For me the firing or resignation of General Flynn from his National Security post has puzzled me. Recently a search string rekindled that bemusement leading to my learning about a book the general wrote “Field of Fight:..” from which according to an online excerpt of his book suggests the importance of getting into the mind of America’s Middle East opponents.
The notion of learning how one’s oponents think so America can win in the “field of fight” reminded me of something I’d written some time ago.
I’ve been following media accounts of Middle East “news” since 2013. But I’ve forgotten much of what I’d heard from 2003 until 2008. I remember that 2001 was a kind of turning point in America’s and the West’s relations with Middle East countries. When Mr. Bush junior invaded Iraq in 2003 there was always a sense that he was responding to the terror attacks of 2001 despite reports that he went into Iraq to get rid of Mr. Husain’s WMD, and to spread democracy throughout the Arab world where until then there had been hereditary monarchs as leaders. Once Mr. Bush had removed Mr. Husain, I started being made aware of sectarian divisions within Iraq’s population. When Mr. Obama replaced Mr. Bush in 2008 the “Arab Spring” , a baffling media phrase that seemed to obscure understanding, especially in Egypt where there were prolonged demonstrations that led to the relinquishment of power by Egypt’s leader. I still recall a television journalist suggesting that rebelliousness, the “Arab Spring” in the Middle East, would likely lead to democracy. After Egypt’s leader had finally resigned I remember seeing Republican senator McCain and former Democrat senator Lieberman in Egypt glad handing everyone within range of a media camera. But after a “free” election won by a Moslem Brotherhood member, I learned of sectarian divisions in Egypt between Moslems and Coptic Christians, and in recently militarily pacified Iraq between Moslem and Moslem Shiite and Sunni. I’d read a bit about Islam and was struck by the view that Islam is not just a religion with unique practices and moral code, it is also a nation of religious laws. As I became aware of the opposing schools of Islam within Iraq, I was taught by media reports of growing violence throughout the Arab world; more and more this violence seemed to be motivated by religious antipathy. The idea of a Moslem nation seemed not to exist; only Sharia law is mentioned without reference to those laws as expressions of that nation. Middle East events seemed driven by fanatical outbursts of religious fanatics: peoples of the same region, the same religion, and the same race at war with each other as though this were a kind of chaos that is inherent to that part of the world. Recently I’ve been seeing an article turn up on line in response to searches for “Ramadi” which suggests that Isis itself is being managed by Iraq’s Bathists, a curious suggestion that contradicts media reports to date which indicate that Isis is directed by Sunni Moslems opposing Shiite Moslems in order to set up a Caliphate(whatever that is) guided only by the Moslem nation’s code of religious law, Sharia. But the Bath Party was not organized in 1943 by a Christian Syrian to terrorize, but to bring together all peoples of the Middle East through a resurgence of Arab culture in a political union more socialist than democratic.