Friday, November 20, 2015

Echelon Above Reality

Fight jihadis. Kill jihadis. Defeat the jihad.

God save us from professors in global studies:

The problem is that, as the Paris killings and the French counterattack indicate, the Islamic State is partly a totalitarian state and partly a transnational terrorist organization. As a state it can be attacked and defeated, at least temporarily. And yet, paradoxically, the more we in the West attack the state, the more its appeal as a terrorist organization will grow among those who see the West as an enemy.

Forgive me, but I'm going to use a technical term to describe her error. Her argument is "stupid."

Throughout the history of warfare, killing enemies has been job one of defeating them.

It may not be the only part of the job, but it is the start of the job.

This nonsense has permeated the Left's discomfort with the war on terror since September 11, 2001. They truly believe that fighting back against jihadis just makes more jihadis.

This is wrong. In fact, only ineffectively fighting jihadis creates more jihadis.

Bomb their tents with cruise missiles in the middle of the night? That encourages the recruitment of jihadis by demonstrating that our response is weak and the level of threat to jihadis is low.

I've argued many times that only ineffective use of force is counter-productive. Like here. Or here.

I argued that point again in August 2014 as I made this point:

Let me apply the clue bat: the Islamic State is prepared to morph into a transnational terrorist threat and only our passivity in the face of that organization's advances in Iraq and Syria will allow them to do so.

And here we are. Burying the dead from Paris, Beirut, and the Sinai--as well as in Syria, Iraq, Nigeria, and Libya--and wondering where ISIL might strike again.

Attack the jihadis, kill them, and drive them from the territory that they hold, as we did in Iraq by 2009. In 2008, our CIA could say this about our effective use of force:

While cautioning that al-Qaeda remains a serious threat, Hayden said Osama bin Laden is losing the battle for hearts and minds in the Islamic world and has largely forfeited his ability to exploit the Iraq war to recruit adherents. Two years ago, a CIA study concluded that the U.S.-led war had become a propaganda and marketing bonanza for al-Qaeda, generating cash donations and legions of volunteers.

All that has changed, Hayden said in an interview with The Washington Post this week that coincided with the start of his third year at the helm of the CIA.

"On balance, we are doing pretty well," he said, ticking down a list of accomplishments: "Near strategic defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq. Near strategic defeat for al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Significant setbacks for al-Qaeda globally -- and here I'm going to use the word 'ideologically' -- as a lot of the Islamic world pushes back on their form of Islam," he said.

After that--along with the killing of bin Laden--we get a president who boasted of our victory and that al Qaeda was on their heels and on the run:

And it’s useful to remember what we’ve done. Four years ago, I told you we’d end the war in Iraq -- and we did. (Applause.) I said that we’d end the war in Afghanistan -- and we are. I said that we’d refocus on the people who actually attacked us on 9/11 -- and today, al Qaeda is on its heels and Osama bin Laden is dead.

Sadly, after years of taking our eye off the ball, the jihad was no longer on its heels when he made that claim.

And remember that our Awakening success that helped the success of the 2007 Surge offensive in Iraq took place in the Sunni Arab communuity we targeted in the invasion of Iraq in 2003 which ended their minority-led government of privilege and oppression of the Shias and Kurds. The same people whose Sunni jihadi champions we killed wherever we found them from 2003 to 2006 when we decided to carry out the Surge that escalated the effective violence against the Sunni Arab jihadis.

Why didn't that history of fighting Sunni Arab jihadis (and Baathists) create more Sunni Arab jihadis? Why did it convince Sunni Arabs in Anbar to stop fighting us and actually join us in fighting jihadis?

It's almost as if defeating jihadis has a depressing effect on potential jihadi recruits by denying them the ability to think the jihad is the strong horse in the struggle.

Heck, let me cite President Obama on this issue:

Obama noted at his press conference that when ISIS racks up victories on the battlefield, it attracts foreign fighters looking to join the clear path to paradise. When it loses ground, the recruits decline. This is why the military dimension of this fight is important: to make ISIS a less appealing receptacle for radical jihadis’ dreams of glory or martyrdom.

Even fanatics prefer to fight for the strong horse. Following the weak--or dead--horse just isn't as appealing.

Mind you, the author has a point. It's lost in the stupidity of the notion that fighting back is counter-productive. But it is a point: We don't want to respond to jihadi attacks who claim to speak for Islam by persecuting or killing those Moslems who aren't jihadis or their active supporters.

If we simply kill them all and let Allah sort them out, then yes, absent a near-genocidal level of killing, we will create enough jihadis to replace those we kill. Indeed, it is a form of ineffective use of force. But fighting back with focused violence isn't the same as killing civilians indiscriminately.

Fight them? We're barely back to that stage after a good start during the Bush administration. I dream of effectively fighting them. According to this professor's side of the debate, we can't even screen refugees for them.

Face it, discrediting their ideology of hatred starts with crushing the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria--and any other sanctuary they create (like in Libya).

Fight and defeat the jihadis. And ignore the stupid notions in the left-wing university echelon above reality that values safe spaces for pampered college snowflakes but doesn't think that we need defended safe spaces against jihadi terrorists.

The war will be long enough if we make no mistakes. Let's not make it longer by listening to fools who couldn't pour water out of a boot if the instructions were written on the heel.