How to defeat Islamo-fascism
In a speech to the National Endowment for Democracy
on October, President Bush explained the threat facing the free world from
Islamic militants. He said:
"... their attacks serve a clear and focused
ideology, a set of beliefs and goals that are evil but not insane.
Some call this evil Islamic radicalism. Others
militant jihadism. Still, others Islamo-fascism. "
For obvious reasons, he was quick to add this
politically correct qualification:
"Whatever it's called, this ideology is very
different from the religion of Islam. This form of radicalism exploits
Islam to serve a violent political vision: the establishment, by terrorism
and subversion and insurgency, of a totalitarian empire that denies all
political and religious freedom. "
Who are these Islamo-fascists and what do they want?
Just like Mussolini wanted to recreate the
, these Islamo-fascists regret the abolishment of the Caliphate and want
to recreate a Muslim empire over as much territory as possible. They
divide the world into two parts - darul Islam (land of peace. Islam =
peace) and darul Harb (land of war). It follows that the non-Muslim world
is an enemy that must be subdued and brought under Islamic law.
They draw inspiration from Muslim empires of the past
like the Ummayad and Abassid Caliphates. The last great Muslim empire was
which ended with their defeat in World War I. After the war, the Caliphate
was abolished in 1924.
All these past empires were ruled in accordance to
Islamic Law called the Shariah. Under the Shariah, non-Muslims were
treated as second class citizens. For example, the testimony of a Muslim
trumps that of a non-Muslim in an Islamic court. While non-Muslims are
allowed to convert to Islam, the penalty of any Muslim leaving his faith
was death. Non-Muslims had to pay the jizya tax which Muslims need not
So Bush is right to say that these Islamo-fascists
are trying to create a totalitarian empire that denies political and
religious freedom. What Bush did not tell you is that these Islamo-fascists
are a "blast from the past" in trying to restore the classical
form of Islam which was practiced by past Muslim empires as the mainstream
He also did not tell you that the center of this
religious ideology is in
, a totalitarian kingdom (too small to be called an empire) that denies
all political and religious freedom. Another centre (the Shiite variant)
. What Bush also did not tell you is that while most Muslims would not
commit violence, many sympathize with the goals of the Islamo-fascists.
Leaving aside the question whether Islamo-fascism or
Islamic radicalism or whatever you choose to call it is the real Islam,
let us focus on something more practical. How do we defeat it?
I have come up with a multi-prong approach.
1)The Economic Front
The only significant product the Muslim world
produces is oil. This is the source of their wealth and power. With the
money from its oil wells, Saudis are spreading their intolerant version of
Islam (aka wahabbism which they claim to be the real Islam - a claim I do
not wish to dispute) all over the world. According to one estimate, 80% of
mosques in the
are controlled by Wahabbis.
The Saudis have created a totalitarian state that
denies all political and religious freedom. They rightfully belong to the
axis of evil but Bush can't say that because 25% of the world's oil
reserves are in
. The world needs Saudi oil, the disruption of which will cause a global
depression. That, I believe, is one reason why the
- to lessen global dependence on Saudi oil.
The less dependent we are on Saudi oil, the more
vulnerable they are to pressure. If not for the accident of oil, the
neocons would be calling for regime change in
by now. The long term solution is not to depend on fossil fuels but to
rely on non-polluting alternative energy. Bush is spending billions on the
war on terrorism and the war in
. A portion of that money can be used to speed up the switch into
alternative energy like Solar, geothermal, wind, biomass etc. A little
spending will pay enormous dividends in the long run.
is no longer dependent on Saudi oil, the
can then call for regime change if the Saudis do not reform their society
and religion. Besides developing alternative energy, the
must conserve energy. It has the lowest taxes on gasoline in the OECD.
Compared to Japanese and European pump prices, the
car owner pays the lowest price. No wonder SUV's are so popular in the
must impose a gas tax in the interest of energy conservation. But it will
take at least 20 years to switch to alternative energies.
2)The Geo-political front
must focus on one enemy at a time. This is simple common sense. Hitler
tried to fight two fronts (the West and the Soviets) and lost. Then the
Soviets made the same mistake by invading
. Not only did they face a hostile west but they then also faced a hostile
Muslim world which sent aid and mujahideen to fight in
. The Soviets were bled dry. Today, it is
's turn to make the same mistake by having quarrels with two large powers
Bush must improve relations with the Russians and the
Chinese and focus on the Islamo-fascists.
's biggest quarrel with the Chinese involves
regards as a renegade rebellious province. From the Chinese point of view,
it is as if after the fall of
in the US Civil war, an European power intervened to save what was left of
the Confederacy. It is a very emotional as well as practical issue for the
Chinese. If the center does not take a tough line on
, other parts of
might want to assert their independence too.
Of course, the Americans would turn the analogy on
its head. To them, the correct analogy would be if Robert E Lee had won
the battle of
and an European power intervened to save what's left of the government of
Lincoln (the good guys) who wanted to free the slaves. After all, the
is a democracy and that of
is not. That means that
is the good guy.
One possible approach is for Bush to explore the
possibility of a trade. If the
agrees to abandon all help to
, the Chinese must also agree to abandon all help to
, without which the North Korean government will collapse and N Korea will
be re-united with
. The Taiwanese will lose their freedom while the North Koreans will gain
will be swapping a knight for a rook.