Sunday, July 19, 2015

To Win Hearts and Minds You Have to Kill the Evil Hearts and Minds

While it is true that ultimately Islam itself must reject the jihadi interpretation of their religion, killing the jihadis is a necessary step both to protect us and make it safe and expedient for Moslems to reject the jihadi interpretation of Islam.

This is lovely if pointless:

A U.S.-led coalition dropped new leaflets over the de facto capital of the Islamic State group in Syria, promising those below that "freedom will come" to the region, activists said Sunday.

Freedom will only come--unless we are prepared right now to say that we are content to wait decades or centuries for that freedom--if we crush the jihadis who stand as the "strong horse" who promises victory for their vision of Islam:

News flash: The single-most persuasive thing you can do to “win the war of ideas” is obliterate ISIS. To the jihadist mind ISIS’s success is the best argument for more jihad. ISIS’s success inspires new foot soldiers, leading radical Muslims to believe that finally the tide is turning in their favor, that the caliphate is upon us. Jihad thrives on success. Conversely, it withers in the face of defeat. This should be a matter of common sense, but too many Americans misunderstand martyrdom, believing that successful military operations are self-defeating because they “create martyrs.” No, martyrs are only truly inspiring (on a large scale) when they succeed, not when they fail.

Which is a variation of the theme that I've droned on about over the years: force doesn't create more jihadis (as the left likes to say)--ineffective force creates jihadis.

And simply killing jihadis from the air, as we often boast about, is not the same as defeating them.

Kill them, take their territory, and make them flee into the hills. That is a defeat and that will bring freedom to those who suffer under ISIL rule or suffer from jihadi control of their lives.

And that will make it possible for Moslems to reject Islamism without fear for their lives as well as discourage proto-jihadis from moving beyond big talk to killing.

UPDATE: Oh, I heard someone defend the Twitter-based campaign against Islamism by saying Reagan defeated the Soviets without firing a shot. That's true. But irrelevant.

First, Reagan never forgot he was dealing with an enemy whose defeat was the primary goal, regardless of the diplomacy of the moment.

Second, it was a "cold" war. The Soviets weren't directly shooting at us. Was he to escalate to war?

And if ISIL and other jihadis weren't shooting and beheading and bombing--and eager to do those things to us--I'd say an ideological war to undermine them without drones was the way to go. But they are shooting. And so we must shoot back. And shoot enough to win--none of that proportionality nonsense we sometimes hear.