The Atlanticist

A resurgent fundamentalist Islam is engaged in a global war against the West and the rest of the infidel world. InWorld War IV: The Long Struggle Against Islamofascism former Commentary editor in chief Norman Podhoretz calls it WW4.

Republican presidential frontrunner John McCain believes “the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is radical Islamic extremists.” Mitt Romney said the “philosophy of radical jihadism says, ‘We want to kill.'” In stark contrast, Democrats, George Bush and many European leaders talk about combating terrorism – a means, disembodied from any animating ideology or purpose. It is as if in WW2 Roosevelt and Churchill had called for waging war against Panzer tanks. UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith in a positively Orwellian construction now refers to Islamic terrorism as “anti-Islamic activity.”

21st century Europeans and Americans no longer understand men motivated by and willing, indeed eager, to kill and die for their faith.

Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich in his speech “Where Do We Go from Here? Lessons from the First Five Years of the War” warns the West is sleep-walking while smart, utterly committed and ruthless jihadists plot how to kill us.

Hopefully, it will not take a horrific attack to wake the West. The West needs serious policy and action to: (1) prevent Islamists from acquiring WMD (2) recognize and confront Islamic ideology and (3) rationalize its immigration policies.

Since 9/11 direct attacks have been foremost in our minds.

If Al Qaeda had atomic weapons, given the opportunity, can anyone doubt it would use them on New York, London or Paris, or if similarly armed, that Iran’s mullahs would try to annihilate “the little Satan” Israel and menace Europe?

As leader of the free world the “Great Satan” America is in the jihadists’ cross hairs. However, much as Europeans wish to deny the harsh reality, because of proximity and large and growing Muslim populations, it is Western Europe that is on the frontline.

Islamist Iran is developing nuclear weapons and delivery systems while the West fiddles. Joint British/French/German diplomacy achieved its principal aim of preventing the US from using force to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities, and gave the mullahs time. In Iran and the Bomb: The Abdication of International Responsibility former French Atomic Energy Commission strategic studies director Thérèse Delpech takes Europe and America to task. However where everybody is responsible, nobody is responsible. America must lead, and if necessary to act unilaterally, to prevent Iran from obtaining atomic arms. Notwithstanding prior tough rhetoric and Norman Podhoretz’s wishful thinking to the contrary, Bush has abandoned any willingness he once might have had to destroy the mullahs’ nuclear weapons program.

While train bombings in London, Madrid and Mumbai are hard to ignore, the West turns a blind eye to the ideological front.

In any cocktail conversation, it is de rigueur for Americans and Europeans alike to note a majority Muslims are moderate. But, Ayaan Hirsi Ali cautions there is no moderate Islam. There is only Islam. There are “passive” Muslims who simply want to live their lives. Committed Islamists are ascendant and much of the rest of the Muslim world gives tacit support. In WW2 most Germans were not committed Nazis and in the Cold War (Podhoretz’s WW3) most inhabitants of the Soviet Union were not die-hard Bolsheviks.

It is also commonplace to avoid addressing the threat radical Islam poses by a proforma statement that other great faiths such as Christianity have a comparable propensity for violence and intolerance. While men have waged war in the name of Christianity, core Christian doctrine does not exhort violence or intolerance and embraces reason. In Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t, drawing on the bible, the Koran and the Hadiths, Robert Spencer comprehensively documents that in contrast with Christianity, Muslims who advocate violence are on solid doctrinal ground.

But because we do not want it to be so, we ignore the ideological source of Islamic violence.

After Iraq was liberated from Saddam Hussein’s despotism and Afghanistan from the Taliban, both implemented new constitutions subordinate to Islamic law, which is incompatible with open, liberal, civil society.

Wahhabi Saudis fund mosques across Europe and North America inculcating millions in an ideology antithetical to liberal society and modernity. According the Stephen Schwartz a whopping eighty percent of mosques in the United States are under Wahhabi control.

And as the West ignores the immense ideological chasm between the West and the Crescent, so it avoids serious immigration policy.

No society in history has ever successfully assimilated large number of Muslims. Tens of millions culturally distinct Muslims increasingly adhering to an all-encompassing totalitarian ideology live inside Europe’s gates.

For France, Holland, the U.K., Spain or Italy to believe it will be the first, particularly when the dominant culture has so little confidence in itself, is naive and recklessly dangerous.

Bit by bit Europe is ceding to Islamic law and practice.

Mohammed Bouyeri, the Dutchman of Moroccan origin who murdered Theo van Gogh in the name of his faith, can vote from prison. Meanwhile, Dutch children cannot display the Dutch flag on their backpacks for fear of offenidng Muslim immigrants. The world has gone topsy turvy.

Those who bombed London in 2005 grew up in Britain, not Waziristan or Saudi Arabia.

Ignoring the civilizational divide and existential threat to the West’s way of life is folly.

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