Originally created 09/19/06

Islamic extremism must be quashed



Mark Weisbrot's article "Bush's tactics really help bin Laden" (Sept. 11) is another tiring example of incoherent babbling and mindless pontification conducted by individuals who plainly just don't get it. Put simply, you can't deal rationally with irrational people.

Call it a "war on terror," a "clash of civilizations," whatever you choose - but recognize it for what it is: Islamic extremism. The level of hatred toward the United States in the Muslim world has led people such as Mr. Weisbrot to conclude that the United States is to blame for incurring Muslim wrath, as a result of bad U.S. policy. Changing our foreign policy, no matter to what extent we attempt diplomacy, negotiations and international cooperation will have little effect on Islamic extremism. Quite simply, they just want us dead - whether we are in Iraq or Indiana. It is the very success of the United States as a world power and the pluralist principles underlining our country that Islamic extremists can't stomach.

Mr. Weisbrot jumps on the politically correct bandwagon by playing the "get out of Iraq" card, assuming it will reduce Islamic extremism (or "stop making so many enemies"). I remind Mr. Weisbrot that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks by al-Qaida were predicated by Osama bin Laden's 1998 fatwa, linking his war against the United States to the American military presence in Saudi Arabia. Let's see, he's mad at us because we helped protect a Muslim country from another Muslim country? Remember, you can't deal rationally with irrational people.

Getting out of Iraq won't eradicate Islamic extremist violence; it will simply cause it to change location. The religious dogma that is the underpinning of militant Islam won't change regardless of our action in Iraq. We must stay the course until the Islamic extremism is eliminated. Call me irrational, but I'd rather do it in Iraq than Indiana.

Wayne J. Clarke, Evans