More murder, more hand-wringing, but still no end to the horror. And yet, argues Yaron Brook, “Horrific events today can be prevented. But to do so means identifying the enemy and defeating them. Victory is possible.” If only the response weren’’ self-crippled from the start.
One must [for example] speak out against all acts of hatred and violence towards homosexuals…well, unless such acts are committed by Muslims …
"In which case,” says Amy Peikoff this morning. “you call for gun control."
Victory would begin with acknowledging the west is at war, and then identifying and naming the enemy.
We cannot target the enemy that is attacking us—much less defeat it—if we are unable or unwilling to specify who and what it is. We must name the enemy. We must name it accurately. And we must demand that our governments and politicians name it accurately.
Our enemy in this war is: Islamic regimes that have in any way sponsored or supported attacks against the West, and jihadist groups that have planned or executed such attacks. The enemy regimes are primarily those in Iran and Saudi Arabia; and the jihadist groups include Hezbollah, Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and Islamic State (aka Daesh).2
Importantly, although Islam is a philosophic and cultural enemy of the West—in that it opposes every principle of Western civilization and calls for the murder of those who refuse to submit to “Allah”—Islam is not our military enemy.
Islam is a religion—a body of ideas—and, militarily speaking, one cannot be at war with ideas. What would one bomb?
The relationship between Islam and our current military enemy is essentially of the same kind as the relationship between Nazism and Nazi Germany or Shinto and Imperialist Japan in World War II. Nazism is an ideology, a body of ideas; Nazi Germany was a state ruled by a regime that was motivated by its leaders’ and supporters’ acceptance of those ideas. Shinto is a religion; Imperialist Japan was a state ruled by a regime that was motivated by its leaders’ and supporters’ acceptance of that religion. Likewise, Islam is a religion; various states, regimes, and groups today are motivated by their leaders’ and supporters’ and members’ acceptance of that religion.
Islam motivates our military enemy. And this is an important fact. But Islam has not attacked the West; Islamic regimes and jihadist groups have. Islam cannot be eliminated; Islamic regimes and jihadist groups can. Our military enemy today is not Islam but the regimes and groups that embrace that religion, take it seriously, and thus seek to kill us in the name of their alleged God.
Grasping this distinction is vital, because naming our enemy accurately is crucial to winning the war. If we misname the enemy, calling it “Islam” or “Radical Islam”—or, worse, “terrorism” or “extremism” or the like—then we won’t know specifically where to deploy our forces, whom or what to bomb, or what winning this war means (more on this below).
Additionally, if we accept the notion that our military enemy is “Islam,” we might come to think that in order to win the war we must kill every self-described Muslim on the planet, which would be a moral atrocity (to put it mildly).
Although all jihadists are Muslim, not all self-described Muslims take Islam seriously enough to engage in, materially support, or encourage jihad. And unless a Muslim does so, he cannot properly be regarded as our military enemy.
Like the vast majority of today’s Jews and Christians, many of today’s Muslims refrain from acting in accordance with the murderous or otherwise rights-violating tenets of their religion. This does not absolve unserious, non-rights-violating Muslims of any and all responsibility for jihad, but it does limit their responsibility to a sub-legal, sub-political level.
Just as we do not and should not hold all Jews and Christians legally or politically responsible for assaults or murders committed in accordance with their religious scriptures, so we should not hold all Muslims legally or politically responsible for assaults or murders committed in accordance with theirs.
Merely believing in a religion that calls for rights violations does not, in and of itself, violate rights. To violate rights, one must initiate physical force against people, either directly—by, for instance, hitting, stabbing, or shooting them—or indirectly—by, for instance, materially supporting those who commit such acts, or encouraging or inciting others to commit such acts.
If a Muslim in any way materially supports, encourages, or incites jihad—if he provides jihadists with weapons, shelter, information, or the like; or if he calls for aggression against Westerners—he is, by that fact, an agent of the enemy and should be treated accordingly. But if he merely “believes in” the tenets of Islam and does not practice the rights-violating tenets of the religion, he cannot properly be held legally or politically responsible for practicing them. We recognize this fact in regard to other religionists and religions, and we morally must recognize it in regard to Muslims and Islam as well.3
Our military enemy in this war is Muslims who engage in jihad, or materially support jihad, or encourage or incite jihad. These are the Muslims of which the Islamic regimes and jihadist groups are comprised. And these are the Muslims, regimes, and groups we must eliminate.
As I said, that would just be a beginning.
It begins, to remind you, in recognising and acknowledging that “our enemy in this war is: Islamic regimes that have in any way sponsored or supported attacks against the West, and jihadist groups that have planned or executed such attacks.”
That means, and let’s be very clear about two things. 1. The war is with Islamic regimes and jihadist groups, not with immigrants as such. (The murderer’s family had been in America thirty years; he a citizen, not an immigrant.) 2. The war is with Islamic regimes and jihadist groups, not with every Muslim who follows Islam -- every Muslim being better behaved than their prophet being an ally in that war. So it doesn’t mean “banning Muslims,” whatever that would mean, it means making allies of every Muslim who is as opposed to jihadists as we are. As one American Muslim reminded folk this morning.
American Muslims are responsible for identifying and turning in over 90% of the lone wolves who would have committed terrorist attacks on this beautiful land of hours over the course of the past 15 years.
We love this country and in order for us to show our love we need to start being looked at as the last line of defense and not the enemy.
So forget the blowhard blather. Let’s actually get smart.