DEATH BY CIVILITY: 'FIGHT FIRE WITH FIRE'
By Roger Fredinburg
February 5, 2002
I warned my radio audience that if we didn't devastate Afghanistan, I mean really wipe them out, we would regret it. Many listeners were amused at my comments thinking that when I spoke of using Neutron bombs and fuel air bombs that I was simply posturing for ratings. They were wrong.
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was quoted by Associated Press from an interview published Thursday, January 31, 2002, as regretting not killing P.L.O. leader Yasser Arafat 20 years ago "... sorry we didn't liquidate him" say's Sharon. He is right on. Much of the death and most of the violence in Israel and along the West Bank and Gaza can be attributed to Arafat and the P.L.O. I think we will also regret not being more brutal and less civil in Afghanistan before this supposed war on terror is over.
In our rush to find Osama bin Laden and his terror cells we adopted the age old error riddled policy of nation building by supporting and installing government opposition forces to front our war effort in Afghanistan. The new regime so closely mirrors the evil ones we sought to overthrow one can hardly tell them apart.
Rival factions, tribal leaders and the whispering voices of division are now heard in the rubble laden wasteland called Afghanistan. We have accomplished little to nothing of import. The world isn't really any safer than it was before we committed the American military, at the great expense of the taxpayers, to this lost cause. So what then was the point?
In Somalia each of the various war lords are determined to convince the Americans that they, rather than their enemies, are the true opposition force, in the hope that one over the other can garner U.S. support to wipe out their rivals. It's a race to see who can get the western infidel's money, support and aid. Like trained seals in a circus, each putting on a show, hopeful of being noticed and rewarded with a treat. It's not about ideology, principle or right and wrong. It's about money, American taxpayer's money. That's it.
The problem with the U.S. policy as relates to dealing with these very real threats is simply that we don't have the stomach to do what needs to be done to win.
My example of wiping Afghanistan off the map may seem extreme but that's the bottom line. Had we destroyed every inch of the place, wiped out all organic matter and stuck an American flag in the soil on our way out with a sign asking "Who wants to be next?", an unmistakable message would have been delivered. Over time we could have saved millions of innocent lives. Too bad we didn't have the guts to do the right thing.
By installing this new regime who are already at each others throats, all we achieved was to stall the ultimate demise of this wasted and desperate culture. The terrorists don't have a conscience, they are brutal killers who would stop at almost nothing to kill their enemies. They don't even value their own lives and believe that the only way to Heaven is to die in a holy Jihad. To beat them one must be willing to be a hundred times more brutal than they are.
Take the Daniel Pearl kidnapping as one example. The radicals are calling for the release of Pakistanis being held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or they say the Wall Street Journal reporter will be killed. The reaction is the same old negotiating tactics we use with civilized enemies. I pray it works and Mr. Pearl is set free, but If I were in charge I would deploy a more simplistic response.
I would publish the pictures of ten of the Pakistani prisoners at Guantanamo and announce to the kidnappers that if Mr. Pearl wasn't released unharmed, in 24 hours all ten would be killed. And should they fail, I would follow through. The message is obvious, the penalty for radicalism is that it provokes an equal and opposite reaction. Weighing these kind of responses against any hoped for gains by the terrorists or kidnappers would prove futile and they would know that there was no way of winning. No reward and only reprisals that were far too costly. They're not stupid, they know how to count bodies and very little can move them to give up. Only brutality beyond their own capacity will impress upon them the need for peace.
In the Philippines the Abu Sayyaf have beheaded one American and are holding hostage Wichita, Kansas missionaries Martin and Gracia Bumham. The tiny band of radicals hiding out on two small southern Islands could be rounded up and eliminated in a mere matter of hours if the President really wanted to rescue the Bumhams. The threat that they may die causes anal swelling in the White House briefing room. Just the thought of losing the Christian base before the midterm elections is too much to swallow.
I would find out which clerics are most followed by this group. I would round up those clerics, giving the Abu Sayyaf a reason to trade their hostages for ours, then inform them that whatever they do to our missionaries we will d, ten fold, to their clerics. In my view these are the kind of tactics that get the issues on and off the bargaining table in a timely manner. But unfortunately we don't have the guts to do what needs to be done to win.
Call it scorched earth politics or whatever, I am convinced that to win the war against terrorism these are the kinds of things we must be willing to do. Even Alan Derschowitz recently acknowledged that torture of detainees might be needed to get information on future planned attacks. If a left winger like him see's the inevitable, then why shouldn't we all see it.
We should tell the Arab nations of Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and the rest, that Mecca, Medina and all other Holy sites in Islam, will be destroyed if there are any more attacks on Americans or other innocent folks anywhere on the planet by Muslim radicals. And we should mean it.
Like the man said "Fight Fire With Fire."
© 2002 - Roger Fredinburg - All Rights Reserved
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Roger Fredinburg is a syndicated radio host heard in more than 140 markets nationwide and worldwide on the internet at www.regularguy.com or www.radioamerica.org The show airs from 7PM till 10PM Pacific and 10PM till 1:00 AM Eastern M-F and Sunday nights from 9:00 PM till Midnight PST Midnight till 3:00 AM Eastern. The call-in number to his show is 1-800-510-8255 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org