The prospect of nuclear war with Iran got me to thinking about Wretchard’s The Three Conjectures from September 19, 2003. In researching the internet for something along those lines I ran across this blast from the past [bolding added by me]
TMLutas (November 26, 2003)
. . . for Americans, the first amendment and its attendant religious tolerance so limits and colors their politico-religious outlook that certain alternatives simply are not examined. They are culturally taboo because the day to day reality of all the world’s religions living cheek to jowl next to each other requires it to maintain religious peace in the US.
The tools that are being overlooked are tools of spiritual warfare. Declarations of apostasy, work towards conversion, theological debate, these are all tools that are being discarded a priori when all that is being examined is threats and bribes (which Wretchard calls inducements) to change the islamist’s behavior.
Strong religious belief in the monotheistic tradition is well prepared in resisting temptation and enduring persecution. Islamism is no different and thus Wretchard is right, there is no practical set of inducements or threats to reliably move these people to different behavior patterns.
But would a suicide terrorist carry out his operation if he were convinced he would spend eternity in hell instead of heaven? Would an imam cry out the call of violent jihad if he were convinced this was against the will of Allah and would result in mere banditry that is contemptible in the eyes of God? You may or may not know how to bring about these changes in opinions but they are a separate class of persuasion to change intentions from either threats or inducements and deserve separate treatment.
Let’s be clear up front. This does not necessarily mean the end of Islam. This elimination of Islamism could be carried out entirely within the borders of Islam. Certainly there are theological experts in Islam who have declared what Osama bin Laden is doing to not be true jihad but hirabah, banditry. In fact, while other religions may play a role in this spiritual warfare, the heaviest weight falls on western muslims.
The problem is how can the US, as a society, do what the US, as a government, is forbidden to do? Congress can make no law on the subject so the executive cannot implement anything and there is nothing for the judiciary to interpret. For the statists in the US, that leaves the cupboard pretty bare on societal action. Fortunately the statists are a minority but we’ve got the neutrality acts to worry about. Al Queda (thankfully) is largely a foreign operation. Organizing and acting across the border to take it out is something that can plausibly be read as creating and acting on a private foreign policy and thus, under US law, illegal.
The same forces that have acted in the past to push God out of the public square will not automatically reign in their horns when the subject is Al Queda. Make no mistake, this will be a massive injection of God into the public square and that will make some people uncomfortable. When Americans get profoundly uncomfortable, they tend to head for the courthouse.
So we have several problems on the down side of this strategy.
1. The government can’t do it without shredding the Constitution.
2. The society isn’t used to having such initiatives without government dominating the process.
3. There is well established and generally useful law that potentially stands in the way of doing it.
4. There are organized factions of secularists in the US that predictably will get the hives over the whole initiative and resist.
The upside is that the chances of the US surviving as a nation without turning the middle east into a nuclear wasteland goes way up.
America, you decide.
Here it is four years later and we’re still deciding.
This blog is all about self-mobilization of American patriots trying to contribute in a positive way to the War of Ideas. There has been much criticism on this blog and elsewhere about the Administration’s failures in strategic communications, about the government’s failure to counter al Qaeda and anti-Western propaganda, about the impunity with which anti-American Americans parrot the enemy’s talking points for partisan political gain, but rarely have I tempered that criticism with explanation of extenuating and mitigating circumstances for those failures.
There has been much that has gone on since 9/11 that cannot be candidly explained and described and justifed to the world in open forums. To do so would blow the cover on too much, burn too many assets, make impossible the assistance America receives from Muslims, who are the only people who can accomplish a Muslim Reformation that rejects the doctrines of perpetual Holy War against non-Muslims. Our leaders cannot explain to us without telling the whole world, including our enemies, foreign and domestic, what they are up to.
I think what our leaders are up to amounts to aiding and abetting Muslims in joining the 21st Century and reforming their religion before the continued survival of the West mandates the deaths of millions of Muslims in a thermonuclear ratonnade which fouls humanity’s terrestrial nest and burdens the survivors of Western Christendom with unbearable guilt.
Notice the use of the word hirabah in 2003. It has taken four years to come into common usage in discussion about the Long War.
So, back to the question, restated. What can We The People of the United States do that our own Constitution and laws and judiciary prevent our elected Representatives, our Chief Executive / Commander-in-Chief, and our regularly constituted Diplomatic, Information, Military and Economic state actors from doing on our behalf?
I recommend that in trying to answer the above question we give some thought to the answers to these questions:
What are you, the reader of this blog, prepared to sacrifice to preserve the Westphalian nation-state known in 2007 anno domini as the United States of America? Are you sure it is worthy of survival? How many Muslim deaths is the restoration of your sense of security worth?
Are you sure your country is a force for good in this world?
How much suffering are you prepared to endure, and see your loved ones endure, before you submit to sharia, and convert or pay the jizya? Do you consider this a preposterous question unworthy of your consideration?
I have lots of questions, but I can only answer for myself.