Ch7 the unknown war The reality that terrorist attacks could happen imminently within the United States was obvious, not only to our government, but the American people as well. Goverbment groups met frequently to understand the threat and get a grasp on what had transpired, in the present and what would transpire in the future in the form of transnational threats. Threats, themed differntly now becuase of transnationalism, would cause worrry and even panic to goverbment agencies. The Counter-terrorism Security Group, CSG, met frequently to address this panic and try to formulate a plan. With U.S. bureaucracies, the crisis changed behavior all aorund and anything remotley sketchy and worrisome set off red flags to our many teams, deep within the Nationals secuirty department of the government. The embassy bombings had made it quite clear the terrorists’ ability and willingness to plan and execute an attack anytime and anywhere. Agencies, like the FBI, saw potential in these scenarios and requested more budget and orchestrated enhanced vigilance tactics to preempt any strikes against us or around the world. For example, “to keep abreast it all, the NSC initiated a thrice-weekly “threats meeting” at which every credible bit of information about a possible conspiracy would be evaluated.” (Benjamin & Simon, page 265) A possible path toward the end of a ideological, transnational struggle is available if nations are willing to facilitate a combination of elements that could translate into a hybrid nation-state. Western nations have to break away from norms that allow a close-minded opinions of how the Middle East is and should be. Like norms, ideologies are neither spirits not observable objects. Islam, a religion very different from Christianity per say, has had its tumultuous upbringings just like Christianity has. West, as rich as its imoerialism has been at times, has its own scars. Scars of ideological struggles that offer assistance in helping us understand the legitimacy crises of political Islam and its battle with secularism. We have seen Western democracies, over time and even in the present day, are not as secular as many people make them out to be. Islamic democracy may not be or even need to be either. However, their is quarrel within the Islamic world over how legitiamte secualrism is and what type of regime would fit best. “History shows, then, that a state may act in ways that seem irrational to other states, yet appear rational once its goals are understood.” (Owen, pg. 103) For example, “ secularists would accept the goverbment as legitamate. The same would go for Islamists when secularists gained power and began to move laws and policies in thier preffered direction. Both sides would need to adopt this “policy change, not regime change” attitude.” (Owen, pg. 126)Leson1 You cannot please both sides, especially when talking about religion and politics. Islam is caught in a bind of whether secualrism would work. Some Muslims want seperation bewteen chruch and state and there are those who believe secualrism is futile and law shoudl be derived from sacred texts, interpreted by clergy. Owen starts us with the first lesson that the West should not sell Islamism short and dimmiss the presnce of an ever-changing multitude of Islamic nation-states. Even though secualrism has been tried in the middle east and generally failed in many places, we should not dimiss the future. Usually a driving force, such as a revolution, can kick-start things and make even the most non-secular areas of the world take a long look into mirror and reflect on what will be the next step. Before we can say that Islam will not be able to separate church and state is futile because so many doubted Western European countries that participated in ideologies that had much worse intentions like fascism in the 20th century. For example, “…fascism was difficult to define precisely. It is often seen in essentially negative terms, as an effort to “turn back the clock” to some mythical pristine past.” (Owen, pg. 38) Some who are close minded would like to compare Islam, with its stubbornness to secularism, to “isms” that would see the persecution of those who defied. Some are just struggling to define Islam and its intentions and that can lend to a legitamacy crisis through no fault of the Islamic world at all. Lesson 2: In the second lesson, Owen wants to highlight upon the distinguishing of moderate and radical Islamists. In a descriptive sense, radicals are prone to violence for the sake of Sharia and moderates are committed to utilizing peaceful methods to bring about Sharia. Following the hedgehog strategy, many uniformed Westerners would be like a “hedgehog”. This “would mean lumping moderate and radical Islamists together and opposing both wherever they appeared.” (Owen, pg. 63) Ideologies are usually not monolithic and Owen uses an exmaple of Christian ideology that mimics other various transnational entities. Many years ago, the Catholic Habsburgs played the role of the fox, cooperating with the Lutherans, who assumed the role of the moderates, and the radicals, which were the Calvinists. Calvinism thrived under Lutheran exclusion and as the exlcuded radical, Lutherans deifed expecatations. The Polylithic strategy, that thought several decades was enough of a stronghold, slowly faded away and failed entirely in the end. This soemthing the Islamic world can learn from and gain conifence for diplomatic and religious harships that come about so frequently. The third lesson by Wilson deals with foreign interventions and the normalcy that surrounds them. Contorversy has surrounded interventions into Muslims’ struggles and some may say they were unwarranted. However, I would argue, as well as Owen, that these interventions help to quell legitamcy crises that may plague an ideology with hardships such as Islam. What would help for example, “outbreaks of revolt and waves of revoltuion and repression rejigger the ideas and interests of the counries going through them.” (Owen, pg. 85) I agree with Owen that this is not a very concernoing legitamacy crisis becuase of the good that can come of interventios form foreign lands. New opportunities can be created and the avoidance of new enemies can be sought through. The history of the Western world is abundant with ideoglogical revisionist states that pulndered other countries. Many of these countries were self-defeating and irrational for some time which is the fourth lesson Owen explains. We see examples of this that translate to Islam by taking a look at the Bolshevik’s and their radicalism. Their radicalism alarmed both sides and seemed irrational when the wolrd pushed back agianst their radical foreign policy, similar to what we see in western views toward the Middle east. What we learn, is that a nation-state must moderate their means in pursuit of a goal. Even then, a legitimate concern is shared by others when viewing the volatile movments of a nation. For example, “history shows, then, that a state may act in ways that seem irrational to other states, yet appear rational once its goals are understood.” (Owen, pg. 103) There needs to be a distance, whether that be time or geography, between the goals of a nation and others to make it seem rational. The distance often gets those nations into trouble, but sometimes there is no other option at hand and that leads into the next lesson by Owen. However complex it may be, a third pathway toward the end of a grand, transnational ideological struggle is something that can be available.