Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The triumph of war

When I was young, I had a crush on this man: Your eyes are not deceiving you -- that's David Cassidy in his 1972 heyday. I'm happy to report that my tastes have changed, and for the better. I now have a crush on this man: Yup. That's Mark Steyn. How can anyone of any intelligence not appreciate someone who writes a funnily savage (or do I mean savagely funny?) attack on Unicef's sickening and perverse Smurf War video, and then wraps it up with this kind of language?

Sixteen out of Iraq's 18 provinces - including Sunni-majority ones - voted for the most liberal, democratic, federal and pluralist constitution in the Middle East. Sorry to make the Guardian throw up, but that is indeed a "triumph". Whatever the Americans got wrong, they got one big thing right - that, if you persevered, Iraq had the potential to function as a free society in a part of the world where no such thing has ever existed. That was a long shot, and much sneered at, not least by British "conservatives". But Washington judged correctly: given the radicalisation of the Arab world, and the Arabification of the Islamic world, and the Islamification of much of the rest of the world, in the end you have to fix the problem at source. In his book The Clash Of Civilizations, Samuel Huntington has a section on "Islam's Bloody Borders". "The overwhelming majority of fault line conflicts," he writes, "have taken place along the boundary looping across Eurasia and Africa that separates Muslims from non-Muslims." That looping boundary is never not in the news. Last week, it was Nalchik in the Russian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, where the Islamists killed more than 60 people. The week before, it was Bali, again. Different regimes on the looping boundary try different strategies: in Indonesia, appeasement; in Chechnya, the Russians have reduced Grozny to rubble and still not got anywhere. Pushing back the Islamists on their ever expanding margins will never work. Reforming the heart of the Muslim world just might. Sometimes war is worth it. And, if you don't think so, look at the opening scenes of that Unicef video - Smurfs singing, dancing, gambolling merrily - and try to imagine living in a Smurf enclave in a province that wants to introduce Sharia.
I will repeat a point I've made ad nauseum: passive resistance, a la Ghandi or King, only works if you have an enemy that wants to keep you under its thumb, but that doesn't have a stomach for massive bloodshed. When you have an enemy that elevates and glorifies death, your passive resistance is just going to made you an easy victim to lead to the chopping block. The Iraqis, bless them, understand that very well, having lived at the base of a chopping block for the past 30 years. No wonder they went to the polls clutching photos like this: (Thanks for the photo, Flopping Aces.)