Wednesday, October 18, 2006

T-20 Days and Counting: Naming the Enemy

Last night, Dennis Prager talked about the Orwellian world we live in, where liberals can slander Christians with impunity, decrying the coming theocracy, but conservatives aren't allowed to use the term "Islamic fascists" because it's not politically correct! Dennis noted that critics willfully misconstrue English grammar to imply that the term impugns all Muslims. Not so: "Islamic" modifies the word "fascists" to describe a particular sort of fascist. During WWII, people understood that "Italian fascist" applied to a particular sort of fascist, but did not apply to all Italians.

Osama bin Laden* and Iranian President Ahmadinajad are both fascists, for they have both stated publically that they are striving to bring about an Islamic theocracy, one that would make the Taliban look like pikers. Historian Victor Davis Hanson explains:

Make no apologies for the use of “Islamic fascism.” It is the perfect nomenclature for the agenda of radical Islam, for a variety of historical and scholarly reasons. That such usage also causes extreme embarrassment to both the Islamists themselves and their leftist “anti-fascist” appeasers in the West is just too bad.

First, the general idea of “fascism” — the creation of a centralized authoritarian state to enforce blanket obedience to a reactionary, all-encompassing ideology — fits well the aims of contemporary Islamism that openly demands implementation of sharia law and the return to a Pan-Islamic and theocratic caliphate.

Senator Rick Santorum is likewise adamant that "words have meaning," and that we must be more precise in our terminology. Calling the enemy cowards, or militants, or insurgents, or describing our battle as the "Global War on Terror," has led many Americans to be in denial about the threat: Complaints that the Administration is really creating a climate of fear for political purposes continue to be aired.

The irony is that many liberals consider themselves to be part of the "reality-based community," but their "reality" doesn't match the world that I and many others perceive. Dr. Sanity provides a diagnosis:

Denial can make otherwise intelligent individuals/groups/nations behave in a stupid or clueless manner, because they are too threatened by the Truth and are unable to process what is perfectly apparent to everyone. People who live in this Wonderful World go through their daily lives secure in the knowledge that their self-image is protected against any information, feelings, or awareness that might make them have to change their view of the world. Nothing--and I mean NOTHING--not facts, not observable behavior; not the use of reason or logic; or their own senses will make an individual in denial reevaluate that world view. All events will simply be reinterpreted to fit into the belief system of that world--no matter how ridiculous, how distorted, or how psychotic that reinterpretation appears to others. Consistency, common sense, reality, and objective truth are unimportant and are easily discarded--as long as the world view remains intact.
It is an uncomfortable truth that there are radical Muslims who don't want to share the planet with infidels at all. They've been probing the West's defenses and psyche for decades. The Army maintains a Timeline of Terror that starts in the 1960's. This is not a dark fantasy of the Bush Administration!
"This is not simply a fight against terror - terror is a tactic. This is not simply a fight against Al Qaeda, its affiliates and adherents - they are foot soldiers. This is not simply a fight to bring democracy to the Middle East - that is a strategic objective. This is a fight for the very ideas at the foundation of our society, the way of life those ideas enable, and the freedoms we enjoy."

-R.L. Brownlee, Acting Secretary of the Army
-General Peter J. Schoomaker, Chief of Staff, United States Army
How do we break through people's defense mechanisms so we can engage in thoughtful debate about the best way to win the war for Western Civilization? We thought that the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, were a wake up call. Plus the attacks in London, Madrid, Bali, Egypt, Mumbai, and elsewhere around the world since. But their shock value fades ever more quickly, and people return to their habitual world-views.

I don't know the answer. I wish I did.

* H/T to In The Bullpen for the timeline of OBL's pronouncements.