Commentary: Ronald Regan Was Right!

By Ken Joseph Jr.

Baghdad, Iraq - Watching the various commentary on the passing of President Ronald Reagan one of the comments caught my attention. It was a comment by former Reagan Chief of Staff Alexander Haig.

 `The biggest contribution Ronald Reagan gave to the world was he face the reality that Communism could not be contained, that it in itself was evil and had to be defeated. This was the core of why Communism was in fact defeated - because Ronal Reagon saw through the rhetoric to the reality and had the courage to speak the truth.`

 He went on to tell the story of how the State Department and so many others passionately tried to get President Reagan to change his `Mr. Gorbachov, take down that wall` speech, saying it would be offensive, would affect ongoing negotiations etc.

 Listening to those words on a hot, dusty Baghdad afternoon something began to speak to me.

 What really got me thinking, was speaking to a woman in Baghdad. She said to me `I am a descendent of Mohammed. I come from a well known family. Nobody will tell you the truth. The enemy is Islam! It is the cause of everything bad!

 I am a moslem, but I think the time has come for us to be honest! We cannot make excuses anymore that it is not practiced correctly or the culture changes it and other reasons. We need to be honest. It is the problem!`

`The other day a religious leader came to my home. I was gone, but he told my mother that unless I began to cover my head with the moslem head covering and stayed at home and stopped working they would kill me.

My mother ordered him to leave

Shortly after that, the same religious leader approached me and asked me to come to his house to sleep with him and he would pay me.` she continues.

It is a destructive, wicked teaching and it relies on uneducated, oppressed people and force to advance.`

It left me with something to think about, to say the least!

I think the time may have come, as Ronald Reagan did nearly 25 years ago to do exactly as he did - to tell the truth.

Communism is gone. Unfortunately it may have been replaced by a similar ideology, just as destructive and just as in need of the truth being spoken about it as Communism was.

The problem is, as Al Haig put it so everybody is afraid to speak the truth, trying desperately to `contain` Islam, they come up with all kinds of creative theories, exactly as they did towards Communism a generation ago.

Ironic, that we hear the exact same arguments - that is is not Islam that is wrong but the misuse of it in various countries etc.

We need the simple, but eloquent wisdom of Ronald Reagan at this precise moment.

Just as Communism was an excellent theory on paper - te means of production should be shared to benefit all - Islam is a wonderful religion of peace, tolerance and spiritual salvation - on paper!

Exactly as Communism, though, unfortunately it does not work.

The time has come to take off the `gloves` and to honestly and objectively as President Reagan did face the truth.

The fundamental flaw lies at the very core of the teaching itself.

Ask any moslem this question `if your son came to you and told you that he did not believe in God anymore what would you do.`

You will be surprised at the answer you get. If he is honest he will say something like `I will try to persuade him to change his mind`. or like the conversation I had a few days ago here in Baghdad, if he is really truthful `the koran says at 8 you should teach your child, at 10 you should beat your child, if he is older than that I will kill him. He does not deserve to live. I will burn him.`

Amazingly, throughout the moslem world you will encounter this extremely dangerous phenonomon. Simply put, the truth of Islam is that it is an ideology tha is advanced by force.

In other words, the statement by that father and millions like him throughtout the region reflects the core of the problem with islam. At its core it denies the most basic of human freedoms - the freedom to believe.

Spiking to an Islamic Inman he said `The problem we have in Islam today is that it is forced. Because we use law and intimidation to advance the belief the vast majority do not actually believe. This has weakened Islam because it has forced people to live double lives -^ the reality and the `islamic` outward life`.

I asked this honest Inman `If you were to take the element of `force` away, what percentage of the people do yo think truly believe.`

He became very thoughtful and then replied `Maybe 5 percent or so.`.

Just as Ronald Reagan, 25 years ago saw through the realty of Communism to see that in fat it could not be contained and it in fact was the problem and was in actuality crumbling from within, the nearly exact situation exists for Islam.

In addition to the ideological impossibilities of Islam, Reagan saw through to the simple fact that Communism did not work as an Economic Theory.

The same is for Islam. The fundamental reason for the problems in the middle east are economic, not idelaogicial. The The The Middle East has collapsed beuase Islam is incompatible with capitalism and the free exhange of ideas and creaiivy.

In Iraq, for example the constitution, as in nearly all islamic sates says `Islam is the official religion of the state`. Imagine what that does for the legal situation. It throws it into total dissaray.

If you are not a moslem, any form of justice is gone. Simply put, islam is bad for business. The koran teaches that one cannot charge interest  - the very heart of capitliism.

Space does not permit to list each and every one, but frrom the treatment of Women who during an interview a couple days ago I was told by a 24 year old man `women are nothing. Theya re workth less than 10% of a man` to the beliefe in freedom, the same  young man `Man does not have freedom - only freedom to obey God`. to the teachings regarding daily living - one may have up to four wifes just as Communism was when Ronald Reagan so aptly pointed it out it is incampatible with reality and is a destructive force.

As `poliically incorrect` as it is, the reality is this - we are not fighting a war against `terrorism`, the truth we are fighting a war against `islam`. 

If we are to win the war agaisnt `terrorism`, just as Ronald Reagan taughe us a generation ago, we must first fact honestly and turthfully who our enemy is, then we must put away the thought of `containment` and face the reality tha the only way forwardis tl defeat it.

The enemy is not `terrorism` or `Al Qaida` or `Al Zakari` or a host of other appendages to themonster, but the enemy is simply put `islam` itself.

Just as Ronald Reagan faced a genration ago, and just as he said, minutees before he gave his `Mr. Gorbachev take down that wall`speech when he said `the boys at the State Department are not going to like this speech`, we face the same situation today.

Legions of scholars and experts and theologians wil howl cries of `intolerance`, and a host of other things, but just as under communism the focus of our attention should be, as Ronald Reagan so aptly taught us on the people iliving under these oppressive regiemes.

What do the people think? How do they feel? What is it that they want?

Just as under Connunism a generation ago, the oppressed, downtrodden and captive natonis of the Islamic Empire `yearn to be free`.

The time has come to stop calling the enemy by other names and working towards `co-existance`and `containment` Just like nearly every person living under its hated rule will tell you - when they have the freedom to say anything - the problem is Islam.

Will the US have the courage to stand up to Islam in Iraq as Ronald Reagan did a generation ago and call a `spade a spade` and will the world be freed from the scourage of this terrible ideology that strips men, women and children of their idenity, their freedom and very dignity be defeated?

If the fight agains Communism and one simple minded man, everybody made fun of al `light headed` and `not very bright` is any example it can and will be wand, simply because Islam, like Communism is incompatible with reality.

Will the battle be won? The first step, as Ronald Reagan taught us is to tell the truth and begin to act accordingly.

Rev. Ken Joseph Jr. is an Assyrian, directs, and is completing a book about his experiences entitled 'I Was Wrong.'