America at War
SCHISM, DEPARTITION AND OTHER NEW IDEAS FOR THE MIDDLE EAST
by Joe Shea
American Reporter Correspondent
BRADENTON, Fla. -- Are there new ideas and new approaches that might reduce tensions in the Middle East, or lead to a clear-cut victory over Islamic funamentalist terrorism? Maybe, but they are not being heard.
Ponder, for instance, the geopolitical tactic of removing the border between Iraq and Afghanistan to create the largest state in the Middle East, one whose leaders are friendly to America, and which can be counted on as an ally against Iran - and restore this region's original name, Mesopotamia. (Unfortunately, they have no common border!)
Consider, if you will, the idea of creating a large countert-terrorist movement composed of ordinary and moderate Moslems who like civilian neighborhood patrols in the United States and elesewhere band together against the violent and lawless and bring peace to their communities.
As a theological strategy, imagine the introduction of a substantial and scholarly new doctrine that finds Koranic pretexts for violence a heresy that must be removed - by force, if necessary.
Has anyone thought of fighting tit-for-tat: mirroring terrorist tactics with car bombings in terrorist neighborhoods?
As Sen. John Kerry has suggested, why is it necessary to expose hundreds of willing applicants for Iraq's army and police to terrorist car bombs? Can't they be recruited and trained in a secure place?
Here's one for you: Design 4-ft. by 4-ft. hardened concrete blocks with conical holes, with concrete baffles inside the cones, and a giant wireless amplifier inside. From helicopters, drop 500 of them in Sadr City and start calling the faifhful to prayer. Not. Start communicating 24 hours a day. Replace them if they get destroyed.
Has anyone thought of our burning a Koran in public each time an innocent civilian is murdered, thus placing responsibility for the burning of their holy book on fundamentalists? It worked once, a long time ago, in Pakistan.
What about an effort to seed acoustic and video surveillance devices where the terrorists are, through their purchases of food, clothing and other mundae necessities and routines?
Can a very debilitating three-day flu be spread throughout Sadr City without infecting the rest of Baghdad, lasting just long enough to retake it from the radicals?
Can we manufacture thousands of flawed weapons and armaments to be infiltrated into terrorist hands - and then explode there?
Can we capture valuable but innocent hostages from the terrorist camp and trade them for televised ceasefire appeals by their leaders?
As Israelis bulldoze the homes of people related to terrorists, why can't we bulldoze entire neighborhoods instead of bombing single homes?
Why do water and electricity have to be turned on in communities that resist law and order? Why are markets left open for terrorists to shop?
The Republicans have never been accused of possessing a lot of imagination. Their uninspired tactics in two wars over the past two years have increased the number of attacks and terrorists we face, but failed to net us the one man most responsible for our going to war in the first place: Osama bin Laden.
Democrats, on the other hand, are fearful of advancing ideas the Republican spin machine can turn to confetti - even if that confetti may be made of $100 bills. Valuable ideas that get squelched, silenced and suppressed by fear, mockery and intimidation could help us reverse the losses and truly begin to win in Iraq.
Will we ever hear them?
As a student at Antioch University, Joe Shea was sent around the world by Antioch to develop a thesis on the use of partition as an instrument of foreign policy. He visited 18 nations and spoke to heads of state, members of the diplomatic corps and persons in the intelligence community, as well as thousands of ordinary people, in Northern Ireland, Pakistan, India, Vietnam and the Philippines and other nations. He never wrote the thesis, but contributed 18 articles on his experiences to New York's Village Voice from 1971 to 1973. The ideas mentioned here are his own.