This sounds great until one realizes that both Brown and Bush are in total denial about the deep roots of jihad and Islamic supremacism within Islamic theology and tradition. Can we really fight the war of ideas effectively while ignoring and denying the true nature of the conflict itself?
And then when you see what Brown is actually recommending, it just involves a further retreat from the ideological challenge the jihadists present. Instead of confronting that challenge and joining the battle, he is recommending that we ignore that jihadism represents a “cause” altogether, and treat it the way it was treated before 9/11, as a series of unrelated, distinct “crimes” that had no underlying unifying purpose or goal.
Imagine if the Allies had tried to fight World War II that way: instead of treating Nazism as an ideology and combatting it, imagine if they treated each German offensive in Europe as a separate “crime,” not as part of any larger purpose, and offered outreach programs to Germans in the face of each “crime.” How far might Hitler have gotten?
From the Daily Mail :
Gordon Brown will use his first formal talks with George Bush to urge a massive cultural offensive against Islamic extremism.
He is set to urge America to learn from the Cold War and mount a battle of ideas rather than rely on military might alone.
Ahead of his first formal talks with President Bush, he declared: “It is our shared task to expose terrorism for what it is – not a cause but a crime. A crime against humanity.”
His words contrasted strongly with the Bush rhetoric of a “war against terror”.
He emphasised the importance of winning with ideas and values rather than just bullets.
“We should remember that during the Cold War, the united front against Soviet communism involved deterrence through large arsenals of weapons and a cultural effort also on an unprecedented scale, deploying what Roosevelt called the ‘arsenal of democracy’,” he wrote in the Washington Post.
“Foundations, trusts, civil society and civic organisations – links and exchanges between schools, universities, museums, institutes, churches, trade unions, sports clubs, societies – were all engaged.”
Yes, there was a lot of attempting to win hearts and minds. There was also a lot of clear-eyed confrontation of the Communist ideology. Where is today’s Radio Free Europe, beaming anti-jihadist broadcasts into the Islamic world? Who would dare to establish it?