Hamilton: Dreaming of a [Westphalian] Christmas
December 24, 2015
Readers are invited to hum along: ♫"I'm dreaming of a Westphalian Christmas just like the ones I used to know" ♫ Wait. Stop the music. The last time Westphalia made the town-crier news was back in 1648 A.D. Despite the fact that the two sides refused to meet face-to-face, Catholics and Protestants negotiated the end of the 30 Years' War (1618-1648). The Catholics hung out in Muenster and the Protestants stayed over in nearby Osnabruck. For two months, a 17th Century version of Henry Kissinger shuttled proposals and counterproposals between the two Westphalian cities until the deal was done.
The Peace of Westphalian set the standard for how we westerners settle disputes, both military and civil. In western parlance, a Westphalian negotiation is one in which the parties bargain in good faith. A Westphalian Peace is one whereby the parties agree to respect each other's national boundaries and promise to no longer interfere in other's domestic affairs. In short: The parties agree to co-exist in peace.
So, if Catholics and Protestants could agree in 1648 to co-exist in peace, what are the chances that the Muslims of today could negotiate with non-Muslims and agree to co-exist with non-Muslims in peace? Unfortunately, the answer is somewhere between none and none.
Authentic Muslims, be they Sunni or Shia, are bound by the Medina Phase of the Qur'an and the teachings of the Hadith, teachings that true Muslims are not permitted to negotiate in good faith with Infidels. True Muslims are bound by "Taqiyya," a doctrine that is based on Qur'an 3:28 which authorizes Muslims to use any form of lying, deceit, misleading, half-truths, or related practices to further the growth of Islam or to protect individual Muslims from harm.
Islamic jihadists and even their so-called "moderate" co-religionists are doctrinally forbidden to enter into a Westphalian-style peace. Authentic Muslims believe they have a "divine duty" to conduct jihad, either violently or passively. According to the definitive Brill's Encyclopaedia of Islam, 3d on-line edition: "The duty of the jihad exists as long as the universal domination of Islam has not been attained. Peace with non-Muslim nations is, therefore, a provisional state of affairs only; the chance of circumstances alone can justify it temporarily. Furthermore, there can be no question of genuine peace treaties with these nations; only truces, whose duration ought not, in principle, to exceed ten years, are authorized. But even such truces are precarious, inasmuch as they can, before they expire, be repudiated unilaterally should it appear more profitable for Islam to resume the conflict."
None of this bodes well for the recent nuclear-arms agreement between the Obama Administration and the Iranian mullahs who are already spinning nuclear centrifuges they just agreed in Geneva not to spin, who just conducted a test on November 21, 2015, of the previously forbidden Ghadr-110 long-range missile, and, despite the lifting of sanctions on oil and trade, are refusing to sign the so-called agreement. Moreover, the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) just threw in the towel on the IAEA's efforts to catalog Iran's past nuclear-development programs.
It is a long way from Westphalia to Iran. And, as Rudyard Kipling famously suggested, "…never the twain shall meet."
Nationally syndicated columnist, William Hamilton, is a laureate of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame, the Colorado Aviation Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma University Army ROTC Wall of Fame, and is a recipient of the University of Nebraska 2015 Alumni Achievement Award. He was educated at the University of Oklahoma, the George Washington University, the Infantry School, the U.S Naval War College, the University of Nebraska, and Harvard University.