‘Other’ War on Terror — The spread of culture is changing the political landscape in the Middle East
Sept. 11, 2001 was the blackest day America had ever seen. As one, our voices cried out for justice and vengeance. Since then we have had a measure of both.Our victories, such as they are, have come mostly from the spread of American culture.
From a military standpoint, the War on Terror resembles a defeat almost as much as a victory. Osama Bin Laden is dead, but the Taliban remains as entrenched in its caves as ever. Al Qaeda still exists, Iran still suffers under a regime that hates the West, radical Islam still portrays the U.S. as the Great Satan and the Israel-Palestine conflict is no closer to a resolution than it was in 1947 when the United Nations created the state of Israel.
Yet, there is hope.
Egypt is free of Hosni Mubarak, Moammar Gadhafi is dead, Syria wants to be free, and the Iranian people have shown they will not accept a rigged election without a fight. Even though it is in a roundabout way, all of this has come to pass because of America.
The Internet is ultimately proving stronger than a thousand years of blood feuds, sectarian hatred and radical clerics. People who want to be free are using social media to mobilize. News and information is more pervasive and easily available than ever. It is becoming harder for tyrannical governments to keep their people in the dark, indoctrinate them with lies or cover up atrocities.
The differences between the Middle East and the West become less apparent each day no matter how hard the greybeards try to fight it.
America was founded on the idea that everyone is created equal. More than any generation before us, we are the ones who have embraced this concept.
We have begun to reject bigotry in all its forms — sexual, religious and racial. Europe eventually came around to our way of thinking, and so too will the Middle East finally embrace the idea of human worth and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have seen the glimmers already.
Soon our generation will hold the reins of the world. No matter where we live, it will be up to us to decide to reject tyranny and terror. By expressing our own liberty through facets such as social media, in a small way we are helping to spread freedom worldwide.
This is how we will win the War on Terror — not with knives and bullets and blood in the streets, but tweets.