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Former BUFF driver; self-styled military historian; paid (a lot) to write about beating plowshares into swords; NOT Foamy the Squirrel, contrary to all appearances. Wesleyan Jihadi Name: Sibling Railgun of Reasoned Discourse

Friday, October 13, 2006

VDH and Amadenijad on Friday the Thirteenth

Two good reads for this supposedly unlucky day.

The first is Victor Davis Hanson's column in National Review Online yesterday. He asks and answers the musical question, "do we have a strategy in the war?"

Against the terrorists, our strategy is a six-pronged approach:

1. Beef up security to such a degree at home that it would require far more training and expertise to penetrate our defenses than what was necessary for the September 11 attacks;

2. Arrest, imprison, and kill enough Islamic terrorists in the United States and abroad to make it nearly impossible for them to carry off another September 11-like attack;

3. Take out the worst authoritarian regimes in the Middle East that sponsored terrorism and attacked their neighbors, while pressuring others like a Saudi Arabia and Egypt to cease funding terrorists;

4. Support the creation of democracies in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Lebanon to offer Muslims choices other than autocracy or Islamic radicalism, while trying to encourage reform in the Middle East at large;

5. Wage a worldwide war of ideas that frames the struggle as the freedom of the individual, liberal values, and Western economic prosperity against the Dark-Age nihilism of the world of the caliphate and Sharia law;

6. Hope that while our enemies’ world is static, ours is not. In other words, while they endlessly redefine the 7th century, we use reason and science to wean us off dependency on their oil, seek sophisticated missile-defense systems, and hope instant global communications (which also facilitate their televised beheadings) can undermine their entire hierarchical society of imams and patriarchs.

I agree and although I am not sold on its efficacy, I believe this is the only humane set of strategy options open to us. The alternatives are surrender (which many in the West have already done) and "more rubble, less trouble." Neither are things I wish to see happen. VDH continues his observations:

As the United States and the Islamic fascists each respectively pursue their own strategies, the constituencies that matter — the Western and Middle Eastern publics — watch the battlefield, adjusting their outlooks to the perceived victory or defeat of either side. When we are doing well, a Bob Woodward writes Bush at War rather than State of Denial, a Chris Matthews sputters that “We are all neoconservatives now,” and enemies in Syria and Iran show real apprehension. But when we seem stalled, suddenly Democratic senators compare our soldiers to Nazis and worse, Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan start appearing with mainstream Democrats, and Hezbollah’s Nasrallah comes out of hiding to brag of his hatred of the U.S.

So the uncertainty is not whether the United States has a sound strategy in this long struggle against savage enemies of the Dark Ages — we have many wise ones — but rather whether we still have the will or the desire to see the war through to the bitter end.

I don't believe that we do, and won't until something much worse than 9-11 happens. After that, the deluge; if not the Apocalypse.

There is also a very good article on the nexus between Iran's medieval shi'a thocratic utopianism and moden leftist nihilism as found in President Amadenijad (which means "monkey-ass mullah-lover" in Farsi):

We would do well to take the Iranian president seriously, for he is proving himself a charismatic and clever leader. As he demonstrated recently at the United Nations, Ahmadinejad is adroit at putting aside Islamist themes when convenient and joining secular dictators like Hugo Chavez and Robert Mugabe in their Marxist cant protesting American imperialism and economic hege mony. Like many totalitarian rulers, including Hitler and Stalin, he professes a love for mankind and world peace. In these ways, Ahmadinejad reflects the Iranian revolution's assimilation of traditional Islamic categories of faith to a Marxist lexicon of violent revolution. It is therefore more important than ever to realize that the Iranian revolution's brand of jihadism has close structural similarities to--and is historically descended from--strains of European revolutionary nihilism, including that of the Jacobins, the Bolsheviks, and the Nazis, and extending to later third world offshoots like the Khmer Rouge.

All of these revolutionary movements have a common set of genocidal aims, now reemerging in Ahmadinejad's lethal rhetoric. They all envision a return to what the Jacobins called the Year One, a grimly repressive collectivist utopia in which individual freedom is obliterated in the name of the common good, and people are purged of their vices, including property, freedom of thought, and the satisfactions of family and private life. Returning to a past so pure and distant requires the destruction of all received tradition, including religious traditions, extending back centuries, and so is, paradoxically, at the same time a radical leap into the future. That is why neither the purportedly Sunni vision of the Taliban nor the purportedly Shiite vision of the Iranian revolution bears any close resemblance to the traditions and restraints imposed by those faiths, especially restraints on this-worldly political extremism, terrorism, and the slaughter of noncombatants.

There is no negotiating with such an enemy. His vision is a matter of faith and apocalyptic in nature -- he is seeking to "emanentize the eschaton," as William F. Buckley might have had it; to bring about the end of the world by creating conditions favorable for reappearance of the Hidden Imam (the Mahdi), just as Hitler tried to bring about Gotterdamerung and Stalin sought to create conditions for the triumph of international communism and the end of history. Such a faith must be destroyed; it cannot be reckoned with.


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