Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

What do our enemies want? Or, our only option is to win.

The Left is desperate to diagnose the Islamic paramilitary murderers as products of poverty and Western oppression, and then to abandon the fight. Even if I wanted to go this road, which I don't, I think it is an impossible scenario with the Islamists as our enemies. Keep in midn that there are three outcomes to any war -- you win, you lose, or you compromise. Try to imagine any of these three outcomes in this war the Islamists have foisted upon us. Let's start with a "we lose, they win" scenario. Sounds simple, except that this is not a traditional war, with the usual objectives. The Islamists are not fighting for territory, which is the most traditional kind of war. For example, the Romans or the Huns waged constant war during their ascendent periods. They did this to bring more and more of the world under their direct control for economic reasons (e.g., natural resources and slaves). While Bin Laden may have visions of some celestial Caliphate, even he doesn't seem capable of deluding himself that there is any one ruler or country that can take on the Caliphate mantle and control the world in this way. The Islamists are also not fighting a religious war as that has been understood in the past. Past religious wars were essentially civil wars, with people in the same country battling it out for control. Examples are the French religious wars in the 16th and 17th Century; or the English Civil War, which added religion to a potent political mix, etc. Indeed, in a way, the American Civil War fell into this category, too, with a principle, rather than a religion tearing society apart. This internal struckly obviously doesn't apply to the Islamists' attack on America. Of course, religious wars can also be about converting with the sword (Islam's first wave, in the 6th-11th Centuries certainly fell under that umbrella) but, again, this does not seem to be the Islamists' current goal (see my comments about Bin Laden and the Caliphate, above). This leaves one wondering what the Islamists' goal is in the war they're waging against the United States. And don't let Iraq fool you. This is, and has been, a war against the United States as least since 1979. Indeed, as far as the bombing in Spain went, Al Qaeda was careful to mention that it was also in revenge for the Moslem's military defeats at the end of the 15th Century. Al Qaeda and its ilk, despite their rhetoric, are probably not so delusional as to think they can turn the U.S. into an Islamic nation, so they're not aspiring to either religious or territorial control here. And yet, here they are, killing us just as if this were an "ordinary" war. In other words, the end goal seems simply to be to kill as many of us as possible, or at least to reduce us to abject fear. I won't pretend to understand what motivates this goal, but there it is. This means that, even if the Left were to announce that we surrender entirely, that Islamists win and we lose, what are the Islamists winning and what are we losing? Since a surrender now would leave most Americans alive, the Islamists wouldn't perceive our announcing our withdrawal as their kind of victory. So, if any of us our left alive, there's no meaningful surrender that will satisfy the Islamists' war goals. The same problem arises when you envision a compromise. Where is the compromise when your enemy's sole goal is to kill you, all of you. Does that mean that to compromise we have to offer to sacrifice half our citizens to their swords? A third? All Jewish citizens? Or maybe we should offer to put all women in burkhas, although that sounds a lot more like a loss than a compromise to me. There's really nothing we can offer them that will make them go away. The only sure thing we can do is to beat them down, both through the sword and through Democracy (I'm back to Natan Sharansky again, see sidebar). With this kind of enemy, neither surrender nor compromise are even possible. Our only option is to win. If you find this disheartening, keep in mind that our total victory over Germany, Japan and Italy was followed by all of those countries embracing a free society. While that might have been foreseeable in Germany and Italy, which had previously been semi-free, it was a 180 degree turnaround for Japan. So next time a liberal suggests surrender to you, ask them to think a few steps beyond their golden vision of our laying down swords and beating them into ploughshares. You'll probably be deluged with some pretty muddy thinking, and you might get them to realize that this is a zero sum war, where the victory must be ours.