- Cries to set a date for abandoning Iraq are fading as it becomes embarrassingly obvious that Coalition forces and Iraqis are succeeding in rooting out Al Qaeda in that country.
- "Islamic" wisdom and justice has been on display, in cases like the "Girl from Qatif" and her male companion who were raped - and therefore convicted to imprisonment and lashes.
- The many facets of Muslim culture and sensitive infidels brought us
- A British proposal for rotating hospital beds to address an issue that hadn't been raised
- A Sudanese Court jailed a British teacher, Gillian Gibbons, to save Islam from a teddy bear
- A Peacebuilding Fellow with the American Islamic Congress, said, "Ms. Gibbons needs to be freed at once"
- The British teacher's release was negotiated by Britain's Baroness Sayeeda Warsi and Lord Nazir Ahmed.
- Presidential election campaigns are recycling the usual nincompoopery ("Here Come the Weird Words: Election's Coming Up!," "Watch for Weird Words: Election's Coming Up!").
I think that the most immediate, and critical, foreign policy issue for America - and every other country - is the War on Terror.
On the one hand, religious fanatics have a clear vision of the sort of world they want: one in which Islam is safe from blasphemous teddy bears; and where rape victims face the lash and imprisonment (I know: the Saudi King pardoned the "Girl from Qatif" today - there'll be more on that in another post).
On the other hand, I see a western civilization with a distressing unwillingness to recognize that radical Islam isn't an issue that can be solved with encounter groups and an increase in tolerance.
In my opinion, Islamic leaders will have to decide whether they want the Islam of honor killings, or whether they're willing to wrench their beliefs loose from ancient Middle Eastern cultural norms.
I also believe that western leaders must seriously re-think the sort of radical individualism and secularism that has soaked into every fiber of western culture.
And we need to recognize that the War on Terror
- Isn't limited to a few countries in the Middle East
- Probably won't be over for many years (or, likely enough, many decades)
- Won't be over until an enormous amount of work is done in both Muslim and non-Muslim cultures
I hope that America gets a leader with this combination of guts and brains. Soon.
"... I would say to the House, as I said to those who have joined this government: 'I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.'
"We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering.
"You ask, what is our policy? I can say: It is to wage war, by sea, land and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny, never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.
"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.
"Let that be realised; no survival for the British Empire, no survival for all that the British Empire has stood for, no survival for the urge and impulse of the ages, that mankind will move forward towards its goal.
"But I take up my task with buoyancy and hope. I feel sure that our cause will not be suffered to fail among men. At this time I feel entitled to claim the aid of all, and I say, "come then, let us go forward together with our united strength."
(Quote from The Churchill Centre (www.winstonchurchill.org):
Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat
First Speech as Prime Minister, May 13, 1940, to House of Commons.)