Jihadist Blunders and the Renewed America
[ part 1 here ] [ part 2 here ] [ part 3 here ]
To err is human. And the more important people become, the more spectacular are their resulting fumbles. It is a fact of human history, that sometimes Good prevails because Evil overlooks an important element. Historians have noted that if he had not put so many resources into the ‘Final Solution’, Hitler could have committed enough troops and supplies to defeat the Soviet Union by 1943, and so changed the course of World War 2. If Japan had listened to Admiral Yamamoto’s warnings about American politics, the attack on Pearl Harbor would have been prevented, and with it the likelihood of direct conflict between Roosevelt and Tojo. If Caesar had listened to his wife and stayed home, Rome might have remained a viable Republic. But it is not in the nature of tyrants to listen to any inconvenient counsel, nor for proud men to accept questions concerning their decisions. And so it is, that Jihadism pursues the same course as previous tyrannies, and makes disastrous mistakes allowing for effective opposition by the forces of reason and representative government.
Before going into the blunders of the Jihadists, however, I must note some of the worse stumbles of the West. Because we need to clean up those mistakes, in order to take advantage of our opportunities and deny the same to the Jihadists:
 Target selection – the media is no help, but President Bush’s distinction about our enemies must be said again and again and again: We are not at war against Islam, but against terrorists who want to destabilize the world and advance a bloody doctrine.
 The Democrats – There is one way in which the current war is very much like Vietnam; the Democrats have no stomach to keep our commitments or back our troops in a war which will decide a region of the world’s future for the next generation at least. If a Democrat takes a stand for the troops and the truth, as Joe Lieberman did, he must be supported and applauded. But whenever a Democrat attacks U.S. policy in a manner which endangers the troops or the war, they must be relentlessly attacked for their reckless words. If they want to whine about their hurt feelings, too bad. Explain the stakes, and be clear about our objectives, and don’t worry about the American people – they know the difference between courage and cowardice, between priorities and political games, between the demands of war and the bleating of a liberal. The War is to be Issue #1, in every election and at every level. Stress where they stand versus where we stand, and let the voters choose.
 Prosecute! – When the New York Times feels the need to mock the President, let them – but when they put operations and Americans in danger by revealing classified material, send in federal marshals and shut them down. Period.
 Don’t Hide 9/11 – We were “suddenly and deliberately attacked” on September 11th, just as we were on December 7th. The images of Pearl Harbor reminded people what we were doing, even when the enemy was Italy or Germany, who had no direct connection to Pearl Harbor. So it is fitting that we remember and recall the dastardly attack which started this conflict, as well as all the other acts of cowardice against freedom. If the media is too complicit with the Jihadists to be pro-American, then shut down their U.S. headquarters and let CNN and its like relocate to Damascus, but push to have American values trumpeted, long and loud, to get the message out every single day.
The good news is, we already have good people working on every one of those problems, and there is progress. Now on to the Jihadists’ minefield:
 The Jihadists are losing in Iraq and Afghanistan. Al Qaeda lost it’s bases in Afghanistan in 2002, and despite the casualties the Iraqi people, including many who once protested, even fought against the Coalition forces, now support their nation’s independence. Sunni and Shia are cooperating, however grudgingly, in a coalition government, which translates to the loss of two battlefronts for the Jihadists. And it will be much harder for Jihadists to take control in Iraq the way they did in Iran, or for Jihadists to reinstall groups like the Taliban in Afghanistan.
 The young are protesting in Iran, against the repression by the “Jurists”. Considering that this is where the Mullahs need to pull their recruits for any war, and considering how harshly the regime has already been against criticism and revolt, to discover that thousands of university students have protested and continue to protest the government means that critical pressure against the regime is beginning to show. Even the old Soviet republics did not see this level of public protest when they began to lose their grip, warning that an internal battle for Iran and Saudi Arabia, one not controlled in any way by the Jihadists, may be building.
 The Internet – the buys in the KGB were horrified to discover that they had no effective tool to stop communication and coordination of groups armed with only fax machines and cell phones. The Jihadists are discovering that try as they might, they cannot stop the Internet. Blogs by Iranians, for example, are the fastest growing demographic, and the Mullahs cannot stop them. And Al-Jazeerah is already feeling the heat.
 Blenders – Jihadism, like all conquest plans, depends on effective scouting of the enemy. As Muslims leave for the West, they generally believe they are entering lands of intolerance and bigotry. When they discover instead that the West, especially the United States, is quite the opposite, more than a dew lose interest. What’s more, some Muslim communities see the United States as their natural ally and the Jihadists as their enemy. In Dearborn, for example, when terrorist cells entered the United States and expected the local mosque to hide them and local Muslims to protect their intentions, Muslims instead notified the FBI. There is no clear number known, of sleeper cells which entered the United States and chose not to continue the Jihad, but it is known that the effect has been happening. And at the higher level of planning, this interferes with Jihadist strategy, as no can be certain whether the response to a call for a terrorist attack will be obeyed.
 Osama bin Laden – In their original plans, the 9/11 attacks were intended to demoralize the United States and cow us against involvement in the Middle East. Instead, the attacks established a level of provocation which could no longer be ignored or blamed on American “imperialism”. And every ‘message’ from bin Laden helps renew focus on the need for vigilance and security.
And finally, the Jihadists badly misjudged the character and leadership of the United States. It is difficult to properly gauge what response the USA would have delivered, had Al Gore or Bill Clinton been President when those planes were flown into the towers, but there is no question that George W. Bush knew what to do. Invade the countries where the Taliban has bases, invade the country which last tried to take on the United States in a war, and replace tyrants in both places. Not a bad start.
George W. Bush followed the lead of Ronald W. Reagan in his foreign policy doctrine, though the Jihadists did not understand Reagan. Bush simply replaced Reagan’s laser-keen focus on the USSR, with an equally sharp sight on the Jihadists, and just as Reagan understood the fundamental internal contradictions which would bring down the Soviet regime, Bush understands the basic internal contradictions which will kill the Jihadists’ campaign. He has a less concentrated target to attack than Reagan had, and internal enemies within the United States working against him in desperation, but Bush has already changed the landscape, by reawakening the basic American sense of justice and rights. Provided the Congress listens to the President and the People, and provided the next President understands the conflict in context, we will win this war.
NEXT - Part 5, Why Islam Is Not The Enemy, and The New Mid-East