When is a first strike not a first strike?
When it's Anticipatory Retaliation.

August 04, 2005

The Cole Twins and the First Counterwar


It actually took me awhile to figure out that Juan Cole wasn't just the hispanicized identity of John Cole. (There are actually some authors who interchangeably use both forms.) Juan Cole is a highly educated and esteemed idiotarian who has more in common with George Galloway than with his namesake, while John Cole is a pro-war blogger with occasional misgivings about the "how." But they both seem to agree about one thing: our leaders are a little schizophrenic about whether we're at war, and with whom. Read the comments to Michael J. Totten's Fisking Juan Cole and you'll soon see that there isn't even agreement within the Right about who or what we're fighting, so it's not at all surprising that consensus and conviction about the "how" are frequently unimpressive. Are we at war with Islamism? Well, what about the popularly elected Islamist government of Turkey? They're certainly a troublesome ally, but in spite of their frequent obstinacy Turkey continues to have a robust trade and defense relationship with Israel. We aren't at war with them, are we? And the Ba'ath remnants that our media insists on calling "insurgents" in Iraq aren't Islamists, are they? It can get confusing.

It might be more accurate to say that we're at war with "fascism," but so far we aren't even at war with other fascist regimes in the Middle East, including the Syrians. So, although Totten pictorially makes mincemeat of Juan Cole's preposterous claim that we're not really at war, the reality is that we're somewhere between war and a criminal justice enterprise.

And what Juan Cole and the other ivory-towered moonbats don't realize is that the only reason we haven't graduated to full-on war is that we've managed to fragment the enemy where they had coalesced, and to prevent them from coalescing where time was on their side, not ours. The pervasive mindset that we sometimes see erupting in the "Muslim Street" is not so much a consequence of US "aggression" as evidence of a tsunami set in motion some sixty years ago that we've caused to break before its time by deliberately launching a counter-wave. And yes, to that extent it's a lot closer to war than criminal justice, but it still has elements of the latter. It might be best to see this as the first full-scale counter-war. After all, the fact that crime involves the use of force doesn't mean that all force is criminal or there'd be no law-abiding behavior. And if the greatest evil is total war then lesser conflicts undertaken to forestall or control total war (and the Islamofascist war on civilians is, by definition, total war) are are properly viewed as analogous to anti-crime efforts.

For the first time in history we're intervening in those subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle social and cultural movements that would otherwise run their course to all-out total war. Mistakes in such a first-time enterprise ought to be expected, though because of the consequences they deserve low tolerance. There is a role, therefore, for people like John Cole and others who don't blindly accept every rationalization or justification for our actions. Even some of those who have unconditionally supported the Bush administration's strategy in the past now recognize that we're at a turning point. (See Wretchard and Michael Yon.)

It seems to me that what really motivates the idiotarians has a lot less to do with rational analysis than with this observation by Alexander Hamilton: "Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike." But it's still possible to get on board and participate in the enterprise, so there's ultimately nothing honorable about such opposition. It's a purely emotional and self-destructive impulse.

The area of disagreement among those who support the "counter-war" extends to disagreement about whether Islam, itself, is the real enemy. Well, it obviously could be Islam itself, if the jihadists are allowed to define it as they see fit. And those who believe this can hardly be blamed when there's so little principled or vocal opposition to jihadism from within the Ummah. So, if we're too late to prevent Islam's Civil War, as Victor Davis Hanson suggests (actively sought now by the jihadists largely because they're devoid of any better ideas) then at least that would clarify for us, and for the Ummah, exactly who it is we're at war with.

I think the nature of the turning point that some have sensed will be the decisive split within the Islamic world over the choice between Totalitarianism and Liberalism [1].

[1] Obviously I mean Liberalism in the classical rather than the partisan sense. The Liberalism of Jefferson, Adams, Madison and Washington.

(Cross-posted by Demosophist to Demosophia, Anticipatory Retaliation and The Jawa Report)

Launched by Demosophist at August 4, 2005 07:33 PM | Missile Tracks

Retaliatiory Launches

free hit counter