Thursday, February 23, 2006
Cartoon Jihad and Winston Churchill
Men occasionally stumble over truth. But most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.
When we were attacked on Sept. 11 ...
[w]hat we never imagined was that the free press ...
would be among the first to surrender.
-Bill Bennett and Alan Dershowitz, writing in WaPo
When the cartoon jihad began, I was mildly interested. As it became obvious the cartoon jihad was an Islamic fundamentalist strategy to maintain control of their base, I became more interested. As people died, and property was destroyed, I became even more interested. As the West reacted with denial, self-doubt, and cowardice, I became keenly interested - to the point of crying out a warning: this is war!
Apparently, it hasn't occurred to the media poo-bahs that the prohibition against likenesses of Mohammed should apply only to Muslims, not to the rest of us. (As Dennis Prager noted, "It's like Jews rioting when someone else eats pork.")
And that's what makes the press's abject cravenness so consequential. It implies that, for all intents and purposes, we are living under sharia.
-Joel Engel in the Weekly Standard
The cartoon jihad IS the war between Islamic fundamentalism and Western Civilization - it just looks different from our preconceptions of what war is. Wake up, Western Civilization! Wake up! We are in a war for the very existence of our culture! It would be nice if we candidly acknowledged that. And terrible weapons are coming - in the very near future - to an Islamic nation within travelling distance of you. These weapons will roil the very nature of the conflict. It would be nice if we candidly acknowledged that also.
We must think strategically: Islam must reform itself - right now - or else. From Wretchard's brilliant The Three Conjectures, written in Sept. 2003:
However, suppose Pakistan or North Korea engineered a reliable plutonium weapon that could be built to one-point safety in any machine shop with a minimum of skill, giving Islamic terrorists the means to repeatedly attack America indefinitely. Under these circumstances, there would no incentive to retaliate proportionately. The WMD exchange would escalate uncontrollably until Islam was destroyed.
The so-called strengths of Islamic terrorism: fanatical intent; lack of a centralized leadership; absence of a final authority and cellular structure guarantee uncontrollable escalation once the nuclear threshold is crossed.
The most startling result of this analysis is that a catastrophic outcome for Islam is guaranteed whether America retaliates or not. Even if the President decided to let all Americans die to expiate their historical guilt, why would Islamic terrorists stop after that?
It is supremely ironic that the survival of the Islamic world should hinge on an American victory in the War on Terror, the last chance to prevent that terrible day in which all the decisions will have already been made for us. That effort really consists of two separate aspects: a campaign to destroy the locus of militant Islam and prevent their acquisition of WMDs; and an attempt to awaken the world to the urgency of the threat. While American arms have proven irresistible, much of Europe, as well as moderates in the Islamic world, remain blind to the danger and indeed increase it.
Think strategically! If interim Western options such as: economic obstruction, spying, profiling, torture, invasion, spreading democracy, and spreading Western cultural principles, are ineffective; or are unavailable for political reasons; the West will use the only option left to it: nuclear attack. It would be nice if we candidly acknowledged that. Islam, if it emerges from the ruins at all, will emerge in a form which is currently unrecognizable. It would be nice if we candidly acknowledged that.
Western Civilization must generate cultural self-confidence now. The West must stand solidly against the fundamentalists now - when the fundamentalists are weaker than they might become, and when their weaponry includes cartoon jihad, instead of actual WMD. Our culture, and our confidence in it, is the roof which protects us. We must patch the holes in our confidence while the sun yet shines. We must extend the roof eastward while the sun yet shines.
Do not be people without minds of your own,
saying that if others treat you well you will treat them well,
and that if they do wrong you will do wrong.
Rather, accustom yourselves to do good if people do good,
and to not do wrong if they do evil.
-The Prophet Muhammad
(reported by Tirmidhi)
except that this conflict will not be decided by Muslims, but rather by the degree of cultural confidence and moral courage exhibited by the West. Accordingly, there is nothing like Winston Churchill to stiffen spines:
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life.
One ought never to turn one's back on a threatened danger and try to run away from it. If you do that, you will double the danger. But if you meet it promptly and without flinching, you will reduce the danger by half. Never run away from anything. Never!
We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.
Victory at all costs, victory in spite of all terror, victory however long and hard the road may be; for without victory, there is no survival.
Sure I am of this, that you have only to endure to conquer. You have only to persevere to save yourselves.
These are not dark days: these are great days - the greatest days our country has ever lived.