Thinking about the 'New War'
The recent tragic events of Sept. 11
have created a new patriotism in America
unlike anything seen since
World War II.
Even folk who have a lot of problems
with U.S. foreign policy can't help but
be impressed by the positive aspects of
patriotism during this troubling
period. Especially for the families of
victims, the patriotic
spirit has helped bring about a feeling
It's something when even traditional U.S. enemies
like Iran are found expressing sympathy for
the victims of the attacks.
One can't help but feel for the families who have
hoped against the odds that their loved ones will
be found. In this sense, all the flag-waving and
other expressions of patriotism have been helpful.
However, it was only a matter of time before the
ugly side of the same fervor would also come to fore.
Hundreds of violent or intimidating incidents against
Muslims or people mistaken as Muslims have already
The worse case involved not a Muslim but
a Sikh. The Sikh religion of India is completely
distinct from Islam.
Many people confuse Sikhs for Muslims because
of the turbans worn by the former. Such a case of confusion
resulted in the death Saturday of Balbir Singh Sodhi in Mesa
Not a single Sikh has been implicated in the Sept.
The 'new war' is set to start at any time. Asia,
and particularly Pakistan, will be deeply involved.
The Central Asian states might also allow attacks
to take place from their soil.
Some commentators have been talking about a
"civilizational" struggle. The age-old conflict
between Christianity and Islam with the state
of Israel thrown into the mix.
They say that Usama Bin Laden is interested in
bringing this conflict to a head. He wants Western
forces to stage attacks in Islamic nations.
In this way, he presumably hopes to stir up an
Islamic revolution that will put an end to
secular or backsliding governments in Muslim
After the recent events, almost everyone agrees
that a long battle is imminent. It could last up to
10 years and involve operations in a number of
Expect sea changes during this time. Indeed, a lot
of things have changed already. The world is likely
to be shaken many times before all this is over.