Thursday, February 06, 2014

The Necessary War (Part III)

JOHN GALT February 6, 2014
Part I Can Be Found - HerePart II Can Be Found - Here
Working in the Arab world during the last decade, I have met many Muslims who insisted that they had nothing to do with terrorism. The problem is that they remain silent, in fear of the so-called extremists. They do not publicly condemn terror, and they continue to donate money to the mosques and charities and cover organizations that offer moral and financial support to the terrorist movement. They, just like most Germans during the Nazi regime, do not want to know. In any event, we should not be confused by this silent minority regarding the true nature of Islam, just as the world was not confused about the nature of Nazism because of the small anti-fascist movement inside Germany. 

           I was in a hotel in Tripoli after the fall of Khadafy, watching Arab TV showing gruesome images of beheadings. A few men were on their knees, blindfolded, with hands tied behind their backs. A young man took a butcher knife and start cutting the neck of the first victim. The executioner did not appear to know what to look for in order to cut through the spine quickly; it took him some time. It was horrific beyond belief! Finally, he found the spot, cut through, and severed the head. A huge crowd of bearded men and boys cheered loudly. I was sick to my stomach. That was the moment I realized the contrast between Muslim extremists and moderate Muslims. The extremists carried out the execution, while the moderates cheered, recording the event on their iPhones and enjoying watching it on TV. We should not be apologetic for judging all of them by the behavior of most of them. The Left's position on the Muslim threat is inconsistent, immoral, and reprehensible. But that should not surprise us: the Left did not consider Hitler extreme at the time, and supported the proposal to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize. The Left has always had a natural attraction to totalitarian, bloody regimes. They admired Stalin, Mao, and in more recent times Castro, Che Guevara, and Hugo Chavez.  
  Americans have been in denial about this danger since the early 1970s when the Palestine Liberation Organization began committing terrorist acts against Israelis, but the world was silent because the victims were Jews and we are not Jews. Adding logs to that proverbial fire, the world endorsed and encouraged the terrorists by awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to PLO chief terrorist Yasser Arafat. Since then terrorists have taken to Europe, but we are not Europeans; and Asia, but we are not Asians. The evolving history of terrorism is captured well by what German Lutheran Pastor Niemoller wrote about the Nazis:
In Germany they first came for the communists
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a communist.
They came for the Jews
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade Unionists
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up.
            Today in the United States, the terrorists are living among us, but the administration still practices appeasement. The president and the former mayor of New York City, with the support of the Left, were perfectly willing to let the Muslims build their Mosque of Triumph in close proximity to the destroyed World Trade Center, just as they built the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the site of the Second Temple in Jerusalem after conquering the city in the seventh century.
            In Afghanistan, the administration's policies are just as confusing as on the domestic front. During an interview with Newsweek, the vice president told the magazine, "Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That's critical." If the Taliban is not our enemy, who are our military men and women fighting? And why are they dying in Afghanistan? Can anybody make sense of this? If we do not know who our enemies are, how can we defeat them? As Yogi Berra said, "If you don't know where you are going, you might never get there." And, we are not.
            The first order of making sense is to acknowledge that we are in the age-old struggle between freedom and tyranny, and that the value of human life in the world of Islam is dramatically different from ours. Saddam Hussein said it best: "If you kill a man, you are a murderer; if you kill hundreds, you are a hero; but if you kill thousands, you are a conqueror." This is the mentality of the other society, where terrorism is an instrument of power. Whether it is a war on terrorism or a war in Iraq or Afghanistan, if we are not prepared to kill thousands, we cannot be respected. Conventional thinking embraces the belief that democratic civilizations are based on humanitarian principles, and those principles separate us from the barbarians. About which Henry Kissinger wrote, "While we should never give up our principles, we must also realize that we cannot maintain our principles unless we survive."
             Whether we can do what needs to be done to survive, or we have watered down our genes and become impotent and ineffective, history will be the judge. In the past, civilized society had little hesitation to use all means at its disposal to protect and defend its ideals. Bombing Dresden in 1945 was a clear act of terrorism aimed at German civilians in order to break their resolve. Dropping two nuclear bombs on Japan was hardly a humanitarian act. Our contemporary American challenge is not the military aspect of killing a lot of people; it is the moral issue, regardless of reasoning and justification. The undeniable truth is that terrorism is a weapon of tyrants, and it is the enemy of liberty.  Whether this nation is prepared to conquer terrorists with greater terror is an open question. What is not in question is the imperative for survival of our civilization. How we define and articulate American foreign policy toward the Arab world and how we, as a nation, deal with terrorism are interrelated. Although the purpose of terrorism is to terrorize, a war on terrorism is not just a psychological assault, it is also a military confrontation and a political affair.
            Introducing Wilsonian principles in the Arab world, calling for self-determination and democracy, without understanding the fundamentals of tribal societies, has proved disastrous for this country. The goal of building democratic nations in recent U.S. incursions in Iraq and Afghanistan has proved impossible in the face of an Islamic culture that violently rejects Western values. The fallacy that by removing a tyrant and getting in the middle of civil war we could build a nation and create democratic institutions at the same time has driven the U.S. into protracted and costly military conflicts with no end in sight.
It is becoming evident that our country has not learned the lessons of 60th and has repeated the same mistakes with grave consequences.
"Wilsonianism[1] of the early 60th had lured us into adventures beyond our capacities and deprived us of criteria to define essential elements of our national purpose."
Thus wrote Henry Kissinger, the best-known American diplomat of our time, in his memoir,  Years of Renewal. We should have learned from Kissinger that the most important task before our nation in this war on terrorism is to define our interests and shape our commitments-not to allow existing commitments to define our interests. Once we clearly define our interests and commitments, it will be the time for Americans to find out, to paraphrase John F. Kennedy, whether we are free men standing up to our responsibilities, and whether the United States has the will to face up to the enemy.

   In the name of the missing Twin Towers and the thousands of victims of this heinous terrorist attack, in the name of the thousands of fallen men and women in the war on terrorism, in the name of the Israelis, who have suffered Islamic terrorism for decades, the United States must have the will to face up to the enemy. The American challenge is to abandon denial, define our enemies, stop appeasement, face the threat, and acquire the will to use all means at our disposal to grant the ultimate wish to those who proclaim that they love death more than we love life.

[1] Wilsonianism refers to the idealistic principles of conducting foreign policy by applying American democratic values, as set forth by Woodrow Wilson. It includes the notion of a new global order based on national self-determination and proliferation of democracy.

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