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Fighting a War Against Fanatics By: Herb London
FrontPageMagazine.com | Wednesday, July 13, 2005


The jihadist attack on innocent London residents as they made their way to work during the morning rush hour illuminates the grim reality of this era.  Despite all of the claims about assimilating radical Moslems or moderating their sentiments, it is clear that whatever Western motives may be, jihadist goals are unremitting: undiluted destruction and sanguine nihilism.

With another 700 injured and at least 50 killed, it is time to face this truth.  These fanatics are intent on killing and maiming as many people as they can.  Negotiations are not possible.  With whom would one negotiate in any case? 

As long as the West is saddled with political correctness there will be a reluctance to deal with the enemy in our midst.  Difficult as it may be for well meaning liberals to accept, jihadists are different from those of us who share Judeo-Christian principles.  They are at war with the West and it is a war in which civilization itself is at risk.

 

Once that idea is imbibed, once it goes beyond the conscious level to the very heart and soul of our being, we will realize that every means at our disposal must be employed to destroy this enemy.  ACLU prescriptions must be ignored.  And the absurd conjunction of fantasies about reformation and “aren’t we all human” must be abandoned in favor of genuine stability.

 

In fact, the jihadists are not human in any sense of the word since they want to kill any human who does not embrace their religious fervor.

 

A call for realism is in order.  We can no longer tolerate sermons from mosques that justify slaughter or martyrdom.  We can no longer allow fanatics to live in our nation or any civilized nation where they plan attacks or marshal support for attacks.  We can no longer simply assume that through Herculean effort radical Muslims will embrace the essential creed of our civilization.  We can no longer allow our Constitution to be used against Americans.  Freedom of religion is not freedom to promote carnage.  The Constitution is not a suicide pact.

 

Because we are immersed in a world view that people everywhere are basically the same, we cannot imagine that people would willingly kill innocents and kill themselves.  It is hard for students, who have imbibed the pabulum of cultural relativism, to believe some nations are better than others, indeed, some people are better than others.

 

We no longer make value judgments because we have been taught that discrimination of almost any variety is wrong, except, of course, when it comes to environmental purity. But what sense does it make to maintain a revulsion with discrimination that makes self preservation parlous?

 

After all, this is not merely a war for hearts and minds, it is a war of life and death.  Remarkably even those I consider sensible refuse to consider current reality.  The West is at the crossroads.  It is one thing to say, as Tony Blair has, that we will prevail.  How we will prevail; what we must do to prevail? These need to be answered.

 

I should note here that my comments are not a function of retribution.  They are based on a dispassionate analysis of what it will take to defeat a relentless foe intent on destruction.  Those who are not humane do not deserve humane consideration.

 

Many people I’ve talked to after the London attack share my basic opinion, yet very few are willing to say so.  They have been chastened by the orthodoxy of liberalism, fearful of being called reactionary or racist.

 

It is instructive that MI5 reports that “only 1 percent of Muslims in the U.K. are extremists.”  However, that one percent translates into 16,000 potential terrorists.  The “only” in the intelligence report speaks volumes about British political correctness.

 

Even after 9/11 our Secretary of Transportation refused to consider “profiling.”  From any perspective he was more intent on the maintenance of a liberal agenda than public safety.  That decision is a metaphor for the war on terror.  We cannot fight this war effectively with at least one hand tied behind our backs.

 

Now that body parts have been exploded on to London streets, the public may awaken from its tranquilized state.  This war depends on an all-out effort to win.  Half measures won’t do, nor will good-will.  The time has come to remove our ideological shackles and fight this war with every once of strength we, as a people, can muster.  Our destiny and the destiny of our civilization depend on it.


Herbert London is president of the Hudson Institute and Professor Emeritus at New York University and author of the book Decade of Denial (Lexington Books).


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