Formerly the Thinking Catholic Strategic Center
Vic Biorseth, https://www.catholicamericanthinker.com
(The Bush War Doctrine Revisited By David Yerushalmi is reproduced here with permission; it was originally found and argued at Intellectual Conservative The actual article and following arguments may be found at http://intellectualconservative.com/2006/the-bush-war-doctrine-revisited/#comments, but it originated at www.saneworks.com, where SANE stands for "Society of Americans for National Existence.")
The second leg of the War Doctrine — avoid a war with Islam and work to bring its faithful into the 21st Century by Democracy Building — is purely ideological, meaning it is a denial of reality, and illogical.
I have taken two very critical positions on the Bush War Doctrine. (My earlier essays are http://intellectualconservative.com/2006/the-war-strategy/ and http://intellectualconservative.com/2006/the-bush-administrations-real-state-of-denial/.) The first criticism: The second leg of the War Doctrine — avoid a war with Islam and work to bring its faithful into the 21st Century by Democracy Building — is purely ideological, meaning it is a denial of reality, and illogical. If the scholarship of 1,400 years of history, theology and Islamic legal development is correct, together with the worldwide surveys showing the Muslim faithful occupy a majority of the 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide, then America and the West are at war with Islam and tens if not hundreds of millions of Muslim faithful, not some small extremist sect of Islamofascists or Islamists. Islam itself is extreme and murderous.
The second criticism: Attempting to reform the murderous political-religious ideology of Islam by injecting democratic institutions or methodologies will fail because Islam and its faithful will either reject the attempt simply or use democracy to work toward the implementation of Islamic law “democratically.” It is Islamic law which is the root cause of Islam’s evil.
I have spent not an inconsiderable amount of words and argument of late (such as in the essays linked above) debunking democracy as an ideology or the notion that democracy is somehow hard-wired into humankind and will overpower Islam’s fascist and hegemonic designs. There is simply no logical or historical evidence this is true.
Three retorts have been made against the position I have set forth. An earlier argument, voiced casually as, “What would you do, kill ‘em all?” deserves a clear response based upon long historical precedent, empirical evidence, and common sense. When you go to war against an enemy, the first thing you must do is identify the enemy correctly. In World War II, we understood the enemy was Germany, Italy, and Japan. We sought to destroy those nation-states and that meant massive civilian casualties. We fought these wars to bring the peoples of these nations to their knees and to exact an unconditional surrender. Carpet bombing, fire bombing and ultimately atomic bombing. It worked.
The simple reason it was necessary and it worked is that this wasn’t a war over some disputed territory or trade issue. This was not a limited war for strategic gains. This was an ideological war based upon doctrines of hegemony and world dominance. For our part, this was a war to protect our nation’s very existence and way of life.
Given Islam’s ideology of murderous world domination, the huge numbers of Muslim faithful, and the tragic and potentially worldwide destructive consequence of scientific weapons in the hands of such people, we are in this war whether we like it or not and to the bitter end.
To the question, Must we kill them all? — that is, all the faithful Muslims — the answer is not necessarily, but it depends on them. If we can defeat them by killing 50 people or 50 million, matters not. The answer to this question is like the answer asked of Churchill and Roosevelt and later Truman. When we win the war we will stop killing them. Until then, the gloves are off. We will make this war unbearable for them. Each and every one of them. There will be no democracy building and civil works projects until this war is over.
The second retort I have heard, I must admit surprised me. The other day I read a transcript of a Fox News interview program with John Gibson featuring Ann Coulter. It was linked as a video clip on their site and might still be there. In her effort to cheerlead for the Republicans this upcoming mid-term election cycle and to head off the threat of a boycott by religious conservatives, Coulter took the position that the Bush War Doctrine was doing just fine and that building democracies required patience and perseverance and those who argued that we should go in and carpet bomb Iraq were foolish. Why? Because we were not attacked by Iraq as we were in WWII by Japan and Germany. In other words, Coulter had read our critique, or someone’s like ours, and she was attempting to draw a principled distinction.
Her attempt fails at the prima facie level on two simple counts. One (and I will ignore the debate over whether the US was actually attacked by Germany – the attacks on our ships and Germany’s declaration of war would seem to justify our declaration of war), Afghanistan most certainly attacked the US. Why are we not fighting that war to utterly destroy the war lords and Taliban? Why did we rush in to set up a “democracy” before the war lords, Taliban, and al Qaeda were fully flushed out and killed or surrendered? What is Coulter’s explanation for the failed city-state we have established in Kabul, for no one can make the argument that the country of Afghanistan is ruled by anyone at present? It is a war-torn, faction-ruled, Taliban-dominated region of the world where tribalism, Islam, and Shari’a are the only constants.
Coulter’s defense of democracy building fails for a second reason. If Iraq was a threat to our national existence at the time we began the invasion, why would we not prosecute that war to win the same way we did in Germany in WWII? Did the Bush war team really expect the Muslim faithful and clan leaders in Iraq to jump on the Western democratic band wagon just because they were freed from Saddam’s sadistic rule? Per Coulter’s analysis, what is the difference between our war with Germany and with Iraq? There was no immediate threat by Germany. Pat Buchanan is famous for making this argument. If we were prepared to fight the war in Europe to victorious conclusion why would we stop in mid-stream in Iraq and attempt to set up a democratic government of Muslims who wish to institute an Islamic law that would convert us, kill us, or dominate us? Do Coulter and the Bush Administration deny that the Sunni and Shia religious leaders, all of whom embrace Shari’a, fully control the electoral process in this farce we call a democratic government in Iraq? What evidence is there that a fully democratic Iraqi government would be anything other than another Iran?
Having finished with the One Woman Republican propaganda machine, I return to the third and final retort against our critique of the Bush War Doctrine. One might label this the Rule of the Japanese Exception. To be clear. Constitutional representative government predicated upon liberty is not a human condition hard-wired into the human psyche but a condition of the people and national character of the specific people who make up the nation. Specifically, it is a tradition that grew out of the experience of the West, predominantly white Christians of European descent. It grows out of the philosophic tradition of the ancient Greek philosophers and the Judeo-Christian worldview. It includes the influence of Roman law and culture. It has also been greatly influenced by the Enlightenment, a self-destructive influence manifest in the political ideologies of the Western Elite establishment, which necessarily rejects the notion of Truth in human (non-scientific) affairs and embraces Method in its place.
The retort to these observations has been an attempt to bootstrap Japan and its conversion from an Imperial society into a modern democratic peace-loving nation. The argument at its rudimentary level is that if it worked for the non-Western Japanese, it can work for the Muslims and the Arabs. But this “proof” attempting to establish that democracy is somehow contagious based upon some human DNA configuration is specious at best. One case does not make a rule. But even if it at least raised the possibility that a once war-like hegemonic society could be tamed by democracy, Japan makes our argument in spades not the other way around.
First, Japan was utterly destroyed in World War II. There was no half-war Mission Accomplished followed by a kind of military police action while simultaneously trying to build a civil democracy with a large segment of the population still quite militant and hostile. Japan was utterly destroyed. There was nothing left. Only then, after a full and complete devastation and unconditional surrender, did we even attempt to establish a civil order and government.
Second, unlike the Arabs of the Middle East, where clan and tribal alliances control even one’s Islamic sectarian identity, and where the very notion of a nation-state runs counter to the tribal notions of power-politics and to the Islamic ideology of a World Caliphate, Japan had more or less jettisoned its tribal power structure of the feudal Daimyo back in the 19th Century, only to replace it with Imperial Bushido-ism.
After the US atomic bombing of Japan, the still quite authoritative Japanese Emperor unconditionally surrendered and began a real national introspection about what went wrong with Japanese nationalism. Unlike the tribal powers fully in place and operational in the Middle East and going nowhere anytime soon, Japan had become a very homogenous nationalistic people who were (and still are in the main) notoriously single-minded about the good of the nation. When the Emperor caved, the people caved. While post-war reconstruction and building a representative government was no easy matter, it was simply not the same world as we face in the Arab Islamic one. If there is a comparison to be had, it is in the opposite direction of democracy building for Iraq and Afghanistan.
One might examine http://www.search-elnk.net/search/?q=http%3A//www.hno.harvard.edu/gazette/2004/03.18/13-democratization.html&r=http%3A//sbiapps.sitesell.com/sitebuilder/blockbuilder/preview/2576832.xml&t=0, http://www.unitar.org/hiroshima/roundtables/Iraq_RT/shinoda.pdf and https://www.cis.org.au/policy/autumn05/polaut05-3.htm to understand this argument from the “scholarly” world. The first two links reference the lack of any real comparison with Japan and the third link discusses the tribalism and clan power structure that so dominates the Arab Islamic world and how that confounds “nation-building” and reform. It is interesting to note that after all of the Elite academics finished their panel discussion at Harvard (first link) and concluded in the main that post-war Japan was not a case similar in any real respects to the Muslim Arabs of the Middle East and Iraq, the writer of this summary chose to highlight one concluding remark: “In the end, it may be the unpredictability of events that offers the greatest hope for a positive outcome in Iraq. [One of the scholars] made this point with reference to the 1989 collapse of the Soviet Union. ‘If you don't allow for surprise, you're not doing your job as a historian . . ..’” Ideologues tend to do just this. They ignore reality and hope for the unpredictable.
To ignore these distinctions and develope a War Doctrine based upon ideological assumptions which run directly counter to these brute facts is to invite the kind of disastrous results we now see in Iraq. We, however, unequivocally reject the cut and run mentality of the Left, the Libertarians, and the Buchanan conservatives. Islam is our enemy and it isn’t going away anytime soon; it will be around for quite some time if we continue to call it a “peaceful, noble religion” which has been hijacked by a few extremists.
Iraq, for better or for worse, is in play. But we must fight this war for our national existence as we did in World War II or we won’t win. We will suffer year after year, and we will be Vietnamesed by the media and the Elite. Middle America, made up of mostly conservative men and women, will grow weary of an unrealistic, manifestly disastrous War Doctrine that has no chance of succeeding. A retreat will be in the works immediately after the next presidential election irrespective of the political party in power, if not sooner.
If we defeat the Islamic warriors utterly in Iraq and Afghanistan with massive and continuous war, and then establish a quasi-military-civilian government that is secular, iron-fisted, and pushing a new secularized Islam without Shari’a, similar to Ataturk’s efforts in Turkey, Iraq stands a chance. But these governments will be hardly representative of the Islamic faithful which make up a clear majority in these countries. Over time, however, if the tribal and clan leaders learn how to work the system, they will bring their faithful along to participate.
Opening up the Muslim faithful in Iraq to democracy as the Bush team is attempting, however, is just foolish. It is betting against the reality we see today that the Sunni-minority religious leaders will turn to the mullahs with their own militias, including those of al Qaeda, and the Shia-majority will turn to the al-Sadr types and even the Iranians. The fact that we already witness Shia mullahs of Iraq embracing the Iranians, given the natural animosity between the Arabs and the Persians, is a shot across the bow.
We ignore these realities at our peril. The first leg of the Bush War Doctrine which states unequivocally that any states or quasi-states which harbor or support terror and those who would destroy America and the West are our enemy and we will attack them preemptively with our military might, our diplomatic influence, and our economic power, is a good and realistic policy for the safeguarding of America’s national existence. It is the second leg upon which the Bush War Doctrine stands that needs recasting. It is ideological; it is contrary to the facts; and it is plain illogical. It is in a word, dangerous.
David Yerushalmi is an attorney who has been involved in international
legal issues for over 25 years. He is Of Counsel and sits on the board
of trustees of the Institute for Advanced Strategic & Political
Studies, a policy think tank. He has published op-eds in the American
Spectator, the Wall Street Journal Europe, Ha'aretz, Globes (Israel
business paper), and the Jerusalem Post. David is President of Society
of Americans for National Existence (SANE).
10 Comments »
Once again I find myself largely in agreement with the details in David’s assessment of the Bush Doctrine while differing on the conclusions drawn from those details (I wrote about the subject at length in an earlier essay, The Bush Doctrine.)
The necessity for the U.S. to engage in total war within the specific theaters we choose to fight (i.e. Afghanistan and Iraq today; perhaps Iran and North Korea in the not so distant future) is manifest and is a point on which we agree. Only after complete and total victory is acheived can the conditions exist for the creation of a relatively free, stable, and yes democratic government (I wrote about this in reference to the Arab-Israeli conflict in another essay, Let Freedom Win) . This is a lesson we are in the painful process of learning in both theaters today.
In Iraq we made the mistake of relying on the simple decapitation of the regime in hopes of a moderate majority emerging. We left the radicals and criminals alive to sow the instability we find ourselves reaping today. This mistake does not, however invalidate the second prong of the Bush Doctrine - namely democracy building. What David seems to suggest in his peice is that the West should declare war on the entire Muslim world rather than picking off the worst offenders in the Islamic-terror-rogue state matrix and dealing with them one at a time.
It is a fact that Islam is a totalitarian ideology bent on world domination, but it is also very practical and patient towards this end. Mohammad himself understood that at certain times and in certain places Islam will be weaker than its opponents and as such jihad may be suspended until the balance of power shifts in Islam’s favor. This should be our goal - to convince a majority of Muslims of the futility of armed conflict with the West. This can be accomplished by bringing overwhelming force to bear judiciously and selectively in Iraq and Afghanistan while dealing with specific terrorist groups globally.
It is, in my opinion precipitous and unnecessary to declare war on all Muslims and usher in a global conflagration which will inevitably result in the death of millions.
Through gentle persuation and the use of reason the contradictions and irrationality inherent in Islamic theology may become apparent to millions of liberal or secular Muslims and further marginalize the zealots and fundamentalists. This will be, in part, a missionary or evangelical endeavour and will take years or even decades to complete. We will never convince the Osama’s and Zawahiri’s of the world to lay down their arms, but they can be dealt with individually.
Islamic aggrerssion rears its ugly head only when Muslims feel strong relative to the West. This feeling of strength was excaserbated by the U.S. retreats in Beirut and Somalia and would be magnified many times over by a pullout in Iraq today. It is the reason that half measures are counter-productive in this fight.
By both ruthlessly and utterly destroying those we choose to engage on the battlefield and concurrently waging the ideological battle that has thus far been neglected, we can defeat the scourge of Islamic fascism without resorting to WWIII.
Comment by Jeff Osonitsch | October 31, 2006
I must disagree on a couple of points. I believe President Bush is not mostly wrong, but mostly right, in his “ideological” war on Islam. First of all, he is quite wrong in his publicly stated position that the war is NOT against Islam itself, but some subset of it, under various titles such as Islamofascism, Radical Islam, etc. Islam itself is indeed the evil seedbed that produces the gruesome, sneaky killers capable of perpetrating 9-11 type events, and MOST Moslems sympathetically support their efforts, at the very least.
However, I submit that Democracy and free market Capitalism are antithetical and antagonistic to Islam; indeed, Democracy is, as is every other form of government other than Sharia, very strictly against the religion of Islam. To the degree that a people move into self-determination and representative government, to that same degree to they violate the rules of the religion of Islam, and move away from strict adherence to its rule. Islam is a radical combination of Church and State; it demands obedience, and denies any other form of law or rule.
Now, the people of Iraq have spoken in some pretty serious numbers, and they have chosen Democracy for themselves in what appears to be an overwhelming majority. Each at some risk. I don’t see how they could possibly do this without knowing that they are moving toward establishment of a secular rule of law, which must, at the very least, weaken the hold of Islam over the whole land and the people in it. Without promoting any specific religion, a Democracy demands individual cooperation and individual input and, at some level, majority rule, and all of that flies in the face of Sharia.
It is my fervent prayer that this experiment will work over time, if it is allowed to stabilize. The alternative, full out war against all of Islam, meaning killing on a scale never yet experienced by man, must be held to be an absolute last resort, if it is to be contemplated at all. We are, after all, still Western; we still, after all, have a Judeo-Christian guiding ethos. When that is totally lost, we will be reduced to animals.
You are quite right in your assessment of the goal of the Left, with the Democratic Party in the lead, pushing toward a Utopian, borderless, nation-less, Global Village and the death of sovereignty, and thus, Democracy. That is to be resisted. But the more immediate threat involves the murderous intentions of Islam against all non-Islamic peoples.
In Vietnam, where no American military unit ever lost one single battle, America lost the war, by a Democrat-controlled act of Congress. The same thing might be about to happen again, in Iraq. The people of Iraq are Moslems; they may be expected to support Moslem issues; their Democracy may never be perfect. We already know for a fact that American Democracy is not and never will be perfect. Perfection is not of this world, but the next. Still, the people of Iraq have spoken. They were proud to raise their purple fingers for the public and the cameras to see. They have asked for, and they deserve, a chance.
It might be the same in Lebanon, if those people ever got a valid choice of candidates who were not affiliated with murderous organizations and had an interest in and love of Lebanon itself, as a nation. People change. Cultures change. Just as ours has and is. Democracy deserves a real chance over there, and we should support it.
If we cut and run, as we did in Vietnam, many will suffer and die, as they did there. And it will all have been for nothing. Again.
And then we will be staring at the horrible alternative option, because Islam, I assure you, will NOT cut and run.
Comment by Vic | October 31, 2006
Two quite thoughtful comments by the two gentlemen above. On their points of disagreement with my essay, which are more or less similar, permit me a few comments. The war is specifically not against all Muslims. It is against Shari’a, which literally means the Islamic Way (much in the same way in Judaism Halacha means the Jewish way) and those faithful who live it and promote its adherence.
In practice, Shari’a is translated as Islamic law (the same is the case with Judaism’s Halacha). But that is where the comparison ends. Jewish law, is not hegemonic. Islamic law demands it. To be a Muslim faithful is to be in favor of the destruction of the West. Now, it is true that Islam and the Muslims are a patient people. But there is no evidence after 1400 years that “Through gentle persuasion and the use of reason the contradictions and irrationality inherent in Islamic theology may become apparent to millions of liberal or secular Muslims and further marginalize the zealots and fundamentalists.” The reason is that there are no “contradictions and irrationality inherent in Islamic theology” if you accept it as divine. It is only if you start as a non-believer that you might distance yourself from the Umma (or nation of worldwide Muslims).
And, if the US would declare unequivocally that Shari’a is outlawed and will not be tolerated, you will see that the “good and moderate” Muslims, meaning the non-believers, will stand up and side with us to a much larger extent than if we keep telling ourselves and the world that Islamic law and Islam is a peaceful and noble way of life. By failing to give the reformers “cover” we undercut any real chance at reform.
Further, by declaring war on Shari’a, we still pick our fights. We close off our border to the enemy and we choose at our discretion our fights. They cannot dictate that.
Finally, in World War II, 50 million people died. Had it been 500 million and we would have defeated the Axis Powers, would we have been less of who we are? Less moral? Less noble? How can it possibly be a testament to who we are if we were to say that we will not fight to defend ourselves and our families because the ENEMY dead will be TOO HIGH? It would be IMMORAL not to kill our enemy simply because it crossed some NUMBER threshold which some social scientist determined was not PROPORTIONAL. Wars of national existence have absolutely nothing to do with the numbers. You fight because your existence is at risk and that means you fight until the enemy is dead.
While both of these thoughtful commentators WISH Islam could be cured by democracy, they provide no real empirical or logical arguments to support it. The fact that Iraqis voted for democracy means nothing. Of course they did. They don’t want another Hussein. But they voted in the main along sectarian, Islamic lines. They want what the Palestinians wanted when they went to the polls and voted quite democratically for Hamas. Having lived in the Middle East for many years, and having dealt with many good Jordanians close to the Royal family and typically educated in England in private schools, these good men want very much to bring Jordanians into the realm of representative government. But every single time they opened up the process, the Islamic warriors and politicians won huge victories. This is now occurring in Turkey. Long “secularized” by Ataturk viciously, Turkey’s ruling military allowed elections over the years. Consistently, the ruling military elite had to step in with coups or threats of coups to tamp down the Islamic forces. Only when pressured recently by the EU and the US (because Turkey desperately wants to join the EU) to become more transparent did the military suffer the first openly Islamic government. And, this has led to greater terrorism inside Turkey, greater political power for the Islamic forces and rumblings from the military. The question there is how far have the Islamic forces infiltrated the officer corps of the Turkish military. Will the military save Turkey yet again from Islam? That is now an open question. We will see.
But the point is clear. There is no evidence any where in the world that Muslims accept in any large numbers Western values and traditions. Their values are ancient, tested, tried and true as far as they are concerned. They owned most of the civilized world longer than any other empire. The West is manifestly weak and incapable of resisting. Only the US and only under Bush have we shown any real resistance. Even arguably one of our greatest Presidents picked up and ran out of Lebanon after a failed mission of sitting around doing nothing failed miserably and ended up exacting a heavy toll in murdered US servicemen. The Muslims understand full well that the difference between Islam’s war against the West and the Cold War is that communism was never a mass movement. It was always more of a mass slavery certainly after the passing of the revolutionary generation. This is also why the Muslim warriors in Afghanistan knew they could defeat the Soviet forces. The Soviet army has always been woefully under-motivated. The Muslim faithful, however, are just that: faithful and fully motivated by an ideology of death.
To fight this war is to be clear about who and what we are fighting. If after the war there is some reform movements among Muslims, we should encourage it and put these people in positions of power. But it until then, to avoid the “ugly” and hard reality because it is ugly or hard, is unwise to say the very least.
Comment by David Yerushalmi | October 31, 2006
Mr. Yerushalmi, it is not merely to avoid the ugly and hard reality that I would try other options first. We did not win World War II by “destroying the people’s will to resist” as many have written, but by systematically dismantling the Nazi war machine. Not by carpet bombing German cities, but by destroying manufacturing capacity and infrastructure, and crushing effective military units, pure and simple. Ask a Londoner if the Blitz destroyed the people’s will to resist, or stiffened it. It was the same for all people, everywhere. All that the horrors of the mass killings of the great wars accomplished was to instill in many hearts a terrible hardness and a great thirst for revenge. It had little to do with ultimate victory.
Since then, the West has, at great expense, developed “smart” weapon technology with the specific goal of lessening collateral damage and injury to innocents while dealing death to a specific identified enemy. Which is, pretty much, the exact opposite of what Islam has done. Nevertheless, salvation history involves a moral progression; God meets man where he is with the rules he is ready for in his situation.
In this time and place, we cannot simply blow all the Moslems away, because, for one thing, most of them are innocent, and for another, we are decent men. The law that came down the mountain with Moses was “Thou shalt not do murder” and it still stands; murder involves the unwarranted taking of an innocent human life. If we have the means available to avoid doing that, then we should use them. You will never succeed in forcing or frightening belief in Islam out of people; all you will do by trying is to strengthen their resolve and their faith. That’s THEIR strategy; it shouldn’t be ours.
Your recommendation to declare war on Sharia is not without merit. I have to think about that for awhile. It would mean, I suppose, militarily going after pure Islamic states, one by one, and destroying or dismantling their governments. Right?
Comment by Vic | October 31, 2006
NB: re the Soviet army’s motivation, this was not the case in WWII where the army was clearing fighting for its national existence and homeland against the invasion from Nazi Germany. These were also mostly first generation Stalinists and communists.
Comment by David Yerushalmi | October 31, 2006
Maybe we should go back to a few basics. I agree that Islam is at war with us whether we think we are at war with them or not. So now what? Even Clausewitz, a modern adherent of “total war”, advocated the political goal of conflict. Regardless of our methods we have to have a clear political objective. This was the great advantage to us, of the first Gulf War. We had a clearly defined and attainable political objective: Get the Iraq armed forces out of Kuwait. For those who say we didn’t “finish the job” then, this needs to be stated. So what, exactly, is our clear, concise and attainable political objective now? What exactly is it that we want Iraq to do? Iran? Islam? And how do we make them do it? We set out to defeat Japan and Germany. We set out to liberate Iraq. This may have been a mistake. Unless you aim to set out on mass extermination, war is won by breaking the enemies will. The enemy must be convinced that either (1) he is beaten, (2) you can’t be defeated, or (3) its just not worth it to go on fighting. America did not defeat the entire British nation in our revolution. We simply convinced them continued warfare was not worth the trouble and we were not going to give up. Yes, we defeated their standing Army that was here at the time. But the British never pursued “total war” on us. This can be a lesson to our enemies. All they have to do is get us to quit. They are perhaps closer to this goal than I like to consider. I do not know if we have the political will to see this through to our own survival. I do not know the answer. I do believe that we need a clear and public statment of exactly what our political goal is and then do whatever it takes to achieve it. The liberation of Iraq, the “building of democracy in Iraq” and the “war on terror” are no longer enough as political goals. It has gone far beyond that now.
Comment by TheWarrant | October 31, 2006
Yes, but the Communist Russian and the Nazi German war experience was not a good example of Western Culture morality in action, because both leaders in command of the armies had totally rejected and repudiated the Western guiding ethos. So it was the opposite. It was an example of the cruelty of man once he has rejected God.
When Hitler and Stalin broke their secret pact and went to war with each other, the world got a glimpse of the potential cruelty of man unrestrained by any conscience. The German army steam-rolled over civilian populations in Russia, right up until a combination of the Russian winter and a proper build-up of the Russian war machine began to change things; and then the terrible resolve in the hearts of the victim population was given full vent.
Hitler, who said that National Socialism was essentially Marxism, also said that Christianity was the worst thing that ever happened to humankind, and (incorrectly) that it was the tool of the Bolshevik and the spawn of the Jew. Stalin rejected and even suppressed religion. Both men, knowingly or otherwise, set themselves up as personal iconic replacements for God.
Most Americans are unlikely to be aware of the fact that all of the largest, bloodiest and longest battles of World War II were fought inside Russia, at a cost of millions of lives. Both of these great armies committed atrocityafter atrocity, in some places, killing everyone in sight.
But they were not Western; they were Marxist, and they rejected Westernism. One was a Nationalist and the other an Internationalist variant, but they were two sides of the same Marxist coin. They proved that dialectic materialism and atheism are capable of doing ANYTHING AT ALL, when the only guiding values say that the ends justify the means.
We are not atheists, we are not Marxists, and we are not Moslems; we are called to a higher dignity. The terrible experience of World War II should move us all to stronger support of the Western Culture ethos and Judeo-Christian morality, and a return to that noble tradition, born in the Holy Land thousands of years ago, refined through the centuries and still the best thing working in the world today.
I predict that, in the end, however it turns out, the war of ideology will have played a more prominent part than the war of military forces.
Comment by Vic | November 1, 2006
Vic: I agree with you almost wholeheartedly. And I have written so. If we can win this war with 5 dead Muslims and not 50 million, so much the better. It is in fact a salient and distinguishing point that we, unlike the enemy, are not bloodthirsty. We have no such designs.
So, if US war planners tell the president that if they are freed from the politicking we see right now in Sadr-city and the retreat from the streets because Maliki must appease the Shia mullahs and they inform him that they can gain control of the streets and the country with War Plan X, and that X involves smart technology, we all agree that this is the way to go. The problem is what we see right now in Baghdad. Turning this government over to men like Sadr and even the “moderates” like Sistani is madness.
As to Shari’a, it would be outlawed in the US to start. We would then inform all of the Arab and non-Arab states that we condemn Shari’a and consider all state and neo-state actors who follow it to be minimally hostile to the US if not enemies. We would then decide, based upon strategic factors, how best to use military, diplomatic and economic pressure to bring about change. Just making this announcement would be a sea change in the world. It would give those in Jordan, Pakistan, and even the Gulf States who are frightened to death of the Shari’a proponents to re-think matters. But these reformers in the Muslim world MUST know the US is deadly serious about this.
Comment by David Yerushalmi | November 1, 2006
From your mouth to Bush’s ear.
I don’t see my previous post; perhaps it got lost somewhere. You don’t need to post this.
I would like permission to reproduce your entire article on my website, with appropriate reference and a link to this site.
My website is the Catholic American Thinker.
I am still mulling over the ramifications of declaring war on a PART of a major religion; at the moment, it looks to me to be the best possible strategy in a war fraught with risk and unknowns when viewed from any angle at all.
Comment by Vic | November 1, 2006
You certainly have my permission. I would only ask that you also link to www.saneworks.us where this article is also posted. DY
Comment by David Yerushalmi | November 1, 2006
I am intrigued by your call to explicitly denounce sharia rather than declaring war on all of Islam. This would bring great and sorely needed ideological clarity to our struggle while encouraging the development and growth of freedom movements behind the “Islamic Curtain.” This effort can be modeled on the support of the West and the Vatican under Pope John Paul II for the people of Eastern Europe during the Cold War and may prove particularly effective in Iran.
This effort will entail, on the part of the post-Christian West, a rejection of the relativist mindset which has hertofore precluded our making such moral judgements on a non-Western culture; a pretty tall order, but worthy of our best efforts.
A very modest step in this direction may be discerned in the subtle change in terminology by the Bush Administration which is now employing the term “Islamo-fascism”; in England where Prime Minister Blair is rejecting Islamic head-scarfs; and in Australia where Prime Minister Howard has been quite firm in his opposition to Muslim non-assimilation. It is not coincidental that these examples all come from the “Anglo-American” Western countries and not the European mainland. For its part, France still refuses to acknowledge it has a problem with jihadists in its slums.
This process will need to accelerate dramatically to be effective and will inevitably result in exaggerated (and orchestrated) anger on the “Islamic street” but this can actually help us in distinguishing friend from foe.
My stress of the intellectual, evangelical angle with respect to diologue with Western-sympathetic Muslims is an effort to peel away those who may be on the fence with respect to the “Divine” nature of the Koran. The Muslim holy book is ripe with inconsistencies, non-sequiters, and contradictions which may be pointed out to some reasonable Muslims (Walid Shoebat is a case in point.)
Could God have truly authored a book which states: “Ther is no compulsion in religion.” and “Slay the Idolators wherever you find them…if they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, allow them to go their way.”? Some moderates may see the light through gentle persuasion and reason. It is an obligation (for Christians, at least) to try.
Comment by Jeff Osonitsch | November 1, 2006
(All preceeding comments came from the originating site.)
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Never be lukewarm.
Life itself demands passion.
He who is indifferent to God has already forfeited his soul.
He who is indifferent to politics has already forfeited his liberty.
In America, religion is not mere window dressing and citizenship is not a spectator sport.
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These are the pages that explore the dichotomy between what Benjamin Franklin called "our American religion," which is General Christianity, and waging war.
Necessity of War pages
Whether man wants war or not, it is best to be prepared for war so long as evil exists, and evil will exist until Christ comes again. Even Heaven itself was not free of war.
Unavoidable existence of evil and the periodic Necessary War. So long as evil exists, necessary war will be fought, lest the Church and "Good" be extinguished on earth.
The Necessity of War: Is there such a thing? Do we ever need war? The Thinking Catholic looks at the seemingly perpetual argument over the very Necessity of War.
America's Limited War Doctrine: A Fatal Flaw. Since Korea, top-level American war strategy has been terribly flawed. (Note well that the Korean "war" is not even over with, and we are still there, at this late date.)
The Bush War Doctrine Revisited: a fresh look at our horrible situation. A reproduction of the "Bush War Doctrine Revisited" article and discussion points by David Yerushalmi; there is much food for thought here.
For God and Country – More Thoughts on America, and on National Existence. For God and Country: Comparisons of martyrdom and heroism, Sovereign Nationhood Vs. Internationalism, distinct people-hood Vs. the Global Village, and Godliness Vs. godlessness.
How Cronkite and the SLIMC lost the Vietnam War for America. With the whole SLIMC overwhelmingly Marxist, the Reds couldn't possibly loose politically and publicly that which they couldn't posssibly win militarily in the Vietnam war.
The End Game; Marxism & Islam join hands beneath the smoke of world chaos. This could be the end game, it could be the beginning of World War Three, or, just another global depression.
World Revolution returns with a vengeance: the rebirth of Marxism. Marxist world revolution returns, and faces far less opposition than in 1848 or the period between the Great Wars.
Again, it's Israel up against what appears to be the whole pea-picking world. Weak lip-service and pretty speeches aside, America is Israel's only real ally. And, as war is imposed upon her again, even many Americans are lukewarm in their support. Why?
The latest Israeli conflict is little different from all the previous ones. The first Israeli conflict with her neighbors, and every one since then, has been a simple matter of self defense.
From 1768 through 1776 the Brits vainly attempted gun control in the Colonies. The British feared that, absent "gun control", the militias in the colonies could become as "regulated" and fearsome as the British "Regulars" themselves.
American Military Assault Weapons originally intended in the 2nd Amendment. To miss the point of the 2nd Amendment is to miss the point of the whole Constitution.
CCW Entrapment discusses the legal dangers of legal carrying. George Zimmerman is a victim of CCW Entrapment and Sponsored Racial Polarization.
Thoughts in remembrance of 09/11/2001, five years later. The changing shape of the war, the changing shape of the enemy.
"We belong to the Church militant; and She is militant because on earth the powers of darkness are ever restless to encompass Her destruction. Not only in the far-off centuries of the early Church, but down through the ages and in this our day, the enemies of God and Christian civilization make bold to attack the Creator’s supreme dominion and sacrosanct human rights.”--Pope Pius XII
"It is not lawful to take the things of others to give to the poor. It is a sin worthy of punishment, not an act deserving a reward, to give away what belongs to others."--St. Francis of Assisi
Truth is incontrovertible. Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.—Winston Churchill
The smallest minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities.—Ayn Rand
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