Here’s a fun quote from Ann Coulter. Her suggested response to 9-11.
“We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity.”
I’m going out on a limb here, but – aside from sounding a tad unchristian -- that strikes me as a bad idea. Here’s why.
Let’s start with a historical analogy.
Once upon a time, the Charlie Manson “Family” slaughtered some beautiful people in SoCal. The atrocity had a deranged, political motive. Manson tried to pin the murders on black militants, scrawling “Rise” and “Political Piggy” in blood on the walls. He figured there’d be white reprisals, then black counter-reprisals, and America would explode in a race war – aka “Helter Skelter.” He’d ride in on his dune buggies and take over when civilization was in ruins.
9-11 was, basically, Osama Bin Laden’s Helter Skelter. He didn’t fly a plane into Mecca and blame it on Christian/Jewish extremists. He hit us. But it amounts to the same thing. The intention is the same.
Like Manson, OBL has a deranged, political motive behind his atrocity. The same motive. He's provoking a war as a way to seize power.
It’s a strategic move. Before this incident, OBL, in his deranged mind, assumed the West was waging a de facto war to destroy Islamic culture. We support Israel, have bases in Saudi Arabia, back up petro dictators, sell pornography and blue jeans, and encourage women to get uppity. To OBL, that means war. The “Arab street” wasn’t as upset about it as he’d like. Our influence is everywhere. But it didn't hit most Muslims where they live. Western presence in the Muslim world was out of sight and out of mind. His basic assumption: “If we blow shit up in America, they’ll blow shit up over here.” It’s a safe bet, we will. That's what he wants. He’s bringing the war back home.
By provoking America and Friends to invade Islamic territory, he intends to make our presence tangible, visible, and hateful. Our upcoming invasion will demonstrate that the West is fundamentally at war with Islam. He assumes that will provoke the Muslim world to rise up against us as one. Our invasion would trigger his holy war. Just like Charlie Manson, he’ll come riding in from the desert when it’s all over. When the dust settles, there’ll be a Caliphate and he’d be running it.
The flaw in his strategy is the heinousness of his act. He burned a few thousand people alive. We’ve got to deal with it. In a month or two, we will. Most of the Arab Street will understand – if we do it right.
I didn’t vote for Bush. But I’m hoping he does it right.
As in the Colin Powell doctrine.
Basically, this is a hit. Some people fucked with us. We kill them. Badabing. We take them out before they know what him ‘em. Quick surgical strikes. We rain a shitstorm on the Taliban.
We attempt no nation building. We kill as few civilians as possible. We kill the enemy. Period. We minimized photo ops of dead or mutilated children and screaming victims in the Islamic world. OBL doesn’t achieve his objective.
We get in, get it done, get out.
We avoid creating the impression that THE WEST IS FUNDAMENTALLY AT WAR WITH ISLAM. OBL scripted a part for us. We refuse to play.
If we do that, we win. He doesn’t get his Helter Skelter.
Strategically, this is why Bush is bending over backwards to stress we’re going to war with Islamic extremists with a twisted brand of their faith. We’re not at war with Islam itself.
Ann Coulter isn’t helping.