Indonesia and Malaysia Ready to Send Troops to Mid-East
The linked article above is fascinating view of the current crises in the Middle East from Asia, particularly form the world’s largest Islamic nation, Indonesia and its neighbor Malaysia. Those who are informed by the likes of Daniel Pipes, Bernard Lewis or Sam Huntington would assume that the headline refers to the readiness of the Muslim nations to go fight jihad in support of the Hezbollah. And they would be WRONG!

Instead, the article talks about how these nations are encouraging the UN Security council to take quick action to end the active fighting and to establish a peacekeeping force. And when that peacekeeping force is established, they will send troops.

If we really were locked in a Clash of Civilizations, at this point, Hezbollah would be receiving reinforcements from all over the Islamic world. And that is simply not happening. If the conflict continues, however, we may find private groups recruiting and sending foot soldiers, much like we saw in the Afghani Jihad. And that would be devastating in the extreme. Al-Qaida and related groups would have much less influence, power, and cache were it not for the extended conflict in Afghanistan, which drew radicals from throughout the Islamic world and created the terror networks we face today.

I may be oversimplifying a bit, but not much. An actual on-the-ground war could be the cause needed to tie closer together the loosely banded extremist groups found around the world. Further, it could be the cause needed to recruit otherwise apathetic youths.

And if this war is not enough to rally radical Muslims around the world, the combination of the ongoing US occupation of Iraq and this war may just radicalize more and more Muslims. Not nations, not even whole mosques, but individuals. This is not a civilizational clash, but many on both sides will read it as such and act as such.

It is time for reasonable people all over the world to call for the immediate end of this war. Not because they support one side or the other. But because, in war, no one wins. Not really. Oh, Israel may inflict more damage. Or in Iraq, the US body count may be lower. But the dead are still dead. And the families of the dead, whether they be Lebanese or Israeli, American or Iraqi, will still mourn their deaths. They will be without their sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers. States can look at body counts and declare victory; those left behind cannot.

Ron Lukens-Bull

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