When Infidel armies, and legions of Infidel aid workers full of grand ideas enter a place like Afghanistan, and take no notice of the essence of the place — Islam, and minds on Islam — or having at long last taken notice still pretend that it doesn’t matter, that things can change without changing or weakening the power of Islam and its hold over the minds of men, they are akin to landscape gardeners going off to the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia. There they pour water, and more water, into the sand, and perhaps here and there attempt to lay down some very expensive peat moss from Ireland, or lush lawns cut out of the bluegrass country of Kentucky, as if somehow this could cause the Empty Quarter, even the tiniest part of it, to permanently bloom. The expense, the effort, are horrific, and horrific too the results — in the end, nothing at all but waste.
There is no recognition that it is Islam that explains the blowing up of girls’ schools, and Islam that explains why, whenever something goes wrong, there is an immediate blaming of the Americans and other Infidels. Hysterical crowds shout against them on the highway (a highway that may owe its very existence to those same Americans), while meretricious and grasping local leaders see the Americans only as a source of money and other handouts, and of nothing else — not as a source of ideas about human liberty, certainly, but just that money.
So we can keep watering the stony soil, or the sands, of Dar al-Islam. And we can tell ourselves that “we have to fight them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here.” But why is it, then, that Al Qaeda still exists and thrives in Pakistan, and has in opinion polls in the Arab and Muslim world received the support of 50% of the population? And one can assume that if Muslims are going to lie in their responses to such questions, they will lie in only one direction, hiding their support for, or approval of, Bin Laden, in order to curry Western favor or lull Western infidels.
The Western world, the American taxpayers, are not endlessly rich. There are nuclear reactors to be built, wind and solar energy and mass transit systems to be subsidized, bridges and roads to be repaired, a health-care system that needs infusions of money, because the expense for insurance has become absurdly high. Public schools are in disarray, and higher education is crazily expensive (and often not worth it). And so much else is wrong, that in some cases money can help to set it, if not exactly aright, than at least less wrong. But that money is now being poured into those mental deserts made permanently bleak by Islam. No amount of Western watering will change Afghanistan — not more cash, not more roads, not more time spent trying to win hearts and minds that, as long as they remain true to Islam, cannot conceivably be won by any Infidels no matter how much good they do.
One can do better for the people. How? By allowing the conditions to be created within Afghanistan not of Infidel-delivered and Infidel-paid-for artificial development, but by leaving Afghanistan alone and letting those within it fight it out, in a Hobbesian state, until they finally begin to realize that that Hobbesian state of aggression and violence is linked to, comes out of, Islam itself, with its worship of power, and its insistence on the Victor and the Vanquished. Let them. Let Muslims stop being protected from the political, economic, social, moral, and intellectual failures of Islam itself. Let them see it.
If it is necessary to bomb a terrorist training camp now and again, do so. But there are no doubt as many terrorist training camps now in Pakistan, which cannot be taken over (a country with 150 million people), than in Afghanistan. And for that matter, the “training” one needs for such things as the bombing of the subways in London and Madrid, or the takeover of the Moscow theatre or the school in Beslan, or even the thousands of terrorist acts committed by assorted Arabs against Israel over the past fifty years, did not require any special camps in Afghanistan. Plots can be hatched in London or Paris or Rome. It is idiotic to take a particular case of a general phenomenon — the Al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan — and argue from that the entire remote and dangerous and wild country of Afghanistan, with its warring tribes and peoples and warlords and factions, a place never held by anyone, not the British in the 19th century and not the Russians in the 20th, will somehow succumb to the American Infidels. It won’t, and we don’t even need to try. We need only keep this or that group that intends to do mischief outside permanently at bay — by the kind of intermittent bombing, say, that the Israelis are now conducting in Gaza.
The Western world has been expending too much money, and too many soldiers, on the wrong things. Its efforts have not been cost-effective. Partly this is a result of the inability of generals to understand that the word “war” does not always imply tanks and planes and guns, nor does it always imply that we are to “go to war” by doing the fighting ourselves. Where is the attempt to divide and demoralize the Camp of Islam and Jihad? Where is the Information War? Where is the Propaganda War? Where is the war to make sure that “they don’t attack us over here” by doing the most obvious thing: working on measures to halt Muslim migration, given that a certain very large proportion of any given Muslim population has shown itself willing to support and justify terrorism, and many seem hellbent on promoting the spread of Islam through Da’wa and demographic conquest and propaganda which aims to stifle all criticism (sometimes by enrolling the government in passing laws to prevent such criticism, lest it “offend Muslims” and make “our task to reach out to them” more difficult)?
The thing that puzzles is not that Muslims should make every effort to spread Islam, and to attack any Infidel institutions, from the laic rules of the laic state of France, and any individual Infidels who may know too much about Islam and are too effective in presenting their views, in order to tear down all obstacles to the spread of Islam — in order to achieve, as they are duty-bound to work to achieve, a situation in the former Lands of the Infidels where “Islam dominates and is not to be dominated.”
No, what puzzles is why Infidels think that they, in turn, are not permitted to take the most modest of measures — including those measures to halt Muslim migration and doing nothing to facilitate the practice, and spread, of Islam in Infidel lands — to defend themselves, their legal and political institutions, their individual rights, their very idea of the individual. Yet all these are so lacking in Islam. Why cannot Infidels attempt to preserve free and skeptical inquiry instead of the habit of mental submission that Islam encourages or even inculcates?
Why don’t Infidels defend themselves? Why do they think the only thing they can do is to pour hundreds of billions of dollars into making Iraq, or Afghanistan, or Egypt, or Pakistan, or the “Palestinian”-occupied territories, into places far better than they would be if the local Muslims had to rely either on themselves alone, or on aid from fabulously rich, but extraordinarily selfish, fellow Muslims?