Oceania was at war with Eastasia. Oceania had always been at war with Eastasia.
And a moment before, in George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Oceania had been an ally of Eastasia, and at war with Eurasia.1. It would be deemed a thoughtcrime to know and think otherwise.
And it’s a virtual thoughtcrime today to say that we are at war with Islam, or even to suggest that Islam is at war with us. Two presidents said so. At the very most, we’re only making “War on Terror.” We are fearful of Islam’s “extremists,” not of the ideology of Islam itself. So, once we identify (playing an intelligence version of “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”), foil and stamp out the “extremists,” we’ll be okay and safe and able to get on with our lives.
When we engaged Japan and Nazi Germany in a life or death conflict, we did not call it the “War on Kamikazes” and the “War on Blitzkrieg.” The phrase “War on Terror” makes little sense and such a “war” will make little headway if we do not remove régimes that fund and endorse attacks on this country. We defeated the Shinto régime that sent the Kamikazes against us and we defeated the Nazis who perfected Blitzkrieg. And then the Kamikazes stopped coming and so did the V2 rockets and Tiger tanks and the whole Wehrmacht. If we hadn’t destroyed our enemies’ capacity to make war, and physically, militarily refuted the efficacy of their ideologies, we’d probably still be fighting Japan and Germany. Or sued for a negotiated peace on our enemies’ terms.
Which is what we are effectively doing with the Taliban in Afghanistan. Suing for peace.
The weapons and tactics employed by the Japanese and Nazis were indeed intended to strike “terror” in soldiers facing them and in civilians. But to divorce those weapons from the régimes that employed them in war is a perilously futile and foolhardy exercise in evasion. And that is precisely what we have done with the “War on Terror.”
The “War on Terror,” on one hand, is an accurate term for the self-blinding policy the U.S. has engaged in for far too long. On the other hand, it is dishonest, cowardly, and evasive. We don’t blame the ideology. Heavens, no. Islam is a “religion,” and a “religion of peace.” Never mind the historical record that it has never been a “religion of peace” in its 1,400-year existence. At least, not the “peace” as the West understands it.
No, we blame the “extremists.” The term “extremist” is a smear term intended to vilify anyone who acts on fundamental principles. The American Revolutionaries were “extremists” who fought for freedom. Islamic jihadists are “extremist” “freedom-fighters” – that is, they fight against freedom, for Islamic ideology is anti-freedom. Anti-liberty. Anti-mind.
Stuka dive bombers and the launchers of V2 rockets and divisions of German soldiers are the “extremists” of Nazism. Japanese soldiers in banzai charges and suicidal Kamikaze pilots are the “extremists” of Shintoism.
The phrase “War on Terror” is a tautological oxymoron. Consider the phrase “war on poverty.” What does it mean? Nothing. All it does is conjure up an absurd picture of SWAT teams going into slums, guns blazing, to replace steel kettles with Krups coffee makers, and paper plates with Waterford china. The “war on drugs” is no less absurd, as is the “war on obesity” and every other “war” the government has declared. Including the “War on Terror.”
Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step towards political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers.2.
The phrase “War on Terror,” from the very beginning, spread by convenient imitation because it helped to obfuscate the irresolution of our political leadership to identify and challenge our enemies. Thinking clearly about Islam is not our leadership’s goal. It prefers muddied waters.
I grew tired of the phrase “War on Terror” years ago because I saw that adopting it and the policy behind it only guaranteed its indefinite continuation, with no end in sight. That policy allows our current enemy, Islam in all its manifestations, to conduct unlimited war against us, whether it’s in the form of suicide bombers or kitchen pressure cookers and other forms of “terror,” or the stealthy introduction of Sharia law in the U.S. or the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s attempts to gut the First Amendment with Hillary Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s blessings, so that clear thinking would be prohibited and punished.
We have conducted a limited war against, not the ideology, but against its death-loving agents and “soldiers.”
Would we have the kinds of controls and spying and political establishment that we have today, had we removed those régimes at the very beginning? No. There’d be no TSA, no DHS, no government nosing into Americans’ phone calls and emails, no government “red-flagging” what it deemed offensive speech, no government surveillance of our private speech and behavior conducted behind the guise of “national security,” no government imposing suicidal Rules of Engagement on American troops in a war that never occurred. Because that war would’ve been concluded decades before, with Islam crawling back into its life-hating mosques, fearing to poke its head outside ever again lest it be shot off.
There’d be no mosques in America, either, and no Muslims streaming in to help the Brotherhood populate and conquer America. There’d be no CAIR or ISNA or MSA or any of those Brotherhood front organizations. Any attempt by Islamic enemies to establish Islamic “Bunds” or “civil rights” advocacy groups in America would be discovered, ferreted out, and dissolved.
The agents of a totalitarian ideology – for that is what Islam is, a totalitarian ideology – working to supplant the Constitution with Sharia law, however stealthy, would not be tolerated. We tolerate the Amish, and Buddhists, and even the Baptists because those people are not proposing to impose their will on everyone else. It is only Islam and Muslims.
No 9/11. No 7/7. No Madrid or Bali bombings. No Boston Marathon bombings. None of it. The costly and mind-deadening siege culture we have been living in for the past fifteen or so years would never have congealed around us and asphyxiated us. We wouldn’t have even had to endure the plane hijackings and massacres and terrorism of the 1960’s and 1970’s, for Islam would have been trounced, defeated, and its nose rubbed in the dirt a decade or so before.
We’d have an FBI that would fight the enemy with both eyes wide open.
Muslims coming to America would be ex-Muslims wanting to escape the fetid, murderous hellholes of Islam. Mexicans wanting to come to America would want to undergo the usual naturalization process and leave their crippled, failed country behind, as well.
Neither of the Islam-respecting Bushes would have been elected. The Clintons would have remained in Arkansas to lord it over people whose cars are on cinder blocks. And glib-talking Barack Obama would probably have weaseled his way into Chicago politics instead of being tapped by the Marxists in the Democratic Party to become their point man for the socialization of America.
There’d be no Obamacare, or TARPs, or “Stimuli,” nor Obama and Michelle “Minnie the Moocher” giving the country and Americans their middle fingers as they do a poor impersonation of the Roosevelts and fly off on their million dollar vacations. We would never have heard of them, except when the next Chicago corruption scandal erupted on the front pages.
Obama isn’t “mismanaging” the “War on Terror,” either, as some of his critics are alleging. His policies are consciously designed to cause us to lose it. He is a nihilist and I cut him no slack. His foreign policies complement his domestic policies, which are designed to destroy the country under the rubric of “transformation.” Obama may enable Islamic régimes to come to power in the Mideast and North Africa because he has an envious affinity for those régimes. He is enabling the Marxists and Democrats to “reform” the country so that it is multiculturally humbled and unexceptional.
I know that others in the past have made the very same points I make here, but that doesn’t ameliorate my disgust with the phrase “War on Terror” because that phrase means absolutely nothing.
Islam must be dealt a mortal blow. The only way to defeat Islam is to cut off its heads as well as its hands.
But someone might object: But…but…that would mean taking out the Saudis, and Iran, and the UAE, and Qatar, and Pakistan. Yes, it would. These were actions the U.S. ought to have taken ages ago, beginning with that looting, medieval dynasty of the Saudis. It might even mean using tactical nuclear weapons. But the longer we do not remove régimes and states that sponsor terrorism, the longer the “War on Terror” will go on. As a country, we cannot afford a perpetual and indefinitely extended stalemate. No country has ever survived that kind of “war.”
The late John David Lewis, in his seminal work on the means and ends of warfare, wrote:
Those who wage war to enslave a continent – or to impose their dictatorship over a neighboring state – are seeking and end that is deeply immoral and must not be judged morally equal to those defending against such attacks.3.
And it is not a stalemate we are facing. It is an incremental retreat lead by the internal enemies of this country in the face of the Left’s totalitarian agenda allied with the Islamic blueprint for conquest. These allies are copasetic in their means and ends.
A commander’s most urgent task is to identify this central point [an enemy's ideological and moral strength] for his enemy’s overall war effort and to direct his forces against that center – be it economic, social, or military – with a view to collapsing the opponent’s commitment to continue the war. To break the “will to fight” is to reverse not only the political decision to continue the war by inducing a decision to surrender, but also the commitment of the populations to continue (or to restart) the war.4.
This is precisely the policy that has been adopted by “Islamists” against the U.S. and the West. They know that the U.S. and the West have no “will to fight,” because the U.S. and the West have sabotaged their own ideological and moral strength with pragmatism, subjectivism and multiculturalism. Philosophically, politically, to use an analogy from the Battle of Gettysburg, we have right and left flanks, but no center in the Union position. General Lee attacked the center, thinking it was weak and would collapse. He was wrong. He paid the price.
Our flanks are superfluous, because they exist to defend the center composed of pragmatic, unprincipled mush. Our enemies are pouring through that center and striking at our flanks. And that is why we are paying the price and collapsing.
There is no single strategic pattern, no universal “theory of war,” and no moral “rules” divorced from context or purpose to emerge from this book. The major point is to take moral ideas seriously.5. (Italics Lewis’s)
The “War on Terror” will not end until we abandon that anti-concept and adopt the morally correct idea that we are engaged in a War Against Islam.
1. Nineteen Eighty-Four: Text, Sources, Criticism, by George Orwell. (1949) Edited by Irving Howe. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1963. p. 121.
2. “Politics and the English Language,” in All Art is Propaganda: Critical Essays, by George Orwell. Compiled by George Packer. New York: Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008. pp. 270-271.
3. Nothing Less Than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History, by John David Lewis. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2010. p. 3.
4. Ibid, p. 6.
5. Ibid, p. 10.