Monday, March 19, 2007

The Church of the Second World War

Erwin at the Kleinverzet blog quoted a Frontpagemag contributor, quoting an Arab Christian:
"I think there are two ways to avoid [this Armageddon]. One can be a major war which the West can win. As in World War Two, had the West attacked the Germans in 1936 the war would have lasted not more than a month with very few casualties. Their procrastination resulted in World War II with all its consequences. Eventually, the West will have to tackle the Iranians, it is better that they do it now to avert a world catastrophe later. With Iran defeated the Islamic onslaught will lose its base, and it may be the turning point in history to defeat the menace of extreme Islam. The majority of the Moslems don't want this confrontation anyway.
I think he's right with that last assertion. But as long as the West will not stand up to the more committed elements within islam, and especially Iran, I am afraid most muslim citizens will bet on what seems to be the strong horse. There's some good advise to our politicians: You want Dutch muslim citizens on your side? Show them you have the stuff to take on and defeat the scum that would foist the Khalifa upon us all."

Just as there is a Church of the Left, there is a Church of the Second World War in the West. Adherents the creed are wont to make analogies between situations faced today with situations from the conflict against Rightwing totalitarianism. The Second World War is the "good war". Everybody agrees that the Nazis were evil and had to be defeated. Also the Second World War was won by a coalition of the British Empire, the USA and in those we recognize what still are still major nations of military capability. The fact that murderous Soviet Russia was also a part of the coalition is usually glossed over.

OK. Some hard basic truths not particularly difficulty to grasp:
1. The Second World War is over.
2. The Second World War ended 60 years ago.
3. Islam is not the Axis, it is a religion with 1,3 billion adherents
4. Because Islam is a different social organism than a alliance of nation states, industrial war by mass armies, the model of war that defeated the Axis, will not work defeating Islam. Islam fights in God's space, and industrial war cannot reach there.
5. Iran is not the leader of Islam. In fact Iran is Shia, while the rest of Islam is mostly Sunni. So to say that Islam will be defeated once Iran is defeated is not just wrong, it is silly. There are only 70 million Iranians and 1,3 Billion Muslims.
6. The USA just lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's right folks. They lost it. They lost the support of the home front, as evidenced by the recent American elections. The US politicians on both sides are just procratinating pulling the troops out.
7. Israel just lost in Lebanon. Again. The Israelis these days follow the American pattern of war slavishly, which contributes to their downfall.

8. Wars lost by (semi-) Western nations/coalitions since 1945:
Algeria (the French)
Indonesia (the Dutch)
Vietnam (twice) (the French and the USA)
Afghanistan (twice) (the Russians)
Lebanon (twice) (the Israelis)

A few I do not care to list.

In all these conflicts the West lost to opponents vastly inferior in firepower. France, USA and Russia were absolutely ruthless in the pursuit of their war aims.
9. The USA can attack and bomb Iran. They can occupy it. They can destroy its army and infrastructure. The result will be that more US soldiers will die and that US public opinion will turn even more against the war.
10. Technology is spreading and becomes more and more accessible to Non-Western nations. This means that not just Iran, but a whole range of non-Western nations will soon possess nuclear arms, including Turkey, Egypt, Iran, Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and Argentine. The monopoly on this technology can not be American. One can not prevent knowledge to be aquired by eager learners.
11. Economic and political power is flowing from the USA, mostly to Asia. The US only has a edge only in military power. That is not enough to benefit from a war, even if it was won. If Iran blocks the strait of Hormuz the oil price will strongly rise. The American economy is on the brink of recession anyway. Going to war with Iran will clinch it.
12. The USA is a proposition nation. The creed of the USA since the 1960ies has been that there is no dominant religion or ethnic group that is leading in the USA or has a special claim to it. What is keeping the USA together apart from mere habit is a vision of shared and rising prosperity. A major economic bust may tear its society apart.
13. The USA lives on credit. It runs a huge current account deficit with Asian countries. China holds massive currency holdings. US Treasury bonds. Dollars. If they lose faith in the USA's capacity to guarantuee the value of these reserves or if they are cross with the USA they will start to sell these holdings. Invading Iran will frighten and anger the Chinese leadership. They will not easily pull the rug from under the American economy. After all only America can buy up their stuff. But a war and an invasion in Iran might well do the trick. Iran is a part of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation, a Chinese led alliance of Non-Western nations.
14. The West was economically and population wise much more dominant in 1945 than in 2007. These days the Asiatics and Islam are much bigger chunks of humanity.
15. Invading Iran will cause Iran's population to rally around the flag and the mosque. Currently the Iranian regime is almost as unpopular as Bush's government. It is much to the interest of the current clique to be invaded.

All these points argue that the outcome of a conflict with Iran will end in desaster. The West has no means to compell Iran or the larger Muslim world to submit to its will. But the West is in great danger of pulling itself apart by its suicidal immigration policy and the destruction of its armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"You want Dutch muslim citizens on your side? Show them you have the stuff to take on and defeat the scum that would foist the Khalifa upon us all."

That is odd. It seems here that Kleinverzet wants to argue that it is in the interest of the USA to impress Dutch Muslims. Or perhaps that the Dutch government confront Iran. I will deal with the former. Even if the US Government thought it is in their interest to intimidate Dutch Muslims by invading Iran then it still would not work. There is no connection between Dutch Sunni Muslim immigrants communities and Shia Iran. And Dutch Muslims oppose Dutch culture and society not because Iran inspires them to do so, but because their Quran based faith inspires them to do so. Because they get away with it and their numbers are growing by the day. If current trends are not addressed by closing the borders and expelling Muslim communities Dutch national society will be torn apart or Islamized. I expect the former and fear the latter.

The strong horse in the Muslim / West equation is the pitting of the community of the faithfull against the community of the hedonists and decadents. No matter how weak the faithfull, if there is no will of resistance on the Dutch side, the Muslims can only win.

Finally the leadership of the West is firmly in thrall of the WW2/industrial war paradigma, despite the fact that it keeps losing its wars or is unable to turn military victories in political advantage. The West seems unable to learn.

Rudyard Kipling witnessed the same in the British Army after the Anglo-Boer war before the First World War. He wrote a poem about it called: "Rimmon". Look it up if you are poetically inclined. It is a commentary on the Bible story of Naaman, the Syrian, who is cured by the prophet Elisa from the leprosy that ails him.

Naaman could not learn from what happened to him.


Cassandra said...

Hey Snouck,
Perhaps this will interest you.

frankfurter said...


a lot of the things you said are right.
But it seems at moment a new iranian shi'ite empire is on the rise. Controlling the middle east from Afghanistan to the Libanon. Soon equipped with atomic weapons and rockets, which can reach Europe. Ruled by fanatic moslems, who couldn't care less for a human life.

I think it's in the interest of all normal thinking Europeans to prevent this scenario by all means.