The power of religion in indigent societies is more potent and influential upon its believers than political power or military power, especially in Muslim societies where religious and political power are inseparable and is exercised by theocracies. And as the author correctly states the believers of Mohammed are credulous and vulnerable to the most fictional conspiracies and tend to scapegoat others for their own ills and those of their countries. It’s this unshakable belief in the evil of others, in this case of the West in general and of the American Satan in particular, that makes Muslims extremely dangerous to Western civilization.
For those who can think out of the mould there are signs that the Americans might just win the war in Afghanistan. The fact that a large part of the Taliban are prepared and are negotiating with the Karzai government, with the apparent consensus of General Petraeus, is indicative that the Taliban are undergoing unsustainable loses in their confrontation with the allied forces. Moreover, that these negotiations are taking place with the full knowledge by the Taliban of Obama’s commitment to withdraw all American fighting forces from Afghanistan by July 2011 shows clearly that the Taliban are debilitated militarily and are therefore forced to enter negotiations with their enemy from a position of weakness. Otherwise if their strength was still intact why shouldn’t they wait the US withdrawal and hence their chance to topple the Karzai regime?
In all situations of life of a critical momentous nature one’s choices are shrinked and one is forced to dichotomize the situation, which you consider to be wrong since you believe that one has a greater number of choices than two. Let us make a mental experiment. One is standing in front of a window of a first floor room that is on fire. There are three exits from the room, one door that leads to the staircase, another door that opens to the adjacent room, and the window. The two doors are a “closed” option since the room is on fire, so one has only one choice to jump from the window with the probability of breaking one’s limbs but saving one’s life.
Now you will say to me that I assume that we are in “fire” with the jihadists and this is not the real situation. But let us answer this question not with the heat of fire in our minds but with coolness. First it’s necessary to know one’s enemy, to start on the granite premise of the Chinese philosopher and military strategist, Sun Zi. It’s true we are not facing powerful enemies of the Nazi and Soviet kind, as you say. But we are confronting an unidentified invisible enemy that is lost in the “crowd”, has all the features of the latter and potentially is being armed with weapons of mass destruction, and indeed, with nuclear ones. Moreover, this is a religious fanatically motivated enemy with apocalyptic goals. With demands that are not earthly but heavenly. And since no mortal Caesar can render to this enemy what is “God’s”, he is bound to remain un-appeasable. Ergo it’s foolish to consider that you can appease or negotiate with a foe who sturdily believes he is implementing God’s Agenda.
Of course you will retort that this is another assumption I’m making. But likewise I will reply that yours too is an assumption, that is, that you can appease these fanatics. So which assumption is correct? The answer is given by the “Delphic sage”, history.. If we put the two assumptions on the scales of history we will witness a quick heavy tip of the balance of the scales that will shoot your assumption up into the environs of thin air.