Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Pat Buchannan's latest article is interesting (if sad), particularly set against his previous work. He is essentially an isolationist and nativist; this is well known.

Buchannan's thesis is that we need to be willing to identify Islam as our enemy.
If we are not at war with Islam, why are we fighting the Taliban? They did not attack us. If Islam is a religion of peace, why are Muslims massacring Christians in Nigeria and Sudan? Why did those Afghan mobs also yell, "Death to Christians"? Why are Christian Copts being attacked in Egypt, and Assyrian and Chaldean Christians in Iraq? Did these Christian communities start a holy war against their vastly more numerous Muslim brethren?

What do the terrorists and "state sponsors of terrorism" -- Mohamed Atta, bin Laden, al-Qaida, the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- have in common, except for Islam?

. . . How do we win a long war when we cannot name the enemy?
I'm not sure how to take this - obviously the disdain for Islam lies right in line with Buchannan's nativism. But underneath that there is a sense that he feels this war is foolish; we don't have the stomach for wiping Islam out and because of that we probably shouldn't have invaded Afghanistan or Iraq.

Earlier in the article Buchannan underlines this.
. . . if we are perceived as at war with Islam, we will lose that war, and Osama bin Laden will have won by having broadened and defined what the war was about.
So we can't win the war without naming the enemy, but once we name the enemy we will lose the war. Kind of a catch 22; the implication being we'd have been better served by not involving ourselves with those filthy foriegners.

1 comment:

Peter L. Winkler said...

Actually, it makes perfect sense to me.

Violent extremist in the Middle East and elsewhere are motivated by Islamic ideology.

We are engaged in wars of attrition against them because of their violent extremist ideology.

There are too many of them to kill, so we cannot completely eliminate them.

If we stop trying to kill them all, they will interpret this as victory.