By Alan Caruba
Have you noticed that there just aren't any anti-war marches occurring lately?
Afghanistan and Iraq are just not Vietnam. The reason given for Vietnam was that we were still engaged in a long Cold War and we didn't want that "domino" to fall to international communism. A generation later we have an embassy there.
The Middle East is a very different kettle of fish. The motivation there is Islam, a religion whose holy book is more a battle plan with the promise of a hot ticket to paradise if you die in war. Islam divides up the world between Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb. There's Islam with its umma or community and all the rest outside of it is a world of "war" until it too is subsumed.
Of course, there are surely lots of Iraqis, Iranians, Afghanis, and other Muslim folks in the region who do not want war, but they are not the ones with guns, bombs, and the willingness to use them. That makes them "victims", no matter who kills them.
Here at home, the anti-war folks can't seem to get a good march going because, I think, most Americans have come to the conclusion that the U.S.A. is going to be in the Middle East for a long time, hopefully providing some kind of containment of conflict, but if that is not possible, killing whole bunches of people until they weary of dying in large numbers or sue for peace to avoid it.
Even the Iraqis seem to be making progress toward divvying up the oil revenue and letting every man sit peacefully beneath his olive tree. That is a major achievement in any Arab society. The Palestinians, by contrast, are busy making war on one another in order to get the biggest share of all the free money from the U.S., the European Union, and anyone else stupid enough to fund them.
As Americans watch the Middle East get even more shaky than it has been since the end of World War II, they are going to be looking at political candidates who, like George W. Bush, know how to kick some butt. Turning the other cheek is not going to be on their minds or their agenda.