Mark Burnell (author) ~ “The most valuable commodity of all is time and … patience. The reason time is so valuable is that it’s the one resource the poor have in abundance and the rich can’t buy. The West worries about the next financial quarter [or next election]; in Iraq or Afghanistan or wherever there are many poor – that’s not a pressing concern. So when dealing with the West this is what they understand; that if they wait long enough they will prevail by default.”    

Any sports fan knows that whenever two teams meet the outcome is unpredictable if neither side holds a massive advantage either in skill or training. Most often the outcome is a matter of will; victory goes to the side which can gain psychological momentum and maintain it. How often do sports commentators speak of momentum? … as in “the Eagles have momentum going into the second half!” The concept is so prevalent that we take it for granted and assume that when all things are equal, or not even that equal, the right psychology can win the game. 

knows that whenever two teams meet the outcome is unpredictable if neither side holds a massive advantage either in skill or training. Most often the outcome is a matter of will; victory goes to the side which can gain psychological momentum and maintain it. How often do sports commentators speak of momentum? … as in “the Eagles have momentum going into the second half!” The concept is so prevalent that we take it for granted and assume that when all things are equal, or not even that equal, the right psychology can win the game. 

 

When it comes to war or even cultural clashes, those who study these know and understand that “will” is likely the most important factor in winning and losing. Sure, technological, numerical, or professional superiority play a vital roll, but in the end, clashes of this sort only end when one side loses the will to keep fighting. As long as the will to fight remains, conflict continues.

John Keegan in The Face of Battle, put it as follows:

“Battle therefore … is essentially a moral conflict. It requires … a mutual and sustained act of will by two contending parties and, if it is to result in a decision, the moral collapse of one of them”

In a nutshell then, wars are won or lost when one side loses the will to fight. 

In a nutshell then, wars are won or lost when one side loses the will to fight. 

In a nutshell then, wars are won or lost when one side loses the will to fight. 

 

Consider now the global war being waged by Islamic Totalitarianism. Consider it’s fanaticism; consider its unifying doctrine; consider the willingness of its followers to perish; consider its disregard for suffering and hardship; consider its historical grounding; and, consider its far reaching dispersal throughout the world. Then, consider Western Liberal society, with its short attention spans, its divisive political systems, its decadence, its nay-sayers, and its inner turmoil.

If the War on Islamic Totalitarianism comes down to a battle of wills, who do you think holds all the cards? Just this past year Canadian support for the mission in Afghanistan waned when Canada began taking casualties … since then there has been calm, and support has once again rebounded. The same can be said of American support for the mission in Iraq. It remained relatively stable until civilian casualties and military casualties in Baghdad escalated and became the daily sado-pornography in the media. Then, instead of increased determination, the American public recoiled and today support for the mission is at an all time low.

The lesson for Islamists is this: Kill civilians in any way possible in the most public way possible, and the Western democracies will lose the will to prevail. No matter the training, the weapons, or even superiority in numbers, the West does not have the will to fight a conflict in which death can be broadcast via the media.

Europe lost her will prior to World War 2; in fact, it can be argued that Europe experienced World War 2 simply because she had lost her will after World War One. America lost her will in Vietnam where she buried 57,000 brave soldiers, mostly draftees, and where she spawned an isolationist and pacifist bent that permeates her culture and media to this very day. Canada lost her will after decades of peace and almost total saturation of her institutions with leftist utopianism.

If Keegan is correct, as I believe he is, then we in the West won’t muster the will needed to defeat Islamic Totalitarianism until a true cataclysm assails us. It may take any number of forms, but until then, it is only a minority of Westerns who have the will to prevail. The rest want to go back to a blissful September 10th slumber, where they can focus on concocting myths about American hegemony, Global Warming, and International Zionist conspiracies. Not until they face cultural extinction will they muster the will to fight; and perhaps not even then.

This essay first appreared in Celestial Junk
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