Friday, September 26, 2014

A Grand Strategy for the War Against Islamism

As the Obama administration stumbles towards existential ruin, I hope that the Republican candidates for president in 2016 have their foreign policy and defense teams hard at work on a grand strategy for the post-Obama years.

Really, the utter confusion and failure of the Obama years is a blessing, because the Democrats' foreign policy has been exposed as nothing more than anti-Bush animus and base-pleasing catchphrases. In 2016 Americans will be ready for grownups to take office and restore America to power and respect in the world.

Very well, but what should this new team do about the Islamist challenge? What should we do to vanquish yet another challenge to the culture and society of responsible individualism and its differentiation of human social relations into three parts: political, economic, and moral/cultural?

This is not just an intellectual game. The half millennium of western hegemony has been an astonishing act that has plunged the world into an unprecedented adventure of prosperity. Yes, it's been imperial and it's turned the world upside down. But it's ended the domination of Malthus.

Obviously we must first try and understand what the Islamist challenge means to us. Never mind what it means to the Islamists. What about us?

What is more sensible than to experience Islamism as yet another reactionary backlash to our radical western project of responsible individualism?

Let us understand the great conflicts of the last century as the failed fascist/socialist rebellion against responsible individualism. Really, according to the ideas of Rene Girard, they are "monstrous doubles" of unrestrained violence.

The socialist reaction was an attempt to hide from the awful challenge of responsible individualism by returning to a kind of neo-feudalism, where a wise aristocracy of the best and brightest would rule over a society of semi-servile worker victims and protect them from the dangerous bourgeoisie. Only it didn't work; it send 100 million humans to unmarked graves.

Then there was the fascist reaction. It attempted to hide from the awful challenge of responsible individualism by returning to a frank tribalism of blood and race. A charismatic tribal leader would rule over a grateful people and purify the tribe from harmful race pollution. Only it didn't work; it sent 40 million humans to their premature death.

In each case an elite stepped forward to protect a frightened populace and help it avoid the perilous step of leaving the tribe or the feudal manor for a life of individual responsibility. Instead of stepping into the modern economy where each man and woman offers his or herself in service to the rest of humanity, surrendering to the market and accepting its economic verdict, the elite would keep the people safe in the old ways.

Only it didn't work, because humans in the 20th and 21st centuries have already eaten from the tree of economic knowledge and have been expelled from the Garden of Collective Eden. There is no going back.

The result of it all? The monstrous bourgeoisie flooded the world with a tidal wave of life, liberty and prosperity.

Now comes Islamism and the best way for us to understand it is as yet another lurch back to tribalism and servile collectivism.

We can understand why our liberal and lefty friends have seemed to condone this reactionary and nostalgic movement. The lurch back to tribalism is what leftism and liberalism are all about. They condone the frightened backward glance of the new arrivals in the city and enroll them in their welfare-slave plantation. Their cultural Marxism makes of every backward group a class of victims to be confirmed in their culture of victimhood.

But what do we do?

Let us recall the grand strategy of the Cold War and see if it yields any lessons for us. It seems to me that the Cold War proceeded in three stages.

First, thanks to George Kennan, was containment. The idea was to avoid the high-risk strategy of confrontation but still make it difficult for the Soviet Empire to expand.

Second, thanks to Nixon and Kissinger, was division. Richard Nixon went to China and divided the two Communist empires: Soviet Union and Peoples Republic of China.

Third, thanks to Ronald Reagan, was economic warfare. Reagan built up the US armed forces, challenged the Soviet Union with the Strategic Defense Initiative, and talked Saudi Arabia into increasing oil production and thus radically cutting the global price of oil and bankrupting the Soviet Union. Plus he kick-started the US capitalist economy into a 25 year boom, just when liberals said it couldn't be done.

Result: an amiable dunce dispatched Communism to the dust heap of history without firing a shot.

So here is my three-part grand strategy for dispatching Islamism to the dustbin of history.

First, harassment. We unleash our intelligence community and our special forces upon the Islamic State and all the hydra-headed Islamic groups that keep popping up.

Second, division. We secretly play the Shia against the Sunni and various tin-pot dictators against tin-pot imans -- while denying it to the world with a straight face, and we foment rebellion and revolution throughout the Islamic world against any regime that doesn't kiss the ring of western empire. Here's how they did it a century ago.

Third, frack, baby, frack. We push the technology of the current shale energy revolution to the full extent, fracking on federal lands, fracking offshore, aggressively exporting the new oil-extraction technology to our friends like the Poles. Result: energy prices go down and denies money to the oil-dependent Middle East. We reform out economy to unleash entrepreneurs, encourage work, reform and privatize entitlements, cut domestic spending, streamline regulation, restore the rule of law. We declare war on crony capitalists, foreign and domestic, and de-cartelize health care and education. It's odd how every item in this program of economic warfare means reversing Obama and liberal policy.

Then all we have to do is sit back, watch liberals declare that they knew Islamism was a busted flush all along, and we play parlor games like imagining what the next Obama will look like when a generation comes to maturity that knew not the follies of the America's First Worst President Ever.

No comments:

Post a Comment