Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Unspoken

Update

Josh Manchester sends an important comment on this whole thread from Anbar.


Claudia Rosett continues to follow the saga of Hesher Islam versus Stephen Coughlin. Coughlin was an expert on Islam at the Pentagon who was allegedly fired because he "made it his mission to set aside the feel-good assumptions about Islam which have been guiding U.S. strategy, and take an unblinkered look at facts".

In a thesis accepted last year by the National Defense Intelligence College, entitled “To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad,” Coughlin came up with heavily documented findings that Islamic law, to a dangerous extent, supports the global spread of Islamic extremism, through both violent and non-violent means. In presentations to the military, based in part on court documents connected to the case of the Holy Land Foundation, Coughlin warned of Muslim Brotherhood plans to subvert the U.S. system via front groups, and “destroy western civilization from within.”


And then, Coughlin got the shove. Earlier this month, he was told that his contract with the Joint Chiefs of Staff will not be renewed when it expires in March. Why? According to Bill Gertz of the Washington Times, who on Jan. 4 broke the story of Coughlin’s ouster, Coughlin ran afoul of a Pentagon “key aide” named Hesham Islam. Attributing his information to unnamed “officials,” Gertz, who in a series of subsequent articles has stood by his story, alleged that Hesham Islam at a Pentagon meeting late last year sought to have Coughlin soften his views, and called him a “Christian zealot or extremist ‘with a pen’” — or words to that effect.

By implication the struggle between Hesher Islam and Coughlin is symptomatic of a far larger and unresolved debate, which might be summarized as being over whether or not "Islam is a religion of peace", an assumption which has undergirded the War On Terror From September 11 onwards. As it happens, Bill Roggio, writing in the Weekly Standard, notices a development that I think confirms that hypothesis. "CJTF-82, the U.S. military command for eastern Afghanistan, has taken Dutch politician and filmmaker Geert Wilders to task for announcing the production of a short film on the Koran. CJTF-82 begins its piece, provocatively titled 'Stirring the Hate,' by questioning Wilder's motivations." Roggio says:

Leaving aside Wilders's motivation for making the film, one wonders why CJTF-82 posted this article on its website in the first place. Should CJTF-82, which is engaged in the fight in Afghanistan, be injecting itself into a debate over free speech in Holland, an allied nation with troops currently deployed in Afghanistan? Is it appropriate for the U.S. military to criticize the actions of a leader of a foreign political party? And has CJTF-82 officially determined that Wilders is responsible for "igniting further violence" by publishing the Muhammad cartoons?

The "why?" part I think is clear. My guess is that the last thing operators in Afghanistan and Iraq need is someone turning the narrative of the War on Terror into one of the West versus Islam. Geert Wilders is attempting to do that. He might be right, but operationally, that's beside the point.

One of the implicit strategies of the War on Terror has been to fight Islamic terrorism in conjunction with the populations of Muslim countries. In Iraq, for example, the alliances between Coalition Forces and local groups have formed the basis for attacking and eventually destroying al-Qaeda. Whether or not this strategy is wise is something I don't wish to examine at this point. But I think it is fair to say that the intellectual model of fighting extremist groups like al-Qaeda has been based on avoiding a direct conflict with the "religion of peace".

This strategy has many benefits, not in the least because it allows the West to form alliances with groups and populations who might otherwise set their faces against America if it openly declared itself against Islam. It would be hard to imagine how to proceed in either Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan if America were to openly declare that Islam was in fact an ideology as noxious as Nazism. But citing the advantages of a policy assumption doesn't answer the question of whether the assumption is true; it doesn't settle the question of whether Wilders -- or Coughlin -- are correct. I am agnostic on the point. Nor do I expect any answers soon.

There seems to be a bipartisan political consensus not to examine the subject of political Islam publicly. It is the most verboten of foreign policy subjects. But like other "open secrets", its exclusion from formal discussion doesn't banish it from public consciousness. It merely pushes it underground, like Barack Obama's middle name.

The key problem with subjecting the question of political Islam to debate is that every other conclusion except that of regarding it as a "religion of peace" implies consequences no one dares face. Concluding that Islam is a 'religion of war' would precipitate a revolution in diplomacy, energy policy and military strategy. It's a bottle of nitro nobody wants to shake; it's a can of worms nobody wants to open: not a Republican administration and most especially not a Democratic one.

Explosive questions such as this are as likely to be resolved by events as by debate. To a very great extent the West is genuinely hoping that Islam is a "religion of peace"; and I suspect many Muslims are too. Unfolding events will resolve the issue -- and perceptions -- one way or the other. Ten years from today we'll have a better understanding of the truth.



72 Comments:

Blogger PeterBoston said...

This really is not difficult.

Read the Koran and the biography of Muhammed to match up what he was doing while Gabriel was whispering in his ear. Robbing your uncooperative neighbors, killing the men, taking the women, and enslaving the children worked out pretty good for Muhammed and the rest of his gang.

No matter how much lipstick you put on this pig this is Islam. The real Islam. The only Islam.

1/29/2008 06:09:00 AM  
Blogger Sammler said...

Perception, for all its unreliability, does follow reality. To the extent that Muslims can constrain their fellow believers, so that Islam can be observed to be a religion of peace, it will be perceived as such by the rest of the world.

1/29/2008 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Peter,

If that were true, could we handle the consequences? It boggles the mind. There are more than a billion Muslims on the planet, are they all like that? Are they all our enemy? My own experience is that whatever Islam is as qua belief system, as individuals not all Muslims are dedicated to destruction.

Yet mindlessly repeating the mantra that "Islam is a religion of peace" risks making cynics of us all. Because there are clearly aspects of it which are, well, hard to square with peace on earth.

We need a way to bring this subject out into the open without starting the Fourth World War. And that I think, is the true role of information warfare. If Islam were in fact the 'religion of war' the worst thing we could do is refuse to engage it with words, because then in the end we would wind up engaging it with force.

1/29/2008 06:20:00 AM  
Blogger ulrich said...

I think the question of Islam's nature touches the character of current diplomatic and political perspective generally, not just in Washington D.C.

I am reminded of this when I hear the Fox News correspondant repeat that most Muslims are "moderates."

This is an interesting term: it is a Comparative term.

Relative to what? Clearly, relative the political presumptions of a Western audience, who are all by education and habit some variety of liberal, philosophically.

But this presumption does not hold among our Oriental co-inhabitants of the Earth; nor does it hold for Russians, Chinese, and a whole slew of other peoples, perhaps most peoples.

Rather, the function of the liberal presumption diplomatically speaking is to emphasize its avowal of a fraternal spirit among fellow beings.

But Islam has been its own world for 1400 years. Its world is tribal, vengeful, Old Testament, jealous, imperial. There is no coherent political consciousness outside Islam, or which Islam cannot trump. True, Iraqis feel some sort of national spirit; it is also the case, as Michael Totten has reported, that there is, for example, the phenomenon of "Fallujah Nationalism." The nature of identity among the infinite mosaic of peoples living from the Taurus to the Hejaz is extraordinarily stratified, and generates multiple antagonisms simultaneously. In fact it appears to blind many of these inhabitants to the larger reality-blocks (e.g. nations) whose organization in fact enables the powers of Christendom and China, among others, to project power into their once-hermetic region so easily.

Islam forms the basic consciousness, and Islam is Submission - that is, Power. Power requires flattery.

The liberal presumption includes the aspect of Good Faith - among individuals, between individuals and the state, which is an expression of those individuals' preferences, or a temporary resignation to the will of the majority. But Power cannot be subordinated to Good Faith.

1/29/2008 07:06:00 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Muslims seem conflicted about the intermediate and end political products of Islam. 'God willing,' Islam may result in sharia, or in democratic institutions that allow free exercise of religion, or . . . fill in the blank.

What we can say with some sureness is that Muslims are not fully going to place bets on democratic institutions while the dynamics of religion are still in play. The appeal of seeing vindication of the Koran via imposition or evolution of sharia is too spiritually powerful and attractive to abandon. Religious utopianism has its own dynamic that fails, finally, only when it breaks upon a very hard rock. That breaking is not going to happen to Islam because there are too many varieties, and each one possible of mutating into a new strain of sharia-philia.

The president has tried employing several circumlocutions: 'war on terror,' 'war on Islamofascism.' War against 'Jihadism' works pretty well, but jihad is ultimately a key doctrine of Islam, so in using the term we attack a practice of the religion.

Ultimately the RICO laws may be a good way of addressing the enemy in this country. We are engaged in a war against, for the time being, jihadism, which operates supernationally via the usual mechanisms of organized crime. Does someone know why we don't invoke RICO?

It's interesting that this topic of Islam/Jihadism goes 'underground.' We want to give any religion the benefit of a doubt, hoping that the American experience will affect it in a positive way.

But do not the social and eschatological imperatives of Islam make it a virus that will, inevitably, mutate again and again into anti-democratic strains?

1/29/2008 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Rodney said...

Wretchard,

A belief system which fails to renounce conversion by the sword is incompatible with Western Society. The resulting binary solution set is reform of the belief system, or the destruction/suppression of same.

1/29/2008 07:14:00 AM  
Blogger ulrich said...

The purpose of Islam is conquer in the here and now, which allegedly confers salvation, and to govern the conquered in a way that ensures the maximum penalty for deviation. Islam is Raw Order, as imagined by the tribal mind of the Hejaz. Its Christian and Jewish admixtures exist as examples of defeat and of sin.

The "extremists" are simply pursuing the ideal society as expressed in these political documents. Muslim individuals and states are moderates to the extent that they ignore or fail to enforce this canonical expression. To the extent that they ignore it, they are amenable to the developments of the modern - that is, Anglo-American, that is, liberal - world.

But from the perspective of Islam, they are not extremists; they simply follow the Hanbali jurisprudential school, and attempt to implement its logical requirements.

It should be well-known that, as everyone from Twain to Churchill to the early Islamists observed, at the turn of the 20th century, the decadence of the Ottoman Empire and its clients, as well as the Mughal and Persian Empires - no longer energized by conquest and prevented from attacking either Hapsburg Europe, Tsarist Russia, or Qing China - also included a real decadence of Islam. But the fall of the Ottoman Caliphate was a Great energizer in both Egypt and the Muslim lands of the British Raj. Moreover, the victories of the Saud family and the apotheosis of Salafi Islam - all of these (Ikhwan and Deobandis) preached essentially consonant doctrines that were a revolution both against Islamic decadence and Imperial influence.

But just count the number of times the Quran refers to "oppression of the believers" and you will see that they are pursuing the canonical Islam, and they are correct that their brothers' proclivities for Western accoutrements - none of which come from the Islamic world or its discourses - are either apostates or risking apostacy.

The Orient is its own world. It is the world of Asiatic conquest societies. Europe has its own history. It should not be so surprising that the Orient would operate with presumptions that do not mesh with or are contrary to those developed on the European peninsula.

Perhaps we don't talk about Islam's nature because we are trying not to remind people of Islam in the first place, hoping that the relative - if perverse - trend towards modernity established by the victory of putatively Marxist governments in places like Iraq and Egypt can be continued on to something more or less harmonious with the Anglo-American order, instead of reverting back to the doctrine of Sovereign Islam.

1/29/2008 07:22:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Wretchard

Any individual can have a personal value system entirely compatible with what I will calll "Western Values." That includes any number of individuals who identify as Muslim. I suppose my point is that those desireable values, such as they exist, do not come from the Islam of the Koran and the Haidith, which is inarguably supremacist and violent.

One effect of being alive in this post 911 world is that I have explored the roots of Western Civilization to a depth and in a way that I had neither the maturity nor the perspective to do during my college years. Judging from the many posts I've seen here at Belmont that draw upon a similar experience, I know am not alone in this reeducation.

Religion cannot be separated from Western Civ. The postmodernists have been successful in inserting a wedge where none can logically exist because we have allowed them to control the conversation based on claims of unprovable theology rather than the demonstrable sociology of religion.

I could go on forever. Suffice it to say that it is not accidental nor coincidental that liberal democracy developed from a culture whose early churches made no practical distinction between patrician or plebe, or Greek or Roman or African.

Benedict said it best at Regensburg. Islam has contributed nothing to humanity.

1/29/2008 07:27:00 AM  
Blogger Wolla Dalbo said...

You posit that Western leaders know full well that Islam is a totalitarian and expansionist religion of war and conquest, eternally waging Jihad against all unbelievers and that they recognize, as well, that Islam is at war with the West but, for strategic and tactical reasons, they cannot publicly admit this. I would say, rather, that Western leaders are in major denial and because they cannot face the grave implications of such knowledge as you posit they really have above, have largely persuaded themselves the “Islam is Peace” mantra is true. If they are indulging in some sort of “doublethink,” it has not served them or us well.

Regardless of what the current state of play is, I submit that we in the West cannot possibly win against Islam unless we look very directly at it, understand its true and essential nature, history, goals and tactics and, without illusions, publicly name it as our enemy and, thereafter, base all of our statements, all of our strategies and tactics on that knowledge.

The false and unpalatable picture that those who do not want to admit that Islam is at war with the West present if we do name Islam as our enemy, is of the West at war with all 1.2 billion Muslims. I think that, in reality, the situation that the West would have if we admitted the truth about Islam would be that we in the West would be fighting the active Jihadists, while attempting to discourage the majority of Muslims from actively entering the fight; not trying to get them to like us, not trying to carry the torch of democracy into the Umma, but, rather, trying to convince them and their leaders that to fight us invites their own destruction.

A key element in our fight will have to be cutting our dependence on oil. We in the West finance our own destruction; there is no other way to view it. The Jihad would not be being waged today at anywhere near its current intensity and scope if Saudi Arabia and other Muslim oil producing states did not have tens of trillions of dollars in oil revenues that we give them to pay for the Jihad. Finding alternatives to internal combustion engines, increasing energy efficiency and finding new sources of energy are critical. The stark contrast between the West’s startling advances in all sorts of fields and the transformation of our industrial, information technology, medical and commercial sectors since the end of WWII contrasted with our inability to replace the 1900s technology of the internal combustion engine makes me wonder if, perhaps, the Saudis, helped by various allies in our government and the auto, petroleum and utility industries, haven’t been waging a covert war against the West for many decades, making sure that such discoveries and inventions do not see the light of day and impeding in every way those that do.

1/29/2008 07:50:00 AM  
Blogger Pangloss said...

The way to approach this may be from a point of view that sees Jihadism as an idolatrous version of Islam. Jihadism has come to idolize forcible conversions and the murder of non-Muslims to the point where they are of equal import to Allah. This points up another problem that Islam has. The Koran is idolized by Muslims, as is Mohammed himself. Both have self-evident flaws that are acknowledged by Muslims, both are self-contradictory in many places, yet both are simultaneously seen by many fundamentalist Muslims as perfect and divine in nature, and for all practical purposes as equal to Allah. The way this contradiction is resolved, with the doctrine of abrogation, is what leads to the idolizing of Jihad.

The main flaw with this approach is that in order to carry the day a whole lot of heavily armed, bloodthirsty brigands will need to be convinced to put down their arms and admit they have been fooled into spending their lives in the furtherance of idolatry and sin. A bullet or kris is a powerful counterargument to theology and has won arguments over the direction of Islam before.

1/29/2008 07:51:00 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

Wretchard,

I may have stated this here at one time or another in the past: most of those over one billion human beings who call themselves Muslims have never read the Qur'an, ahadith, or Sharia Law. There is a very uncomplicated reason for this: they don't know classical Arabic. They get guidance from the clerics of the mosques they attend. Many of those over one billion are only cultural Muslims, and are considered to be apostates from the true faith by the very words of Allah, conveyed by the Angel Gabriel, and thence into the epileptic brain of Muhammad. So the centrality of militant jihad is not known by many of Allah's minions.

I've said it before, and it bears repeating again: all the reputable and authoritative schools of Islamic jurisprudence and theology affirm that the Qur'an is the uncreated, eternal, and literal words of al illah. The Qur'an is a divine dictation. No traditional scholar has denied this. Even among lesser lights it is rare that any of them would deny that the Qur'an is a divine dictation.

And then there are the refinements called taqiyya and kitman, the doctrine whereby Muslims are encouraged to deceive the unbelievers, so as to advance the jihad. And if denying the Qur'an is a divine dictation is a way of pouring honey into the post-modernist/revisionist's ears, they will do it.

So, you ask how one can avoid a cataclysmic war with over one billion Muslims. Which is a way of asking how we can refine our self-deception and continue to enable their deceptions.

The first duty we owe to ourselves and our posterity is the truth. Nothing more. We need to know the truth that Islam is not a true religion, but rather is an ideology of domination and subjugation, and to not enable this ideology to further its aims. We can do this. We've done it before. We named Communism for the ideology of domination it was/is. That does not mean that we marked each and every person who lived under Communism for death. We armed ourselves with the truth, marked off our borders with it, and took measures to try to stop this virus from attaching to our protein layers.

The way forward is not through self-deception.

1/29/2008 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger gregorya57 said...

I think that if the people who are in charge of our policy vis a vis Islam cannot have this conversation (as it seems to be), then we have a huge problem.

1/29/2008 08:20:00 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

"Should CJTF-82, which is engaged in the fight in Afghanistan, be injecting itself into a debate over free speech in Holland, an allied nation with troops currently deployed in Afghanistan? "

Last week Wretchard remarked that the West “can't muster the energy to argue with radical Islam yet [a report suggests that it should be] able to nerve itself to nuke them if they go too far”. Well, here the agency directing the Afghanistan war proactive takes measures to distance its efforts from an anti-Islamic film that Islamists are sure to use in defining their opposition by association, and it’s question as “interjecting itself into a debate over free speech in Holland”?

I think our military knows it is not going to be supported in a mission to pound the Islam out of the Muslim World so it is fundamental that it discriminates between ideas that promote and undermine its current mission to isolate and defeat radical Islamic terrorism. I can’t guess whether Hesher Islam or Stephen Coughlin best support that mission, but it is the Pentagon's job to make the call.

1000 or even 500 years ago, I would no more call Christianity “a religion of peace” than Islam. It retains some horrific scriptural relics from our brutal past, but the practice and interpretation of Christianity reformed. Islam still has a long hard road ahead.

1/29/2008 08:23:00 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

We need to know the truth that Islam is not a true religion, but rather is an ideology of domination and subjugation, and to not enable this ideology to further its aims. We can do this. We've done it before. We named Communism for the ideology of domination it was/is. That does not mean that we marked each and every person who lived under Communism for death. We armed ourselves with the truth, marked off our borders with it, and took measures to try to stop this virus from attaching to our protein layers.

The way forward is not through self-deception.”
- Fred

It meets every definition of a religion that I’m aware of. It just included the political where Christianity more or less doesn’t. All religions are ideologies.

I think that it’s “self-deception” to believe that Muslims can be forced to reject Islam any easier than Christian’s can be forced to reject Christianity by claiming that Islam’s not a true religion. Religions encompasses more fundamental layers of understanding, including metaphysics, epistemology and morality (in addition to politics as in Islam) bonding with deeper layers of our identity. Therefore, it’s much easier to redirect a people’s attention from their political beliefs (i.e. communism) than to pry their hearts and souls away from their religion. But their interpretation and practice of their religion can change over time, as demonstrated by Christianity’s history (arguably a more adaptable example though).

1/29/2008 08:46:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Unfolding events will resolve the issue -- and perceptions -- one way or the other.

How many and which cities in the West will have to be nuked before we resolve that Islam in and of itself is the problem? Would Rome be important enough, or Stockholm, or would it have to be New York or Los Angeles? Muslims have already blown up several bits and pieces of Moscow and I can't see that those explosions concern Putin all that much.

How many gays will have to be tormented and/or killed? How many daughters killed for the families "honor"? How many Filippino's enslaved in the Middle East because that country isn't powerful enough to stand up for its citizens working in a snake pit?

If we don't actively start shooting at them, can we at least quarantine time?

And, my test for whether or not a Muslim is civilized is if that person actively works with the government or the police and turns in his or her relatives, friends and neighbors who are planning terrorism. To date, other than in Iraq, no Muslims are doing that so for me, that means they are *all* part of the problem and the threat that is Islam.

1/29/2008 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger always right said...

Unfortunately europeans responded to the threat of islamofacism with the only thing they knew: far-right nationalism. Witness today's movement (esp. in blogsphere).

It makes sure the inevitable upcoming fight (i.e. the West vs. Islam) so much more violent and bloodier (i.e. see which side can outdo the other). When that happens, how many millions of european mooslems are going to flood to the US? How are we going to absorb them?

That is another "Unspoken" question nobody wants it out in the open.

1/29/2008 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

First of all, "bill," tu quoque and moral equivalence, however subtle and conditioned, does not work with me. I've seen this kind of argument hundreds of times before. Christianity was not founded on an ideology of conquest, domination, theft, murder, spoliation, rape, and pedophilia. Islam is the compilation of the words and deeds of a man who pulled off the most successful con in all of human history. It does not originate in an erudite journey of spiritual discovery of the Creator of the Universe and that Creator's love for humanity.

There is plenty of room for a variety of definitions of what a religion is. And there will be sharp debates about it.

There is nothing original in your approach to this topic. We have seen it here before, and over at Jihad Watch it has been presented, and debunked hundreds of times, in blog discussions, articles, and books. We believe the voices Muhammad "heard" were from the Devil, not the Lord God Creator of the Universe. I suppose, giving the Devil his due, we could classify the cult of death to be a religion after all.

BTW, the Book of Joshua and the things commanded therein are not normative for this day and age, along with other historically-bound injunctions which are supposed to be equivalent with Islam's timeless commands.

The best thing you could do to advance the sophistication of your argument would be to do the the hard, boring work of reading the Qur'an and any English translations of ahadith you can lay your hands on. Unless you do that, you will be caught in the same post-modernist relativism ad infinitum.

I am unmoved, unbowed, and in no way deterred in my opinion that Islam is best seen as a cult or ideology, with a message and way of life that does not incubate love, reason, civilization, compassion, or justice.

1/29/2008 09:24:00 AM  
Blogger some said...

"To a very great extent the West is genuinely hoping that Islam is a "religion of peace""

Perhaps, but I think the key relation is elsewhere: to a very great extent the United States is genuinely hoping that we can make Islam a "religion of peace".

I would not, still, say that Islam (or at least what Ibn Warraq calls "Islam 3", the thing that is defined by its presence in the world and not its texts) is currently the opposite... Even the reality of it may be not just unknown but uncertain, a bit like Schroedinger's cat. (Is this what the PC folk believe also, fearing that an unblinkered observation will have a decisively influential effect?)

But even "up in the air" is far from "definitely a ROP", and the fact of our willed influence is all the more reason we must be clear about it internally, within the bowels of the Pentagon.

1/29/2008 09:26:00 AM  
Blogger David M said...

The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the - Web Reconnaissance for 01/29/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

1/29/2008 09:32:00 AM  
Blogger Peter said...

bill,

To be intellectually honest about the role of any particular religion in promoting warfare you must examine the Wisdom Documents of that religion and find evidence to support your conclusion.

Since your reference was to Christianity not being a religion of peace 1,000 years ago where do you find your support in Christianity's Wisdom documents for that conclusion? It's not there. The only reference to warfare that I'm aware of is from Augustine and that discourse was about its avoidance unless it could be established after critical examination that it was a "just" war.

People use religious commonality as a unifier to rally the society for warfare and sometimes to identify the enemy when other factors do not provide sharp distinctions, but you still have to go to the Wisdom Documents before you can make the direct connection between war and religion qua religion. If you look more closely at what you call the religious wars in Europe I think you will find that the contentious issues were the exclusion of one group from political and economic power. There is nothing inherent in Christian doctrine requiring or advocating the exclusion of any particular group of individuals from public life.

I make the distinction because Islam's wisdom documents obligate Muslims to steal from and kill non-Muslims as a matter of faith. There is absolutely nothing in Christian doctrine like that, which makes your equivalences misinformed, or if intentional, dishonest.

Part of the reason the topic of this thread even exists is because so many are too lazy and too uninformed to appreciate the difference between what they have and what they might get.

1/29/2008 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger newscaper said...

Bill said:
"1000 or even 500 years ago, I would no more call Christianity “a religion of peace” than Islam. It retains some horrific scriptural relics from our brutal past, but the practice and interpretation of Christianity reformed..."

True but Christianity is fundamentally different in that, n the Gospels, it has always contained the seeds for *internal* critique and change, when Christians and organized Chrisitian Churches did awful things -- Jesus himself *was* peaceful. We can factually and correctly argue, based on the New Testament, that Torquemada was not being very Christ-like. Their is no basis for decisively saying that AQ is un-Islamic ased on the Koran (other than being so willing to kill fellow Muslims, perhaps.)

It's quite similar to the way America has sometimes failed to live up to its own ideals, but the ideals *are* right there in the origins (in spite of the flaws of the Founders that leftists love to focus on), most purely expressed in the Declaration of Independence.
[The DI is the fundamental principles (or mission/vision), the Constitution is more just the implementation.]

1/29/2008 09:51:00 AM  
Blogger LarryD said...

There are a lot of people, not particularly religious, who think of themselves as Muslims.

As log as this is not "Islam vs the West", they can end up as either neutrals or even allies. As witness Iraq. The Jihadis would love for this conflict to be perceived by all as they perceive it, an existential conflict between Islam and the infidels. But if it becomes so, then all the non-jihadis would be forced to join them or else become consciously apostate.

Yes, I think Islam, in its DNA (sacred texts etc) is poisonous. That's an ideological battle we haven't figured out how to wage, just yet, and until we're ready for it, it's best to avoid that engagement. Because then our only course of action is genocide.

Long term, the non-toxic Muslims are going to have to convert to something else. Because Islam is un-reformable. The Quran is held to have been dictated not inspired, so interpretation is impossible. And Allah is held to be continuously recreating the world, moment to moment, so he is the only cause.

This means if we can crush the Isamists, then it follows that they were not, in fact, "following the will of Allah", or else they, not we, would have been victorious. Or else Islam is a crock. Military victory can thus lead to ideological victory.

1/29/2008 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger bobal said...

Remember Siljander.

1/29/2008 10:16:00 AM  
Blogger Nomenklatura said...

The really funny part abut this is that Muslims are sitting on ownership of the most valuable single natural resource on the planet, which they retain solely due to the Western legal framework. It's the only asset they have, and without Western values it would be swiped within weeks by whoever could grab it most forcefully.

They should be the last people on earth who want to rock the boat, because every path along which they attain success in that effort starts out with them losing everything.

1/29/2008 11:11:00 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

My position is the same as the one expressed by Serge Trifkovic, who opts against "genocide" in favor of a strict segregation of the civilizations. All Muslims out of the West, except for necessary diplomatic staffs and support. Thus, for now the best way to protect ourselves and our progeny is quarantine. The problem of loyalty oaths to the Constitution is something I alluded to earlier: taqiyya and kitman. Perhaps most who want to stay would take the oath in good faith, but some would deliberately lie in order to remain in dar al Harb for the purpose of the silent jihad of reproduction and propaganda/da'wa.

At the very least, if DoD and our political, media, and academic elites want to continue, as has John Esposito of Georgetown, to behave as beholden whores and take the money, fine. But at least do not repress the efforts of the rest of us to tell the truth to each other and to speak that truth in public about what Islam is. We do not consent to be dhimmis in our own lands. Cowardice and denial on our part are objectively sinful and aid in the enemy's efforts to take us by subterfuge. Let us exercise our free speech right to discover for ourselves what this ideology is and make sure that our posterity do not lose that knowledge in a future when the enemy may grow stronger.

What was done to Maj. Coughlin is morally objectionable, but it does serve the expediency of state policy - a policy which may buy us time, if it is indeed intended as such. But, knowing our elites as many of us know them, they truly are ignorant of Islam. But their ignorance must not be imposed on us, as the enemy would eagerly prefer.

1/29/2008 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Yes, Wretchard, Muslims are our enemy. Muslims are the enemy of the West (all of them, let's be honest) because when the Pope says Islam is violent, or a Dutch film-maker makes a movie, or someone writes a book, or an obscure Danish newspaper prints cartoons, or a Swedish artist makes a drawing, or people have Piglet figures or the Three Little Pigs, or a Teddy Bear is called Mohammed, Muslims turn violent and threaten ... eventually to nuke Western cities unless we submit to Islam.

This is why NATO generals are thinking "nuke first" with Muslim proliferators.

This is why, events will eventually drive the West (including India and China) to likely halve the number of 1 billion Muslims. After several leading cities are in radioactive ruins.

More to the point, since a globalized economy and culture brings Muslims directly in contact with the West, indulging in Muslim demands for no Piglet or Three Little Pigs in the West, other forms of creeping Sharia means to avoid nuked Western cities or maintain the "alliance" with Muslims requires SHARIA LAW IN THE WEST.

What the Joint Command is doing is saying in effect that ALL MUSLIM DEMANDS on Western Culture must be indulged to maintain the alliance. This road leads to a war of civilizations: freedom of religion, speech, individual action in the West directly confronts Muslims demands for Sharia and obediance to Islam, and the desire to maintain Islamic alliances.

Events are rapidly moving to a "nuke em all" response BECAUSE the alliance and need to maintainn it leads to diminishing freedom for Westerners to mollify Muslims intent on imposing Muslim rule everywhere on everyone.

Muslims are NOT like us Wretchard. They have up to four wives. They mutilate their women. They hoard them like gold, belonging to only the "Big Men" as property. They engage in animal sacrifice (which is in itself brutal and disgusting). The are deeply tribal, marry their cousins, and have the genetic effects that 1500 years of cousin marriage implies. Maj. Coughlin paid the price for speaking the truth about Islam and Muslims. In a desperate attempt to appease Muslims by controlling all thought and actions in creeping Sharia.

Osama bin Laden has 27 brothers and sisters. No further proof of how alien Muslims are to Westerners need be sought.

But Muslims are human, and the dictum of Le May holds true. "Kill enough of them and they'll stop fighting." I fear that path is already set because of the dynamics above. Nor is the US and Western Europe the only non-Muslim actor: China and India may yet enter the fray by some accident or provocation.

1/29/2008 12:00:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Just so everyone understand, I think the above chain of events is a tragedy. But unavoidable. In seeking to maintain the "alliance" all freedoms in the West must be suppressed to satisfy Muslims. Guaranteeing a war of the peoples.

1/29/2008 12:01:00 PM  
Blogger BrianFH said...

Islam is an ideology, clothed in the robes of a religion of two peaces.

Peace #1: Submission (to Allah and Islam). For Muslims, no other authority than the Koran and its haditha and Sharia offshoots is permitted, as interpreted by your locally dominant ayatollah of choice. As for non-Muslims, they can either pay steadily increasing taxes and undergo a multi-generation decline and extinction, or convert through a multi-generation process of initiation.

Peace #2: Death at the hands of holy jihadis.

Take your pick.

Moderates are prepared to allow you a bit more time to get used to the idea, but for them, too, the Ummah is a-comin'.

Submission is "freedom" from responsibility; all decisions are made above your mind and pay grade.

Liberty is total responsibility for your actions and thoughts and opinions.

They are not compatible on any scale.

1/29/2008 12:44:00 PM  
Blogger Huan said...

The problem is two fold, that of Islamic aggression and that of western appeasement. We cannot fix just one.

But to the original post, i see no reason why we have to reveal our true intent. After all, the Islamofascist are not either. Our public facade should be that we should work with islam and live along side them. But this should in no way mean we should not work to transform them into something more palatable, as well as retain the option to smash those incalcitrant elements.

To reveal too much about our intent, what we know of our enemy, or even who our enemy is, is not necessary imho. So everyone on the inside may agree with Coughlin, but it doesn't mean we should openly support his declaration, or even him. The main problem with this approach would be 1. The appeasing nature of the west and 2. The need to rally our forces for the fight ahead.
.

1/29/2008 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger Mətušélaḥ said...

Cancer is a reaction trying to mitigate biological injury. In this case, the original injury being that of Rome. Cancer growth, is the body's way of telling you it doesn't know how to proceed forward. Of interest, is the factoid that skeletal tissue is immune to cancerous metastases.

1/29/2008 12:50:00 PM  
Blogger BrianFH said...

nomenklatura;
Even if they manage to hold onto it they lose.

That single most valuable natural resource is a bit too rich for the blood of any economy not previously industrialized and modernized. Google "the Devil's Excrement" and do some GDI comparisons of oil-rich and oil-poor countries. (With the anomalous exception of a few of the underpopulated Gulf emirates, they are far behind on a per-capita basis.) Oil-dependence sabotages every long-term national human resource, the only kind that makes a difference. Islam exacerbates the problem by making most paths and values of progress haraam.

Good luck with that.

1/29/2008 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger BrianFH said...

Typo correction: GNI, not GDI.
(Gross National Income).

1/29/2008 12:58:00 PM  
Blogger LarryD said...

I'd like to point to "Spengler"'s observations, that Islam does not have indefinite time to win against us.

"That is why the Islamists - Muslims who seek a new theocracy - display a sense of extreme urgency. They are not conservative Muslims, for they reject Muslim society as it exists as corrupt and decadent. They are revolutionaries who want to create a new kind of totalitarian theocracy that orders every detail of human life. They are not throwbacks to the past, but products of modern education. Sayyid Qutb (1906-1966), the founder of the modern Islamist movement, formulated his theory while earning a master's degree in education at the Colorado State College of Education. He wrote in 1949:

Islamic society today is not Islamic in any sense of the word ... In our modern society we do not judge by what Allah has revealed; the basis of our economic life is usury; our laws permit rather than punish oppression ... We permit the extravagance and the luxury that Islam prohibits; we allow the starvation and the destitution of which the Messenger once said: "Whenever people anywhere allow a man to go hungry, they are outside the protection of Allah, the Blessed and the Exalted."

The Islamists feel that they have nothing to lose, for the fear of cultural extinction surpasses the fear of physical death. The Islamist dream of theocracy, for example, Osama bin Laden's vision of a restored caliphate, represents what might be the last stand of an endangered culture, something like the Nazi hallucination of Aryan empire. The Islamists have nothing to lose, but they have much to gain: they perceive not only weakness, but also opportunity. Islamic life is dying, but far more slowly than the senile civilization of Western Europe.

Education and literacy appear to threaten traditional Muslim social relations. The cliff-like drop in Muslim fertility sets the stage for social crisis a generation from now. Islam threatens to join the list of failed cultures. By using the term "failed culture", I do not mean to deprecate Islam as a religion or Muslims individually. Islamist writers, starting with Sayyid Qutb, as quoted above, say precisely the same thing. It is not surprising that Islamist radicals are obsessed with survival. Although some of their behavior appears irrational, their underlying premise is not. The Islamist revival responds to the Muslim countries' failure to adapt to the modern world.

Urbanization, literacy and openness to the modern world will suppress the Muslim womb, in the absence of radical measures. Radical Islam is born of existential fear. In a new volume of academic essays on modern Islamic thought, two Islamist academics, Suha Taji-Farouki and Basheer M Nafi, observe, "Rather than being a development within cultural traditions that is internally generated, 20th-century Islamic thought is constitutively responsive; it is substantially a reaction to extrinsic challenges."

... Islam has one generation in which to turn its foothold in Western Europe into a governing power, before the effects of slowing population growth set in. Although the Muslim birth rate today is the world's second highest (after sub-Saharan Africa), it is falling faster than the birth rate of any other culture. By 2050, according to the latest United Nations projections, the population growth rate of the Muslim world will converge on that of the US (although it will be higher than Europe's or China's).

Islam has enough young men - the pool of unemployed Arabs is expected to reach 25 million by 2010 - to make its stand during the next 30 years. Because of mass migration to western Europe, the worst of the war might be fought on European soil.

Twenty million Muslims now live in western Europe; the dean of Islamic scholars, Bernard Lewis, predicts that Europe will be Islamic by no later than the end of this century. The numbers suggest otherwise; the end of the century will be too late.

1/29/2008 01:01:00 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

larryd

Qutb and al Banna are only being faithful to the original Qur'anic surahs and ahadith. This is not a modern innovation at all, but rather a return to the sources after a long respite from jihad after 1683.

Robert Spencer and Hugh Fitzgerald both say they owe a debt to great scholars who came before them and left a legacy of observations and studies about Islam, which influenced Spencer to go back to the sources of Islamic doctrines.

Bat Ye'or has done fabulous scholarship into the condition of dhimmitude for non-Muslims during the periods after the death of Muhammad. Both Ye'or and Andrew Bostom have proven scholarship that document the Islamic conquests and how they were accomplished.

Conservatively estimated, Islamic jihad has murdered over 260 million human beings during fourteen centuries - and they did it the old fashioned way, except for the Armenian genocide, which exhibited some of the elements of how Stalin purged the Ukraine.

1/29/2008 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger Triton'sPolarTiger said...

Fred,

Your scholarship on this matter is wonderful to behold - if i weren't sitting at my desk, I'd be standing and cheering.

OT: Buddy Larsen - Saw your "howdy" several threads ago, sorry I missed it - the rug rats are doing great, as is Mrs Triton. The email addy still works; feel free to drop a line if you feel so inclined. Lot's happened in the past year. Triton

1/29/2008 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Lorenzo aka erudito said...

The logic of belief is not necessarily the logic of believers.

Islam is a conquest religion in its origins and those who want to can always find support for that. But religions evolve -- witness the evolution of the Ismailis, for example.

Indeed, Judaism used to be a militant territorial religion, but, under the pressure of brutal events, evolved away from that. (Modern Zionism is a secular philosophy similarly based on forced evolution by events.)

1/29/2008 01:24:00 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

“Their is no basis for decisively saying that AQ is un-Islamic ased on the Koran” newscaper

I’m no scholar of either religion, but take it as a given from others that the Quran has many more offensive passages than the Bible. Nevertheless I vaguely recall an example of Mohammed abstaining from violence in favor of “turning the other cheek”. I can’t immediately google it up, but at first glace this other discussion lists reasons that Islam “can” be interpreted in a much more tolerant light: Muhammed turned the other cheek?


“Since your reference was to Christianity not being a religion of peace 1,000 years ago where do you find your support in Christianity's Wisdom documents for that conclusion? It's not there.” – Peter

I’m not familiar with the term “wisdom documents” and see only 46 goggle reference to it but I am aware of Bible passages considered immoral by today's theologians and secularists Perhaps an embrace of that supported various “embrace the Cross or die” slaughters of tens of thousands of Jews and Muslims by Christian crusaders, Catholic inquisitions or 50k witches burned by protestants.

It would of course be unfair to compare Islamic militancy to Christianity today based on atrocities it supported 1000 or 500 years ago, but it’s not so unfair to compare it to Christian militancy at that time.

If as you say, ancient Christian militants were excused because of their exclusion from power during times of social change, then it would have to be equally applied to Islamic aggression today (being enveloped by the proliferation of a much more successful and dominant Western culture). I don't seek to place blame, but look for similarities and differences between Islam and early Christianity to see if a long hard Islamic reformation is reasonably likely. I don’t know, but it seems very plausible.

"We believe the voices Muhammad "heard" were from the Devil…" – Fred

I don’t know who “we” is, but I’m sure it’s not the dominate opinion of The Belmont Club. The idea may be considered by many, but I’d be extremely disappointed if most wouldn’t quickly recognize how profoundly counterproductive its promotion is, how readily it plays into al Qaeda’s hands and how degenerative it would be to begin the cascade of labeling ideologies we clash with as products of the Devil… promoting “All Muslims out of the West” today and a “quarantine” or inquisition of atheists tomorrow.

"The Islamists feel that they have nothing to lose, for the fear of cultural extinction surpasses the fear of physical death." -LarryD

That whole piece is well written. I think most militant extremism is a product of profound fear, fear of the extinction of their critically flawed world view.

1/29/2008 02:26:00 PM  
Blogger Kirk Parker said...

Huan,

Do you have the slightest idea how incompatible your suggests are with an open society?

1/29/2008 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger newscaper said...

Bill,
The "design" of the Koran is, from what I understand, in order from shortest passages to longest. It's not a narrative in the normal chronological sense, nor organized by themes. I imagine shorter phrases first fit with its use in rote memorization.
Additionally, however hard the chronology is to untangle (only looking at the Koran itself) internal discrepancies are resolved simply by saying that what Mohammed said later simply superceded what he said earlier.
When budding Islam was the underdog it "made nice", later, as it became more powerful the gloves came off.

Therefore the ugliness cannot be repudiated nearly as easily as the older, bloodier parts of the Old Testament.

1/29/2008 02:49:00 PM  
Blogger newscaper said...

I'd also add that most of the directives to play nice refer to other *Muslims*.

1/29/2008 02:50:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

Here are the questions that must be answered by each and every person living in the United States - not just Muslims:

1. Do you believe that all people are created equal?

2. Do you believe that all people are endowed by the Creator with liberty?

3. Do you believe that liberty means freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, right to bear arms and act in self-defense, right to own the property that you worked to create, right to privacy at home, uninterrupted elections and the division of political power into equal legislative, judicial and executive branches?

4. Do you believe that it is the duty of government to secure our human rights, or do you believe that government is the source of our rights?

5. Do you believe in the separation of church, mosque and synagogue from state?

6. Do you believe in government of the people, by the people and for the people, deriving it’s just powers from the consent of the people?

7. Does your religion or faith (including Atheistic faith) support our American liberty, or is it the enemy of liberty?

1/29/2008 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

WHAT A GREAT THREAD!

One of the implicit strategies of the War on Terror has been to fight Islamic terrorism in conjunction with the populations of Muslim countries.

This gives a clear explanation for why the pace of progress in fighting global terrorism has been so glacial.

In Iraq, for example, the alliances between Coalition Forces and local groups have formed the basis for attacking and eventually destroying al-Qaeda. Whether or not this strategy is wise is something I don't wish to examine at this point.

Wish or don't wish, it's something that's going to claw its way onto the table for discussion at some point. Taqiyya and kitman make entrusting Muslims with the task of fighting terrorism a fools errand, at best.

But I think it is fair to say that the intellectual model of fighting extremist groups like al-Qaeda has been based on avoiding a direct conflict with the "religion of peace".

Even as war has been declared upon the entire Western world by the "Religion of Peace". [spit]

There seems to be a bipartisan political consensus not to examine the subject of political Islam publicly. It is the most verboten of foreign policy subjects.

All of which bears a strict resemblance to the familiy of a raging alcoholic who refuse to discuss the "elephant in the living room".

It's a bottle of nitro nobody wants to shake; it's a can of worms nobody wants to open: not a Republican administration and most especially not a Democratic one.

It is only because we have let the "bottle of nitro" and "can of worms" land—as in "immigrate"—in our collective lap that they have become so hazardous to disturb. Worst of all, by allowing these dangerous elements to remain relatively unmolested, they only continue to grow in size and danger.

There are more than a billion Muslims on the planet, are they all like that? Are they all our enemy? My own experience is that whatever Islam is as qua belief system, as individuals not all Muslims are dedicated to destruction.

If they are not, then they had best begin aligning themselves against said "destruction" in some sort of noticeable manner. Do as one might to "hate the sin and not the sinner", the Koran—which every single one of these Muslims does follow—preaches such "destructioon" in abundance and it is OUR destruction that it preaches.

We need a way to bring this subject out into the open without starting the Fourth World War.

Too late, pal. Islam has already started the Fourth World War". All that is incumbent upon us is to save Western Civilization, period. Avoiding the extermination of this world's Muslim population is entirely secondary to that task. Until Muslims take a far more active role in fighting Islamic terrorism, their survival must rest solely in their own hands.

It only exacerbates the problem for us to coddle these lackadaisical Muslims even as they abjectly refuse to take up the banner against those who daily increase the odds of a Muslim holocaust.

And that I think, is the true role of information warfare. If Islam were in fact the 'religion of war' the worst thing we could do is refuse to engage it with words, because then in the end we would wind up engaging it with force.

All of which has already happened, only over a much more substantial timeline. I doubt very much that Pope Benedict is the only Christian leader to have made an attempt at engaging Islam in some sort of dialogue over the last several centuries. Islam's consistent reply has been to make war. We are fools not to learn from history even as we repeat every one of its follies.

Ulrich: I am reminded of this when I hear the Fox News correspondant repeat that most Muslims are "moderates."

Every time you hear this palliating horseradish, just remember:

THERE IS NO MODERATE ISLAM

The liberal presumption includes the aspect of Good Faith - among individuals, between individuals and the state, which is an expression of those individuals' preferences, or a temporary resignation to the will of the majority. But Power cannot be subordinated to Good Faith.

BINGO! There is nothing that better epitomizes Islam’s complete and total lack of Good Faith than taqiyya. For a triumphalist and supremacist doctrine like Islam, obtaining global submission must happen AT ANY COST. An ultimate moral and ethical crime like taqiyya is given birth to when all cost is disregarded because the ends justify the means.

Mark: What we can say with some sureness is that Muslims are not fully going to place bets on democratic institutions while the dynamics of religion are still in play.

Muslims will NEVER “place bets on democratic institutions”, EVER. Democracy represents manmade rules of law and Islam will never accept man being able to trump the laws of Allah.

The appeal of seeing vindication of the Koran via imposition or evolution of sharia is too spiritually powerful and attractive to abandon.

It will be abandoned only when the pain experienced or risk of death involved outweighs any attractions held by pushing for a global caliphate. However gruesome, this may well end up coming about only when there are so few Muslims left that agitating any further risks their extinction. Face it—in pursuing their global caliphate—Islam is betting upon OUR EXTINCTION, so we had damn well better be ready to accept those odds and begin making it a genuine gamble for Islam to even attempt such a thing.

Religious utopianism has its own dynamic that fails, finally, only when it breaks upon a very hard rock.

Something tells me that rock will be very rich in pitchblende.

Wolla Dalbo: I think that, in reality, the situation that the West would have if we admitted the truth about Islam would be that we in the West would be fighting the active Jihadists, while attempting to discourage the majority of Muslims from actively entering the fight; not trying to get them to like us, not trying to carry the torch of democracy into the Umma, but, rather, trying to convince them and their leaders that to fight us invites their own destruction.

This is the bottom line and represents the very minimum acceptable level of offensive strategy against Islam. Due to indoctrination Muslims barely retain enough sanity as it is, but they do remain able to understand that Islam will cease to be if they are all dead. However much they adore martyrdom, death still represents the one unmistakable wedge that can be driven between so-called “moderate” Muslims and their jihadist co-religionists. Only the simple threat of extermination will get less motivated Muslims to back away from supporting the jihadists.

Any failure to stop supporting jihad must eventually force the West’s adoption of collective punishment. This would attach a price tag to covert support of terrorism by moderate Muslims. Since Islam preaches that “War is deceit”, we must make sure that any deceeption is thoroughly penalized. Not doing so intrinsically REWARDS typical Islamic perfidy and—lest we encourage further terrorism—that must be avoided at all costs.

A key element in our fight will have to be cutting our dependence on oil.

The one temporary alternative to this is confiscating the major Middle Eastern oil reserves as payment for having to fight jihad and as reparations for previous terrorist atrocities. There is absolutely no good reason why this cannot be done and it would choke off extremist financing almost overnight.

The stark contrast between the West’s startling advances in all sorts of fields and the transformation of our industrial, information technology, medical and commercial sectors since the end of WWII contrasted with our inability to replace the 1900s technology of the internal combustion engine makes me wonder if, perhaps, the Saudis, helped by various allies in our government and the auto, petroleum and utility industries, haven’t been waging a covert war against the West for many decades, making sure that such discoveries and inventions do not see the light of day and impeding in every way those that do.

Conversely, one can also regard the Global War on Terrorism as an Islamic strategy dedicated to diverting sufficient Western wealth AWAY from projects designed to curb dependence upon OPEC’s foreign oil. Intentional or not, that is what they are essentially achieving through jihad on the West.

NahnCee: Muslims have already blown up several bits and pieces of Moscow and I can't see that those explosions concern Putin all that much.

That’s because those events have served Putin’s authoritarian agenda beyond his wildest dreams. In a more free society, such predations would evoke far greater uproar.

And, my test for whether or not a Muslim is civilized is if that person actively works with the government or the police and turns in his or her relatives, friends and neighbors who are planning terrorism. To date, other than in Iraq, no Muslims are doing that so for me, that means they are *all* part of the problem and the threat that is Islam.

However polarized such a statement might read, it remains essentially true and represents a touchstone with regard to Muslim participation in fighting Islamic terrorism.

Fred: I am unmoved, unbowed, and in no way deterred in my opinion that Islam is best seen as a cult or ideology, with a message and way of life that does not incubate love, reason, civilization, compassion, or justice.

As with the overwhelming majority of everything that you post, I agree wholeheartedly. I’m also glad that you’re familiar with Serge Trifkovic.

LarryD: As long as this is not "Islam vs the West", they can end up as either neutrals or even allies. As witness Iraq.

You neglect to note how Iraq has voluntarily readopted shari’a law. This means that they ARE NOT “neutral or even allies”. By adopting shari’a law, Iraqis certify the tenets of Islam and the Koran. All of which is committed to the West’s immediate death. There is no clean end by which a person can pick up the Islamic turd.

Because then our only course of action is genocide.

In case you hadn’t noticed, that’s what Islam is waging against us. They just don’t possess the necessary tools to do so. Absolutely NOTHING in their ideology militates against Muslims exterminating the West. For that reason, we had better overcome a large portion of our squeamishness about inflicting some major pain upon Islam. Otherwise, real genocide—the kind that requires large numbers of nuclear weapons—is what awaits our world.

This means if we can crush the Islamists, then it follows that they were not, in fact, "following the will of Allah", or else they, not we, would have been victorious.

One certain way of doing this is to demolish Mecca and Medina. If you want to introduce a sense of fallibility and self-doubt into Islam, there would be no better way. I’d like to think that this wouldn’t prove necessary but I fear such a move will represent merely the opening salvo in a much more nasty outcome.

Nomenklatura: They should be the last people on earth who want to rock the boat, because every path along which they attain success in that effort starts out with them losing everything.

No better example of this exists than how incredibly and totally dependent the entire NEMA (North Africa Middle East) region is upon grain shipments from the West. Were America, Canada and Australia to cut off wheat exports to the NEMA area, starvation would probably ensue after mere weeks. Yet, somehow, none of this deters Islam from poking the nuclear-armed Western dragon with its pointed Muslim stick.

Whiskey_199: What the Joint Command is doing is saying in effect that ALL MUSLIM DEMANDS on Western Culture must be indulged to maintain the alliance. This road leads to a war of civilizations: freedom of religion, speech, individual action in the West directly confronts Muslims demands for Sharia and obedience to Islam, and the desire to maintain Islamic alliances.

Events are rapidly moving to a "nuke em all" response BECAUSE the alliance and need to maintain it leads to diminishing freedom for Westerners to mollify Muslims intent on imposing Muslim rule everywhere on everyone.


Word. There is no way to be “a little bit shari’a compliant”, just as a woman cannot be “a little bit pregnant”. Much like this entire conflict, it is all or nothing. From the beginning this has been Islam’s exclusive choice. It is now time to show them the “nothing” end of the equation. If that does not get their attention then they will have no excuse as all of the MME disappears in high temperature plasma.

1/29/2008 04:02:00 PM  
Blogger Derek Kite said...

An interesting historical parallel may be the Quiet Revolution in Quebec, Canada. The situation in the province up till the 1950's was a domination of all spheres in society by the Catholic Church. How the society was transformed to what it is today, a revolution by any measure, is of interest.

Realistically, if the intellectual class wanted to challenge the status quo, they needed to have a good portion of the population behind them. Identifying the enemy to be overthrown as the beloved Church would have fallen as flat as any direct challenge to Islam today. I talked to people who said they were born Catholic, and would die Catholic. A non starter.

So another enemy was the focus. Quebec nationalism and it's implied enemy the English (who did the FLQ kidnap in 1970?) either Canadian english or the 'English', as in Queen, were made the enemy. Language was made of utmost importance. The population was fully supportive of these efforts. All the while the influence of the church waned due to an opening of society, education and open discussion of the undiscussable.

The end result is a society where the Church no longer exercised political influence. A revolution, with no victims among the enemy, only among the straw men.

Derek

1/29/2008 05:01:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

We want Muslim proxies to replace our trigger pullers. We want Muslim informants to rat out their murderous brothers. We don’t want to be too kinetic, because that loses us valuable tools, I mean allies, but if we aren’t kinetic enough nobody over there respects us and nobody in the rear can pump up support for a half-vast, politically correct, over-lawyered war. The Regular .gov strategic communicators don’t want to say that, and I don’t blame them. The “truth” has to be massaged, made palatable, less painful.

The painful truth is that neither the Ummah nor a significant segment of the population of America is worth the life of a single Mississippi paratrooper.

The painful truth is that there is no legal way to cull the American oxygen thieves, so our defenders defend the unworthy along with the rest of us, and there is no WMD that can rid us of 1.2 billion enemies, enemy sympathizers, enemy apologists, and enemy enablers without fouling our own nest, so we can’t kill near as many as need killing. The best we can do is kill the worst and reconcile the rest.

The painful truth is that Muslim activists in America want to provoke attacks on Muslims in America. They want video of burning mosques on al Jazeera. They want enraged American vigilantes to violate their First Amendment rights. They want the benefits of victimhood. They want to show the world that Americans aren’t the people we’re supposed to be.

The painful truth is that our leaders continue to shovel the Religion of Peace bullshit because neither they nor the American people have the balls to round them up and deport them or intern them like was done to the Nisei.

The Truth Will Not Always Set You Free

1/29/2008 05:18:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

This issue is so fraught with danger that, if it goes the wrong way, it could end up unleashing forces that would make the Holocaust look like a walk in the park. Once those kinds of energies start getting released, nothing, nothing is safe. Nothing can be calculated. It could devour us all.

My guess is that because of the size of the stakes this whole question will be resolved, not by some politician but by the 'decision of crowds'. Somehow we are waiting on events. But we need not wait passively. There are things we can do to make it tip one way or the other. This is where the challenge of statesmanship lies.

I sincerely hope the 'decision of the crowd' -- the way it works out -- leads to a peaceful resolution. The Devil is straining to be unleashed behind the door. And for that reason we are reluctant to open it, because once he is out, his countenance will be horrible to behold. I think most people know this, and that's why on this issue, we speak in whispers, strive as best we can and hope for the best.

1/29/2008 06:13:00 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Wretchard,

I completely understand your sense of trepidation, because I share it too. I honestly believe that the combatants need to be separated. It is the least painful way to go about it. I'm not one of the "nukem'" crowd. I don't want to see mass slaughter, unless it be in fair battle where the enemy gives us no choice.

There needs to be a separation of the civilizations. And we need to get off oil - make it a priority of science and industry.

The Ummah MUST be contained within its own sandbox. Wherever they have gone in history it has not turned out well for the target societies and states. Look at what is happening in Asia: in Thailand, in the Philippines, and to the remaining non-Muslim minorities in those lands dominated by dar al Islam.

Some grimace at the specter of the deportation centers, but I would submit to them that it is a far better solution than well armed groups laying into the Muslim communities. You think what happened in the Balkans in the nineties was ghastly? This would be far worse. And then there are visions of the mushroom clouds over the planet.

It is a far more humane option to segregate these over one billion ticking time bombs into their own lands governed by their cherished Sharia law. I am convinced that without access to the West - to its science, industry, technology, communications, and everything else we excel at they would wither on the vine. They would slaughter each other or their populations would contract under the burden of growing poverty.

If we want to save humanity from the Dark Age that they would bring down on civilization, then sift them out and deport them. And then they will bring themselves to extinction and save us the trouble.

1/29/2008 06:49:00 PM  
Blogger Alaska Paul said...

Engineers plan for the worst and hope for the best. Politicians plan for the best and hope for the best.

The main thing that sticks in my craw about the Stephen Coughlin issue is that now there is no alternative ideas in the Pentagon on the nature of Islam and how to deal with it. Brainstorming, slugging it out philosophically, dealing with widely varying points of view (like peer review) is how problems are solved and the best solutions are derived. It may not be pretty. Getting rid of one point of view could result in decisions made that could have catastrophic consequences.

The issue of radical Islam being an integral part of Islam is an issue that must be faced. Hoping that we muddle through this on goodwill and faith is a fool's game.

1/29/2008 06:54:00 PM  
Blogger Rodney said...

Wretchard and Fred,

Can either of you cite a single example from history wherein a war delayed or postponed proved less bloody?

1/29/2008 07:54:00 PM  
Blogger Pascal Fervor said...

Wretch: Did you get hit from behind and wake up dazed?

I swear, I detect quite a big change. If there is such a thing as tone in writing, yours has changed noticeably.

I wish you all the best. God save us all.

1/29/2008 08:01:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Can either of you cite a single example from history wherein a war delayed or postponed proved less bloody?

The Cold War. It was fought, but never fought all out. Korea, Vietnam, the long twilight shadow struggle bought time to get us out from under the Shadow of the Bomb. What happened is that it permitted something else, a dynamic that Stalin never imagined, nor Truman, to defeat socialism.

Today we must fight radical Islam. But how we fight it; the tempo we choose -- these strategic decisions can make all the difference.

My fear isn't that we will fight radical Islam, but that we will either fail to fight at all or almost as destructively, fight it in the wrong way. It's a ticking bomb and we have the wheels whirring before us and the wires leading every which way. We can't do nothing. But which wire to cut ... what thing to disable can make all the difference.

Today's appeasers are the ones who believe that if we close our eyes it will all go away. That's wrong. I think the right way forward is to act deliberately and with what intelligence we can. It may be that we'll cut the wrong wire. That we have to brace ourselves for the blast anyway. But we have to start out hoping we can defuse -- truly defuse -- the situation, with the full realization that failure may be our lot.

1/29/2008 08:06:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

The Three Conjectures essay points out what happens when things get past a certain point in as dispassionate a way as possible. Basically, it argues that if radical Islam acquires the power to wage WMD strikes then a truly terrible game-theoretic stares the West in the face. The whole of our effort then, must be bent on keeping the situation from mestastizing to that point.

This means that Western civilization must re-establish the existential principle that fanaticisms such as those represented by the Jihad cannot be permitted to dominate. Western Civilization must become itself again. Coughlin's removal is at one level, really a sign that this verboten question is forcing its way to the center of the table. That's why it came to a showdown in the Pentagon. It went beyond water cooler talk to a place where it never went before. I don't believe for a minute that the question of an either-or attitude towards radical Islam has diminished. It's grown, that's why the lid gets kept being put on.

On the contrary, the reason why the Coughlin case is so significant is that the issue is now beginning to dominate the discourse, even if we don't admit its existence. Coughlin may have been the first; he won't be the last.

And now our policymakers are squirming under a question they pretend they can't even hear. But we hear it in our minds. For my part, I can't articulate a definite answer. But I know the direction in which we must go. We must assert our core values and beliefs. Just say "no" to the feelers to surrender. We need not, like the Islamists, get all jumped up and threatening, hack our heads about and utter blood curdling oaths.

Eamon de Valera once said Ireland would free itself from the British Empire by ignoring it. As a start we can deal with radical Islam by scorning it; laughing at it. But we can't expect government to lead the way. Governments aren't like that. They follow. They are really waiting for the crowds -- both infidel and Muslim -- to show them where the path is. Only then will they tread on it.

1/29/2008 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Consul-At-Arms said...

You are my official "post of the day."

UBL wants the West to engage the Islamic world in a Huntingtonsian "clash of civilizations."

GWB is smarter than that. (Actually, so is Dr. Huntington, assuming you read his Summer 1993 Foreign Affairs article and the resulting book as a warning rather than a prediction.)

I've quoted you and linked to you here: http://consul-at-arms.blogspot.com/2008/01/re-unspoken.html

1/29/2008 08:27:00 PM  
Blogger Pascal Fervor said...

Diffidence. That's the word.

You woke up this morning and posted with a diffidence you've not exhibited before.

Under heaven there is a season for everything; a time to be bold and a time to be diffident. What chill wind blew in and changed your tack?

If you are going to go this way, please make a better case.

1/29/2008 08:29:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

Wretchard and Fred I don't see how any conflict of civilizations can be avoided.

*Nuclear proliferation allows even failed tribal agglomerations to destroy Western Cities.

*Muslims demand TOTAL Sharia and are always enraged by something Westerners do, even trivial stuff.

Guaranteed: loss of at least one major Western City, general nuking of Muslim nuclear powers regardless of civilian casualties.

There is no "containment." It's one world. Closely intertwined. Cold War metaphors don't work -- two top-down centrally organized nation-states versus the West fighting disorganized tribes with nukes?

1/29/2008 08:32:00 PM  
Blogger Storm-Rider said...

Wretchard,
I believe we can only defeat Totalitarian Islam if we firmly grasp the notion, like our founding fathers, that our liberty is a gift from God; and that we, like them, must declare unrestricted warfare on all enemies of our God-given liberty. We must recognize that Totalitarian Islamists and Atheistic Socialists are both the enemies of our liberty, and they are already forming an alliance.

1/29/2008 08:35:00 PM  
Blogger OmegaPaladin said...

What I see here disturbs me. I don't have any problem with massive retaliation outside of practical aspects, but this is something else entirely. People seem quite ready to kill off every Muslim in the world. Do you have any idea how many non-Muslims will die in that process? This is in addition to the sheer brutal madness of trying to exterminate a religion with millions of adherents spread over all continents. By waging a war of annihilation, you give courage to every coward - if you will be killed anyway, why surrender? Do you realize how hard it is to eliminate a religion? The Romans couldn't pull it off with Christianity, which did not stress violence and struggle. What of all the non-Muslim people wishing to protect their friends from your death squads? What the HELL are you thinking here?

Containment is at least morally sane, if impractical. How can we know if someone is a Muslim? If all Muslims are deceptive, then we can't trust them to tell us whether they should be deported. The ones who will proclaim their status are far less worrisome than covert Muslims. The 9/11 hijackers broke countless commandments of Islam before getting on their planes, so even forcing alcohol and pork consumption isn't going to accomplish anything.

Islamic scripture may call for my death, but that matters little. Islam can be a religion of peace in how it is practiced, even if that is against its book. If Christians can ride in crusades, Muslims can learn to live in peace. Indeed, some have done so. Those who can't, should be convinced otherwise with force. Those who want to die in jihad will be granted their opportunity via our superior military forces.

For more on my approach, check out Daniel Pipes danielpipes.org Islamism delenda est!

1/29/2008 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

The objection to Wretchard and Omega's position is that Muslims are not ignoring the West. And quarantine doesn't work in a global media environment.

Muslims are already DEMANDING Sharia in the West. All it takes is one obscure play, cartoon, TV show, movie, art exhibit, and the count-down to destruction of Western cities begins.

We can ignore them all we want, they'll still nuke us over something trivial. We can quarantine them all we want, they'll still nuke us over something we probably won't even understand.

Short of a conversion to Islam this is a fight we can't avoid -- it's coming.

1/29/2008 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

I believe we can only defeat Totalitarian Islam if we firmly grasp the notion, like our founding fathers, that our liberty is a gift from God; and that we, like them, must declare unrestricted warfare on all enemies of our God-given liberty.

The problem with this is who is "we"? I think at least 50% of the world's population recognize what the problem is and what needs to be done, and are, increasingly, willing to do that.

However, the bigger problem is that NONE of the governments that We the People elect, any where, have recognized the problem, nor even started to stand up to it. We're still being fed pap about "Religion of Peace" and "our friends the Saudi's" and "our allies in the Mideast".

And no one, not even the Pope, dares to speak the words that most normal people realize is the truth: The problem is Islam itself. And to deal with that problem, Muslims must be given an iron-clad choice: either stay in their own countries and be Muslim, or denounce the Koran if they want to come to the West to visit or to live. There is no other way, unless we want to go into nuclear annihilation and genocide.

* * *

I have seen Wretchard slowly slowly changing, too. Two years ago, he would have never, ever, considered people taking on the Muslim problem himself. It was strictly a government issue. So that now he is both seeing it as an intractable problem and something that our governments may not be ABLE to deal with, leaving it up to the common man on the street to rise up and cast out the perceived evil among us. (Just like Americans once upon a time rose up and cast out the British -- sometimes you just have to take the bit between your teeth and go for it.)

1/29/2008 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

I'll check in tomorrow on this vitally important thread. Until then:

WHAT WHISKEY_199 SAID.

This one is for ALL the marbles. Islam seeks nothing less than total destruction. THEY think it will be of the West. We must make sure that they are mistaken. To quote an anonymous source:

ISLAM ACTS LIKE SOMEONE WHO THINKS THEY'RE GETTING AN APENDECTOMY BUT IS REALLY GOING TO GET AN ENEMA.

1/29/2008 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Wretchard said...

Containment is at least morally sane, if impractical.

The Global War on Terror is a war of containment, in which selective kinetic actions and alliances play a big part. It resembles the Cold War in that it aims to prevent Armageddon; nuclear Armageddon in the former, civilizational Armageddon is the latter. Where it differs from the last phases of the Cold War is that it has not yet acquired the ideological dimensions of the Reagan years. We have not yet started to push back against radical Islam with ideas.

Nor should we expect our intelligensia to lead the way. They didn't in the Cold War and they won't now, with exceptions, but they will be glorious exceptions.

There are two possible ways in which to extend the containment strategy into the ideational and political sphere. The first is to make it a strategic priority to wean ourselves off oil. There is broad support, on both parties, for energy indepedence. The second might be to start a movement to reclassify Islam as a political party with religious aspects; like Marxism was. Sharia law makes it possible to make the case that Islam is unlike other religions.

It should also be remembered that during the long years of the Cold War we never knew from one day to the next whether containment would work. It was always possible for the Cold War to turn Hot. One could be ready for the eventuality without wanting it. How did wag's describe SAC's motto: "Peace is our mission and war is our profession".

This conflict will be as full of irony and contradicton was the Cold War was. That was truly a people's war. It was won by the superiority of one system over the other, and not by any stretch, by the superiority of Western politicians over their Soviet counterparts, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and John Paul excepted.

1/29/2008 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger Joshua said...

whiskey_199: There is no "containment." It's one world. Closely intertwined. Cold War metaphors don't work -- two top-down centrally organized nation-states versus the West fighting disorganized tribes with nukes?

You beat me to it. Physical containment of the ummah behind some set of geographical borders (even if it were possible) would not be enough. At a bare minimum we would also have to completely sever all lines of communication across said borders - mail, cell phones, satellite TV, the Internet, what have you. Anything short of this would allow Islamic supremacists to continue to convert, indoctrinate and organize Western-born Islamists virtually and from a distance, even while barred from doing so in person. Simply put, that ain't gonna happen.

1/29/2008 10:23:00 PM  
Blogger davod said...

A military command has np place commenting on this issue. Especially when they take such an appeasement approach. They are actually taking the side of the Taliban when they do so.

"This is why NATO generals are thinking "nuke first" with Muslim proliferators."

Turkey has been a member of NATO since very early on. The Turkds must be very happy with the generals.

1/30/2008 04:44:00 AM  
Blogger Huan said...

Kirk

when it comes to foreign and military afairs, while they may stem from an open society neither in themselves should be open to the society

1/30/2008 05:11:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1/30/2008 05:20:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

Pascal accuses Wretchard of some kind huge change in his outlook and now displaying "diffidence." I've been active here at Belmont since the beginning and I see no change in his tone whatsoever; just the same thoughtful analysis as always - which unfortunately seems to go over the heads of too many people.

Wanting to find the most effective path to victory is not diffidence.

1/30/2008 05:48:00 AM  
Blogger newscaper said...

I've long told others that invading Iraq in a sort of limited war for reform by shock therapy, however difficult, was the only option (other than our creeping surrender) to head off total war, whether WW2 style, or WW3 style.

1/30/2008 05:59:00 AM  
Blogger Pascal Fervor said...

Thanks for coming to his defense, James.

Duly noted.

1/30/2008 07:09:00 AM  
Blogger Pangloss said...

If you have not read the Koran in chronological order, you should. You don't need to read it closely. Just skim each time period and compare what you see there to find out why the doctrine of abrogation ensures violence from Islam. I assembled a Chronological Koran of the Yusuf Ali translation (the one that most English-speaking Sunnis prefer and that Saudi Arabia sends everywhere).

When I assembled it I packed multiple chapters together in order to give some idea of the context, instead of breaking it up and decontextualizing it as is the result of using the standard order (longest to shortest chapters). It's remarkable how lucid and brief the very early Meccan passages are compared to the violent, obsessive, repetitive, and long Medinan passages that follow and supersede them.

1/30/2008 10:10:00 AM  
Blogger Wadeusaf said...

Incredibly informative thread, very timely debate. Very different options abounding.

I have heard more "the religion of peace" from those who seek its annihilation and not any from those of its members who would engage, either in battle or in discourse. I first learned about "the religion of peace" from reading the "Autobiography of Malcom X". The biggest lessons I took away from that reading so long ago was to know when to push back and how much force to use.
These are lessons easily related to all sides in the GWOT. But no easy answers.

1/30/2008 11:32:00 PM  
Blogger jj mollo said...

Here's what I think. Any religion, taken literally and seriously, can become incompatible with life and civilization. I can put myself into a frame of mind where I feel that any failure of faith is a sin, and when I am called to walk on the water, I will. ... OK, but I probably won't. I believed the literal and I drowned. It's hypocritical for Christians to call for the defense of Christendom when any sincere reading of the New Testament tells us to practice pacifism. Unfortunately, those who did are no longer with us. The devious arguments that allow Christians to go to war are ingenious devices born of necessity. Yes, we fall short of the literal, but scripture is self-contradicting and often symbolic. Hyperbole is a teaching device used in the NT, clearly not meant to be literal. Which is good, because no one would measure up.

Bottom line -- religions are malleable, except when they define themselves in terms of being different from someone else. In Iraq we are winning because the CLCs have come to recognize that they have more in common with the West than they have with AQ. They are beginning to search for what those commonalities are. They are trying to understand where AQ ran off the rails. If we insist on being confrontational with an entire religion, we may well shape it into exactly what it is we don't want it to be.

I remember as a child, I was told by another boy that I didn't believe in the Immaculate Conception and was therefore a bad person. Well, we ended up fighting over it even though neither of us knew what the IC was and what it meant. But I sure made up my mind not to believe in it. And I still don't, whatever it is.

My perception is that religion seems to follow cycles. 1) Idealism, 2) Fundamentalism, 3) Extremism, 4) Recovery, 5) Practicalism, 6)Rationalism, and back to Idealism. We seem to find a subset of beliefs to fixate on, and by challenging each other, we constantly up the ante until virtue becomes vice. Then after shedding the most extreme positions, we try to get things in perspective again.

My diagnosis is that the Sunnis in Iraq have hit bottom and are now trying to pick up the pieces. We have to make sure that the rest of the world knows just what the AQ were like in Iraq. I am still very worried about the Muslims in Basra and Iran and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and particularly in
America. Thailand doesn't seem to be doing too well either. But don't panic just yet. We are winning this thing. We have to emphasize our common humanity. We don't need to make it a religious confrontation.

1/31/2008 09:43:00 PM  
Blogger Zenster said...

Wretchard: The Devil is straining to be unleashed behind the door. And for that reason we are reluctant to open it, because once he is out, his countenance will be horrible to behold.

Again, it's too late. The damage has been done and it has been wrought by Islam.

Wretchard, all too often you seem to place the onus upon American or Western forces that are merely responding to Islam's predations. While it is true that we alone possess the actual firepower to wreak destruction on a massive scale, we aren't the ones who are in hot pursuit of such slaughter.

It is Islam that wants the Devil to slip his leash. It is Islam that is trying to unbar the doorway to wholesale destruction. In no way is the West to blame for this. At every turn in history, Islam has ALWAYS sought to bring about such massive havoc. Nothing has changed save an awakening modern awareness of an ancient pattern.

The West has no alternative but to show Islam what awaits them should they continue to pursue Total War. Nowhere have we given them the least glimpse of this and the lack of such a demonstration permits the delusion that we are locked in a Cold War scenario.

Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no deterring Islam. That is why my list of functional deterrents to terrorism just as often contains elements of disproportionately massive retaliation.

Positing a Cold War situation assumes that there is a degree of strategic stasis. No such thing is happening. Islam continues its infiltration of Dar al Harb while the West continues to delude itself that diplomacy and minor kinetic engagements are efficacious when nothing could be farther from the truth.

Some sort of stasis will only come about by dramatically terminating all further proliferation of WMD technology in the Islamic world. Iran must see the catastrophic dismantling of its nuclear aspirations and Pakistan must have a lid clamped upon its nuclear arsenal. North Korea must taken off line and Syria's biochemical weapons facilities must be blasted into rubble.

Containment has little chance of working without the most brutal military cordoning of such a barrier. However, much like the current effort to democratize the MME (Muslim Middle East), it is something we are obliged to do if only for the sake of our own collective conscience.

So it will also be with any attempts at containment. It represents the only alternative to the death camps. Only when Islam's persistent aggression reveals the futility of either measure will it finally be made clear to the West that simple atrittion of Islam's followers is the only thing that can discourage its endless assault upon the West.

There is absolutely NOTHING arising from our current situation that indicates any other potential sequence of events. Islam must unleash Total War if its tottering Neanderthal ideology is to thwart modernization's onslaught. Muslim radicals are desperately trying to unbolt Hell's gateway and none of their co-religionists have the moral fiber or integrity to beat back such an obvious threat to humanity.

The West is in no way responsible for Islam's reckless and deeply malignant conduct. That we may well be obliged to obliterate large portions of the MME in our own defense is something that Muslims alone are responsible for. I feel it is vital to lay the blame where it belongs.

Wretchard, if you are so—understandably—fearful of such a violent outcome, then please make sure to pinpoint the prime movers that lever events towards that precipice. The West would just as soon be left alone but Islam persists in antagonizing all and sundry in their pursuit of global ascendancy. Our only responsibility is to ensure the West's survival. If Muslims wish to avoid near-total extermination, then they must begin to rein in their radicals. If—as has been repeatedly demonstrated—they abjectly refuse to do so, then the consequences are theirs alone to bear.

2/01/2008 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger jimbo said...

A 3rd way, or maybe just a new tactic:

Prior to conquest by and subjugation to Islam, there existed ancient peoples and cultures in Egypt, Persia, North Africa, East Indies, etc.

Can we help to free these oppressed peoples from the yoke of Islam?

It won't be easy and still leaves unanswered the question of the Arab core.

2/01/2008 01:42:00 PM  

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