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April 3, 2007

Some Thoughts on the Long War Against Radical Islam

I’ve been very frustrated with recent developments on the domestic and foreign policy scene involving the Democratic leadership in Congress who is seeking to micro-manage the War and weaken the President. Their actions give reason for our enemies to hope for another day to fight. I am also concerned about the weak responses of some of our allies and the inactions of those who should be our allies.

At the risk of being simplistic, I think some guiding principles should emerge to help navigate our nation through these trying times. It is my firm belief that historians will one day point out that the winner of the Long War Against Radical Islam was the side who had the most patience, vision and tenacity — essentially the nation(s) willing to do what it took to wear the other side down.

So, as a work in progress, I propose some basic thoughts or principles to guide our nation’s actions and responses in winning this War:

We must choose to win.

We must seek victory above all else. If we fail we lose everything. We should seek to utterly defeat our enemies. Unconditional surrender. No compromise. No substitute for victory. Our resolve should be stronger than steel. We must win this war no matter how long it takes.

This is a long war.

From the perspective of world history, I believe this War will be identified as starting in the early 1970s and will span more than half a century. We must carefully consider this War in the light of history if we are to prevail. It is a clash of civilizations, religions and ideas much like other great clashes in history (including Rome vs. Carthage, Allies vs. Nazis, Moors vs. Europe, Huns vs. Europe, Greece vs. Persia).

The United States will bear most of the burden.

Unfortunately, this means most of the casualties and most of the costs. Allies are great but most prefer the free ride when available. Part of this burden will be the ugly words heaped upon us by members of the international community. But I prefer ugly words any day to bombs and homicide attackers.

We should choose our friends carefully.

If a nation is not with us then they are against us. In the long run, it is that simple. I would be willing to see the creation a formal list of national friends designated with some kind of meaningful “most favored nation” status. Anyone not listed as a friend would never get the benefits of this designation and would be considered irrelevant at best and an enemy otherwise.

We should disregard the feelings and protests of our enemies.

In fighting an enemy who hides behind women and children to attack us, it is sometimes hard to pursue necessary actions to protect our troops without feeling guilty of doing wrong. In these cases, while always trying to limit collateral damage, we must protect ourselves first and let the murderous results of our enemy’s decisions to use human shields and other despicable actions fall on them. In these cases it is not our fault if civilians die. Their blood is on their government’s hands and we have to disregard the outcry and press on to complete the mission and win the war.

We should formally choose sides in the Middle East.

What Middle Eastern nation has been our best friend and ally for decades? What Middle Eastern nation has never been a threat to our security? What Middle Eastern nation is democratically elected, protects minority viewpoints and rights (including freedom of religion), respects women, and seeks to live in peace with its neighbors? Only Israel fully fits this description. Thus, in any Israeli/Arab conflict, we should side with our friend and provide aid as needed. We should not meddle and hold them back just as we don’t like for others to hold us back in our pursuit of our enemies. Joint actions, including military ones, should be considered viable options when in our mutual best interests. Of course our hand of friendship should extend to any other nation who will live peacefully with us and Israel.

All options are on the table, including the nuclear option.

In dealing with rogue nations we should never rule out military force, never set arbitrary timetables, never broadcast our plans to the enemy, and never rule out using our trump card — nuclear weapons. We must follow through on threats. Hostile acts should be dealt with swiftly and decisively and in proportion to the severity of the crime. The taking of Americans as hostages should result in an ultimatum for their immediate safe return and swift military action. Punishment via military action could include bombing vital factories and industrial facilities. If hostages are harmed or killed the actions would be far more sweeping.

We need a strong leader who explains why.

Think of great leaders of the past who persevered through dark and difficult days — George Washington at Valley Forge, Winston Churchill who promised “blood, toil, tears, and sweat” in the fight against Nazi Germany, and the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae. A people who knows who they are, why they fight, what the stakes are, and why they must win is able to give more, push harder, innovate better, and persevere to see the victory at the end. We must never forget why we must fight. Yes, some of us will die in the fight, but we will all die if we don’t fight.

So I pray that we have the strength, resolve, courage, and wherewithal to persevere to the victorious end. There is no doubt in my mind that we can win. My only fear is that we could lose hope or give up along the way, postpone our victory and let our enemies live to fight another day — a day in which they might prevail.

One Comment on “Some Thoughts on the Long War Against Radical Islam

matt
April 11, 2007 at 9:05 am

If that was food for thought – I just ate the buffet. Very well stated! You should publish that.

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