Sunday, August 29, 2004

David Brooks has a long New York Times Magazine piece this morning. It's about the future of the Republican party, but it's most notable for his clear-eyed description of what the war on terror really is:

The War on Islamic extremism. The first great agenda item has been thrust upon us. This has been miscast as a war on terror, but terror is just the means our enemies use. In reality, we're fighting a war against a specific brand of Islamic extremism, a loose federation of ideologues who seek to dominate the Middle East and return it to the days of the caliphate.

We are in the beginning of this war, where we were against Bolshevism around 1905 or Fascism in the early 1930's, with enemies that will continue to gain strength, thanks to the demographic bulge in the Middle East producing tens of millions of young men, politically and economically stagnant societies ensuring these young men have nothing positive to do and an indoctrination system designed to turn them into soldiers for the cause. This fight will organize our politics for a generation, as the Cold War did.

What do you think the chances are that President Bush will cast the war on terror in these terms?


Chris said...

Publius over at the blog Legal Fiction takes this analysis one step further, arguing that our method of fighting the Iraq War is helping tilt public opinion in the Muslim world in the terrorists' favor. He's also convinced that Gore could have avoided this. I'm less persuaded by the latter, but his case for the former is damning.

rocketsbrain said...

Yes, this is the War On Islamofascism. For further browse our forums section at:

There are a number of essays on this at:

and check out the links in this piece:

and lastly this piece which hasn't made it into the mainline media about the Iranians mullahs thinking it's OK to hang a 16-year-old girl for the capital crime of having sex with her boyfriend. The boyfriend got off with only lashes. Go figure!

Ron Wright, Moderator
HSPIG Forums Site

Steve said...

For months, intelligent analysts have been saying the same thing, so Brooks isn't plowing new ground.

By analogy, was WWII the war to liberate Europe from genocide and fascist control? Or was it a war to kill Adolph Hitler and his most ardent followers?

You could argue either. But the only way to have stopped the genocide and fascism was to kill Hitler and his gang of fanatics and then systematically prosecute every living one of them, no matter how long it took.

We have to be honest. When we say we want to win the GWOT, we have to admit we want to kill the leaders (we've already named them) and the hard-core Islamists who are making it happen.

No other group is putting their lives on the line to kill Jews and Americans. Why can't we just admit it?

miklos rosza said...

Part of the war will be overcoming the political correctness which refuses to recognize the creeping evil of little battles lost over "voluntary" sharia law coming to Canada or Muslim females refusing to show their faces (remove veils) for driver's licenses or ID cards. This nonviolent aspect of the struggle will become more obvious and inflamed as the birth rate takes its toll. Then, as in France, we may see stores suddenly refusing to sell alcohol or pork, or a rise in rapes and "honor-killings." We can't fight any of this if we won't talk about it without fear of being called "racist" -- the conversation-stopper everyone is so terrified of now.

bluehoo said...

>What do you think the chances are that President Bush will cast the war on terror in these terms?

GWB said in interview w/ Ray Suarez linked above; "We actually misnamed the war on terror. It ought to be the struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies who happen to use terror as a weapon to try to shake the conscience of the free world"

He doesn't say Islamist, but I don't doubt that he understands that it's the Islamists we are fighting?