."- President George Bush. Well said Mr. President Sir, And we also think that this is how you look at the ongoing military campaign. But going by the tumultuous response that your bete noire, Bin Laden is getting across the Muslim world, it seems that it certainly is a War by Islam on the West.

And although you as a typical Westerner might have missed this point, the mobs across the Muslim world have got this point. And they are putting this across - loudly and clearly!.

On our part we believe you when you say that for you; "This is not a War against Islam." And this is how most Westerners also could be perceiving it and this explains why there are no similar demonstrations across the Western world, where the mobs bay for the blood of their enemies with slogans like "Death to the Muslims." Or at least "Death to the Great Satan Osama".

Unlike you Westerners, for the Muslim masses, this Clash is already a "clash of civilizations".

Unlike you Westerners, for the Muslim masses, this Clash is already a "clash of civilizations". The word Muslims use of this "clash of civilizations" is "Jihad". Only you Westerners shy away form calling a spade a spade. Some commentators feel that this is a strategy on the part of Western Governments to keep the enemy off guard. We do not know. But we ask what is the use of a strategy to keep the enemy off guard, when he is already on his guard?

Irrespective of what the Western governments may say about how they perceive this war to be, the Msulims have already made up their minds. Their Maulavis have told them that this war is an attack on Islam, that Osama is a saviour of Islam, he is the hero, that every Muslim should fight for Osama and the Taliban that the war is a Jihad with the West and their slogan is "Death to America." All this represents what is in the Muslim mind, in the mind of that crowd which pours out of the Masjids every Friday's noon prayers. That is the topic in the bazars across the Muslim world.

Masjids, Madrasas and Bazars are the places where Muslim public opinion is moulded unlike the West where this is done in the Universities and schools.

The bazars being the place where public opinion is moulded with a severity that can only be outmatched by the sermons in the masjids (mosques). The mood of the Muslim masses who come out of the Masjids every Friday is what will eventually matter in deciding the political outcome in the Muslim world. Although today the policies of many governments in the Islamic world do not reflect the mindset of the masses pouring out of the mosques.

But it would be dangerously tardy for others to ignore the way a Muslim society works. The revolution in Iran, started off from the bazars and overwhelmed the Shah of Iran, the resistance to the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan started in the mosques and Madrasas from where it spread to the populace to start an uprising that lead to the withdrawal of the Soviet Army. So it would not be preposterous to expect a reversal of political authority in many Muslim countries in the course of the next few months, if not weeks. The Military regime in Pakistan, the monarchies in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, the elected government in Indonesia could be the first to fall. Their replacement with pro-Jihad and anti-American regimes would close the gap in the mindset and responses of the Muslim masses that today stream out of the mosques and of the governments that rule them. This could make the civilizational fault lines less blurred than they are today, making Western statesmen to say that this is not a clash of civilizations and not a war against Islam.

Why do only the Muslims perceive the West as their enemy without generating a reciprocal emotion in the West today?

The reason why only the Muslims perceive the West as their enemy without generating a reciprocal emotion in the West lies in differences in the mental make-up of Westerners and Muslims. Westerners and other civilized humans are less amenable to raw emotion and are more dominated by logic and morality.

Muslims on the contrary are easily excitable, more subject to raw emotion and rank low on the scale of tolerance, acceptance of diversity, reasoning and an overall liberal outlook. The socio-cultural-psychological reasons for the mindless violent behaviour of the Muslims across the globe is their temperament which they have imbibed along with their religion from the Arabs who display traits like fanaticism and short-temperedness in their extreme.

The reasons why these traits should exist among those Arabs who originate from the Saudi Arabian Peninsula are to be found in their harsh natural environment. Saudi Arabia, the birth-place of Islam is devoid of fertile plains and river valleys which are congenial to the development of a settled civilized life. This was responsible for the atrophy of residents of the Arabian peninsula into barbarism, and their exclusion from civilization for a long time till the beginning of the 20th century and discovery of oil. The Arabs (In the interior of the Saudi peninsula the Arabs still live in a tribal society).

The same cannot be said of the people of Mesopotamia, Assyria and Egypt who today consider themselves to be Arabs but were the founders of great riparian civilizations of the ancient world. The absence of a civilized way of life among the Arabs (from the Arabian peninsula) nourished the fanatical attitude which later became a characteristic of Islamic thought and way of life.

The cultural lineage of the Muslims made itself evident when they ruled over non-Muslims in the forcible conversion of peoples of other faiths to Islam at the point of the sword

This attitude was transmitted to other people who were converted to Islam. Added to this was Islam's monotheistic character because of which Muslims tolerated no other religion. This singularistic and exclusive character of monotheistic Islam precluded any possibility of assimilation into itself of other deities or forms of worship. And whenever Islam had the support of the force of arms, its fanatical and intolerant nature found brutal expression in the annihilative repression it unleashed whenever it came in contact with another religion or culture.

This cultural lineage of the Muslims made itself evident when they ruled over non-Muslims in the forcible conversion of peoples of other faiths to Islam at the point of the sword, destruction of places of worship belonging to other faiths, the imposition of Jaziya tax on non-Muslims and other policies whose objective was to stamp out all other religions and to Islamize the countries they overran in their Jihad.

Why do Muslims Seek Death over perceived Dishonour?

While this was so in the past, today when the Muslims are no longer the ruling power, their aggressiveness asserts itself through terrorist activities. In the coming war that will be waged between the Muslims and the rest of the world, it is necessary to know and recognize the fountainheads of the Muslim mindset, what motivates the Muslims to respond and the way they would respond as the adversaries of Western Civilization (in fact of human civilization) in the coming war.

In a tribal mindset seeking Death over perceived Dishonour, is a way of life. When you face an enemy who seeks death in his venture to kill you; the only chance of winning (in fact of survival) for the challenged party is to kill off the enemy. In this context we remember the statement of Colin Powell made before the inception of the war with Iraq; "We will first cut it (the Iraqi army) off, then we will kill it off."

As a Military Strategy, should we not "Cut them off and then kill them off" a la Colin Powell?

It is such a ruthless attitude that could ensure victory over any adversary who is a death-defying theology-blinded maniac. In this context the best bet for all those seeking a victory for saving human civilization would be help channelize into Afghanistan; all those Muslims who from Nigeria to Pakistan to Indonesia to Gaza are clamouring to go to Afghanistan to fight the Jihad against the US.

With all of them at one place, they would provide easy targets for the American carpet bombing campaign to "cut them off and then kill them off" to use the words of Colin Powell.

We are aware that all this will sound inhuman to many readers. But we ask them what other effective resolution can you suggest to the homicidal fanaticism that you see in the eyes of the mobsters like the ones who are trying to storm the Airbase at Jacobabad in Pakistan to disrupt the landing of the American marines there; to those who are killing Christians in Kano in North Nigeria and all those who are today going berserk with slogans like "Death to America."; with posters of Osama Bin Laden, who they yell out is their role model? The blood-thirsty antics of similar mobs all across the Muslim world is evident on CNN, and does not all for elaboration. The sending of snail mails with Anthrax to high profile targets like New York Times, Rockfeller Center, Microsoft, NBC is another evidence of the utter ruthlessness of the adversaries. Now the only question is "what should be the military strategy, the military objective and the modality to neutralize them?"

"There are as many Muslims willing to die as there are Americans willing to live." - Al Qaida

If there are still doubts in a readers mind about the Muslim mindset; then one only needs to recollect the latest statement of the Al Qaida spokesman that "there are as many Muslims willing to die as there are Americans willing to live."

For most peace-loving coach potatoes in the non-Muslim world, it would be a comfortable option to say that these threats by Al Qaida are propaganda. The Al Qaida has threatened to assassinate Bush, Blair and Sharon; along with the threats of renewed attacks and the warning to Muslims in US and UK to shun air travel and residence in high rises. Quite possibly the dealers of death may not be successful in striking once again in the same way as they did on the 11th of September. But it would be foolish on our part not to be prepared for some other form of terrorist carnage. And while being prepared, we need to remember that the best form of offense against a man eater tiger about to attack you is to hunt him down. Much like President Bush has said. Once this objective is clear, only then the strategy and the modalities have to be worked out and put into operation. But first we need on part of the allies; a candid admission to oneself that the adversary is no less dangerous than a man-eater tiger and hence the logic of "hunting him down".

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