"We have met the enemy... and he is us"
The war of the 21st century is between people, whose minds and culture have remained in the 14th century, and people in the rest of the world who choose to live in the 21st century. Our enemy really hates us not because of what we have done, but rather because of what they themselves have failed to do. Witnessing our success serves only to cause them embarrassment and envy. Our enemy’s theocratic traditions prevent them from changing while encouraging them to conquer or destroy us.
Our enemy’s crippling 14th century culture suffers from all seven of the “Key Factors for Failure” identified by LtC Ralph Peters in 1998:
• Inability to accept responsibility for individual or collective failure.
• Domination by a restrictive religion.
• Restrictions on the free flow of information.
• The subjugation of women.
• The extended family or clan as the basic unit of social organization.
• A low valuation of education.
• Low prestige assigned to work.
Our enemy’s culture is dominant throughout the Middle East, the northern half of Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia. However demographically, our enemy’s culture is rapidly spreading throughout Europe and much of the western world. Europe and many western nations like Canada are dying because fertility levels are well below replacement levels. To survive, Europe must import labor from other countries; over the last several decades, these immigrants often came from Islamic countries. For example, France is now approximately 10% Muslim and growing.
But the statistics only tell part of the story; the immigrants are the young folks who will rapidly replace the aging original inhabitants. As we are aware from the French car-burning riots, Muslims rarely assimilate into the culture of their host country; in fact their religion forbids it. Muslims are convinced that their culture is superior, whereas the people of the west are full of self-doubt and are ashamed to promote or defend their own once magnificent but dying culture.
Our enemy has failed in every measurable way and they can no longer ignore their own collective failure because they have been thrust into the information age; each day they must contrast the abject failure of their culture with the success of western culture. They were once successful in blocking out the influence of modern culture, but they can no longer do so. Our enemy cannot afford to admit failure because to do so would mean that their religious beliefs are a lie.
Similarly, our enemy cannot change because they are taught from birth that their religion requires belief or death. This religion is intolerant of all other religions and any attempt to reform or soften its requirements is considered blasphemy. These poor people are trapped and there is no escape even for those who want to escape.
Our enemy cannot accept the status quo and they cannot change. Their only alternative is to attempt to destroy us as commanded by their religious scripture. Unlike all our previous enemies, our new enemy is not afraid to die. They welcome death because they believe that death brings honor and paradise, and as a bonus it will free them from the squalor and embarrassment of their failures on earth. Their profit from petroleum provides the means necessary to purchase modern 21st century weaponry. They will not hesitate to use them.
Ironically, America and the western world is now the strongest it has ever been both economically and militarily. In the 20th century, America and its allies succeeded in conquering fearsome enemies, but there was no doubt about the identity of the enemy. However, this war is different because most of us cannot even recognize the enemy and many deny the terrifying danger that we face. The mantra of multi-culturism has placed blinders over our eyes by convincing many of us that western culture is evil and its achievements have all come at the expense of those who have not achieved. Any courageous soul who dares defend his proud western culture will endure bogus charges of bigotry and intolerance; protesting intolerance is deemed intolerant. The daily worldwide atrocities committed by our enemies are either ignored or excused by somehow blaming ourselves. Our own occasional failures, like the disgusting treatment of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, are played and replayed endlessly. Our mainstream media, once merely embarrassed by its inherent bias, has now been cowed to the point where it can no longer honestly report news, as was illustrated by the recent Danish cartoon controversy.
What does the future hold? In a couple of years the current Republican leadership of the United States will end. The war will not. Because the Republicans have been successfully demonized as imperialist, nazi-like war-mongers, it is likely that the next U.S. President will be a Democrat; many suggest it will be Hillary Clinton.
In the U.S. there will continue to be enormous political pressure for us to abandon the work we started in Iraq. We will probably withdraw militarily before the 2008 elections and Iraq’s nascent democracy may falter as a result. Meanwhile we will continue to demonstrate that we are powerless to stop Iran from developing a nuclear arsenal. It is obvious from the rhetoric of Iran’s current leadership that they plan to use those nuclear weapons as soon as possible. Meanwhile there are many tactical nuclear weapons unaccounted for in the former Soviet Union; it is likely that these will end up in the hands of terrorists seeking paradise. The next Democrat administration will likely ignore our enemy or negotiate from a position of weakness which will only encourage them to act sooner rather than later. The evisceration of our Patriot Act will cripple our ability to detect and prevent the next catastrophic terrorist act.
Only after the next historic conflagration erupts on American soil, will America realize that it must defend its very survival with the resolve necessary to utterly destroy the enemy. Half measures and appeasement will no longer be acceptable as we found after WWI. Unfortunately, America will respond with the over-kill mentality which she always does when her survival is at stake, and many more innocent people will die. The irony is that today’s doves probably will be the ones screaming the loudest for blood. They will scoff at their erstwhile allies in Europe who will continue to blame the victims and urge calm. This confluence of events will also lead to a worldwide economic depression which will last for many years. Fortunes will be wiped out, retirement savings will evaporate, and many will be bankrupted. Eventually the survivors will recover and 14th century values will be soundly rejected. Progress back toward current levels of prosperity will slowly occur, but the lesson will have had an unprecedented cost in terms of lives and treasure.
Please convince me I’m wrong. I sincerely want to believe that I am. Maybe all bad things really are the fault of George W. Bush, and after he leaves office everything will be fine.
It may sound strange to say, but [somehow] what we have to do is to take the 14th century culture of our enemies and bring it into the 17th century…But they've got to accept [responsibility for] their own failure, personally, nationally and culturally. That is the essential first step.
-Stephen Den Beste