September 11, 2001. Never forget.
Never? Some things should be forgotten. The states of the former Yugoslavia would be better off if they could forget the crimes of centuries ago. The US is better off because we don't fret endlessly about Pearl Harbor, and are friends with our World War II enemies. Someday we should be able to forget 9/11. It will become history, not politics.
But not yet.
The West slept through the 1990's. We speculated that with the end of the Cold War, we had also come to the 'end of history'. Man, were we wrong.
Militant Islam is again on the march. It dreams the big dream. Al Qaeda is only one member of this movement. Two days ago a bomb went off outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta. Nine were killed, 180 injured. It was probably set by an Islamist terrorist group, Jemaah Islamiya. This is the group suspected of the Bali bombing. What do they want? They want a Caliphate. An Islamic hegemony across Southeast Asia, incorporating Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, Brunei, Cambodia, and Thailand.
How about the Chechans who murdered more than 300 people in that Russian school? They don't just want Chechnya. They want to unite all the North Caucasus as an Islamic state under Shar'ia law. They, too, want a theocratic empire.
The head of Hamas has said that he wants to extend jihad to 'the universe'. That's quite a dream.
The world's current terrorists don't just want to right specific wrongs, or throw off an oppressor. They are empire building. They want it all.
I think that the Western secular states will win, eventually. It may take a generation, as the Cold War did. It will be a 'long, twilight struggle', as JFK said of the Cold War. If you think that Kerry and not Bush would be better able to lead in that struggle, you are welcome to do so. Both Republicans and Democrats led during the Cold War. If you believe that the Iraq war was a mistake and a distraction, you are welcome to do so. You may be right.
But whoever fights it, this is the first global geopolitical struggle of the 21st century. However it ends, it will leave us, and the world, changed. When it is over, we can allow ourselves to forget.
But not yet. Not yet.
== kokumotsu == grains, cereals, corn
|The lower left radical is 'rice plant'. The remainder of the character originally meant 'shell/husk'. Henshall suggests taking the right radical as a 'beat/strike' (hand and axe), the left upper part as 'samurai' (士) and a 'cover', and as a mnemonic: 'Samurai beats rice under cover to make cereals.'|