Jay Reding.com

The Real Face Of Fundamentalism

Jim Lindgren of The Volokh Conspiracy takes an interesting look at who fundamentalist Christians really are. As always, the popular stereotype of fundamentalist Christians all being Jerry Falwell clones couldn’t be more wrong:

Both academics and journalists sometimes depict Christian fundamentalists in the U.S. as particularly dangerous people, but these accounts seldom report what sorts of people tend to be fundamentalists in the U.S.

The group that most disproportionately belongs to fundamentalist Protestant sects is African-American females. In the 2000-2006 General Social Surveys, 62% of African-American females (and 54% of African American males) report that they belong to Protestant denominations that the GSS classifies as fundamentalist.

When one thinks of dangerous groups in the United States, religious African-American females would not be on many people’s lists. Yet of the people that I see on the streets every day, members of that demographic group are the ones most likely to be fundamentalist.

What about political party affiliation?

In the 2000-2006 General Social Surveys, 34% of Republicans are fundamentalists, compared to 30% of Democrats, not a large difference. But since there are more Democrats than Republicans, a slightly larger percentage of fundamentalists are Democrats (34%), compared to 32% of fundamentalists who are Republicans.

As to gender, in 2000-2006, 30% of women and 26% of men were fundamentalists.

So when one thinks of a typical fundamentalist in the United States in the 2000-2006 period, the image that should come to mind is that of a woman or of a Democrat. And if one thinks of which group is disproportionately fundamentalist, the exemplar is African-American females, not Republicans.

Of course, the term “Christian fundamentalist” has been distorted to be a term of derision used against any Christian that the user dislikes. However, these statistics do give a more realistic view of exactly who is included as members of Christian fundamentalist groups.

CNN is running a three-part series called “Holy Warriors” examining “fundamentalists” in both Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. As Power Line’s John Hinderaker points out, it’s likely to be yet another attempt to rhetorically conflate Christian fundamentalists with Islamic extremists:

Actually, though, the problem with today’s Islamic “martyrs” is not that its adherents are “willing to give their lives,” it is that they want to kill non-Muslims. It isn’t really a mystery why martyrdom was once considered noble; Christian martyrs like Saints Stephen and Sebastian didn’t kill anyone. Whereas today, “martyrdom” in much of the Islamic world is a euphemism for mass murder. Hence the “really bad connotation.”

Of course, everyone knows this. It’s hardly worth the trouble to point out the stupidity of confounding Christian “fundamentalism”–the most commonly accepted definition of which is a belief in the literal truth of the Bible–with Islamic “fundamentalism,” whose distinguishing characteristic is a desire to impose Sharia on the world, and kill everyone who resists.

As Lindgren quips “To be a success, at a minimum the mini-series should dispel more stereotypes than it perpetuates.” Sadly, the media is in the stereotype business, and expecting someone like Christiane Amanpour to take an honest and unbiased look at Christianity is expecting too much.

Christian fundamentalism is not the same as radical Islamic extremism: Christian fundamentalists have no interest in killing non-believers — there’s no support in Christianity for forced conversion by the sword. On the other hand, the Qu’ran makes it quite clear that Islam is by nature an expansionist religion, and the history of the Prophet Mohammad as a military leader makes that message quite clear. (Although, as with the interpretation of any holy book, there are differences of opinion. However, in general there is almost no textual support for militant expansionist Christianity and plenty of textual support for military expansionist Islam.) To conflate the two is to demean fundamentalist Christians — who represent a very large and diverse segment of American population — and to diminish the problems inherent in radical Salafist and Wahhabi Islam.

Not all fundamentalisms are alike, and the efforts to paint Christian fundamentalists as a bogeymen while paying little heed to Islamic fundamentalism is to misunderstand the basics of Christianity, Islam, and the world we live in.

14 responses to “The Real Face Of Fundamentalism”

  1. Mark says:

    It wasn’t black evangelicals that fought to keep Terri Schiavo alive. It wasn’t black evangelicals that George Bush was reaching out to when he spoke at Bob Jones University at the same time as Karl Rove suggested John McCain “fathered a colored child”. It’s not black evangelicals who keep “The 700 Club” on the air. Much as you attempt to make Al Sharpton the new face of evangelicalism in America, the public image of evangelicals will always be the nutballs who boisterously support Republican candidates for elected office. I don’t blame you for being ashamed of them, but I predict that your efforts to portray evangelicals as the Democratic Party base will fail miserably.

  2. You say that “Christian fundamentalist have no interest in killing non-believers–there is no support in Christianity for forced conversion by the sword.”

    In the 2004 re-election, 79% of 26 million Evangelical Christians voted for George W. Bush and 71% of them supported the war in Iraq when doing so. And polls also show that 46% of Americans believe that it is important to “encourage” non-Christians to become Christians, so I do not know on which belief you base your conclusions. Maybe you need to expand your concept of fundamentalism to the killing of thousand of innocent Iraqis? Also you when you make it sound like the Muslem faith is “by nature an expansionist religion” and Christianity is not, you are forgetting history: The Crusades, the Inquistion, the ‘discovery’ of America, the creation of the state Isreal, and the fact that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11.

    Yes, Muhammed was a military leader and I agree that Islam could need a reformation like what Luther brought to the West, but still which religion is on the attack today? Which nation was 700 military bases in 130 countries? Which President uses the Christian right to support his self proclaimed “crusade”?

  3. Eracus says:

    As usual, Mark, you are confused.

    Given the social, economic, and political center of the African-American community is the Christian church, and that its various divisions are based upon disagreements over the fundamentals of the Christian faith, it should come as a surprise to no one that African-American women are disproportionately represented in the Christian fundamentalist demographic and always have been. That most of them invariably vote Democrat also is not news. All you really have here is a couple of white guys discovering for the first time something about Christian fundamentalism that has been true longer than we’ve all been alive, and another white guy denying that reality.

    Your assertion, for instance, that it is not “black evangelicals who keep “The 700 Club” on the air,” could not be more wrong. Indeed, African-American fundamentalist Christians are one of The 700 Club’s strongest demographics, helping to give rise to the ministries of T.D. Jakes, whom TIME magazine once described as the next Billy Graham.

    http://www.cbn.com/700club/Guests/Bios/TD_Jakes040805.aspx

    Apparently, Mark, you fully subscribe to the anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-African-American pablum propagated by the Democrat Party and the mainstream media, both of which rely on the racist polemics of the risible Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson to inflame the black underclass trapped in the urban poverty of government dependency. Neither are Christian fundamentalists, neither are they “black evangelicals.” They are both nothing but race hustlers and are not only a national disgrace to the legacy of Martin Luther King but to their own communities. Both have done far more harm to this country than Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, or Jimmy Swaggert ever did. But then I digress…

    The truth is “black evangelicals,” to borrow your reference, are and always have been a solid bloc of the Democrat Party’s base, and whose leadership, sadly, has consistently exploited and demeaned these mostly African-American mothers who are the bedrock of the black Christian church. If you doubt it, please explain why the white elite liberal leadership of the Democrat Party steadfastly refuses to provide school vouchers to inner city African-American Christian mothers so they can educate their children beyond their drug-infested, crime-ridden, and failing public school systems?

    But then, we all know the answer to that question now, don’t we, Mark.

  4. Jay Reding says:

    In the 2004 re-election, 79% of 26 million Evangelical Christians voted for George W. Bush and 71% of them supported the war in Iraq when doing so.

    And?

    And polls also show that 46% of Americans believe that it is important to “encourage” non-Christians to become Christians, so I do not know on which belief you base your conclusions.

    “Encourage” as apart from the radical Islamic view of “convert or be killed.”

    Maybe you need to expand your concept of fundamentalism to the killing of thousand of innocent Iraqis?

    The thousands of innocent Iraqis being killed by groups like al-Qaeda, Iranian backed death squads, and others is of profound concern to me — which is precisely why I think that a precipitous US withdrawal is an act of genocide.

    Also you when you make it sound like the Muslem faith is “by nature an expansionist religion” and Christianity is not, you are forgetting history: The Crusades, the Inquistion, the ‘discovery’ of America, the creation of the state Isreal, and the fact that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11.

    Except those events were given a Christian veneer, but there’s no textual basis in Christianity for them.

    It’s really quite simple: Jesus was not a military leader. He expressly disavowed Christian militancy. Muhammad was a military leader who spread Islam through conquest — including his own former tribe, the Quraysh.

    It’s the same silly argument — that it’s really all our fault. That sort of blame-America-first mentality is based on a fundamentally ignorant worldview and one that whitewashes the harsh realities of radical Islam in favor of self-indulgence. We’re not the cause of all evil in the world, and blaming George W. Bush for everything is the sort of partisan idiocy that sets this country back.

  5. Mark says:

    “In the 2004 re-election, 79% of 26 million Evangelical Christians voted for George W. Bush and 71% of them supported the war in Iraq when doing so.

    And?”

    And…..evangelicals are a bunch of Republicans who fit most of the stereotypes perfectly.

  6. Eracus says:

    “Yes, Muhammed was a military leader and I agree that Islam could need a reformation like what Luther brought to the West, but still which religion is on the attack today? Which nation was 700 military bases in 130 countries? Which President uses the Christian right to support his self proclaimed “crusade”?”

    Thank you, Mr. Near-Death Experiencer, for that glistening jewel of collosal ignorance. The Christian religion is not ON the attack, you idiot, it is UNDER attack. And you are currently, right now, WITNESSING Islamic “reform” in the Middle East and yet somehow I really don’t think mass murder, suicide bombings, honor killings, and televised beheadings are even remotely consistent with Martin Luther’s principled rejection of the Catholic liturgy. Luther’s legacy is the Protestant Christian church with all its transformations of tolerance and multiplicity. Mohammed’s legacy is an anachronistic death cult that would put Vlad the Impaler to shame.

    Can you possibly be any more naive? The answer to your insolent question, “Which President uses the Christian right to support his self proclaimed “crusade”?” — is every single one, from George Washington to George Bush. Religious freedom is the foundation of these United States, embodied in the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which in one way or another has been invoked by every administration since the British were defeated in the Revolutionary War.

    Read much?

  7. Eracus says:

    “And…..evangelicals are a bunch of Republicans who fit most of the stereotypes perfectly.”

    No doubt this would come as some surprise to Zell Miller and the millions of other registered Democrats in the Bible belt. But do keep up the good work. It won’t be long before racism, atheism, and communism become the hallmarks of the modern Democrat Party, as they already have in the South. Jolly good!

  8. Eracus says:

    “Twenty-six out of thirty-eight (68%) of these targeted Democrats are from Southern or Southwestern regions, which makes sense since it’s primarily Blue Dogs we’re talking about here. That makes this another netroots war against regions of the country that elect these Democrats precisely because they are Blue Dogs. It’s obvious when you read netroots diaries that there is a lot of disdain for and rage against Democratic voters who don’t identify with the progressive movement, and efforts like this one by Stoller and Bowers (Northeastern liberals both) only serve to highlight that disdain and rage. Rather than “punishing” the Blue Dogs, the New Democrats, or the voters who elect them, the Democratic party is likely to be punished itself at the polls if this effort becomes associated with the party, rather than the progressives.”

    http://cadillactight.wordpress.com/2007/08/22/openleft-directs-netroots-fire-at-conservative-democrats/

    Ha!! Too late.

  9. In the 2004 re-election, 79% of 26 million Evangelical Christians voted for George W. Bush and 71% of them supported the war in Iraq when doing so.

    “And?”

    Jay, does that mean that you are proud of what your nation has created in Iraq? Can you truly look at the chaos and say that you are proud to be an American? If yes, then please don’t say that you believe in God and think that Jesus would support the war. Since the American invation of Iraq terroism has increased by 600% because the injust war is feeding more radicalism, which by the way amounts to 0.8% of the Muslim population and NOT 100% as you would like to paint the picture. And recarding your “textual basis” within Islam, where exactly do you find this? Which Surah? Have you even read the Quran? While radical Muslims do interpret the Quran to their political aims, you are just as fundamental as them by believing that the Quran justifies the killing of innocent people.

    I am not blaming Bush for everything, just the war in Iraq and the failure to capture Bin Ladin in Afghanistan. When the U.S. invades a nation based on lies and shows total ignorance about running such an operation, I would not call it “blame America” but “help America.” God forbid if there was a real war and a real danger, and America had to save the world in this blind state. Even though I do not advocate war, I think we both can agree that America (and the world) is better off with a less ignorant superpower. Mistakes are costly and we all need to evolve so we do not repeat them. I am not talking about quick redrawl here, but that you THINK first before you start the next war, please. This lack of enligtenment is what has set America back while it could become even a greatr nation, but as all empires corruption of the truth brings them down.

  10. Eracus says:

    Jay can represent himself perfectly well if he wants to respond to your myopic leftist gibberish, Rene, but I for one am extremely proud that my country has liberated more than 50 million people from two of the most evil, barbaric, and maniacal tyrannies the world has ever seen. I am even more proud of the fact that while my country has spilled its blood and treasure to liberate those 50 million, we have also defended your right to exhibit a level of ignorance and arrogance that is simply breathtaking.

    What has your country done, Rene? Denmark has done exactly what in response to Islamic terror? Publish some cartoons? And just how are things in Copenhagen these days? Isn’t it interesting how Jørgen Dragsdahl and the KGB worked together for decades to undermine your government, betray the Danish people, and help establish the very Islamic system of terror that is now producing honor killings and suicide bombings throughout Europe and the United Kingdom? And while Canada has lost some 60 troops, we’ve lost thousands in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are trying to identify and apprehend Islamic terrorists; Canada is providing them with visas. Especially in Montreal, ay? So exactly who do you think you’re kidding here, Rene?

    I got news for ya, pal. The Islamic “radicalism” you decry has been festering in the Middle East since long before T.E. Lawrence ever even sat on a camel; the only lack of “enlightenment” going on here is yours. You have the self-righteous, smug audacity to assume and expect America to secure your protection and safeguard your liberty and yet here whine and complain about the means by which we Americans provide it. How gauche.

    Clearly it is you, Rene, who has yet to “evolve.” You are in no position to lecture anyone. Osama bin Laden declared war on America in August 1996. On September 11, 2001, his Islamic terrorist organization, Al-Qaeda, attacked our cities and murdered thousands of innocent Americans. Is that real and dangerous enough for you, Rene? Or should we wait until we’ve lost a hundred thousand innocent Americans? A million perhaps?? Would that be more real and dangerous for you?? Or should we just wait for an attack on Montreal??

    The United States of America did not start this war, Rene, but we will indeed end it. No thanks to you.

  11. Jay Reding says:

    And recarding your “textual basis” within Islam, where exactly do you find this? Which Surah? Have you even read the Quran?

    “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” al-Qu’ran 9:29

    In fact, Surah 8, al-Anfal is an entire Surah of 129 verses on how Muslims should divvy up the spoils of war.

    The Qu’ran is a work full of militancy — that does not mean that all Muslims must be militant, but the interpretation of the Qu’ran that is spreading the fastest is that spread by the radical Salafists and Wahhibists, and it is that interpretation of Qu’ran that sets Islam as a religion of conquest and violence. Only when the Muslim people themselves disavow that interpretation can Islam be considered a religion of peace. Some do, but sadly, they are a distinct minority within Islam today.

    While radical Muslims do interpret the Quran to their political aims, you are just as fundamental as them by believing that the Quran justifies the killing of innocent people.

    I merely point out what the radicals themselves say. I am not a Muslim, nor do I have a particularly deep understanding of the Qu’ran. Again, it is up to the Muslim people themselves to interpret and carry out their faith. However, I will not blindly look away to the radicalism that is spreading hatred, bigotry, xenophobia, and violence in its wake, and nor should you.

    Meanwhile, the United States works to save Iraqi lives, while groups like al-Qaeda continue to kill without mercy and remorse.

  12. Jay, I am glad you have read the Quran. You are right about Sura 8 and as I agreeded alreay with you Muhammen was a military leader and I believe the religion could need a reformation. But still in the debate on terror there is no justification of this in the Quran other that the misinterpretation of the word “Jihad,” which means “self-struggle” in relation to following God. But let’s agree on some things there: There are Muslim radicals who approve of the use terror. 9/11 was a terrible attack. Taking the fight to the Taliban Afganistan was justified on this basis. However, lanching a pre-emptive war against Iraq on the grounds of WMD and links to Bin Ladin, was a big mistake. I agree that we should not let the radical spread hatred and violence, but how do you think moderate Muslim’s feel about the pictures they see on TV from Iraq? No matter what you say, they are not blind towards the effects of the U.S. setting in motion an unjust war. The war in Iraq has been the most powerful advertising for Al-Qaeda and brought an increase in terror of 600%. This is my argument: If you don’t want more radical that the 0.8%, then make sure that your govermet does not spread more agreesion based on lies. Moderate Muslims are not stupid they know what injustice is, so that’s where America has to show its superiority, not by military power but through moral superiroity that will make the hole world follow. So far, the unjust war in Iraq has increased terror and splitered the American population. Today 70% of are against the war and America stands almost issolated from the world community in its lust for war. So it is not me who is leading in the wrong direction unless you want a dictor to rule the world. The situation is serious, yes, and it can get even more serious. That’s why we all need to have a clear vision and the war in Iraq is has clearly not made things easier.

    P.S. Eracus: Your tone is getting better and you bring up some points about Denmark that could be interesting to discuss, but I feel the distance is too far between us and do not appreciate “idiot” etc. I perfer to stay on the point that there are fundamentalist on both sides, and I believe you are a good example.

  13. Eracus says:

    Why, thank you, Rene, for I am indeed an American fundamentalist. I am devoted to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — for everyone, Rene, not just some chosen few. I hold to the maxim that if my brother is not free then I am not free, and I deeply resent the fact that some 2/3 of the world today is still without potable water and living under some form of barbaric dictatorship whose only purpose it is to inspire the mass murder of innocent people in an attempt to terrorize the rest of us into submission and acceptance of some form of radical Islam. For me, barbaric tyrannical governments dominated by a minority of religious zealots cutting off people’s heads, tossing homosexuals off of buildings, and stoning women in soccer stadiums –to say nothing of marketplace suicide bombings, machine-gunning airport terminals, and flying airplanes into tall buildings– is the real enemy. For you, it’s the United States and George W. Bush. That just seems a bit idiotic to me.

    What inflames my passion is people like yourself, Rene, who apparently deign that the freedom of this Arab or this Jew or this Christian or this Buddhist, African, Asian, Russian, Czech or whatever is not worth fighting for. But if you and I don’t fight for them, Rene, who will? And how then can our war be unjust? Should we have tolerated the mass murder of some 3000 innocent Americans in pursuit of some more thoughtful, softer, easier solution? In the wake of the September 11 attack, should we have allowed Saddam to continue to slaughter more innocent Iraqis, to train Islamic terrorists in Samarra, Ramadi, and Salman Pak, to pursue the development of WMDs to rival the Iranian arsenal, and possibly to invade Kuwait or some other nation at some uncertain time in the future? Would that have been the “easier” and more pleasant solution to soothe your sensitivities than actually fighting for the opportunity that the next generation of Iraqis won’t meet the same fate as the last generation, as either some part of a maniacal regime or buried alive in the dirt of yet another mass grave? Should we have told the American people and the rest of the world that, “So sorry, it’s just too hard. It’s too scary. Resistance is futile” and just left it all up to the UN? Should we have left this crisis for our children to solve?? Would that have been the better plan? Would we all be safer now and more secure because radical, militant Islam would have somehow become more accommodating of Western civilization? Should we have waited for a miracle?

    I don’t think so. And neither would you if you’d bother to read beyond the usual leftist propaganda and begin to think for yourself. For the record, I am greatly offended by your repeated assertions of such canards as…

    “…the unjust war in Iraq has increased terror and splitered the American population. Today 70% of are against the war and America stands almost issolated from the world community in its lust for war…”

    taken almost verbatim from communist propaganda tracts overflowing in Europe and America today. That’s just plain crap, Rene. Don’t believe everything you read. If you can comprehend yet alone understand what Jørgen Dragsdahl and the KGB were doing in Denmark, what makes you think it is any different in Europe and the United States today? Do you really think Dan Rather just got some wild-eyed idea one day to publicize forged documents in an attempt to influence an American election? Do you think the media reports of some 10,000 dead in New Orleans was just some big mistake? Do you really think Reuters’ repeated photo-shopping and the wire services’ constant misrepresentations are just some unhappy accidents by people who have no idea what they are doing??

    Or does it stand more to reason that constitutional government, as represented by the United States of America, is everywhere under siege by barbaric, tyrannical, totalitarian regimes who have penetrated our government, media, and academic institutions and who have the most to lose as their people become ever more exposed to the realities of this world in the Information Age? Because for all our flaws and imperfections, Rene, “Democracy! Whisky! Sexy!!” is the modern battle cry of Freedom today. Everybody wants more of what we have and have freely given to the world from the beaches at Normandy to the bombs over Tokyo. Unfortunately, what stands in our way today and in the way of all people who hunger for their first breath of freedom are people like you who believe them unworthy of the blood and treasure it will cost to obtain it. Imagine had we Americans thought that of Denmark.

  14. Jay Reding says:

    But still in the debate on terror there is no justification of this in the Quran other that the misinterpretation of the word “Jihad,” which means “self-struggle” in relation to following God.

    Here’s the problem: that’s not what the term means. The Arabic term “jihad” may descend from the verb jihada which means “to strive”, but the term jihad is much broader than some nice internal struggle. Throughout the Qu’ran the term jihad is a short form for jihad al-mubadahah — which is the violent conquest of those who practice takfir or disbelief. That is the “most noble” form of the word to many Muslims.

    Sorry, but trying to whitewash the nature of radical Islam doesn’t help. Plugging our ears and pretending that we can wish away the truth is pointless — that is how the radicals view the world, and they will take that view regardless of whether we non-Muslims accept it or not. Only the Muslim world can change itself, and the only way that will happen is when the majority of Muslims take responsibility for changing the tenets of their faith.

    I agree that we should not let the radical spread hatred and violence, but how do you think moderate Muslim’s feel about the pictures they see on TV from Iraq? No matter what you say, they are not blind towards the effects of the U.S. setting in motion an unjust war. The war in Iraq has been the most powerful advertising for Al-Qaeda and brought an increase in terror of 600%.

    What pictures do they see from Iraq? Al-Qaeda murdering fellow Muslims. Al-Qaeda attacking Islamic shrines. Al-Qaeda butchering the innocent. If all you say is true, why is it that Iraq’s Sunnis have joined together in a pact that rejects al-Qaeda and promises to fight against them? If this war is causing so much terrorism why are attitudes towards terrorism in the Islamic world becoming more negative? If terrorism has risen 600% why aren’t we seeing more attacks like London, Bali, or the 9/11 attacks?

    The simple answer is because your worldview doesn’t match the facts. The US is not the aggressor in Iraq — al-Qaeda is. We are working with Iraqis on securing their country from outside invader like al-Qaeda and Iran. The Sunnis in al-Anbar Province are turning towards us because they understand that our interests and theirs are one — we want to get rid of al-Qaeda and leave Iraq a pluralistic society, and they want to be free of al-Qaeda’s persecution and the Iranian-backed Shi’ite death squads.

    The problem is that your worldview is based strongly on anti-Americanism rather than reality. Our leaving Iraq would lead to tens of thousands, if not millions of Iraqis dying, the country of Iraq shattering into chaos, and ethnic cleansing that would make Darful look small in comparison.

    You claim to support the Muslim people — where is the support for the people who would be butchered by al-Qaeda? Where is your support for the Iraqis who are the victims of al-Qaeda’s terrorism?

    You claim to support “moral superiority” — where is the moral superiority of leaving our allies to the slaughter? What is so morally superior about turning our backs to the threat of radical Islam and giving al-Qaeda and Iran purchase in the geographic heart of the Middle East?

    Your claims and your plans don’t match — and perhaps if you tried looking at the situation with an open mind and not letting your rather simplistic worldview intervene you’d understand why.

    I support the war in Iraq because I want to see an Iraq that is strong, democratic, peaceful, and prosperous. I want to see al-Qaeda lose, and I want to see their fighters dead and disheartened. I want to see the corrupt regimes in Damascus and Tehran fall and governments that represent all of the people of those countries put in their place. I want every woman in the Middle East to have the right to drive, vote, hold a job, and speak their mind. I want every ethnic minority in the Middle East to be free of oppression or ethnic cleansing. I want for Gaza to be as rich as Monico and as a peaceful.

    I suspect that you may think you want those things, but the thing you would have is for the US to fail — what you need to be open to understanding is for that all of those good things to happen, the US must win in Iraq. Or, to put it more accurately, the US and its Iraqi allies must both win, and al-Qaeda, Iran, and Syria must all lose.