Skip to comments.Victor Davis Hanson: The Real Global Virus. The plague of Islamism keeps on spreading.
Posted on 11/04/2005 5:46:12 AM PST by Tolik
Either the jihadists really are crazy or they apparently think that they have a shot at destabilizing, or at least winning concessions from, the United States, Europe, India, and Russia all at once.
Apart from the continual attacks on civilians by terrorists in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the West Bank, there have now been recent horrific assaults in New Dehli (blowing up civilians in a busy shopping season on the eve of a Hindu festival), Russia (attacking police and security facilities), London (suicide murdering of civilians on the subway), and Indonesia (more bombing, and the beheading of Christian schoolgirls). The loci of recent atrocities could be widely expanded (e.g., Malaysia, North Africa, Turkey, Spain) and, of course, do not forget the several terrorist plots that have been broken up in Europe and the United States.
The commonalities? There are at least three.
First, despite the various professed grievances (e.g., India should get out of Kashmir; Russia should get out of Chechnya; England should get out of Iraq; Christians should get out of Indonesia; or Westerners should get out of Bali), the perpetrators were all self-proclaimed Islamic radicals. Westerners who embrace moral equivalence still like to talk of abortion bombings and Timothy McVeigh, but those are isolated and distant memories. No, the old generalization since 9/11 remains valid: The majority of Muslims are not global terrorists, but almost all such terrorists, and the majority of their sympathizers, are Muslims.
Second, the jihadists characteristically feel that dialogue or negotiations are beneath them. So like true fascists, they dont talk; they kill. Their opponents whether Christians, Hindus, Jews, or Westerners in general are, as infidels, de facto guilty for what they are rather than what they supposedly do. Talking to a Dr. Zawahiri is like talking to Hitler: You cant and its suicidal to try.
Third, there is an emboldened sense that the jihadists can get away with their crimes based on three perceptions:
(1) Squabbling and politically correct Westerners are decadent and outnumber the U.S. Marines, and ascendant Islamicism resonates among millions of Muslims who feel sorely how far they have fallen behind in the new globalized world community and how terrorism and blackmail, especially if energized by nuclear weapons or biological assets, might leapfrog them into a new caliphate.
(2) Sympathetic Muslim-dominated governments like Malaysia or Indonesia will not really make a comprehensive effort to eradicate radical Islamicist breeding grounds of terror, but will perhaps instead serve as ministries of propaganda for shock troops in the field.
(3) Autocratic states such as Pakistan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Iran share outright similar political objectives and will offer either stealthy sanctuary or financial support to terrorists, confident that either denial, oil, or nuclear bombs give them security .
Meanwhile, Westerners far too rarely publicly denounce radical Islam for its sick, anti-Semitic, anti-female, anti-American, and anti-modernist rhetoric. Just imagine the liberal response if across the globe Christians had beheaded schoolgirls, taken over schoolhouses to kill students, and shot school teachers as we have witnessed radical Muslims doing these past few months.
Instead, Western parlor elites are still arguing over whether there were al Qaedists in Iraq before the removal of Saddam Hussein, whether the suspicion of WMDs was the real reason for war against the Baathists, whether Muslim minorities should be pressured to assimilate into European democratic culture, and whether constitutional governments risk becoming intolerant in their new efforts to infiltrate and disrupt radical Muslim groups in Europe and the United States. Some of this acrimony is understandable, but such in-fighting is still secondary to defeating enemies who have pledged to destroy Western liberal society. At some point this Western cannibalism becomes not so much counterproductive as serving the purposes of those who wish America to call off its struggle against radical Islam.
Most Americans think that our present conflict is not comparable with World War II, in either its nature or magnitude. Perhaps but they should at least recall the eerie resemblance of our dilemma to the spread of global fascism in the late 1930s.
At first few saw any real connection between the ruthless annexation of Manchuria by Japanese militarists, or Mussolinis brutal invasion of Ethiopia, or the systematic aggrandizement of Eastern-European territory by Hitler. China was a long way from Abyssinia, itself far from Poland. How could a white-supremacist Nazi have anything in common with a racially-chauvinist Japanese or an Italian fascist proclaiming himself the new imperial Roman?
In response, the League of Nations dithered and imploded (sound familiar?). Rightist American isolationists (theyre back) assured us that fascism abroad was none of our business or that there were conspiracies afoot by Jews to have us do their dirty work. Leftists were only galvanized when Hitler finally turned on Stalin (perhaps we have to wait for Osama to attack Venezuela or Cuba to get the Left involved). Abroad even members of the British royal family were openly sympathetic to German grievances (cf. Prince Charless silence about Irans promise to wipe out Israel, but his puerile Edward VIII-like lectures to Americans about a misunderstood Islam). French appeasement was such that even the most humiliating concession was deemed preferable to the horrors of World War I (no comment needed).
We can, of course, learn from this. Its past time that we quit worrying whether a killer who blows himself up on the West Bank, or a terrorist who shouts the accustomed jihadist gibberish as he crashes a jumbo jet into the World Trade Center, or a driver who rams his explosives-laden car into an Iraqi polling station, or a Chechnyan rebel who blows the heads off schoolchildren, is in daily e-mail contact with Osama bin Laden. Our present lax attitude toward jihadism is akin to deeming local outbreaks of avian flu as regional maladies without much connection to a new strain of a deadly and global virus.
Instead, the worldif it is to save its present liberal system of free trade, safe travel, easy and unfettered communications, and growing commitment to constitutional governmentmust begin seeing radical Islamism as a universal pathology rather than reactions to regional grievances, if it is ever to destroy it materially and refute it ideologically.
Yet the antidote for radical Islam, aside from the promotion of democratization and open economies, is simple. It must be militarily defeated when it emerges to wage organized violence, as in the cases of the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan, Zarqawis terrorists in Iraq, and the various killer cliques in Palestine.
Second, any who tolerate radical Islam should be ostracized. Muslims living in the West must be condemned when they assert that the Jews caused 9/11, or that suicide bombing is a legitimate response to Israel, or that Islamic immigrants own unique culture gives them a pass from accustomed assimilation, or that racial and religious affinity should allow tolerance for the hatred that spews forth from madrassas and mosques before the patience of Western liberalism is exhausted and the rules of the game in Tony Blairs words change quite radically and we begin to see mass invitations to leave.
Third, nations that intrigue with jihadists must be identified as the enemies of civilization. We often forget that there are now left only four major nation-states in the world that either by intent or indifference allow radical Islamists to find sanctuary.
If Pakistan were seriously to disavow terrorism and not see it as an asset in its rivalry with India and as a means to vent anti-Western angst, then Osama bin Laden, Dr. Zawahiri, and their lieutenants would be hunted down tomorrow.
If the petrolopolis of Saudi Arabia would cease its financial support of Wahhabi radicals, most terrorists could scarcely travel or organize operations.
If there were sane governments in Syria and Iran, then there would be little refuge left for al Qaeda, and the money and shelter that now protects the beleaguered and motley collection of ex-Saddamites, Hezbollah, and al Qaedists would cease.
So in large part four nations stand in the way of eradicating much of the global spread of jihadism and it is no accident that either oil or nuclear weapons have won a global free pass for three of them. And it is no accident that we dont have a means to wean ourselves off Middle East oil or as yet stop Iran from becoming the second Islamic nuclear nation.
But just as importantly, our leaders must explain far more cogently and in some detail rather than merely assert to the Western public the nature of the threat we face, and how our strategy will prevail.
In contrast, when the American public is still bickering over WMDs rather than relieved that the culprit for the first World Trade Center bombing can no longer find official welcome in Baghdad; or when our pundits seem more worried about Halliburton than the changes in nuclear attitudes in Libya and Pakistan; or when the media mostly ignores a greater percentage of voters turning out for a free national election in the heart of the ancient caliphate than during most election years in the United States something has gone terribly, tragically wrong here at home.
Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution. His latest book is A War Like No Other. How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War.
You got that straight! That's about the most concise piece on this topic that I've ever read. It's also why I don't have a shred of pity for France and only hope that what's going on there finally punches the world right between the eyes to get the damn things to open. I doubt it'll happen as more blind-leading-the-blind logic continues to cloud the reality of the situation. But hey, maybe France will need to fall as the first major Western European Islamic base replacing some of the Middle East outposts. If that's what it's gonna take, better them than us.
I think the Moslem population in the world is more like 800 million. In 20 years it could be 1.5 billion though.
Islam has to be eradicated. That doesn't mean genocide, it means the phony faith -- Islam is actually medieval fascism, and the Koran a medieval Mein Kampf -- has to be wiped off the face of the Earth.
I wonder what VDH will have to say about Paris.
I loved that quote, too: 'Prince Charles...puerile'. Perfect!
Thanks for the link!
If the tree produces some poisonous fruit, destroy the bad fruit. If that don't work, chop the tree.
Professor Hanson's article was outstanding, IMHO. The OpEd in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution from Zel Miller is just as worthy. I'm surprised that the AJC printed it.
thanks for the ping to an excellent article.
Brilliant, as usual.
bump for the master.
'the petrolopolis of Saudi Arabia '.....
that guy can really come up with pearls......
Muslim Population Figures
The Jihad will continue until we all covert to Islam or all of them are dead. I perfer the latter.
For some reason, I'm not on this ping list. Please put me on the VDH ping list.
This one of VDH's best opeds on the dangers of global Jihadism.
excellent article bookmark.
I think the luckiest break the western world has enjoyed is that the Islamists for some strange reason are overplaying their hand. If they were patient they would just continue to immigrate to the west, and slowly gain political power and influence.
They must hate us so much that it created a shallow sense of invincibility.
Lucky. That's all.
Well done. Your post exposes the sheer idiocy of the Rice statement.
BUMP for reference.
VDH: "Meanwhile, Westerners far too rarely publicly denounce radical Islam for its sick, anti-Semitic, anti-female, anti-American, and anti-modernist rhetoric. Just imagine the liberal response if across the globe Christians had beheaded schoolgirls, taken over schoolhouses to kill students, and shot school teachers as we have witnessed radical Muslims doing these past few months."
AN IDEA FOR A CHRISTMAS COFFEE TABLE BOOK:
"Islam: The Religion of Peace"
It would be a picture book of the many ways Islam has spread peace and understanding. You know, the killings, murders, terrorisms and genocides that is the stock-in-trade of the Jihadist and Islamist militant.
I think your picture would make a good cover pic for the book.
Or fail to do it. But it won't necessarily be pretty when someone else has to put them on that ash heap.
Thanks for the ping!
It was probably a form letter.
"This one-sided fighting has one prerequisite: the terrorist avoids open identification with any conventional military target or supportive infrastructure subject to Western military reappraisal. Slobodan Miloevic s fatal error was that the world finally concluded that his goons in Bosnia and Kosovo really were slaughtering on his orders. Thus the people of Belgrade could legitimately be held responsible for their rogue leaders sponsorship of genocide. And when they were held responsiblewhen precise GPS targeting, rather than random carpet bombing of civilians, took out vital infrastructure and sent the message that life will be more difficult until you hand over Miloevic the killing stopped. If the West finds an easily identifiable target and its selection passes moral muster back home, then it can often attack with little constraint."
"Thus the people of Belgrade could legitimately be held responsible for their rogue leaders sponsorship of genocide." This is a racist statement (and an ignorant one at that) whereby he condemns all Serbs collectively for "genocide."
So much for being brilliant.
This is an oversight that is easily correctable.
Added to the VDH ping list. Thanks
We are not waking up, we are standing down. Do you really think the Euro's have the will to survive?
Oh boy! Have you HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!!!!!!!
Except for Congressman Tancredo and the one in PA after the Able Danger Whitwash, the whole lot of them should be turned out of office. They're only in it for their egos, power and money.
I disagree with Victor Davis Hanson on his reading of our actions against Milosevic, but not because I would defend Milosevic, no way. The end result is a malfunctioning Kosovo territory that did not gain in freedom and democracy but is a good hiding/breeding place for another type of thugs, also playing with Islamic fire. I did not see and still don't see what we have won there.
If I based my respect to people on their infallibility, I would have nobody to admire. I still admire Victor Davis Hanson despite my disagreements with him.
There is another point here that rarely acknowledged. In our multicultural therapeutic world anybody claiming victimhood gains some brownie points. Bombed Serbs were never allowed to claim any victimhood status. But despite that they did not go around terrorizing the whole Europe or USA (only in the Hollywood movies). They are busy building normal lives for themselves. This is a well deserved credit rarely given to them. At least, it is my perception, and I can be wrong. Can you provide any info whether Serbs are indeed over the whole Milosevic war or my perception is wrong?
You can confront Hanson with a short, respectful and factual e-mail, he answers a ton of them. Let us know, if you get anything back, please.
bump and bookmark
Your analysis of Tito is right on target.
Unfortunately, I have it on good authority that Hanson is pro-war - any war. Writing to someone whose mentality is fixed this way would be futile. His words are harsh, full of hatred and lies. You can't reason with a person like that, it would do no good. It's too bad, too, because he was right on Islam - except when it comes to the Serbs.
As for Milosevic, I, too, am not a supporter of his, but why isn't he being tried by his own people like Saddam Hussein is? After all, he betrayed the Serbs in Bosnia and in Croatia. However, he knew he had to stand up for the Serbs in Kosovo because what little support he had, would have eroded. You can bet your bottom dollar that the West will bend over backwards to make sure Saddam has a fair trial but with Milosevic, the best they can hope for is that he dies while being tried - and then they can write their final chapter - GUILTY!
Compared to Saddam Hussein, Milosevic was a piker. Even IF everything he is accused of were true (we know that most of the atrocities were self-committed by Muslims themsevles such as the Trepca mine massacre which was exposed as a hoax by Daniel Pearl and the breadline massacre in Sarajevo) what gave us the right to destroy and punish a sovereign nation, to punish the Serbian people collectively (and still do!) as though they didn't try to overthrow him? There were demonstrations by Serbs against Milosevic for three straight months in freezing weather and there wasn't one word of support for them from any of the U.S. press or Congress like there was when the Czechs and the Poles demonstrated against communism.
Now the US (contrary to what you may be hearing that they don't want an independent Kosovo - hogwash), is manipulating the situation so that the Kosovo Albanian mobs will be rewarded. And who wins? Al-Qaeda! Perhaps a lot of it has to do with the fact that if we don't grant them their independence, they will turn their guns on KFOR who are still there? Just an opinion on my part. The other part is that the propaganda against the Serbs has been so successful that America believes that they should get what they deserve.