What's All This Then?

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Thursday, November 12, 2009
While I am temporarily absent from my own blog…..

No, I have not expired and I have not resigned from the blogosphere. My prolonged absence has been due to logistical and physical problems. The logistical problems will be solved in the near future with the installation of a home network - but the physical problems will have to run their course. Of interest is the most recent physical problem - that of a lens inserted in my right eye following cataract removal more than 20 years ago that slipped out of place a few weeks ago. Surgery to move it back into place was unsuccessful, so a new lens was inserted, requiring major manipulation of the eye and deeply embedded stitches, resulting in temporary legal blindness in that eye which, combined with 20/50 vision in my left eye, has made reading, writing and using the computer extremely difficult to say the least.

The eye is slowly healing and when full vision returns I will try to catch up on a whole heap of commentary rattling around in my head. Meanwhile, here is a commentary received from MIDEAST ON TARGET that I think you will find interesting in the light of the Fort Hood massacre - one of the topics on which I will make comment when I return. The author is Yisrael Ne'eman and he calls the commentary HUDNA AND THE CEASE-FIRE

"Time and again we hear of the lessening of hostilities in Afghanistan , Pakistan or wherever and the possibilities of a cease-fire when battling radical Islam. The Islamists break down into two types, the non-state actor Islamic fundamentalist groups such as al-Qaeda, the Moslem Brotherhood and its Palestinian wing Hamas and the fundamentalist regimes such as Iran . The dominant Western policy towards all is one of engagement and conciliation or conflict resolution. Liberal democracies as a rule believe in compromise and mutual understandings with the enemy, especially when the price of victory appears costly. Hence there are constant efforts at attaining cease-fires as the first step towards conflict resolution and engaging in one form or another of a peace process.

Westerners, whether liberal/conservative, left or right, project their own humanistic values on their adversaries, believing that "reasonable" people will accept peace with mutual recognition and respect. The first step in doing so is in arranging a cease-fire, this coming about when the Islamists are losing badly enough to agree to such an arrangement. Technically accepting the halt to hostilities is where the supposed "confluence of interests" ends as the West looks forward to resolving "outstanding differences" and the acceptance of the rights of all sides to exist side by side while the totalitarian Islamic fundamentalist adversary sees the cease-fire in the understanding of a "hudna".

Islamists arrange hudnas when holding the short end of the stick and certainly when facing defeat. The hudna allows time for rearming, retraining, reloading and finally reigniting the conflict at the time and choosing of the Islamic side despite any previous agreements concluded with the enemy. A hudna is only a short term tactical move in the military strategy leading to the ultimate victory of Islamic hegemony world-wide. Hudna or an Islamic cease-fire is not part of any "peace process" but rather an integral, indivisible part of a "war process".

There are Western policy makers who are aware of all the above but find a way out by insisting on what is known as "deterrence" whereby the Islamist side will accept a status quo cease-fire (and even possible negotiations) because they fear the consequences of continued military actions. The gap in thinking between the West and the Islamists comes about when the latter pours virtually all their efforts into rebuilding its military strength to the detriment of everything else. To the Westerner this appears "insane", certainly if one thinks like him and prefers to arrange an end to the conflict.

Sanity is often subjective and dependent on societal values and understandings. An Islamic agreement to a hudna does not imply the Islamic side is deterred, the new offensive is only delayed. In the Islamic fundamentalist world of the Moslem Brotherhood and the Khomeinist Iranians (Pres. Ahmedinejad & Co.) any hudna is "delayence" (a term developed by Elliot Chodoff) until the timing is deemed correct for a new offensive against the West or any other non-Islamists. And as for sanity, Islamists do not consider it rational for there to be a multi-cultural pluralistic world since the only truth is in their understanding of Islam. Projecting their own understandings of conflict on their enemies they fully expect the West to battle them to the same absolutist end and therefore do not believe in the i dea of a cease-fire for conflict resolution but see such explanations as a ruse. They know for sure that the only interpretation of the cessation of hostilities can be a hudna where one side must eventually claim total victory.

The West believes it can buy time and work towards peace with a halt in battle. The Islamists agree to the buying of time but only in the service of final Islamic domination. Hitler was delayed in the 1930s but never deterred. He explained his ultimate objectives of conquest and never veered from them. Stalin too was only delayed, was never defeated and died before he achieved his final objectives. Later Soviet regimes accepted a mutual deterrence with the West after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Each time Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia did come to the negotiating table they left having absorbed other nations under their wings such as Czechoslovakia (1938) as concerns the former and swaths of Eastern Europe (despite the Yalta Agreement) when referring to the latter. The West acquiesced, fearing conflict and thereby sending a message of weakness and encouraging the other side to continue its policy of aggression.

Throughout the history of Islam there have been neighbors with whom Moslem rulers have struck deals for a cessation of hostilities. Some regimes did not appear intent on forcibly spreading Islam as a final objective. This is not the case with the 21st century Islamist movement of the Moslem Brotherhood and Shiite Iran. They are much more comparable to the extremist Islamists of yesteryear such as the Wahhabists in Arabia in the 1700s or Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia of the recent past.

Only when the West has a full understanding of the meaning of hudna will it be able to overcome the lure of arranging a cease-fire with those seeking its ultimate destruction. Only then can the alternative be seized and a strategy towards victory over such oppression be implemented."

Thought provoking to say the least…