For the sake of this essay, liken Hezbollah’s operational doctrine to a geopolitical script. It was written as high drama by one of the most ambitious men of the 20th century. While most Westerners remain oblivious to this virulent Middle Eastern narrative, the author’s infamous name is highly recognizable. His name is Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
To his follower’s dismay, few scenes have lived up to Khomeini’s script. In hindsight, it’s clear his plot was intellectually corrupt and spiritually bankrupt. Oddly, when Khomeini’s actors took the world stage, performing their first dress rehearsal, their actions were not dramatic at all. Instead they were and remain grotesquely tragic actions. Khomeini’s script is in fact an amalgam of bad ideas uncomfortably organized to form a geopolitical tragedy. [Geopolitical TRAGEDY not STRATEGY]
Despite the fact that Khomeini’s script was a befuddled political mistake, some Middle Eastern actors still sign up to act it out. To find out why, I’ve spent hours discussing Khomeini’s ideas with anyone who does not deeply regret their resultant theatrics.
The villains in Khomeini’s script exist precisely because of the hatred they can invoke in any Middle Eastern crowd. Positive history and relevant facts are consciously dismissed as distractions, erroneous to any final solution. Indeed, progressive realities are a distractive to milking a crowd for all the hate it can produce.
Therefore, villains are relegated to cartoonish roles, given fewer lines than, for example, Arnold Schwarzenegger in his classic film, Commando. These villainous cartoons are always played by some combination of the following actors:
Heroes in Khomeini’s script are particularly boring. One would think that their irrelevance contradicts the starring role Khomeini gives them, but apparently it does not. Khomeini’s heroes are almost always an archetypal youth; mostly male but occasionally female. They are given more lines than villains but even less substance. The scope of their commentary is always confined to grievances and the principles of social cohesion they are kidnapping, murdering or committing suicide for.
The obvious fact that their actions dissolve all manner of social cohesion is yet another distraction. In their scene, the heroes climax achieves little more than a pathetic mess. Counter to their purpose, acts of violence always harden the resolve of the innocent community or security services attacked. More relevant to the script, is the villain’s response. All reasoned responses result in perpetuating the tragedy, ad infinitum.
The real meat of Khomeini’s script exists in the interplay between leaders and martyrs. A leader wields real power in Khomeini’s script because he or she is both an actor and director. This character’s job security depends on a frenzied crowd fuming with hate. The high energy hatred of a crowd nurtures otherwise normal minds into performing martyrdom scenes in front of a global audience.
The real question should be, Q: how do Middle Eastern leaders develop a hate filled crowed in the first place? A1: One sermon at a time. A2: One family at a time. That’s how, over time, an entire society either becomes actors or willing audiences to a seemingly relentless pursuit of Khomeinist carnage.
To win back Middle Eastern society and pull the final curtain down on Khomeini’s tragedy, agents of the West will have to do as Hezbollah actors do. Disarming Middle Eastern crowds of their hate requires a vigorous -One sermon at a time, -One family at a time, approach.
IF my American friends believe the sermon should consist of a terrorist tip-line phone number, they are bound to mire Americans in a perpetual war. It doesn’t matter what the war is called; The Long War, The Global War on Terror, The Regional War. What then, would the –One sermon at a time, –One family at a time, approach look like? By my estimation, it would look like a census operating continuously on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan…
And so on… When this American message reaches every corner of both countries, over time it will replace Khomeini’s script. It will disarm the hate and eventually replace Al-Qaeda’s script. It will replace the Taliban’s script. And so on…
To burn down the empire Khomeini’s script and its malicious spin offs… Americans are going to have to take their old fashioned neighborliness with them to their unfinished wars. The United States Army, State Department and other agencies in Iraq and Afghanistan must be good neighbors before they can ever hope to win back the Middle East.