By Robert G. Williscroft
AnAmerican tradition has been to make the other guy speak our language. Ifyou have ever traveled overseas you know what I mean. Americans speak English,and demand that the other guy understand. (Have you ever seen an Americantourist speak English v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y to a non-English speaking native?)
Americansalso expect the other guy to do it our way. Now, don’t get me wrong: Ourway (of government) is one of the best ways humans have ever devised in theworld’s long, battle-scarred history. The American free market system generatesgreater productivity than any other system. The American rule of law hascreated a society with greater freedom, a higher degree of personal safety,and greater personal opportunity than anywhere else and at any time in humanhistory. So, our way is not necessarily a bad way to go.
Oneof the problems we face, however, is that not everybody understands or believesin our way. For a person raised in another system, where the idea of “innocentuntil proven guilty” is unknown, a trial might very well be a guaranteedticket to jail or even worse. This is true across the entire spectrum ofwhat we believe and how we live our lives.
Oursociety is secular, but one can make a strong argument that the basis ofour society comes from the Judeo-Christian tradition. This gives us a particularpoint of view from which we examine everything, a point of view that we havein common with other Judeo-Christian societies.
Atthis point in our history we find ourselves in mortal conflict with anotherkind of society, one with a different basis, one that perceives nearly everythingdramatically different than we.
Islam is not just another religion, even though it shares a common origin with Judaism and Christianity. In previous articles I have examined in significant detail how Islam differs from other perspectives.
Nowwe will look at one aspect of Islam, one little part that is not necessarilycommon to all variations of Islam, but that is significant to the Wahhabisect, the sect that underlies nearly every Islamic terrorist faction in today’sworld.
In our own Christian experience, we have people who are completely committed to a literal acceptance of the Bible.Depending on the particular line of thought, these people occasionally comeup with startling interpretations of Christianity. This forum does not seekto judge these people, but only to use their example as a template for understandingthat the same thing happens in other religions, and specifically within Islam.
AlthoughWahhabi proclaims itself as moderate, and many aspects of Wahhabism may wellbe moderate, it still remains the source for most of the violence in modernIslam. The Wahhabi interpretation of Islam accepts the apparently violentexhortations of the Qur’an as its driving doctrine, and conveniently ignores its calls for reason and peaceful responses.
This same literal acceptance underlies some beliefs that can appear very strange to Christian perceptions. The Qur’an and associated Fatwas (refer to “Wahhabi Islam – the Real Enemy of the West,” DefenseWatch, May 30, 2003,for more information on Fatwas) promise paradise for the martyr. This promisebecomes a firm belief that the warrior who dies “defending” Islam will spendeternity in Paradise in the companyof 78 virgins – at least, such is their initial status. This incentive isa powerful reason for a Wahhabi warrior to go down fighting, and if captured,to resist every attempt to extract information. A prisoner’s eventual deathat the hands of his captors guarantees martyr status just like a battlefielddeath.
The Qur’an’sexhortations to avoid the flesh of swine becomes for the Wahhabi not onlya prohibition against eating pork, but sets up a situation where a true believercannot enter Heaven if he is buried in the skin of a pig. Furthermore, thehighest positions in Paradise are preserved for martyrs who enter whole, with their heads attached to their bodies.
Whenour military captures these fanatics, and then treats them with the respectand dignity mandated by the Geneva Accords, and eventually frees them, allwe have accomplished is to create a cadre of heroic potential martyrs. Whenwe killed Saddam’s sons and presented photos of their intact bodies to theIraqi people we transformed these sadistic killers into Allah’s own martyrs,and – in the minds of the faithful – rewarded them with the best Paradisehas to offer, including those virgins to ravage. This inspires others toemulate their heroism, and in the process more American soldiers die needlessly.
Thereis a workable solution that will stop these fanatics in their tracks: Weshould talk to them in a language that they invented, one that they understandcompletely.
We should have beheaded Saddam’s monster sons, and placed their pigskin-draped heads atop long poles in the center of Baghdad.Then, one by one, as we capture other high-ranking members of the old regime,their pigskin-draped heads should join the rotting heads of the Hussein brothers.
Shockingas this might seem, there appears to be a precedent for such action. A storyhas circulated for years about General Pershing’s handling of Moro Islamicterrorists in 1902 in the Philippines. While I have no independent verification of the story, its persistence lends it credibility. GeneralPershing’s troops had captured 50 Moro terrorists following a significantrun of Islamic terrorist acts against Americans. He had them tied to postsexecution style. His men slaughtered two pigs in front of the terrorists.The soldiers then soaked their bullets in the pigs blood, and proceeded toexecute 49 of the terrorists by firing squad. Then they dumped the bodiesin a hole and covered them in pig’s blood and entrails. They let the lastman go. From this point on for the next 42 years, there were no further Islamicattacks on Americans.
Whenwe capture known terrorists, before we remove their heads, we should alsosubject them to intense pain for as long as possible, and broadcast theirmortification to the entire Islamic world. Our purpose here is to discouragethe would-be martyr who believes he can overcome the other adversities, orto address the non-believing participant for whom the beheading and pigskinhave less meaning.
Thisis a powerful incentive in the opposite direction of the Wahhabi promises.To Western sensibilities it seems bizarre and barbaric, but to the Wahhabiterrorist it is a perfectly normal way of controlling the enemy’s behavior.The practice has endured for over 15 centuries in the Islamic world preciselybecause it works. It is their language of choice.
Ofcourse I understand how callous these actions would appear when conductedby American troops, troops who are trained to observe the Geneva Conventionsand the Law of Land Warfare. I also understand that such actions will almostcertainly result in calls for war crimes trials and other similar actionsagainst the men who perpetrate them.
Thesenegative outfalls must be balanced against the benefits which, I believe,will far outweigh the potential downside. We aren’t dealing with rocket scientistshere. When these primitive Bozos understand unequivocally that we absolutelywill not tolerate terrorism, then we save American lives, possibly by thethousands. I, for one, am perfectly willing to spike Saddam’s head to keepmy wife and children safe.
Wecan send an unequivocal message to any person who chooses terror: “We willfill your remaining days on Earth with unspeakable pain, and then guaranteethat you are denied Paradise forever.”
So, Mr. President, Mr. Defense Secretary: Off with their heads ….
Robert G. Williscroft is a DefenseWatch Senior Editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.