Let’s start with this is not a blanket condemnation of Islam. If you are a Muslim, I do not hate you, want to deprive you of any rights, advocate any violence, bash your faith, or think that you are less of an American. I understand there is a great variety of perspectives in Islam. My criticism is meant only for those to whom it applies.
There is a poison in the world that is a threat to stability and human rights which is second only to the Red Menace. That poison is Militant Islam. It is not some radical fringe, but a mainstream thought within Islam that has claims going back to the early generations. Islam has long had a tension between the peaceful, spiritual side and the militant conquering side. The modernist have sided this century with the mystical side. In spite of this alliance, the 1970′s saw a popular revival of Jihadists in both the Sunni and the Shiite branches of Islam. The modernist were blamed rightfully in many cases for corrupting the moral strength of Islamic culture with its love of the worst of Western decadence. The Mystics did not push back, but the militants did. They became the voice of purity and submission to Allah. Post 9/11 there has been a revival of spiritual Islam. The intellectual field is no longer ceded to the Militants. That is the good news.
The bad news is that the militants have guns and bombs. They will not only kill infidels, they will kill Muslims they view as competitors. In areas where they have a critical mass, it becomes very difficult to unseat them. That is why the Arab spring was not a great event. Look at the instability between Egypt and Israel. It used to be one of the best borders in the world between former adversaries. 30 years of peace and prosperity is falling apart within months under pressure from the Muslim Brotherhood which is pushing the interim government to become more and more hostile to Israel. The oldest Christian community in the world is not faring well either. If you want to see areas where they have control, look at the Sudan. Genocide is a tool of statecraft. Even with the division and peace treaty, militant groups are still being sent across the borders. In Iran, the quest for the bomb is not a Pakistan style quest for a military edge against a larger rival. Pakistan never intends to use the bomb. Its existence is a tool of statecraft to give it a stronger position in its continuing disputes. Iranian leaders have fantasized that their bomb could be used to eliminate Israel, cause a nuclear war, and out of the crisis could usher in the return of the last Imam. There is an element that actually wants to sacrifice 1/2 of their population to achieve it. They believe that like the suicide bombers giving of themselves to advance the cause, the massive sacrifice of the faithful will open the door to move Allah to send the last Imam and cleanse the world of evil. What does that mean? It means to me that Iran cannot get the bomb. They are the only country that may actually use it. Of course that could be a strategic deception to frighten us into submission if they get the bomb because we will believe they are on the verge of using it or it could be a way to get us to attack them and then Allah will send deliverance and He will then usher in the global kingdom of Islam.
On 9/11/2001, Americans realized that radical Islamists were at war with us. 9/11/11 Americans need to realize that a larger militant movement exists and it controls several countries and is on the move to take over several more. Africa is in warfare. In Nigeria, people are killed for conversion. The nation is divided between North and South. The Islamic north is on the verge of succession. In the Stans, radicalization is a real and present danger even in progressive nations like Pakistan. It is estimated that 1/4 of the Islamic world is militant or sympathetic. Even in modern Indonesia and Turkey, they are making headway.
The United States has to admit that the War on Terror is just the beginning. We have to win something bigger. We have to defeat a global movement.
Like the Cold War, the answer is not to wage war everywhere and spending our blood and treasury into exhaustion. It is to support the opponents of this movement around the world. Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists are all allies. The enemy of our enemy must be our friend. We should be funding alternative media. We need to scholarship students from the Islamic world into our colleges. We need to step up the 70 nation special ops secret war against the militant elements. We need to bring back rendition. Abandoning tough policies undermined the governments keeping them under control. We need to encourage religious freedom. We need to covertly fund non militant mosques to make up for the Saudis funding radical ones. We need to expose their abuses daily. We should never treat them as the legitimate voice of Islam. We must do what it takes to keep Iran from getting the bomb even if that means severe sanctions or a blockade. That is a last resort because the rise in global oil prices would hurt our flagging economy.
If you thought 9/11 was bad, imagine a world 10 years from now where these militants control the oil from North Africa to the Chinese border and have Nuclear weapons in Pakistan, Iran, and Kazakhstan. Imagine them getting the technology from Kazakhstan for ballistic missiles. Imagine while we are focused from that threat that we miss a suitcase nuke in an imported car or soda machine. Imagine 10 city blocks reduced to rubble. Then hearing that their are 20 more if we do not withdraw all operations immediately, one will go off everyday until we do. Imagine we are forced to watch while we are millions are slaughtered a Christian Holocaust as tens of millions of Christians and millions of Jews are killed. Imagine while we are in turmoil, millions of refuges are heading toward our borders. If we do not take this threat seriously, we will be overwhelmed by it.