One of the tenets of postmodernism is that words only mean what we say they mean. A word, in and of itself, has no objective meaning. Of course, this is essentially hogwash. As we deal with Islamic countries we need to realize that they do not operate from a post-modern perspective. For them, words and actions do have meaning.
So, for example, a Muslim will never place the Koran on the floor. It sends a message about the value one places on it. (Would that we in the West treated Holy Scripture with such reverence.) I recall hearing after the first Gulf War that the invasion of Kuwait was, in part, precipitated by a careless comment made by someone in the Bush administration. They had said something publicly about not being interested in Middle East border disputes. Saddam Hussein apparently understood this to mean that we would not get involved if the border between Kuwait and Iraq were removed.
Words have not only meaning, but consequences.
So, I am curious what meaning is derived from our nation announcing withdrawal dates from Afghanistan and Iraq, and then responding to increasing “friendly” Afghan attacks against our own military by continued withdrawal from their country? What meaning is derived from our total indifference to Iranian protesters getting shot, as well as to Iranian efforts to make a nuclear bomb. What meaning is derived from the cold shoulder Israel is getting? What meaning is derived from us having turned our backs on friendly dictators that helped get rid of terrorists, and embracing Al-Qaeda backed regimes? What meaning is derived from the news that we not only knew the attacks on our embassies in the middle east were in imminent danger, but did nothing to stop them, even as our own ambassadors apparently requested a more robust presence? What meaning are the new terrorist-friendly regimes taking from us, not only allowing our embassy to be ransacked and our ambassador to be killed, but in our total disinterest in securing these embassies, even while sensitive papers may still be there for the taking? What does it mean that the man who helped us find Bin-Laden is now in a Pakistani jail cell?
What could all of this possibly mean to them? Because I’m pretty sure the answer isn’t butterflies and rainbows.