Monday, September 27, 2004

Beheading in the Wrong Direction

Michael Ledeen writes in the latest National Review Online,...

“Accustomed as we are to believing that everything in the world has to do with us, we've misunderstood what the recent beheadings are all about. The terrorists are not trying to make us cower. They are not using the beheadings as a technique to drive us out. Insofar as the slaughter of Westerners affects the policies of Coalition members, the same effect could be accomplished by other forms of murder; a government that is prepared to be routed from Iraq will turn tail when its public demands it, regardless of how its citizens have been killed.

“This is not about us — it is about them. The beheading films are recruitment tools. They've been around for a long time, part and parcel of the first generation of "jihad" home movies, circulated mostly in North Africa to excite homicidal fanatics and lure them into the Islamist bands. The main difference between then and now is that their marketing and distribution have improved, thanks to their comrades at al Jazeera and al Arabiya, and the Internet.

“We should have no trouble understanding this and drawing the proper conclusions. A movement that draws its foot soldiers from people who dream of beheading one of us is clearly a barbarous phenomenon, one that puts the lie to the notion that our enemies in this terror war are human beings driven to desperation by misery and injustice. Not at all: The recruiting films are aimed at subhuman homicidal maniacs who revel in bloody brutality….”

You can read the rest of his story here.

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