Losing the war of ideas
. . . and see how
James K. Glassman, the new U.S. under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs . . .
looking for an alternative . . . ?
A DEPRESSING PROSPECT
The "Messiah" of Nothing!
You think that this will defeat our enemies?
This would-be Messiah let his Mohammedanism lapse sometime between his Islamic education and his taking up Christianity by joining the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's white-hating Afrocentric church. Doing whatever he deemed necessary for gaining power, he launched himself into the American-African community by becoming a community organizer in Chicago with connections to unsavory and anti-American elements.
DIM HOPE FOR SALVATION FROM THAT CORNER!
SO, NOW, WHAT TO DO?
VICTORY OVER ISLAM
HOW TO ACHIEVE IT
“No Substitute for Victory”
The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism
by John Lewis
(with sections of the author's original text)
Two responses to Islam are possible:
The first has as its Goal:
UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER OF THE ENEMY
Hit centers of power
choke off food
shatter people psychologically
Kill 1000,000 in firestorm in capital
Drop leaflets advising which cities will be next
Enemy responds with propaganda to his people that they are winning
Enemy population cowers defenselessly--American bombers level homes
We mass huge forces mass on enemy's borders
1000 bombers pulverize cities.
President issues ultimatum:
Nuclear bombs are dropped on cities.
Orders his soldiers to lay down their arms
Makes a political decision to cease fighting
American military occupies
WHAT THE ENEMY IS FACING
economic cartels dismantled
militaristic language effaced at all levels
constitution written and imposed by occupiers
Enemy told that they are defeated and that
we have no obligations to them.
People starve; told they brought it on themselves
Cost of occupation is charged to defeated Islamics
No aid arrives until complete surrender is demonstrated and
militaristic ideology is repudiated
A principled, all-out merciless offense brought us victory
ANOTHER TYPE OF RESPONSE
Precision bombing only
Avoid civilian casualties at all costs
Enemy allowed to flee to neighboring nuclear armed country
which is our ally
We don't cross their borders.
Enemy crosses over kills Americans (like from Iran or Saudi).
We set up--or try to set up--a democracy.
WHICH TYPE OF RESPONSE TO ISLAMIC ATTACKS?
Now, which of these two responses—the all-out, merciless, military offense, or the restrained, diplomatic, semi-military approach, should we choose? Let us evaluate them, according to several ideas widely accepted today.
In the second method of fighting, we fight:
War for the "good of others."
The only absolute is that we must NOT engage in focused, principled military action toward a firm, self-interested, pro-American victory.
This second, flexible, response is considered right—according to pragmatism.
Altruism leads to the same conclusion.
To fight for our own benefit—to elevate our lives over those of our enemies—
is almost universally condemned today as selfish and thus “immoral.”
A moral war, according to altruism, is a war fought self-sacrificially, for the good of others, especially for the weak.
Again, their freedom must be our goal—their prosperity must be our mission—if we wish to be “good.”
An all-out offensive response, in this view, would be an utter disaster—
pragmatically because it holds to principles in defiance of constantly shifting reality,
and morally because it seeks the enemy’s defeat rather than his benefit.
On the premises of pragmatism and altruism, the measured, proportional, restrained approach is our only option.
--STATE ISLAM--RULE BY SHARIAH
--IS ON THE RISE
While this cleric plots an Islamic State, people from countries where children are taught that Jews are born of pigs and monkeys, and that Israel is “occupied territory” and fair game for attack, rail against so-called anti-Muslim “prejudice.” Inside America, leaders of hostile countries give speeches to build “bridges of understanding” while building nuclear bombs overseas.Adherents of Islam claim to be victims of persecution, assertions they make on national television, from pulpits, and in tenured university positions.
In short, the second, pragmatic, altruistic approach has failed. In the five years since 9/11, the motivations behind the Islamic attacks have not been suppressed—and this is the real failure of these policies.
The reason for this failure is that every one of the ideas we used to evaluate our options is wrong. In every case, the opposite of today’s “conventional wisdom” is true.
* A strong offense does not create new enemies; it defeats existing foes. Were this not so, we would be fighting German and Japanese suicide bombers today, while North Korea—undefeated by America—would be peaceful, prosperous, and free.
* Poverty is not the “root cause” of wars. If it were, poor Mexicans would be attacking America, not begging for jobs at Wal-Mart.
* Democracy is not a route to freedom—not for the Greeks who voted to kill Socrates, nor for the Romans who acclaimed Caesar, nor for the Germans who elected Hitler.
* A culture of slavery and suicide is not equal to a culture of freedom and prosperity—not for those who value life.
* The world is not a flux of contradictions, in which principles do not work. If it were, gravity would not hold, vaccinations would not work, and one would not have a right to one’s life.
* Being moral does not mean sacrificing for others. It means accepting the American principle of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”—and living for one’s own sake.
History is clear: All-out force against fanatical killers is both practical and moral. It led us to our two most important foreign policy successes—the defeats of Germany and Japan in 1945—and to the permanent peace with those nations that we take for granted today. Such a course was practical and moral then, and it is practical and moral now—an affirmation, and a defense, of life and civilization.
Ayn Rand, in her essay on the nature of government, observed a vital relationship between man’s right to life and his right to self-defense:
The necessary consequence of man’s right to life is his right to self-defense. In a civilized society, force may be used only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use. All the reasons which make the initiation of physical force an evil, make the retaliatory use of physical force a moral imperative.
If some “pacifist” society renounced the retaliatory use of force, it would be left helplessly at the mercy of the first thug who decided to be immoral. Such a society would achieve the opposite of its intention: instead of abolishing evil, it would encourage and reward it.
We must defeat these enemies, and we can.
Only after we understand that we should defeat these enemies, can we ask how.
That we have the overwhelming capacity to defeat the Islamic Totalitarians militarily is beyond doubt. Yet far from elevating technology to the key issue in winning a war, this illustrates the unequivocal importance of the moral self-confidence—the state of mind that proceeds from an awareness of one’s own moral goodness and efficacy—that is needed to use this weaponry. This is what enabled us to overcome serious material deficiencies and to drive victoriously over the Japanese in 1945. The question today is not whether we have the capacity to win; it is whether we have the self-confidence, and the will, to do so.
The purpose of a proper government is to protect the rights of its citizens—each citizen’s freedom to think and act on his own judgment—by using retaliatory force as necessary against criminals and foreign invaders.
This requirement applies to Islam today. In regard to Japan, the job involved breaking the link between Shinto and state; in regard to Islamic Totalitarianism the task involves breaking the link between Islam and state. This is the central political issue we face: the complete lack of any conceptual or institutional separation between church and state in Islam, both historically and in the totalitarian movement today.
The conclusion is inescapable. The road to the defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism begins in Tehran. America, acting alone and with overwhelming force, must destroy the Iranian Islamic State now. It must do so openly, and indeed spectacularly, for the entire world to see, for this is the only way to demonstrate the spectacular failure and incompetence of the Islamic fundamentalist movement as a whole.
Intellectually, we must state our intentions and reasons openly, without hiding behind timid diplomatic-speak. Physically, we must act decisively, and with all the force we deem necessary, to eliminate the Iranian regime as quickly as possible, and with the least risk to American soldiers. Only when the world sees this demonstration of American resolve will America begin to see peace and security.
We must not seek legitimacy for the removal of the Iranian Islamic State beyond the principle of our right to defend ourselves. To pretend that something more than this principle is needed would be to deny the sufficiency of the principle. To base our reasons on the alleged good of others, especially on any alleged benefits to the people of the Middle East, would be to accept a position of moral dhimmitude: the moral subordination of our right to life and self-defense to an allegedly higher principle.
If we accept the Totalitarians’ claim that we must submit to the will of “Allah,” then we cannot claim the right to exist. America’s “weakness of will” is the jihadists’ great hope—as it was the hope of Japanese warriors—but it is something they cannot impose on us. Their only prayer is that we will accept it voluntarily. The price for doing so is our lives and the lives of our children. We must not submit.
To remove this cancerous Islamic State loudly and forthrightly will have immediate benefits. We would avenge the thousands of American terror victims since the 1960s. We would reverse the pitiful image we projected when Iranians stormed our embassy in 1979, and when we fled from Mogadishu and from Lebanon—actions that the Islamic Totalitarians claimed as evidence of our weakness. We could even reverse a tremendous injustice by un-nationalizing the oil companies in Iran—stolen from their owners in 1951—and placing them back into private hands, under government protection. Certainly guarding those facilities from a surrounding civil war—a legitimate protection of private property, backed by a credible threat of crushing force—would be a far better use of our troops than guarding a few blocks in downtown Baghdad from its own residents. The pipeline of money into Islamic jihad would be cut.
Most importantly, by ousting the regime in Iran, we would send a clear message to the world: Political Islam is finished. Weaker states and groups would cringe in terror—as they did briefly after 9/11—and would literally retreat into holes in the ground. Anti-totalitarian forces across the world would be emboldened by the sight of a real defense of life and liberty. Allies we never knew existed would raise their heads with confidence and join the cause of freedom. The land of the free—rejuvenated as the home of the brave—would rejoice as the nation of the secure. We would truly be on the road to victory, freedom, and peace. By affirming the efficacy of reason and individual rights over incompetent dark-age theocracy, America could once again claim its place as a real world leader, and become a beacon for those who understand, and value, freedom.
Once this central task is complete, further intransigent policies toward Islamic Totalitarianism will be necessary. One pertains to state economic support for Islam, another to state-sponsored education. The 1945 telegram—again, with Islam replacing Shinto—addresses both of these points:
Islam, however, insofar as it is directed by governments, and as a measure enforced from above by the government, is to be done away with. People [will] not be taxed to support Islam and there will be no place for Islam in the schools.
The Muslim world must be made to understand that any government that provides economic support to jihadists will be summarily destroyed. In order for this policy to be taken seriously, we must demonstrate its truth—by destroying the Iranian regime and stating why we have done so. Only the clear threat that “you will be next” can break the entangled network of Islamic economic support for jihad that masquerades as “economic development.” There can be no more playing games with Saudi apologists who speak smooth English and describe their work as “charity.” In 2003, the International Islamic Relief Organization, a Saudi charity, claimed to have dug 1,615 wells throughout the Middle East—but it also established 4,400 mosques and distributed millions of Islamic books and pamphlets. The result has been the display, on television, of young children as “True Muslims,” trained to see Jews as pigs and apes, screaming “Allahu Akbar” and dedicating themselves to jihad.13 Such “charity” means raising money to spread the ideas, and tactics, of Totalitarian Islam. It must end.
Ending this state economic support cannot occur without confronting one of Islam’s five pillars: alms. By separating church and state, alms can become something that it has never been in Islam: truly private charity. In the primitive society in which Mohammed lived, there was no concept of the separation of church and state. The religious leaders were the political leaders, and the payment of alms was a state-imposed taxation as much as a religious duty. Since then, nothing has changed within Islam. It is high time that all government involvement in so-called “charities” be ended. All states known to have sponsored terrorism against the West must be forbidden to impose taxes or provide funding on behalf of Islam.
Regarding education, the following will be imposed:
Islam as a state religion—National Islam, that is—will go . . . Our policy on this goes beyond Islam . . . The dissemination of Islamic militaristic ideology in any form will be completely suppressed. Middle Eastern Governments will be required to cease financial and other support of Islamic establishments.
After the regime in Iran is destroyed, the leadership in countries sponsoring such state training in Islamic jihad—especially Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt—must choose: Close the state-funded schools, or face the Iranian alternative. Until the U.S. demonstrates the nature of that choice, by serious retaliation against Iran, unambiguously connecting principled words to practical actions, there is no reason for any Middle Eastern leader to expect serious consequences. Until then, they are right to regard us as a paper tiger. Only the forthright destruction of the Iranian Islamic State can demonstrate the resolve needed for this task.
America needs a Commander-in-Chief today who can understand and state this simple truth: In war, there is no “right” to free speech on behalf of an enemy. The string of obviously false, contrived, and manipulated “news” by the supporters of jihad—the staging of civilians crying when a home is destroyed, and the throwing about of children’s dolls when a terrorist’s safe house is wrecked—are all part of the enemy’s war effort. In war, the psychological disarmament of the enemy, including the inculcation of terror through vicious propaganda, is part of the fight. American unwillingness to quash such propaganda is seen, by our enemies, not as respect for freedom of speech, but rather as a lack of will and as evidence of weakness. In the present situation, Americans must forcibly prohibit the dissemination of militaristic ideology and propaganda anywhere it rises. To make the point clear, Al-Jazeera—the fountainhead of Muslim taqiyya, or deception—must be shut down.
In summary, Political Islam, Militant Islam, rule by Islamic Law—and all the economic and intellectual support associated with it—must go. This means that Iran must go.
The removal of Islamic political states will not be the end of the task; many intellectual battles will have to be waged. Most importantly, Western intellectuals must present not only a negative—a repudiation of the Totalitarian Universe—but also a positive—a clear explanation to the world that the moral purpose of a government is to protect its citizens’ rights to think and act on the judgment of their own minds, free from coercion by church, mosque, or state. But such battles cannot be fought by pretending that those who make death threats instead of arguments are offering anything but clubs in place of syllogisms.
This is not a clash between civilizations; it is a clash between civilization and barbarism. Until civilized people assert themselves with a depth of moral confidence exceeding that projected by those who submit to the “will of Allah,” America will remain permanently on the defensive, in a state of moral dhimmitude, and the war will continue to its logical conclusion: a mushroom cloud over America.
Is it possible for a “moderate” form of Islam to become an alternative to the totalitarian world-view infecting so many Muslims?
It would mean an Islam that (like modern Christianity) is open to critical self-reflection, whose thinkers examine the Koran as a set of stories, compiled and interpreted by men—and not the infallible word of God to be spread by the sword. It would mean an Islam that allows apostates to make their own decisions, and that tolerates no death threats against them. It would mean the explicit rejection—by Muslims—of State Islam, Islamic Law, and the pursuit of jihad. Such “moderate” Muslims will support the obliteration of Totalitarian Islam. The rest must witness the defeat of this poisonous ideology, and grasp the hopelessness of supporting it.
Hiding the truth behind allegedly “prudent” language designed to obfuscate our intentions is of no use against an ideology with the directness of Islam. We cannot out-taqiyya the Islamic Totalitarians. We must state our end goal openly and clearly; we must identify the principled means of achieving it; and we must become people of integrity—people who act in accordance with their values and convictions. There is no substitute for integrity, and that means no substitute for victory.
How will we know when we have achieved “victory”? The question is: What is it that we really need from the enemy?
Involves the simple formula of placing the objective of this war in terms of an unconditional surrender. . . . Unconditional surrender means not the destruction of the populace, but does mean the destruction of a philosophy . . . which is based on the conquest and subjugation of other peoples.
The term “Unconditional Surrender” has been closely linked to Civil War General Ulysses S. Grant, who demanded “no terms except unconditional and immediate surrender”
We must demand the unconditional surrender of the Islamic State in Iran—and of every other Islamic Totalitarian State on earth—to the legitimate laws of man, the laws that protect individual rights. Every Islamic cleric must renounce the goal of inciting his audience to jihad; he must proclaim, loudly and openly, his repudiation of Islamic law; he must state his intention to live under the laws of men in accordance with the requirements of man’s life on earth. Every Muslim intellectual must denounce the Islamic State as an aberration and a monstrosity, as being contrary to the requirements of life on earth. Immediate, personal destruction can be the only alternative.
If it is true that the majority of Middle Eastern people want a decent free life for themselves—as the vast majority of Japanese did after August, 1945—then they will rejoice over the excision of Totalitarian Islam from their midst.
If they do not, the unconditional surrender of Islamic Totalitarianism must be taken to mean its political defeat: There will be no negotiations over the place of Islam in government, for it has no such place.
We can do this. This is not some Platonic ideal, good in theory but unattainable in practice. We Americans can—and must—re-establish our integrity by re-uniting our ideals and our actions. History is on our side here. In relative terms, the physical forces facing America and her allies in 1941 were far more formidable than those we face today, and America then was far weaker militarily. In our own day, the technological and industrial superiority of the U.S. over the Middle East is staggering. Islamic warriors can shoot an AK-47, but they cannot build one; all of the arms possessed by Islamic countries come from outside those countries. They are pathetically weak; the American army ended the regime of Saddam Hussein in three weeks, after Iran could not beat him in eight years. Our overwhelming material advantage, however, will be of no help if we lack the will to drop a bomb—or if we use our forces to strengthen our enemies. As it was for Germany and Japan in the 1930s, so it is today: The power of the Islamic Totalitarians grows every day that we wait. The strategic balance will shift—the Islamic Totalitarians will have the capacity as well as the will to bring about the nuclear Armageddon that they so deeply crave—if Iran acquires nuclear bombs. It is not a kindness to wait, knowing that our response will have to be even more lethal after a mushroom cloud rises over American soil. To wait, in light of that knowledge, is irrational—criminally irrational.
The need to understand the gravity of this situation—and our capacity to prevent a catastrophe—is particularly urgent at this moment in time. It is obvious that the defeat of the Republicans in the 2006 mid-term elections was a repudiation of President Bush’s policies in this war. But it is more important to understand that President Bush has not mounted an offensive strategy, and that an offensive strategy is not the reason why American troops are dying in Iraq. There has been no drive to victory, only a string of casualties and the progressive discouragement of the American people. As a result, our primary enemy has been strengthened, and allowed to address the world as a leader just a few blocks from Ground Zero in New York City. (Imagine Hitler being granted this privilege.) Bush’s war strategy of non-war has resulted in a functional paralysis caused by our self-imposed failure to identify and confront open and avowed.
What has been demonstrably repudiated by the actions of the Bush administration is not the first of the options I presented, but the second. What has been tried and has failed are the altruistic, pragmatic policies of an administration that is as desperate to appear tough as it is to avoid being tough. The Democrats—the party that won World War II by dropping two atomic bombs—have an opportunity to regain a position of moral stature before the American people. Should they not do so—should they choose to retreat—then their unwillingness to value the lives of American citizens over the lives of foreign enemies will be made clear, and the Democrats will be seen as no better, no more principled, no more courageous, and no more American than the RepublicansOur military capacities are not in doubt today. It is our moral self-confidence that is in question. What was it that stopped us from confronting Iran in 1979, except a lack of confidence in our own rightness, and an unwillingness to defend ourselves for our own sakes? Had we removed the Iranian regime in 1979, thousands of Americans would have been saved, and children across the world would not have grown up with sword verses rising in their minds as they give their lives to jihad.
[emphasis mine. lw]
We Must Get Back to the Basics of Warfare - CAN THE WEST (THE FREE WORLD) WIN AGAIN?
WANT TO READ MORE BY JOHN DAVID LEWIS?
Nothing Less than Victory:
Military Offense and the Lessons of History
(Under contract, Princeton University Press. Expected publication: fall, 2008)
Article: "'Gifts from Heaven': The Meaning of the American Defeat of Japan, 1945" in The Objective Standard 2.4, Winter, 2007/2008
“Gifts from Heaven”: The Meaning of the American Victory over Japan, 1945
John David Lewis
Identifies the ideology of sacrifice behind the Japanese aggression that culminated in World War II; documents America’s recognition of this ideology as the fundamental cause of the Japanese assault on the West; explains how America targeted, dismantled, and discredited this ideology, replacing it with the ideas, values, and institutions necessary for the establishment of a free society; and defends America’s use of the atomic bomb as a profoundly moral way to end the war. Read the opening paragraphs (full article accessible to subscribers).
Article: “‘A Balm for a Guilty Conscience’: Moral Paralysis, Appeasement, and the Causes of World War II,” in The Objective Standard 2.2, 2007
“The Balm for a Guilty Conscience”: Moral Paralysis, Appeasement, and the Causes of World War II
John David Lewis
Shows how altruism and egalitarianism—combined with guilt caused by these same factors in regard to World War I—led to British appeasement and compromise in the late 1930s, which, in turn, enabled the rise of Nazi Germany and necessitated World War II. Read the opening paragraphs (full article accessible to subscribers).
Article: “William Tecumseh Sherman and the Moral Impetus for Victory,” in The Objective Standard 1.2, 2006
William Tecumseh Sherman and the Moral Impetus for Victory
John David Lewis
Presents the essential history of Sherman's march, showing how Sherman developed and implemented his ideas that lead to the North's victory in the Civil War, and drawing the moral lessons we can learn from this great man about how to properly approach and quickly defeat enemies of freedom. Read the opening paragraphs (full article accessible to subscribers).
“No Substitute for Victory”: The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism (accessible for free)
John David Lewis
Consults historical precedent to evaluate America’s response to the attacks of 9/11. Considering key historical attacks against America, along with her responses to those attacks, Lewis highlights the moral and practical issues involved, and draws vital lessons that Americans must grasp and apply in the current war—if we want to win it. Read the article.
Neoconservative Foreign Policy: An Autopsy
Yaron Brook and Alex Epstein
Surveys the manifest failure of neoconservative foreign policy, which is alleged to be in America’s “national interest,” zeros in on the fundamental reason for that failure, and calls for the only moral and practical alternative to it: a foreign policy of genuine American self-interest. Read the opening paragraphs (full article accessible to subscribers).
The “Forward Strategy” for Failure (accessible for free)
Yaron Brook and Elan Journo
Examines the Bush administration’s so-called war strategy and shows that its manifest failure is a consequence not of good ideas poorly implemented, but of the morally corrupt ideas motivating the administration. Read the article.
The Jihad on America
Elucidates the fundamental ideas behind, and the principal sponsors of, the Islamic assault on America by reference to the words and deeds of its adherents and supporters—words and deeds that westerners in general and Americans in particular must understand if we are to eliminate this anti-life movement before it eliminates more of us. Read the opening paragraphs (full article accessible to subscribers).
“Just War Theory” vs. American Self-Defense (accessible for free)
Yaron Brook and Alex Epstein
Presents the principles of “Just War Theory”—the disastrous, altruistic theory underlying and guiding the Bush administration’s so-called “War on Terrorism”—and contrasts them with the principles of a proper, egoistic approach to American self-defense. Read the article.
Exposing Anti-Muslim “Conspiracies”
Surveys and identifies the fundamental cause of the widespread conspiracy theories that plague the Middle East and help convert millions of people into anti-Western lunatics. Read the opening paragraphs (full article accessible to subscribers).