Historian's Take on Islam Steers U.S. Policy:
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Wall St Journal ^ | 2-02-04 | PETER WALDMAN
A Princeton historian's diagnosis of the Muslim world's malaise, and his call for a U.S. military invasion to seed democracy in the Mideast, have helped define the boldest shift in U.S. foreign policy in 50 years.
Bernard Lewis often tells audiences about an encounter he once had in Jordan. The Princeton University historian, author of more than 20 books on Islam and the Middle East, says he was chatting with Arab friends in Amman when one of them trotted out an argument familiar in that part of the world.
"We have time, we can wait," he quotes the Jordanian as saying. "We got rid of the Crusaders. We got rid of the Turks. We'll get rid of the Jews."
Hearing this claim "one too many times," Mr. Lewis says, he politely shot back, "Excuse me, but you've got your history wrong. The Turks got rid of the Crusaders. The British got rid of the Turks. The Jews got rid of the British. I wonder who is coming here next...."
Along with a brief biography of Bernard Lewis and great anecdotes of his contacts with past Israeli politicians and the current WH administration, this article is notable for it's exposure of Mr. Lewis's critics as the enemies of America and Israel:
Mideast historian Juan Cole of the University of Michigan praises Mr. Lewis's scholarly works earlier in his career but says his more-popular writings of recent years tend to caricature Muslims as poor losers, helpless and enraged.Mr. Coles thinks we should have thrown candy at them and begged them to like us. That will always get a muslim's respect.
"Mr. Cole is among those who say Mr. Lewis's call for military intervention to transform failed Muslim states risks making the culture clash between Islamic lands and the West worse."
"So far, they say, Iraq looks more like a breeding ground for terrorism than a showcase of democracy -- not surprising, they say, given that the U.S. invaded an old and proud civilization."Hello, THE ENTIRE MUSLIM MID-EAST is a breeding ground for terrorism! Which part of the Koran didn't Mr. Cole read?
And "an old and proud civilization"? Was that the one with Saddam Hussein's killing fields and the mass graves, or was Mr. Cole referring to the sword wielding tribesmen running around in the sand hiding from the Ottomans? Hello, BABYLON died when?
"Lewis has lived so long, he's managed to live into an era when some people in Washington are reviving empire thinking," says Mr. Cole."What a useless apologist for terrorism this man is: ISLAM CONSIDERS ITSELF AN EMPIRE TO BE IMPOSED.
"He's never understood the realities of political and social mobilization and the ways they make empire untenable."We understand you clearly, Mr. Cole; you want to be the dhimmie advisor who gets to sit by the pashas and the mullahs and point out which of us get hanged.
"Ilan Pappe of Haifa University says Mr. Lewis's view that political cultures can be remade through force contributed to Israel's decision to invade Lebanon in 1982."Ilan Pappe is an degenerate communist who should be deported to hell with arafat and peres.
"It took the Israelis 18 years, and 1,000 soldiers killed, to abandon that strategy," Mr. Pappe says.Yes, and every arab regime repeatedly states how they can wear down America the same way they wore down Israel until they ran out of Lebanon, leaving the Lebanese under the thumb of the Syrians and Hizbollah with their thousands of rockets aimed at Israel.
"Effendi, simply give little arab sex boys to the communists in the universities and the newspapers, they will write and tell their people to abandon the fight and we can destroy our enemies without firing hardly a shot."
"If the Americans operate under the same assumptions in Iraq, they'll fail the way the Israelis failed."Ironically that's correct: If America follows Israel's ongoing appeasement madness, we will succumb to terrorists for centuries.