July 26, 2010
Brilliance at Midnight
The take-away from the massive dumping of leaked U.S. military documents on WikiLeaks, documents related to the conduct and progress of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, is this: The putative "rift" between Islamist terrorists on the one hand, and radical Islamists who "reject terrorism" (at specific times and places) on the other hand, has nothing to do with any ultimate goal of Islamism.
The rift reflects only a difference of opinion about the precise strategies and tactics for achieving that goal. Islamist victory conditions are the same in both groups: a pure, radical Islamism dominant across the globe, with sharia the final law in every country.
This is, of course, the central thesis of Andrew McCarthy's seminal work, the Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America. But we see it played out in the carefully parsed response of the administration of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to the documentation, throughout the leaked papers, of cooperation between Pakistan officials and the Taliban... at the very time the former are supposed to be allied with the United States and NATO at war with the latter.
Note how carefully spokesmen dance around the actual accusation:
A senior ISI official, speaking on condition of anonymity under standard practice, sharply condemned the reports as “part of the malicious campaign to malign the spy organization” and said the ISI would “continue to eradicate the menace of terrorism with or without the help of the West.”
The unnamed official pointedly restricted the term "menace" to terrorism; but the danger is not terrorism but Islamism. The accusation against the ISI, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence in Pakistan, is not that they, themselves engage in "martyrdom operations" in Pakistan or Afghanistan; of course they don't (in general). Rather, the data-dump documents that the ISI especially, but other Pakistan government bodies as well, leak military intelligence like a sieve. Some of the leaks are simple incompetence; but others are due to corruption (bribery) or a radical ideology that deliberately aids and abets Islamist groups... including those who prematurely engage in terrorism at this time, before Pakistan has been sufficiently "Islamicized" to embrace the ideology of the Taliban.
Farhatullah Babar, the spokesman for President Asif Ali Zardari, dismissed the reports and said that Pakistan remained “a part of a strategic alliance of the United States in the fight against terrorism....”
Mr. Babar questioned how Pakistan could possibly have the kind of connections to the Taliban that some of the reports suggest, asking if “those who are alleging that Pakistan is playing a double game are also asserting that President Zardari is presiding over an apparatus that is coordinating attacks on the general headquarters, mosques, shrines, schools and killing Pakistani citizens?”
Yes, I think we all agree that the current quasi-democratic, partially authoritarian regime in Pakistan believes it should remain in charge; consequently, it opposes terrorist attacks on "mosques, shrines, schools," and especially upon "the general headquarters" of Pakistan's military. But that isn't the question, is it?
Are elements of the ISI collaborating with the Taliban to bring about an Islamist revolution in Pakistan? That is the real question, and it remains unanswered by the Zardari administration.
Such a revolution needn't include terrorism; for example, if Zardari himself fully embraced Islamism and enacted sharia law, overturning what democracy Pakistan still possesses and joining "the Project" -- but if he declared himself the supreme Taliban leader in Pakistan -- that would still constitute an "Islamist revolution," without firing a shot. And it would be just as catastrophic for America and the rest of the West as a bloody insurrection or coup d'état.
Terrorism is not the enemy; it is a tactic of the enemy, one bolt in an entire quiver of bolts. A "global war against terrorism" has no meaning; but surely we can understand and support a war against radical Islamism. (To highlight this point, I am changing the category formerly known as "the War Against the Iran/al-Qaeda Axis" -- too limiting! -- to "the War Against Radical Islamism.")
This specifically includes not only those who want to advance Islamist ideas by terrorism but also those, like the Muslim Brotherhood, who share that goal but believe, at this time in history, that the Islamist Project is best advanced by propaganda, sabotage, bribery, "democratically" electing a totalitarian government (which then "pulls the ladder up" behind it)... and only sometimes by terrorism and bloody revolution.
Thus the surety we need is that Pakistan rejects the Islamist Project, and all it comprises:
- Dominance -- Islam is dominant over all the world; infidels worldwide must pay the special tax and be treated as inferior beings.
- Purity -- Islam is the Islam of Mohammed and his original followers; no reformation, no enlightenment, containing no Western ideas of individual liberty, democracy, or separation of religion and State.
- Completeness -- Sharia is the entire law in every country and Islam the entire morality.
- Hegemony -- the "true" Caliphate is restored to its rightful place as supreme ruler of the world.
If highly placed individuals within Pakistan (or Afghanistan) still support any element of the Project, then those individuals are our enemies, regardless of whether they believe terrorism is the best route to advance the Project at this time, in that particular place; and they should be treated as enemies by anyone who purports to reject radical Islamism.
The clever way found by representatives of Pakistan to ignore the implication that high-ranking government and intelligence officials either support the ideology of radical Islamism, or are at least willing to ally with them (for money, for power), and tendentiously redefine the question to focus only on the straw man of direct ISI involvement in terrorist attacks upon themselves, should make us very nervous indeed.
Why can't Pakistani officials, or President Zardari himself, just come right out and denounce the ideology of the Taliban? While it's important what tactics they use to advance that ideology, the most important factor is radical Islamism itself.
But don't look for the current American administration of Barack H. Obama to demand an answer; it has already ruled out ideology as a motivator of "Man-caused disaster" in the first place (an act of "Willful Blindness"). We cannot possibly win the war until and unless we are willing to confront the real enemy -- radical Islamists -- and win the war of ideas.
There are many ways to win a war of ideas or ideologies; but our core strategy is the same as that of the Islamists: conversion. We must convert the unaligned and even the enemy -- either to another religion entirely (Christianity, perhaps), or at least to a non-radicalized version of Islam.
One path to conversion is to prove that our Western "culture of life" leads to a better life than the Islamists' cult of death. Another is to show that the West is the "strong horse;" this plays directly into the Arab cultural tendency to gravitate to the winning side in any conflict. But in order to convert, we need a Borg-like ideology that is powerful and seductive, against which "resistance is futile."
Fortunately, we have a couple ready to hand: Evangelical Christianity is winning that war in Africa, for example, as Animists and even Moslems on that continent are converting in mass numbers to an African Christianity that is both Western in outlook and native in local implementation.
Too, our own American ideology of individual liberty, Capitalism, rule of law, separation of religion and State (while maintaining the connection between religion and culture), and democratic governance by the consent of the governed is itself powerful and awesome, leading to a staggering improvement in human life and meaning, and to a strength that has made the still-young America the most powerful nation on Earth. (Even after eighteen months of Obamunism!)
But you can't surrender your way to victory; we must engage on the most important front -- the ideological one.
That's how our Founders won the Revolutionary War, how the North won the Civil War, and how the Democratic West won World War II and the Cold War... they fought and won the war of ideas. Yet by allowing the multi-culti "elite" to jettison the entire intellectual arsenal of liberty, we have disarmed ourselves in what could be an existential armageddon.
So to hell with taking back "the night;" it's long past time for real America to recapture the light of the Western day.
Cross-posted on Hot Air's rogues' gallery...
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, July 26, 2010, at the time of 6:59 PM
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In the comments of the previous post, commenter BigLeeH asked how I would "go about pursuing the war of ideas which we both agree should be a central focus in our confrontation with radical Islamism." Here are some thoughts I've... [Read More]
Tracked on July 28, 2010 4:27 PM
The following hissed in response by: BigLeeH
I have to disagree with your first paragraph -- the one that starts "The take-away from the massive dumping of leaked U.S. military documents on WikiLeaks, documents related to the conduct and progress of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, is...[the unity of radical Islamists]" because that is not the correct take-away from the leaked documents at all. The real take-away is ... nothing. The leaked documents contain amazingly few surprises and offer little new information of any importance. They are the notes and rough drafts of a story we already know. The attention they are garnering comes almost entirely from pundits of various stripes who have a perspective on the war that they are eager to share, and who, confident that very few people will go to the trouble to read through the leaked documents, see the leak as an opportunity to climb back up on their hobby-horses and ride, ride, ride.
As for the rest of your article -- the ninety-nine percent of it after the colon -- it is well reasoned, well written and I am largely in agreement with it although I would be interested to hear how you would go about pursuing the war of ideas which we both agree should be a central focus in our confrontation with radical Islamism.
The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh
...I would be interested to hear how you would go about pursuing the war of ideas which we both agree should be a central focus in our confrontation with radical Islamism.
Good idea; I think I'll write another post.
The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh at July 27, 2010 1:01 PM
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