Thursday, September 08, 2005

Wheeler on Jihadism

Jack Wheeler’s interview on FrontPageMag reiterates many of the important points and has a few surprises as well. Here’s a sample:

“We need to go on the moral offensive. The moral currency of Islam is debased. It is infected with a moral virus that has rendered it a morally inferior religion. It no longer deserves our respect and if Moslems want our respect back they must earn it by disinfecting their religion of moral poison.

We also need to target Saudi Wahhabism as the financial locus of world Jihadism. This means shutting down by whatever methods necessary Saudi funding of Wahhabi mosques, madressahs, and terrorist training centers all over the world (80% of all mosques in the US, for example, are Wahhabi). …

And of course a necessary condition for winning this war is regime change in Iran. As my friend Michael Ledeen says, peace in Iraq requires regime change in Iran. ...

It is completely unimportant that Jihadists or their Moslem sympathizers and apologists “understand” us. What is important is that they be afraid of us. That they have a conviction that if they attack us we will hunt them down and kill them dead. That they know we are the folks that obliterated Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Dresden with no regrets and we will do the same to Mecca and Medina if necessary. That we have nothing but contempt for them and they have no hope of defeating us.

The problem is that Jihadism is hard-wired into Islam’s founding document, the Koran – and so is anything else you want. The Koran is the most incoherent religious text ever put down on paper. That’s because it is not a book – it is a chant. It is not meant to be pondered and thought about. It is not meant to be read at all. It is meant to be chanted in a language – Classical Arabic – un-understood by most of the world’s Moslems as is Latin by almost all Christians, in order to put believers into an unthinking, unreflective trance. The Koran was composed haphazardly at the end of the seventh century (two to three generations after Mohammed supposedly lived), as was the entire religion of Islam, to provide a religious rationale for the Arab Conquest and the continued rule of Arabs over conquered non-Arabs.”

There’s much more. What I like about the whole article is his lack of appeasement. He’s not concerned about winning their hearts. There’s no groveling in Jack’s approach. As to his specifics – you decide. But his approach is clear: we need a deterrent and this comes from the willingness to respond with force – not to liberate your enemy but to annihilate your enemy. And if your deterrent is believable, you won’t have to use it. That alone won’t tell us what the right deterrent is; and whether you accept Jack’s example in the article is another matter. But the principle makes sense. Appeasement never works in the long run.

Our willingness to fight and not run - in Afghanistan and Iraq - helps establish that deterrent. But there are many aspects of our policy that show we haven't abandoned our appeasement stance: funding Palestinian terrorist via corrupt West Bank leaders, failing to engage in a propaganda war against Islam, apologizing to our enemies for less than admirable behavior of a few errand members of the military, and continuing business as usual with Saudi Arabia.

There are many steps to take to increase the perception that we are serious without going to war or in addition to the actions we’ve taken so far. And we can do this without reaching for the ultimate tool in our arsenal. Still, I won’t argue against tough talk. My point is that it won’t be believable if we contradict it with every other action that still reeks of appeasement.


Blogger Benjamin said...

Jason, you clearly don't like appeasement! But don't you think it's a bit much to take on the entire Middle East (or a large fraction thereof)? What about some degree of quarantine? Or is that impractical? Of course, the Europeans would have to agree, which is unlikely.

9/8/05, 10:58 AM  
Blogger Jason Pappas said...

I agree that we should us a phased approach to change our policy.

My focus is on a change in posture. To end appeasement, we should stop helping our enemies. We give $2 billion a years to Egypt. In order to prove that they are not co-opted by our generosity, they vilify us on the state-controlled media and in the press. The hatred is intense. Often Egyptians explode: one at LAX killed people waiting to check in back on July 4 2002. Another killed strangers at the top of the Empire State Building. And many believe the Egyptian plane that crashed was no accident. The 9/11 hijackers who weren’t Saudi were Egyptian, if I remember correctly. This is just one example of the cycle of appeasement: we grovel for approval, dole out huge sums, encourage more hate, and grovel some more.

After 9/11, Yasser Arafat assumed that Osama had blown the game. He expected Western subsidies and help would end. Shaken with fear he called off all suicide bombers and made a show of donating blood. Bush said those that harbor terrorist would be treated as terrorists. No sooner than he said that, did he turn and without being asked back a two-state solution – the first President to do so. Tony Blair was seen in a photo-op hugging the little troll. Arafat was elated – they still fall for the old ploy. Suicide bombing resumed and reached a new high.

That’s appeasement. It means we aren’t serious; we are more afraid than threatening; we don't want to hurt anyone’s feeling; and we will give you whatever you want … just don’t hurt us. That’s just one example. That’s why terrorism won’t end – it works. I suggest we stop helping them in a phased manner (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Palestinians first.) It’s a major change in philosophy and policy so it will take time before our new stance is taken seriously.

Here’s another article that also addresses the same theme. It’s worth contrasting his points with mine.

9/8/05, 3:46 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

Of course, prioritizing the fronts to engage is essential. But to wait and hope for reform within Islam is futile and even more dangerous than engagement. Appeasement merely fuels the fires of jihadism because the sons of Allah see appeasement as a victory for their cause.

9/8/05, 8:40 PM  

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