Radical Islam is a movement among a sea of a billion Muslims. There are numerous and diverse Muslim national leaders, most of whom are opposed to the Jihadis. The Jihadis have no armor, no air force, no navy and very little future, although they'll never go away completely.
In a nuclear age, the Jihadi philosophy is very dangerous for Islamic society, as they might wipe each other out or get into a war they can't handle with the West. These arguments could, eventually, lead the Islamic religious leaders to decide that Jihad should be fought non-violently. Slowly, societies do change. Japan changed.
Petroleum kills Americans primarily by fueling their vehicles. The US loses about 30,000 lives per year to traffic accidents. In the five years since 9/11 that's 3000 people to terrorism and 150,000 to traffic.
The US survives traffic carnage quite well. If the terrorists would limit themselves to murdering 3,000 Americans a year we could ignore the problem. I mean, just tighten up visa security and not spend a penny more. The whole thing is a publicity stunt. If you ignore the pests they might go away.
The real reason for pursuing the GWOT is the possiblity of a terrorist WMD. A suitcase bomb, for example. Everything else is trivial.Posted by Warren at February 28, 2006 4:16 AM
Also from David Warren's essay:
"Germany was full of moderate Germans, as Hitler rose; Stalin drove his oars through a sea of moderate Russians. While we must not forget that the Muslims are the first victims of “Islamism”, and may suffer most from its triumph, we are beyond the point where we can do more for them than destroy the tyranny by which they are enthralled."
I beg to disagree. Weimar Germany was divided between Communists, various crypto-fascists (NASDP/Nazi were just one stripe), the Frei Corps (soldiers from the Great War that never stopped fighting), and on and on. We can't blind ourselves with simplistic historical analogies.
We have to STOP apologizing to ourselves for the way Muslims are, and act, today. "Moderate" is a silly euphemism for "don't want to blow us up/slit our throats/burn our churches/embassies/you name it/ today".
And no, WMD is only marginally significant in the long run; it could be a tool of strategy for Iran and others, it is not an end in itself. Eliminating WMD (okay, nukes) doesn't change the ideological battle. One billion - plus human beings that believe in the historical inevitability that they will rule the world in a universal Islamic Caliphate, IS significant. The "umma", the great body of Muslims, isn't there yet, but time marches on.Posted by David at February 28, 2006 8:08 AM