Monday, December 18, 2006


Gerard Vanderleun has a very thoughtful and provocative post at American Digest (hat tip: Larwyn and Fausta) that exposes the silent question we in the West are asking about Islam:
LURKING BENEATH OUR INTERNAL ARGUMENT concerning the relentless demographic expansion of Islam into the West without assimilation, is the persistent background question, "Oh, my, whatever shall WE do with THEM?"
Vanderleun goes on inexorably to the conclusion that we are "toying with genocide" as we try to reform Islam and/or assimilate it in the west. He asks an important question:
What if, as has been repeatedly stated by Islamic spokesmen in their media and their capitols and their mosques, Islam has neither the interest in nor the capacity for assimilation?

What if Islam continues, as it has for many centuries, to be implacably hostile to the West?

...A common catch phrase of Marxism is that "The capitalist will sell you the rope to hang him." I dread the coming catch phrase, "The Muslim will supply the West with the excuse to eradicate Islam," but that is clearly lurking in one of our possible futures; a future that although unthinkable is not inconceivable....
I would submit that this approach to war against Islam is clearly one driven by the current policies of the West that aims to, essentially, talk Islam out of its current obsessions and madness. It is the very small stick wielded alongside our softly spoken words of "democracy," "freedom," and "prosperity." In a way, the West's manner of war with Islam at present is essentially a kind of tough love: "Please learn to control your acting out. Please learn play well with others, or we're going to have to give you a time out."

Put somewhat baldly, the argument within the West on what to do with Islam is now between those who believe it should not be spanked at all but have its self-esteem boosted, and those who think that a small spanking now followed by the hot fudge sundae of freedom will result in acceptable behavior.

Either could be right, but if both are wrong the next level of discipline is typically expulsion. And by "expulsion" I do not mean that Islam will simply be sent to its room.

He then argues that the "unthinkable" is being thought and concludes:
This is why I still deeply believe that the current effort in Iraq and the Middle East to counter and expunge Islamic terrorism and turn Islam from the road it is on towards one of reformation and assimilation is the best path that can be taken at this time. Indeed, for all the ineptitude of the current administration, for all the expense in treasure and lives, this shoot-the-moon, Hail Mary of a foreign policy in Iraq is not just a policy to make America safer at home. It is the only thing that stands between Islam and its own destruction.

Read it all please. It is crucial that we in the West understand what is at stake in this war.

I made much the same argument in a series of posts earlier this year. In "Yes or No?" I discussed the strategic issue of our time, as Chester put it, "Is Islam compatible with a free society?"

As he [Chester] points out, President Bush has been acting on the basis of a YES answer to the question and our entire strategy in the Middle East is based on it. What is astonishing about this essay is that the author unflichingly looks at the logical consequences that are inherent in answering NO to the question-- and finds them pretty frightening for any civilized person or nation.

This is why Bush has insisted on formulating our strategy based on YES. This is why he has been very circumspect in what he says about Islam and how he characterizes the war. This is why he is so adamantly supportive of the Dubai ports deal -- because the opposition to it does reflect a "tipping point" in which people no longer believe that a moderate, reasonable Islam is possible....

Time is not on Islam's side, however. Leaders like the Mullahs and Ahmadinejad in Iran and Hamas in Gaza are acting in ways that will facilitate a confrontation. They foolishly believe that the West will back down--if not because of a belief in the superiority of Islam; then from doubts about the superiority of Western values and from a reluctance to act decisively and ruthlessly.

The psychopathic elements in Islam believe this is our fundamental weakness; but they are wrong. This is actually our fundamental strength. President Bush has bet that Islam can be changed if it is infused with some democratic opportunities and freed from some of the political and religious tyranny that has dominated the Middle East. If such a democratizing process had been started--and carried through-- a decade or two earlier, well who knows how much the situation might have changed by now?

And, contrary to the infantile imaginings of the antiwar and so-called "peace" movements, Bush's strategy actually represents the Best. Possible. Hope. For. Peace.

In "Inching Toward 'No'" I wrote:
In contemplating these pieces of a larger puzzle, it strikes me that more and more people (from the conservatives who now question the Iraq war; to the ordinary citizens adamant that it is not safe to have any muslim country--ally or no-- manage out ports; to independents like myself who have resolutely supported President Bush) are beginning to inch slowly toward a negative answer to the strategic question.

While many (probably most) muslims are decent, tolerant and yearn to be free; Islam in its jihadist incarnation which has taken over Islam worldwide, does not appear to be compatible with a free society.

This ultimate conclusion is breathtaking--and heartbreaking-- in its implications.

And its implications are exactly what Vanderleun has written. Three years ago, Wretchard also penned an absolutely brilliant post, "The Three Conjectures" which lays out with ruthless logic the consequences that would ensue if the implaccable, unmodifiable elements of Islam were to obtain a nuclear weapon; which they most certainly would use.

The resulting escalation of nuclear exchanges would produce an almost unimaginable loss of life, and ultimately end in the destruction of Iran and other muslim nations, possibly Pakistan or Syria; but since the threat of terrorism is transnational, the threat's full eradication of necessity will escalate beyond Iranian borders.

Does Islam care about this possibility? In the almost three years since the conjecture was written there are clear signs that some Islamic countries are concerned and risking quite a bit to prevent this scenario. But the great majority welcome it as "Allah's will" and some even have intentions of precipitating it to give credibility to their own little religious sect. Events are moving too slowly in Iraq.

President Bush has bet everything on the hope that Islam can be changed if it is infused with some democratic opportunities and freed from some of the political and religious tyranny that has dominated the Middle East. If such a democratizing process had been started--and carried through-- a decade or two earlier, well who knows how much the situation might have changed by now? But it only began after a devastating attack within our borders finally spurred us to mobilize our resources and fight back both militarily and strategically.

...Contrary to the infantile imaginings of the antiwar and so-called "peace" movements, Bush's strategy actually represents the best possible hope for peace; even if that hope is slight.

It is a strategy that faces the grim reality of Islamic contradictions and historical brutality; yet has enough optimism and goodwill in it to be genuinely worth the price we are paying in Afghanistan and Iraq. If it works--and I haven't entirely given up hope yet-- millions of deaths might still be prevented. And if the peace crowd really cares about peace, then they would do well to reconsider their own perverse antics; and the Democrats their knee-jerk opposition.

Because, if they succeed in their determination to undermine American policy as it is now formulated; or if the extremists succeed in eliminating any voices for moderation and tolerance; then there will be only one strategic option open.

Whether it is appreciated or not, these last few years have indeed been our "Golden Hour" --the short time we have to deal with the threat that is represented by the radical elements of Islam. So much of the last three years has been wasted and frittered away by the left and their carping and undermining of Bush's strategic ploy. The continual appeasement, encouragement and cover given to those who would destroy us without mercy, has markedly diluted what we might have accomplished up to now with our aggressive pursuit of the YES Strategy.

The Golden Hour is down to only a few minutes at most. As the clock ticks down to answering NO to that fundamental strategic question; and as we creep closer and closer to the ultimate confrontation with a medieval, uncompromising and fanatically ruthless religion; there will be no deus ex machina --and no pointless protest march with clever placards--that will be able to save the millions of lives lost in that conflagration.

The political left, especially its lunatic wing which has been in denial for years, is already preparing to blame Bush and America if the worse happens. Rational people will recognize the truth-- that Bush has chosen a strategy and done everything possible to change the course of history. That the strategy was implemented too far along in the process to be able to wholly succeed; or that the enemy is even more nimble and eager to embrace death than western sensibilities could have possibly predicted-- are painful realities that may have to be faced.

Winston Churchill famously said, "One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half."

The problem is that for the kind of change envisioned by the Bush policy, decades is not too long a time to hope for some of the seeds to grow; and for rigid Middle Eastern minds to evolve and flourish within a democratic medium. And with the provocations and obvious intent of Iran--as repeatedly stated by its fanatical president--it becomes increasingly clear that we do not have decades.

The unthinkable is being thought. The unimaginable is being imagined.

The curse has finally come upon us.

She left the web, she left the loom,
She made three paces thro' the room,
She saw the water-lily bloom,
She saw the helmet and the plume,
She look'd down to Camelot.
Out flew the web and floated wide;
The mirror crack'd from side to side;
"The curse is come upon me," cried
The Lady of Shalott.
- Tennyson

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