Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Yes, and Yes

Are we at war with Islam? Do you want a war with Islam?


Ask silly questions...

Are we at war with Islam? To avoid a charge of cheesy evading...Yes.

I can't imagine anybody seriously asking "Are we at war with Scientology?". Dafydd at Big Lizards has the sense to balk up front at a monolithic view of Islam. While Hugh talks about a jihadist/moderate split in the Muslim population, at the base of his concern is the realization that we can't test who's which.

From Hugh's site today:
In neighboring Pakistan, 5,000 people chanting ''Hang the man who insulted the prophet'' burned effigies of one cartoonist and Denmark's prime minister. And a prominent Iranian newspaper said it was going to hold a competition for cartoons on the Holocaust in reaction to European newspapers publishing the prophet drawings.


Hugh's comment:
The cartoons have become exactly the sort of propaganda bonanza that jihadists have hoped for.
Did their publication help or hinder the GWOT?

First off, regarding a 'propaganda bonanza': the guys who spread the lie about all Jews bailing out of the World Trade Center before the planes hit, won't hold their hands for a lack of real news.

I part views with Hugh Hewitt, in that I see a serious problem with 5000 Pakistanis calling for the murder of an innocent head of state for the lawful acts of his countrymen--whether they're holding lynch rallies this week, or not.

I'm aware that many Muslims, probably most Muslims, certainly most Muslims living in Western countries, think submission to the will of God doesn't require random violence against nonbelievers. I've never met any Muslim who thought otherwise.

On the other hand, I have met many people who agree with me that the 2002 World Series, between two wild card teams, was illegitimate. Good baseball, but not kosher.

However, the transgressors who run Major League Baseball didn't bother to ask us. They went ahead and carried out their scheme. Their self-righteous determination rendered the bulk of contrary opinion irrelevant.

The innocents slaughtered blasphemously in the name of Allah contrary to the true doctrines of the Religion of Peace, as we're assured by our friends, would fill the empty space left by the World Trade Center and then some.

Are we at war with Islam? Too many Muslims think so, and say so, and act so. I suppose you could adopt a worldview in which someone attacks you in the name of an ideology, but you refuse to defend against that ideology, and then claim that "you are not at war" with that ideology. That's not how I think.

Do you want a war with Islam? Again, to avoid a charge of evasion...Yes.

Take a trip back in time to Henderson Field, Guadacanal, 1942. Ask that gaunt, bloody Marine in the slit trench if he wants a war with Japan.

I'm sure that malnourished, ammo-depleted, shell-shocked, sleep-deprived Marine would list a thousand places he'd rather have been and a million things he'd rather have been doing than dodging naval shellfire and bullets in the Solomons.

But he must have wanted that war. He stayed put and fought it.

A few days ago I pointed out that beating our breasts about these cartoons resembled the Democrat reaction to Reagan's "evil empire" speech.

Quite a few well-educated people pointed out that you can't really cooperate with something you consider evil. That people don't appreciate being told they're evil. That such an attitude chills cooperation, freezes attitudes, forces confrontation. That by forcing a posture of hostility without gaining anything, Reagan had acted stupidly.

But Reagan's real reason for saying the USSR was an evil empire, was that it was true. And all the arguments against making that statement ignore that truth. Those manuevers require us to deny our essential nature, to put on a masque, and then proceed to cooperate with what we know to be wrong.

Dafydd at Big Lizards puts a lengthy post about what he imagines to be the costs of "war with Islam". I think it's one possible outcome.

But like our Marine in the slit trench--he really existed, remember--you gotta ask, what's the price of "peace"?

When we determined to purge the human race of the blasphemy that God requires murdering Americans, we made numerous concessions to the moderate silent majority of Muslims, which we were told were essential to retaining goodwill.

Don't name an operation "Infinite Justice". Well that's a nothing; many of us preferred meaningless ops names like "Torch" or "Overlord".

Don't use "crusade", ever, in any context. The secular sense is now the primary definition--nobody thought Ike referred to a Muslim pogrom in Europe--but we could see the point and responded.

Don't bomb a mosque, ever. Well that got some angry shouts. After all, by our rules, if you stack arms in Notre Dame Cathedral, Notre Dame Cathedral becomes a legitimate, a necessary target of military operations. It meant a lot more effort and surveillance, possibly cost some lives, but most of us accepted it--though I see some movement towards the back doors by some angry vets.

Don't violate the sharia regarding the Prophet amongst yourselves; adhere to the censor codes of Jordan and Iran; condemn angrily any such violation beyond your borders and remain silent over the righteous wrath of true believers. Why do I see some of us bobbing our heads over that one? Say it ain't so!

At what point do we draw the line and demand freedom of action regardless of "impressions"? I'm already there.

Do I want war with Islam? I want confrontation with Islam. I want world Islam told, in no uncertain terms,
"You guys are nuts. We made a conscious adult choice not to be Muslim. We're not going to uphold your rules, in fact we're not going to learn your rules. You're going to see us break quite a lot of your rules. Just as, by living up to your rules, you break some of ours.
Complain all you want, we expect that, but if a bunch of infidels talking to each other arouses a red fury among you, you're going to live dark unhappy lives. By our rules of compassion, we should point out: Stress kills.
Oh, and regarding violence--if you think attacks on the nearest infidel is somehow satisfactory justice, we happen to think it's just cause for retaliation, and we'll retaliate."
How would that go over? I'm sure they wouldn't like it; I'm also certain they aren't expecting outright defiance.

Would that cost us the moderates? The success of the postwar reconstruction of Japan proves the overwhelming majority of Japanese were not interested in a suicidal war with the West in the name of imperial glory--but they were even less interested in sparking a civil war with the minority that did burn for open war. FDR tried to play it "smart" by ignoring the USS Panay and other provocations by the "jihadists"--it was a sucker play then and not any smarter now.

Dafydd imagines we'd have to enslave the planet to defeat Islam, destroying traditional allies, and disfiguring our own souls. (A nerdy voice of my subconscious objects that the fanatic banzai warriors of Nippon quit after "only" 3% of their nation died.) The broader objection is--avoiding a world war has to be a joint effort. If only one party would rather fight, there can be no peace.

Declaring open season on Danes for the creative work of one man, isn't part of that struggle for peace.

I think Islam is headed down the same road as the Axis--they don't worry about provoking us into a fight, because they're sure we won't fight. Because we keep talking about not fighting. Perhaps it's time we lit a small sense of doubt in the back of their minds.

Standing up for our own separate identity, challenging the call for violence in the name of God, may be "provocative". But refusing to do so is to lose the peace.

If I am not free to say, "I won't do that because I don't agree with you about the Prophet. I am not a Muslim" then something is very wrong, and ignoring it won't help fix it.

The best way to avoid a world war is to pray the rosary...though in this case, it's probably "uhelpful" to say so...

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