Springtime is a season of new beginnings. Normally painted in
pastels and freshly scented with love and sunshine, this year’s
vernal equinox also donned shades of gray along with the subtle
smell of gasoline.
This spring brought with it a chilling new metamorphosis of the
war against terror. Over the past two weeks any clear end to the
war has become muddied to the point of nonexistence. Our
generation, already altered by the war and its casualties, may now
be defined by it.
This war is no longer as simple as finding bin Laden or bringing
democracy to the Middle East, or even settling the grievances of
the Arab-Israeli conflict. We Americans call this conflict many
different names, but those whom we fight have just one name for
this war. America’s enemies fight in the name of God; for them this
is not a holy war, it is the holy war.
Support for Armageddon ebbs and flows in the Muslim world. Right
now support is flowing with opposition to American domination of
the Middle East. The long-term plan of our leaders is to introduce
democracy to the region in the na�ve hope that the people
will embrace democracy and vote in favor of peace.
Democracy is a wonderful tool to promote peace, unless the
voters are part of a violent society. America is the perfect
example of this phenomenon. Violence is engrained in our personal
being and is evidenced by both our morbid fascination with weapons
and our ruthless incarceration of even petty criminals.
A cable news channel reported earlier this week how a poll of
Pakistani citizens found two-thirds of them had a favorable
impression of Osama bin Laden. Polls in Saudi Arabia and other Arab
countries taken at the beginning of the year show the same results.
Hatred of the United States and Israel is ingrained in many of the
minds of Muslims worldwide in much the same way as our children are
taught to love guns.
The mass bombing of train cars in Madrid on March 11 highlights
another weakness of democracy. Public support for Spain’s
involvement in Iraq was never high, and in a close election
terrorists were able to coerce people into expressing their fear
and outrage through their vote.
Spain will no longer be a supporter of the war on terror after
July, and only time will tell how many European leaders and voters
will follow suit. While terrorists have proven their ability to
influence elections though fear, Israel has succeeded in
galvanizing Muslim opposition of the nation’s very existence to the
most extreme levels in 30 years.
Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the spiritual leader of Hamas, was
assassinated Monday by the Israeli military. Hamas is a terrorist
organization and Israel justified the killing of Yassin by
comparing him to Osama bin Laden. The rest of the world did not
agree with the comparison; even the United States condemned the
Yassin’s funeral was attended by the largest single crowd of
people in Gaza since the return of Yassir Arafat in the early
1990s, as well as by many foreign dignitaries. Hamas leaders
publicly pledged open war on Israel. Many millions of Muslims
listened on with empathy and encouragement.
Radical Muslim Fundamentalists have been preaching for decades
how Palestine must be taken back from the Jews, even if it means
driving every single Israeli into the sea. This goal is the essence
of Jihad, or Holy War.
The United States’ unwavering allegiance with Israel is why we
too are a prime target of Muslim extremists. With the United
States, or “Great Satan,” supplying Israel with arms and aid since
its birth, Israel has successfully defended itself for almost 60
years in every major conflict it has ever fought.
The fact that America is the world’s largest single base of
evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity only serves to solidify
our indictment as infidels. When combined with Israel, our
Judeo-Christian alliance becomes the definitive enemy of Muslim
With our other allies beginning to fade away and our enemies
enjoying a snowballing base of support, the mighty Judeo-Christian
juggernaut is beginning to look lonely and vulnerable among an
ever-growing number of sworn enemies.
America is too invested in both its military and diplomatic
commitments to pull its support now. We have to continue on with
this war and be victorious in order to survive.
Americans may never have to define this conflict as a holy war,
but the fact remains this is how our enemies view the struggle. If
our enemies are convinced this is a holy war, a holy war is what it
Did I mention the government might reactivate the draft next
Joe is a senior majoring in history. His column runs every