In conflict resistless each toil they endur’d
Till their foes shrunk dismay’d from the war’s desolation.
And pale beam’d the crescent, its splendor obscur’d
By the light of the star-spangl’d flag of our nation.
— Francis Scott Key
The tribes of Araby and the tribes of Persia have fought since times ancient. When Alexander conquered Egypt the Arabs flung open town gates and flogged the Persians out as he passed for the Persians were more hated than the new conquerers.
Today we see no change — Sunni and Shia are again at odds for ascendency in the Middle East, egged on by prideful despots. As one power rises the other will fall; both held fast in hatred and enthralled to tyranny.
Occasionally there are interlopers in their internecine wars, the Greeks, the Jews, The Romans, The Americans; but when it comes to precedence of place their pride feels its greatest sting when their ancient tribal enemy rises above them.
We are at such at time again — and in four countries the strife between these ancient enemies threatens to overthrow stability and four existing governments. The pattern of these struggles remains constant throughout history — the land always ruled by tyrants, opposed by rebellious mystics wrapping themselves in twisted religion who are abetted by the neighboring tribes driven by timeless emnity.
Centuries ago the west freed themselves from rulers tied to deity with the Magna Carta and many bloody that birthed modern liberty, the Reformation, and the Renaissance. In Islamic lands there’s been no reformation, no declaration of individual rights, no rendering unto Ceasar. Instead it’s the dictator, the monarch, the tyrant, the despot tied to Allah who still rules.
When rule is based on Allah’s will, and all are slaves to the state and Allah both, then government is weak, for it takes little to convince ignorant slaves that you know Allah’s will better perhaps than the current ruler. All the despotic kingdoms and dictatorships of the Middle East are like feathers upon the sand, awaiting the deathwind of the next religious fanatic.
In Pakistan and Afghanistan we see two parliamentary governments under attack by Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their political arm, the MMA. The MMA, upset with passage of the Women’s protection bill, threatens to resign and disable the weak parliamentary government in Pakistan ruled by the party of Musharraf. Musharraf in turn recently escaped three attempts to assassinate him. Neighboring states aid the terrorists, Iran, India, and of course both Pakistan and Afghanistan agitate against each other.
In Lebanon we see fledgeling democracy being throttled by the political thugs of Hizb’Allah, who are also threatening to resign from parliamentary government and hold the citizens of Lebanon hostage. A head of state was assassinated, and Hamas is aided by neighboring states.
In Iraq we see the Sadrists threatening resignation, and holding the fledgling Iraqi democracy hostage, egged on by Al Qaeda. Many heads of state have been assassinated, and the Mahdi Armies are aided by neighboring states.
In Palestine we see Fatah and Hamas near civil war, with no real ruling authority. Thanks to the Israelis, the Hamas and FATAH factions don’t have to assassinate each other – a tip to the IDF gains them what they need. Hamas and FATAH are aided by neighboring states.
In each case above you glimpse the ancient emnity and you see tactics exactly the same. You see a political arm backed by a terrorist militia, aided and abetted by neighboring tyrants and madmen. Do you wonder that the tactics are the same, the timing the same, and the aim the same? You really shouldn’t.
By pointing to external enemies these tyrants survive, they externalize all problems and make others the reason for the dirt, dust, death, and despair in their lands. They point to America and Israel as the great satans; for there really are two enemies more ancient even than these and they side with one, while America and Israel side with the other.
Liberty must always oppose tyranny, freedom must always oppose slavery. And so you have it that America has fought at least three wars against these tyrants. The first was at the birth of our nation, and below you see the first famous song written by Francis Scott Key:
Continue reading “Ancient Enemies”