Fat Steve's Blatherings

Friday, September 10, 2004

What is to be Done?

    As we approach the third anniversary of the destruction of the Towers, the single best essay I've seen on the war and the future is here.

    A few excerpts:

    The brutal slaughter of children in Russia is yet another wake-up call we are not heeding.  We keep hearing that we are at war, but no one wants to identify the real enemy – an Islamic civilization that sanctions such murder as the justified means for establishing the religious and political dominance of Islam in fulfillment of the will of God. . . .

    Now that military conquest of the West is out of the question – as tiny Israel has proven on three occasions – terrorism has emerged as the tactic that will exploit what the Islamists see as the West's weaknesses: its addiction to material comfort and pleasure as the highest goods, and its lack of passionate belief in any values worth dying and killing for.  And for decades we in the West seemed bent on proving this estimation correct: the response of Europe and at times America as well to first Palestinian terrorism and then other terrorist attacks on our citizens was marked by appeasement and indifference.  The smokescreen of Palestinian nationalism and postcolonial grievances was eagerly accepted by those in the West who either needed an excuse for avoiding unpleasant, costly action, or were indifferent to the spectacle of Jews dying – the latter phenomenon, after all, one that Europe was all too familiar with anyway.

    This interpretation is vehemently rejected by many, including some of the strongest supporters of the administration's policies.  They respond that the foregoing analysis is true only of a minority who are misinterpreting Islam and attempting to undo history because they have been shut out of the boons of modernity – economic development or political freedom.  Evidence suggests, however, that it is not just a minority but a critical mass, perhaps even a majority, of Muslims who, even if they would never themselves kill, sanction and rationalize terrorism and thus give it moral and frequently material support.  The popularity of bin Laden throughout the Muslim world, the frequent public celebrations of terrorist attacks, Iran's continuing support of terrorism, the lack of unequivocal condemnations of terrorist murder from Islamic governments, the Nazi-style anti-Semitic drivel published in the state-run presses of many Middle East nations, all suggest that Islamism is not so much of a fringe movement as we are led to believe. . . .

    If we fail to see accurately the nature of this struggle, we won't collapse overnight or be overrun.  The stakes are not as immediately grim as they were for the Viennese who met the Turks or for the Franks at Poitiers.  Rather, the destruction will be slow and insidious, fueled as much by demography as violence.  But violence there will be, as terrorists eventually acquire weapons of mass destruction, leading perhaps to a catastrophe that makes 9/11 look like a bad traffic accident.  We will evolve into a garrison state, with consequences for our civil liberties and way of life we can only imagine.  And there will be backlashes, fueled by xenophobia and nationalism, which may very well return the West to the savagery of fascism, especially in Europe.

    But these effects will take place over decades, while the cost of preventing them must be borne today.  That's why it’s seductive to pretend the struggle is otherwise, to put the cost off for future generations, to make the mistake Europe made in the 1930s.  But whether now or later, the bill will have to be paid.

    Read the whole thing.  And reread it.  And keep rereading it till it sinks in: we are in a war to the knife for our survival as free people, and, on the evidence, our opponent is Islam.  All Islam, effectively speaking.  The pitiful few squeaks of 'moderate Islam' are meaningless while so much of the Muslim world accepts and admires the acts of the terrorists.

    In some of his public announcements, Osama bin Laden identified himself as "the slave of God."  But Western culture is based on freedom.  If we are not to be "slaves of God," and the mullahs who claim to speak for God, then Islam as we know it has to be crushed.

    Them or us.  Which side are YOU on?



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