By Dwight Owen Schweitzer 4/27/11
We learned a painful lesson when we armed the Mujahedeen to help them oust the Russians from Afghanistan . Once the Russians were defeated our proxy fighters in that war became the Taliban and used our weapons against us. We are now seeing popular uprisings in the Arab world, and that lesson is dictating our policy. We hear many talking heads of different stripes wondering who might be the grey eminence behind this sudden awakening of self-determination in parts of the world where the forces of good are often indistinguishable from the forces of evil.
The conundrum is nowhere more evident than in Libya, where we have a dictator who we are reasonably sure is not of the same stripe as Hamas or Hezbollah or the other Moslem extremists who want to see the establishment of the Caliphate throughout the world. We do know that their success will result in a new dark age visited upon humankind. Colonel Qadhafi is the classic ‘Devil you know’ when we are not at all sure what the other devil might look like. If and when a regime change comes to that, or any of the other countries for that matter, where the spark given off in Tunisia has ignited an apparent quest for some degree of personal freedom and self determination if not democracy. As things stand, we have to ask ourselves, if we arm the insurgents, will we have enabled another Taliban who will, in time, use those arms against us?
The regime change in Tunisia ignited fires all across the Arab world, sometimes, as in Syria, with great suffering meted out on those who, at least in the name of self-determination and democracy, are risking life and limb to achieve it. There is an answer to this new type of proxy war to avoid the risk of ultimately aiding a theosophy that sees the United States as ‘the great Satan’. Although we are the most powerful nation on the face of the earth, a few men willing to give up their lives came within an hour of killing 60,000 people, had the twin towers been full of the employees due to arrive later that morning on 9/11, not to mention the consequences avoided by a few brave hero’s who gave their lives to crash a plane short of its’ reaching the White House, it’s intended target .
The answer is a feature of our technology. We can, and must, develop a unique class of weapons that depend on us to function, and are equipped with a self destruct mechanism if misused. Use them in ways we approve of and we will enable them. Use them against us and we will disable them. We can also make ammunition that cannot be duplicated by the forces arrayed against us. What we need to do is develop weapons systems that are specifically designed and manufactured to equip potential enemies, weapons that cannot be modified to make them free of ongoing dependence upon us to work. We have the technology, and if such weapons were available today I have no doubt that we would be arming the insurgent forces in Libya, and hopefully reap the benefits of their success while avoiding the consequences of the past, if it turned out that we has armed the wrong side.