In a recent post at Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer said â€œFive years after Pearl Harbor, the war was over. The Third Reich was kaput. The Japanese were vanquished as well. But five years and counting after 9/11, there is no victory in sight. There is not even much clarity about why we are fighting, or whom we are fighting.â€
And why is that? Because we refuse to name the real enemy we are fighting. Itâ€™s not Al Qaeda. Itâ€™s the terrorists. Itâ€™s not terrorism at all. Itâ€™s not some shady group of Islamo-fascists either. We are afraid to admit what we are really confronting in this struggle and what we must identify in order to defeat it.
In December of 1941, we didnâ€™t go to war with the Japanese Navy. We didnâ€™t go after the pilots that bombed Pearl Harbor. We didnâ€™t go to war with Japan. What we DID was to confront and defeat and ideology â€“ the belief system that was institutionalized in Japan and drove Japanâ€™s â€“ both military and civilian â€“ objective to defeat us. When we defeated the ideology â€“ Shintoism in Japan and Nazism in Germany â€“ and the military and civilian infrastructure that supported the war effort, we rebuilt both nations. Though there was hatred in some circles and held the belief that we should leave Japan and Germany in a primitive state, we did just the opposite. Because the leadership at the time knew we were at war with an ideology first, and a people second. And once the ideology was defeated and made impossible to resurrect, we helped the Japanese and German people rebuild their societies and installed a democratic form of government complete with a constitution that protected the rights of individuals.
Misunderstanding that fighting an ideology and not a nation is the prime reason we canâ€™t seem to identify the true enemy. Spencer writes:
One main reason, meanwhile, why the war is so poorly understood and controversial: the enemy is not a nation-state but an ideology, an ideology which has been spread throughout the world and can now be found in practically every nation on the planet. Because of the religious derivation of this ideology, analysts are generally reluctant to identify it properly or fully. They don’t wish to examine how this ideology is advancing through peaceful means. They refuse to consider the ways in which it threatens American society, laws, and mores.
We are facing an ideology that has spread around the world through violence of the jihadists and through the peaceful means of intimidation, infiltration and disinformation of the Islamists encouraged and emboldened by the appeasers and apologists of Islamism.
So what has to be done? How do we begin to confront this insidious ideology of Islamism spreading like a cancer throughout the world? According to Don Feder, we start here.
(We) have a problem. Itâ€™s a problem shared by Jews in Hebron, Serbs in Kosovo, Hindus in the Kashmir, Catholics in Lebanon, and Americans walking the streets of New York.
Consider the inter-connectedness of the following incidents, all of which took place in the past few months:
- In Indonesia, three Christian schoolgirls were beheaded.
- In Iraq, a Syrian Orthodox priest was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered.
- In Somalia, a nun was shot to death as she left the hospital where she worked, tending the sick and dying.
- In Lebanon, just days ago, a cabinet minister was assassinated.
- In Britain, authorities uncovered a conspiracy in which native-born Brits plotted to blow up several trans-Atlantic flights, killing as many as 3,000.
- In Afghanistan, suicide bombers are at work again.
- In Iraq, they never stopped. Additionally, the week before last, a group of worshippers were abducted from a mosque, doused with gasoline and burned to death in whatâ€™s described as â€œsectarian violence.â€
- In France, a high school philosophy teacher is in hiding after very credible death threats following publication of a September 19th commentary in Le Figaro.
- Some 139 people died in riots in Nigeria, Libya, Pakistan, and Afghanistan â€“ following the publication of Danish cartoons.
- Europe is experiencing the worst wave of anti-Semitic violence since Kristallnacht. The former director of the U.S. Holocaust Museum reports there an average of 12 assaults a day on Jews in Paris.
- In Kosovo, 90 percent of Serbs gave been ethnically cleansed from the province since 1999. The rest live in a state of siege.
- In Mumbai, India, a series of blasts killed almost 200.
- In Gaza, terrorists recently celebrated the latest â€œceasefireâ€ by raining more rockets on southern Israel.
- And the leader of more than a billion Catholics received death threats and demands that he convert after giving a speech in which he called for a balance of faith and reason, and quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor.
What do the foregoing have in common?
To quote columnist Mark Steyn, in his excellent book America Alone: The End of The World As We Know It, it begins with an â€œIâ€ and ends with a â€œslam.â€ We are in the midst of a world war, one every bit as deadly as the Cold War, and with a potential for devastation to rival World War II. Actually, the Cold War is a bad analogy. For perhaps the 20 years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, almost no one was willing to die for Communism. Today, ten of millions â€“ perhaps hundreds of millions â€“ around the world would gladly die, and kill, for Dar Islam. When word of Pearl Harbor reached London, Winston Churchill called Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The conversation ended with the British prime minister telling the American president: â€œWell, we are all in this together now.â€ As indeed they were; as they probably had been since the early 1930s, though almost no one was aware of it at the time.
Well, my friends, we truly are all in this together â€“ Jews and Catholics, Lebanese Christians and Hindus, Orthodox Serbs, and Indonesian Christians. Until we begin to understand that, we have no hope of countering the global jihad. When Zionists start caring about the fate of Serbs in Kosovo, when Hindus support Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (designated the West Bank), when Serbs stand up for Indian Kashmir, then we will begin making progress.
This is where we start. Admit we have a common enemy, probably the most dangerous and challenging the world has ever known and going back hundreds of years. Unless we admit to the ideology we are facing and weed it out, wherever we find it, Islamism will continue to make headway in the Islamic states and inroads in the non-Muslim nations.