Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Why This is a Long War

So far, as long as there are limits on how long the government holds phone call meta-data and limits on doing more than traffic analysis on limited data for cause, I can't get overly upset about the NSA revelations. There is a "however" in this acceptance.

However, I've long complained that we need to win the long war or face increasingly limited civil liberties as we ratchet up domestic security to protect us from a foreign problem. It is natural for Americans to feel as if we are being targeted by our government while our enemies get outreaches.

The military campaigns we've waged in Afghanistan and Iraq--and the drone campaign more broadly--are a narrow aspect of the Long War against Islamo-fascist ideology.

As much as the Arab Spring makes some want to retreat to the false security of friendly despots, haven't we learned that friendly despots stoked Islamism as much as the jihadis? The despots wanted tame Islamism, to be sure, but the despots were part of the problem we face with nutballery coming out of the Islamic world.

And Lord knows, there is nutball insanity in that corner of the world:

Turkish officials detained a bird after villagers accused it of spying for Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad, but then freed the winged creature after X-rays cleared it of suspicion.

Are you effing kidding me? Sadly, no.

And this is in Turkey, which is supposed to be one of the least nutball-friendly Moslem states. But perhaps they earn their status by actually x-raying the bird rather than killing it on the spot.

So we need to work on the Arab Spring to bend it to sanity. It may take decades or generations, but the alternative is endless war or at least endless surveillance-state tactics against all Americans--with more chances for abuse even if none have taken place already.

And if it is an endless war, even if we beat it down with military operations, the next round of jihad decades in the future might have access to means of mass killing presently too difficult for them to gain access to.

The only way to really win this war is to reform Islam.