"You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out." - William Tecumseh Sherman

Name: The General
Location: Sacramento, California, United States


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Saturday, August 21, 2004
  Why Bush Can't Win War on "Terrorism"
Lawrence Auster has written a good article on the centrality of Jihad in Islam. The first half of the article is his support for this assertion (which is very good, incidentally), and the second covers his recommendations for what should be done in light of this connection.

In the second half he expresses his doubts about President Bush's efforts to "democratize" (more accurately, civilize) the Middle East. Having already noted how Jihad is essential to Islam (and also noting that Islam is the real problem in the Middle East, not "terrorism"), Auster names the fundamental solution to Militant Islam - the secularization of the Middle East:
...the democratic reform of Muslim societies requires their partial or complete secularization.

Having seen this fundamental (and almost never understood point), Auster then laments that this is the solution. Why? Is it because Islam is really a peaceful and progressive religion? No. He rejects it because
...if the secularization of Muslim societies becomes a guiding principle of our foreign policy, that would inevitably lead us to secularize our own society as well, which is the very last thing we need.

And thus he succinctly shows
  1. why Bush hasn't attacked Iran or Saudi Arabia (they'd have to be secularized) and
  2. therefore why Bush cannot win the war on "terrorism".

Terrorism is not a primary; it is a result ultimately of the philosophy or religion of the terrorist. If someone believes they have a mandate from God to achieve a given end, and that it is intrinsically good, then achieving that end takes precedence over everything else. As philosopher Ayn Rand wrote:
If a man believes that the good is intrinsic in certain actions, he will not hesitate to force others to perform them. If he believes that the human benefit or injury caused by such actions is of no significance, he will regard a sea of blood as of no significance. If he believes that the beneficiaries of such actions are irrelevant (or interchangeable), he will regard wholesale slaughter as his moral duty in the service of a "higher" good.

And thus if we are to defeat the "terrorists", we must stop the dissemination of their ideology. America did not just assassinate Adolf Hitler in World War II; we destroyed Germany and the Nazi ideology, because we understood that all the evil consequences sprang from those vile ideas. It is time we came to the same conclusion about Militant Islam. But Bush's own religious beliefs have paralyzed him from coming to this conclusion. For if it is wrong for Muslims to legislate their religion via the Shari'a, how is Bush to justify his own religious influence in our political system. As Mr. Auster seems to understand, to secularize the Middle East we would have to secularize ourselves, else we would be guilty of the very evil we were fighting.

And thus Bush will never be effective in this war. That is why we have not decisively crushed Muqtada Al Sadr. And that is why ultimately we will lose, if we don't return to the founding principles of this country, starting with the separation of Church and State. Only then can we effectively fight our enemy, who hates us and wants to kill us.

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