The Jihadi movement is the proper heir of Marxism-Leninism. A very large part of its appeal consists in that it offers the poor a vision of earthly justice against the corrupt and wordly rulers of their nations -- corrupt men, who very often were yesterday's Marxist firebrands. Thus the almost saintly appeal of "learned" and rich men like Zawahiri and Bin Laden who represent denial, commitment and a complete surrender to the faith.
The hold of Bin Laden over the poor, yearning not only for Paradise but worldly justice as falsely but romantically embodied in sharia law, the law of Allah is as strong or stronger than the hold Lenin had on his disciples. Today's strongman-presidents may have gold and thugs, but they don't have romance. And looking at our Western intelligensia, neither do they. Even we are revolted by the sight of them. To the man in the desert or the Northwest Frontier, the multiculti transgendered spokesman of today's liberal society must appear as more ridiculous than Bozo the Clown. And perhaps he is. It might be argued that any honest man forced to choose between today's Left and the al-Qaeda might find himself attracted, despite everything, to the purer killer.
But I am not one to step back and long admire an advancing executioner. Bin Laden, whatever he may be, is determined to kill me, my family and friends. He aims to extinguish my culture; bury my beliefs; enslave my survivors. This he will not do so long as I can help it. And it's this basic, elemental resistance that really stands in the way of the Jihad as it once barred the Commissars. Not armies nor clever diplomats. It is sanity that ultimately defies the seductive whisperings of power. In Tolkien's story it is not the Wise or the Great Captains but the simpleton that collapses the dark tower. He preferred his garden to cold and adamantine stone.
Neither am I one to sit around wringing my hands if there is something I can do. I choose to fight with ideas because the real danger is not the Islamist, who are a bunch of but the ideas that encourage and enable them while simultaneously tying the hands of our military forces. Wretchard reminds of of Tolkien; and I can't help think of the character of the aptly named Grima Wormtongue and how easily his deceptive words allowed Saruman, the representative of the darkness to take control over the King and his country.
We seem to have a plethora of Grima Wormtongues in our own day and age; whose seductive rhetoric also facilitates and encourages the evil of our time, permitting darkness to take hold.
Mark Steyn raises an excellent point that cannot be said often enough:
The Arabization of Islam and the Islamization of Europe provide an ever bigger comfort zone for the bad guys to operate in. Substantial numbers of British Muslims share the same goals as the terrorists: they wish one day to live under Islamic law in the United Kingdom. The Gordon Browns of this world will huff and puff that they'll never give in to the "men of violence", while incrementally making the very same concessions to the men of non-violence.(emphasis mine)
Yes, this is the heart of the problem. On the one hand we are physically confronting and fighting the jihadists in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere, and their goal is not only to impose sharia in the places where we fight; but also to violently and radically impose their Islamic law on the West as well.
In our very midst; in the heart of Western civilization; the incremental imposition of sharia is being accomplished by the Grima Wormtongues of the political left; who, wearing their multicultural blindfolds and spouting their politically correct rhetoric, are today's perfect, mindless, and cluelessly self-destructive-but non-violent!-- suicide bombers.
These leftist jihadis are ultimately far more dangerous than their Islamic counterparts. It is true that the latter can intermittantly cause unparalleled death and destruction through their acts of terror; but the former are also engaged in a holy war of ideas and seek to impose their own anti-human, anti-freedom and soul-destroying ideology which, in the long term slowly but surely eats away at everything Western civilization has stood for; while in the short term creates and nurtures the perfect environment where terrorists can wreak their havoc and death with impunity.
The political left has--particularly since 9/11--consistently been able to find new and innovative ways to tie the hands of the West and interfere or prevent them from dealing effectively with those Islamic "men of violence".
Observing the left's bizarre behavior and unparalleled animosity toward America and Israel; their appeasement of tyrants and dictators around the world; and their persistent efforts to stand reality on its head , you might actually be inclined to conclude that they strongly desire the West's defeat at the hands of the Islamic barbarians.
It is definitely hard not to reach that conclusion.
TS Eliot wrote in "The Hollow Men" that the world would end, " not with a bang, but a whimper". Today in our post-9/11 world we face both scenarios.
The Islamic fanatics want nothing more than to bring about the "bang", and are willing to kill themselves as long as they can take the West with them to hell. As Iran races to acquire nuclear weapons and as Al Qaeda seeks other WMD's to kill as many of us as possible; we can have no doubt of their intentions.
But the whimpers of the hallow men of the left; with their slimy, worm-tongued rhetoric; their over-riding allegiance to an ideology that distorts and manipulates reality and truth as a matter of necessity--they are the ones who will make the "bang" that much more likely to occur.
In their little fantasy world they cleverly deceive themselves into the belief that terrorism doesn't even exist; or, if it exists, it is not a serious problem; or, if it is a serious problem, then only they are perfect enough to deal with it--by attacking the moral and ethical foundations of the West. This is the strategy they have adopted in order to preserve their ideology and achieve their own dreams of power.
They certainly won't let the prospect of a nuclear-powered Iran stand in the way of implementing their own little leftist caliphate with its glorious style of social sharia and secular dogma.
In their delusional and empty minds, it is--choose from the following list-- America, Capitalism, Republicans, Bush, Cheney, and all the usual suspects, who are the real enemies that must be fought to the last dying breath. And any enemy of their enemy is surely their friend.
Don't say that terrorists are Muslim, for heaven's sake; those aren't the jihadis you're looking for! Don't call it a "war on terror"; adopt a more consensual tone and you will improve relations with all those (probably Christian or Jewish) religious fanatics who are trying to kill you. Bush is the real terrorist, much worse than Bin Laden. America is the source of all the evil in the world...etc. etc. and so on, ad nauseum.
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.
UPDATE: SC&A have some parallel thoughts, and I've been meaning to link to this excellent post by Bob at One Cosmos.