The Islamic State’ video-dissemination of one of its goons beheading an American is an existential challenge from which we cannot afford to shrink. Until the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS) did that, it made sense for the U.S. government to help contain it because the Islamic world, which the IS threatens most directly, must destroy it sooner or later. But internetting that beheading was a gory declaration of America’s impotence—a dare-by-deed that is sure to move countless young persons around the globe to get in on killing us, anywhere they can. The longer the Islamic State survives, the more will take up its dare. Either we kill the IS, or we will deserve the wave of terrorism that will engulf us.
Killing the IS requires neither more nor less than waging war—not as the former administration waged its “war on terror,” nor by the current administration’s pinpricks, nor according to the too-clever-by-half stratagems taught in today’s politically correct military war colleges, but rather by war in the dictionary meaning of the word. To make war is to kill the spirit as well as the body of the enemy, so terribly as to make sure that it will not rise again, and that nobody will want to imitate it.
That requires first isolating the Islamic State politically and physically to deprive all within it of the capacity to make war, and even to eat. Then it requires killing all who bear arms and all who are near them.
I can think of no other man than Angelo Codevilla who has thought, written, and spoken as clearly and smartly about the threat of militant Islam in the world today, and how we should have been dealing with it, and how we should deal with it henceforth.
Shortly after 9/11, he wrote that in order to achieve victory against militant Islam – which he defined as an end to its threat to us, and an end to us needing to securitize our liberties in order to “protect” ourselves from it – he said that we needed to destroy the regimes that created, financed, trained, armed, financed, protected, and used the militant gangs we called “terrorists.”
Had we done so, rather than wasted thousands of American lives in George W. Bush’s feckless and doomed “Democracy Project,” we likely would not be facing the likes of ISIL today. Now we have Barack Obama’s feckless and doomed “resetting from behind” policies which are even more suicidally dangerous.
Codevilla, as is his wont, offers a detailed strategy and set of tactics that would, if properly applied, destroy ISIL and its threat to us. Unfortunately, Codevilla is a realist, and he finishes this piece thusly:
That would be war—a war waged by a people with whom nobody would want to mess. Many readers are likely to comment: “but we’re not going to do anything like that.” They may be correct. In which case, the consequences are all too predictable.
Amen. Me? I’m doing what I can to prepare for the consequences. I’m hoping for the best, but you know, I have eyes and a brain, and I can see the America I live in today. It is a nation of vacuous, ignorant children that believes in unicorns and free lunches, and the only lessons it is now capable of learning will come at the demanding hands of a new set of teachers: The Gods of the Copybook Headings. But those formidable personages will send in their ISIL prefects to administer the first lessons.