Thursday, December 31, 2009

My answer to Politico's "Arena"--a prediction for 2010:

My not-so-bold prediction for 2010 is that we will recognize the obvious: the late Samuel Huntington was right. This is a clash of civilizations, between the West and Islam.   This realization will flummox the politically correct piety of both the right and the left--just in time.  

On the right, by the end of 2010, there won't be many who still agree with George  W. Bush's 2001 assessment that "Islam is peace.” And so, by the Bushian logic--that the hostility that many Muslims feel toward the US and the West is because their governments aren’t democratic, not because of any innate differences of culture and religion--America’s security policy has been twisted around a p.c. pretzel. For the last eight years, while we’ve been trying to liberate Muslims from their bad governments, we have been misgoverning our own people: screening American-born grandmothers and babies at airports. Because, after all, there's no automatic reason, in this right-wing p.c. worldview--to think of Muslims as more risky.

And on the left, there won't be many remaining who still agree with Barack Obama's assessment that a renewed commitment to diplomacy, speechmaking, bowing, and carbon-reducing--plus, of course, 30,000 more troops in Afghanistan, and continuing drone attacks in Pakistan and who knows where else--will warm Muslim hearts.    Obama can't be blamed for what's going on in Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia, and Turkey (on top of Iraq, Iran, and Afghanistan), but that's Huntington's point: the clash is bigger than any one individual, or any one country.    

But in the meantime, the Obamans have inherited, and not thought to change, a homeland security system in which it is forbidden to think that granny and junior, not to mention their lotions and gels, are any more potentially dangerous than a 23-year-old-Nigerian, fresh from "language" school in Yemen, complete with scary stuff in his file--if anyone had bothered to look at his file.   As an aside, it is not at all a bold prediction to prophesy that some Beltway heads will soon be rolling in the wake of NWA 253.

So what happens when you see things in Huntingtonian terms?   You conclude that this is going to be a long twilight struggle--if we're lucky.  Rollback and regime-change are fun for some to think about, but mostly counter-productive, as well as destructive, in practice.   Let’s face it: radical Muslims just aren’t that into us.

But for now, in 2010, the place to start is defense. We should begin, obviously, with much beefed-up homeland security, including El Al-style “terrorist profiling” at airports, but also including whatever high-tech devices we can invent--and we could invent them if we invested 1/100th as much in homeland-security tech as we invest in home-entertainment tech. We also need stronger military defense overall, including missile defense for us and our allies.

In addition, we need a defensive alliance, as we join with countries in Africa and Asia that live on what Huntington called "the bloody borders" of Islam and share our legitimate geopolitical concerns.   And finally, we need energy independence; we should be working toward that as part of a long-term plan for defunding jihad. If we are in a clash, we don’t give the people we are clashing with a trillion dollars a year.  

Admittedly, that’s a lot to ask for in 2010, but we’ve got some tough decades--or maybe centuries--ahead of us, and so we’d better get to work.

1 comment:

Peter913 said...

My prediction for 2010 is that Obama's 2nd term as President will be blown out of the sky!