“Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics” on Fox News

October 20, 2007

Something that’s been confusing about the row between ABG Films, which Frank Gaffney is associated with, and PBS, is that ABG actually made two documentaries. The first was “Islam vs. Islamists”, and is the one PBS took out of its “America at a Crossroads” series. It has been aired separately on Channel 12 in Colorado, a PBS affiliate, at least a couple times since September. The second documentary, called “Inside Islam: Faith vs. Fanatics”, aired on Fox News today, at 8pm EST. I believe this is the one that Fox aired on June 23rd, but they only played the 2nd hour of it, not the whole thing. They showed it in full tonight.

In my opinion, the main reason this has been confusing is that Fox News has used the controversy between ABG and PBS to sell the fact that they’re showing this documentary, saying, “See the film PBS banned”, or some such. In truth it isn’t the one PBS banned, and to Gaffney’s credit he’s pointed this out. It is made by the same company, however, with the same crew that made “Islam vs. Islamists”, and it’s worth watching anyway.

I can only comment about the June 23rd edition, since I have not seen the full “Inside Islam” yet.

“Islam vs. Islamists” focused mostly on the wider conflict between moderates and radicals in Islam, the struggle between religious leaders. The main thing I remember about the June 23rd edition of “Inside Islam” is it followed some Muslim individuals who have been bucking the rules set down by the radicals, and showed how their lives have been threatened. I looked at the TV schedule and it’s 2-1/2 hours long, presumably with commercials.

It’s being repeated on Fox News in my area (Colorado) at 1:00pm MST, on Sunday, Oct. 21.

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The war we are fighting in Iraq

October 9, 2007

David Kilcullen, an advisor working with Gen. Petraeus, appeared on Charlie Rose this past Friday. He is an expert in counterinsurgency, and has studied Islamic insurgencies in particular. For all those who are wondering how we’re going to succeed in Iraq, they should pay attention to what Kilcullen says.

The picture he paints is another facet of this “different kind of war”. One of the facts he lays out straight away is that “insurgents usually lose”. Historically 80% of insurgencies have been defeated. He said it’s a myth in this country that insurgencies can’t be defeated. The question is are we willing to do what’s necessary in the time that’s necessary to do it.

He basically says the war in Iraq will be won by a two-prong approach, using the military for security, and using our diplomacy for political stability. It’s not one or the other. While the Iraqi national government is getting its legs, we’re also working town by town, province by province to set up strong civil institutions that can repel the insurgents by themselves. He said it’s going to take a while, but he also said we might be able to leave before the insurgency is defeated, leaving it for the Iraqi government to finish. There is historical precedence for that.

I like that Kilcullen has a can-do attitude. He “knows this beast” and has ideas for how we can defeat it so we can leave.