Our ‘Islamist’ predicament

Hot on the heels of CAIR telling journalists not to use the term “Islamist” because it’s Extremist/Racist/Sexist/Homophobic™ (or whatever), comes a thoughtful essay From The American Spectator, about our Islamist predicament.

At least since 9/11, the Muslim jihad against the West has led to a number of eloquent books detailing the plight of the West and documenting in detail what is happening.

I include not only Muslim colonization of Europe, but also the attacks on Christian communities in Africa, Asia and the few Christians remaining in the Middle East.

However, those works which I have read, and some of them are truly excellent pieces of writing and research, all seem to me to share a common weakness.

When, in the concluding chapters, they turn from detailing the remorseless advance of Islam in one continent after another, and the impotence of liberal democracy in the face of it, to what to actually do about it, their often-razor-sharp prose has a tendency to turn to vague platitudes and truisms.

It is impossible to blame the authors of these publications for this. For one thing, the West is facing an enemy unlike any other, an enemy particularly skilled at using the West’s institutions of liberal democracy and the pacific elements of Christianity, to its own advantage.

Further, the enemy has no recognizable military structure. It has no general staff whose mistakes can be taken advantage of, no population concentrations that can be bombed to any point.

Against a drive to Islamize the world, bombing Afghanistan has never been much more than a waste of time, creating an illusion of purposeful activity and cutting a few heads off a hydra. Killing Osama Bin Laden did not damage Islamic jihadism as in, say, World War II killing Hitler would have destroyed the heart of German National Socialism. There can be no possibility of the equivalent of a Gorbachev who either could or would end the machinery of the terrorist jihad. The war in Afghanistan was plainly futile from the start if its object was to defeat international terrorism. The Boko Haram killing Christians in Africa in the name of Allah have probably never heard of Afghanistan. Winning or losing ground in the vicinity of the Khyber Pass will make no difference to the unemployed Muslim “youths” in slums ringing the French (and not only French) cities who regard Western Civilization with fascinated disgust.

We have the finest navies and air forces in the world, almost useless against an enemy who has neither. Further, to even advocate any sort of comparable counter-attack is not only incompatible with our own civilized values, but probably illegal.

I realize I am doing more-or-less what I am criticizing others for: floundering for an answer.

It is the first war in which our side has made broadcasting our own propaganda, let alone anything more active, illegal. Things have reached such a pass that even a cultural revival of patriotism (one, but only one, of the essential requirements, and for Europe more than the United States) would probably need some sort of censorship or government influence in the media comparable to, say, the anti-smoking campaign. […]