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Obama and Mitchell (AP/Photo by Charles Dharapak)

Once more into the breach

Opinion | What can George Mitchell offer that will cause jihadists to change their minds and open their fists to shake our hands?

Like Linus van Pelt sitting alone in the pumpkin patch, George Mitchell, Obama's special envoy to the Middle East, is in that dysfunctional region thinking that if he and the Obama administration demonstrate enough sincerity, the diplomatic equivalent of the Great Pumpkin will arrive, making all things right. Mitchell's mission is bound to fail, like every mission before it, including Henry Kissinger's "shuttle diplomacy," for the simple reason that peace and stability are not about us, but about them. Their road to hell is paved with our good intentions.

In his first interview since becoming president, Mr. Obama said to Al-Arabiya, a Dubai-based satellite television network, "Americans are not your enemy." No, but we are the enemy of many of them, and that is where the problem lies. The president suggested the Bush administration had contributed to frayed relations with the Arab and Muslim world. Few presidents have pushed harder for a Palestinian state than George W. Bush, and he got nowhere because the objective of America's (and Israel's) enemies is not a Palestinian state, but no Israeli state and, eventually, no United States.

If evidence were sufficient to prove the futility of these diplomatic efforts, we would long ago have abandoned efforts at persuasion and focused more on self-defense and a stronger offense. The latest evidence, added to the existing mountain, should convince all but the most self-deluded that the jihadists will settle for nothing less than total victory and dominion over all who prefer freedom to bondage.

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Somalia is rapidly becoming an Islamic state. In Minneapolis, several members of the "Somali community" have disappeared and are believed to have traveled to their native land to engage in jihad. The FBI is investigating the Abubakar As-Saddique Islamic Center and its imam on suspicion the imam influences Somali young people to become jihadists. Predictably, the mosque denies this. No one ever admits to training jihadists. They must drop out of the sky, fully formed.

In an exquisite example of self-delusion, nine "alumni" of a Saudi rehabilitation program that is supposed to change the minds of "ex-jihadists" have been arrested for rejoining terrorist groups. The idea of Saudi re-education camps for "ex-jihadists" is something like expecting the Ku Klux Klan to change the minds of white supremacists. Saudi Arabia fuels jihadism by exporting the most radical brand of Islam, Wahabism. Why would Westerners believe that a country responsible for radicalizing increasing numbers of Muslims could suddenly reverse itself and start teaching the opposite? A Saudi kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.

Instead of listening to the sound of our own voices, we should be listening more to the sound of their voices, like that of deputy emir of al-Qaida and former Guantanamo prisoner Abu Sufyan Al-Azdi Sa'id Al-Shihri, who can be seen in a video (www.memri.org) promising to continue jihad until "we set up an Islamic state and establish a caliphate." In another video, the emir of al-Qaida, Abu Basir Nasir al-Wahishi, says, "We must cut off the aid to the Zionist crusader military campaign and kill every crusader in our lands."

What can George Mitchell offer that will cause such people to change their minds and open their fists to shake our hands, to paraphrase President Obama in his inaugural address?

Back to the Somalians in Minneapolis, and growing Muslim communities throughout the country. In the forthcoming book Al-Hijra: The Islamic Doctrine of Immigration: Accepting Freedom or Imposing Islam? (Pilcrow Press), written by two former Muslims, Sam Solomon and Elias Al Maqdisi, "The Hijra was enshrined by Muhammad from the outset within Islam as the 'Doctrine of Immigration,' or the 'peaceful' means of extending the Islamic political state garbed and girded in religious terminology. Hijra and military conquest are two components of Islamic expansion." The cover art is of a Trojan horse.

We can awaken to this twin threat, or we can, like Linus, keep waiting for The Great Pumpkin.

Our enemies know how to play us. If President Obama thinks like his predecessors, he will have the same result and America will become more vulnerable. Some immigrants want to use our country as a training ground for people whose objective is to dominate other countries. Their ultimate goal is to dominate America.
© 2009 Tribune Media Services Inc.

Cal Thomas
Cal Thomas

Cal, whose syndicated column appears on WORLD's website and in more than 500 newspapers, is a frequent contributor to WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It. Follow Cal on Twitter @CalThomas.

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