Friday, May 04, 2007
real child of hell:
Behold! Mitt Romney rides a pale horse. From last night's debate:
But I don't want to buy into the Democratic pitch, that this is all about one person, Osama bin Laden. Because after we get him, there's going to be another and another.
Bin Laden is a singular figure, but, you know, fair enough; there will be a successor to bin Laden. But where might Romney be going with this?
This is about Shi'a and Sunni. This is about Hezbollah and Hamas and al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood. This is the worldwide jihadist effort to try and cause the collapse of all moderate Islamic governments and replace them with a caliphate.
Mitt Romney's War: the total conflation of all Islamist movements. Not only is the Muslim Brotherhood not a jihadist organization, but its very lack of jihadiness is what spawned Ayman Zawahiri's Egyptian Islamic Jihad. Suffice it to say that there is no caliphate on heaven or earth that will simultaneously satisfy Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, which goes a long way toward explaining why there is no concerted "worldwide jihadist effort" by these groups to establish one.

It's hardly remarkable that Romney doesn't know what he's talking about. In this year's State of the Union, Bush forced the same conflation when he stated baldly, "The Shia and Sunni extremists are different faces of the same totalitarian threat." What's far more troublesome is that there's absolutely no political consequence for demonstrated ignorance about a jihadist phenomenon that motivates the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq -- precisely the sort of ignorance that will make the blithe forecasts of a global war expanding over generations a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Perversely, the expanding concept of a global war on all currents of Islamism makes the U.S. appear so much weaker than we are and our enemies so much stronger than they could hope to portray themselves. (What if someone proclaimed a caliphate and everyone rebelled?) Leave it to Bush and Romney to find political utility in a paranoid American declinism.
--Spencer Ackerman
For anyone interested in reading more about the remarks on Islam and the Middle East made by Romney and his 9 colleagues, I covered the debate from an Arab-American Republican perspective.
Blogger George Ajjan | 8:03 AM