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

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Hour is Late

I, like many people who have commented on the GWoT, have often used World War II as a metaphor. Wretchard of the Belmont Club comments (5/04/07, 6:51pm comment) in his inimitable style:
The problem with using World War 2 as a model of warfare is that it was a contest between industrial nations. The conflict today is between two civilizations, of which religion serves as a convenient shorthand. When we say "Muslim" or "Christian" we are using these as proxy identifiers for something even more basic.

The current tools available to the US military and diplomatic establishments cannot come near to touching the roots of the enemy's power. Pakistan alone has 30,000 madrassas with 1.5 million religious students. These provide a steady pool of people committed, not simply to the sharp end of the stick, the phenomenon we call terrorism, but to providing the "tail" to the teeth. We keep slicing off the the sharp end, but like a sharpener gnawing at an endless pencil, there's always more lead to come. The sharpener gets worn out, but the pencil remains.

The argument that the enemy production line can be stopped by merely remaining inoffensive is a dubious one. Israel tried it. Hello Olmert.

At the very minimum, even if one were inclined to be unaggressive, the current world crisis requires the creation of a kind of resistance culture within the West against the the attacking culture for it to survive. Like the Muslim with her hijab the time must come when we all wear our national costumes not simply out of custom, but out of defiance, for example.

It is a mistake to think the war against terrorism will be won in places like Iraq. It will be won in the schools and debating forums of the West long before the intellectual action even begins to shift to places like Pakistan. In a war of ideas, those institutions are the equivalent of the factories which produce victory. In a war of ideas we cannot continue the luxury of mental disarmament while the enemy goes from strength to strength.

The mental rearmament will take a long time. And it is an open question whether we can still come from behind, because we are way behind. But if there is to be any hope we must start now. The hour is desperately late.

Each of us, in our own way, goes to school. The best and brightest among the young attend university classes, were the vast majority are schooled in post-modern thinking and convinced that moral equivalence and our own sins are the cause for the problems we face. The rest of us receive the majority of what we know about the world via the MSM, where the US is taken to task for the smallest failures and infractions while Islamofascists are given a pass when they behead dozens and murder thousands of innocents while the blame (in true through-the-looking-glass fashion) falls on us.

So the madrassas educate millions in hatred, while we educate millions in self-hatred. And we continue along this path with little recognition of what it will bring. Indeed, the hour is desperately late.