Why can’t we defeat Islam?
Vishal M. writes:
I wonder why you postulate that “we can not defeat Islam.” Ann Coulter had it best—kill the leaders, convert the population. The conversion comes in long term. Large parts of Islamic lands were Christian and could be again.
Separation in any case—how it can work in an ever-smaller growing world of ours. Plus the situation of Israel and oil. With growing missile and nuclear threats, Israel can not practise Separation and must fight to win.
What would it mean to “defeat” Islam? It would mean literally taking over by military force and subduing to our will the entire Islamic world. We haven’t had the means or the will to subdue Iraq because of the violence that would require. Imagine what would be required to subdue all Muslim countries. We would have to kill tens of millions of people, and keep killing more of them, forever.
Figure how many men we would need to do this. First triple our involvement in Iraq to 500,000 men, because that is what would be needed to subdue it. Then multiply that times 40 (since Iraq’s population is 1/40th of the total Islamic population of about one billion). That’s 20 million American soldiers stationed throughout the Islamic world, forever, killing Muslims, forever.
Do you still think the U.S. can “defeat” Islam?
James N. writes:
In my thinking about the war, I have always imagined that victory is possible.
My original educated amateur view was that it would take an Army and Marine Corps of ten million men to conquer, occupy, and reconstruct Arabia and Pakistan, about fifty divisions.
I think the Muslim situation is quite similar to shinto Japan, which invented many of the tactics used by our enemy today. We converted them, and we could do the same in the Middle East.
Now, I do not believe for a second that the nation is ready or willing to do this. Separationism is another promising approach to the problem (I don’t think we are willing to do that, either, but that’s a separate subject).
America raised a 90-division Army/Marine Corps 65 years ago and bathed Japan in blood until they changed fundamentally.
Do you think the fact that America was a monocultural white nation (at least with regard to the armed forces) is what made that possible?
There are three choices: 1) Victory 2) Containment 3) Surrender.
I think you overstate the requirements for victory. We could have a victory, Japan-style, and would not have to be killing them “forever”. But we sure would have to kill lots of them in short order to achieve it.
We’ve done it before, recently. What do you see as the obstacles to doing it again?
Larry G. writes:
We need to eradicate Islam, but that doesn’t mean we necessarily have to kill Muslims to do it. Separation is an essential step, but we should follow it up with information warfare along the lines of Radio Free Europe; pro-Christian and pro-Western Internet radio and television; attacks on jihadist web sites and communication channels; setting up Western schools in Muslim countries to counter the madrassas; and finally sending religious missionaries. None of this will happen until we achieve a change of attitude on our own side, regaining our will to propagate our ideas and defend our interests. Oddly enough, Muslims might be more attracted to Traditionalism than to our current Western culture.
In order to send missionaries, we’d have to send troops to occupy and pacify the country to prevent the missionaries, as well as the converts, from being killed.
Mark J. writes:
Vishal M. argued that separation from Islam wouldn’t work “in an ever-smaller growing world of ours.” This argument is used frequently by people who believe there’s nothing we can do to stop from being encroached upon by aggressive cultures and peoples, and I don’t think it stands up to scrutiny. Obviously, the world has not grown physically smaller. What kinds of “shrinking” have occurred since, say, the 1920s, when America was safe, secure, and determined to preserve its historic culture and composition? Yes, technology allows people to communicate and travel faster and less expensively. But aggressive non-Western peoples still can’t get into our countries unless we let them sail, fly, or walk in, just like in 1920. All we have to do is stop giving them visas, and deport those who are here, and voilà! despite the “shrunken” modern world, we are separated from them. It’s not fast, cheap communication and transportation that threaten us, it’s the liberal ideology that tells us we have no moral right to preserve ourselves.
David H. writes:
First I wanted to mention—with tremendous appreciation and admiration—your recent treatment of religion. Information presented and thoughts such as yours are vital, and will be even more vital, in halting the aggressive war that radical atheists have unleashed on believers. A wonderful New Year’s gift it has been.
I completely agree with Mark J. that the flood of Muslims into the United States can certainly be stopped and that will be an essential first step toward eliminating the dire peril that threatens us. Visas can be a powerful weapon; even more so if the government would actually enforce immigration law (fat chance as it currently stands). If undesirable immigrants/visitors (I have no fear of saying this—there ARE desirable and undesirable immigrants) had not been allowed into these United States, we would not have been subjected to the single most barbaric act of terrorism ever perpetrated (one which remains relatively unpunished). In addition, I would say that all Muslims here on visas should have those visas revoked and such persons forced to return to their home nations. There have been numerous costly attempts to prove some compatibility between the West and Islam, all painful and all failed (the malevolence of these attempts on the part of the government and pressure groups cannot be exaggerated; they experiment, we die—September 11 was the worst so far, but still only one of those painful lessons).
Containment or surrender are the only possible choices facing us. “Adventures” like Iraq are tragically counter-productive, killing our best, brightest and most noble, as well as gobbling up treasure. We cannot defeat “Islamofascism” (in the neocon jargon—most of us here know better) and impose democracy, because the great majority in those countries do NOT want to be liberated. Arabs in “Palestine” voted, without coercion; they chose Hamas. And containment must be ruthlessly enforced to be effective. If a Moslem nation begins developing offensive air power, munitions factories, weapons of mass destruction, et cetera, the culprits must be attacked and their infrastructure destroyed. Attempts at infiltration of border allies (Israel, Ethiopia, India, Bulgaria, Greece, et al) must be prevented with force, and without question. Such must be this war if we are to win, but win we can.
It is fantasy of the most dangerous kind to believe that the West will always be easily defended. Our enemies from within have already so weakened our traditions (even worse, our love for them) that many among us openly desire their demise. When the liberal fantasies are shattered, and spirits are crushed, when the old institutions like marriage and family (which gave men powerful reasons to risk their lives in battle) crumble and no strong reason for resistance exists, it will be easy for the broken to surrender to an aggressive, dedicated enemy like Islam (especially if multiculturalism is not thoroughly defeated). That is just one reason why it is so important to realize that this is not going to be so simple, so bloodless, if we are to win and avoid the darkness and evil of the invader. I believe that many of our toughest fights will occur right here at home.
Michael K. writes:
Lamentably, the horrendous disaster in Iraq has not disabused neocons and others of their illusions about “defeating Islam” and democratizing the Arab-Muslim world. I suggest that Vishal M. spend a few minutes trying to envision what this would entail in the real world, not only militarily but politically.
James N. is even more ambitious than Norman (“World War IV”) Podhoretz -who, to his credit, has never advocated “conquering, occupying, and reconstructing” Pakistan, probably because they have nuclear weapons- but at least he’s more honest than the neocons in realizing that “victory” would “take an Army and Marine Corps of ten million men.” (Podhoretz never addresses such mundane issues, and apparently believes our volunteer military would be sufficient.) Mr. Auster’s estimation of “20 million American soldiers stationed throughout the Islamic world, forever, killing Muslims, forever,” is probably more accurate.
But even if this crusade, this jihad against jihad, required a force of “only” 10 million rather than 20 million, and even if America’s occupation of the Middle-East and North Africa lasted “only” a few decades, as James N. suggests, rather than forever, 10 million Americans are not going to volunteer. The draft would have to reinstated and tens of millions of men would have to be conscripted. And also women. At the least, 10-20% of those drafted would be women. And what if the combat exclusion, what’s left of it, were repealed?
Also, obviously, the original 10-20 million would not serve indefinitely, or even for 10-years. Virtually all would be replaced in 5-years or sooner by another 10-20 million. Thus for the first decade of “World War IV” alone, 20-40 million men and women would be conscripted, and another 20-40 million every decade thereafter.
For this to happen, neoconservatives and their fellow travelers would have to rule American foreign policy in perpetuity. And for this to happen, John McCain or New Gingrich would have to be elected president in 2008 and serve 8-years, followed by another messianic “subneocon” warmonger who rules for another 8-years, and on and on and on.
And for this to happen, the American electorate would have to keep voting for war and against peace. To be more specific, the tens of millions of men and, at least, millions of women who would be drafted and shipped off to war, hundreds of thousands of them to be slaughtered, mutilated, blinded, paralyzed, brain-damaged, grotesquely disfigured, incapacitated for life, etc., and their parents, spouses, friends, relatives, teachers, neighbors, co-workers, etc., would have to keep voting for candidates who supported perpetual war and mass conscription and against those who opposed perpetual war and mass conscription.
Let me offer a more likely scenario. If the Bush/neocon/McCain “surge” is a disaster, accomplishing nothing while dramatically increasing casualties, “hail to the chief,” President Barack Hussein Obama. Or perhaps our first woman president, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Conversely, if a Republican candidate promised to “bring home the troops,” purge the neocons from the Republican party, build a fence along the entire Mexican-American border, massively deport rather than give amnesty to 20-million illegal aliens, and significantly reduce legal immigration (possibly even calling for a 5-10 year “moratorium”), he’d probably win decisively over either Obama or Hillary. But now I’m fantasizing.
Jason writes from New Jersey:
In my opinion it is because we fail to see who this enemy truly is. We refuse to believe that people as young as thirteen would put on a bomb vest and blow themselves up, but they do. We refuse to believe that a woman would put a bomb in her baby carriage, with the baby, so as to get through a checkpoint easier, but they do. We refuse to accept the violence that Islam is based on, but it is.
There is no need for ground troops or missionary work, you cannot convert them. How do you deprogram people who have known nothing else? There is nothing to deprogram them back to. I have said before to people, not only do we need to isolate ourselves from this cult like faith, we also need to make it very clear that the next time we are attacked, Mecca goes, period. If one more American dies at the hands of Islam, be they Muslims from Chehnea, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Indonesia, Malaysia, or even an American born English speaking, then we will launch cruise missiles into Mecca and destroy it. See how CAIR likes that.
I support in principle Tom Tancredo’s idea that we should tell the Muslim world that any serious terrorist attack on us will result in the destruction of Mecca and Medina. But Jason goes too far when he calls for the destruction of Mecca in retaliation for the death of a single American.
Maybe I do go a bit too far. But what is considered a major attack anymore. The first WTC bombing “only” killed six people. But the goal was to kill thousands as they did in the second. So is the enemy’s failure to achieve his goals reason enough for us not to achieve ours? This is a war, the last really big one was ended by leveling every city in Germany, and dropping not one, but two atomic bombs on Japan. We had best believe that if Iran gets nuclear weapons, the total loss of an American city and its surrounding areas are not that far behind. How long should we wait?
I have said on some other strings, Muslim people may not be the threat. But Islam is…. We need to realize that we are in a fight for our very survival. If one of theirs is willing to kill himself in order to achieve the deaths of thousands of ours. Then why is the death of one of ours not equal to the death of thousands of theirs?
I guess I am tired of wondering how much time we really have left. I want us to fight back, I know we are the good guys and all that. But how many more of us have to die before we realize that maybe we need to be not so good in order for our own civilization, and ourselves, to survive.
Just some questions for any and all to ponder.
I find Jason’s comments reflective of a common attitude on the right, that Islam is out to destroy us, and that we must somehow destroy Islam, with the implication being that we must rain down mass death on millions and millions of Muslims and leave the Muslim world a smoking ruin. This is overwrought and does not help us think through what we actually need to do. If we truly isolated the Muslim world, and used deterrence and occasional destructive force against specific regimes or other targets when they became threatening to us, we would have rendered the Islamic world essentially unable to harm us, without our having to think in these acolalyptic, mass-death terms of defeating and destroying Islam as such.
Mark P. writes:
To respond to Jason’s comment about nuking the Muslim world:
Raining death upon the Muslims is certainly sufficient to end the Muslim threat, but it is not necessary.
The key point to remember is that wars are won by matching the solution to the problem. Nuking Japan and fielding huge armies, navies and air forces to defeat the Axis powers in WWII was necessary because the enemy had their own nuclear programs, armies, navies and air forces. No other solution was possible.
What is the main weapon of the jihadi against America? A plane ticket from Riyadh to Manhattan. A visa. A residency permit. How difficult would it be to close the American firewall by ending these transactions? A matter of will only, not a matter or means…and almost costless to boot.
And keep in mind that nuclear solutions can always be used in the future. One Trident nuclear submarine could end the Muslim threat forever.
I completely agree that isolation will probably work. I simply want to keep the option open of destructive force if need be.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at January 05, 2007 07:06 AM | Send
Just as a side and personal note I do not mind sharing. My first real exposure to this came in 2003 at a Republican rally. I was wearing my Jewish Team Leader shirt from the RNC, minding my own business. Three members of CAIR that were there to protest walked up to me, and said really quietly. “Hey, did you know we get 144 virgins for cutting your head off? Pretty cool huh?!” I decided knocking him out at that point would simply get me arrested, so I walked away. I then linked to David Horowitz Front Page Magazine, and that is how I found View From the Right and various other pages. I also bought my first copy of the Koran and read it cover to cover. As well as many other books.
I guess I am a bit sensitive to people whose leadership professes on a daily basis how they want to kill me and my family and how best to do it. Keep in mind that if CAIR had not approached me, I probably would be in the dark about this threat as much as anyone else is. I would not have had any reason to read as much on this subject as I do.
Just so everyone knows where I am coming from on this. I do not want people to think I am completely nuts.