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The Citronella of Jihad

Tony Blair thinks we aren't adequately confronting terrorism on the ideological front: The reason we are finding it hard to win this battle is that we're not actually fighting it properly. We're not actually standing up to these people and … Read More

By / July 2, 2007

Tony Blair thinks we aren't adequately confronting terrorism on the ideological front:

The reason we are finding it hard to win this battle is that we're not actually fighting it properly. We're not actually standing up to these people and saying, 'It's not just your methods that are wrong, your ideas are absurd. Nobody is oppressing you. Your sense of grievance isn't justified.'

But the very phrasing of this statement reveals a deeper problem. Why is the former Prime Minister of Great Britain saying that we are 'finding it hard to win?' Are we? Or was the war won before it was even declared? Terrorists are pissants. They are the rednecks of the Middle East–the KKK of the Islamic world. One might instead lament their having been given such credit as a foe. How it must massage their pathetic little egos to know that the Great Satans now recognize them not only as a massive global threat, but as one that is so goddam hard to stamp out?

Picture the madrassa pitch: 'You see Khalid, even Tony Blair admits that we are winning. And George W. Bush has finally acknowledged the great millennial struggle in which we are engaged…now strap this on.'

The CATO Institute once reported that lightning strikes, deer, and allergic reactions to peanuts have claimed more lives in America than terrorism. Somebody like Norman Podhoretz might interpret this as frivolous downplaying of the WWIV enemy. But wouldn't it sting more to hear that, for all their righteous rage, terrorists aren't any scarier than Jif, Bambi, or a wicked afternoon thunderstorm?

It matters little how eloquently you argue with a group that is immune to argument. But even the most stupid, irrational people understand when they're not being given the time of day–when they want to be heard, noticed and given credit and get nothing but a big, fat snub. Some believe that, considering jihadists known it for years now, it's all the better that we've recognized that we're at War. True, it's important to recognize an enemy and destroy it. But attention is a form of dignification.  If your enemy believes things that are, as Blair rightly notes, "absurd," then perhaps it's best to make a concerted effort to avoid giving their ideas any more dignity than they deserve, especially in the public discourse.

Jihad doesn't have truth or history on its side, but its proponents will never acknowledge the real contours of either–it has 21st century black market weaponry and an inflated sense of power and importance, that's all. It also has its demise inscribed in its very make-up. The steam it gets from our statesmen who talk about long, hard battles almost matches what it gets from our leftists who legitimize its unjustified "sense of grievance." We'll be in much better shape when both our leaders and our progressives start treating terrorists like the gnats they are–small-brained, weak, and doomed to get stamped out.

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