Sunday, May 15, 2005

What We Fight

In his May 12th column, Cliff May points out that the War on Terrorism is about far more than fighting a "strategy":

But it is not terrorism alone that America and its allies are fighting. On a deeper level we are fighting the ideologies that drive and justify terrorism. Among them is nihilism, the doctrine that existing institutions must be razed to the ground so that, afterwards, something new and better can be built atop the rubble. Nihilism is now on exhibit in Iraq, where so-called insurgents are using mass murder and sabotage in an attempt to prevent a decent society from emerging.

We're also fighting totalitarianism, the belief that one group should have the power of absolute rule over all others. Totalitarianism is generally combined with supremacism, the doctrine that some groups are inherently superior to others.

Supremacist totalitarianism comes in a variety of forms. White supremacists believe people with pale skin are better than those with darker complexions. Nazis believe Aryans are entitled to rule the “mongrel” and “inferior” races. Communists would establish a “dictatorship of the proletariat” that grants no rights to “bourgeois exploiters.”

Ba'athism, the ideology adopted by Saddam Hussein in Iraq and the Assad family in Syria, was consciously modeled on both Nazism and Communism. The twist is that Ba'athists award to Arabs the role Nazis reserve for Aryans and Communists reserve for the working class.

Wahhabism, bin Ladenism and other forms of radical Islamism are based on the conviction that Muslims who adhere to a strict, highly politicized and intolerant interpretation of Islam have – literally -- a God-given right to rule the world.

Know Thy Enemy

The terrorist tactics of the jihadists are merely a symptom. It is their totalitarian ideology of hate that is the real problem. Both facets of the threat must be defeated.


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