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In response to your article “Enough is Enough Already”: I agree with your conclusion that the West should return the violence to such a degree that future terrorism may cease to exist. However, I don’t think this is realistic. The West no longer has the stomach for this kind of response over time. Look at the position Bush is in for his aggression into Afghanistan and Iraq? He is viewed as an arrogant lonestar cowboy. Today, this is bad. A hundred years ago, this was good! He would have been hailed as a hero!
Isaiah’s apocalyptic writing Chapter 51:30 — “Babylon’s warriors have ceased to fight, they remain in their strongholds; Dried up in their strength, they have become women” (my emphasis).
The truth is — I don’t think that even doing what you suggested would stop the Muslims from coming after Israel and the United States, because it goes against their religion. They are on a divine mission to destroy the infidels. Death is not what will stop them — even mass death. Are we willing to destroy all the Muslims in order to achieve peace and security? They are willing to destroy us, for Allah.p>We may have the might, but they have the fight. Going into Iraq had the effect of throwing rocks at a nest of killer bees. br> — Mary Grace Miller /p>
The final paragraph of Mason and Felder’s commentary questions how long the West will wait before retaliating for Muslim acts of violence. While retaliation is considered barbaric in some quarters, a non-verbal response now to state-sanctioned terrorism and random murders of westerners may in the end save many Muslim lives. Freedom of speech, as a concept in the Western sense, may not exist among Muslims and may be completely contrary to their societal norms. And, this lack of cultural empathy and common understanding of acceptable behavior may eventually lead to a retaliation by the West far more bloody and violent than is necessary.
While it is tempting to draw too many parallels between World War II and today’s war on terror, there is one area of striking similarity. Cultural differences between Japan and America were probably greater then than between Muslims and Western societies today. Both Japan and America accused each other of insincerity, but, ironically, both societies had completely different notions of what sincerity meant. For Americans, sincerity meant an open and honestly motivated dialogue where both sides worked toward mutually satisfactory goals. Since we had broken their secret diplomatic code, Americans, in 1941, were appalled at the double dealing and lies Japan used in their negotiations with the State Department. To us, the Japanese were anything but sincere about their real intentions.
To the Japanese, sincerity meant that once a course of action was decided, the individual and the nation were unswerving in commitment, even to the point of death. America’s willingness to meekly accept provocations over our diplomatic support of China indicated lack of sincerity or what we would call lack of total commitment. Japanese leaders weren’t stupid and they completely understood that America possessed far greater material resources to make war than what Japan could amass. However, they believed America was a matriarchal society of dominant women and effeminate men who would sue for peace if Japan hurt us enough. We lacked commitment (or sincerity) in the face of violent struggle and this erroneous belief was to have terrible consequences for Japan.
Before the American victory at Midway, Admiral Yamamoto’s plan was to occupy Midway island preparatory to invading Hawaii. With 400,000 American hostages in Hawaii, Japan believed we would sue for peace to avoid more bloodshed. Instead, the Japanese attacks at Pearl Harbor and later kindled an American rage that would eventually lead to Roosevelt’s announcement at Casablanca that the Allies would only accept the “unconditional surrender” of the Axis powers. The rest as they say is history, but my point is that America would eventually inflict approximately 1 million casualties on Japan, including untold thousands of women and children killed during the bombings. Eventually, even the Japanese capacity for self-immolation and glory in death was exceeded.p>Whether all this bloodshed could have been avoided had America taken military action against Japan early on can’t be determined. But, once Americans reach a point of no return on the rage meter, our capacity for violence is almost unlimited. As Yamamoto said after Pearl Harbor: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible wrath.” Before we allow Muslims to awaken the sleeping giant, perhaps we should consider some minor demonstrations of what the giant can do. br> —
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