The Key to Defeating Radical Islam – by Jamie Glazov


Frontpage Interview’s guest today is David Satter, a senior fellow of the Hudson Institute and a visiting scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). He was Moscow correspondent of the Financial Times of London from 1976 to 1982, during the height of the Soviet totalitarian period and he is the author of Age of Delirium: the Decline and Fall of the Soviet Union, which is being made into a documentary film. His most recent work is Darkness at Dawn: The Rise of the Russian Criminal State.

FP: David Satter, welcome back Frontpage Interview.

I’d like to talk to you today about the lessons of the Cold War for the War on Terror. What is the best way to begin this discussion?

Satter: I think we must begin by recognizing that, although it pretends to be a religion, radical Islam is an ideology. In this respect, it is the blood brother of atheistic communism. Both systems treat artificial dogma as infallible truth and seek to impose it on all of humanity.

Secretary of State Clinton recently reacted to a question about ideology by saying, “that’s so yesterday.” This point of view, however, is a great danger. An ideology is an idea applied to everything on the basis of its own inner logic. It spawns terrorism because its adherents are engaged in a constant war with the outside world in an attempt to substitute its precepts for reality.

To defeat Islamic terrorism, we must therefore discredit radical Islamic ideology. This will not be simple. An ideology is the product of a perverted spiritual quest and it fulfills basic psychological needs. It cannot be defeated with material incentives or by appealing to the fanatics’ better nature. It needs to be discredited in its own terms – as an idea – and, for the sake of our own security, we need to learn how.

FP: Well, scholars such as Robert Spencer have demonstrated that radical Islam is very much a religion, because it is rooted in Islamic theology. His new book, The Complete Infidel’s Guide to the Koran, shows the religious nature of radical Islam’s war on us. But this debate belongs in another time and place and we know the main arguments.

In any case, you are pursuing somewhat of a different argument here today, so for the purposes of this interview, yes, you are correct in that radical Islam does share much in common with communism. Paul Berman did a profound job on this in his work Terror and Liberalism, which shed light on how radical Islam is a cousin of communism as well as fascism.

So, let’s pursue your argument then. In order to defeat radical Islam, it is important to discredit the ideology. Well, let me ask this then: was the Soviet Union destroyed by the collapse of the Soviet ideology?

Satter: It was. The Soviet Union was doomed the minute its ideology began to unravel because the country was not based on anything real. It was the emanation of a deluded idea and when that idea was discredited, it lost its raison d’etre and only draconian mass terror would have been capable of holding it together. But it is difficult to resort to mass terror without the justification of an ideology.

FP: Is it possible that a superpower that intimidated the whole world was based on nothing real?

Satter: Yes. The Soviet Union did not exist to protect its own people or advance their welfare. It embodied no specifically national principles. Its purpose was to build socialism, not only on its own territory but all over the world. The socialism it sought to create envisaged the complete abolition of private ownership and this overarching goal was based on a false theory, Marxism-Leninism.

One of the reasons that Americans find it so difficult to understand the impact of ideology is that we have little experience of it. The U.S. is a pragmatic society and most Americans are totally uninterested in questions of abstract theory. Unfortunately, the world forces us to take an interest in ideology because it is ideological regimes which are our deadliest foes.

In the Soviet Union, Marxism-Leninism took the place of religion, class and nationality. Religion was not completely suppressed but it was marginalized. The average Soviet citizen was a convinced atheist (“How could there be a God?” he typically asked, “Yuri Gagarin went up into space and did not see him.”) Accordingly, he did not see himself as an individual but rather as a member of a collective and his criterion for right and wrong was not the Golden Rule but rather the progress of socialism. He belonged to no class, except the “hegemonic class,” which supposedly represented the whole people, the proletariat, and his real nationality was the nationality of socialism.

From the point of view of concentrating power, this deluded view of reality had definite advantages. Because socialism was the future of mankind as determined by the perfect science of Marxism-Leninism and the Soviet Union was leading the world to socialism, the Soviet regime’s actions had transcendent authority. They were not just the acts of a government but steps in the creation of an earthly paradise. Those who fought and died for the Soviet Union were not only fighting for their country. They were protagonists of a cosmic good. During the Second World War, this attitude was regularly manifested as Soviet soldiers volunteered for suicide missions and threw themselves under tanks, shouting “For Stalin!”

The ideology was fiercely defended because it gave a sense of meaning to often wretched and miserable lives but faith in it also depended on the capacity of the individual for self-delusion. Despite the censorship, the artificial world of the ideology was never air tight. Soviet citizens still had to be ready on a permanent basis to believe the unbelievable and every aspect of Soviet life was organized to facilitate the collective escape from reality.

The reason why the capacity to take appearance for reality was so important in the Soviet Union became evident after 1985 and the beginning of glasnost. Gorbachev decided to undertake reforms but found that he could do little in the face of the resistance of the entrenched party apparatus. As a result, he began to allow a flow of truthful information in order to mobilize the support of the general population against the apparatus.

The impact of truthful information on the ideological structure of the regime, however, was beyond anything that Gorbachev had imagined. The fault lines in Soviet society were suddenly exposed. As Soviet citizens in the national republics learned about the crimes of the regime against members of their nationality, nationalism surged. As the facts of party privilege became known, Soviet workers revolted and the party itself splintered. When Marxism-Leninism was subjected to doubt, the result was a wrenching spiritual crisis in the lives of millions, thoroughly demoralizing the society. Even the elite units of the KGB were affected and when, in August, 1991, hard line procommunist elements staged a coup in order to try to hold the Soviet Union together, those units were no longer reliable. They refused to carry out an order to arrest Yeltsin and the coup failed. Four months later, the Soviet Union collapsed.

FP: Does the role of the fall of the Soviet ideology in the collapse of the Soviet Union mean that the defeat of the radical Islamist ideology would defeat Islamic terrorism?

Satter: Yes.

FP: Well, how can radical Islamic ideology be defeated?

Satter: First, we need to confront the terrorist ideology. This means answering the challenge at the level at which it is posed. All totalitarian ideologies claim to be systems of total explanation and reject universal morality, arguing instead that right and wrong are determined by the interests of a specific group, whether it be the master race, the working class or the umma.

Our answer is traditionally to point out that totalitarian regimes destroy freedom. Freedom, however, is a contingent rather than an ultimate value. Freedom creates the conditions for moral action but is not a guide to it. If we answer the claims of an ideology that promises a utopia on earth by saying that we are defenders of freedom, we immediately raise the question of “freedom for what?” We also leave the aims of totalitarian ideology and its rejection of universal morality completely unchallenged.

Instead of treating “freedom” as an alternative to ideology, we should be attacking ideology as an outrage to sanity. In this way, there is a chance of shaking potential adherents of the terrorist ideology out of the stupor in which social and economic conditions as well as their own shortcomings are driving them. The Islamic world is not cut off by an iron curtain from the information and opinions of the outside world. The internet, a recruiting tool for terrorists, can be used to counter the zombification that radical Islamic ideology seeks to impose. But this must be done by confronting the claims of ideology rather than seeking to defend freedom and thereby giving the impression that, at the level of ultimate values the terrorists have values and we do not. It is important to remember that the failure of the West during the Cold War to challenge the claims of communist ideology was always taken by the communists to mean that the West did not believe in anything.

In the case of the Islamic terrorists, one way of answering their claims is to point out the similarities between the terrorists’ “religion” and the communists’ “atheism.” Both rely on man made doctrine. (Even if one believes that the Koran comes directly from God, the decision on what to emphasize is a human decision.) And both divide the world into believers and infidels and, in relation to the latter, justify any crime.

The fact that Nazism, communism and Islamic radicalism rely on the same  inversion of values – the replacement of genuine transcendent values with values that are man made – and the same psychological mechanisms – the rejection of reality and destruction of free will  – is the reason that the members of the Iranian opposition, to combat the theocratic regime, are immersing themselves in the works of such principled opponents of the communist ideology as the late Polish philosopher, Leszek Kolakowski, even as we speak.

FP: Well what is the role of military strength in all of this?  Is it possible that fighting the terrorists militarily is not that important?

Satter: The war against terror will be won not by destroying the terrorists but by discrediting their ideology. Part of that effort is military, however, and consists of destroying the terrorists’ faith in ultimate victory.

A visitor to the Soviet Union in the 1970s or 1980s could not help but notice that ordinary Soviet citizens, although they lived in poverty, tended to think globally and demonstrated a serene self confidence about the course of world events. Eastern Europe was socialist, Afghanistan was occupied. The revolution was successful in Vietnam, Nicaragua and Cuba. Victory was imminent in El Salvador. Events seemed to bearing out the prediction of Soviet ideology that the victory of socialism was inevitable. In the opinion of the KGB, “the world was going our way.”

In 1983, however, the U.S. overthrew the communist regime on Grenada, an island of 100,000 persons. The action was widely ridiculed in the West but it was the first time that a communist regime had ever been overthrown and this small defeat resonated seriously in the lands where communism had supposedly been established “forever.” In fact, it was a psychological event that helped make further defeats possible and, before the eyes of an astonished world, they came in rapid succession. The Soviets first withdrew from Afghanistan and then from Eastern Europe. Finally, Russia withdrew from the non-Russian republics of the Soviet Union itself.

The Islamic terrorists, like the Soviets, are confident of ultimate victory. That confidence was shaken in Iraq but has been renewed by the Taliban’s successes in Afghanistan. In this respect it matters little whether the Taliban and al Qaeda are linked or whether the Taliban intends, in the event of victory, to reinvite al Qaeda to set up shop in Afghanistan. What matters is that they share the same ideology and a victory for the Taliban is a victory for the system of thought that was responsible for the terrorist attacks on the U.S.

The antidote to this is a U.S. presence in the region that is predicated on the absolute inadmissibility of a terrorist victory and nothing else. It is this, in combination with an ability to explain and defend our values that, in the long run, will make our victory possible.

FP: David Satter, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.

  • guest

    Oh I know a much better way to defeat these guys than discrediting their religion. Simply kill them all. We have the land now, the Islamists have a way out ie trials at Gitmo, so now is the time to be real bastards.

    I would first sell, if we did not do it already, all our Iraqi oil interests to the Red Chinese. There's oppression, and then there is oppression now, huh Mr. Haji. And I would keep an American presence in Iraq. Once again, there is Baghdad, there's Las Vegas, and then there is the Watts Riots. Hell, I was surprise at all the left's bitching. If you ask me, all W. did was take all the malcontents from the 1990s and outsource them.

    Afghanistan? Really. You got to be kidding me. Here's a great way to beat them. Taint water and make everyone sick. Make people with kidney dialysis not live in the cold, but MARCH UP A FRIGGIN MOUNTAIN IN IT. And as soon as Osama hauls his tired ass up there, you know we are going to hit him with a predator missle. How cool is that? America. The place that makes you march up a freezing mountain only to get burned on top of it in a somewhat de-oxygenated environment.

    I have to really hand it to the Left's great hero JFK. That Irish mob scumbag really did do a good thing when he used mob money to land a bunch of marauding killer air pirates on the moon.

  • Robert Bernier

    The solution to terror.
    Victory is the key word not peace, because peace is not an option in this part of the world, and because there is only one solution to terror : a military solution. You do not talk to terrorists, you fight and defeat them. As to World Opinion, it will be taken care of AFTER the total victory. Victory is needed to prove to the Muslims in general and the Arabs in particular that against their ethos of death stands the ethos of life, protected by the arms of democracies that are resolved to punish them where it hurts most as explained at :

  • Robert Bernier

    The war declared on Israel is a war declared against the West.
    Israel has been under threat since the day it was established, and we know how to handle these threats and will do so now as well. Israelis traveling abroad have to be especially alert and pay attention to any abnormal occurrences. Today, we are not alone. The war declared on Israel is a war declared against the Western Civilisation by Islam. This might be the beginning of a world war as explained at :

  • MaryAnn

    The key to defeating Radical Islam is to kill the radical Islamists. All of them; wherever they are, however we can, regardles how many of them there are.

  • Name

    leave them alone with quran and prophet…..

  • MaryAnn

    We dare not leave them alone with their quran and prohet, as they have absolutely no intention of leaving us alone. Their intentions have been stated clearly on numerous occasions- destroy Israel and America. Our worthless, appeasing president is doing nothing more than giving them time to aquire the means to accomplish their mission, or die themselves in the attempt. Of course, Obama pays no heed to the costs of such an attempt.

  • just

    I do completely agree that the core of the war on terror is ideology. In order to defeat terror, one has to defeat the ideology. Ideology of the religion/.movement is the driving force behind any actions. If anyone pays attention to the ideology and the actions of the jihadists, they are all in the name of Allah, all in contempt of the infidels as defined by radical muslim ideologists (Qutb etc). The war on terror is a war against ignorance. Ignorance is not a weapons battle-it is a mind battle.

    Countering a mind battle will take generations, because it has been generations in the forming. I view radical Islam as a cultish movement. A movement that has been in the making since the 13th century, but has progressed and struck out at the world strongly in recent times. Many many individuals are being absorbed into this cult with its very strange ideology. It has an ideology of death.

    When we go into war, we only show the truth to what the radical islamists teach-the west is out to get us. See how they invade to take over our countries and to limit us based upon our religion. I do not disagree with the war, but one has to look from the other side of the fence also. We are fighting against a country/ies in which everything (press, internet, etc) is monitored. They do not have the freedoms that most western countries have, not even the basic freedom of speech or thought.

    To fight the war on the ideological front would be a step in the right direction., and also to fight the war on the economic/social front. Many resort to joining the radical movement due to dissatisfaction they have within their own social/economic structures, and they feel that by joining these radical movements, they will make a change within their own country.

    This war cannot be fought with weapons alone. Take the taliban as a great example-they have moved into areas where there is social unrest. They have restored order. And they have implemented their ideology. And it works-why? Because it restores order and makes society livable again. We may all disagree with the ideology of the taliban-but it works in areas where there is social/economic unrest. IT works where the current ideology is failing. Our enemy is our lesson.

  • The_Inquisitor

    Ideology: 1. The body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, a group, a class, or a culture. 2. A set of doctrines or beliefs that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system.

    “An ideology is an idea applied to everything on the basis of its own inner logic. It spawns terrorism because its adherents are engaged in a constant war with the outside world in an attempt to substitute its precepts for reality.”

    There is very little in this quote that follows from the foregoing dictionary definition of ideology. Why is this important? Aside from destroying the English language it is an attack on the mind. To be anti-ideological is to be anti-intellectual.

    I have an ideology of freedom as did America's founding fathers. However, I would be willing to spawn a little terror if someone tried to take my freedoms away.

    Satter does have a concept in mind, but it isn't ideology. He should either find a more appropriate word for it or invent one.

  • Timmy

    The religion of the post-Christian modern secular West is Multiculturalism. For those thoroughly brainwashed in this belief system they would rather die than admit that multiculturalism is a lie, that all religions are not equal, that in order to survive the West must be intolerant of Islam. So from the start this battle is going to be difficult to even begin to wage. But assuming that at some point in the future, before it is too late to matter, the West recognizes that Islam is the problem, not “extremists” or “radicals” but Islam itself, then a propaganda war can be waged. In addition to the usefulness of just having the truth about Islam out in the open, the more people who know the truth about Islam the easier it will be to get the general public and politicians and leaders to act in the right way to save the West. It is crucial that Islam not be allowed to spread in the West. It will gradually destroy all of the freedoms and democracies of the West – even if only so-called moderate Muslims immigrate to the West. It is the system of Islam that is the problem and it destroys everything in its path. And what is most alarming is that at some point, if there are enough Muslims in the West it will be impossible to reverse, the end of democracies and freedoms will be assured and irreversible. And even if it takes Islam a few centuries to complete the task all of the years of fighting it along the way will take an extremely heavy toll on the West, a toll that will in and of itself destroy the West whether or not it ever comes to complete Islamization. As to fighting in lands already Islamic there should be zero effort made to reform or democratize them, it is a lost cause, all efforts should be solely to destroy problem regimes or movements and then leaving the area completely as we can return whenever another needs to be destroyed. No more meddling in the affairs of how they rebuild or try to sustain themselves. It just isn't our problem, it does not help us at all to be involved, and perhaps if they suffer enough they will eventually reject Islam, not likely but our only hope.

  • chriscal09

    Anyone who still doubts that ideology is at the heart of the problem should study the side-by-side comparison of Sharia Law with the U.S. Constitution posted at… . The ideology of Islam is so foreign to Western values and concepts of government that it will unravel just as Communism unraveled because it doesn't stand up to objective analysis.

  • The_Inquisitor

    “Well, let me ask this then: was the Soviet Union destroyed by the collapse of the Soviet ideology?

    Satter: It was.”

    This is pure ignorance on Satter's part. It collapsed because socialism is incompatible with an industrialized society. In the end they didn't even have fuel for their tanks. Its collapse was predicted decades before it came about by “a set of doctrines or beliefs that form the basis of” Austrian Economics. Soviet ideology, however, is alive and well today in Russia and over the world.

  • name

    How can you say leave them alone? They do not leave us alone. They do not leave the rest of the world alone. They invade other lands, other cultures, other people. They violently impose their ideology upon other cultures and destroy their artifacts, their thoughts their beliefs in the name of their Prophet, Peace be unto him.

    They kill innocent women, innocent men, innocent children, based upon their religion, their culture, their ethnicity. Their ideology. Should they not leave others alone? Based upon their ideology, they feel they have a right to do this. Should we just stand back and allow tyrants to overcome us and not fight back?

    How can you say leave them alone when they destroy others? And they destroy themselves. Some of their fights, I do agree with. I do agree that there is injustice towards the gazans based upon the treatment of the Gazans by the Israelis. I do believe that Jerusalem should have no owner because it is holy to all religions. I do believe that they have been wronged in the past, but when you take those wrongs and you go from your own country into another country and destroy it and kill its people based upon your beliefs and make the attempt for world domination based upon your beliefs-everyone is wrong and needs to accept my way or die-that is wrong.

    They kill children, they kill those who have nothing to do with their fight, all in the name of their Prophet, peace be unto him. If they wish to fight, they should fight government to government, not innocents. Only men who are not men kill innocents. Only cowards kill those who have nothing to do with their fight to prove a point. It is reminiscent of childhood bullys, not educated men. Not men who wish to make a difference in the world, but buullys who kill just because they can.

  • name

    It is ideology, by your own definition-the aspiration of a person or a group. These aspirations have been in the making form the 1940's-the Muslim brotherhood, Qutb, etc. They have formed the ideology we now fight, along with some pretty messed up interpretations of the Koran to fit this ideology.

    Propaganda is one of the best ways to fight. To re teach the basic concepts of the Koran. To re teach what many say-but I don’t see- the love and acceptance within he Koran. These definitions within he Koran are currently lost in the current ideology of Islam, and radical Islam.

    I wouldn’t say Islam itself is the problem. I know many who practice Islam and they are peaceful and loving, but it is the radical form of the ideology that extends from the ME that is currently taking over. It is an ideology based upon social/economic issues and a way to fight these issues.

    Next to fighting the ideology, it is also providing ways to solve the social and economic issues within the countries that cause people to embrace the ideology. It is a simple solution in theory, but one that is difficult in task because it is generations.

  • John Toradze

    I don't think I agree with you that they are cowards. It takes a lot more gut level courage for them that it does for us much of the time. You might want to read a very interesting book, "Shantaram". Starting at chapter 30, it begins his account of how this escaped convict wound up fighting the Russians in Afghanistan. The story starts in Mumbai, India, where Abdul Khader Khan is head of a shura council of gangsters that he spent 20 years building. They go back to Afghanistan with weapons and medicines. It is an extraordinary account of what their lives are like from the inside. If you ask me, Shantaram should be required reading for any commander in Afghanistan.

  • The_Inquisitor

    I did not say that Islam is not ideological. I said that Satter's characterization of ideology is a distortion of the dictionary definition.

  • moorthymuthuswamy

    Defeating Political Islam: The New Cold War

  • name

    all dictionary definitions are distorted in the modern world, and that is not even the core of the argument. his words are true, as is his definition. whether webster agrees with his chosen verbage or not. .

  • name

    And on the subject of libel tourism-it seems there is a general consensus that it is a tool for Muslims to use to further their Islam. Anyone ever stop and think the flip side of the coin? Maybe it is a tool to use to STOP the implementation of Islam? This whole concept stops hate speech, not against Islam only, but against all religions, all peoples, all cultures. Everyone is so stuck on the concept of the spread of Shariah, that they miss the whole concept of the act, to stop hate speech

    It is a shame that governments have to teach us respect. That we, as adults and individuals, cannot function in our daily lives without words of hatred against another. We cannot function daily without anger and misuse of tools that should be for the broader good, instead, we make them for the broader evil. We instigate, instead of resolve. .

    In a way I do see it as a good implementation, and a tool to be used against those who call the West infidels, who attempt to hurt the West based upon our freedoms, our beliefs, our culture. This whole concept works both ways. So instead of complaining about it, make it work. Instead of seeing it as a tool for Shariah/radical Islam to further itself, make it a tool to stop it.

    In order to maintain our freedoms, we do have to lose freedoms, because it is our freedoms that is allowing radical Islam to infiltrate the United States and other countries. People do not see that they are using our freedoms against us, to destroy us. It is such a simple concept and yet, a complex concept.

    Tools are tools, and it depends upon the way one chooses to use them as to the outcome of the product

  • Timmy

    We need to leave them alone in the sense of quarantining them, separating them from the non-Islamic world. To the extent that we allow Islam to spread in the West then it will be impossible to leave them alone. We need to essentially force them to leave us alone also. If they are separated and contained in the countries already subjugated under Islam then any attempts by them to inflict damage or any impact whatsoever upon us would be met with overwhelming over-the-top incomprehensible retaliatory response. Even their so-called holy cities would be completely on the table and targeted for destruction. This is the only way to co-exist in the world with Islam. Separate and distinct from it. The only involvement we would ever have is trying to protect non-Muslims living in the Islamic world, the subjugated minority Christians and Jews and others. But the fact is, our involvement even makes it worse for them as has been shown in Iraq.

  • Timmy

    “I view radical Islam as a cultish movement. A movement that has been in the making since the 13th century, but has progressed and struck out at the world strongly in recent times.”

    That is incorrect, the problem with Islam was from the very beginning, when Muhammad was still alive. It did more destruction in the early centuries than it has lately. Even 9/11 pales in comparison to what the first Muslims did. Muhammad makes today's biker gangs or gangsta thugs look like a bunch of pansies.

    “Many resort to joining the radical movement due to dissatisfaction they have within their own social/economic structures, and they feel that by joining these radical movements, they will make a change within their own country.”

    There have been poor people all throughout history and they were not driven to the evils of the Islamists. It is Islam, and the example of the perfect man Muhammad that causes the current crop of Jihadists to engage in the activities they engage in.

    “Take the taliban as a great example-they have moved into areas where there is social unrest. They have restored order. And they have implemented their ideology. And it works-why? Because it restores order and makes society livable again. We may all disagree with the ideology of the taliban-but it works in areas where there is social/economic unrest. IT works where the current ideology is failing. Our enemy is our lesson.”

    You need to consider which came first the chicken or the egg. There is social unrest because of Islam, because of the decrepit society that it creates, merely stepping in and with an iron fist using harsher Islam to eliminate any and all dissent is nothing to be praised. Our enemy is Islam. Many of the people living under Islam are victims of it – our goal is not to worry about them but to merely make sure we don't join them as victims subjugated under Islam.

  • Logicon

    [[What matters is that they share the same ideology and a victory for the Taliban is a victory for the system of thought that was responsible for the terrorist attacks on the U.S.]]

    I was wondering what our goal was in Afghanistan. It didn't seem like we were accomplishing anything. But, the ideology there has not changed one iota.

    Anyway, this helps explain it some at least.

  • myx0mop

    The communist-leftist ideology may have been defeated in the Eastern Europe, but it hasn't been in the West. And it is that very Leftism that prevents the victory over Islamic expansionism. I think that key to victory over Islam lies in first winning the ideology battle on the home front. As long as the leftists can win elections, and impose their views and policies, we'll not win any other battles.

  • The_Inquisitor

    He may have a valid definition for something, but it isn't ideology. The concept of ideology is value neutral, as the dictionary definition demonstrates. There can be true and false ideologies. there can be good and bad ideologies.

    Satter demonizes ideology per se. It's akin to demonizing intellectuals per se because the dominant intellectuals in our culture have totalitarian views.

  • John Toradze

    Frontpage is marginalizing itself with radical rhetoric of its readers, although I understand very well why people say what they do. But everyone must be very careful and understand the lesson that Christopher Andrew documented so well in “The Sword and the Sheild: The Mitrokhin Archive And The Secret History Of The KGB”. The Birch society ended up being the greatest help to the KGB of any group. Be very careful about appearing shrill and over the top. It may make for good ratings for a few shows that attract a few million viewers, but it destroys the credibility of the message to the vast majority.

  • USMCSniper

    Jamie, there must be total victory at all costs. And the only way to achieve victory is to learn from the Romans and apply the “Carthage Principle” to all of Islam which is a proven successful strategy that only needs to be applied one time. Anything less isjust a repeat of the failed policies of containment for negotiating a polirical solution which only delays a future defeat when your enemies grow strong again.

  • Timmy

    What are you talking about, what do “you” find to be over the top? For what it is worth your own comment is a bit over the top.

  • John Toradze

    This is a good article and I agree with it. I have been saying the same thing for many years now. The key to this battle is discrediting the ideology. Without it, our battles reinforce the ideology.

    A few quibbles with facts of the article.
    1. The soldiers throwing themselves under tanks for Stalin did so because Russia was under attack by a worse enemy. In the beginning of the invasion, the Nazi forces were greeted as liberators. But the Nazis were themselves so mad with their ideology that they treated the Russian people like animals. When escapees from the territory taken by the Nazis came through saying that Stalin's reign of terror was far better than the Nazis, that got the attention of the Russian people.

    2. The serene confidence of the average Russian was never that great. But yes, there was a period when things seemed to be going pretty well.

    3. Grenada was not a significant event except perhaps in a scholarly thesis. What rocked the USSR was Afghanistan. And I was in Sheremetyevo on my way to Tbilisi as the USA attacked Afghanistan. I will never forget the group of old military brass standing and sitting together in the airport quite inebriated, toasting loudly to the future demise of America – “They will get in Afghanistan what we got!” The bottle was Absolut vodka.

    Aside from that, the Islamic ideologues are not going to be put off by a few defeats here and there. They already had their collapse when the Ottoman Empire ended. Since then, their most conservative people have become wealthy beyond the dreams of those Ottoman sultans. What will take them down is lack of money and wholesale conversion away from islam by exposing islam itself, the core tenets that mohammed was a prophet, and that he represented god, to ridicule. Other things can be used to support it, but that is the core that has to be brought forward.

    The campaign has to be sophisticated though. It cannot become wrapped up with the perception that this is one of the games of Karl Rove or some special interest group dedicated to enriching its elites.

  • John Toradze

    This kind of thing Timmy:
    ” Oh I know a much better way to defeat these guys than discrediting their religion. Simply kill them all. …”

    “Afghanistan? Really. You got to be kidding me. Here's a great way to beat them. Taint water and make everyone sick….”

    Another way the message gets discredited is by linking it ideologically with anything in the health care debate or any other issue internal to the USA.

  • John Toradze

    That is what they do. I understand the reasoning, but it is not doable in the world of today. In the post-reformation, post-renaissance world the only way that utter destruction is acceptable is in retaliation. Unfortunately, 9-11 was not enough, dramatic as it was. It will take nuclear destruction of a few cities to justify what you advocate.

    Islam is a systematic system of oppression that taxes heavily anyone who is not muslim. In a curious turnabout, that is why the Jews did well within the Ottoman empire. They would never convert, and after a while, they became immensely valuable to the empire for this reason. Once the empire stopped expanding and had to rely on internal income for survival, those highest paying taxpayers became oddly powerful. The regime had to keep them paying those high taxes, and the only way that could happen is if it protected them, allowing them to become wealthy and stay that way. Funny how things work out, eh?

    But I digress.

  • name


    I agreew ith you, except for the par tof any issue internal within the US. It is a US issue, in that we do have these cells here attempting their own little atrocities within our borders and recruiting within our borders, so in one way, it is an internal US issue.

    Further down, I liked your last post, especially where you stated the campaign hs to be sophisticated. I think it has to be a compilation of both-fight and ideology.

  • John Toradze

    Now that is an interesting idea. Why don't you crank it up, and file a libel and slander lawsuit in Britain for something that the islamists have said. For instance, how about filing a lawsuit against the signs they post in their neighborhood against jews and infidels? Or a lawsuit against Hizb-Ut-Tahrir for calling non-muslims kufr, which is an insult?

    Now that's a concept that could have legs. Keep thinking.

  • John Toradze

    Yeah. We aren't accomplishing much in Afghanistan except drawing the fire of those who would otherwise be focused more directly on overthrowing Pakistan in order to get hold of Pakistan's nukes. The aim of Al Qaeda when they attacked us was to draw our fire, but they didn't expect to be driven out of Afghanistan exactly. The idea was to force all muslims to pick sides and provoke them to join the fight in order to knock over Pakistan. Osama had his 90%+ popularity rating and he knew it. He just didn't realize that even in a fanatical religion, most people aren't fanatics.

    Aside from that, the way the Ottomans ruled was to send in punishment raids for disobedience. Hit and run, and don't leave anyone behind to be attacked. That leaves the local Sheiks licking their wounds and makes them wary of disobeying again.

  • Timmy

    I hadn't seen the comment about kill them all. But it is worth considering how detached from reality the West has become that even if it was literally a matter of the very survival of the West, of Western Civilization, freedoms, democracy, and it is, that we wouldn't even consider “killing them all” – whatever that means, even if it was the only way for our civilization to survive. Clearly there are some large groups of people, for instance currently, the vast number of people in the tribal areas of Pakistan, that killing “most” or “many” of them, not even “all” would in fact go a long long way to solving the problem of “radical” Islam at least for a while, but it isn't even something that is being considered in the remotest back corner hidden away in the depths of the Pentagon. War means doing WHATEVER has to be done to win and end it. We aren't even remotely close to that point, we won't be in any of our lifetimes.

    As for the political aspect, your swipe at Karl Rove struck me as unnecessary. Clearly, anyone who understands this issue understands that is WAY WAY larger than Democrat or Republican, it is Western Civilization in toto vs. Islam, and neither party has a clue how to even discuss it.

  • John Toradze

    Yes, we do have cells here although the majority of the dangerous ones are in London and Netherlands. We are greatly helped on our side by the fact that we are fighting a totalitarian brainwashing ideology. A good islamic education forces huge amounts of memorization, and disapproves of original thought or problem solving. They are great mimics, they can take training and reproduce it. But their system does not allow for creativity. We would have a lot of dead folks here if not for that.

    However, what I am getting at is that when we link this matter to “Obamacare” or “Obama's record deficit” etcetera, we immediately alienate the majority of the country. Myself, I'm a liberal, and I think it is appalling that the USA stands alone among first world nations in its lack of a national health care system of some kind. But when I try to talk to friends about Islam, they dismiss it because of the associations. Fact is, most people decide what to think not by reasoning but by associations and whether they like the salesman.

    I agree it must be fight and ideology. But most of the fight should be clandestine, and we should rescind those old orders against assassination, setting up a special court like FISA to authorize assassinations as well as “dirty tricks” like stealing their bank accounts.

    • Vince

      A lot of poor people convert to Islam because of false hope. Like in third world countries where U.S. or christian have abandon them, If you convert to muslim your pay is higher and less work than non-muslim. What does U.S., Jews, or Christian have to offer? Islam got popular because of oil.

  • John Toradze

    I think we agree. I am very aware of the issues. It has been personal in my life.

    My point is that when the medium associates the message of Islamist threat with other peeves and gamesmanship of the current republican party it makes it very hard for most people to hear it when they are on the other side on those other issues.

    (I know a bit too much about Karl. I consider him a dangerously unprincipled gamesman.)

  • Timmy

    Don't sell the Jews short, there were other non-Muslim populations that also paid the taxes but who did not do as well as the Jews in certain areas. It was their know how that the Muslims also needed just to keep things running. The total decrepit nature of the Muslim society is very well displayed in the recent trash crisis in Cairo. Those wretched fools were still to this day relying on “filthy Christians” with their “filthy pigs” to clean up the trash of their gigantic city!! When those fools killed all the swine in a fit of spite against the “filthy Christians” they didn't even realize there would be way to clean up the organic trash. Unbelievable, simply unbelievable. The Christians were in Egypt long before Islam was even invented yet this is where they end up under Islam. What an outrage.

  • John Toradze

    Not selling them short. It isn't possible to cover everything in a brief post. Of course there is more to the story, but that is right at the structural core of jewish success under the sultans.

  • Timmy

    The sad truth is most people today can't even think beyond democract/republican. You even hear it from some radio personalities and news and opinion presenters. It spells our doom that the “news media” can't even analyze any issues beyond how each party is positioning itself. They haven't even analyzed the Afghanistan situation and what the goal is, the whole story is whether Obama will give the general the troops he wants, no discussion of why the troops are or are not needed, or what the goals might be. The general is actually part of the problem at this point wanting to nation build. He shouldn't get more troops for that purpose.

  • Timmy

    It is sad that some Jews were behind the myth of the Islamic golden age, they made that up trying to curry favor with the Muslims, which never works in the long run, and now people actually believe it. It is a real disgrace how our historians have failed us, Western Civilization will die due to ignorance of history. Too many people believe that Islam was once a benign or even wonderful force. That prevents them from dealing correctly with Islam today as they think today is an aberration.

  • donvan

    You describe in full detail what we already know. Ther is no “Radical Islam”. There is only I'slam. Variations exist, rationalizations, academics and fellow travelers endlessly searching for some opening to justify the notion that I'slam is simply misunderstood, or poorly understood by uneducated masses. When all credible evidence clearly shows that the entire body of literature from I'slamic sources advocates for the human behavior we see daily in the homicide bombings, murders, slavery, hideous amputations, barbaric acts are, in fact , I'slam. Just as slavery in the US, the ideology of the National Socialists, Marxism, so called I'slam must be confronted always and everywhere with the object being its destruction. Half measures, excuses, accomodation are only wishful thinking. Kill it, discredit it, thruw it into the dust bin of other failed violent and inhuman ideologies.

  • Timmy

    “Just as slavery in the US”

    The point you are making is understood but it is worth noting that the slave trade in the U.S. (which we will never hear the end of even though hundreds of thousands of white men died in the Civil War to end it in America, and they get ZERO credit for that, they are the same evil white racists as all of the rest of evil racist America) PALES in comparison to the slave trade of the Muslims and which continues to this day (but no one hears anything about that nor raises a pinky finger against it.) Clearly there are myriad problems caused by Islam and slavery is just one. The “evil” British colonialists fought hard to eradicate slavery where they had control in the Muslim world and there were successful to some degree but they are still the “evil colonialists” who some would have us believe are the cause of all the current problems in the “Islamic” world. Not. The problem is Islam itself.

  • Robert_Marchenoir

    I'm afraid David Satter's propositions do not match the threat. Certainly, drawing a parallel with the Soviet Union is interesting, up to a point. Islam and communism are both totalitarian ideologies.

    However, communism lasted for a century, give or take a few decades. Islam has been around for 1 400 years and growing. And it's a religion. You get paradise and virgins. That's a definite advantage.

    Besides, terrorists are not the issue. They are the lesser threat. We know how to fight them : with weapons and electronic technology. And we're doing it, more or less.

    But the real danger are the political and street djihadists. The Muslims who “peacefully” insist for “anti-racist” laws, the right to bear the veil and to pray in Europe's streets. The teenage thugs who hurl firebombs on policemen and harrass and assault and rape Europe's native population on a daily basis.

    Practically all Western governments (including the United States government) have caved in to their demands. The more Muslims prod them, the further they cave in.

    So not only do we have to fight 1,3 billion Muslims individually and collectively, we also have to fight our governments, our police, our courts, our media, our professors. Because, basically, all of them are against us in this fight. The very people who should be protecting us have sided up with the enemy.

    The first thing we need to know is : why ? Why this obvious, abject surrender of the enormous majority of people in positions of power in the West ? Regardless of country or political affiliation ?

    Has Saudi money really bought all those people at the same time ? With almost no exception ?

    I don't have the answer.

  • Timmy

    So much effort has been put into teaching and preaching that the West is evil, blood dripping pure evil, cause of all the world's problems, and even those who recognize the criticisms are way overdone if not outright lies have in the back of their mind that the West is just not worth saving. If we tried to change it, to give the next generation enough pride in their civilization to want to save it, we would be accused of being jingoistic fascist racist etc. etc. etc. If the West had maintained the Christian faith then that would have better resisted the teachings that the West is evil and not worth saving, along with the intrinsic Christian belief in what the West once stood for, and that would have been enough to save it. But when you consider that the vast proportion of people in the West of all occupations, all economic levels, can't even explain in simple terms how Islam is a direct threat to their freedoms and democracy you know just how far we have fallen. The people are clueless. There isn't much hope at this point.

  • CowboyUp

    Neither tells them to leave us alone, and they don't. What's your plan B?

  • CowboyUp

    Leave them alone, when even you admit that's impossible with our tolerance? It is the religious imperative of jihadis to expand dar al islam by force until dar al haarb no longer exists on earth, and that is what they are doing everywhere one meets the other. Do you understand that when you say “quarantining” and “containing,” you are talking about war anyway? Bythe way, how are you going to quarantine half of Africa, much less the South Pacific? How are you going to do so once they have nukes? Am I to believe the dp will suddenly grow the spine they completely lacked with the commies and jihadis up 'til now?

    What credibility does the dp have that they would actually carry out such a response to yet another 9/11, when they didn't think the first one wasn't worthy of such a response, or what we did was too much? You remind me of hussein during his campaign talking big of Afghanistan as the necessary war, and where we needed to put our resources. Then when it comes time to put up or shut up, it's a bunch of lame*ss excuses.

  • CowboyUp

    You made sense there, which also makes your post above I commented on strange. Maybe my suspicion is correct, and you just need to think some things through a little further.

  • rrwest

    One word can dispell many questions: oil.

    Wre it not for an accident of geography, the leaders of Islam would not be on the world stage as easily as they are now.

  • rrwest

    Islam's leaders and the Taliban will not stop with Afghanistan, but move onto bigger conquests.

    Like any totalitarian system, Islam feeds on external and internal ignorance of its true nature, prominent brainwashing, lies, deception and the threat of death to whomever leaves or exposes it's underlying agenda.

    This has been going on for over 1,300 years and its now time for it to be stopped.

    It has succeeded for so long because it was developed as a religion, but has few qualities other than its prayers and some ceremonies which can be truthfully called such. How it treats non-beleivers and those who leave are a true test of its “religiousity”, not its scriptures and spurious claims to divinity.

    I think that one if its most telling features is that it denies followers the right to have freedom of conscience. Why else would its leaders (and founder) threaten them with death if they leave?

  • rrwest

    I have a rhetorical question for all those who seek appeasement with Islam's leaders.

    If the Allies had done the same thing with Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan between the years 1939 and 1945, where would the world be now?

    Remember that it was Neville Chamberlain, the British PM who said he had acheived “peace in our time” after a series of meetings with Hitler just before 1939.

    We risk doing the same with an ancient, clever and long-memoried enemy who feels that they are gaining the upper hand after being in the shadows for so long.

    Our failed resolve must be largely a result of the need for OPEC oil, much of which comes fom Muslim countries. Other reasons may be a lingering self-doubt that the values we hold are not the best that they can be.

    I believe though, that the west, even with all its failings, is worth preserving against the tide of Islam on the one hand, and the PRC on the other.

    Our modern civilization would not have been possible without the rise of the unifying force of Christianity after the fall of Rome, the Magna Carta, the Renaissance, the Reformation (and Counter-Reformation) and the Enlightenment, among other things. Collectively they gave birth to what we know as the modern world with all of its problems and wonders.

    I will always be “kufar” and proud.

  • rrwest

    If only western leaders would have as long a view as the leaders of Islam. They have waited for generations (and not just until the next “election”) to mold a guerilla force so totally under their control that even “moderate” followers dare not prevent the hijra from becoming all-out jihad.

    I feel that our leaders have left their western ideals and heritage in the dust in their quest for getting past the polls and winning elections. Only the few, like Geert Wilders, dare speak up for the west and all that it represents to combat radical ideologies like Islam.

    We have been cowed into submission, thinking that if we resist, we risk ending up like Nazi Germany, since our ideals of equality and freedom should stand for all who live within our borders.

    But that tolerance is a two-way street and Muslims are generally not about to become the equal of anyone else. It is not built into their beliefs to do so.

    Islam has never had a Reformation that took the main belief system down a peg or two. Nor has its leaders allowed their followers the freedom to do what their conscience told them should be done. This goes a long way to explain why apostates to Islam can be killed without fear of punishment.

    It also explains why no-one can freely criticise anything the leaders do or say. And followers can never freely re-interpret or even reject scriptures for themselves.

    It also goes a long way to explain why “moderate Muslims” dare not stop Muslim terrorists from acting out anywhere that Islam settles. What is good for Islam is good for me, has been pounded into their heads for generations.

    Again, Islam has not had a true Reformation in which individual beleivers are allowed to think out their lives for themselves.