igloo Posted November 17 Report Share Posted November 17 WHY THE DOGS DIDN'T BARKBy RALPH PETERS Email Archives Print ReprintNovember 17, 2004 --IN April, al-Jazeera won the First Battle of Fallujah with lurid anti-American lies. This time around, the Middle- Eastern media continued to mill propaganda, but the fury was missing as Fallujah fell.What happened?military fought smarter, employing overwhelming force to finish the big job quickly. After one week of combat, only a few small terrorist gangs remain active in Fallujah â€” and they're being hunted down. Our forces wrapped up major combat operations before terrorist sympathizers in the media could have much effect.But something even more important than martial skill was in play: We heard only pro-forma condemnations of our actions.There was no outpouring of rage in the Arab world. Iraq's Shi'as remained quiet. The terrorists' attempts to shift the fight to other Iraqi cities didn't find much of an echo. Even Sunni Arabs complained of the threat posed to their homes â€” they didn't want their cities turned into little Fallujahs.Terror has begun to defeat itself.A significant shift of perception has begun in the Middle East. Even last spring, any attacks that tweaked America's nose or prevented civil progress in Iraq were cheered from Cairo to Karachi (in Europe, too). Then the terrorists began to make mistakes, as terrorists inevitably do.The wave of videotaped beheadings appealed to the ultra-extremists in the Islamic world, but the great majority of Muslims were revolted. Not only were the ceremonial executions repugnant on a visceral level, they added to the growing global perception of Islam as a faith gone mad. The beheadings, which soon attracted copy-cats among the worst fanatics, brought shame on a great religion.Meanwhile, the Middle East's political leaders, who had gloated over every blow against the occupation of Iraq, began to see events from a different angle. The daylight attacks on Iraqi politicians and professionals, on policemen and military recruits, sent chills through the leadership cliques of states where popular discontent is barely contained.As the terrorists shifted their strikes to focus on unarmed Iraqis and the country's infrastructure, the Saudi royal family, Egypt's Hosni Mubarak and even Syria's Baby Assad began to grasp that the madness in Iraq might be a preview of their own national futures. If terrorists triumphed, the Americans could go home. But the Arabs are home already. A victory for terror would replicate itself across the region, creating chaos.Syria still abets insurgent activity in Iraq, but is having second thoughts about support for Islamic terrorism. Damascus has begun to realize that governments can't really exploit terrorists, but that terrorists are cynical and sly about using governments. Non-Arab Iran continues to strive against the pacification of Iraq â€” but this time Iraq's Shi'as did not take up arms as some factions did last spring.The story of the Second Battle of Fallujah is the story of Arthur Conan Doyle's "dog that didn't bark." Pandering to their factions, a few Iraqi politicians condemned the assault on the city. Inevitably, Kofi Annan extended the United Nation's seal of approval to the terrorists once again. But there was no intercontinental outcry to rival last spring's campaign to "save" Fallujah.With their repeated slaughters of the innocent, their suicide bombing campaign against civilian and government targets, their assassinations of doctors, engineers and educators, and their un-Islamic practice of ceremonial human sacrifice (celebrated on videotape), the terrorists have begun to divide themselves from decent Muslims everywhere, as well as from Arab leaders who tacitly condoned their past activities.The terrorists are losing the battle for hearts and minds, as well as the struggle for the future of Islam. That doesn't mean that the United States will suddenly be loved in the Middle East, only that terrorists will have ever more difficulty finding a refuge or new sources of support.The struggle will be long. Blows against America will still be cheered. Al-Jazeera and the BBC will continue to broadcast lies. But more and more Muslims will recognize that "Islamic" terror violates the fundamental teachings of Mohammed.Tactically, the terrorists' worst enemy is still the American soldier. Strategically, the forces of terror have begun to defeat themselves.Ralph Peters is the author of "Beyond Baghdad: Postmodern War and Peace." amyscottsdale 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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