From "The Wrong 9/11 Questions"
by Amir Taheri--Benador Associates
The typical politician in a democracy, starting with ancient Athens, is a deal-maker. He practices the art of compromise, not confrontation. He is always ready to understand the other side, to accept part of the blame, and to propose give-and-take. A more cynical version of this type of politics leads to triangulation, a la Bill Clinton. That kind of politics, however, does not work with the kind of enemy the United States now faces.
This enemy does not want to give and take, to compromise, or to triangulate. He wants you to obey him in every detail or he will kill you.
Once you assume some guilt on your own part, the whole thing could go like this: Well, you know, our wealth and power is bound to cause jealousy and humiliation among the poor and powerless; we also have a military presence in all but three of the Arab states, and don't we support Israel whose destruction is the dream of every Arab worth his salt?
The aims of the "enemy" in question, however, are not solely political.
He will not be happy even if, in the spirit of liberal generosity, you gave him half of your power and wealth. Nor would he settle for a total American withdrawal from the world. Nor would he be satisfied if you helped wipe Israel off the map.
This enemy's conflict with the United States, and alongside it other democracies, not to mention those Muslims who also aspire after democracy, is not political but existential.
He wants to rule you because he thinks he is the holder of a "the highest form of truth."
This enemy wants you, the whole world in fact, to convert to Islam because he believes the advent of Islam abrogated all other religions. Anyone who is not a Muslim is not a full human being.
"Our struggle is not about land or water," the late Ayatollah Ruhallah Khomeini said in 1980. "It is about bringing, by force if necessary, the whole of mankind onto the right path."Amir Theri - Benador Associates