Thursday, October 27, 2005

Confronting the Enemy

President Bush made an excellent speech on Tuesday at Bolling Air Force Base, outlining the scope and rationale of the war on terror — which he once again identified as a struggle against “Islamo-fascism:”
     Some call this evil Islamic radicalism; others, militant Jihadism; still others, Islamo-fascism. Whatever it is called, this ideology is very different from the religion of Islam.
Mr. President, are you sure that’s true?

There is, of course, no way of knowing whether Mr. Bush believes this. Given the political exigencies, it is necessary for him to say it. His statement does, however, beg the central question of our time:

Does violent jihad represent the essence of the religion of Islam?

And the corollary:

Is the existence of the “moderate Muslim” possible?

I don’t pretend to be able to answer these questions, nor do I think it is possible to answer them yet. But they should be uppermost in our minds as we watch current political events unfolding across the world, and especially those unfolding across the bloody littorals of Islam.

The central problem is that Islam is more than a religion. It is a blueprint for political action, one whose core text requires the adherent to be violent in the pursuit of political goals. In this respect Muslims bear more resemblance to Communists than they do to Presbyterians.

But there are peaceable Muslims. The ones I know personally look and act like ordinary Americans. The women don’t wear the hijab, and the girls go to school and act like any other American kids.

But these Muslims are also not particularly observant; they don’t pray five times a day or visit the mosque very often. They are roughly equivalent to “lapsed Catholics.”

So I am still left with the open question:

Will the truly observant Muslim always engage in or support violent jihad?

A lively discussion emerged in the comments section of my post yesterday (I recommend the entire thread, which is full of thoughtful and vehement argument by a variety of people). In response to some of the more bellicose commenters, Cato said this:
     Do you really think all billion muslims hate the west that implacably? Do you think there is any practical program that will lead to the elimination (or forcible conversion) of all the planet’s muslims?
I often wonder where the logic of “all Islam is out to get us so we had better do something about it” leads.
So where does it lead? If the enemy is in our midst, but not actively pursuing violence at the moment, what do we do? And are all Muslims our enemies?

We know that some of them are, and it is a reasonable assumption there are some among us who are even now planning to harm us. But is the proper response to declare that all Muslims are our enemies?

If all Muslims are in fact our enemies, then we will have to take concrete action. The first step would be to require them all to register with the government so that they could be monitored. Next they would have to be disarmed. Then we would need to require them to display some sign so that we could recognize them as the enemy, say a yellow crescent and star sewn onto their outer clothing. The next step would be to gather them all together in secure camps removed from the rest of the populace, so that they could do us no harm. Then…

Wait a minute. We’ve seen that road before, and we’re not going to follow it.

The civil liberties accorded citizens of this country protect people from being targeted simply for their beliefs or membership in a particular group. Yet members of a particular group are plotting to do the country harm by murder, mayhem, and levying insurrection. If they succeed in their diabolical plans and unleash a devastating attack within our borders, people may well take the law into their own hands and civil liberties will be thrown out the window.

I don’t buy the idea that we should just be quiet and let domestic law enforcement do its job. I’m certain that it has indeed interdicted many terrorist attacks since 9/11, but Able Danger and Annie Jacobsen’s experience on Flight 327 and the Jamaat ul-Fuqra compounds and the farce that masquerades as airport security have all convinced me that incompetence rages throughout the system.

So what can be done?

First and foremost is to propagate as much information as possible. Turn over every rock. Open all the closet doors and turn on the lights. Bust open all the rotten stumps so we can see the termites inside. Spread the word, because that is what the blogosphere is for.

But let’s be sure we distinguish fact from speculation and rumor. And above all, remember that incitement to violence is the enemy’s specialty, not ours.

The second tactic is political. We are not going to be able to control the mujahideen in our midst if we don’t shrug off all the politically correct nonsense that hobbles us, and also control our borders. The current administration seems to have no will to do either of these things, and the next administration, no matter which party takes office, is unlikely to do any better.

Therefore we’re going to have to throw out an awful lot of rascals, and elect people who will shake the entrenched bureaucracy until its back teeth rattle.

Any other ideas out there? This is an open forum. Somewhere between the extremes of “Islam is a religion of peace” and “nuke the ragheads” is a course of action which will protect American citizens and also secure their liberties. I invite you to help me find it.

Calling all armchair generals! Gather at the Gates and make yourselves heard!

UPDATE: Best comment so far, by peggy:

I have been saying for a long time that the solution to the problem that islam poses is a simple one if we only have the courage and vision to pursue it relentlessly.

Just tell the truth about it.

The truth is our greatest weapon. We should only resort to other means if our free speech to protest against islam were threatened by the powers that be and then it is our right as citizens to fight those powers. The average muslim person should never have to worry about our intentions towards their persons or families or property or businesses or prayer centers as long they abide by the laws of our land.

If we keep to the high ground, we should with time be able to turn things around. The first idea we must get across with meticulous care is this: It is possible to oppose islam without bearing hatred towards all those who believe it and everyone should be able to freely and openly dispute the ideas and beliefs of others by right as long as they dont call for violence against the other group in an indiscriminate way that would hurt peaceable folks.

A big problem with islam and muslims is that they do not understand this. They equate open rejection of their beliefs as hatred and bigotry mainly because their own leaders encourage them to do so by their example. But coming as they do from their original environment which is devoid of the hurly-burly of true democracy and liberty, they are easily mislead to shut their ears to the "bigots" who dislike all muslims and are encouraged to dismiss all criticism of their religion as ignorant. If we happen to think that islam is the worst idea for a religion there ever was but have no inclination to hate those who believe in it then we have to distinguish ourselves from the true haters by our conduct, by our charity and hospitality towards all.


wildiris said...

I posted this awhile back at Dr. Sanity’s. But I think it might be worth reposting…

As part of a recent discussion with some members at my church, I heard, what strikes me, as the most definitive observation regarding the question, “whether Islam is or is not a religion of peace”, I have ever run across. I don’t recall seeing this observation articulated on the web before, so for the benefit of those like me who have not heard it, I thought I should share it with everybody and get people’s comments in return.

The discussion went through many of the usual pro/con talking points that we’ve seen over and over again posted here on the web. Then…

(Apologist for Islam) Islam is really a peaceful religion; it’s just that it has been hijacked by a radical and violent element.

(Skeptical Listener) No! The problem with Islam isn’t that it has been hijacked; the problem is that there is something about Islam that makes it so easy to be hijacked by such radical and violent elements.

(Observation 1) Every society has its share of violent, misogynistic, hurtful and etc. people, a number of who will always try and bend their religion to serve as a cover, excuse or justification for their behavior. As a result, all religions have had their fringe cults and sects that have acted out in violent and/or other anti-social ways; that’s just a sad fact of human nature. But Islam, of all of the world’s major religions, seems to be the one most troubled by this problem, while at the same time; the more peaceful (moderate) element in the religion of Islam is seemingly powerless to stop this co-opting from happening.

(Observation 2) It doesn’t matter what verses of the Bible or Koran one chooses to emphasize, or how one may try to interpret them. The ultimate arbiter of what is or what is not a proper Christian or Muslim response is the lives and works of Jesus or Mohammed themselves. Jesus was above all, a man of peace, while Mohammed was anything but a man of peace.

A Christian may try to use scripture to justify or incite others to violence, but because Jesus himself would not have acted in that way, their words will never attract more than a handful of listeners.

But it is the converse that is true for Islam. While there may be many within the Muslim religion that want to live peacefully with their neighbors, Mohammed himself did not live that way. As a result, the voices of the “moderates” carry no weight with the community of Islam as a whole. After all, how can one Muslim, with any authority, tell another not to do what Mohammed himself did do? It’s not that the moderates can’t or won’t speak out against the radical element, it’s that the prophet Mohammed, by the example of his own life, left them with no voice to speak out with.

(Conclusion) That’s why Islam is not, never was or can ever be trusted to be a “religion of peace”. Because Mohammed himself was not a peaceful man and by the example of his own life, he has left the door wide open for the more violent element in any community or society, in which Islam is the dominant religion, to turn Islam into a tool to justify their violent actions against others.

In other words, Islam, as a religion, can’t be any more “peaceful” than, as a man, Mohammed was himself.

Gryffilion said...

"I don’t buy the idea that we should just be quiet and let domestic law enforcement do its job."

The only road that really opens up is vigilante justice and the re-institution of local militias to deal with problems in their midst. I'm not convinced the Feds and the Spooks will do any better handling this than they did, say, with Ruby Ridge or the Branch Davidian compound. Personally, I think we're lucky there haven't been more fundamental domestic attacks, given the track record of the domestic agencies ensuring our "safety."

My roommate and I watched "The Siege" the other night. It was kind of ironic, watching it in the aftermath of September 11th. Apart from all the things that are wrong with its depicted scenario, one line stuck out to me: "The thing is, being a Palestinian in this day and age isn't just a nationality, it's a profession." I think the same thing might now go for being a Muslim. If the readership intelligentsia on here is indeed correct (and their comments are well-reasoned enough to believe they are), that Islam is sort of a built-in program for tendencies towards violent and radical action, then perhaps it isn't limited to just the Palestinians anymore.

I do not fear all Muslims. I do not hate al Muslims. What I fear is the violent root of their religion.The fact that after the other two main religions, Christianity and Judaism, left behind their violent roots approximately 600 and perhaps 2000 years ago (respectively), while Islam continues to wage a mainstream war with some popular support among the Muslim world points to its inability both to adapt to a modern world and to leave behind the violence of its conception.

God help us all. No choice we make seems like it would work. But what can men do when faced with the destruction of all that they hold dear?

Gryffilion said...

I would add a quote from Aragorn to the end of my last comment:

"By all that you hold dear on this good earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!"

bordergal said...

Several ideas come immediately to mind:

A PAC to rival CAIR. With proper funding, I can envision a nice TV ad with the voice of Ibrahim Hooper talking about wanting Sharia Law to supercede the Constitution, on TV stations all across the US. Add in the clips of the Islamic Thinkers Society in NYC.

Pressure Congress to outlaw all Saudi funding of mosques, etc. in the US.

Pressure Congress to adopt stricter standards for R1 Religious Visas.

Address the issue of Muslim immigration.

Set up a venue in each state, and invite people like Robert Spencer of Jihadwatch to speak.

Start compiling a map/list of potential extremist problem sites, strange happenings, etc in the US, something like a national neighborhood watch. Comprehensive information is powerful, witness the impressive ROP website list of attacks.

I haven't thought this one through, but we need to somehow start pressuring US Muslims to start speaking out publically against Islamic imperialism. They can't be allowed to sit comfortably on the sidelines anymore.

American Crusader said...

I've been trying to think of some way to answer your questions. It's ridiculous to think that every Muslim wants to overthrow the United States and its also ridiculous to let your guard down because there are many who would like nothing more. Where do you draw the line? Do we start with registrations, internment camps, surveillance or even expulsions? As Americans we need to keep our values but at the same time not let our freedoms be used against us. Tough times.

Baron Bodissey said...

Crusader -- concerning "expulsions": there remains the significant problem that any number of potential terrorists are American citizens, and many of those native-born.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Given that what you say is correct, I don't see much alternative to the reimposition of a species of at least indirect colonial control over much of the Muslim world, coupled with mass expulsions or detention of dangerous persons within the west.

The main feature would be a type of interdiction or blockade in the form of bans on the movement of persons out of the interdicted countries (i.e. prohibition of passenger air and sea travel), and denial of access to employment, residence and education in the west. Traffic back and forth would be solely financial and commerical. The Muslim world is afforded access to the imports it may need from the west in exchange for access to oil and raw materials, without major movements of population.

Some mechanism would need to be in place to adjudicate requests for individualized exceptions/waivers of the ban.

Allied to this would need to be a propaganda and education effort -- essentially a promise to remove the interdiction/blockade when the Muslim world espouses "civilized values."

All of this administered not by the UN or anything like it, but by a commission directly answerable to the governments of the great powers (i.e. US, Japan, China, India, Europe/(UK seperate?) and probably Brazil).

This whole scheme would permit a substantial degree of liberty to exist outside the interdicted area, and for trade and commerce to go on, but would doubtless take a traumatic shock to the west before imposition of any such thing would be considered. Unfortunately, I suspect that our enemies will in time supply the necessary shock. Establishment of this system would require a major war.

Essentially, it turns the Muslim world, involuntarily, into pre-Meiji Japan, to enter its Meiji stage, probably on a regional basis, as it shows it can.

Lot of holes in this idea, but what else is there ?

Jesse Clark said...

I think it's also important to understand all of Islam. This is not just some great monolithic religion in which all its believers adhere to the same tenets. It is as divided as Chrisitanity or Judaism.

There is more division than just Sunni and Shi'a, and there is more than just the Qur'an. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of Hadith out there. Moderate Muslims accept only a few (by comparison) to the more radical and fundamentalist groups, who accept great numbers of Hadith as accurate.

There is not just one Sahri'a. There are four. Four seperate schools of thought on how to apply Islamic Law. They range from the moderate and quite liberal Hanafi to the radical Hanbali, which states that the Qur'an must be applied without interpretation or question. There is no reason, or 'ijtihad' to be made in discerning the law, as there is in the other three schools. Hanbali is the source of the Wahhabism the so often makes headlines. Yet Hanbali is followed by less than 5% of all Muslims worldwide.

And I haven't even begun to talk about Sufism.

It is important to not see Muslims as homogenous. Yes, there is an extremely violent sect of Islam. Yes, we need to completely annihilate them before they annihilate us. But the moderate Muslims should not be viewed as accessories to their crimes. If we are to defeat our true enemy within Islam, we will need their help.

Baron Bodissey said...

FYI -- we just got a visitor here who was searching for "how to make a bomb".


Happens every day, at least several times.

Baron Bodissey said...

Oh, and I forgot to say that this particular searcher was in Zaire.

El Jefe Maximo said...

Re the remark on the Byzantines not losing. Maybe not in the cosmic, eternal sense. But their Empire was cast down, their churches desecrated, their leaders killed, and Constantinople is now Istambul. That isn't winning to me, whatever the merits of the Byzantines and their stand. In 1453, the Byzantines paid in spades for over a century of dithering.

I'll leave the cosmic victories to other folks. War is, so to speak, a mutual adaptation and learning process: one learns from one's enemies, and, of necessity, becomes more like them to defeat them. That's not pretty, just necessary.

Bill's right. We will have to, at least temporarily, put aside things we love and honor to survive. Cosmic victory is God's department. Making our enemies stone, cold, dead, however we have to do it, is ours.

American Crusader said...

Baron Bodissey said...
Crusader -- concerning "expulsions": there remains the significant problem that any number of potential terrorists are American citizens, and many of those native-born.

Baron...of course you're right about native born American citizens...but we've had "revolutionaries" in the past who were American-born. This country has gone through many turbulent periods. If we can survive a Civil War, I think once we remove the foreign radical elements, we would significantly eliminate the threat of internal terrorist activities. Plus I was talking about using expulsion as an extreme measure if ever using it at all. I know of one case already were an American-born citizen has been classified as an enemy combatant and I think he still is -Jose Padilla- maybe you know more about his case.

Jason Pappas said...

There are many good comments above; let me suggest a few:

Be honest – brutally honest. Peggy covered this but let me put it in my words. Call things as they are. We are civilization and we should boast of our aspirations and achievements. We are facing Islamic barbarians and we should make the appropriate moral judgments without hesitation. I trust I don’t have to explain this point in this venue. Nor do I have to contrast this with the moral equivalence, relativism, and multi-cultural nonsense.

Let’s appreciate two important points about being honest – its effect on us and its effect on them. Being honest will reaffirm our values, maintain our intellectual and moral clarity, and maintain morale. It’s the only way to live. That being said, there is also the instrumental effect on the enemy. Arab societies are very sensitive to humiliation and shame. During the 19th century, when the British weren’t shy about their cultural greatness, they helped to virtually eradicate slavery around the world. They shamed Arabs into changing. Muslims never developed Abolitionist Societies but they did capitulate and marginalize many aspects of their religion.

This first thing we need to do is stop the appeasement.

(1) Tell Egypt they create an atmosphere of hate that makes actions like 9/11 possible – so we won’t be giving them $2 billion a year anymore. They hate us and we aren’t fond of them either.

(2) Tell the Palestinians, that after teaching a generation to aspire to becoming suicide bombers they have descended into savagery so severe that they don’t deserve a state – certainly not a state next to such noble and civilized people as the Israelis. Perhaps in a generation or two they might learn how to become civilized – we’ll talk them.

(3) Saudi Arabia is the chief sponsor of world-wide terrorism (Iran’s a close second). We provide for Saudi Arabia’s defense; without us they wouldn’t exist. Tell Saudi Arabia they are on their own, they are our enemy, and we don’t care if oil-poor Egypt or Jordan (the latter believes they are the rightful protectors of Mecca) decide to invade. It’s not our problem.

(4) Stop giving Pakistan planes and weapons. They are not our friends. We have a common enemy in the jihadists – that should be enough motivation to work together to fight them. If it isn’t they are only pretending to help. Besides, having created the Taliban, they have to prove that they still aren’t the enemy.

That bold start would reverberate through out the Islamic world. We have to take this step by step. Fighting the intellectual war, maintaining a moral posture, and acting like we mean it – this would be a major change and it will have an impact. Then we take it from there.

citizen_us said...

In all the comments below, not once did anyone bring up this fact; The Iranian president called for the total annihilation of Israel yesterday and any country that recognizes Israel.
I think the quote was: "Anybody who recognizes Israel will burn in the fire of the Islamic nation's fury. and then I say accomplishment of a world without America and Israel is both possible and feasible

Where are the condemning statements from Islamic countries in response to Ahmadinejad's lunacy?
Where are the Muslims rising up in righteous anger over this madmans desire to kill more than 300 million people?
The solution is not the death of Muslims. Reaching out won't do it either.
Telling the truth has been tried for centuries, it doesn't work.

The only solution to the current problem is the death of Allah, the Qu'ran and Mohammed.

Baron Bodissey said...

I just want you all to know that I'm reading all these comments -- it's great to hear all these different ideas from people who are all essentially on the same team. I'm going to gather the themes together with quotes from this thread and make another post out of it all as soon as I can.

In the meantime, keep 'em coming.

Jason Pappas said...

I understand we all want to know what it will take to win. However, our fellow citizens don’t even know who the enemy is, what motivates the enemy, the broad support the enemy receives, etc. They certainly won’t understand the full battle plan if they don’t understand the depth of the problem. Many still think it’s a criminal problem.

The first order of business is waking-up our fellow citizens. I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of trying to explain that it’s not just a few deranged people that’s hijacked Islam. As long as they don't understand Islam, how could our fellow citizens possibly understand the stakes in this war? The battle won’t be lost over there – it will be lost over here.

Since Americans are extremely practical people, they will want to know what to do as soon as they hear about a problem. That’s why I suggest items that can be done immediately to change our posture and prepare for future actions.

Just this past July, after the London terrorist attacks, the leaders of the G8 countries, who were meeting in the UK, immediately pledged billions for the terrorists in Gaza and the coming Palestinian state. Where was the outrage? We just removed Saddam – who was sending thousands of dollars to the families of suicide bombers. Now we are going to fund the same kind of people on the order of billions. If a Democratic President did that, there would be screaming on every conservative venue. Hillary got hell just for “hanging” with Arafat’s wife as the PLO spewed hate. And don't even mention Karen Hughes to me. Could a Democrat have come up with a worse idea than to send someone to grovel for a crumb of affection? (OK, perhaps sending Jimmy Carter would be worse but that's holding the bar very low.)

That’s why I say we have to first stop the appeasement. Then we can proceed to the next step.

Papa Ray said...

We have this discussion at least once a week at the coffee shop.

There is never a satisfactory conclusion.

Some conclusions are eons long, others just a few years and a couple take a century at least.

But they all have one thing in common. Lots and lots of killing and dying.

Of course, there is always the one course of action that is left out of most discussions. No one wants to be the one to put it out on the table.

Because to do so would be to advocate surrender.

Yea, just everybody convert and pay taxes to them and hope that they don't kill us anyway.

That usually ends the discussion until another day. No one believes we will just surrender, but everyone knows that is what we will have to do if we decide not to fight with tooth and nail and the atom, if necessary.

I really believe that north of the mason dixon line and the west coast most of the liberals (a lot of the religious right) and even some moderates would go down without a fight, rather than kill, not just the male enemy but their women and children also.

Why can't we just kill the men? Because they know if they hid among the women and children we won't kill them.

Does anyone remember our Military saying we can't shell, bomb or destroy someplace in the previous world wars? You heard it in Vietnam and because of that we never could kill all of the VC.

We're not killing women and children (except by accident) in Iraq and because of that we're not killing all of the "insurgents".

We are fighting a war half assed and half heartedly.

And because of that we are losing more troops than we should or could.

Like it was said so well earlier in this thread. The enemy is going to have to kill many more thousands of Americans before the American public demands of our administration that our Military and Police deal out swift and deadly destruction.

Destruction to not only match our enemies destruction and killing, but to exceed it to the extent, that there will be no further reprisals and murders.

But in reality even that will only give us another few hundred years of respite. Then it will begin again.

Because Allah commands it.

Papa Ray
West Texas

citizen_us said...

I am a cancer survivor. When the diagnosis was conveyed to me, I was given 3 choices.
1. Do nothing
2. Surgery
3. Surgery, chemotherapy, radiation.

I chose #3. All other choices would have lead to my death.

Islam is exactly like a cancer.
It starts small, metastasizes to other parts of the body and takes over.

It grows faster than other parts of the host, due to the fact that it monopolizes blood supply.
Hmmmm. Oil, anyone?

The host has used surgery to control the spread of this cancer for centuries, never totally obliterating the disease, only containing it within "acceptable parameters."

There are millions of people who ignore the signs of cancer when they appear, to the detriment of their own health.
Denial is much easier than facing hard facts.

We are now at the point where the cancer that is islam has metastasized through-out the host.

It seems that choice #1 is the most popular. What a shame.

I think Dymphna says it very well, in the header of this site:

"We are in a new phase of a very old war."

In a previous comment here, I stated that one of the cures was the death of Allah, Mohammed, and the Qu'ran.

I fear our PC world will never see the truth in this simple fact.

Numerous people state that killing all the muslims is unacceptable. Why? They will obliterate us the first chance they have. Even now, they kill us as often as possible.

In a fight for survival, surviving is the goal. Anything less is denial.

I have several muslim friends. They are good and decent people.
They also believe that islam is the ONLY way to heaven.
I have no doubt that if they were called upon by "Allah" to kill me, they would.

boxingalcibiades said...

What is a Christian to do to the adherents of an evil religion that openly espouses butchery, treachery, and eternal brutality towards anyone not them?

Forgive them, of course.

Papa Ray said...

"Shoot children in the head".

There are very few Americans that would be able to do that.

But there are many that will drop a bomb from 30,000 feet and kill everything alive within a ten mile radius.

They wouldn't do it on their own, but given an order by the President of the United States that came through the proper channels, they would release that bomb.

There are those in Israel that will do the same.

And if we wait long enough, I am sure that there are many in Iran that will be more than happy to kill thousands with just the press of a button.

In the battles being waged now in Iraq, American air power is used only after much verification and going through many layers of command.

In most cases this allows the bad guys to get away.

Ask any Marine or Soldier, I did and they are not happy with it.

They can't use tanks to blow up buildings, they can't use their arty or other means without verification and the command shuffle and wait.

They have to break down a door and clear, which as you know results in our guys getting killed.

They are fighting with even more strigent rules than I did thirty some odd years ago and I can tell you those rules got a lot of my friends killed and a lot of the enemy got away to kill again another day.

I'm still pissed off about how we were not allowed to win. In Hue, the rules were did away with most of the time. I wasn't there but two of my best buds were and one didn't come home. In Hue, it was a face to face shoot out with no holds barred. The result is now history.

As several have said, we are going to be defeated by our own selves.

Right today, we can't even keep people out of this country, let alone find and either arrest or deport them.

Will that be changed when we find out that there are thousands of the enemy already HERE and they start killing us by the thousands?

I doubt it and I think we owe our children and grandchildren our best efforts. And if our best efforts means killing thousands of innocents to protect them,

Then thats what we will have to do.

Papa Ray
West Texas