Thursday, September 13, 2007

Where There's No Will, There's No Way

Brother Trunk brings us a couple of exerpts from a Weekly Standard article that, with brutal frankness, questions whether the West has the psychological capability not of winning the War Against Islamic Fundamentalism, but even putting up even token long-term resistance after George W. Bush leaves office:
The refusal to see [the hatred of modernity in Islamism] and to recognize the substance of Islamist ideology - the death cult, the hatred of Jews, and the profound hatred of freedom - leads back again and again to the mistaken "discovery" that the "root cause" of terrorism is U.S. policies. Ultimately, the refusal to recognize al Qaeda's true motives results in a reversal of responsibility: The more deadly the terrorism, the greater the American guilt. The appeal of this approach is related to the specious hope it holds out: If suicide terrorism has its roots in U.S. policy, then a change in U.S. policy can assuage terrorism and the fear it induces. Al Qaeda, meanwhile, benefits, since the bloodier its attacks, the greater the anger against...the United States.

The same pattern explains the bizarre reaction to the Middle East conflict that is widespread in the West: The average observer, ignorant of the anti-Jewish content of the Hamas Charter, has to find some other explanation for terrorism against Jews, which must be - Israel. It is not the terrorists who are guilty, but their victims. Finding suicide terrorism incomprehensible, Westerners rationalize it as an act of despair that invites sympathy. Tout comprendre, c'est tout pardonner. Here, too, following the principle of "the more barbaric the anti-Jewish terror, the greater the Israeli guilt," the bombers' victims become the scapegoat for global terrorism. The old stereotype of Jewish guilt is thus amplified in contemporary form--and only encourages the terrorists.

A struggle against Islamism waged in ignorance of Islamist ideology weakens the West. The attribution of guilt to Israel and the United States adds fuel to the flames of Islamist propaganda and drives the wedge deeper into the Western camp rather than where it belongs - in the Muslim world.
In sports, they say that before a team can win, it must first believe that it can. In the War Against Islamic Fundamentalism, the problem for the West is one large step worse: whether We, The People, believe we should win. As recently as three years ago there wasn't any doubt that a majority of Americans did. Last November that majority disappeared in a Donk congressional landslide, and every brand of conventional wisdom (well, almost every brand) insists that the last fragments of public sentiment for victory will be swept away next November in the landslide that carries Hillary Clinton (back) to the White House.

There appears to be a large degree of cognitive dissonance between public sentiments for putting the Democrats back in unchecked power and other public sentiments (such as the aforelinked Investors' Business Daily survey) seeming to diametrically oppose the Donks' determination to commit national suicide. It's difficult for me to believe that the same people can rationally hold to two such mutually exclusive stances. Given that the electorate put the Democrats back in charge of Congress a year ago, and with no fresh terrorist attack in the homeland to serve as a refresher, I have to conclude that the IBD poll is bogus.

But remember, that's just a question of public support for the struggle against al Qaeda; when it comes to the main enemy that has to be destroyed if the war is to be ultimately won - the Iranian mullahgarchy - there's no support, period:
Such blindness is especially hazardous in the case of the Iranian nuclear program, whose danger arises from the unique ideological stew surrounding it: the mish-mash of Jew-hatred, Holocaust denial, and Shiite death-cult messianism that is the context for Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and advanced missiles. Here the worst-case scenario is not an increase in suicide bombing attacks against individuals, but a perhaps suicidal nuclear attack on the Israeli state. Back in Munich in 1938, many believed they could resolve the Sudeten German problem with Hitler without considering how it fit into the Nazis' overall strategy. In the same way today, in U.N. Security Council decisions and the positions of the Permanent Five, the technical aspects of Iran's nuclear program are often divorced from their ideological context.
Just as with Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany seventy years ago, so today nobody in the West - including the Bush Administration or even the once and former "neocons" - wants to grapple with the fact that Adolph Ahmadinejad and the mullahs for whom he fronts really believe their "mish-mash of Jew-hatred, Holocaust denial, and Shiite death-cult messianism," and really seek nuclear weapons in order to really use them to finish the Holocaust that their German ideological antecedents started and bring "the Great Satan" to its figurative knees. And Western leaders will continue to refuse to accept this reality that they simply find too terrifying until it produces its inevitable result: one or more Israeli, European, and/or American cities vanishing in a flash and a roar.

On the bright side, there will finally be a valid reason for not remembering 9/11 anymore.

In that context, this story progression is particularly intriguing:

1) Two weeks ago, Hamas' Syrian handlers gave them a new assignment: carry out a massive terrorist attack inside Israel - from the West Bank.

2) A week ago the IAF carried out a surgical airstrike inside Syria:
A US official has confirmed that Israeli warplanes carried out an air strike "deep inside" Syria, escalating tensions between the two countries.

The target of the strike last Thursday remained unclear but Israeli media reported that a shipment of Iranian arms crossing Syria for use by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia in Lebanon was attacked. ...

Another theory gaining ground yesterday was that Israel was deliberately attacking the Russian-made Pantsyr air defence system recently bought by Damascus. The sale includes provision for the Pantsyr system to be shipped on to Iran and it is possible the Israeli attack was co-ordinated with America to probe the effectiveness of the system. It is believed that Iran would use the Pantsyr system to defend its nuclear facilities.
Perhaps this was related, or in response, to Damascus' aforementioned attack directive to Hamas, or maybe it was "a push back against weapons transfers to Hezbollah." But there is another, even more sinister, possibility:
One Bush Administration official said Israel had recently carried out reconnaissance flights over Syria, taking pictures of possible nuclear installations that Israeli officials believed might have been supplied with material from North Korea. The Administration official said Israeli officials believed that North Korea might be unloading some of its nuclear material on Syria.

“The Israelis think North Korea is selling to Iran and Syria what little they have left,” the official said. He said it was unclear whether the Israeli strike had produced any evidence that might validate that belief.
Amazing that the New York Times, of all pussyrags, ran this story. More amazing still, the Washington Post took the handoff and ran for daylight:
North Korea may be cooperating with Syria on some sort of nuclear facility in Syria, according to new intelligence the United States has gathered over the past six months, sources said. The evidence, said to come primarily from Israel, includes dramatic satellite imagery that led some U.S. officials to believe that the facility could be used to produce material for nuclear weapons.
Now let's look at this realistically: North Korea is perpetually starved for cash, right? And Bashar Assad isn't exactly rolling in dough, correct? So, in any sort of rational economic sense, this transaction doesn't exactly suggest itself, does it? It would need....

....a third-party financier, wouldn't it? And who better to broker and facilitate such a deal than the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is both a NoKo ballistic missile client and the senior Middle East partner in the Axis of Evil (Syria having replaced Iraq in that tripartite club)?

C'mon, d'ya really think the mullahs wouldn't diversify their nuclear assets by stashing some of them in Syria? Nobody denies that one of the dispositions Tehran would make of its nukes is their distribution to its terrorist proxies. Transport of same would be significantly shorter and simpler if they didn't all have to transit from Iranian territory to destinations in Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Gaza (Hamas). Constructing a nuclear manufacturing facility in Syria thus makes a great deal of sense.

Of course, as the Israelis demonstrated, it also makes a much easier, and therefore more inviting, target. For the mullahs' sake, I hope they kept the receipt.

But it is indicative of how dismissive they are of our (or the Israelis') possible reaction to such a blatant provocation that such a facility would be under construction in the first place.

But what of Iran's nuclear armory closer to home? Particularly when combined with the small ocean of eager jihadis who would love to upstage Mohammed Atta and fiends into the deep, deep Paradise shade and end their recent losing skid with the biggest bang of all.

Six years ago I coined the phrase "war of annihilation" to describe what came to be known as "the war on terror". I still stand by that description. Our enemies don't want to fight us straight-up on the battlefield; trying to go up against the best military on the planet is the surest and quickest way to bloody, ignominious defeat for the self-proclaimed "holy warriors," and they know it. That's why Iran and al Qaeda have gone the "insurgency"/"civil war" route in Iraq and Afghanistan, trying to draw the conflict out and turn our greatest strength into our biggest Achilles Heel - our historical short national attention span and impatience with protracted wars, and neurotic Ameriphobia of the American left. Thanks to General Petraeus and the "Surge," that strategy appears to finally be waning.

But remember how our engagement in this war started. Not with an invasion, not with tanks rolling across our borders, but with infiltrators murdering American civilians on a massive, spectacular scale. That is the enemy's mode of offensive operations, out of necessity as well as efficacy. Nothing makes Gulliver feel more impotent and helpless than when even a handful of Lilliputians can slip a grenade in his shorts when he isn't looking. That hasn't happened here in six years - though it has in Madrid, and London, and Bali. The reasons we haven't suffered a sequel are our forward deployments in the enemy's backyard and improved intelligence gathering. Beyond the extent of our offensive and defensive measures, random chance seems to have operated in our favor - or, in plain, non-secularist English, God has protected us.

But the enemy hasn't stopped trying, and won't until every last one of them is dead or in Gitmo. Their quantitative and qualitative success rates will rise or fall in direct proportion to how ruthlessly we deal with them and the surviving state sponsors that supply and sustain them.

That does much to explain why we haven't suffered another attack here at home since 9/11. The same logic bodes ill for that streak continuing, and the magnitude of losses we will have to absorb before finally accepting the true nature of this "clash of civilizations," and fighting it to a victorious finish on those terms.