From: Dan Carlin <dan@dancarlin.com>
To: Lawrence Hart <lhart50@yahoo.com>
Sent: Monday, September 10, 2012 1:51 PM
Subject: Re: Militant Islam
Larry,I knew you weren’t around during Vietnam when you wrote this:

“You flippantly compared Viet Nam to this current conflict. I would remind you that getting out of Viet Nam we had no fear that the enemy would then export his rage and take us on in other places in the world. The Vietnamese, like most peoples were fighting for their liberation and once they had that, they declared victory and the war was over.”

Incorrect. The “Domino Theory” the govt. used then as an excuse why “Vietnam mattered” said that if Vietnam wasn’t defended, all Southeast Asia would fall to the communist…then Latin America…then we’d be living next to a Marxist Mexico.  Americans wouldn’t have supported that war if a case hadn’t been made for our own survival…so that case is ALWAYS made. We certainly weren’t fighting so that the Vietnamese couldn’t have liberation. Americans wouldn’t have sent their kids off to die for that cause.  It’s ALWAYS to protect America (at least the excuse is).

As far as your comments on Islam…there’s a billion Muslims my friend.  Wanna kill half of them?  Can you do that without keeping new ones from being born, or without angering the ones who weren’t mad at you after you kill the ones who were? My comments were not flippant…I was trained in figuring out ways to win wars. There are no victory conditions in this one.  There’s nothing flippant about pointing that out. In fact, it is irresponsible to get into wars unless you have done this (the military knows this…it’s why they created what they call it the Weinberger-Powell Doctrine in the 1980s to guide future conflicts to avoid any more protracted wars that break our military as Vietnam did…the Bush admin violated that doctrine after Sept. 11th).

We create more terrorists as we fight this war and kill innocents while trying to kill “bad guys”…it’s counter-productive as hell. The only way to fight this is by “thinking Big” as Nixon used to say and calling summits with leading Muslim leaders and nations to help them to get this issue clarified (since this is something Muslims can do…and only Muslims can do.  We cannot stop them from choosing and using terror as a weapon.  We simply can’t.  There’s no way to do this…History is a great guide on this matter.  Heck…look at the stuff our military people write about ideas on ways to approach this…they know there’s no military solutions.  It gets back to Clausewitz when it comes to this comflict: this is a political matter and the solution can only come via negotiation and the use of the elements that govern the political opinions and “hearts and minds” of our adversaries).

Our main problem is that issues relating to oil and Israel in the region makes it difficult for us to swallow the idea that Islamic unity is actually something that would HELP us turn most Muslims against the radicals (a Caliphate is always touted as a horrific potential outcome, when in fact, a “caliphate” would give us a unified voice to deal with.  The fact that Islam is so fragmented now may be good for oil and Israel, but it denies Islam a unified voice…akin to a Pope or similar…that could publicly state which Islamic views are “mainstream” and which are “heretical” and get a large segment of Islam to agree to what their leaders were saying. Think of the role the Ottomans played for a long time in the region).  Islam’s disunity is part of why we have no state actor to work with.  Any real solutions should be Nixonian-like and geared towards creating such a force (an Islamic NATO would be a good start…but it also requires the aid of Imams and councils of Islamic leaders to help codify “mainstream Islam).

THAT’S how you begin to create the conditions to diminish radical Islam.  Our whole strategy now leads to the opposite.

-Dan

Jewish community examiner

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