Sadr condemns Sunni beheadings:
Divisions apparent among Islamists in Iraq: "Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who led an uprising against U.S. forces, condemned militants on Friday who have beheaded foreigners in Iraq in the last several months.
Leading Friday prayers for the first time in two months at the Kufa mosque south of Baghdad, al-Sadr denounced militants from the rival Sunni Muslim faction who have claimed to have cut off the heads of at least three foreigners since April. "We condemn what some people are doing regarding the beheading of prisoners and it is illegal according to Islamic law," al-Sadr said. "Anybody doing this is a criminal and we will punish him according to Islamic law."" 10:50:51 AM
War of Ideology
: Good analysis from Brooks. "We're not in the middle of a war on terror, [the 911 commission] note. We're not facing an axis of evil. Instead, we are in the midst of an ideological conflict. .. It seems like a small distinction - emphasizing ideology instead of terror - but it makes all the difference, because if you don't define your problem correctly, you can't contemplate a strategy for victory.
When you see that our enemies are primarily an intellectual movement, not a terrorist army, you see why they are in no hurry. With their extensive indoctrination infrastructure of madrassas and mosques, they're still building strength, laying the groundwork for decades of struggle. .. They never have to win a battle but can instead profit in the realm of public opinion from the glorious martyrdom entailed in their defeats. We think the struggle is fought on the ground, but they know the struggle is really fought on satellite TV, and they are far more sophisticated than we are in using it. ..
The 9/11 commission report argues .. the bigger fight is with a hostile belief system that can't be reasoned with but can only be "destroyed or utterly isolated." .. The commissioners recommend that the U.S. should be much more critical of autocratic regimes, even friendly ones, simply to demonstrate our principles. They suggest we set up a fund to build secondary schools across Muslim states, and admit many more students into our own. [We need] modern equivalents of the Congress for Cultural Freedom, to give an international platform to modernist Muslims and to introduce them to Western intellectuals. ..
Last week I met with a leading military officer stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq, whose observations dovetailed remarkably with the 9/11 commissioners. He said the experience of the last few years is misleading; only 10 percent of our efforts from now on will be military. The rest will be ideological. He observed that we are in the fight against Islamic extremism now where we were in the fight against communism in 1880." 9:28:02 AM