Friday, October 20, 2006

What would Reagan do, faced with global Jihad?

I have often wondered how President Reagan would have handled a situation like we face now with Islamic Jihadism. In the following article, Joshua Trevino addresses this very question. Here are some excerpts:

How Reagan Would Handle Islamism
[...] Reagan’s genius was to recall the American people, and to a lesser extent the West, to the need to proceed from the premises of our Founders: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as the inalienable rights of man, and government as existing merely to secure their just exercise. One did not win arguments with Communism when accepting Communist starting-points for those arguments. They led inevitably to the Communist end, and appeals to humanity were steamrolled by appeals to inexorable logic.

In dealing with Islamism in the present day, we make the very error that Reagan eschewed with the Communists. We proceed from Islamist premises — namely, that Islam is inherently peaceful; that it is inherently sane; that it is inherently just; and that it is a welcome and benign participant in our post-modern public square. [...]
I agree. When you start off with a faulty premis like that, everything that comes from it will fail, because it is not based on truth, on REALITY.

Reagan understood that you must not challenge an opponent on false terms. To argue with lies as if they are real is pointless. You have to start with the truth, or you are lost.

The article goes on to point out how we are seeing the left trying to "soften" and manipulate the truth towards appeasment now, just at they did with Communism in Reagan's day:

[...] There is not an exact parallel here with the state of discourse in the Communist era, but there is parallel enough. Certainly few outside the Communist nations were hunted and killed for merely denigrating Marx or Lenin. But there was a long-running campaign of dissuasion, especially in western Europe and amongst the American elites, directed against those with the bad form to be too anti-Communist. The excuses given for being soft on the horrors of Communism varied from era to era: there was a need to support the Popular Front; there was a need to stay united against the facists; the Soviets sacrificed so much in the war; we have to focus upon our own (American) sins; and the top two — the original intent was noble, and we must not alienate the moderates. In these last, we see an exact parallel with the apologists for Islam and Islamism today. We perform kowtow to the founding mythos of our opponents, and we indulge in the fantasy that some adherents of jihad and Islamism are more palatable than others. [...]

How often are we told that we need to be more understanding, and to reach out to "moderate" Muslims? But how moderate is ANYONE who advocates Jihad? And shouldn't genuinely moderate Muslims be reaching out to US?

I think some of the genuinely moderate Muslims do, but they are largely ignored by the MSM, in favor of terrorist supporters like CAIR, who pose as moderates and lobby with foreign money to advance their hidden agenda.

The article goes on to suggest that we believe "moderates" should resist tyrants, not realizing that many of those we consider moderates, may actually believe that WE are the tyrants to be resisted, as their religion instructs them to do. We support them in that belief, when, because of multiculturalism, moral relativism and political correctness, we continually assume that their positions are equal to ours and worthy of equal respect:

[...] Like Milton’s Satan who would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven, the average Muslim whom we face abroad much prefers some manner of shari’a (to which Williams refers as a dissuading factor) to the humiliation of life on the terms of the irreligious, secular West. We cannot hold this against them: they have the integrity of their faith, and it is their choice. But it does not follow from this that we must credit them with moral equality to ourselves — assuming we have a moral standing worthy of the name — and it does not follow from this that because they have integrity, that they are good. The answer for us infidels is not respect — beyond that due the individual with his inalienable rights — but frankness even at the cost of disrespect, and exclusion of the foe’s ideas and ideologues from our public square till a general sanity among them prevails.

The ill-kept secret of Communism to which the elites adhered was that it was in its origins a squalid, murderous creed. Its founder was a moral leper, and its heroes were savages are surely as any pre-modern tribesman. It took a brave survivor of the Soviet Union’s concentration camp system, Alexander Solzhenitsyn, to state this truth plainly and irrefutably — and it took Ronald Reagan to make it policy, and enact it as the will of the American people. That is the lesson of Reagan’s war for ours. In a contest of ideas, truth and victory are inseparable companions. We only delay the latter in eschewing the former. We may call it politeness, or respect, or strategy: but it looks like defeat.

(bold emphasis mine) Indeed! The entire article is worth reading, it's not long, and well worth your time.

Related Links:

Totalitarian Twins:

Tweedledee and Tweedle dum

Further evidence that Communism and Islamism, while not exactly identical ideologies, still share enough similarities that would make Reagan's approach to dealing with Communism equally effective against Islamism.

From Ohmyrus at
The Left and Islam: Tweedledee and Tweedle dum
[...] Islamists see the Islamic state much the same way as Communists see the Communist Utopia - a Shangri-la world where their idea of justice prevail.

That neither has attained their respective goals does not deter them. For both, it is a matter of faith. Faith is belief in something that is not proven. In fact, the available evidence is that both Communist and Islamic Utopias do not work. All attempts in establishing them failed. The Soviet experiment failed. Instead of providing justice and prosperity, it created a sick economy, which required cruelty and oppression to sustain. For the Islamists, Afghanistan under the Taliban is as close as one can get to the Islamists' ideal state. The result is hell on earth, not heaven. [...]

The article goes on to compare the many ways in which these two thought systems are similar, even though one believes in God, and the other does not. In fact, the Communists disbelief in God is perhaps their biggest weakness in dealing with Islam. Communists believe that when their utopia is established, any belief in God will just fade away. It is their "blind spot" when dealing with Islam. The article concludes that Iran is the perfect example of what happens to Communists who ally themselves with Islamic fundamentalists; they're slaughtered.

Do we need a "Star Wars" strategy for Islam?
This is an earlier post of mine, which compares Reagan's "Star Wars" strategy for precipitating the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, with our situation with Islamism today. Islamism is in many ways on shakey ground, and if we stand up to it and challenge it, unrelentingly, instead of appeasing and encouraging it, we could end up with a similar result to what Reagan achieved with his "Star Wars" strategy and attitude.

1 comment:

T. F. Stern said...

Very well stated, clearly one of the better explanations I've read.
Thank you.