Thursday, August 19, 2004
The Discerning Texan, has posted an interesting link to a piece by Lt.Col. Ralph Peters on the 'sticky situation' as he puts it, in Najaf.
"Lt. Col. Ralph Peters writes a column in the New York Post which suggests that it is our own moral cowardice which have allowed radical Islamists to use mosques as cover for their terrorist activity (you will recall also that Islamists occupied the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem recently, and caused significant damage to the site...). While it is no question that Najaf is a sticky situation, and fighting appears to have started there again today, not one soldier should die because we are afraid of doing what we have to do to end this situation. Sure, there might be an outcry if the mosque is damaged significantly; but it would be foolish for the Iraqi authority to allow al Sadr to stay there, armed and killing American soldiers, and in general sabotaging the Iraqi government's authority. And taking care of this now will send a message to other Islamist cowards who hide behind their holy sites"
See The Discerning Texan's post here
Inasmuch as current Islamic attitudes to non Islamic holy sites are a mirror of historical Islam's insesitivities to holy sites-- recall the pillage of Southern Europe's churches and their conversion into mosques (after the theft of holy items of value and the intentional desecration of the shrines themselves), we need to understand that we can play by their rules, if that will get the job done. At the same time, we may get the message across that civilized behavior is applicable to all.