Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Counterjihad

I say, ditch the term Global War on Terror (and all its other permutations) in favor of the straightforward term, Counterjihad.

This frames the debate in many favorable ways.

Start using it now!

Belmont Club, as always, has fascinating commentary on the importance of "narratives" in the information war against the current wave of barbarians.
Like the standardized formats of the Western infotainment; the soap opera, sitcom and cop-show, the Jihadis offer an equivalent menu of time-tested genres based on Islamic culture. There are scriptural texts, inspirational stories, martyr biographies and even -- for the literary minded -- poetry. The media varies. There are books, audiovisuals, videotaped attacks, etc. And unlike the Western media which sees it as a duty to criticize their societies and their governments, Jihadi media is frankly partisan. Only Western civilization has no advocate in the raging debate; bereft of even so much as a public defender.
And against this 21st century narrative engine the West has offered pitifully little resistance, unless one counts such desultory activities as "public diplomacy" and the odd press conference at which the "newsmen" ask questions related to their agenda and not about the subject of the briefing. In the information warfare battlefield the US is preposterously outgunned.
And clearly the West is fumbling this aspect badly, with its own organs of narration mostly still locked onto hostile left-wing themes that find our enemy curiously seductive.
As can be seen from the scale of the threat and the depth of their penetration even into that most elite of professions, medicine, the radicalization of Muslims intellectuals, especially in the West, continues apace. That implies that people like Galloway, however egregious and disgusting, will have a measure of protection from a very real political constituency even if he did not already have it from the Left.

Many of the British responses to the problem have been in the character of a European state. Control orders. Restrictions on travel. Speech codes. But it's not clear that these measures are winning the battle of the narrative, which as Colonel Killcullen said, is the fuel of a distributed insurgency. Galloway and the radical Islamists have a simple story with one victim, the ummah; one villain, the Shylock Jew; and one stooge; the Anglosophere which continues to do the Jew's bidding; and one duty which is Jihad.

It is the this repetitive dinning of the narrative, this return ever and again to the same storyline despite any facts it may encounter, which accounts for its persistence. Thus Galloway can say with a straight face, time after time, "I deserve a medal". Why? Because I fought for Palestinians beneath the Jewish boot-heel. I opposed the War for Oil. The fact that neither of these events actually exists is beside the point. It exists from continuous assertion. It is willed into fact. I was amused, but not surprised to learn that in a certain Islamic school in Sydney, fully 80% of the students believed that the tsunami which devastated parts of Indonesia was caused by an American nuclear bomb test. In other parts of the world, it is thought that the Jews caused 9/11. That the WTC was destroyed by controlled demolition and that a missile hit the Pentagon. The narrative goes on despite any inconvenient facts. It repeats its points until they are indisputable. And not all the control orders, electronic shackles, preventive detentions and speech codes can substitute for a counternarrative. The West has gone mute from embarrassment, leaving even the chronicling of its injuries to its enemies.
One struggle has been to even agree on what to call this conflict.

Without the right name, it doesn't even exist -- except as Bushco's evil fantasies.

I propose Counterjihad as the new term of choice.

First, why are the current terms unsatisfactory?

War on Terror? Doesn't name the enemy specifically enough. Too broad. Being against a tactic, has too much in common with dreary never-ending government programs like the War on Poverty or the War on Drugs.

War against islamofascists? Names the enemy, purportedly, but awkward. Fascist is also an easy term to discredit through its overuse. And by being too specific, allows too many to escape its label through denial of being fascistic.

War against islam? Won't win over the middle because it sounds unjustly bigoted against a particular religion, however true it might be.

Crusade? Yes, but few will understand how accurate that term is and dismiss it. Already assumed to be a "bad word" by our own Establishment.

But Counterjihad has several points in its favor.

It may seem to still name a tactic (jihad), but that's a particularly islamic tactic by definition, unlike the generic term "terror", and it's harder to dodge the label with "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter"-type sophistry.

Thus, it identifies the enemy particularly as jihadists.

And therefore it also doesn't demonize all muslims -- only those waging the jihad.

Furthermore, it frames the issue as a response (counter) to an external unprovoked attack (jihad), instead of being some aggressive imperialistic war for oil or whatnot.

And if jihad is claimed to be broader than holy war (i.e. the "inner struggle"), all the better, for then the concept of Counterjihad applies also against the softer forms of jihad, such as imposition of Sharia law and dhimmitude and the subjugation of women.

It is vital to enlist the snobby lefties who control elite opinion in this struggle, and they will resist any term that smacks of being directly pro Western religion or anti Third-world religion. Framing this however as being against "Jihad" which targets women and gays, for example, just might satisfy their pristine and enlightened moral-midget sensibilities.

It also broadens the scope from those who want to narrow the conflict down to law enforcement against al-Qaeda (i.e., the "forget Iraq and hunt bin Laden" crowd), to a global war with many theaters and many enemies (Iran, Hezbollah, etc.)

Organizations such as CAIR, for example, immediately then become valid targets of the Counterjihad.

And it gives therefore ALL OF US a role in the Counterjihad, whether or not fighting the "hot" war directly. The Counterjihad has intellectual, moral, and spiritual dimensions as well as purely physical.

Enlisting more citizens of the West, if only mentally, into this battle is critical for developing a competing narrative that stands in our defense.

Encouraging more to think of themselves as Counterjihadists might be useful in that regard, for those uncomfortable with being Crusaders with its religiously-charged and historically-smeared connotations.

Deus Vult!


Blogger chris j pluger said...

stumbled onto your blog through Google, looking for stuff on the Yemeni Qur'an fragments. Good stuff! Keep it up.

"counterjihad" -- it's perfect!

Best regards.

11:46 AM, July 21, 2007  

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