Religious war

My posting was light yesterday, in part because I had a lot of work and childcare obligations, and in part because I’d sort of run myself out of energy working on a contribution to the American Thinker‘s series of articles about religious wars. For the American Thinker, I ended up with this idea [hyperlinks omitted]:

Five days after 9/11, George Bush stated

“This crusade, this war on terrorism is gonna take awhile. And the American people must be patient. I’m gonna be patient.”

America has been running from that speech ever since.

It doesn’t matter that George Bush used the word “crusade,” not in a religious sense, but in a more literary, erudite sense, to mean “a vigorous concerted movement for a cause or against an abuse.” Because the President is known to be a religious man, his detractors and our enemies abroad have latched onto that single word to characterize all of America’s subsequent actions in the Middle East as a Christian crusade. (See, for example, this The Nation article, in which the author crows about President Bush’s ineptitude in allying himself with the medieval Crusaders, something that had “Bush already reading from [Osama Bin Laden’s] script.”)

These attacks against Bush’s (in retrospect) poor choice of words mean that America has vigorously and repeatedly denied that this war has anything to do with religion. Thus, while our opponents “coincidentally” belong to the same faith – Islam – we’re told repeatedly that Islam is a “religion of peace” (all present, historical and doctrinal evidence to the contrary). The obvious implication is that, to the extent that Islam is peaceful, religion can have nothing to do with events around us.

This blind obeisance to maintaining parity – because we’re not engaged in a religious war, they’re not engaged in a religious war – is both nonsensical and harmful. It’s nonsensical, of course, because it’s so obvious that our opponents – whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Canada, England, or wherever – make no secret about the impetus behind their animus towards us. While the Marxists may be spouting off about economic imperialism, those who array themselves against us talk generally about seeing Sharia enforced through the world. At a more specific level, they demand a Muslim takeover of America, the imposition of Sharia in Britain, and urge a holocaust to wipe out the Jewish nation (a nation Islam has long held to be an intractable enemy that must be destroyed). Under these circumstances, our denial that there is a religious component to the instant World War merely makes us look foolish.

If you think this is an interesting premise, you can read the rest here.

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  • Patrick O’Hannigan

    Nice, thoughtful piece of analysis there. I linked.

  • Ymarsakar

    Bush actually promotes attacks on himself. Because whenever the Left declaims something about what Bush said, Bush either doesn’t do anything and then stops using the term, or he says some one time weak defense out in the middle of nowhere, and then stops using the term that aggravated Democrats.

    Like when Bush said “bring it on”, he should have kept saying it for 2 more years. That’s taking a visible stand in the propaganda war, and showing that criticism has no effect. When people know that their criticism in the media has no effect on human behavior, they will either stop or concentrate on soething else. Bush has always kept rewarding this behavior. Not only does Bush not appear on prime time television and make cogent and logical arguments like Reagan did, to counter his opponents’, Bush also gives people the perception that if you criticize him, he’ll modify his behavior. Not in the most basic policies, like Iraq, but certainly miscellaneous topics.

  • Bookworm

    Ymarsakar, when you say that Bush consistently awards his critics by stopping whatever it is they’re criticizing, you’re absolutely right. He’s enforcing their conduct. One could argue, of course, that they’re right and it’s a good thing that he responds to their criticisms. However, because I disagree with his critics regarding the current world stand-off with radical Islam, I think you’ve made an excellent point.

  • jg

    I like your essay, Bookworm.

    Would you say then we are in the oft-named ‘clash of civilizations?!’

    I think so. Michael Yon allowed me to see the Arab world at close hand. I see values we can share. Our forces are exhibiting daily the worth of America. And Iraqis must be listening. NO, our foes in this country are not; they throw up every vile thing they can find. But we believe in who we are. That is the President’s point.

  • Ymarsakar

    you won’t have a civilization for long if you send your children to do war.

    Take Arab “civilization” as it is, add child cannon fodder” and the total is lower than the bribe of a border guard.

  • Ymarsakar

    The President’s “point” should be a razor sharp katana that can cut through a 5 foot in diameter tree and not be dulled. It’s not a farm implement, it’s not an iron cooking pot, that’s not a “point”, that’s a sturdy but non-lethal tool.

    A ‘point’ should be lethal upon first contact, and all contacts should be in critical zones powered by fatal energy.

    A point is a stabbing weapon, designed to critically injure the enemy by inducing a lightning deep wound that bleeds proliferously through holes in internal organs. It’s not a stick Bush should wave around, beating himself with. It’s also not something that Bush should wave it around, trying to look tough and “credible”.

    Here’s the reality version of the ‘point’. Kofi recently complained to Israel that they bombed one of their UN observation posts. Israel did the right thing, they said they would investigate. Here’s my modifications. Israel should, tomorrow, bomb two more UN observation posts, and make twice the amount of public apology and consternation. When Kofi Annan complains again to the world, and makes more fuss. Two days later, Israel should bomb 5 more UN observation posts. If Kofi Annan calls for more investigations, you should ‘leak’ an assassination order to Mossad to kill Kofi’s son.

    The point is something people get instinctually, because nobody needs to describe fatal wounds, you can see it. You can see it, smell it, feel it, and sense it. A point that must be described is a plaything, it’s a non-serious attempt at “talk”.

    The ‘point’ that it is not healthy for Kofi to complain about Israel, can be made with art and subtlety. Or it can be spelled out in blunt terms, which Bush is adept at. Or it can be avoided all together because of human rights concerns, in a war, as Israel is doing.

    I favor straight line thrusts and dagger thrusts. Bush likes to swing his club around as if it is a stick that people will praise him for having.

    Given the material and anecdotal stories I read about rulers, spycraft, and political decisions, the Kabuto dance among the world, the US, the UN, and Israel appears so fake to me. I expect there to be layers within layers, but it seems to be what it presents itself as. Bush means what he says, Israel means what they say, with their enemies playing 2, 3, or 5 moves ahead of them in diplomacy. I cannot believe that you can win diplomatic games if you say what you mean. It just doesn’t seem possible to me.

    People might wonder what’s my beef with, given stuff. Well, my beef is that I already know when the right decisions are made by rulers. Because I’ve already visualized, read, and seen the consequences to wrong ones. The Iraq War, Afghanistan, Empires, history, all this stuff translates into an instinct for when I know when Bush and Israel did something incorrect. And what’s more, when a ruler rules correctly, his people prosper. When a ruler makes wrong decisions, his people suffer. That is perhaps The definition for the WoT and Israel.

    While I might not always have the alternative solutions to current events, I would if I had the intel portfolios of the prime players. But Israel and Bush HAS the intel portfolios, they knwo the character of Kofi Annan and Syria better than I. So why do they keep making missteps in terms of both policy and media perception? This is not a case of inexperience, Bush knows what he is doing, he’s been doing politics for a long time. It reminds me of the idealistic Emperors and Kings in the past, that could do “nothing” because the bureacrats and courtiers foiled them at every step with their cunning and viscious power plays. But this is not true for Bush, Bush has all the Presidential powers he needs, given that he doesn’t use half of them, the veto and the pardon, to wage war with. Hell, ignorance is bliss.

    I cannot answer why Bush do not step more wisely, because I do not have spies in the Bush inner circle.

    I can’t explain instinct, because instinct is not knowledge or skill. However, there are real world examples I can point to as positive examples Bush should follow. Go to Pat Dollard’s site on the net, and watch the videos and hear his interviews with punditreview. These questions of to crusade or not to crusade, of religion or not religion, of what is iraq or what is not iraq, is answered there.

    I liked how Pat Dollard distilled Iraq down on the net. He said, “Iraq is basically American teenagers in the military allying with Iraqi civilians that just want a decent life, against two gangs of terroists, Al Qaeda and Baathist local members.

    Bush is effective when he is angry, he is clear and shows a sense of purpose. But if that anger does not translate into action, it means nothing.

    When President Bush makes a point, a real point, it should be so devastatingly lethal that there can be no real defense against it (5 days after 9/11, complete silence). Everyone is silent because to speak would be to commit political suicide. That is a real ‘point’. Political duels are just as deadly as duels in war. Except it is even more vicious, complex, and ambiguous in politics. That is why the first strike must be lethal, you cannot bleed your enemies to death like in guerrila warfare.

    I know Bush’s character and his philosophy, he’s been America’s President for 6 years, and the media has attempted to portray any possible flaw in his past. I’ve seen Bush after 9/11, before Iraq War at the UN, in this and that conflict. Haiti. His behavior is almost completely predictable to me. His speeches and his policy actions no longer surprise me, because I know them already before he makes them. But the one thing I cannot tell you, and do not know, is why Bush acts the way he does. Was it because of God and alcohol, his father and high expectations, or a lack of purpose in the life of a Bush family member? I cannot say, because I do not know. Psychological profiles and predictive analysis only goes so far into a person’s heart and soul.

    Bush’s best ally is the military. Can you imagine what would have happened if the military had scions of George Soros, Donald Trump, and high profile Democrats in the officer leadership of the Marines, Navy, Army, and Air Force? You know how much corruption there is in a system in which the army provides loyalty to politicians in return for promotions?

    Bush had the loyalty of a military that was the best in the history of the human race, not just America. In terms of merit, discipline, ability, power projection, and intelligence, Bush had the best of the best of the best.

    His policies would have failed outright with the army of Vietnam days. So, how does Bush treat the military? Better than Hollywood, but not as good as I would have expected given the military’s loyalty to him and the nation. Why didn’t he do more landings on air craft carriers? The sailors loved it. Can you just imagine if Bush didn’t have milbloggers supporting his policies and educating the people? Can you just imagine his poll numbers without people like Michael Yon, Black Five, and Special Forces bloggers? It’s too scary for even me to analyze.

    Again there is this shift. I expect a good ruler, Emperor, and President to make decisions that are not only right, but are 5 moves ahead of the opposition. Bush is not on this curve, for some reason. Historians in a 100 years will probably find out why, I envy them for their future hindsight. Well, that’s it.