Posted by: ourvoicestogether | October 7, 2007

Fighting the Wrong War

Fighting the Wrong WarPhilip H. Gordon of the Brookings Institution discusses, in his article, the precarious state of U.S. in terms of its Homeland Security policy, and the U.S. standing in the international community. He believes that the position of the US and its allies has not improved since the 9/11 attacks. He partly blames this on the fact that the US administration is “fighting the wrong war.”

I think Gordon is correct in saying that the U.S. should not be fighting a single enemy “when the enemy is extremely diverse.” The War on Terror should not be a war against a single people but against a specific ideology that presents itself within many cultures and in a variety of different ways. By focusing on an individual people, we are missing the point. This is not a war against Iraq. This is a war against an ideology that could be found anywhere in the world, including the U.S.

There is one thing that Gordon says, however, that I did not agree with. He states that like communism, “Islamism will also fail.” I feel that you cannot compare an the ideology of a political structure to a religion. You cannot say that a religion will fail because it is not “the religion” that is creating the conflict. It is a handful of insurgent groups that are acting of their own accord, misinterpreting and exploiting the religion that they defend. Will he also be willing to accept that Christianity will also fail because of the handful of people who, like Michael Bray, burn abortion clinics and target the doctors who work there?

I think Gordon makes a string of very good points including the fact that the U.S. should work on “preserving the values that we are trying to defend.” By doing this, the U.S. will eliminate the allure of extreme Islam lessen the appeal for homegrown terrorists. Success in “winning over” our allies begins with our ability to stay true to our American ideals, and prove that through these ideals, there is the greatest amount of possibility and hope available to our citizens. We must work on our many flaws within our borders to set an example for the rest of the world, and with self-awareness, change the way we are viewed by the international community. The U.S. must prove itself
”right” before it is able to prove any other ideology “wrong.”

–Jillian

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