September 06, 2007
Well, no, not really. Babar Ahmad is a British Muslim who ran jihadist websites that raised money for radical Muslims fighting in Chechnya and Afghanistan. He’s currently being held in England, awaiting extradition to the United States. His case is of interest to me, because it was Ahmad to whom former U.S. Navy signalman Hassan Abujihaad passed classified information on the movements of his naval battlegroup in the months leading up to September 11, and Abujihaad was a former roommate of Rockford’s attempted mall bomber, Derrick Shareef. With both the Shareef and Abujihaad trials scheduled to start this month, we’ll be seeing much more information come out about Babar Ahmad.
My headline, however, is one that I’ve often expected to see on the websites of conservatives who oppose the war in Iraq. I understand the temptation to regard the enemy of my enemy as my friend. But before we fall into that trap, we should remember that collaborating with the enemy of your enemy might still mean that you’re collaborating with an enemy.
I oppose the war in Iraq, and I always have, and Chronicles spoke out strongly against it before it was launched (and has criticized it every step of the way). I oppose the PATRIOT Act and its various spawn, and I always have, and I’ve published articles in Chronicles dissecting some of the worst (and least-known) parts. But I’ve watched others—often people who, ironically, were initially ambivalent about the war or the suppression of civil liberties at home—become so upset by the war that they’ve lost their heads on the question of radical Islam. “If the war is bad, Islam must be good. Moreover, the Muslims are right—we are decadent. As a Christian myself, I’d rather have my kids grow up under Muslim rule than under the rule of the secular elites in New York, Hollywood, and Washington.”
I’ve even had a traditionalist Catholic indicate to me that he’s considering a conversion to Islam, because he’s disgusted with the way this country is headed. And every time I bring this topic up, on this site or elsewhere, I get knee-jerk reactions from people who accuse me of supporting the neocons’ war. On its face, the idea is ludicrous: When Justin Raimondo points out the lunacy of Hugo Chavez, does anyone seriously believe that he’s calling for war against Venezuela? (UPDATE: Apparently, I spoke too soon. I just went back and read the final comments on the first of Justin’s Chavez posts, and, in fact, some people apparently do believe that he’s calling for war against Venezuela. Incredible.)
It’s time for Americans to grow up, and American conservatives ought to lead the way. Only children paint the world in stark black and white: Either you’re with me, or you’re against me. Adults know that there are shades of gray, and that the enemy of their enemy is not necessarily their friend.