Powerline blog recently published “a pessimistic assessment” of the situation in Iraq, written by an American serving there. While it is labelled a “pessimistic” assessment, it would be more accurate to call it a “realistic” assessment. The fact that it has been put up at a website ordinarily an unshakeable supporter of the war may be that one swallow that doesn’t make a spring, or it may mean that at long last, the swallows of more ruthless common sense are now winging their way back to all kinds of mental Capistranos.
For Victory, Rightly Understood, Stands Shining Before Us, if Only We Get Out. When you hear dire predictions of “chaos” and “catastrophe,” be sure to ask “but whose chaos?” And “whose catastrophe?” The goals of the Administration have successively been whittled down. The “democracy” is not true democracy, but Shari’a-limited, and so is merely one of purple-thumbed head-counting, which the Shi’a Arabs will gladly support (and dutifully vote exactly as they are told by their leaders) because they constitute 60-65% of the population. The Sunni Arabs remain resentful of the Shi”a, because while they “know” that they are the “largest” group in Iraq, they also “know” (i.e., obscurely realize) that in fact they constitute less than 20% of the population, and to regain power, and then to hold onto it, will require mass intimidation, through terrorism and economic sabotage, of the Shi”a. Just as Muslims were quite capable of believing that 1) the Mossad and the C.I.A. were behind the World Trade Center Attacks and 2) Bin Laden achieved a great thing, did something wonderful, against the Infidels with those World Trade Center Attacks which, however, were committed by the Mossad or the C.I.A., so are the Sunni Arabs capable of understanding that they really do constitute 19% of Iraq’s population but at the same constitute 42% of it and are, they believe, the largest group, the group entitled to rule.
I have written about this hundreds of times. We have our Victory in Iraq. The Bush Administration just fails to recognize it, because that Victory is not the “victory” that the Bush Administration has set out, and never swerved, from wishing to achieve — a “victory” that makes no sense. The real Victory, the one that makes perfect sense, was achieved long ago, and was made certain at the end of 2003 when Saddam Hussein was seized. The time to start removing troops was at the beginning of 2004, and to have them all about by the end of that spring. No dreams of American bases safely tucked here and there into the comforting fabric of Iraq, no fabulous xanadu of a $595 million dollar Embassy (let’s see what they thought they were going to build in their sheer craziness — can we have a picture please?), no Iraq the Light Unto the Muslim Nations, no bringing “democracy” to “ordinary moms and dads” in the Middle East, none of it. Just a sober understanding that the instruments of Jihad are many, that the threat is worldwide (and most dangerously shown in the accelerating islamization of the advanced societies, the cultural heart of our civilization, without which the United States cannot survive in more than a physical sense, the lands of Western Europe). We must therefore exploit, wherever and whenever we can, the fissures within Islam or the Camp of Islam.
There are ethnic fissures: in Iraq the Arab vs. Non-Arab Muslim battle is between Arabs and Kurds. (In North Africa, and especially Algeria, it is between Arabs and Berbers). It is the Kurds, who now see their opportunity for independence, who can help provide an example, if they are successful, of a non-Arab Muslim people throwing off the Arab yoke. And in the effort to do so, the understanding will spread among the 80% of the world’s Muslims who are not Arabs, that Islam has always been, and always will be, despite its universalist pretensions, a vehicle for Arab linguistic, cultural, economic, and political imperialism.
Even more obviously present in Iraq is the main sectarian fissure within Islam, that between Sunnis and Shi”a. This split dates back to the first century of Islam. Those who, like the inimitable Dinesh D”Souza, claim it is “merely” a “political” rather than a “religious” split, appear not to realize that the religious and the political are one within Islam. For as Bernard Lewis never tires of repeating (the same Lewis whom Dinesh D”Souza claims to have read with such attention, needing no other authority), the doctrine of “render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s” is an idea that permits the sundering of political and religious authority in the Christian West, an idea that makes no sense to Muslims, or in Islam. The Shi”a having a long history of enduring, over many centuries, at times only contumely and discrimination, and at times persecution and murder at the hands of the Sunnis. In the history of modern Iraq, it has been mostly persecution, and more recently, murder.
And finally there is the clear economic division between Haves and Have-Nots. The oil-rich Arabs lead lives of luxury and languor, the result of an accident of geology, not of any industry or enterprise on their part. And this is in contrast to the impoverished state of those Arabs and other Muslims who do not possess that oil bonanza, and who, being Muslims, are incapable of the kind of enterprise and energy that the development of modern economies require. For inshallah-fatalism inhibits economic activity. Look at any country where there are significant numbers of both Muslims and non-Muslims. Look at Malaysia, and which group is responsible for economic development in that country, or at Indonesia, or at Lebanon, or at Nigeria. Look at the massive exploitation of the welfare states of western Europe, not by “immigrants” in general (not the Chinese, not the Vietnamese, not the Hindus) but by one specific group: Muslims, and not in this or that country alone, but in every Infidel land of Western Europe, no matter what its history or current political setup, or benefits offered. Despite the fact that the oil-rich Arabs and Muslims have been the beneficiaries of the greatest transfer of wealth in human history, far outreaching anything received by all the colonial powers through all the years of colonialism, amounting since 1973 to ten trillion dollars, it is not they, but we the Infidels, who have somehow become responsible, or who have allowed ourselves, in a moment of distraction or semi-dementia, to think that we somehow should be responsible, for their economic disarray. For we supply money and goods and services of all kinds to the non-oil-endowed Arab and Muslim states. Those receiving such foreign aid take it as by right, and show not gratitude but continued undisguised hostility to those giving them that aid. And the givers of such aid give it with alacrity, an eagerness to please, and with such fear of cutting or diminishing such aid lest the beneficiaries are angered and begin to behave in a manner still more hostile to the donors who have been trying, tugging at their metaphorical forelocks, to comply in every way with what those recipients of aid demand.
For the implication is always, as the Infidels fearfully see it, that if they don’t give such aid, then those Muslim recipients will do them harm, or even more harm than they now do them. Yes, those Infidels convince themselves, we”d better not stop that aid to those inculcated to hate us by their own sacred texts. One can almost hear in the background the aposiopetic threat of Neptune in the Aeneid, Book IV, when the God of the Sea shakes his triton and offers a dire warning, the “Quos Ego”¦” so carefully attended to in many a third-year Latin class. What we should be doing is not only cutting all aid to members of the Camp of Islam (and spending that money on efforts to alert the peoples of the West to the theory and practice of Islam), but publicly embarrassing the Arabs and Muslims by pointedly making clear that the poor members of the Umma should be seeking whatever aid they need from the rich members of the Umma, given that the Umma al-Islamiyya is the only community, for Muslims, that counts, and where all that blague and blah about “social justice” should be duly noted, and the loyalty of rich Muslims to poor ones should be put to the public test. Yes, why isn’t Saudi Arabia, why aren’t the Emirates, why isn’t Kuwait, really sharing the wealth with the rest of the “Arab Nation” or the “Umma al-Islamiyya”?
Iraq presents us clearly with two of those three main fissures. Those two are, for the thousandth time at this website, the sectarian and the ethnic fissures within the Camp of Islam that long pre-date our entry to Iraq — pre-date the founding of the American Republic, in fact, by a thousand years. We need do nothing to “encourage” those fissures. We have in fact done everything we can to prevent them, to engender a spirit of sweet reason and compromise that shows how little we comprehend the belief-system of Islam, which nowhere inculcates the spirit of sweet reason and compromise, but everywhere quite a different view of the universe, in which peoples are divided between Believers and Unbelievers — the rightful victors, and the rightfully vanquished. But of course, our leaders haven’t bothered, or are incapable of finding advisers able to explain to them, what Islam’s tenets, and attitudes, and atmospherics, are all about. Such people exist — you can find a few of them right at this website. The government might have saved American taxpayers a cool $500 or $600 or $700 or $800 billion, had it chosen to listen to such people and to begin to fashion policies based on some understanding of the need to identify the instruments of Jihad (and stop focusing on this “war on terror”), and to render them less effective. It might also have then ceased the obsessive and obsessed attempt to make Iraq into something it never could have been, and had it been, had that goal been achieved, it would have worked against the Infidels, and promoted only unity within the Camp of Islam.
It is not, however, too late.
Victory, rightly understood (as being defined as any acts which weaken, by demoralizing, or dividing, and using up the resources and attention that might otherwise be devoted, directly or indirectly to Jihad, the Camp of Islam) Stands Shining Before Us. It has been before us for several years. But Victory, in one of those seeming paradoxes, can only be achieved If Only We Get Out.