WILL THE SLEEPING WEST FALL INTO THE TERRORIST INFERNO?
The following paper was written on October 23, 2005, and was published on my blog Nemesis. It’s republished here for the readers of this new blog hoping that they will find it to be of some interest.
By Con George-Kotzabasis
To be prudent is to act in accordance with the particular situation and the concrete data and not in accordance with some system or out of passive obedience to a norm or pseudo norm Raymond Aron
The resplendent holy crescent of Islam that has been transformed by Muslim fundamentalism into an unholy black sharp scimitar is hovering over the cities of the West ready to fall and ‘behead’ Western civilization. Yet despite this ominous great danger, a substantial part of its population is slumbering in deep depths of insouciance and complacency, and is zestfully indulging in its economic prosperity, comforts and pleasures that emanate from freedom and the ethos of amity, cooperation, and coexistence, without realising how brittle and short-lived these have become under this scimitar wielded by the terrorist fanatics. The nannies that rock the cradle that is putting the people to sleep, is an assortment of epigonistic political leaders in Western countries, such as the politically opportunistic triumvirate of Chirac, Schroeder, and Zapatero, and a miscellany of unimaginative and intellectually malevolent, and therefore misplaced, commentators and feuilletons, such as Kerry O’Brien, Paul McGeough, and Robert Fisk – all three morally weak and with an axe to grind – who so unworthily dominate the commentary in the media. It’s this coupling of an inferior breed, that has produced the offspring of drowsy disinterest among most people in the West, to this great danger that is posed by global terrorism.
It would be a gross mistake to underestimate this lethal threat that hangs over all civilised life. There is no room for complacency here that this danger will dissipate once the temporal aims of terrorism are achieved. As the terrorist threat is not ‘motioned’ by a political agenda, i.e., by the problem of the Middle East and the settling of the Palestinian issue or the withdrawal of the American-led coalition forces from Iraq and Afghanistan but by an apocalyptic agenda, whose primary ‘motion’ is the subjugation and destruction of Judeo-Greco-Roman civilisation. This threat, therefore, cannot be partitioned into certain regional areas, as it has a global reach, since its goal is no other than global dominance.
ISLAMIC TERRORISM NOT REVOLT OF POOR
The political analyses, therefore, that claim that countries which are closely allied with the American hegemon and are involved in the latter’s “imperialistic” wars of monocratic rule, are targets of terrorism, are cerebrally unhinged and totally wrong. Moreover, Islamic terrorism is not the revolt of the poor, the politically disenfranchised and oppressed but the revolt of the Arab religious fundmentalist geist of the educated, the rich and those who crave to be the trailblazers of a new caliphate, all of whom are literate to such a high degree that they can distort and re-interpret even the writings of Mohammet, in their thrust for power.
Undoubtedly however, the leaders of terrorism have a plenty supply of terrorist-fodder from the under-classes of the Muslim world, both from the East and the West. And the magnetic power they have to draw their suicidal recruits into a Jihad against the West from lumpen Muslims arises from the position they hold in the pecking order of Islamic fundamentalism. To illustrate this gravitational power that proceeds from this order, two examples, one from the macroscopic and another from the microscopic world of Muslim fundamentalism will suffice. In the macroscopic domain, the tremendous influence bin Laden has among ordinary Muslims emanates from the position he has in the hierarchy of this belligerent warring fundamentalism. In the microscopic one, the influence among his followers that the imam of Melbourne, Mohammet Omran has, derives too, from the position he retains in this hierarchical order of doctrinal fundamentalism. It is this combination of the educated, literate authority and knowledge of a wealthy élite, and the uneducated, illiterate recumbency and ignorance of the lower orders, that is the magma that ignites acts of terror by lumpen Muslims.
Strategically, therefore, the loci of power and influence of global terrorism lie in the Mosques and in the madrassas, and among those fundamentalist Muftis and mentors who are its vehement, vociferous, and fanatic propagators and propagandists. It’s here therefore that military strategists must strike their deadly blow. The war against global terror cannot be won in the field of battle, unless it’s also taken into the breeding grounds of terrorism, wherever they happen to be located, in the East or in the West.
FANATICISM IS THE STRENGTH AND WEAKNESS OF TERRORISM
In this strategic thrust, the decision-makers and planners of the war against global terror, must discover and identify both the dynamic of fanaticism, and its opposite, the static of fanaticism. It’s on this dual identification, that the total defeat of global terror lies.
Since antediluvian times, history has shown that the quintessence of all millenarian movements is a dogmatic, fanatic and unshakable belief in a paradisiacal tomorrow. The earthly sufferings, nature-and-man-made, of human beings, blighted with ignorance and fear of the unknown, have motivated millions of them throughout history to embrace fanatically and fatally millenarian movements. Ultimately to their detriment, since eventually these movements would not open the golden gates to an abode of earthly paradise, but would cast them into a dark pit of hopelessness, despair, and destruction. Modern examples of this fatefully destructive millenarianism in its large scale secular form, are the Hitlerite vision of The One Thousand Years Reich, and the Marxist-Leninist utopia of utopias, Communism, and on a smaller scale in religious form, the Jonestown mass-suicide in Guyana, South America.
In all cases, millenarian-eschatological doctrines thrived in crisis situations, either in the aftermath of catastrophic wars or abominable and abysmal socio-economic injustices, as millions of people lashed by the scourge of war or poverty, clasped to their bosom these doctrines, either as a consolation or revolution of their hopelessness. Likewise, non-literate and solely religious cultures, which tend to spend more time in the affairs of heaven than in the affairs of the earth, in encountering the economic, cultural and scientific achievements of Western civilization, suffered an unbridgeable cultural shock. Their peoples, who were stuck in a milieu of poverty, lack of education, corrupt governments and destitution had no other remedy for their ordeal and despair but the panacea of religious salvation. Messiahs who promised to bring about a new age of material and spiritual blessings, and throw their respective Satan into a bottomless pit, were an irresistible force to this mass despair and destitution.
The rise of Islamic fundamentalism and its terrorist suicidal death-squads, fits perfectly the above schema. The prophet-like preaching of its leaders and their actions in the field of battle against the great Satan America – which has given to its leaders a heroic stature, such as Osama bin Laden has, even in the eyes of moderate Muslims – is drawing many young Muslims, as a result of their failed, but proud culture, both from the middle and from the under-classes, into the fatal embrace of the seventy virgins. To this wild and virile chase of the will-o’-the-wisp ‘virginity’ by would-be terrorists, and especially, by those who have passed the threshold of hesitation into active terrorism, martyrdom is an infinitesimal price to pay for the infinite prize of the hedonistic pleasures of a boundless seraglio. Moreover, the holy war against the West, and the telluric triumph of Islam over the great Satan, America, fulfils to the brim the great pride of Arab culture. It is of such stuff that the dreams of terrorists are made. And to the eyes of these suicidal zealots, no power on earth can prevent the realisation of these dreams, since these dreams are the epiphany of the mind of Allah.
How can the West, confront, counter and defeat such an awesome, formidable, and fanatic foe, who is fighting under the banner of God, and soon to be armed with weapons of mass destruction and, indeed, with nuclear weapons? An enemy with a shadowy existence, with the wings of Mercury on its heels, moving swiftly to its global targets, being able to hide and receive aid and comfort, and indeed, recruits, in the numerous Muslim diaspora in the West, not to mention its home-ground, the East? This is the historic challenge, of Herculean tasks, that Western civilization is being called to take. Will it be able to slay this multi-headed Hydra of terrorism and its bestial existence, and will it have the will and strength to accomplish the severe, remorseless, and stringent tasks that are absolutely essential to its defeat, or will it wear the Shirt of Nessus?
HOW THE WEST MUST DEAL WITH TERRORISTS?
The answer to the above questions resides in the kind of political leadership Western democracies will own, i.e., whether this leadership will have the ironclad characteristics of statesmanship, and the prescience, imagination and wisdom to confront this mortal challenge, not with traditional strategies and tactics, since it confronts an ‘unearthly’, heavenly inspired enemy, but by unconventional and ground-breaking strategies and tactics that will have more than a chance of subduing and defeating these outlaws of god .A leadership, furthermore, that will have the strength to swim against the stream of populism and its anti-war ‘canons’, and not to be a hostage to political considerations and repercussions that could emanate from its ruthless and merciless actions, as a result of its new strategy and tactics, against its fanatic foe. One must be reminded, that all political repercussions rapidly dissolve in the cup of victory. If its military actions lead or seem to be leading to the defeat of the terrorists, then all remonstrations and demonstrations against these actions, will burst quickly, in a puff, at the stroke of victory.
In all strategies, discerning and identifying the strength and weakness of one’s enemy, is vital for his defeat. The strength of global terror does not reside in its moral courage or in its technical and mental competence to devise new means and methods in its lethal attacks against the West, or in the purported injustices inflicted by America on Muslim countries, but in its suicidal fanaticism. It’s the latter that imbues in its holy-warriors the robotic courage that turns these means and methods into flagrant successful attacks against its infidel enemies. It’s on this dynamic of fanaticism that Islamic terror accomplishes its most arduous and rationally most unimaginable attacks. And the more successful these attacks are against the great Satan America and the infidels of the West, the more this dynamism increases, and hence, becomes a stronger gravitational force to would-be terrorists to join the ranks of the holy-warriors.
It is here where Anglo-American strategists must strike their fatal deadly blow -to deprive terrorism of the ability to be successful in its operations. In the context of global terror, therefore, success is the quintessence of the dynamic of fanaticism. And concomitantly, failure is the core of the static of fanaticism. But the focus of this strategy on the ‘success of failure’ for the fanatics of Muslim terror cannot be accomplished by the ‘Martial arts’ of the past, but only by a new imaginative war-craft that would intrepidly and remorselessly be waged against these hordes of fanatics.
FANATICISM SPREADS LIKE BIRD FLU
One of the primary characteristics of fanaticism is, that it spreads swiftly like a bird flu. Like medical practitioners, therefore, the practitioners of war against this virus of fanaticism, have to take swift, and necessarily and inevitably, ruthless measures that will prevent this epidemic from expanding and infecting the minds of an even greater number of proud and/or vulnerable culture-shocked Muslims. As very often in medicine, the best antidote to poison is another kind of poison. Likewise, the antidote to fear is fear. Hence, the fear of terror has to be fought with fear. One has to implant the fear of the terrorists into their own hearts. This is the only and most effective way to defeat quickly and decisively global terror. But this is a very difficult task for the civilized West to take on and to perform. To fight by the laws of the jungle, even against an enemy who is the embodiment of the jungle, would be incongruent, and, indeed, a blatant violation of all the principles of a civilised people. Principles, however, in all societies since the beginning of history, are in a state of permanent ‘competition’.In a critical situation of childbearing, for example, the principle of life is split in two, as an obstetrician has to make a choice whether to save the life of the baby or of the mother; in a sinking ship, its captain gives priority to women and children to have access to the ship’s boats than to men. And in crisis conditions, it’s obvious that the principle of life, more often than not, overrides all other principles.
In the aftermath of 9/11, it’s indubitably clear, that the existence of Western civilization is under a mortal threat -a threat that cannot be negotiated away by any order of human reasoning with these addicts of fanaticism, unlike the threat of nuclear war between the two superpowers in the Cuban crisis, when Krutchev, at the reasoning of President Kennedy and of the dangers this confrontation would have upon mankind, “blinked”, and withdrew the nuclear missiles from Cuba. In the case of these fanatics, however, their ‘robotic programming’ will never allow them to blink before any reasonable argument or danger. But this robotic program is written by the graph of success. Once, however, one destroys this success, the program becomes static and dysfunctional. As a series of mounting failures in the operations of these zealots against the West, will engender a progressive doubt in their minds that, after all, Allah may not be in favour of their actions. And, if at the same time, this doubt is accompanied with fear about their capture or physical elimination by their enemies, this will lead to an irreversible demoralisation within their ranks, and with mathematical precision will bring forward their total defeat, as the mark of death will be indelibly imprinted in the minds of the terrorists and their supporters.
For this feat however to be accomplished, Western strategists must employ remorselessly their awesome military power and technology overtly and covertly against these holy-warriors, both in the field of battle as well as in the loci of their ideological and doctrinal power, i.e., in the Mosques and madrassas. The success of this strategy will involve the setting up of a clandestine organisation of international special forces of condottieri, who will serve as covert hit-squads against suspected terrorists and their mentors, including those who have been acquitted by courts on the basis of legal technicalities, wherever they happen to be, in the East or in the West. This will give to the terrorists and their supporters an overwhelming sense that the legal process of civilized societies will no longer serve as a shield behind which they can cover. The incontestable overpowering force and Humint (spying intelligence), and the deadliness of the covert operations, will loom like an incubus over the head of global terror, and its ubiquitousness will be an endless nightmare for all its practitioners and supporters.
Undoubtedly, some innocent people will become victims of these lethal clandestine operations. But as in all human critical conflicts of such enormous and intricate proportions, the fallibility of human nature will inevitably extract its toll, in the coin of innocence. Moreover, the rogue states that continue to support terrorists politically and materially will be threatened with sanctions and ultimately with force, if they don’t change their ways. (All the ideas contained in this paragraph were passed to the Pentagon by the writer in October 2001. )
It is by this strategy of ‘displaced fear’, from the terrorists to the terrorists, in combination of the success of failure in their operations against the West, that the nadir of fanatic terror will be reached. Only by daring to use ‘infernal’ means of warfare against fanatic terrorism, will the West be saved from slipping and falling into the inferno of terror. The Gordian Knot of global terror will not be loosened by any U.N. nostrums of diplomacy ( Diplomacy will have a backseat in this crucial conflict), nor by snake oil palliatives that will soothe the purported grievances of the terrorists, but by cutting it ruthlessly with the ‘unsheathed sword’. Will the leadership of the Western world, especially the American, have the gumption and the moral and political strength and wisdom to use these deadly instruments against its mortal foe? In this existential struggle of Western civilization against fanatic terrorism, the question for political leaderships with éclat, is – to be, or not to be.
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