War without end 54

General Sir David Richards, Chief of the British Armed Forces, commander of  NATO forces in Afghanistan since 2006, “subscribes to the notion that such an ideologically-driven adversary [as al-Qaeda] cannot be defeated in the traditional sense, and to attempt to do so could be a mistake”, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

Sir David says “War” is the correct term for describing the conflict between the West and al-Qaeda and other Islamic militant groups.

It might not be the stereotypical view of war, he insists, in the sense of massed armies attempting to outmanoeuvre their opponents but it needs to be viewed in the same way. But this war – unlike those of the past – could last up to 30 years.

Why 30? We are not told. The war he describes has no conceivable end:

We are engaged in a global struggle against a pernicious form of ideologically distorted form of Islamic fundamentalism.

A war against an ideology, he accepts, has to be fought differently from a war against an enemy nation; and whereas “in conventional war, defeat and victory is very clear cut and is symbolised by troops marching into another nation’s capital” , there can be no such moment of clear victory in this “global struggle” against a “form of Islamic fundamentalism”.

The general is all for fighting such a war, even though there can there never be  a “clear cut victory”.

What is more, he thinks no such victory is “necessary”.

You have to ask: “do we need to defeat it (Islamist militancy)?”  in the sense of a clear cut victory, and I would argue that it is unnecessary and would never be achieved.

It is true that the West is engaged in a war with Islam, which makes war because it is ideologically committed to making war, and the general almost says as much. Perhaps he hopes to be understood to mean as much. But he doesn’t exactly say so. He doesn’t say that what we are up against is Islam, or the ideology of Islam. He removes accusation as far from Islam as he can. We are, he says, under attack by  “a pernicious form“, [an] “ideologically distorted form“,  of “Islamic fundamentalism”. Not even Islamic fundamentalism itself, but a pernicious, distorted form of it.

Seen in those terms, the enemy can only be a bunch of deluded fanatics. In the general’s view there will always be such aberrant types who stupidly misunderstand the teaching of their own religion, and of course we must do what we can to protect ourselves from them. “The national security of the UK and our allies is, in my judgement, at stake,” he says.

And he hastens to add that, despite the indefeatable nature of the enemy, the war in Afghanistan is not futile. The deluded fanatics must be fought in any and every state where they establish themselves.

“Make no mistake,”  he states with added emphasis, “the global threat from al-Qaeda and its terrorist affiliates is an enduring one and one which, if we let it, will rear its head in states particularly those that are unstable.

“Our men and women in Afghanistan are fighting to prevent this [pernicious, ideologically distorted form of Islamic fundamentalism] from spreading.”

But in the long run, what will best overcome it, even if never permanently and decisively, is something other than the weapons of war:

Education, prosperity, understanding and democracy, he argues passionately, are the weapons that would ultimately turn people away from terrorism.

Has he not been informed that most of the Islamic terrorists who have murdered thousands in the West are educated and prosperous, and grew up in the democracies they attacked? What is it that they failed to understand which could make all the difference?

The general is right that the enemies are Muslim, use terrorism, are ideologically driven, and are not defeatable by conventional warfare. He is wrong that they are an ignorant, impoverished, desperate, deluded atypical minority who have misunderstood the teaching of Islam.

The truth is that Islam commands jihad. Jihad is continual war against non-Muslims until Islam rules the whole world. The Taliban, the Wahhabis, the Muslim Brotherhood, the mass murderers of 9/11, all those who have carried out the 16,384 (tally to this date) violent attacks in the name of Islam, understand perfectly what Muhammad taught and are obedient to the ideology of their faith.

Islam needs to be countered by persistent criticism and argument of all sorts, including derision. That is what Islam fears most – argument against it, critical examination, debunking – which is why the Islamic states are trying to make it illegal to say anything against Islam, hoping to achieve protection from reason by means of a United Nations resolution.

If by “education” General Sir David Richards meant continual teaching against Islam, he’d be right.

After the Second World War, the Germans were made to undergo a process of “denazification”. It was a program of education for all Germans to rid them of belief in the ideology of Nazism. Whether it actually cleaned out the minds of true believers or not, it did make it hard for anyone to speak publicly in defense of what the Nazis and the Third Reich had stood for, by making it shameful to do so. (The defeat itself more than anything else convinced Germany that the Nazis had been wrong.)

Ideally, the same should be done with Islam: a de-Islamization program wherever it could be put into effect.

Of course that will not happen. The West upholds freedom of religion, Islam calls itself a religion, so Islam will be left free to spread its malevolent practices: women mutilated, assaulted, enslaved; non-Muslims killed if they will not submit; legal execution carried out by stoning, burning, crucifixion, punishment by the amputation of hands and feet; and the world at large subjected to perpetual warfare until it accepts unquestioningly forever the law and morals of a cruel illiterate bandit of the Dark Ages.

At least we can and must argue against Islam. Learn about it, spread the truth about it, expose it, denounce it. Resist its advance in every way. No footbaths. No same-sex swimming sessions in public pools. No removal of pigs or their effigies from public places. No taxi drivers exempted from carrying dogs and alcohol. No time off work for prayer. No mosque at Ground Zero. No sharia-compliant financial deals. No legitimized sharia courts, enforcement of their rulings, or deference by judges to Muslim custom.

The West has the intellectual resources to defeat Islam. What it lacks is the will.