Winds of War: Rearranging Deck Chairs on the Titanic – Part 1
Waris not about defeating an enemy’s army or destroying their economic ability to wage war, it’s about defeating the enemy’s ideology. World War II was about destroying the Axis, Japan and her allies. The war on terror is about wiping out the Islamist ideology, not just Al-Qaida. Fighting only Al-Qaida means the war would have no end. Only by eliminating and defeating the governments, organizations and individuals who support the Islamist ideology can we have peace.
The jihad being waged goes far beyond terrorists taking hostages, hijacking aircraft and the horror of suicide bombers. Its leaders proclaim independence of any state or government, but employ all of the elements of contemporary warfare:
- Covert operatives
- Well-trained soldiers with modern weaponry.
The only difference between the type of war we are engaged in now and the more conventional World War II is that the current state of the ‘war’ is one of insurgency. The current administration in Washington still doesn’t get it. It’s not a war on terror but a war between competing ideologies. The enemy ideology is using the same insurgent tactics as Mao did to soften up Chiang Kai-shek, the Viet Cong used to bleed the American Army and what the terrorist are using on the non-Muslim word today. It’s only after the insurgents, using both violent and non-violent tactics, have ‘softened up’ the free world, will the real war commence with a well defined military theater of war and an anti-insurgent program to defeat the Islamists who are using the non-violent tactics of intimidation, infiltration and disinformation.
To quote the Prophet of Doom, “Let's begin with the most ignorant and injurious slogan: "the war on terror." It is ignorant because it is senseless and it is injurious because it camouflages the actual enemy, making us more vulnerable. To declare war on terror is akin to saying that WW II should have been fought to rid the world of blitzkrieg. If America had killed every kamikaze suicide bomber, the political and religious regime that manufactured them, unchecked, would have produced more of them faster than the nation could have killed them.”
When Vice President Dick Cheney said that the War on Terror, "is a war that we can win, but it's a war that may take 25 or 50 years”, he is wrong. Saying the war will last 25, 50 or even 100 years falls into the same trap that the Left finds itself. That this struggle is not against the nations, organizations and individuals who support the Islamist ideology – Islamism - but a conflict against individual thugs that are constantly created by an ideology and supported by nations, organizations and radical Inmans – i.e. propagandists.
“To understand this point, non-Muslims must focus on the difference between Islam and Islamism. Islamism is a set of political ideologies that holds that Islam is not only a religion, but also a political system that governs the legal, economic and social imperatives of the state according to its interpretation of Islamic Law. For Islamists, the sharia has absolute priority over democracy and universal human rights.”
The free world is starting to awaken slowly, oh so slowly, from its politically correct, multiculturalism sleep induced stupor and is beginning to see the less visible non-violent threat that is before them. As for the military jihad, the EU, UN, NATO and other organizations cannot bring themselves to find the moral backbone to confront those nations like Iran and North Korea whose agenda is to bring down western civilization. But as history has shown (Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan), tyrannical regimes bent on subduing freedom loving nations become overconfident and see the reticent democracies as weak and lacking the drive for self-preservation.
But what the crop of politicians, analysts and pundits on both sides of the political spectrum know about the current struggle between two incompatible civilizations has amounted to rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.
All the brouhaha over whether we should confront this struggle as a criminal justice problem or a terrorist problem amounts to squat if we don’t understand the many dimensions of the this conflict and the insidious tactics of the enemy. With both the left and right focusing on the so called ‘war on terror’, and whether we are winning it or not, both fail to see the larger war that looms before us – a war that we are losing.
This is the much larger war that is understood by many bloggers and some journalists on the starboard side of the issue - the war being waged by the Islamists against our very culture and its most valued principles. Both sides of the political spectrum are at fault in this greater and more accurate aspect of the war. The Left can not see it through the haze of political correctness and multiculturalism, and the right dances around it trying on name after name hoping to accurately depict the enemy without inciting the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims.
The blog, Acme Anvil Co, said:
“The attack on the host nation isn't just against its religion and economy, but is aimed at its very cultural identity. Islam is a complete system, including a culture, which Muslims regard as superior (despite all evidence to the contrary) to other cultures. Muslims are therefore required to destroy the symbols of 'Jahiliya' (sometimes sp. Jahiliyya) - non-Muslim culture. In the East this has included destruction of Hindu temples and Christian churches and replacement with mosques, and destruction of Buddhist artwork and universities and replacement with heaps of rubble. This process of cultural replacement is now beginning in the West.”
What we are confronting was best said by Yeats, "the best [the West] lack all conviction, while the worst [the Islamists] are full of passionate intensity". I’ve written about this ‘lack of moral backbone’ of the West before.
National Review columnist Mark Steyn agrees.
“… We’re talking about immigrants with a strong sense of identity emigrating to countries with virtually no sense of their own identity. And the history of the last few decades in Europe is that, when you’re raised in the nullity of cultural relativism and invited to despise the inheritance of the land whose citizenship you hold, you look elsewhere for identity: The modern multicultural identity is too weak to have any purchase on most people, and so some of them look elsewhere and find the jihad. Not all of them, but enough. The man behind the Daniel Pearl beheading, the Tube bombers, the Torontonians plotting to behead the Canadian prime minister: these are all citizens of the west — British subjects born and bred, second- and third-generation — but their primary identity is not British or French or Belgian.
In other words, “Armies don’t win wars, nations win wars”.
If we are to win this war against a vicious ideology, we need to understand all of its dimensions – and its history. Once understood, we can create plans to counter each tactic used by the enemy. The only tactic being used now is to fight the militant arm of this ideology in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Islam as a religion, has been either marching or retreating through the Middle-East, the sub-continent, Africa and Europe for hundreds of years. History has shown that Islam can not be defeated only contained. Or in other words, throughout history Islam was either at your feet or your throat. It is the last of the three great western religions to continue to propagate through the use of the sword.
The current resurgence of the Islamic ideology started shortly after the dissolution of the Caliphate by Ataturk in the early part of the 20th century. What came out of that outrage by Muslims was an organization called the Muslim Brotherhood whose credo is, "Allah is our objective. The Prophet is our leader. Qur'an is our law. Jihad is our way. Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope." Over the 20th Century, the Brotherhood advanced in spits and spurts throughout North Africa and the Middle-East spawning the Wahbi movement in Saudi Arabia and finally, the leadership of Al Qaeda.
In one form of another a three part strategy emerged to confront and successfully deal with the technological supremacy of the non-Muslim powers. The Islamists knew they could not defeat a superior technological enemy on the conventional battlefield so they turned to a strategy of fighting an asynchronous war. Asynchronous warfare is related to the term asymmetrical warfare (the use of dissimilar weapons or force to offset a superior military force and technological advantage. One famous Chinese strategist, Chang Mengxiong, compared asymmetric warfare to "a Chinese boxer with a keen knowledge of vital body points who can bring a stronger opponent to his knees with a minimum of movement"). Asynchronous warfare is where both parties do not combat each other within the same 'time-frame', e.g. in cases of guerilla groups that attack the opponent by surprise and at unexpected locations – 9-11 is an example.
But the use of asynchronous warfare combined withasymmetrical warfare includes not just its violent tactic of terrorism, but also the non-violent tactics of intimidation, infiltration and disinformation. These asymmetrical tactics are the much larger war - the war being waged against our very culture and its most valued principles. We will not win this war until the root support of the violent jihadists is eliminated and its ideology defeated. We must confront this asynchronous war if we hope to win, and not focus our attention entirely on the asymmetrical war that the jihadists want us to fight and slowly bleed us of our troops, wealth and freedoms.
The talking heads are debating how safe we are from terrorism 5 years after 9-11 (Somewhat? Marginally? Totally? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?) while ignoring the threat from the asynchronous war of the Islamists. We forget that even in 1945 when we have won the war in Europe and had Japan at our feet, we were still not totally safe in this country.
Case in point. In 1945, the Nazis plotted to send one-way suicide missions to bomb New York and Washington DC. During the same year, the Japanese sent rice paper balloons filled with incendiary bombs over the Northwest region of the US and even plotted to include nerve gas in the balloons. Thousands of these balloons were sent into the stratosphere and rode on the jet stream toward the US setting fires off in the forests of Washington and Oregon.
In war, you’re never totally safe until the enemy ideology is entirely defeated.
Part 2 tomorrow.