Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald discusses the continuing disastrous consequences of letting sentiment and wishful thinking get in the way of serious analysis.
The sentimentalist in the White House contents himself with bromides about how people everywhere “love freedom” and that all we have to do is bring “freedom” to Iraq. And with that “freedom” (demonstrated by those purple-thumbed elections that drew tears from sentimentalists everywhere) all manner of things will be well. Islam’s resurgence — not return, because it never left — in Iraq is nothing to worry about, because Islam is not the problem, only those “extremists” who “pervert” a “noble religion” are the problem. Nonsense on stilts.
This kind of sentimentalism prevents the kind of colder calculation that is necessary. How best to husband, rather than squander, resources? How best to exploit fissures within the camp of Jihad? How best to compel the mujahedin to direct their energies not to fighting the Infidels, but to such activities as the Iran-Iraq War that tied the Islamic Republic of Iran up for eight of the first nine years of its hideous existence, and at the same time used up so much of the aggressive energy and wherewithal of Saddam Hussein? It also soaked up tens of billions in cash from Kuwait, the U.A.E., and Saudi Arabia, who helped to fund him as the Sunni champion against Shi’a mad-dog (if not Rafidite dog) Iran.
As long as we keep talking about our “Muslim allies,” we will not talk about the ways to use the ethnic, sectarian, and economic fissures within the camp of Jihad to divide, demoralize, and weaken that camp. And those fissures are so obvious, and presented to us on such an obvious platter in Iraq, that it would be remarkably stupid to ignore them, and even stupider to try to end those fissures, to patch them up, to make Iraq that Light Unto the Muslim Nations it isn’t and never could be. Much the same kind of idiocy occurs elsewhere also — it is manifested by the officials who are hoping to make Indonesia another “model” of what can be done, rather than taking the occasion wherever it presents itself of forcing Muslims to make the connection between their own despotisms and economic paralysis with the nature of Islamic Sharia itself. For it is the encouragement by Islam of the habit of mental submission, and obedience to authority as long as the authority is Muslim, that explains the despotisms, ruthless or quasi-enlightened, that are to be found in all Muslim states save those few that have consciously constrained Islam as a political and social force — such as Turkey, with its systematic series of measures against political Islam, measures known as “Kemalism.”
It is Muslims who, no longer rescued by the Jizyah of Western foreign aid, and with efforts made to limit their returns from oil and gas revenues (which are not economic development, but rather an accident of geology), will have to begin to comprehend that inshallah-fatalism, which comes from Islam (Allah knows best; no one can predict what will happen for it is all in Allah’s hands, etc.), explains the economic stasis that is everywhere evident. Finally, the intellectual, social, and moral failures of Islamic societies is not a matter of genetic makeup but rather of various Islamic teachings. Infidels should cease to help Muslims and cease to pretend that there is nothing about Islam itself that explains their situation. Instead, they should allow the creation of those conditions which will force Muslims to confront the link between these aspects of Islam and the failures of their own societies. Whether they do something about this within Islam or take the route of Ataturk, so as to create a sufficient number of secularists within their societies, is unclear. But at least the Infidels will have seen things clearly and rescued themselves.
And that is the most important thing. We are not here to save the world, but to save ourselves. It is we who are threatened by those instruments of Jihad — Da’wa and demographic conquest and the “money” weapon — that we persist in ignoring, as we clump-clump-clump at great expense into places we did not study sufficiently. And we remain hideously stuck in those places through the sheer obstinacy of this administration that is incapable of admitting it was mistaken, and would rather continue to sacrifice men, money, materiel, on an unproven, sentimental, and by now self-evidently foolish theory about “victory” in Iraq that convinces no one, and in fact, has not even been coherently explained.
For in what would such a “victory” consist? Would it consist of some nation-state, with the Americans still there, keeping Kurds from exiting, defending from attack now the Shi’a, and now the Sunnis? Would it be shown by the presence of American soldiers, under attack but still working away at that ultimate symbol of madness and folly, that 21-building “Embassy Complex,” costing $595 million? It will never be used as an American Embassy in a safe, grateful, friendly Iraq. That is certain — certain to everyone but to those in the Administration who keep building the damn thing. But does anyone speak out about this folly, symbol of all that is crazy in tarbaby Iraq?
Not yet. But they will. And then, for those who continue to believe that the best way to deal with the Jihad is to build up this or that Muslim army or state, to find “friends” and create “models” in the Muslim world while ignoring the real nature of Islam and refusing to pay attention to the demographic problem in Western Europe, the silly cheerleaders for “transformative diplomacy” and the Democracy-Is-On-the-March movement, it will all be over
And that should be the end of sentimentality as state policy.