In a striking admission, George W. Bush said the other day that that ”We actually misnamed the war on terror. It ought to be [called] the struggle against ideological extremists who do not believe in free societies and who happen to use terror as a weapon to try to shake the conscience of the free world.”
From an article by Daniel Pipes in the Chicago Sun-Times entitled, ‘Terrorism’ battle is really fight against Islamism. You know, I said as much on September 11, 2001. Islam has not undergone an ideological and cultural renaissance as has Christianity and Judaism. That means, it has not undergone the transformation from taking doctrines and ancient texts literally, to taking them metaphorically—symbolically. Yes, I understand there are a lot of Christians who profess literal belief in the Bible and every word of it. But, alas, they too have been infected with some degree of rationality and reality, for few of them actually practice the literalness they preach. They’ve been infected with the American Spirit, which runs starkly contrary to every tenet of their dogmatism.
Perhaps herein lies the root cause of the reluctance to peg this conflict for what it really is—and what it really is—is a fight to the death. The human being is an animal with a unique propensity to fight to the death for ideas, for beliefs—correct ones or incorrect ones. What’s worse is that the most evil of false beliefs typically involve totalitarian regimes that compel citizens by the thousands and millions, if necessary, to die for the false official ideology. That happened in Nazi Germany; it happened in the USSR and China; it happened in Afghanistan, Iraq, and still happens in Palestine.
At least hundreds of thousands will die before this conflict is over. Observe how many millions died to effectively expunge the Nazi ideology and how many millions have died at the hands of the communists—a war that is by no means over. The USSR may be gone and China appears to be evolving, but the communist ideology is still alive and well all over the world. In many places, it’s most alive where your college-age kids are being formed.
Returning to the point I began to make about the root cause of the reluctance to peg this battle for the ideological, life & death struggle that it is, could it be that nations of predominately Christians and Jews are reluctant on a couple of grounds? …To wit:
1. It’s difficult to go too far in pronouncing religious beliefs ridiculous when proponents of your own belief system carried out similar campaigns just a few centuries ago.
2. Islam worships the same God of Abraham as Christianity and Judaism. Jesus Christ is one of their prophets.
3. There is simply no intellectually honest way to rail against Islam as primitive and whacked out, in need of serious reformation, without casting a woefully skeptical light on you own religion, recognizing that it too was once just as whacked out and those whacked-out beliefs constituted the original beliefs. I.e., if the foundation is so damned corrupt, then what does that say about the veracity of what it has evolved to?
4. This is quite unlike similar religious battles, such as Protestants vs. Catholics of times past. This battle is not and can not be over them “corrupting our doctrines.” It is necessarily about declaring the fervent religious beliefs of millions of people evil.
Of course, as a non-believer with none of this baggage, I had no problem seeing the reality of the matter from day one.
Let me put it bluntly: This is a choice between whether hundreds of thousands, or even millions of fervent believers in Islam die, or whether you, loved ones, countrymen and allies die by the hundreds of thousands, or millions. These people will not stop until you are dead, enslaved and converted, or they are dead. I’d rather it be them, so let’s get on with it, shall we? Just so we’re clear, I’m not talking about imposing religious beliefs or attempting to eradicate theirs. I’m talking about forcing their hand, but on our terms—just as we have done in Afghanistan and Iraq, and need to expand and continue.
(link and some inspiration via Greg Swann)