Ending the War on Terror

terrIn a piece last week in The Atlantic entitled “Terrorism Could Never Threaten American Values—the ‘War on Terror’ Does,” James Fallows says it’s high time that President Obama shows he understands the truth of that article’s title, and calls to put a stop to the “open-ended ‘Global War on Terror.’”

Fallows, a longtime national correspondent for The Atlantic, has argued at least as far back as 2006 that we had al Qaeda on the run, and that even though its “successor groups in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere will continue to pose dangers… its hopes for fundamentally harming the United States now rest less on what it can do itself than on what it can trick, tempt, or goad us into doing.”

There is some undeniable truth to this. All one has to do is look at how Shoe Bomber Richard Reid, who wasn’t even successful in his attempt to bring down Flight 63 from Paris to Miami twelve years ago, transformed our air travel experience into a tedious, massively bureaucratic and intrusive TSA nightmare, detrimentally impacting our economy in the process (in a succinct summation of Fallows’ argument, famed atheist Richard Dawkins recently tweeted his irritation over what he deemed the pointless idiocy of airport security extremes: “Bin Laden has won.”). And of course, one could look at how terrorist acts have resulted, even more intrusively, in the surveillance state that emerged under George W. Bush and which has metastasized exponentially under Barack Obama.

“But if it saves a few lives…” goes the seemingly reasonable rationale for all this “security.” Of course we should protect American lives; the question is, are there more effective and reasonable ways to accomplish that and to combat terrorism which also don’t require severely diminishing our freedoms and individual rights?

Fallows acknowledges the seriousness of terrorist acts themselves. “Attacks can be terribly destructive, as we saw in hideous form 12 years ago,” he continued in last week’s article. “But the long-term threat to national interests and values comes from the response they invoke. In the case of 9/11: the attack was disastrous, but in every measurable way the rash, foolish, and unjustified decision to retaliate by invading Iraq hurt America in more lasting ways.”

Perhaps Fallows misspoke here, because surely he knows we didn’t invade Iraq in retaliation for the 9/11 attack. We went into Iraq because during a “decade of defiance,” as Bush put it, Saddam Hussein had become an increasingly clear and present danger: harboring terrorists, financing terrorism, developing weapons of mass destruction, and ignoring years of UN demands about those weapons. Maybe Fallows means that going after Saddam was an unnecessary extension of the ill-named war on terror, but the “lasting ways” in which America has been hurt in Iraq and Afghanistan resulted more from our ongoing, blood-and-treasure-sucking, nation-building efforts there than from our invasions of those countries.

Fallows complains that “over-reach by [the NSA] and the security establishment… is badly harming American interests, ideals, and institutions. The President is the only person in a position to signal a change in course, and he had better do it fast.” He says that “the revelations that come out every day of programs that began under Bush and have continued under Obama suggest that he doesn’t grasp [the fact that the war on terror threatens our values more than terrorism does] as clearly as he should.” I submit that Obama grasps this perfectly clearly, but he is not about to change course – not because those program are essential to combating terror, but because it suits his broader  totalitarian agenda to perpetuate and expand them.

Fallows wrote that Obama seemed to recognize his point “as early as 2002, in arguing against the invasion of Iraq… and in 2013 in saying that it was at last time to conclude the otherwise open-ended ‘Global War on Terror.’” But that war is open-ended not because we have chosen it to be, but because that is simply the nature of the enemy we are fighting and the long war they are waging against us. We’re engaged in a conflict not with a nation-state and its army, which can be defeated conventionally, nor with a guerrilla insurgency limited to al Qaeda and its “successor groups,” but with a vast, decentralized community of ideological fanatics taking us down by any means at hand, from immigration to cultural subversion to violence. Terrorism, which Fallows considers a manageable threat, is only one of those means.

Waging war against such an enemy is not the problem; not waging one, or waging it without a commitment to win, is the problem. When our own Homeland Security does not even allow mention of the words Islam or Muslim, downgrades “jihad” to “workplace violence,” and considers American patriots more of an existential threat than the Muslim Brotherhood, then this administration is ensuring our own defeat. When our soldiers overseas are tasked with winning hearts and minds rather than eradicating the Taliban to the last man, all the while straitjacketed by the most suicidally restrictive rules of engagement in the history of warfare, then this administration is ensuring our own defeat. When our officials actively work with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation toward the criminalization of defamation of Islam rather than defend the First Amendment, then this administration is ensuring our own defeat.

Calling an end to the “war on terror” is not a solution, because terror is not the enemy – Islamic supremacism is, and it has been a threat to the west for many centuries and isn’t going away overnight, particularly not with Barack Obama in the White House. Fallows is right insofar as we must avoid the trap of exchanging our values and liberties for a false security; how do we do that? Stop playing defense, stop reacting, stop trying to win hearts and minds, and take the fight to the enemy on every front, unapologetically committing to total victory in the way we once committed to total victory against the ideologies of Japanese imperialism or Nazism. The enemies of civilization are ruthless, relentless, and morally unconflicted – in defense of civilization, we must be more so.

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  • http://fdnyretiree.com/ Ed FDNYRetiree

    The easiest way to end the war on terror, at least in the U.S., would have been to CLOSE OUR BORDERS!

    For real. In earnest.

    Oh… and to bar Muslims from the U.S.

    • Softly Bob

      And ultimately to nuke Mecca!

  • Chezwick

    “Calling an end to the “war on terror” is not a solution, because terror is not the enemy – Islamic supremacism is, and it has been a threat to the west for many centuries and isn’t going away”

    The James Fallows of the world – and they are legion – don’t understand this in the slightest. They’ve been literally taught to forget history. For them, this struggle began only on 9-11-2001…and they’re hoping to wind it down and that all will be well soon. They don’t realize that the Western dominance over the Islamic world in the 19th and 20th century was the reason that Islam’s 1400-year Jihad against the non-Muslim world was interrupted….and that the interruption has essentially ended.

    We’ve been victimized by a deliberately programmed ignorance, started 35 years ago in the halls of academe with the publication of Edward Said’s ‘Orientalism’….and building momentum ever since. Islam’s bloody past has been whitewashed from the history books….while our own has been accentuated so that it now defines us. We have been intellectually disarmed.

    • Drakken

      It is rather amusing and terrifying at the same time that these Chamberlain’s and Quislings are going to receive the most brutal of awaking’s when the muslims do something extremely egregious and everybody will stand by looking at each other pointing fingers screaming, how could you have let this happen, and then the people fed up with the pols duplicity, take matters in their own hands and throw out the muslims in our midst. Welcome to the new Balkans folks.

      • knowshistory

        the awakening cannot happen too soon, but it can happen too late. it will not help for ovine citizens of the west to suddenly realize they are being exterminated by islam when they are in chains and being marched to the gas chambers. the foremost goal of our politicians, media, and academia is to make sure we don’t awaken until after we are helpless and doomed.

        • Drakken

          We are but an incident from letting that built up rage be unleashed, the muslims and leftist quislings aren’t going to know what hit them.

  • WhiteHunter

    The State Department and the FBI were explicitly warned, ahead of time, about the ‘Underwear Bomber’ and the Boston Marathon Bomber. It was the Underwear Bomber’s OWN FATHER who went to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria to drop a dime on him; and the FBI actually “interviewed” the Marathon Bomber and decided he was “no threat” and not deserving of any further scrutiny. NOTHING WAS DONE TO STOP EITHER OF THESE JIHADISTS.

    Yet our government forces 80-year-old, white-haired grannies from Darien, Connecticut to get out of their wheelchairs and submit their colostomy bags for “inspection,” and maimed veterans to remove their steel legs and prosthetic arms to be “inspected” and x-rayed before they can board. And, of course, we “couldn’t” examine Moussaoui’s laptop hard drive in August 2001–although it’s no “violation” at all to record all of the emails and phone calls of 100+ million ordinary Americans–and share them freely with the likes of the IRS and ACORN extortionists. (Otherwise, you see, we’d be “profiling” swarthy 25-year-old moslem males holding korans and muttering about “allah” and “infidels,” and “singling them out.”) 12 years after 9/11, KSM still doesn’t have a noose around his neck, and probably never will.

    The terrorists themselves couldn’t have devised a more effective formula for national suicide.

  • John Shepard

    “End States Who Sponsor Terrorism” by Leonard Peikoff (October 2, 2001):

    http://www.aynrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=5207&news_iv_ctrl=1021

    • defcon 4

      Really, isn’t it about time. It’s not like the Pakis or Bangldeshis or Somalis are funding islam0nazi terrorism. We know which states are doing it, it’s time to go after them.

  • ricpic

    If we’re not willing to turn Mecca and Medina into glass and make it clear to not only the Saudis but the entire Islamic world that that’s what we’ll do if it doesn’t stop its “holy war” on us, if we’re not ready to do that, well, then we won’t win.

  • There is NO Santa Claus

    The strategic path to winning the war against Islamic imperialism (aka “terror”) is the elimination of petroleum as the prime mover of our ground transportation fleet.

    Everything else is just political talk.

    Regards,

    There is NO Santa Claus (aka TINSC)

    • Drakken

      Take the oil from the muslim savages and all will be good and well in the world.

      • defcon 4

        Or destroy their oil fields, make them radioactive for centuries.

  • Texas Patriot

    The first phase of the War on Terror was thinking that the problem was a few bad apples who had hijacked the “religion of peace”. We definitely lost that.

    • Drakken

      And what do you think is going to happen after this goat fk has failed? The matra of the only good muslim is a dead muslim will be the battle cry of the future and nobody is going to care how peaceful they say they are, for no one will care at this point.

      • Texas Patriot

        I don’t think so. We’ll be able to finesse this situation much easier than you think. Once Israel gets her confidence back and starts reacquiring the lost Promised Land by defensive conquest, Muslims around the world will flock to the middle east to defend their own holy sites in Mecca and Medina. And in a few short decades, those Muslims who wish to continue their lives of constant jihad will be a thing of the past in the West.

        • knowshistory

          confident or not, the only way Israel can help the west is to be overrun and genocided by peaceful muslims. the sight of western looking people being brutall mass murdered those precious, protected, coddled peaceful muslims just might wake up the brain-dead surrenderists of the west. or maybe not.

          • Texas Patriot

            Perhaps the prospect of what you said will wake the Israelis up first.

        • Drakken

          Wrong, the muslims are going to push us infidels to deal with them once and for all time, and it won’t be decades, it is coming sooner than anyone realizes.

        • defcon 4

          Yeah muslimes will just give up all the core ideals of their faith. What planet are you living on? Because it’s not earth.

          • Texas Patriot

            I live on the planet where Muslims will always do whatever they think is necessary to defend Muslim lands, and if Muslim lands are under attack by Israel as a matter of defensive conquest, Muslims from all over the world will flee to the middle east as a matter of mandatory jihad.

    • defcon 4

      That “strategy” was a failure from the get-go as it bought into an incorrect, but PC premise that islam0nazis have used to their advantage.

  • knowshistory

    Calling an end to the “war on terror” is not a solution, because terror is not the enemy – Islamic supremacism is———wrong again. Islamic supremacism is not the enemy. the enemy is islam. period. and islam is made up of muslims. yes. muslims, those lovable peaceful darlings that our traitorous “leaders” just cannot get enough of. the resolution of the Islamic threat can only be achieved by expelling all muslims–peaceful, lovable, violent, wonderful, innocent, and, above all “moderate” from our country. to do this, we must first expel our traitors.

    • Drakken

      Those days are coming quicker than anyone can ever imagine. If the folks screaming and whining about the Crusades thought that things are bad now, wait until things really kick off.

  • Tan

    It seems to me that we’ve lost the War on Terror before it ever started. Since the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrated the US as far back as in 1963 starting with the Muslim Students Association, we’ve been bowing down to our enemies even when we were in Afghanistan. All of a sudden, there this “Islamophobia” crap being screamed at our face after 9/11. I wonder if 9/11 was part of a Muslim Brotherhood strategy in stages: 1. attack a place in the US (twin towers, etc) as a signal for the MB front groups to start phase 2. start the “settlement” “civilization jihadist” operation in the US so that it will be destroyed by “their hands” (us) and “the hands of the believers” (Muslims) as stated in the MB Explanatory Memorandum document. Now that I’m beginning to see what is happening to the US, I’m wondering if 9/11 was a plan started by the MB and not just al Qaeda, if not a collaboration between the two. After all, al Qaeda came from the MB with the same beliefs, just differences in tactics.