Oliver North his way to be embedded with the troops in Iraq once again (I don’t know exactly where in Iraq –but I am sure his colleague Gerald Rivera is already giving those troop movements to the enemy). En route to Iraq Col. North has written a great commentary about the Annapolis process in the Washington Times.
As usual North cuts through all the BS and tells us what has to happen before any peace process can begin to work…because until any of it happens the Palestinians and the rest of the Islamic world cannot be prepared to deal with a peace
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By Oliver North – ENROUTE TO IRAQ.
……………It’s doubtful that radical Islamists like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran, Hezbollah’s Sheik Hassan Nasrallah or Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh will ever accept Israel’s existence or “Western”-style, secular, consensual government in the Middle East. That, however, doesn’t mean their followers can’t be persuaded otherwise. If the Annapolis Conference “peace process” is to work, President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice must focus on five issues that are far more crucial than drawing lines on a map — and convince the Mideast “moderates” involved of their importance.
(1) The “Arab Street” must be reminded regularly that jihadist masterminds like Mr. Ahmadinejad, bin Laden, Sheik Nasrallah and Mr. Haniyeh aren’t eager to find martyrdom. To the extent possible, they remain on the run and in hiding, relegating the “glory” of exploding bodies to their followers and their followers’ children. Those followers need to be constantly reminded that their leaders are cowards.
(2) Muslim moderates must point out to their people that the radical Islamic terrorists in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere may be able to construct car bombs, use cell phones as detonators, and know how to use AK-47s, RPGs, and videocameras to record their atrocities. But none of them are capable of building a car, a cell phone, a camera or even a relatively simple automatic rifle. They can blow up a generating station, but couldn’t make a light bulb. The people of the Mideast need to know that “Jihadists” seeking to “drive out the infidels” are destroyers, not builders.
(3) Those who took part in the conference need to tell the people in their own countries that they are not ashamed to be friends of America — that Americans have brought freedom and opportunity to hundreds of millions around the globe. They need to remind their countrymen that America sends its young people around the world not to fight for gold or oil or colonial conquest — but to offer others the hope of freedom; that Christianity, Judaism and individual liberty aren’t threats to Islam — only to the power of radical Islamists.
(4) Those who were at Annapolis need to know Islamic radicals like bin Laden, the theo-fascist regime in Tehran and terror kingpins like Sheik Nasrallah and Mr. Haniyeh count on an illiterate and impoverished citizenry that can be incited to frenzy or suicidal terror by defaming Jews or Americans. The palliative for this misery-driven fury is education — real education, not the indoctrination of a madrassa. Teaching young Muslims math, science, medicine, accounting and law will give them tools to live better instead of reasons to die the “right way” by killing an “infidel.”
(5) Finally, and perhaps most important, conference participants must offer Muslim women real rights — and soon. In far too many places in the Islamic world, half the population is denied even the basics of human liberty. Radical Islamic courts treat girls as young as 9 as adults, have women stoned to death for adultery and permit female genital mutilation.
Countries and regions ruled by radical Islamists don’t permit women to travel unless escorted by a male relative, limit the availability of medical care and forbid access to higher education. In far too many places, women are not allowed to have their own bank accounts, use a cell phone, participate in political debate or to vote.
Just before the December 2005 election in Iraq, Mamun Rashid, governor of Anbar Province, told me: “this election will change everything because women are going to vote.”
When I asked him why that would change things in Iraq, he replied, “Because women don’t vote to have their sons become suicide bombers.” Nearly half the ballots in the 2005 election were cast by women.
….If a broader “peace process” is to work in the Middle East, those who participated in the Annapolis Conference need to be convinced that granting women the right to vote is essential. The best antidote for radical Islamic terror is a woman’s purple finger.