Saturday, November 25, 2017 at 10:03 AM

Bombing in Sinai Shows Dreaded ‘Clash of Civilizations’ Is Between Moderate and Extremist Muslims

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

In the deadliest attack on civilians in Egypt’s modern history, Islamist militants detonated a bomb inside a crowded mosque on Friday and then sprayed gunfire on panicked worshipers as they fled the building, killing [305] people and wounding at least 109 others.

The scale and ruthlessness of the assault, which occurred in a small town in the insurgency-racked Sinai Peninsula, sent shock waves across the nation, not just for the number of deaths but also for the choice of target. …

The attack injected a new element into Egypt’s volatile stew because most of the victims were Sufi Muslims, who practice a mystical form of Islam that some extremists deem heretical.

(New York Times, November 24, 2017)

Rather throws the terror of church shootings in America into sobering relief, no? But sadly, this is just the latest confirming evidence of my contention that Muslims in the Middle East have more to fear from Islamic jihadists than non-Muslims in the West.

Nothing is more perverse or irresponsible in this respect than the way the media continually portray ISIS terrorists. For they would have you believe that this ragtag bunch of Islamic jihadists are the latterday equivalent of Christian crusaders — who are rampaging across the Middle East, avenging Islam by beheading thousands of Westerners along the way.

Except that nothing could be further from the truth. These terrorists are merely exercising temporary dominion over rat holes in parts of Syria and Iraq, which U.S.-led coalition bombers are now in the process of turning into their graves.

In the meantime, they are deliberately executing one thousand Muslims for every non-Muslim they behead.

(“Stop the ‘Breaking News’ about Beheadings Already!” The iPINIONS Journal, October 4, 2014)

Of course, this has not stopped narcissistic jingoists like President Trump from making the internecine battle within Islam all about hatred of America. This, despite the fact that this battle has been raging over there for over 1000 years.

Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran are the main opposing sects in this battle. And it does not bode well that saber rattling between them is threatening a regional clash. After all, it would make today’s Sunni-inspired massacre look like backyard fisticuffs between siblings.

Saudi Arabia’s powerful Crown Prince called the Supreme Leader of Iran ‘the new Hitler of the Middle East’ in an interview with the New York Times published on Thursday, sharply escalating the war of words between the arch-rivals. …

‘But we learned from Europe that appeasement doesn’t work. We don’t want the new Hitler in Iran to repeat what happened in Europe in the Middle East,’ the paper quoted him as saying.

(Reuters, November 24, 2017)

Mind you, this is the same crown prince who vowed just last month to reform Saudi Arabia from its extremist ways to pursue a more moderate form of Islam. Because it is noteworthy that he did so just days before rounding up hundreds of Saudi princes and businessmen in a political purge worthy of Joseph Stalin of the Soviet Union.

Truth be told, this makes the war of words between Trump and Kim Jong-un of North Korea look like idle bluster. But a more instructive analogy might be the infamous “16 words” former US President George W. Bush uttered in his 2003 State of the Union address:

The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.

(Bush, George W. “State of the Union address.” The White House, January 28, 2003)

Those words led to America trapping itself in the crossfire of this never-ending battle for the soul of Islam. Yet even Bush did not ignite the kind of doom this crown prince is igniting with his fighting words – complete with his apocalyptic warning about another world war.

In any event, my related commentaries attest that I spent most of the Bush and Obama presidencies pleading for them to withdraw US troops from unwinnable wars in the Middle East.

Obama would be well-advised to cut America’s losses and run ASAP; to let the Afghans govern themselves however they like; and to rely on Special Forces and aerial drones to ‘disrupt and dismantle’ Taliban and al-Qaeda operations there.

(“Without (or even with) More Forces, Failure in Afghanistan Is Likely,” The iPINIONS Journal, September 23, 2009)

Alas, neither president heeded my pleas. In fact, I vented peak frustration and dismay in this respect in “Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds Fighting for Control of Iraq. Stay Out America!” June 19, 2014.

This is why I am loath to plead for Trump to end this continuing march of folly. Which is just as well because, despite parroting Obama’s campaign promise to withdraw US troops, Trump is aping Bush and Obama by expanding America’s misguided war on terrorism to even more countries.

American Special Ops Forces Have Deployed to 70 Percent of the World’s Countries in 2017.

Special Operations Forces are the main effort, or major supporting effort for US VEO-focused operations in Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, across the Sahel of Africa, the Philippines, and Central/South America — essentially, everywhere Al Qaeda (AQ) and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are to be found.

(The Nation, June 16, 2017)

Unfortunately, this whack-a-mole strategy has led to the absurdity of US troops dying in far-flung places like Yemen. Because they are serving as little more than military interlopers and sitting ducks — as the recent ambush killing of Sgt. La David Johnson and three fellow soldiers in Niger threw into tragic relief.

William Owens, whose son William ‘Ryan’ Owens became the first American to die in combat under the Trump administration, says that he refused a chance to meet President Trump and that he wants an investigation into his son’s final mission — a raid in Yemen whose merits have been called into question.

(NPR, February 27, 2017)

Called into question? No Shit!

Meanwhile, white men are terrorizing the United States with shooting massacres in ways Islamic jihadists can only dream of. The October 1 attack in Las Vegas, which killed 58 and wounded nearly 500, demonstrated this in distressingly “normalized” fashion. Yet Trump is so focused on vindicating his Islamophobia, he refuses to even call out, let alone combat, these white terrorists.

Again, I’m on record pleading from as early as 2006 that the best way for the United States to fight this so-called war on terrorism is as follows:

  1. Withdraw all US combat troops from Muslim countries;
  2. When invited to train Muslim soldiers, do so in friendly Muslim countries like Jordan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia;
  3. When CIA operatives provide intelligence about high-value ISIS targets, rely on Predator and Reaper drones to hit them, which drone pilots can do from the comfort and safety of their air-conditioned trailers on over 60 military drone bases across the United States; and
  4. Leave it to Muslims themselves to continue fighting their internecine battles.

All else is folly.

Related commentaries:
Stop breaking news
crown prince MBS
Trump vs. Jong-un
Sunnis, Shias, Kurds
Sgt. La David Johnson
Las Vegas

*This commentary was originally published yesterday, Friday, at 3:43 p.m.

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