Monday, January 24, 2005

Live Free or Die 

I think whenever our enemies want to speak out, they should be allowed to do so. Inevitably they will bury themselves with their own words.

The latest example is the most recent diatribe attributed to terrorist sociopath asshat Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. In what is assumed to be his words, he declares "bitter war" not only on the upcoming Iraqi elections, but on "this evil principle of democracy and those who follow this wrong ideology." It's always so helpful when our enemies remind us why fighting them is good and noble.

I feel the chief reasons for Iraq war were, to be kind, flawed (WMD? It seems to me that terrorists were/are more likely to acquire WMD from the former Soviet Union, among other places). However, that does not in any way diminish the goodness that the upcoming elections represent. They are indeed a big deal and worth standing up for. Zarqawi may be a murderous slimeball, but he gets it. Democracy and Islamic fundamentalism are no more compatible than matter and antimatter. Even a semi-valid election will be a huge blow to his cause in Iraq.

It has already been proven that tyranny is not safe in any culture, so long as there is democracy elsewhere to inspire the population. We saw that in 1989, when Chinese pro-democracy protestor erected the Goddess of Democracy in homage to the Statue of Liberty. There are always stories of tyrants taking extraordinary steps to maintain control while trying to keep democratic influences out, such as the laughable haircut guidelines North Korean men are expected to follow. Tyranny may score temporary victories against the march of democracy, but end the end it seems that those opposing democracy are on the losing side of history.

With modern communications and media, virtually everyone knows how the other side lives, and everyone wants the opportunity to think, act, and worship as they see fit. Even if the Islamic world could be walled off, literally and figuratively from the rest of the world, the democracy genie isn't going back into the bottle. For Islamic militants, not fighting democracy isn't an option. As long as any democracy exists, it will be an existential threat to Islamofascism.

The overall War on Terror isn't really about terror or even fundamentalist Islam. It's a battle between the Medieval world and the Modern world. Thom Hartmann describes life in 11th Century Europe:

Back in the Dark and Middle Ages, the Catholic Church ruled Europe. Women were often forbidden to go out in public unless properly covered and were explicitly the property of men.

Justice was swift and severe, ranging from disfigurement to torture to death in horrific ways, and most often meted out with the approval or supervision of clerics. The power behind the power of all the royal families of Europe was the Pope.

That description could just as easily apply to life in Afghanistan under the Taliban.

This is a war not between Western and Islamic civilization, but between the 21st and 11th Centuries. And the 11th Century world must fight for its life now, or be slowly strangled by modern ideas. Therefore, those of us in the modern world have no choice but to fight it unconditionally, until its worldviews and culture is relegated entirely to the history books. Indeed, as long as we keep out will, it is a fight we are destined to win in the end.

God bless all those who vote in Iraq next week.

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