Saturday, October 08, 2005

Hamas Leader Pushes Buttons He Shouldn't Touch

In an exclusive interview with WorldNetDaily, Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zohar accused the US of starting a war "between the West and 1.3 billion Muslims in the world." He goes on to accuse the US of shooting missiles at innocent populations in Afghanistan and Iraq, citing the bombing of caves in Tora Bora as an example. (WorldNetDaily: Hamas leader: Bush placing U.S. in danger).

Al-Zohar would be well advised not to push buttons better left untouched. The US has remained relatively neutral in the Israel versus Palestine conflict despite the actions of terrorist groups like Hamas. (I say "relatively" because the US is a staunch Israeli ally and, while trying to broker a peace deal, there's no hiding the fact that we are sympathetic to the Israeli cause.)

The terrorist leader is attempting to broaden the conflict between the West and Muslim extremists into a much wider war against all of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims. It's a nice ploy, but couldn't be further from the truth. Indeed, as evidenced by the recent bombings in Bali and the bombings of Shiite centers, mosques, and groups of Muslim women and children in Iraq, the overwhelming majority of the world's Muslims are actually US allies. This war is between the extremists - of which al-Zohar is a leader - and the rest of the world including the vast majority of Muslims.

It would certainly be in the best interests of the terrorist groups to convince moderate Muslims that the US targets them as well. That is increasingly becoming an impossible sell, however. Even the al Qaeda leadership has recognized that the actions of extremists in Iraq is turning the tide of Arab opinion against them. These extremists can only blow up so many mosques before the average person realizes it's the US trying to protect them while the extremists - Muslim extremists - are killing other Muslims.

As to al-Zohar, he'd best watch his rhetoric. Hamas certainly falls in the category of "terrorist organizations of international reach." I for one would like nothing more than to see the US set its sights on that group of criminals. Al-Zohar is pushing buttons he'd be better off leaving untouched.


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