Which takes me back to the original idea of what there is to achieve by writing about those central, retrograde aspects of Islam that clash with Western society--namely, the precepts of jihad and dhimmitude, and the dictates of sharia law. Clarity is the goal. We are unlikely to witness a security-lite inauguration four years--or eight or 12 years--hence if we remain confused about the ideology that animates our foes. And we are unlikely to ward off the spread of jihad, dhimmitude and sharia law the world over--including the U.S.A.--if we know nothing about it, or, worse, know only apologetics about it. Infinitely more pleasant, they are also misleading.
But apologetics are what we get. Take the reading list that Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, our new commander in Iraq, has given senior staff. It whitewashes jihad, dhimmitude and sharia law with the works of Karen Armstrong and John Esposito. No Bat Ye'or; no Ibn Warraq; no Robert Spencer; no Daniel Pipes; no Paul Fregosi; no Oriana Fallaci; not even any Bernard Lewis. Ignorance before September 11 was bad enough; perpetuating that ignorance is inexcusable.
This is progress. But until our president can speak in such open language, we still have a long, long way to go.