The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Playing Defense

There’s a cliché in virtually all sports—“defense wins games.” Like most clichés, there’s truth in that message, but at the same time, I worry that too many countries in the West believe that defense alone can also win the global war on terror. No one argues that defense—in the guise of far-reaching intelligence activities, competent investigative agencies that hunt down terrorist cells, and a broad array of technological, informational, and physical barriers and boundaries—plays a critical role in foiling terrorist plans. But is defense sufficient?

I think not.

This morning, the UK, with the help of Pakistani intelligence agencies and other unnamed sources, uncovered a deadly Islamofascist mass murder plot. The goal of the barbarians—to blow up 8 to 10 aircraft headed to the USA over the Atlantic. In this case, defense worked perfectly—the plot was uncovered, the perpetrators hunted down and arrested, and the flying public spared.

But the terrorists have still prevailed. The MSM reports that large scale airline ticket cancellations have already begun—economic impact to follow. New changes in security rules will create even greater inconvenience for travelers (e.g., no lap top computers in the cabin). Lines at airports around the world will grow in length. And all of us repeat a mantra that goes something like: “It’s okay to be delayed and inconvenienced, after all, they’re doing it for our safety.” The speaker usually shrugs and sometime smiles nervously.

My view is that it’s not okay to allow Islamofascist to dictate how we travel or how we live, at least in the long term. But if all we do is play defense, we really don’t have much choice. Worse, even the best defense isn't 100 percent effective against a determined offense.

So the question is how we should play offense against an evil religious cult that is driven by hatred and dominated by a single goal—to murder as many innocents as necessary to achieve their goal of world-wide domination.

Western liberal democracies can begin an offense against Islamofascism by rejecting the postmodernist thinking that leads to a mindset that establishes moral equivalence between acts of mass murder and legitimate defense against those acts. It can reject appeasement or peace at any cost as an option in dealing with Islam. It can demand that the media report the world without pervasive bias that, to many, appears to slant in favor of the terrorists.

But even these things are meer ‘chalk talk.’ We need a real offense—one that neutralizes and/or destroys Islamosfascists now, before they become the 21st century’s 4th Reich. The design and execution of that offense is the most critical challenge facing the West.