War as diplomacy by other means

Except in the rare circumstance when genocide is the goal, war is never an end in itself. It is always a means to the end of a better negotiating position. Someone in one of these threads mentioned the old saying that war is diplomacy by other means. With this in mind, consider Judyrose’s question, asked twice now but not answered, of what we could offer to the jihadists at the negotiating table. If we take the approach of the liberals, who would withdraw from Iraq and, essentially, abandon war and the threat of war as negotiating tools, we would have nothing to offer.

The plain truth is the jihadists want to destroy us, our society, our freedoms, our religion, our way of life. They’ve said so over and over again. They have proven over and over again that they are deadly serious. Assuming we are not willing to surrender those things, we really do have nothing to offer that they would be interested in. The only other alternative I see is to “persuade” them to abandon those goals. I’m absolutely certain that talking nicely to them won’t do that. They aren’t interested in the usual bribe-like financial incentives. They don’t want to join our modern-day materialistic society; they want to destroy it.

The only way we can persuade them to give up their goals is by persuading them that (a) they cannot possibly achieve those goals, and (b) we will make it so painful for them to even try that they should abandon the effort. Obviously, we can do this only by displaying a commitment to war and a ruthlessness that we have thus far utterly failed to show. We have the power to really “shock and awe” but we have never unleashed it or even threatened serious to do so. Until we do so, the jihadist threat will grow. Attempting to appease or persuade them with anything short of the use, or serious threat of use, of all of our power will surely fail.

This leads to a serious question, though. The American public has shown conclusively that they are not nearly ruthless enough. They will not even support the limited effort we are making in Iraq. They are not about to support the kind of military effort it would take to have any deterrent effect on the jihadists.

So, two questions: (1) are there any other alternatives to serious warfare which will result in the johadists giving up? (2) If not, how do we persuade the American people (and the rest of the non-Muslim world, for that matter) that such a serious, grim and ruthless effort is necessary?

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  1. Danny Lemieux says

    Like you, DQ, I am at loss with regard to a proper course of action. The problem is, whenever sanctions are threatened, the Jihadis hide behind the burqas of the local population, so it is hard to strike at them directly without hurting a lot of innocent people. However, just some ideas to start the conversation:

    Domestically. Declare “militant Islam” a seditious political movement and threaten sanctions of deportation to those in our midst and imprisonment for those that actively promote violence. Revoke the visas and citizenship of Islamists in the U.S. on the basis that citizenship was fraudulently applied for, as evidenced by their efforts to undermine the Constitution in violation of their oath.

    Internationally. Declare that ANY state (E.g., Saudi Arabia, Iran) that does not crack down on support for their Jihadis is, in effect, an enemy state that will be sanctioned economically and militarily. The first evidence of an attack on Americans or American interests by state-sponsored Jihadis (e.g., Hamas and Hesbullah)should be responded to by systematically destroying portions of their economic infrastructure (Iranian oil pumping stations) and attacking their bank accounts.

  2. says

    The American public has shown conclusively that they are not nearly ruthless enough.

    I think you’re confusing the American public with the politicians, Don. Because honestly, the people I know in real life, and the people here and at Neo-Neocon’s site as well as Blackfive’s site, shows a lot of ruthlessness and will. Just saying. I’m not talking about the 30+ year olds I know, btw, I’m talking about people in their 20s. They may not know their shat about military strategy and military history, but if they see a threat, they want to take it out, blow them up, get rid of them. But then again I live in the South… so take it as it is.

    They will not even support the limited effort we are making in Iraq.

    But that is the point. Jacksonians, the war lobby of America, doesn’t like limited wars in the first place. When they support a war, it is to the finish, to the knife. So naturally those who support total war, are geared against limited efforts because they think it is a waste of time. There are arguments for limited wars of course, but if you don’t run limited wars well (say covert sabotage of Iran and propaganda messages concerning US power via Bush’s office) then people are going to get pissed and disatisfied.

    America has always hated limited wars, just check out Truman’s polls during Korea.

    They are not about to support the kind of military effort it would take to have any deterrent effect on the jihadists.

    So that logic doesn’t parse. People would support total wars or some kind of total intimidation or total fear factor program, if they actually believed their leaders were seriously committed. But even Bush’s partisans and loyalists are starting to doubt the President’s desire for destruction, if not committment to the terror war.

    Why would people want total wars? The same reason why you said why there are problems with convincing the Jihad, Don, to stop fighting. So if you think nothing but will and ruthlessness will convince them to stop fighting, then why would you support a war that limits itself to below the threshold for victory as you would believe?

    People don’t support the limited war right now… because it is limited. They don’t see enough enemies dying and screaming for mercy, to be honest. They are getting sick and tired of seeing their own team get beat up, and the media manipulates things so that they don’t show the “complete” violence (there’s a link I’ll dig up that clarifies what I mean by that). So it isn’t like the Red Sox. Demoralized, almost fearing to hope, because of so many crushing defeats. There are no crushing defeats in Iraq for us, there is only apathy engendered by the perception created by the media.

  3. JJ says

    It’s going to be interesting, because we’ve never encountered an enemy like this. The usual rules do not apply.

    DQ suggests that it must be made plain that (a) they cannot achieve their goals, and (b) even to try will be made so painful for them as to be not worth it.

    How? These are people who do not relate to this world. They don’t care if they achieve anything or not: the goal is less some idea of “victory” than to die trying. They do not even value their own children, whom they will cheerfully and proudly wire up to explode; therefore the future is an irrelevant concept to them. Option (a) would seem not possible.

    Given that this is their world view, how are you going to make it so painful for them that it becomes not worth it? There is no such pain possible. There is no option (b).

    All you can do is kill them. Even that they will regard as a positive, but it at least has the virtue of getting rid of the ones you kill.

    We’re fighting the marabunta. They know only one thing: keep coming. They don’t care if they die, their friends die, or their families die in the process. The only thing to do is get out the flame-throwers.

    We are so far unwilling to do that. The people in this ountry and in Europe who think that if we leave Iraq the problem will go away are deluding themselves.

    We are a nation of people who love to visit our national parks and, not believing the signs or the rangers, persist in feeding the bears. We are always terribly disappointed when the bear pulls someone’s arm off.

    We are now fighting Mohammed Armoff, and as usual we do not get it. The probability seems very high to me that what will happen will be that they will get hold of a nuclear weapon, and detonate it in Washington DC. Perhaps then we will take it seriously, and hopefully it won’t be too late.

    But that’s what it’ll take: another hit, and it’ll have to be a big one.

  4. says

    Okay. Complete violence, found it here.

    http://www.blackfive.net/main/2007/02/mike_tucker_in_.html

    It is about a Abu Ghraib story. Read the story, then read my comments at the end of that post there. It should fill you in on what I mean. Here’s a teaser.

    To say the least, neither attack made front-page news. “Our internal definition of what is decent has changed,” says Thompson. “People are desensitized, and they don’t react appropriately to the violence. They don’t experience the conflict for what it really is—a violent mess. Once the scandal broke and the public saw photos of the abuse at the Hard Site, everything else paled in comparison. When I tell people I was at Abu Ghraib, what they know about the place are the photos.

    “In many ways, the scandal created a smoke screen for the larger detention operations. It made it easy to say, ‘Well, as long as that doesn’t happen again.’ While the public and media were fixated on the pornographic abuse … there were almost 6,000 detainees living—and dying—in Ganci in the worst conditions imaginable.”

    A few weeks after the attacks, Yunis, Abbas, and Khalid were transferred to the Hard Site. On May 28, 2004, they were released. Yunis walked out of the prison wearing the same clothes he was arrested in—including his boxer shorts, which, by then, were covered with a list of the dead.

    Those aren’t my words.

  5. says

    For the rest of us, we need a general understanding of tribalism. I wrote about this years ago in a piece called The Black Mail. The tribe does everything we expect a society to do: bestows legitimacy on leaders, takes care of orphans and other needy children, cares for the old and the widowed. Changing a tribal society to a modern one is the work of generations.

    That’s all right — merely engaging a tribal society in modern economic life will do the work for us. We just have to be willing to wait. In the meantime, we play by their rules, and wait for the virus of freedom to work.

    We must also show them the value of our society in terms that will mean something to an honor-based tribal society.

    The best thing that we can do for America is to return to teaching heroic epics. We need to teach Americans how to be heroes — how to think about and value honor, shame, and wisdom amid violence.

    American soldiers are our first and often our best ambassadors. When they behave as heroes, and believe in heroism, a tribal society responds. When they know how to speak of those concepts in a Western context, the tribal society learns that the West is not decadent — it too has honor.

    Do you doubt it? Perhaps you should read again of the “Lions of Tall Afar.”

    ….

    The Myth of the Guerrilla is not new. The use of global media to convince the world of the truth of the myth is not new — the Tet Offensive is the model here. What is new is the global scale of the conflict. Al Qaeda and its allies can create momentum in rural Afghanistan, and thereby humiliate the Coalition. It appears to be more powerful than America, more powerful than NATO, because it can defy their will and exert control where we cannot. That control is based on the careful application of a small amount of strength; the worldwide appearance of power is based on the global media carrying today’s one small success to every household with a television. Even if every household in Afghanistan but one sleeps safely tonight, that one is all that is needed to portray the insurgency as unstoppable, and capable of exerting its will when and where it pleases.

    It is not, of course: it would rather strike the White House than a farmhouse in Afghanistan. But we cannot stop the one attack in Afghanistan, and therefore the insurgency is winning. Its goal is to attack, ours to defend, and since it has attacked somewhere, that is enough. Readers of newspapers see an example of their strength, that small but carefully applied strength, each and every day. It becomes an article of faith.

    Now consider the example of Fallujah, where this played out in a larger arena. In Fallujah, the enemy convinced a hostile population that it could lead them to victory. As a consequence, the people of Fallujah gave themselves over to the leadership of Islamists, trained with them, and believed them when they said that the Marine Corps would be buried there.

    This, too, was an illusion. When the Marines and US Cavalry came, the terrorist leadership fled. The people of Fallujah who had chosen to believe the myth were left to fight alone, and fight they did — hard, and according to the Fallujah veterans I’ve talked to, with a deep determination. In the end, however, they did not survive.

    http://www.blackfive.net/main/2007/01/a_strategy_for_.html#comment-27272973

    The pont is.

    Our main efforts should be devoted to the main body of combatants, potential combatants, and non-combatants. If you solve the main body problem, then Islamic Jihad will go the way of Nazis. One Nazi female guard came to America and married a Jew, just to attempt to escape her past as a concentration guard. That is the kind of social opporbrium and pressure that has resulted from a successful war prosecution of the enemy.

    The Islamic Jihad themselves are no less mortal than we are. They doubt just as we doubt. They fear mistakes and failure, just as we fear mistakes and failures. They desire rewards in life and death, and we desire rewards in life and death. Being all human, they have human vulnerabilities.

    Two ways to convince the enemy to stop fighting. Sure, you won’t convince the hardcore fanatics, but they are not too numerous to execute on demand.

    One. Ruthlessness in pursuit of the annihilation of the enemy, ala WWII Ami vs Japan.

    Two. Demonstration of American power, heroism, values, and courage.

    Find what the Jihadists fear. And exploit it. Every human fears something… they are not gods.

  6. says

    Whoops. Number 7 should have been written after this. I forgot about it in notepad, my bad.

    How? These are people who do not relate to this world. They don’t care if they achieve anything or not:

    I disagree with JJ.

    Why? Primarily because I started off trying to understand post 9/11 events through psychological means. Which inevitably lead to psychological warfare, guerrila warfare, and propaganda warfare. That means I have always been focused on how to break the will of the enemy (ala Sun Tzu) rather than annihilating them via conventional warfare means *Von Clausewitz*. I did psychological techniques first, then conventional military logistics and bombs.

    I say this because it gives me a different perspective on things. Instead of asking “can I destroy the enemy”, I usually first ask myself “how can I convince the enemy that they should stop fighting”. Breaking their morale.

    It is true that in a war of absolute annihilation, it is easier to think of destruction first rather than forcing a surrender. But the Islamic jihad, the more I studied them, the more human and flawed they became in my eyes. The media of course had always portrayed them as mythical dragon’s teeth warriors who were fanatic and “hardcore” in the sense of never giving up. Fearsome…. except as I studied them, their mind, their spirits, their culture, and their psychology, I came to conclude that they were weak. They were frail human beings, frailer even than the weakest child in terms of emotional development.

    This is born out by how easy the Islamic Jihad is to manipulate. Osama does it. It happens everytime Arabs buy into rumours. It happens everytime Arabs erupt into violence out in the streets cause their clerics told them something “bad” was happening.

    This is not evidence of a sane, balanced, and rational people. Why would it be.

    These people are human. And I mean that in the sense that like all humans, they are vulnerable. They feel fear, they have things that they love which we can take away from them, and they have beliefs which we may shatter as well. They have morale, they can be demoralized. The myth of the indomitable guerrila does not exist in reality.

    The Islamic Jihad is weak and brittle. How many hijackings, ransoms, kidnappings, and bombs did they have to get before they got enough courage in their balls to strike America’s heartland?

    They are very cautious. Like mice. When they see an opportunity however, they will take it, in a sneat attack. But face to face, hand to hand, morale to morale? They will fold against the US military. Their advantage lies in that their determination is far more than the US political wing, and it is the US political wing that controls the US military.

    I will allow Grim’s post (which I kept bugging Don q about) to tell ya the conclusion that I have been personally leading up to concerning why I disagree with JJ.

  7. Tom Hughes says

    A point I would like to make, that war and violence are only tools to be use to defeat the opponets will. We need to couple our violence to get their(Islamist) attention and then use our other tools – free speach, attractive life style, the internet to suduce the ranlk and file away from their violence. To look at Islams total horror of the Apostate Islamist, shows one of their terrible weaknesses. Thats were we need to attack. Let’s contrast and compare the life Islam offers, with the lifestyles of the West. We have meny things to offer the run of the mill Arab, so lets be clear to them they can have them if they switch sides and abandon Islam and all it’s perversions. Death and violence toword True Believer will only reward him, suduction of his freinds and family to the Otherside will wound him deeply.
    Offer the Islamists:
    1. Womens rights
    2. Free speach
    3. A rich and diverse society
    4. A freedom of choices.
    5. A frogressive culture (as opposed Islams static culture)

    Let’s not be afraid to go after his core beliefs. Our society does not multicultural respect for NAZI’s why for Islam?

  8. greg says

    Well, warbloggers, the historical analogy you’re overlooking is the Cuban Missle Crisis (where non-violence triumphed), and the assumptions you make on Arab behavior are uninformed (but stereotypical of neocon simplification).

    Luckily for you, both issues have recently been written about by the Dover Bitch:

  9. says

    Btw, people like Greg aren’t oracles. They do not really know what would have resulted on the other track of the q wave collapse phenomenon. But they act like they do. Like they act towards Iraq right now. They are the prophets, and you are simply nothing but the believers, to be brought to the proper understanding. Do you choose to believe?

  10. Danny Lemieux says

    Everybody makes it sound as if the Jihadis are invincible and we can’t win (eeek!). Nonsense. They aren’t. All this happened before, in Egypt-Sudan at the end of the 19th Century, when Muhammed Ahmad al-Mahdi (“The Redeemer”), the OBL of his time, led a successful Jihadi campaign against the British and won, only to die shortly thereafter. The British, under Kitchener, counterattacked, slaughtered the Jihadis at Omdurman (in 1898), and the Islamic Jihad simply fell to fighting among themselves and wilted away. Similarly, General Pershing soundly defeated the Islamic Jihadis in the Phillipines ten years later by executing their leaders. The lesson: kill their leaders, defeat their armies and they will lose their will. Of course, the problem we currently face is losing our own will in the face of Jihadi fellow-travelers in the MSM and Neo-Copperhead Democrat party.

  11. Mike says

    (1) are there any other alternatives to serious warfare which will result in the johadists giving up?
    Starvation works very well to bring people to thinking differently.As I pointed out without money to buy the necessary supplies, aside from munitions,there can be no Jihad. If we want to win this war then yes we must get nasty and that means embargo and blockades.
    (2) If not, how do we persuade the American people (and the rest of the non-Muslim world, for that matter) that such a serious, grim and ruthless effort is necessary?

    This the Jihadist will probably do for us.There will be another 9/11 in this country or in Europe.One of the more radical Islamic sects will pull the trigger on something on a very large scale that will wake up this country to the real threat of Islam .

  12. says

    Hi Greg,

    No only do you offer no answers, DB at your link offers none either. The blockade of Cuba was the use of force and it would not have worked had it not had the credible threat of real use of power behind it. The enemy backed down only because it knew that it would feel U.S. might if it did not. If this is the best example of the use of “non-violence” you can come up with, then we are in agreement.

    Remember, war is to be used only as a last resort. Tactics like blockades are perfectly acceptable and should be used whenever possible. But they only work if backed by a real threat of the use of power and even then they often fail.

    As for the Arab mind, I don’t pretend to understand it. But neither you nor DB deny that Islamists are committed to our deaths and are willing to sacrifice themselves and their children to accomplish this. It would be better if we understood this mind-set, but it is enough that we know that it exists and react appropriately.

    Tom Hughes offers a suggestion for what we can offer at the negotiating table. This approach will obviously not work with the Jihadists, but it might work with the less radical Muslims who would prefer our lifestyle. So, Greg, how would you negotiate with the Jihadists?

    Hi Y,

    If only you were right about the American people. Every poll shows that America does not want a wider war in Iraq, they want out. And if there were any doubt, Americans spoke loud and clear on election day, putting in power the party least likely to do what you say the American people want our government to do. To deal with reality, we must first recognize it exists.

  13. says

    No poll has asked that question. Meaning, no poll has said, if this was total and less limited of a war, would you…. They don’t ask that, because they are clueless to be honest.

    putting in power the party least likely to do what you say the American people want our government to do.

    all politics are local after all as you said, people wanted blue dog democrats or some such change, and usually the democrats have the superior media-propaganda machine out there. also add in the consideration that people were already believing that the republicans weren’t serious, considering several events, not least of all with the us southern border. i’m not going to say what people voted for, but certainly was this sentiment of punish republicans to get them into gear.

  14. says

    Look people don’t know what they want. they aren’t there to formulate policies, they can only react as to what they like or don’t like. with the internet and grassroots blog organizations, people are actually formulating policies. so the point is people are dissatisfied, there is no doubt about that, but you can’t extrapolate that to mean that they wouldn’t want to win with an enlarged conflict. if bush said he was going to kick iran’s ass for killing americans in iraq, why would america say booo?

  15. Al says

    OK, We’ve all come at the problem DQ has presented from several perspectives. 1)There is no reasoning with them.
    2)Much of the world has no stomach for the full bore military effort to remove the threat and them.(especially what passes for Europe, and the liberals in the US) 3)There is always the media wringing its hands about desires to spank the terrorists because that would only traumatize the poor terrorists more.
    Tom Hughes has part of the answer. But he is aiming in the wrong direction. I do not think that any of the committed terrorists will change their minds if faced with a garden of eden on earth. They all want to kill us.
    If the planet is truly a “global village”,(then Hillary is the global idiot)(sorry, I had to say that)then we need to treat the actions of the terrorists the way the NYC police treated the petty criminals. Enforce the turnstile jumping crimes, and the subway robbery crimes go down. Go into the Mosques in London and New York and Paris and arrest the Imams exhorting Jihad. Identify the Islamic thugs who essentially kidnap girls (from national minorities) and force them to convert to Islam, and put them in a nice, secure, ghetto of a prison. Simply enforce the civil rights laws on the Islamists, and watch the support for the Jihad melt away. Now this policy will require a clam, evenhanded
    judicial perspective. Not the myopic, selfserving, protect the victim, liberal position. But even the libs can understand that the institution of Shar’ia law would create the most hideous of societies. (unless of course the lib males want to have an enshrined right to make a “waitress sandwich in public with none raising even a mildly critical eyebrow)(now that I think about it, under Shar’ia law, Kennedy couldn’t drink ether. But then, he doesn’t think ahead much, does he)
    I’m sorry. I am digressing far too much. The way to combat the Jihad is to educate the American people what the Islamofascits are trying to do.Once you successfully do that, just get out of their way.
    Al

  16. greg says

    Our country’s gravest enemy is the fractious intent of the warblogging authoritarian. Negotiating with that foe will require *everything* our country can muster. And the outcome is not a given.

  17. Trimegistus says

    I can think of an alternative. If we aren’t willing to fight a bloody war, and we don’t want them to grow in strength and kill us, then…

    Genocide.

    Nuclear strikes, biological weapons, poison, attacks on water and power supplies — all the things we’re too civilized to do. All the things we _will_ do when our backs are against the wall and it’s that or death.

    That’s what “peace” will ultimately lead to — a greater horror.

  18. says

    Well, the Islamic Jihad is only out to kill people as a means to an end. Their end being a global caliphate. But if you take their followers away from them, then they won’t get a caliphate and might start reconsidering the jihad. Terrorists cannot be terrorists after all, if they don’t have anybody to terrorize.

    As for enforcing the law, that is fine and good, but that only allies to the West, specifically the US. It is very hard to enforce the law when the rule of law doesn’t even exist in the majority of the world. It only deals with Jihad in safe enclaves, safe for now that is, not in the their base of operations.

  19. d'Brit says

    “what we could offer to the jihadists at the negotiating table…”

    Our modern-day materialistic society; will not destroy theirs.

    “So, two questions: (1) are there any other alternatives to serious warfare which will result in the johadists giving up?”

    “Domestically. Declare “militant Islam” a seditious political movement and threaten sanctions of deportation to those in our midst and imprisonment for those that actively promote violence.
    Internationally. Declare that ANY state (E.g., Saudi Arabia, Iran) that does not crack down on support for their Jihadis is, in effect, an enemy state that will be sanctioned economically and militarily.” Danny Lemieux

    Sorry Danny,
    CBS, The New York Times, the democratic party and the ACLU won’t let your domestic prescription be implemented.

    Bush tried your International solution. CBS, The New York Times, the democratic party and the UN blocked implementation of that policy.

    “The Islamic Jihad themselves are no less mortal than we are. They doubt . They fear mistakes and failure… They desire rewards in life and death .. Being all human, they have human vulnerabilities. Find what the Jihadists fear. And exploit it. Every human fears something… they are not gods.”
    “like all humans, they are vulnerable. They feel fear, they have things that they love which we can take away from them, and they have beliefs which we may shatter as well. They have morale, they can be demoralized.” Comment by ymarsakar

    “Let’s not be afraid to go after his core beliefs. Our society does no multicultural respect for NAZI’s why for Islam?”Comment by Tom Hughes

    “we need a general understanding of tribalism”

    Yes we do. Honor and ‘respect’ is everything in their cultures.

    Make them an object of ridicule.

    The key words are contempt, humiliation, derision, shame, scorn, ridicule, and mockery. Complete disrespect is the answer. Don’t avoid offense; intentionally offer as much offense as possible. Mock them as ‘paper’ tigers, deride their manhood, and attack their every assertion with logic that cares not a whit for their ‘feelings’.

    Continually publish derisive cartoons of Osama and Al~Qaida. Publish satirical pieces mocking them.

    Make people laugh at them as the incompetent, atavistic, silly little men they are, worthy only of derision.

    None of the solutions offered here will even be tried if a democratic administration in elected in 08. If that happens, as it almost certainly will, then JJ’s comments are almost certainly accurate.

    “The probability seems very high to me that what will happen will be that they will get hold of a nuclear weapon, and detonate it in Washington DC. Perhaps then we will take it seriously, and hopefully it won’t be too late. But that’s what it’ll take: another hit, and it’ll have to be a big one.” Comment by JJ

  20. highlander says

    I like Danny’s ideas in #1 best.

    There is no question we need to fight terrorists on the ground and fight them with massive deadly force, but there are some additional things we can do to hamper and even to thwart their activities. Chief among these in my mind would be eliminating safe havens for terrorists throughtout the world, and this is where I think Danny’s ideas would be effective.

    We forget sometimes that a campaign of terrorism requires a large permanent support organization, considerable infrastructure and a great deal of money. If my memory is correct, I believe it has been determined that every suicide bomber, for example, requires somewhere around 30 support people. In other words, it takes a village.

    Villages such as these cannot operate without at least the tacit support of the governments of the countries in which they reside. I think, as Danny has suggested, we should implement a policy of zero tolerance not only toward nations which allow safe havens for terrorists within their borders, but also toward nations which do not actively work with us to disrupt terrorist infrastructure.

    Is it not obvious on its very face that any nation which supports — or even simply permits — terrorist activities against the United States is our enemy?

  21. Danny Lemieux says

    Thanks, H. Incidentally, reviewing recent reports about Italian prosecutions of CIA operatives and German kid-hand glove treatment of arrested Jihadi plotters, I would include European countries among those to be sanctioned. If the Italian prosecutions goes forward, no more Chianti and Italian prosciutto for me (domestic prosciutto is OK, though). I’ve already traded German beer for Czech and Polish beer.

    d’Brit – I recognize the validity of your comment re. CBS, The New York Times, the Neo-Copperhead party, the ACLU and all other jihadi fellow travelers in America,…however, unlike during the Vietnam era, Americans do have alternate media, now.

    Also, humiliation won’t work…it is in large part the perceived humiliation of the Muslim world by the successes of the materialistic, non-Islamist Judeo-Christian (and secular) world that have gotten us to this situation in the first place. The term “Great Satan” derives from to the Islamist rationalization that the only way to explain America’s successes, given that God obviously blessed Muslims through Mohammed, is for our non-Islamic nation to have been in league with Satan. More humiliation would only reinforce that conviction and add additional recruits to the cause.

    However, some of my Muslim friends have made interesting observations, such as: many of the Jihadi leadership (in Iran, Palestine and elsewhere) have whipped up the cause to enrich themselvs and their families (the Iranian mullahs are notorious for this). An Iraqi friend explained to me that what Al-Sadr’s insurrection has always been about was to secure control of the lucrative “tourist” trade of Shiite worshippers to Sunni holy shrines in Iraq (by Iranians, mostly). So, maybe one way to defenestrate the Jihadi movement is to go after the bank accounts of their leaders and their families. Oooops! I forgot. The NYT already tried to undermine that program, as well.

  22. says

    Also, humiliation won’t work

    Don’t you remember when the Iraqis showed caught terrorists confessing on the air to the public? Humiliation does work, but you have to be in a position of strength, the captor, not the captee.

  23. BigAL says

    DQ, I answered Judy’s question on Friday, I’ll assume you didn’t read it or you just don’t consider it a good answer. But it is an answer:

    What do you say at the negotiating table that could succeed in getting the Jihadists to live in peace with us?

    Say “We don’t need your oil anymore because we are going to develop electric cars on a mass scale over the next several decades. We’ll use our own oil reserves and the reserves of our non-ME allies for the next decade until the transition is complete. Our citizens will make sacrifices and work as team (profit or not) to make sure we never have to be dependent on oil again. We are removing all troops from the middle-east. We are going to arrest the war-profiteers who manipulated our people into believing we could fight a war on terror with conventional methods and weapons. If you are caught trying to commit and act of terror in the USA, we will try you for murder and terrorism, we will give you a fair trial, and we will convict you using evidence….Because that’s what America is all about. We aren’t going to hate you the way you hate us. We are better than that.! If you still want destroy us, we will pray for God to bring peace to your hearts and we will have faith that God will protect us. We are not afraid of you.”

    And the doubters will say that will not work. And that’s OK. They said we could win the war on terror by invading and bombing countries, and that has not worked either…so their credibility is really zero.

    And they’ll call us liberals or pacifists or conservatives or whatever the current popular term is denoting someone WHO DOES NOT AGREE WITH THEM OR BELIEVES THERE’S A BETTER OPTION THAN THE STATUS QUO.

    And they’ll say, “so how are you going to do this and why is this going to work?”

    And I’ll say “that’s funny, because I asked you that exact same question when you said it was a good idea to invade Iraq, and you never gave me a good answer, so screw off”

    Comment by BigAL | February 23, 2007

  24. says

    Please forgive me, BigAl, you did answer. And, while I disagree that your answer would work (in the end, we’d end up invading again to find the people we wish to try and convict, among other things), it is well thought out and well expressed. I should not have dismissed it so quickly from my mind.

  25. Mike Devx says

    I think that if this is a war, it has been going on for about 1400 years, with many quiet interludes between the hot and heavy fighting. Americans in a vague way understand this – the foe is not a new foe, except for the 20th-Century-Nazi influence that has permeated its current incarnation.

    The question was, “How do we persuade the American people to fight?” My answer is, you don’t. Or rather, you keep doing what Mrs. Bookworm and so many others are doing: You continue to present the case for proper action against and resistance to the foe. A bulwark thus grows; the seeds are planted.

    But the American people are wholly unprepared for this struggle. Why does this seem different than the Cold War? I ask because Americans are not taking this struggle seriously. Perhaps we were not serious about the Cold War until the Iron Curtain came down across all of Eastern Europe? Perhaps the millenial nature of this struggle is the reason.

    9-11 was enough to rouse us, but not enough to sustain the fire that was lit. I simply believe that we are early in this hot phase, and it will be a VERY hot phase. We will be struck again. It will take the second or the third strike before Americans as a whole understand the seriousness of this strange conflict. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Do not despair of your fellow Americans. (Curse them for myopia if you wish.)

    Those of us who believe the seriousness of this conflict are not voices crying in the wilderness, because there are more of us than that and we’re better organized; we’re not the crazy aunt locked in the attic; but we are the group of spoilsports warniing of danger at the wild, out of control pool party. We’ve seen our first skull fracture slip and fall. A drowning, a heroin overdose in the corner, another drowning, a rape… as the incidents mount, the party slowly dies, and a form of tragic sobriety settles in.

    The American people, perhaps wisely slow to be roused and slow to believe, will be with us in the end, if we are correct in the ferocity of this struggle.

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