I was just about to post this when I saw Ann already posted on the same article (different titles, same article). Well, it’s worth two posts, so here’s mine.
Mark Steyn’s commentary, It’s Not the Cold War, stands out among the mountains of words written about the Bombay attack, especially for us at RRW. He points out that those who carried out the attack are not a known group, they do not take orders from al-Qaeda, and they did not target one particular kind of victim.
The Islamic imperialist project is a totalitarian ideology: It is at war with Hindus, Jews, Americans, Britons, everything that is other.
The attackers caused devastation, both in the number of victims and in the chaos and economic damage they caused. And here’s what’s important for us:
What’s relevant about the Mumbai model is that it would work in just about any second-tier city in any democratic state: Seize multiple soft targets and overwhelm the municipal infrastructure to the point where any emergency plan will simply be swamped by the sheer scale of events. Try it in, say, Mayor Nagin’s New Orleans. All you need is the manpower.
What is common to jihadist attacks is a combination of “local lads and wily outsiders.” The jihadist ideology is worldwide, and ubiquitous wherever there are mosques. Any would-be Islamist mastermind anywhere in the world can easily find the angry young guys eager for their shot at glory and put together a plot. Here’s Steyn’s key paragraph:
It’s missing the point to get into debates about whether this is the “Deccan Mujahideen” or the ISI or al-Qaeda or Lashkar-e-Taiba. That’s a reductive argument. It could be all or none of them. The ideology has been so successfully seeded around the world that nobody needs a memo from corporate HQ to act: There are so many of these subgroups and individuals that they intersect across the planet in a million different ways. It’s not the Cold War, with a small network of deep sleepers being directly controlled by Moscow. There are no membership cards, only an ideology. That’s what has radicalized hitherto moderate Muslim communities from Indonesia to the Central Asian stans to Yorkshire, and coopted what started out as more or less conventional nationalist struggles in the Caucasus and the Balkans into mere tentacles of the global jihad.
This shows why it’s so absurd to treat the jihad as a law-enforcement matter. It’s an ideological fight, and we haven’t engaged the enemy on that level. President Bush thought he was getting into the battle by sending Karen Hughes to tell Arabs how nice Americans are. Our government information agencies, which effectively brought information, hope and inspiration to people behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, now create radio stations to bring American music and other culture to the Muslim masses. Great. America’s corrupt culture is what has helped recruit countless Muslims to the cause. And Obama certainly isn’t prepared for this ideological fight.
So Bush is history, and we have a new president who promises to heal the planet, and yet the jihadists don’t seem to have got the Obama message that there are no enemies, just friends we haven’t yet held talks without preconditions with. This isn’t about repudiating the Bush years, or withdrawing from Iraq, or even liquidating Israel. It’s bigger than that. And if you don’t have a strategy for beating back the ideology, you’ll lose.
All the things Ann has been reporting about the missing Somalis fit nicely into this scenario, doesn’t it? They’re part of the worldwide jihad, one of the tentacles reaching out somewhere or other. Will it be Minneapolis that is subject to an attack similar to Bombay’s? Or have they been recruited into an operation that will surface somewhere else in the world?
It is insane that we let any Somalis into this country, given what is now known. It’s insane that seven years after 9/11 we have not stopped the Wahhabi Saudis from funding mosques, organizations, Middle East studies programs, and God knows what else throughout our country. It’s insane that radical Muslims carry out the stealth jihad under our noses, telling us what they’re doing while we watch them do it. If all of this went on and got worse during the Bush administration, what will happen during the next four years?
The hypnotic spell of “tolerance” has got to be broken.