When I worked in Africa, the local baboons would steal the corn when it was getting large enough to harvest. If enough of the crop was taken, it meant starvation for the families. Traditionally, women and children guarded the crops, but baboons could seriously bite, and would attack women and children. So men, who were larger and able to defend themselves, traditionally stayed in the fields to guard the crop from being stolen.
But with the modern world, often the younger men would have jobs in the cities, and those left behind were often women or old men, who would be attacked by the baboons.
So every harvest, Brother Charles, who had a gun permit, would go out to the fields and shoot the marauding monkeys. He would then arrange their body parts around the fields, and place the head on the stick. This sent a clear message to the baboons: attack the field, you’ll be next. And it worked. The monkeys would see the head, and decide to peacefully crunch on wild fruit instead.
When Bush attacked Iraq, he essentially placed the monkey’s head on a stick, for all to see. The message was clear: Attack us, and you’ll be next. Support terror groups who attack us, and you will be held responsible.
And it worked, although many of the successes rarely got headlines.
Well, when Congress voted against Bush last week, Congress has now taken down the monkey’s head.
As Mark Steyn points out, the Democrats want only to defeat Bush, but what they have done is prooted the defeat America in the eyes of the world.
And what no one is discussing is what this means for the rest of us.
The decision for Bush was “damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Bush chose war, but if he had chosen peace, he would still be blamed for the increase in terror, for the same reason that terror increased under Clinton: Because the weakness of the West is what encourages those who fight the West.
But alas, there is a “third front” in the war: Pacifism. Sweetness and light. Or for those of us of an older generation, “Peace in our time“.
Back to the 1990′s, when peace was reigning.
But then there is this story: the Islamic terrorists who have killed over 100 000 people in Algeria.This group has close ties with Jihadis in Alqaeda when it was allowed to thrive in Afghanistan. They were losing the war as the Algerian government fought back, so they a truce with that government, are now reviving and the government is again seeking ways to stop them. (Such truces are tricky, as truces withÂ Moro nationalists here or the FARC et al in Colombia have shown. Too often they are merely a way for the extremists to raise more money, arms, and men to restart the fight.)
So now the report says that these Algerian terror group are not only responsible for 20 percent of Iraqi suicide bombs, but have links with the Moroccan men who bombed Madrid…. It sounds like “peace in our time” didn’t work, and if I lived in France or Spain, or even in London, I would worry.
Yet there has been success in the global war on terror, and a pull out of the US from Iraq will mean increased terror for Africa and Asia.
And there is one way that the Iraq war has indeed “encouraged terrorism”. Terrorism was there before, but, if you read the entire NYTimes article, it notes that it is the success of suicide bombings in Iraq that has encouraged AlQaeda to use that tactic elsewhere.
Yet here and there below the headlines are stories of success that you might have missed.
—A UN report on how Somali’s short lived Islamicist take over was enabled by Egypt, Syrian and Libyan training, and Saudi money, and trained with Hezbollah. The press barely noticedÂ Somalia for ten years, and when the Islamicist took over, they started to spin as another failure for Bush. Then, voila, Kenya and Ethiopia stepped in and they were chased out. Kenya? Well,Â Kenya lost a lot of their people in those embassy bombings.The entire issue is now off the headlines, so let’s ignore this success.
—-Is there a connection between the American “surge” and the Saudi’s sudden friendliness with Israel? If so, it will to be ignored by tn American press and Congress who don’t know a Sunni from a Shiite. (Quick: Is Hezbollah Shiite or Sunni? Why does Saudi Arabia fear Hezbollah?)— Pakistan , who has been rooting out jihadi schools, suffering from and stopping suicide attacks, and starting to confront the Taliban hiding in their frontiers.
The danger of AlQaeda in Pakistan is now increasing, according to the NYTimes, but the dirty little secret is that they have been there for years.
—Today’s bombing of Muslim and Hindu civilians on a train in India bring up a little noted point: That the country with the second highest number of terrorist attacks is India. India’s anti terrorism effort is expanding with other countries in that region, especially to increase security in shipping and air transportation.
–Then there is the Philippines. Another ignored story of success in the war on terror is here in the Philippines.. Basilan Island in the Philippines was supposed to be the backup for AlQaeda training camps when Afghanistan was eliminated. However, the heroic Philippine armed forces, with help from US Special Forces advisers, have been slowly eliminating that area. But the fight is still ongoing, with the Philippines almost daily finding and defusing bombs at markets and police stations here.
—Another unsung ally is Australia. Senator Obama showed his ignorance of the war on terror when he criticized Australia’s Howard, saying that if Howard really likes the war in Iraqi, then the Aussies should send more troops to Iraq. Obama, who grew up in Indonesia and should know better, seems blithely unaware that Australia is involved in many peacekeeping missions here in SEAsia and Micronesia. Indeed, the Bali Bombing, which occurred before the Iraq war started, had nothing to do with Bush: itÂ was in retaliation for Australian UN peacekeepersÂ who were defending Christians in East Timor.
—Indonesia is also starting to fight against local terror groups. Recently, with the help ofÂ Aussies and US Special Forces, that government has had some success against terrorist in Sulewesi.Â The bad news however is that StrategyPage reports thatÂ Islamicists in Sulewesi are planning another big massacre of Christians to generate headlines and encourage others to join their losing cause….but unlike the past, where Christians did not defend themselves until many had been killed,Â this time, the Christians time will fight back.
—Is this perhaps why Thailand has become such a hotbed of terror? The peaceful Thai have avoided military solutions, and were hoping that peace could be made by their new government. Instead, the violence has increased, with 2000 dead in the last year, and 28 bombs last weekend alone. Most of those killed were Buddhists , and the result is an ethnic cleansing of Buddhists from that area, and a war against moderate Muslims who oppose the jihadis.
So how will this all end?
The winner in all this will probably not be Islam: For the terrorists will undoubtably turn on themselves and kill each other. And a Europe who sees Bush as a bigger problem than Iran with a bomb will
The ultimate winner will be China.
If the Islamicsts don’t manage to kill each other, nuke the oil fields in the Gulf, and turn Europe into a stagnantÂ continent run by Sharia law, the growing caliphate will find themselves confronted with not the cowboy with the monkey’s head, but the dragon.
Psst…ten to one on the dragon.
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living with her husband in the Philippines. Her webpage is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket. Her experiences in Africa have made her cynical of pacifists who who underestimate the desire and ability of men with weapons to harm innocent unarmed civilians in the name of a utopian ideal.