Thursday, April 26, 2007

The enemy kills entire families including small children

People talk of an Army breaking under the strain, but while there remains a sliver of hope that Iraq might avoid conflagration into full-scale genocide, out here, where bones splinter and flesh really does burn, there is a kind of clarity. And on these empty streets, a practiced eye regards the slivers of hope that are strewn among all the chards of broken glass.

The latest group of professional soldiers I had the honor of accompanying was the 1-4 Cavalry from Fort Riley, Kansas. They opened their doors in Baghdad and wanted me to tell the people at home the good, the bad and the ugly. They didn’t hold back; they provided plenty of all three. In one neighborhood where residents have been subject to a methodical slaughter, our people found an abandoned Christian college that had already proved itself the proverbial island in the storm.

US forces in Iraq appear not to be broken, or even breaking. Instead, the US military service members who brave death every day appear to be far better ambassadors for American goodwill than all the US diplomats, congressmen, and administration officials combined.

It doesn’t matter how skeptical of the war a journalist might be, according to an Army public affairs officer (PAO) who spoke with me about it on condition of anonymity. “So often, they come out of that experience and – even if their opinion of the war hasn’t changed – they’re completely won over by the troops.”

“I was one of those,” admitted Beriain, speaking broken English and blinking away tears. “No matter what you think of the war, or what has happened here, you cannot be around the soldiers and not be completely affected. They are amazing people, and they represent themselves and the Army better than anyone could ever imagine.” A retired Army officer concurred, telling me that “young troops are some of the best good will ambassadors we've ever produced. It would never occur to one to not tell you what he's really thinking, and they are so earnest” that it is almost impossible not to be won over by them if given enough time.

The biggest recent case of a journalist with an anti-war mindset being completely overwhelmed into a change of heart by American soldiers, according to the PAO, was a Greek reporter who had been embedded with a cavalry unit that became entrenched in a 45-minute firefight with insurgents. Taking cover and fearing for his life for the almost hour-long duration of the battle, the journalist had the best view possible of American soldiers in action against an armed and murderous enemy, and credits his having lived to tell the tale directly to those young troops.

“He had tears in his eyes as he talked about it,” said the PAO. “He just kept saying, “they saved my life, they saved my life...these are great men; they are heroes.” He couldn’t get through the story without choking up – and this was a man who had arrived here with all of the disdain for the Iraq mission and for the American soldiers who he saw as the bad guys in this fight.”

Of course, the contrast could not be starker, between the narrative of western civilisation, and the ugly narrative of Islamism that western forces are attempting to hold back.

The objective of the Decidophobic is to make one major decision, and only one major decision, so one does not have to make another major decision in his or her life ever again. One strategy is to join a religion or a movement. One that has a set of finely prescribed behaviors that circumscribe one’s actions and offers an earthly or heavenly reward for the true believer. If a person is adrift without personal bearings and can not function in a chaotic ethical and moral environment that is perceived to have no absolutes – much like we have today – he or she will seek a belief system that offers a safe haven in this storm of relativism.

Islam fills that void

It is a strict religion that offers paradise and a sense of meaning in life to those who adhere to the simple pillars of its faith. Islam also presents to its followers a person whose life can be imitated and acts as a blue print to achieve the promise of paradise. But there is another form of ‘religion’ that is just as powerful and offers the reward of paradise here on earth. That is the belief in a strong secular ideology also led by a man to emulate – and even worship - and follow in his footsteps. Examples of these ideologies are Nazism with Hitler and Maoism with Mao Zedong.

Both of these belief systems are the answer to one suffering with Decidophobia. There is even an instruction manual for the Decidophobic that relieves him or her of any future personal decisions. The beliefs revealed and the instructions are clear in their ‘bibles’. Mein Kampf, Mao’s Little Red Book, and the Koran. These belief systems are now the Decidophobic’s community, their country that they dwell within surrounded by fellow citizens of their little nation.

Of course, Iran is the source of most Islamist terrorism currently. Even some European officials are beginning to understand the starkness of the situation regarding Iran.

Although US Democratic Party congressmen and women are taking a particularly cynical and cowardly stance toward the world struggle against jihadist terrorism, coming from Iran but manifested by Iraq, it is unlikely that their disingenuous tactics will stand at the end of the season.

These are issues of life and death that most journalists and some bloggers are very eager to deny--just as the US Democratic Party congressmen and women do.

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