Slipping into Darkness

Mar 242004
Authors: Joe Marshall

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

might be.

Did I mention the government might reactivate the draft next


Joe is a senior majoring in history. His column runs every


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