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Islamic Fascism

....not as stupid as it first sounds

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, August 16, 2006.

At 7:30 MDT tonight, the United States will have been in Iraq longer than it was in the Second World War against Germany. After all, December 11, 1941 - when Hitler declared war upon us - to May 7, 1945 - the date of the Nazi surrender - is only three years and five months. In three and one half months more, we’ll have outlasted the war against Japan. This is just Iraq. Counting Afghanistan and all since 9-11 within an all-inclusive War Against Terror, we’ve already passed that mark as well.

The monumental incompetence of the Bushies is undeniable at this point, and this stupidity that allowed them to engage us in a war we might not win by lies and deception is a bill with much accrued interest and uncontestable liens. But there are similarities between this war and the Second World War, and although the Left denies them in toto, they do so safely within deep historic ignorance, the stigmata of the average American, who adds to this by not being able to locate his own nation on a globe, much less the lands we engage in war.

Today, the International Herald-Tribune revealed Bush is upset that thousands of Iraqis demonstrated for Hezbollah and against the US in Baghdad’s streets, and don’t appreciate American sacrifice. He doesn’t understand it. It’s what he assured us would not happen, although many in the media in 2001 and 2 assured us it would. Bush lusts for respect, and unable to generate much on their own, he positions himself next to icons in memory to make it easy for us. The newest manifestation of this continual repositioning is the new phrase “fascist” Islam, which struck me as both true and not true, but the point is he wants to be seen as FDR or Churchill. On one hand, absurd. On the other, he has a point. Three years and five months after surprise attacks on our nation, can anyone look at Bush and see Roosevelt, cigarette holder clenched in grinning teeth, defiant, jovial, unable to stand and yet four times the man? Anyone?

Still: Fascist Islam. The President has a point.

Our institutional memory being nil, we forget the imperial, religiously vicious, and violently racist genocides that denoted Japan in the 1930’s, and rely on the image of Nazis only for our bogeymen. But Japan was every bit as dangerous and every bit as religiously goaded as the SS and today’s Islamic Kamikazes, who have inflicted, by the way, far more damage on the West then their progenitors raining down on the Pacific fleet. And like al Quada today, Japan saw itself as very much at war with the West and its trinkets of civilization, just as Osama bin Laden does, even though, also like Osama, their power was forged with those trinkets. In contrast, Nazi Germany - ironically I choose to think - was one of several logical progressions of western civilization, punctuated social evolution.

When you reflect upon anti-Occident Islam today, there are indeed strong similarities to the Japan of Hirohito, certainly more than to Hitler. There is authoritarian permission for the god-awful, and religious forgiveness and reward for it after. There are feudal levels of authority which is the only way clans and regional strongmen can be held in control without a complete social destruction of the powers that support their existence.

But there are strong differences in this comparison, as well. Japan was racially and socially united, with few who objected to military expansion. Japan also had a reputation for extreme competence in all spheres of endeavor, especially the military. To put it kindly, it’s been a thousand years since Islam, especially in the Middle East, felt that way. The fact remains that the vast majority of today’s conflicts around the globe are religious in nature and involve Muslims, and many of the wars are between Islamic groups with the purity feral ferocity grants.

So while Bush’s desire is to be thought Churchillian, and despite the fact he may have engaged us in war to satisfy his personal issues, and despite the fact he’s run his wars with the research and knowledge that usually attend college keggers, he is still not wrong in implying that these are wars between civilizations. The American Left, which doesn’t want to make quality judgments, is uncomfortable with this, just as it is uncomfortable confronted with the fact overpopulation is the most important environmental issue. The Left has got to at least entertain the possibility that the Iraq War in some form was inevitable, and entertain the notion that although the worst man for the worst reasons entered us in it, it may prove justified.

But the American Right has to entertain the notion that it must be held personally responsible for unthinking, uncritical, unjustified and juvenile enthusiasm for a war that has damaged the United States in its prestige and image, including self-image, and that it will be decades in recovering.