Mudville Gazette's coverage of a car bomb that killed dozens of children in an attempt to take out a US checkpoint is many things at once. (Hat tip: Glenn Reynolds) It is a human tragedy; a horror story; a commentary on the nature of the "militants" so beloved by the Left; but it is also the Pro and Contra debate of our age written in blood.
Near the charred, shrapnel-scarred bombing scene women draped in black abayas wept as they walked by, and dazed children with tears in their eyes wandered amid bits of metal and bloody human remains. A pile of children's slippers lay on the street. "My cousin Mustafa was killed," said 11-year-old Mohammed Nouredin, gesturing toward a blackened engine block in the middle of the street. "That is part of his bicycle. His coffin was sent to Najaf," the traditional burial ground for Iraqi Shiites.
That's part of it. I can't bring myself to repeat the rest. There are those who, after the London bombing, had convinced themselves that all Muslims were enemies of civilization. There are sound arguments for that: the existence of the Jihad, the silence of most Islamic clergy. But what of the children? What of the Muslim children who are the targets of these "freedom fighters", "resistants" or "militants", whichever the BBC prefers to call them? In what category do they belong? The empirical fact is that no group has been killed more often and more brutally by the "Jihad" than Muslims themselves. During the French Algerian war several times more Algerian Muslims died than French. Anyone with a calculator can see the same is true in Iraq. One of the targets of the London bombing was a subway station frequented by British Muslims. The first objective of terror, indeed of the Terror, and the first objective of the Jihad is to maintain internal control over its base. For as long as internal control can be maintained, a terrorist movement need not defeat its armed enemy. It will never lose; hence in the estimation of the Peace generation, it will always win.
Logically, a large part of the War on Terror will consist of creating an insurgency within the insurgency. Fighting Islamic extremism must comprise organizing a revolt against Islam's internal oppressors. That would include waging intellectual war against Islamic fundamentalism within its own theological context -- a reformation -- it will include creating clandestine cells to strike at the gangs which beat women and intimidate men within the community. It will require all the skills of a resistance fighter struggling against bearded Big Brother. The Left has a word for such people: "Uncle Toms". That is how they've already characterized Hirsi Ali. That is to be expected. But many conservatives have also been blind to the urgent requirement of creating a liberation movement within Islam, in part because they half believe all Muslims are themselves the enemy; in part because they despair of Muslims ever rising up against the medieval institutions which constrain them; in part because they haven't thought about it. But they should. That pile of bloody children's slippers on an Iraqi street is a tally of spirits who were created to be free.