There is a very interesting Middle Eastern proverb that America and the Western world would do well to observe. I learned it during four U.S. Air Force tours in the Middle East:
“Never let a camel get his nose in the tent, if he gets his nose in he will get his head in, if he gets his head in, he will get his hump in, and if he gets his hump in then he will get his rump in and you will have a camel in your tent.”
No nose, no camel. America must stop the camel at the tent entrance. The question is: How?
First, we must understand the nature of our adversary. They see compassion, understanding, forbearance and restraint not as humanitarian, but as weakness. They have little regard for human life. Women, children – even their own kind (Sunni versus Shiite) – are targeted without hesitation. The radicals who launch their cowardly attacks against unarmed citizens have a standard modus operandi: They negotiate ceasefires, armistices and treaties until they are prepared to launch their attacks. This cycle will continue until they achieve their goal: the subjugation of all unbelievers.
Get used to it, England, France, America and other Western nations. Even moderate dictators hate us. We must recognize that, regardless of our Western leaders’ desire for acceptance, most nations with non-democratic forms of government and practically all dictatorships hate us because of who and what we are. To them, our freedoms are a threat to their very existence. Radio, TV, cell phones, the Internet, students educated on our college campuses and letters home from people who have moved here generate strange ideas of freedom and liberty among “the man on the street” back there.
The trillions of U.S. dollars spent on a variety of philanthropic endeavors – such as feeding the hungry; rebuilding infrastructure (including rebuilding mosques); propping up moderate, friendly-to-the-West governments; various rescue operations; and just plain out and out gifts – have, for the most part, merely added insult to injury.
This “freedom for all” business, in the minds of tyrants, whether a solitary dictator or a military junta, is a dangerous situation. And since most of their media is controlled by the government, America and the West are consistently portrayed as the enemy and a threat to their way of life. Consequently, we are hated and feared even by people who have reason to love the freedoms Westerners enjoy.
Here in America, and several other Western countries, the nose is in the tent. Actually, for some, the entire camel is now in the tent. We have terrorists living among us now. So what do we do?
Various apologists will suggest we not do anything that might make some of these people unhappy – let’s not generate a war that could last for decades. Their position, roughly translated, is: America, you and other Western countries, tuck your tail between your legs, lick your wounds, put another billion dollars into the pockets of corrupt governments – and whatever you do, don’t make them unhappy (by insisting they respect and adhere to your values)!
The Arab Spring unveiled a frightening scenario: Nuclear weapons falling into the hands of these so-called “freedom fighters” throughout the Middle East, while Iran supports them feverishly and continues to push forward to its own nuclear capability.
Whether we like it or not, whether we sought it or not, the simple fact is the U.S. is, at this moment, the only remaining true superpower in the world. Like it or not, America is the big dog on the block, and we’d better start acting like it or we’ll be inviting additional terror attacks like Sept. 11, or worse, perhaps a dirty nuclear bomb. (Anyone heard of North Korea?)
We must honestly ask ourselves a sobering question: Do we really want to stop terrorism?
To the public at large, terror-inspired deaths are tragic statistics, but statistics nonetheless. Does anyone, except the families of the victims, really, I mean really, want to stop the terrorists?
Can we really stop terrorists and terrorists’ attacks? The answer is a resounding “Yes!”
We can stop terrorist activities, and we can do it permanently without the risk of any so-called generational war with 1.5 billion Muslims. We can save hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions, of U.S. tax dollars. We can save thousands of American, and Western, military lives. We can restore Western and American prestige, and once again establish our countries as ones where no terrorist would dare attack again – ever.
Would the West be criticized for so doing? Yes. We would probably receive about as much criticism as we do today from the so-called “progressives.” Would we be attacked by hordes of Muslim warriors? No way. The attacks would come mostly in the form of harsh editorials and critical speeches from the liberal news media, and tut-tuts from countries who are dependent upon the U.S. for our armed forces and tax dollars.
Additional attacks would also come in the form of resolutions passed in the United Nations – where we pay more than any other nation, to the tune of 22 percent of the regular budget and 27 percent of the peacekeeping budget — whose coffers depend heavily upon U.S. assessments to pay for a major portion of its continued ineffectual operations.
So, just how do we prevent future terrorist attacks and/or jihad on the West, and American citizens in particular?
First, America and other Western democracies should make this perfectly and definitively clear to all: We are not empire builders, and we have no desire to impose pax-Americana on the world.
Second, we should continue to offer the outstretched hand of friendship to the world. In the words of President Lincoln, “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive … to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Finally – and let this be equally clear and definitive – any cowardly, murderous assault on Americans or any other citizens by rogue individuals or nations will generate such an overwhelming response from the assaulted nations that there will never again be any question that the consequences of any such action carry a price that any group of individuals or nation can ill afford.
In other words, we apply a transcendent principle that all can understand: Do to us what you want us to do to you.