Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Getting A Divorce

A very articulate article from Rick Darby at Reflecting Light:

Five years after 9/11 put Muslim fanaticism and expansionism on the map for most people, there are two basic schools of thought about how to deal with it.

The majority viewpoint, which its partisans see as fair-minded, reasonable, understanding, sophisticated, etc., etc., is that Islam has been itself victimized by a few extremist organizations who give all peaceful moderate Muslims a bad name by flying airliners into skyscrapers, blowing up themselves and bystanders, and other eccentricities. The extremists are said to play on Muslims' resentment against the West for past colonialism and present disrespect, "Islamophobia," and poverty. The remedy is to treat the problem as a civil rights issue and Muslims as victimized minorities (in Western countries), with more government social interventions aimed at producing better understanding and integrating Muslims into majority non-Muslim cultures. Does that sound like a distortion or parody? Well, read this.

This position is popular because, among other reasons, it fits neatly into the political template that dominates the Liberal Establishment and requires no serious readjustments. We're comfortable with victimhood. We like being shamed oppressors. There's one basic problem with the approach, however. There is no reasonable evidence that it is working or that it ever will. I can't say it's impossible, just that there is no justification for believing it.

A minority (but not a negligible minority) insists that Islam is at war with us, even if we don't want to be at war with Islam, that it is part of a pattern that has been going on for 1400 years and which has been in abeyance only when worldwide Islam was too weak to indulge its fundamental principle of forcing the world to adopt its belief system or else.

Even with all I've learned about Islam in the past five years — and I do not pretend to be any sort of expert — I'm not sure whether this is too simplistic. Certainly it seems questionable to make blanket statements about more than a billion people. But I'm hardly the first to point out that even if lots of Muslims can't be characterized this way, even if the rarely sighted "moderate Muslim" exists underground and is ready to emerge in the millions when the frost recedes, it wouldn't take a billion Muslims to play hell with Western civilization. It would take only a relative handful of technology-savvy terrorists who understand the principles of "asymmetic warfare" and a large group of superficially innocent enablers who might put aside their distaste for terrorist tactics because they believe in the result.

One thing seems unarguable to me: if there is another big-time strike on the order of 9/11, or greater, the first school of thought will become the minority one, and the second, which perceives the situation as war, will be the majority. And the gloves will be off. I don't know any other countries from the inside, but I know my own, and I can tell you that if the next attack carried out by a Muslim cell kills another few thousand, especially if children are among them, there will be no holding back. Therapeutic warfare such as we've pursued in Afghanistan and Iraq will be over for the duration. Everyone knows the vengeance the United States is capable of, but most don't believe we have the strength of will to act on it. There are scenarios, though, where only a demonstration that our restraint is not unlimited could bring a resolution.

I'm not here to argue for total war, but to argue for avoiding it. Only we have to be realistic about what policy is most likely to achieve that. We cannot avoid it by the laughable expedient of pretending that the Muslim threat (or Muslim extremist threat, if you prefer) can be trumped by integration, more "respect," or any other form of social amelioration.

It looks to me like the best way of keeping the situation from degenerating into dhimmitude, civil war or nuclear apocalypse is by separating Islam from the West for the foreseeable future.

Go read the whole thing over at Reflecting Light

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think separation is a fine idea. I also it is a pipe dream (yeah, THAT kind of pipe) in the absence of internal conditions of hostility severe enough to produce a critical mass of citizenry who wise up to what is happening. Europe is obviously much closer to this tipping point than we are, yet I hear no really serious calls for mass deportations even from that theater of the dar-al-harb. If and when the Europeans do realize that this course of action holds the best promise for avoiding apocalypse in the future, it is still likely to trigger violent protests and terrorist acts in the affected states. Which should awaken more of the citizenry therin to the peril they face and, hopefully, stiffen their spines to take the actions necessary to save themselves. But it will also, of course, alert the jihadists that their plans for the creation of Eurabia are about to take a sharp turn south. I think they'd hang on tooth and nail and I doubt they could be bribed to leave, nice as the idea sounds.

Then try to imagine the hysterical reaction to a call to disperse and deport the population of Dearbornistan, Falls Church, "Bay-ruit" (Bay Ridge, NYC), and many of the other Muslim enclaves in this country. That course of action simply has no chance here until the next "9/11" event snaps the populace out of its apathy. I agree that another 9/11 is going to trigger a huge reaction, if only because there are now so many of us out here who have educated ourselves and can help to focus the rage on the right targets. But even under realistically optimal conditions such a Separation would not be accomplished easily or smoothly, and the most realistic conditions for its success are those in which enough people in the West realize what is at stake and what needs to be done, and the Ummah understand that they are outnumbered and beaten. For Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan, that took quite a bit of convincing but was unquestionably effective. Are the Islamists even tougher? Will it take the annihilation of Mecca to convince them that they will never succeed in turning the world over to their Allah? And if no one is willing to take that sort of surgical action, what is to be the alternative?

I wish I saw an easy way out. Then I could sleep through the whole night again.

We can't hope for this problem to miraculously fade away like the old Soviet Union did. The demographics alone dash those hopes. There is little liklihood that the Islamists can be persuaded to give up their imperial goals by rational arguments, if only because there are so few people capable of and/or willing to raise those arguments.