TCS Daily

The Power of Hatred

By Ralph Kinney Bennett - June 28, 2005 12:00 AM

Hard pounding, gentlemen; but we will see who can pound the longest.
-The Duke of Wellington, at Waterloo.

The Islamoterrorists in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown a resilience that some have found surprising.

They have learned fast and learned much - about how to build more effective roadside bombs, for instance, and about the futility of engaging American forces directly in firefights.

They have shown an ugly ruthlessness about spilling Muslim blood.

They have demonstrated an extraordinary ability or extraordinary luck in preserving their leadership, sometimes with hairbreadth escapes.

And, although they may be scraping a barrel or two while husbanding their "finest" for later operations, they have thus far produced enough recruits (some with their hands taped to steering wheels) to continue their fight despite heavy losses.

Give them credit where credit is due. And credit them, too, for shedding light on a dark reality many Americans would prefer to ignore - the power of hatred.

It is fashionable to praise the power of an uplifting idea, but it makes us uncomfortable to admit the power of festering hatred. Yet it is pure hatred that is abroad and alive in the bomb-laden cars that ply the streets and roads of Iraq and in the calculated fury that leaves children dismembered in a market place and young policemen executed with their hands tied behind their backs.

All the efforts to comb the Koran and extol the virtues and ideals of "mainstream" Islam will not camouflage nor expiate the murderous hatred of the Islamofanatics at work in Iraq and around the globe.

Explore the radical Islamic websites. Consider their pronouncements - all they have said and written. There are no ideals there, few ideas, only impositions.

The old Saddamists, now in uneasy ad hoc alliance with the stone terrorists, don't really count. They may mouth some of the jihadist jargon and fight dirty, but they merely want a return to the grand political imposition that was Saddam's regime.

Their "vision," of a return to air-conditioned villas, rape rooms, big cars and Baghdad's best tables, will never be. They are doomed - either at the hands of coalition forces or at the hands of the true Islamofanatics - those who are at the implacable heart of the "resistance" in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The real faith of the Islamofanatics is a faith in fear. Since they have no transcending ideas or ideals, they are determined not only to kill the infidel "crusaders," but to frighten into silence or submission on pain of death those millions of Muslims and nominal Muslims who merely seek to live a quiet life and dare to believe that some freedom and democracy might not be such a bad proposition.

These hate-filled men seek to impose a way of life in which there is not the slightest element of liberty or individuality. There is only hatred.

Hatred for any who are not of the narrowly defined faith.

Hatred for any doctrine, any idea that might allow men and women to seek their own way or just be left alone.

And most of all, hatred for the world itself as it is presently constituted.

Consider these words, written by one of the apostles of Islamic hatred, the Iranian Ayatollah Muhammad Baqer al-Sadr, back in 1980:

"The world as it is today is how others shaped it. We have two choices: either to accept it with submission, which means letting Islam die, or to destroy it, so that we can construct the world as Islam requires."

As this struggle continues, the ragged gaggle of mere thugs, opportunists and murderous nuts who move within the ambit of the Islamofanatics will be roughly sorted out leaving only the hard core. These are the ones who want "the world as Islam requires."

Their Islam "requires" submission or death, conversion or extermination.

This is the terrorism of the terrorized - of minds frightened into a deadly madness by a world with competing cultures and ideas and daunting possibilities of departure from dogma.

The considerable cultural and scientific accomplishments of the civilization that evolved from Islam mean little to the fanatics. They wish to return to a "clean" Islam in a distant past, or rather, in their ill-formed imagination of the past.

The rising numbers of foreign fighters who have made their way to Iraq are not fighting "for Iraq" They are there to kill "infidels" and those Muslims who are worse than infidels for their apostasy or indifference. They are there to continue the task they feel was so gloriously joined by the murderers who flew those planes into the World Trade Center at the outset of this long, bloody struggle.

Those fatuous lawmakers who float talk of "timetables" and gibber about "quagmires" and think we can simply "come home" from this fight, are guilty at the least of a monstrous ignorance.

We are taking a hard pounding, but we have taken harder. Our troops have the stomach to take it and pound back, but if they sense that we back home have lost our nerve then the fight is lost. The majority of us, who have had to make little or no sacrifice in this war, should at the least be signaling by the millions this July 4th that we not only support our military, but also the winning of this fight.

Somehow we must make it clear - to our troops, to our lawmakers, to our president - that we have the mettle and the patience for this; that we are prepared to sacrifice and fight, not merely "for democracy," but against implacable hatred - a hatred impervious to council, to appeal, even to weariness; an exterminating hatred that must itself be exterminated.


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