There is a very interesting Middle Eastern proverb America would do well to observe. I learned it during four United States 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 no regard for human life. Women, children and even their own kind (Sunni vs. 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 unbelievers.
Get used to it, America. Even moderate dictators hate us. We must recognize that regardless of our present leadership’s desire for acceptance, most non-democratic forms of government, and practically all dictatorships, hate the U.S. precisely because of who and what we are. Our freedoms threaten 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.” The trillions of U.S. dollars spent in a variety of philanthropic endeavors, such as feeding the starving, rebuilding infrastructures (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, 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. Since most of their media is controlled by the government, America is consistently portrayed as an enemy and a threat. Consequently, we are hated and feared even by people who have a reason to love the freedoms Americans enjoy.
America, the nose is 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, once again, tuck your tail between your legs, lick your wounds, put another billion dollars into the pockets of their corrupt governments, and whatever you do, don’t make them unhappy!”
The Arab Spring has suddenly 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 develop its own nuclear capability.
Whether we like it or not, whether we sought it or not, the simple fact is the USA is, at this moment, the only remaining true superpower in the world. The simple fact is, we are the big dog on the block. We had better start acting like it, or we’ll be inviting additional terror attacks like 9/11 or worse, perhaps a dirty nuclear bomb.
We must 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 want to stop the terrorists?
Can we stop terrorists? Yes!
We can stop terrorist activities, and we can do it permanently without the risk of any generational so-called Muslim war with 1.5 billion Muslims. We can save hundreds of billions, perhaps trillions, of U.S. tax dollars, thousands of American military lives, restore American prestige and establish America once again as the one country no terrorist would dare attack again – ever.
Would we be criticized for so doing? Yes. We would probably receive about as much criticism as we do today. Would we be attacked by hordes of Muslim warriors? No way. The attacks would come mostly in the form of “harsh editorials” from the American liberal news media and “tut-tuts” from other countries dependent upon the U.S. for our armed forces and our 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. Those U.N. coffers depend heavily upon the 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 American citizens?
First, America 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, 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 American citizens by rogue individuals and/or nations will generate such an overwhelming response from the American people 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.