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World War IV? [William F. Buckley reviews Norman Podhoretz' new book]
NRO ^ | September 06, 2007 | William F. Buckley

Posted on 09/06/2007 10:00:41 AM PDT by Tolik

Some set the matter aside as being nothing more than verbal play for the benefit of word-men. What term properly designates what we are doing, and what we are enduring, in many parts of the world, the symbolic center of which is the Twin Towers site in Manhattan? Sometimes the words chosen can mean the justification of an additional measure of military power. Always they calibrate the public mood and the public perception of what is going on.

I am informed that French pacifists, ensconced in the French Academy in 1939 and determined to understate Nazi military exercises (even those being done as close by as Czechoslovakia), refused to acknowledge such a creature as a “bombardier.” Right, “bombardier” would have meant “bomber pilot.” The pacifists were prepared to use the word bombardier, but only as the flying instrument — an airplane from which one drops bombs. Since no such creature as a pilot who drops bombs from such an airplane was acknowledged to exist, the schoolmen of the academy at first refused to authorize that use of the word.

Norman Podhoretz, a gifted writer and analyst, does not cavil in these matters, and his new book is called World War IV. By Podhoretz’s calculations, World War II ended with the surrender of Berlin and Tokyo. This was followed by another and very serious war, which we termed the Cold War. That pretty well ended when the Soviet Union allowed the gates in Berlin to open and, two years later, abandoned the Soviet flag. But the end of World War III did not augur an end to global warfare. The new enemy is referred to in certain quarters as Islamofascism. And Podhoretz is the chief taxonomist of that awful combine.

He quotes in his book Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum. Pipes is off to a rollicking and reassuring start in what becomes the deadliest paragraph in town. Begin with our military superiority, which would appear to make victory inevitable. “Islamists have nothing like the military machine the Axis deployed in World War II, nor the Soviet Union during the Cold War. What do the Islamists have to compare with the Wehrmacht or the Red Army? The SS or Spetznaz? The Gestapo or the KGB? Or, for that matter, to Auschwitz or the Gulag?”

A thoughtful answer to that question is sobering. The Islamists have:

A potential access to weapons of mass destruction that could devastate Western life.

A religious appeal that provides deeper resonance and greater staying power than the artificial ideologies of fascism or communism.

An impressively conceptualized, funded and organized institutional machinery that successfully builds credibility, goodwill and electoral success.

An ideology capable of appealing to Muslims of every size and shape, from Lumpenproletariat to privileged, from illiterates to Ph.D.s, from the well-adjusted to psychopaths, from Yemenis to Canadians.”

Add to the above “a huge number of committed cadres. If Islamists constitute 10 percent to 15 percent of the Muslim population worldwide, they number some 125 million to 200 million persons, or a far greater total than all the fascists and communists, combined, who ever lived.”

Recognition, then, of the scale of the pretensions of the Islamist enemy has to precede substantial measures against it. In the matter of Iraq, for instance, the ambiguity of our engagement and the enlarging political cry against it would alter dramatically if one accepted the premises of the Fourth World War so ineluctably spelled out in Podhoretz’s little volume, which takes time here and there to demolish such arguments as were mounted in protest against President Bush’s mention in his 2003 State of the Union address of yellowcake hunting in Niger.

Those critics who insist that it is only a small war-party faction of the Islamists that we have to fear might have been asked a generation ago if it was not merely a small number of Germans and Russians we were properly exercised about. Sixty million people were dead after that misreckoning.
 



TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Government; Philosophy; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 911; bookreview; conservatism; islam; islamofascism; muhammadsminions; nationalreview; normanpodhoretz; podhoretz; waronislamism; waronterror; wfb; williamfbuckley; worldwariv; wwiv

1 posted on 09/06/2007 10:00:45 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln; neverdem; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; King Prout; SJackson; dennisw; ...

Interesting!

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for the perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author all 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of the good stuff that is worthy of attention. You can see the list of articles I pinged to lately  on  my page.
You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about). Besides this one, I keep 2 separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson and Orson Scott Card.  

2 posted on 09/06/2007 10:01:54 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik
I've ordered the book. Let's be clear that Left is AWOL from the fight against the greatest evil of our generation. Islamofascism.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

3 posted on 09/06/2007 10:06:44 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Tolik
A religious appeal that provides deeper resonance and greater staying power than the artificial ideologies of fascism or communism.

Both Marx and Hitler still have their worshippers.

4 posted on 09/06/2007 10:08:22 AM PDT by weegee (NO THIRD TERM. America does not need another unconstitutional Clinton co-presidency.)
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To: Tolik

World War IV?

Nope. Unless the author can’t count.


5 posted on 09/06/2007 10:08:35 AM PDT by Petronski (Cleveland Indians: Pennant -17)
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To: Tolik

There is no doubt we are in a global conflict that risks the very loss of Western civilization to the forces of Islamic fascism. I just hope America wakes up to this fact before it is too late.


6 posted on 09/06/2007 10:08:49 AM PDT by The Great RJ ("Mir we bleiwen wat mir sin" or "We want to remain what we are." ..Luxembourg motto)
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To: weegee
Nazism and Marxism are dead. But Islamofascism has the potential to kill billions - especially if Iran gets its hands on nuclear weapons. This is a far more serious threat to the survival of the West than the entirely imaginary problem of man-made global warming. Its time to face up to the fact there are people who want us dead. 9/11 is just a couple of days away should remind of the destructive power of a fanatical ideology armed with only a few airplanes. Now imagine what it could do with a handful of nuclear bombs.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

7 posted on 09/06/2007 10:12:03 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Tolik

read later


8 posted on 09/06/2007 10:12:33 AM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: Petronski
The Cold War was the Third World War. It ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. This war is World War IV and I believe it began with the rise of a radical Islamofascist regime to power in Iran at the end of the 1970s and the seizure of American Embassy hostages although it has taken us sometime to appreciate there has been another World War under way for some time now.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

9 posted on 09/06/2007 10:15:04 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Tolik

Best bit of writing I’ve seen from Mr Buckley since his wife passed recently, I’m glad to see it.

I would dare to add one thing to his comments.

In both WWII and the Cold War, the Democrats had a significant percentage of its membership backing the wrong side, against our allies and our own administration at those times.

And as we see courtesy of Reid, Pelosi, Murtha, Feingold, Durbin, Dodd, Kennedy (again), and tiny Johnny Edwards, that same percentage is not only alive and well represented in the Democratic Party, but its in leadership positions this time around.


10 posted on 09/06/2007 10:15:51 AM PDT by Badeye (You know its a kook site when they ban the word 'kook')
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To: goldstategop
The Cold War was the Third World War.

Nope. Not even close. The Cold War was . . . wait for it . . . the Cold War.

11 posted on 09/06/2007 10:17:17 AM PDT by Petronski (Cleveland Indians: Pennant -17)
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To: Badeye
The Democrats opposed the Cold War and they oppose World War IV. Both times, they have been on the wrong side of history.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

12 posted on 09/06/2007 10:18:14 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: Petronski
The fact it was not a shooting conflict for the most part should not blind us to its global nature. The Soviet Union intended to defeat the West and plant socialism every where it could. It did so in Eastern Europe and Afghanistan and client regimes did it in Indochina and Cuba. Today that threat is gone but a far more potent and deadlier one has appeared in its place.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

13 posted on 09/06/2007 10:20:50 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: goldstategop

Yep.

Just as they are on the wrong side of the war we’re fighting today.

Reagan actually wrote in his recently published diaries ‘I wonder which side Chris Dodd is on....’

Some things never change.


14 posted on 09/06/2007 10:21:15 AM PDT by Badeye (You know its a kook site when they ban the word 'kook')
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To: Petronski

Let’s not cavil in these matters!


15 posted on 09/06/2007 10:27:49 AM PDT by Right_Rev (All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Edmund Burke)
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To: goldstategop

There have been two world wars and a cold war. This is World War III.


16 posted on 09/06/2007 10:33:08 AM PDT by Petronski (Cleveland Indians: Pennant -17)
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To: goldstategop
Let's be clear that Left is AWOL from the fight against the greatest evil of our generation. Islamofascism.

Au contraire! They are aiding and abetting the Islamists. If they were just AWOL it wouldn't be so subversive. Whether they realize it or not, they are doing things that will get Americans killed.

17 posted on 09/06/2007 10:34:52 AM PDT by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: Petronski
Nope. Unless the author can’t count.

World War I was a series of campaigns. World War II was a series of campaigns. The Cold War was another series of campaigns with the Russkies and Chicoms sometimes directly involved. Go figure. At least the Russkies and Chicoms recognized that their political/economic ideology was a flop.

18 posted on 09/06/2007 10:45:04 AM PDT by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: Tolik
Absolutely missing from that list of "... thoughtful answer to that question... " is the huge tactical and strategic advantage of being able to use the "freedoms" of the West as weapons against them, the old "rope with which to hang them" that the Communists were never quite able to achieve.

The frightening (and fatal) reality is that they are allowed to use our laws and rights (intended for citizens) against us, while most sleep, or are complicit out of ignorance, unaware that the war has actually begun.

19 posted on 09/06/2007 11:49:23 AM PDT by Publius6961 (MSM: Israelis are killed by rockets; Lebanese are killed by Israelis.)
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To: Petronski; goldstategop
For Heaven's sake, what difference does it make whether it's III or IV? The point remains the same - western civilization will disappear if they win.

Carolyn

20 posted on 09/06/2007 12:05:27 PM PDT by CDHart ("It's too late to work within the system and too early to shoot the b@#$%^&s."--Claire Wolfe)
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To: CDHart

The difference is a point of history, but in the bigger picture, your conclusion about western civilization is absolutely correct.

I bet we all agree on that.


21 posted on 09/06/2007 12:12:47 PM PDT by Petronski (Cleveland Indians: Pennant -17)
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To: CDHart; Right_Rev
I bet we all agree that, in these matters, we must not cavil!
22 posted on 09/06/2007 12:14:38 PM PDT by Petronski (Cleveland Indians: Pennant -17)
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To: Publius6961
Agreed.

A big mistake by communist enthusiasts was to declare that Communist heaven is just around the corner. They got carried away, but it was understandable, because the “scientific Marxism/Leninism” had economic advantages of the socialist system over the capitalism as its cornerstone. Fortunately, it is a measurable, verifiable, falsifiable claim. As soon as the Iron Curtain began leaking and the comparing became possible, it became impossible to cover it up for too long. The king had no clothes.

Islam makes no such claims. All rewards are in heaven, and nobody comes back to disprove any claims.

So, while the shear industrial power of Islamism is indeed not as comparable as Germany and Japan and later USSR, the absence of restrains combined with technological advances and openness of the current world makes them a very dangerous enemy.

23 posted on 09/06/2007 12:50:52 PM PDT by Tolik
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To: Tolik

Norman Podhoretz ...The man who wrote in Partisan Review many many moons ago about Jack Kerouac’s ON THE ROAD :

“The implicit message of On the Road was “Kill the intellectuals who can talk coherently, kill the people who can sit still for five minutes at a time, kill those incomprehensible characters who are capable of getting seriously involved with a woman, a job, a cause.”

Was he on crack at the time I wonder ?


24 posted on 09/06/2007 2:51:55 PM PDT by sushiman
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To: neverdem
Au contraire! They are aiding and abetting the Islamists. If they were just AWOL it wouldn't be so subversive. Whether they realize it or not, they are doing things that will get Americans killed.

Bump. Very true.

25 posted on 09/06/2007 3:24:27 PM PDT by Paul Ross (Ronald Reagan-1987:"We are always willing to be trade partners but never trade patsies.")
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To: sushiman

No. That was probably the best summation of the hipster and counterculture ever penned.


26 posted on 09/06/2007 9:12:59 PM PDT by rmlew (Build a wall, attrit the illegals, end the anchor babies, Americanize Immigrants)
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To: Petronski

bttt


27 posted on 09/08/2007 12:51:21 AM PDT by expatguy (Support Conservative Blogging - "An American Expat in Southeast Asia")
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