Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Outlook for the war on jihad

By Aussiegirl

A very interesting article and the first of a three-parter in which the author will analyze the outlook for the war on terror. Mostly I agree and the author obviously knows a hell of a lot more about
military tactics and strategy than I do, but he does make a few points I'd quibble with -- his comparison of the jihadists to the anarchists of old is not entirely accurate -- while both blew up bombs, etc. -- the anarchists never had millions of fervent and fanatical believers worldwide and entire governments devoted to their philosophy.

And I'm not sure about his notion of employing a "winning hearts and minds" strategy -- ala Karen Hughes' Road Show, only doing it better. You can't convince people that their religion is wrong -- that the written word of Allah as handed down to Mohammed should be ignored because some American tells them that they would have a better life by following our example.

This is really more of a civilizational struggle, in which I think the military and even terrorist aspects are playing a minor, if scary and potentially deadly role. We know that in the long run, if we don't confront Islam from a moral and philosophical point of view, if we don't defend Western principles and instead slowly cede all of our values and freedoms to their primitive outlook, the military victories will be seen to have been meaningless.

The problem is that the war for hearts and minds must first be won in the WEST, which does NOT believe in itself anymore -- before it can be won by convincing the Muslims that they are wrong.

What do we have to offer them? Drugs, sex and rock and roll? And an empty moral and spiritual self-loathing? This is a much bigger problem, and I fear that all the military expertise in the world is not enough to solve what is essentially a problem of belief and values.

The American Thinker

The first campaigns of the Long War are drawing to a close. The Jihadis have lost the opening rounds. What next?

There’s an unconscious conviction that what happens next is… nothing. We go back to everyday life, the way things were before all that unpleasantness in lower Manhattan and Washington those long years ago. We shut out the harmful, hateful world once again, go our own way, and forget about jihads, and suicide belts, and dirty bombs, and beheadings, and all the other nightmares that have filled our days since 2001.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards.

What happened on 9/11 was not an earthquake, over and done quickly, but a long, slow and complete reshuffling of the tectonic plates that comprise human civilization; something comparable to the deaths of empires and the passing of eras. Such events are not over in a day, or a year, or a decade. They take their time. And when it ends at last the world will be a different place, in ways that we now have no way of knowing. But the part we have played in it will, in some shape or form, match our position when it’s all over, American or European or Arab, Muslim or Christian or Secular.


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