Hillary Clinton is apparently uninterested in finding out what it was that her husband did wrong in all his years of entertaining and cajoling Yasir Arafat, and spending or squandering so much time in attempting to “solve” the unsolvable but manageable Arab war on, or more accurately, the Arab and Muslim Jihad against, the Infidel nation-state of Israel. This is understandable. All over Washington there are those who have spent decades trying to find a “solution” for the “Arab-Israeli conflict.” (Latterly, for those intent on reifying “Palestine,” the tendentious new formulation “Israel-Palestine” is used.) These people cannot possibly admit that they have missed the most important thing in the Middle East, the thing that molds the minds of the Arab masses, and even, to a surprising degree, that of even outwardly Westernized and “modern” Arab liberals — and that something, that One Big Thing, is Islam.
If Dennis Ross and Martin Indyk and Aaron Miller and Richard Haas have been busy peace-processing for decades, and if the assorted State Department hacks, the djerijians and the pickerings, as well as all those more sinister fellows, the james-akinses who have been in the pocket of the Saudis whether out of venality or deep, altogether-too-explicable antipathy toward Israel, how can any of them even now, even in 2009, start to study Islam? How can they now start to grasp what it inculcates, and how it explains the behavior, and the attitudes, and the atmospherics, of Arab and Muslim societies? And how can they begin to grasp, they who keep thinking that there is this discrete problem with Israel, and another discrete problem in Iraq, and another in Darfur, and another in Afghanistan and another in Pakistan — how can they begin to see or even seek the Unified Field Theory that underlies all of these examples of political, economic, social disarray, intellectual paralysis, malevolence toward “the Other” — that “Other” being all Infidels? It would imply that until now all of these people have disastrously missed the point.
Hillary Clinton appears, like her husband and those many “experts” — indyks, rosses, millers, tutti quanti (with the odd djerijian or brzezinski pontificating from the determinedly anti-Israel sidelines) — not to be able to begin to recognize the centrality of Islam, the ideology of Islam, and its observable effects on policies, on feigning friendships, and on the minds of men. And its effects can be seen not only on the primitive masses, but even on many of the so-called “liberals” whose “liberalism” is sharply curtailed by the residual effects of being reared within societies suffused with Islam, so that only those who jettison Islam altogether can start to see things steadily, sensibly, and whole. Hillary and the rest are unable to see that the Slow Jihadists of Fatah differ not in their ultimate goals, but only in the realism that tempers the means they choose, and they differ only in matters of timing and tactics from the Fast Jihadists of Hamas.
This is something that is impossible to see for so many whose entire professional lives have been spent on the assumption that “peace-processing” and not its alternative is of value. Its alternative is keeping the peace as it has always been kept, through a policy of determined deterrence by Israel, punctuated necessarily by small and rapid wars. Yet “peace-processing” is not of value. It always and everywhere has led to disastrous concessions on Israel’s part, concessions that have imperiled its security. This has held true ever since the Armistice Agreements of 1949 were violated by so many of the Arab signatories, and the Suez pullout of 1956, which Nasser violated in some cases within 24 hours of the Israeli pullout. It has held true through the various limited agreements with Syria and Egypt, and then the farcical Camp David Accords which Egypt, required only to refrain from hostile propaganda and to try to encourage a new spirit, violated in every significant element. It did so especially after Israel scrupulously fulfilled its side of the bargain, which involved the yielding up of tangible assets — that is, the entire Sinai, together with its oilfields and three Israeli airbases and tens of billions of dollars — in 2008 dollars — in infrastructure put in by Israel.
It would take someone of high intelligence who would be willing to break with the complacencies of the past and to grasp the nature of Islam, and to understand the imperatives of Islam. It would take someone of high intelligence, finally, to grasp that any surrender, anywhere, to Muslim demands does not lead, as it might with other Westerners or even with non-Western non-Muslims, to a similar spirit of compromise and permanent coexistence, but rather to a deep, malevolent triumphalism, a feeling that the strategy of defeat of Israel by steady diplomatic degrees is indeed the way to go. Or as Mahmoud Abbas so sinisterly says, “we have chosen peace as a strategic option.” Not real peace, not a permanent peace. Not at all. But “peace” as what he carefully calls a “strategic option.”
Hillary Clinton must improve her understanding of Islam and get beyond her husband’s misapprehension of the problem. She must begin to recognize the problem of Islam in Western Europe, where the chief weapons of the Jihad (which I have repeatedly and carefully defined here as the “struggle to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam”) are not terror, useful as that is, but rather the far more insidious weapons that include the Money Weapon (which pays for mosques, madrasas, propaganda, including subventions to academic “centers,” and armies of Western hirelings), campaigns of Da’wa (also made partly possible by that Money Weapon supplied by the rich Arabs, especially in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf statelets), and the most worrisome of all, demographic conquest.
If Hillary Clinton would like to continue the failed and vain policies of the past, there’s little to stop her. On the other hand, if she wants to show that she is capable of grasping what neither George Bush, nor her husband, nor the same dismal crew of “experts” did not grasp, and if she would like, furthermore, to help Obama get out of Iraq and Afghanistan — both terrific economic and military drains — then she can do so. She can do so in the only way that makes political and geopolitical sense, by beginning to understand that we should be identifying and ruthlessly exploiting the pre-existing fissures within the Camp of Islam, and not spending money trying to rescue Muslim countries from the political or economic or social failures that are a result of Islam itself.
“Democracy” in the Western sense can only appear and be nurtured once Islam has been systematically constrained, as Ataturk did in Turkey. Economic development that does not rely on the manna of oil, or the exploitation, through a hidden Jizyah, of a large non-Muslim population (as in Malaysia), will not come to Muslim countries. For the very nature of Islam, with its inshallah-fatalism, and long reliance on either that manna from Allah or the squeezing of money out of Infidels, militates against that economic development. Yet nowadays those Infidels seem all too willing to supply that Jizyah in the form of endless amounts of foreign aid, to Pakistan, to Egypt, to Jordan, to Iraq for its “reconstruction” and Afghanistan for its “construction” — without anyone wondering why it is that the rich Arab states and statelets are not asked to support all of the poorer members of the Umma, instead of the Infidels continuing to do so — thus putting Muslim solidarity, when it is no longer the solidarity based on a shared hostility to, or hatred of, non-Muslims, to the test.
Hillary Clinton can be a mediocre Secretary of State, or something much better. It will depend on whether or not she allows herself the leisure, the mental luxury (for that apparently is what it is, though in fact it should be regarded as not a luxury but a necessity), of taking the time to study, herself, the texts, the tenets, the attitudes, the atmospherics of Islam. She might well start with two or three books by Bat Ye’or, such as The Dhimmi and The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam. She could then proceed from there. And she might find out, along the way, from Majid Khadduri’s War and Peace In the Law of Islam, how Muslims are taught to regard treaties, all treaties, made with Infidels.
Hillary Clinton is not dumb. She’s not at the level of Madeline Albright, for example. But she has simply been swimming within a world of hectic activity, where study becomes out-sourced, and so much is allowed not to be questioned, and assumptions made long ago still prevail. Yet those assumptions were made before it became apparent, or should have become apparent, that there is a worldwide problem. That problem can be contained and managed, but it cannot be ignored. It arises from the ideology of Islam itself, which is immutable because the texts — Qur’an, Hadith, and Sira — are immutable. It has become dangerous not because of a change in that ideology, but in the means now available to Muslims to act on that ideology in ways they could not have in 1950 or 1940 or 1900.
Hillary Clinton might try starting anew, trying to question the assumptions that are part of the air in so much of Official Washington. She could ask, for example, people on the European Desk at the State Department to make the matter of Islamization in Western Europe a priority, and to report to her more frequently and directly about the security implications — and the civilizational implications — of large numbers of Muslims being allowed to settle deep behind what they, those Muslims, are taught to regard as enemy lines, and where Islam itself inculcates permanent hostility to the legal and political institutions of Infidel nation-states. For in such states almost everything is offensive to Believing Muslims, whose Shari”a flatly contradicts the principles, the laws, the customs and manners, of Infidel societies. This is not something to be smilingly waved away, not something that should be ignored or pooh-poohed because of the charms, of all kinds, to be found in this or that quite unrepresentative, even if still defensive-about-Islam, Muslim. Whether that charmer is Huma Abedin, or some Pakistani colleague you have at work who seems so much warmer than your run-of-the-mill American colleagues, or that sweet Arab girl who roomed with a friend of your daughter’s at college, you”ve got to stay relentlessly focused on the ideology of Islam, and not on the personal allure of this or that unrepresentative, or possibly all-too-representative but insufficiently cross-questioned, individual.
All over policy-making Washington, the millers and the indyks and the djerijians like to repeat, as if to make sure that no one dares to question them or dares to suggest that they have overlooked the elephant in the room of Islam, that “everyone knows” what a “Middle East settlement will look like.” “Everyone knows,” do they? Do these “everyones” also know all about Islam, and what any “settlement” involving loss of Israel control over the “West Bank,” its strategic depth, its control of invasion routes from the East, its aquifers, would mean to the attitude of Arabs and Muslims everywhere? Do they grasp the nature of Muslim triumphalism, and the persistence, the permanence, of Jihad?
Does Hillary Clinton herself recognize that this is it for Israel, that after 2000 years between the destruction of the Second Temple, and the resurrection of a Jewish commonwealth, under hellishly difficult conditions, there will be no second chance? Does she possess the historical sense of others — of Jacques Ellul, or Indro Montanelli or Oriana Fallaci or Magdi Allam — to grasp the significance of Israel, the poetry and the passion of it? Or is it, to her, merely a pesky little country about which she has to utter a few transparently undeeply-felt phrases of sympathy, in order to garner votes or campaign contributions? Is she capable of rising to this occasion, and to this danger? Is she capable of grasping what the existence of that country means? Is she — and this just as important, and intimately related — capable of grasping what the permanent threat of Islam means both for Israel’s existence, and for the continued existence of what we think of as the West, through the threat of inexorable islamization in Western Europe?