by Barbara Lerner
The Islamists are fighting for control of the world. We need a president who knows it.
Are you worried — like so many Americans after the
Then focus like a laser on
THE WAR WE MUST WIN
Most Americans can scarcely imagine an Islamist-ruled world. Most Muslims can, and they respond in one of three ways. Moderate Muslims wholeheartedly reject the Islamist vision and the support for jihad that is inseparable from it; Muslim extremists embrace it, many with growing fervor; and a third group sits on the fence, waiting and watching. Constant politically correct reassurances that only a minority of the world's Muslims support violence against us are based on the fantasy that only "Islamist extremists" do that; "moderate Islamists" don't. In fact, there is no such thing as a "moderate Islamist." All Islamists are extremists. It's an extreme creed. Moderate Muslims do exist, millions of them, many bravely fighting against the rising Islamist tide, but they aren't "moderate Islamists." Moderate Muslims are anti-Islamist Muslims, who oppose the imposition of Sharia and all the oppressive baggage that comes with it. They are on our side — freedom's side — and we should be on theirs. Instead, we mostly ignore them and fail to heed their warnings, reaching out to "moderate Islamists" instead, welcoming them into our critical institutions — as our military, aided by the FBI, welcomed Major Hasan.
When it comes to Islamists abroad, poll data make it clear that they are the overwhelming majority in the
Focus like a laser on
As for sanctions, if there ever was a chance they could have worked, even in their most robust form — a complete blockade of
As I and a very few others argued then, we should have responded with an overwhelming air strike, not just on Iran's nuclear facilities, but on Iranian planes, ships, and tanks, and on the Islamist commanders who control those weapons — in the Revolutionary Guard, the Basij, and the regular military. Only a strike that decisive can give Iranians who despise the mullahs a fighting chance to overthrow them and create something better for themselves, and less threatening to us. Only a strike that powerful can shake the growing confidence of Islamists everywhere, forcing millions to rethink the wisdom of joining the reignited global jihad against us, the long-dormant, 14-century-old religious war against the Christian West, and against non-Muslims everywhere. Let's call this war what it is, for us: the war for freedom of religion in the 21st century, a fundamental freedom that includes the right to disbelieve. To mount a critical strike in this war only after a failed blockade of
WHY WE AREN'T FIGHTING TO WIN
That's what we need to do, now — deliver a crushing blow to Iran's Islamists — to begin to turn the tide in the war for the survival of freedom in the world. Religious freedom, after all, is inseparable from freedom itself, the freedom we enjoy because our fathers defended it with
Eight years after the bloody attack of September 11, 2001, we still don't have a commander-in-chief willing to order pilots with MOPs into action. Eight years after 9/11, we still don't have a president willing to face the scope of this war. Our military is the most formidable on the planet still, but we are forcing it to fight piecemeal wars, tied up in peacetime restraints, with murky goals. Eight years after 9/11, we still don't have the president we need: a president who will rally the country behind our cause — freedom's cause — and order our fighting men and women to do everything we must do for the victory we must have.
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, ordinary Americans did rally, spontaneously, much as we did in 1941, when
Worst of all, Bush refused to face the fact that the Iranian government isn't just evil; it's actively at war with us — it has been since 1979 — and we are all but alone in pretending it isn't. Islamists in every corner of the globe were keenly aware of
They got their answer when
Bush knew we were at war with somebody, even if he refused to act on the fact that
Popularity prizes aside, here are the results of Obama's diplomacy for America's vital interests: China still refuses to put any real pressure on North Korea or Iran; Russia takes a bite out of Georgia, menaces the Caucasus and Eastern Europe, and helps Iran's mullahs; while an increasingly cocksure Iran openly mocks us, broadcasting its coming nuclear triumph to the world.
Call it a strategy of pre-emptive capitulation, call it a post-national foreign policy, but Obama's fundamental assumption is that America is not an exceptional nation; we're just one of the many components of a new, transnational world where more and more of the rights and duties that once belonged to sovereign nations are ceded to international organizations like the U.N., organizations that loudly proclaim the lofty abstract goals Obama, too, embraces, in his rhetoric. Ignore the rhetoric, citizens. Look at the reality behind it. The U.N. is cowardly in the face of real danger — remember
THE PRESIDENT WE NEED
Discouraged? Don't be. All is not lost, because those who love freedom have two great trump cards: the fundamental honesty and good sense of the American people, and the back-against-the wall courage of the Israeli people.
Let's deal with the Israelis first, and face the facts.
I don't know yet who that new leader will be, but I know we will be able to recognize him — or her — by the positions he takes, before and after the Israeli strike against
At home, our new leader will do what any serious commander-in-chief of a nation at war would do. He will insist on an all-out national effort to increase our own supplies of energy as rapidly as possible. He will pay no obeisance to the ideologues who pretend that wind, solar power, and bio-fuels alone can make us energy independent in a practical amount of time. He will demand that we lift the self-defeating strictures that prevent us from drilling for oil in
The American people are more than ready for such a leader. Faith in the fundamental honesty and good sense of most Americans undergirds this prediction; poll data support it. Deluged by politically correct propaganda, most Americans still manage to keep a pretty firm grip on reality. President Obama, especially, has worked tirelessly to downplay the Iranian threat, demonize the Israelis, whitewash the Palestinians, and convince Americans that the U.N. can be our savior.
The great American majority buys none of it. In the Pew poll of American attitudes toward 22 nations, only three got a favorable rating from fewer than 20 percent of us.
All this poll data points to one heartening conclusion: The great American majority has a much better grasp of the realities we face than our current leaders. A new American leader who speaks to those realities with clarity and force can rally the American people behind him, and renew this country's commitment to fighting and winning the great war for freedom in the 21st century.
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Barbara Lerner is a frequent contributor to National Review OnLine (NRO).
Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.