Tuesday, February 14, 2006

What Will Awaken?

Victor Hanson thinks the Europeans are waking up to the threat of jihadi Islam to their way of life. He thinks they will quietly begin to support our efforts:

Here is what we can probably anticipate. First will come a radical departure from past immigration practices. Islam will be praised; the Middle East assured that Europe is tolerant—but very few newcomers from across the Mediterranean let in.

There will be continued public furor over the American efforts in Iraq, but far greater secret efforts to coordinate with the United States—in everything from isolating the Assad regime in Syria to rethinking missile defense. For the past three years the post-colonial Europeans have wished the Americans to learn their imperial lessons by failing in Iraq. Yet it may well be that many in private will now wish us to succeed, if only in the hopes that such Middle East democracies will be less likely in the future to turn loose their mobs to burn European embassies and threaten their citizens.

We won’t see much public condemnation of Hamas, but more likely quiet efforts to pull the plug slowly on subsidies for such terrorists. The Europeans praised Arafat, then learned that he was singularly corrupt. Nothing disturbs a European more than to be swindled and damned as immoral in the process. Subsidies to Jew-hating Hamas terrorists only ensure both.

Europe will still talk about bringing Turkey into the fold of the West, but de facto is horrified at the thought that millions of a religion that empowers so many to go berserk over a few cartoons might soon comprise the most populous nation of Europe. I doubt any European diplomat will invest any political capital at all in restarting in earnest Turkish/European Union talks.

We can also look forward to more bizarre pronouncements such as Jacques Chirac’s warning about the French nuclear deterrent. In point of fact, Europe has no real defenses against a 9/11-like attack. They know it. So do the terrorists.

This would be comforting, if true. But is it?

First of all, as much as I'd like to belittle the French, France's nuclear option is not an idle threat:

France is upgrading the warheads on its ballistic missiles to make them more accurate, and more capable to making a deliberate EMP attack. This is a new tactic, for EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) has long been seen as just another nuclear weapons effect. EMP destroys electronics. That's because a nuclear explosion generates such a powerful surge of electromagnetic energy that the tiny circuits in modern electronics are damaged or destroyed. Thus France could, if it was threatened by, say, Iran, launch one or more nukes. Each one would detonate high over Iran, high enough so that the explosion would not harm anyone on the ground (aside from putting some radiation into the upper atmosphere), but turn most of the electronics in Iran into junk. If the explosion was placed in the right spot, damage to electronics in neighboring countries would be minor.

And as a military historian, Hanson knows well that the weapons available are not nearly as important as the culture that wields those weapons. If Europe resolves to fight, the carnage that Europeans have inflicted in bloody swaths across Europe and the globe could return.

It is possible that the Europeans will decide to wage war quietly and calmly. But given the continent's history, I don't assume that the Europeans don't have some serious mass atrocities within themselves if they believe they are pushed too far. And if understanding the Moslems of Europe and appealing to them to assimilate doesn't work, the remaining option gets very ugly:

Eventually the Europeans will have to choose between surrender and harsher options. Will Bosnia and Kosovo be the models the Europeans will follow in desperation as the alternative to surrender? I don't think the Euros are so permanently soft after five decades of easy life under our protection that they have forgotten centuries of brutal ruthlessness. The Europeans turned the Moslems back inside Europe itself at Tours and Vienna, and expelled them from Spain. They are capable of doing so again.

And this time the US won't come to the rescue of Moslems under assault. Unlike our past military actions to save Moslems, we won't intervene to save Europe's Moslems. We wouldn't want to provoke Moslem anger by doing so, eh? Ingratitude for past efforts will suppress any sympathy we have. Continued terrorism will lead us to at least remain quiet as Europe goes about its dirty work.

I dread this outcome.

And it could get worse. If the Europeans go postal to remove a threat from their midst that they cannot convert into good Europeans, this long war could become a war of civilizations after all:

Losing is not an option. Moslems need to carefully consider whether they wish to indulge the wishes of a violent jihadi minority to spark a war of civilizations between Islam and the West.

Right now we have a choice of winning strategies and we've decided to win by saving Islam from its violent minority. Should our casualties grow too high and should the wider Moslem world remain too detached from fighting the terrorists, we can always decide to fully exploit our power to win the old fashioned way--by destroying our enemies.

I won't sleep well at night if we have to decide to destroy our enemies utterly to avoid defeat. But the alternative of defeat is no alternative. Not to me and I imagine not to a majority in the West. How we win depends on the Moslem world.

That scares the hell out of me.

And if the most whacked of the Moslem world (that's Iran under the mullahs, by the way) gets nuclear weapons that can reach Europe, EMP nukes will be the kindest nuclear option the Europeans will turn to.

When you apply the electricity to the corpse of European resolve, we just don't know what will awaken and get off the table.

Have a nice day.