Friday, September 08, 2006

Peters Slurs Patriots

Just heard Ralph Peters on the Laura Ingraham show. He is selling his newest book and he has written an article warning against right wing extremists who claim that Islam itself is un-reformable and must be defeated. Peter’s entire article is one long “but...” He catalogs a long list of his tough-guy bona fides, repeatedly asserting that he wants to kill bad guys, terrorists, extremists those who have hijacked a great faith. These bad guys are a “minority within a minority” who must be defeated while leaving the larger Islamic faith and those who practice it, intact. Peters says that the US military needs to buy time for the long overdue reformation of Islam. In Peters’ world, there are plenty of bad guys who need killing BUT Islam isn’t the problem. For Peters, the real problem is that some Christians look at the problems that adherents to Islam pose to the world and think the solution is to kill more than Peters thinks is prudent.

I have a pretty low opinion of Peters. I look at his as the columnist equivalent of James Webb. Peters thinks that he is smarter than his readers and worse, that anyone who is not as smart as him is morally deficient. His (and Webb’s) is the hubris of Custer; someone who knows better than others around him and who looks upon those who agree with him in kind but not degree as dangerous lunatics. Peters reminds me of the very worst kind of intelligence officer (which he once was), someone convinced he is right, and everyone else is too stupid or corrupt to see it as he does.

I have two problems with Peter’s thesis in the article. One problem is that Peters think that it is the fault of Christians who look at the atrocities committed by Moslem evildoers screaming “god is great” for thinking Islam is not compatible with civilized behavior. Rational people expect that when atrocities are committed by someone claiming to represent a larger group, actual representatives of that larger group will come out to publicly and repeatedly disclaim all connection with terrorism committed in their name. Where are the Islamic leaders? Where are the Imams, then business executives, the politicians, the sports figures, the entertainers? No where. Their silence condemns their entire faith.

Secondly, Peters makes the point that you can’t kill a billion Muslims so we had better find a way to accommodate them. Can you imagine Truman saying “you can’t kill all the Japanese, so we had better accommodate them?” No, certainly not. Truman, in contrast to Peters, had the benefits of clear thinking and courage. Truman realized that you could kill a large enough number of those who believed in the superiority and inevitability of the Japanese ideology, the remainder would realize the error of their beliefs, and change those beliefs. No, you can’t kill a billion Muslims, but you can kill enough of them, or make their lives miserable enough, that they realize that what they had believed is not working out so well, and it is time to change. Peters should stick to writing novels and computer games, and leave the slurring of Christians and other American patriots to the enemies of America like Islamic terrorists and Democrats.