Can We Win the Ideological War?
by Patrick J. Buchanan
The question arises in the war on terror: we know who the main enemy is, al-Qaeda, the men and movement responsible for 9/11, but what are they fighting for? What is their war all about?
...President Bush, (said)... “The war we fight today is more than a military conflict; it is the decisive ideological struggle of the 21st century. On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation—the right of all people to speak, and worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism—the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest.” (the neo-liberals)
In his declaration of war on the United States, bin Laden listed three goals:
- expel U.S. forces from the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia,
- stop the persecution of innocent Iraqis through U.S.-UN sanctions, and
- end the Israeli repression and dispossession of the Palestinian people.
our enemy has captured the flag of nationalism:
- We fight to get your troops off our land!
- We fight to get your hooks out of our government!
- Leave us to rule ourselves!
More importantly, our enemy has rooted his cause in
- a 1,400-year-old religion that has
- 1.2 billion adherents,
- has survived crusades, invasions and occupations, and is
- growing again in militancy and converts
As for the tactics the enemy uses, decent Muslims the world over are said to be growing disgusted with the slaughter by suicide bombers of men, women, and children.
But are these not the tactics the
- French maquis and Italian and Yugoslav partisans used on the Nazis and their collaborators?
- Was this not the way Israelis expelled the British
- the Algerians expelled the French,
- the Afghans expelled the Soviets,
- the ANC overthrew apartheid, and
- Hezbollah drove the IDF out of Lebanon?
Clausewitz would understand: terrorism is the extension of Islamist politics by other means.
what exactly are we fighting for?
we are fighting for the right of Islamic peoples “to speak, and worship, and live in liberty.”
In free elections in Egypt, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, and Iran, Islamists made gains or racked up victories. In Turkey, a moderate Islamic party just won national power.
It is Western secularism that is in retreat. It is our friends in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, the Gulf states, and Israel who seem most apprehensive about any more elections among the Arab masses. The Islamists seem to welcome them—and to succeed in them.