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August 11, 2006

War on Islamic Fascists

President Bush yesterday: “The recent arrests that our fellow citizens are now learning about are a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation.”  The President is notably inarticulate but he is at his best when plain spoken.  With hindsight, “War on Terror” was a naming mistake.  Our adversary is not a tactic; it’s not even an ideology; it’s specific people – Islamic fascists – who are making war on us and on much of the rest of civilization as well as helpless targets like the Sudanese.

Jeff Jarvis blogging in BuzzMachine: “Reuters reports that Muslims are ‘bristling’ at the term Islamic fascists. Well, tough shit. I am bristling at the refusal of the Islamic world to condemn the murder and mayhem being rained down around the world by the extremist fascists among them. Rather than attacking the language in press releases, why not hold a press conference attacking the attackers?”

On a positive note CNN reports this morning:  A British intelligence official has told CNN that the original information about a plot to down commercial jetliners in mid-Atlantic with explosives came from a tip from the Muslim community in Britain.” And Pakistan apparently cooperated in breaking the plot.

The Stowe Reporter: “Yet most of the rest of the world, crippled by fear of its own, economic necessities and moral ambiguity about the first Jewish state, has chosen pathetic and dangerous appeasement. As Hoover Institution Fellow Victor David Hansen said recently in a column: ‘Yes, perhaps Israel should have hit more quickly, harder, and on the ground; yes, it has run an inept public relations campaign; yes, to these criticisms and more. But what is lost sight of is the central moral issue of our times: a humane democracy mired in an asymmetrical war is trying to protect itself against terrorists from the 7th century, while under the scrutiny of a corrupt world that needs oil, is largely anti-Semitic and deathly afraid of Islamic terrorists, and finds psychic enjoyment in seeing successful Western societies under duress. In short, if we wish to learn what was going on in Europe in 1938, just look around.’”

Speaking of Europe in 1938, I’m reading The Duel: the Eighty-Day Struggle Between Hitler and Churchill by John Lukacs. Lukacs writes: “By 1940… There were people, in many cases a considerable minority, who opposed their government and its waging war not for pacifist but for political and ideological reasons; and these included their sympathies for the political and ideological systems of their own nation’s enemies… Even in the Unites States where ‘isolationism’ was widespread and politically strong, consistent isolationists were few and far between.  Most isolationists, bitter opponents of Roosevelt and his administration, were not opposed to armaments and the military.  What they were opposed to was this war, the war waged by the aged and corrupt British and French empires against Germany, and the inclinations of Roosevelt and others to side with the former.”

I think voters in Connecticut let their dislike of this President lead them into a bad mistake.  Joe Lieberman understands the adversary we face.

The  Stowe Reporter, in the same editorial quoted above, poses: “Every American would do well to imagine for a minute if the circumstances were here. What if our sworn enemies, Hezbollah, an arm of fundamentalist Iran that is dead set on destroying this nation, moved into land on the border run by our democratically fragile neighbor?”  The answers are already written in our history.  We had much less provocation for the Mexican-American War than Israel has for its current campaign.  The finest hour of John Kennedy’s presidency was when he risked nuclear war to stop the installation of Russian missiles in Cuba.

Last week there were pictures of protestors marching in London with banners saying “We are all Hizbullah now.”  Where are the banners saying “We are all airline passengers”?  Where are the impassioned protests against Islamic fascists who practice terrorism?  Why isn’t the ‘Arab Street’ outraged at those who blow up mosques and schools in Baghdad for sectarian reasons?

You may have noticed that I am not giving two sides in this rant.  I think Islamic fascists are wrong and those who are confronting them now are right.  Appeasement is always tempting in the short run – it stops the killing for the moment.  But it feeds the beast and increases suffering and death not very long after.  Yes, the campaign in Southern Lebanon and Northern Israel is exacting an enormous price in human suffering on both sides.  Does that mean the right answer is to immediately stop all shooting? No, because any solution which leaves Hezbollah in place will mean more death and more suffering in the not-very-distant future.

This picture is from the blog of Yaron Galai (disclosure: he’s Israeli; I’m American and Jewish):

Israel_hez

Like most cartoons, it’s an oversimplification.  But pictures also tell a story in ways that words can’t.  When you fire at a target hiding behind a baby carriage, you create a photo op for propagandists.  Here’s how the same cartoon would appear if broadcast on al Jazeera (or perhaps BBC):

Israel_hez_cropped

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» Yeah, you heard it right he said it: was Bush's use of the term, “Islamic Fascists” appropriate? from Globalclashes
President Bush used an expression yesterday to respond to the foiled terrorist plot, which my second favorite law professor Kenneth Anderson (after Jamie Raskin) likes to use Islamic Fascists to describe the enemy(Kenneth Anderson actually uses the ter... [Read More]

» Borrowed Quote For The Day from No Time To Think
From Andrew Sullivan: There is something terribly sick within the Muslim mind at this moment in history. It is Nietzsche's ressentiment, but with God re-attached. We should indeed fear these people for the hideous carnage they can wreak for the... [Read More]

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