March 22, 2006
Prospects of Terror: An Inquiry into Jihadi Alternatives (2)By J.R. Dunn
[Part 2 in a three—part series. Part 1 may be read here.]
The ultimate in disposing one's forces is to be without discernable shape
It appears likely that
The Jihadis, following public humiliation on their own home ground, will need a means of proving that they're still in the game, and
Many observers believe it's already too late, that Europe is one with Sumeria and
Europe in also unfortunate in that its overall government, the European Union, has established itself, in defiance of the experience of the past century, as the kind of managerial superstate proven unfeasible just about everywhere else on earth. EU bureaucrats have set out to demonstrate the obvious once again with considerable eagerness, meddling in international affairs while attempting to micromanage those of its own citizens, wasting immense amounts of resources on trivial aims, and generating completely avoidable crises to no rational purpose. The EU is about the last form of government capable of leading a fight for survival, but it's what the Europeans have.
As if this wasn't enough,
Such a development may have been necessary to avoid further bloodlettings along the lines of the world wars, but never let it be said that it does not have drawbacks. It was anti—bellicism that lay behind Europe's shameful lack of response to the crimes of
But all the same, it's difficult to see how
Straightforward conquest of the Ottoman type is another possibility — Muslims taking over by main force, using their weight of numbers to smother all resistance, converting large masses of the native population while subjecting the rest to dhimmitude.
The last possibility is the blazing civil war scenario, a return to the wars of religion, a replay of the Thirty Year's War fought out across the continent, with native Muslim youths, armed, trained, and led by a resurgent Islam, fighting a war to the death against an aroused European population.
None of these scenarios has the ring of plausibility. A major failing lies in the fact that they're all based on demography, a subtle field with many hidden variables, any one of which can overthrow the apparent results. It happens to be the case that every single long—term demographic prediction since Malthus introduced the concept two centuries ago has proven mistaken. At times, as in the catastrophic visions of 'Population Bomb' theorist Paul Ehrlich, ludicrously so.
A major problem with such calculations is that the basic variable, the population of European Muslims, is unknown. Estimates range from 15 to 25 million, depending on how much weight is given to illegal immigration. In some cases, such as
Also overlooked is the fact that the Muslim population of
So the idea that Europeans will be outbred, overwhelmed, or even challenged by a suitably numerous home—grown Islamist army can be set aside. But that does not let
Targeted Violence: A Jihadi Political Strategy in Europe
So if I were an ambitious imam — ambitious both for myself and the European Muslim umma, what would I do? What is required is a strategy that delivers a political solution as opposed to one generating pure terrorist violence, one taking advantage of proven European weaknesses: bureaucracy, debellicism, multiculturalism, and that obscure sense of estrangement that has gripped
The first step involves lowering the sights. Rather than the apocalyptic scenarios already covered — and which may well not be possible anyway — we set the goal as something more within reach. Say, the complete political autonomy of the Muslim community, the umma, throughout
In a European campaign, the political element would be paramount. Whatever violence occurred would be organized violence, limited and situational, a kind of large—scale behavioral—modification procedure aimed at the majority population and its government. This violence would be terrorist in nature, not reaching the levels that prevail in
The campaign might proceed to threaten or shut down public utilities and transport, such as the electrical net (still virtually open to attack across the West, five years after 9/11), or the subways. Since the French, with admirable Gallic foresight, intelligently placed their prestressed concrete Muslim ghettoes in rings around their major cities, access highways and ring roads are particularly vulnerable. Tourists would present a worthwhile target, both in violent attacks and kidnapings. A drop in tourist business would represent a serious economic blow to most areas of
All these actions would be carried out at a tempo fast enough to make it impossible for the authorities — slow—moving European governmental colossi in particular —— to properly react. (In modern tactical terminology this is called 'getting inside your opponent's decision cycle.')
Violent actions would be scheduled for greatest effect and targets selected with precision. Center—right governments and officials would be particularly at risk, since they can, with the open assistance of the media and the left—wing opposition, be painted as irreconcilable enemies of ethnic peace. The European Left would be viewed as a resource —— many of them are already allied with terrorists among the Palestinians and almost all would be eager to show their solidarity with an oppressed minority. Note
Making Muslims Seem the Victims
Carom incidents can be fabricated, with bogus evidence pointing to innocents, who can then be held up as martyrs. The reverse can be done with the police, too—effective government officials, and right—of—center or nativist organizations, which can be set up as responsible for atrocities against Muslims, the more blameless the better. (Recall the Palestinian child Mohammed al Dura who was shot by his own side during a confrontation with Israeli troops, or the destruction of
The goal would not be bloodshed for its own sake, but to create an utterly paranoid locked—down state in which even the simplest everyday activities would represent a challenge, maintaining the impression that it can always grow far worse, while holding up the possibility of shutting down the entire country.
But the terrorist aspect would be secondary, the anvil for the political hammer. Politics would be the dominant factor, with terror leveraged to gain political concessions. The first element of this would be to portray the terrorists as victims, neglected third—world types with legitimate grievances. (Not a difficult trick — consider how the Palestinians promoted their victim status over that of the Israelis.)
At the same time, the authorities must be painted as a brutal elite — never a problem in any contemporary European country — overreacting against sincere protest. While this won't convince everybody (it never has), it will provide plenty of grist for the media and Left—wing activists, who can be relied on to carry the word without instruction or encouragement. Taking advantage of the political and social fault lines that exist within European society, and which in no way have been ameliorated by the establishment of the EU, would be a key element of the campaign.
The Muslim "Man of Peace"
Once the lines are firmly drawn and the country in near—panic, the spokesman would appear. The man representing the 'moderate' Muslim population, yearning for peace, wanting only the best for everyone involved. He would of course have a 'legend' consisting of good works, cooperation between ethnicities, and membership in various service organizations. (And no connection, needless to say, to any Jihadi group.) Using a variant of Dick Morris—style triangulation, he would establish himself as the sole voice of moderation, the alternative between the terrorist minority and the reactionary government. He would present the impression — without actually stating as much — that connections with the violent few make him only force capable of holding them back. A call would arise from the 'public' — the media and the Left — for negotiations. The spokesman would find himself appointed the main negotiator, the only figure acceptable to both sides.
Negotiations would proceed slowly and painfully over a lengthy period, punctuated by sudden bursts of violence. At last a crisis would break out, perhaps involving a number of assassinations, by shadowy figures, of individuals on both sides. The spokesman himself could nearly be victimized. He would threaten to break off his attempts to act as a go—between as pointless, only to be called back, if possible by representatives of the government eager for a settlement.
A Nation within a Nation
This would involve not a complete takeover or any other apocalyptic daydream, but the establishment of a nation within a nation, a formalization of the status of already existing Muslim areas in which Shari'a would rule, with independent government, police, schools, and so on. Other services would be provided by the host government, on the 'reparations' principle. The host population would have nothing to say about it.
The host government would reserve all rights of defense, foreign affairs and so forth — except for relations with the Muslim states, which would be handled by the new Muslim communities themselves. Of course, UN and EU representation would also be necessary, to protect the rights of the defenseless Muslim areas. The model would be something along the lines of Palestinian status.
The end result would be a kind of postmodern colonial regime, a reversal of the historic Western model in which the host country services, supports, and protects the Muslim colonies within. The Muslim homelands would thereafter act as bases for further operations, sanctuaries for Jihadis from outside
This is a grossly oversimplified model, but it does plainly reveal how existing European failings, both social and political, can be exploited. It would require a shift in Jihadi attitudes, involving an abandonment of the eschatological expectations of bin Laden and Zarqawi in favor of an attainable political result.
This is clear break with previous Jihadi practice, possibly excepting the
Even as the above words were being typed, the British sociologist Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo revealed in the U.K. Telegraph that Muslim clerics interviewed by him all believe that Muslim areas in
The Danish Cartoon Crisis as a Model of Jihadist Victory
All the imams referred to the Danish cartoon jihad as a representative example. The incident's status as a wholly manufactured crisis is not as widely known as it should be, but is in no way in question. Although very likely intended to rally the international Muslim umma against democratic developments in the Middle East, it also served a useful purpose in
The cartoon jihad will serve as a model for future efforts at destabilizing the European community. (One overlooked aspect is the fact that Abu Laban, the Danish imam who engineered the crisis, attempted to present himself as a 'spokesman' figure, loudly lamenting the riots on Danish television while at the same time urging his followers — in Arabic — to go for Danish throats. Future jihadi leaders are unlikely to be so easily exposed.)
Above all, the cartoon crisis has revealed
Two Swedish web sites featuring the drawings were shut down by police order. An Italian official who wore a t—shirt emblazoned with one of the drawings was forced to step down. In
In no case did any European nation rebuke the demonstrators or demand civil behavior from their Muslim minorities. In the ensuing weeks, critics of Islam across continental
European Appeasers in Control
In the 1960s, CIA operatives had a saying: 'Whoever wins
Abu Hamza, the infamous 'Captain Hook' of the Finsbury Park mosque, receives a lengthy sentence for encouraging terrorism only for the British government to apologize for allowing him to run loose for seven years after discovering that he was directly involved in terrorist activities.
A bold statement from the EU's chief executive Jose Manuel Barasso pledging that Europe would fight 'to protect democratic values' is followed the next day by a promise from the European Parliament to 'weed out textbooks offensive to Islam'. The same day, Italian judges rule that recruiting suicide
Abu Laban, the P.T. Barnum of the cartoon intifada, is allowed to return to
Hizb ut—Tahrir (Islamic party of Liberation), commonly known as HT, is the secretive organization responsible for most of the cartoon demonstrations around the EU. It shares goals similar to Al—Queda, and although banned throughout Asia and the Middle East, is allowed to act openly in
Even more telling is the fact, revealed in early February, even as the cartoon riots spread across Europe, that military budgets throughout the EU (and this includes the UK) have been allowed to drop following 9/11 until they now stand at 1.8% of GDP, less than half the total of U.S. spending. A greater sign of irresponsibility in the face of a global challenge would be hard to come by.
A list of such actions could continue for page after page. Clearly,
The hope seems to be to placate the Muslim populace and take whatever losses are necessary while the secret services hold back the Jihadi threat long enough for the
Possible European Response
One useful result of the cartoon riots is that this fantasy has been swept off the table. It's no longer a matter of dealing with bombings widely scattered in time and space. If not an actual clash of civilizations, it's about as close as anybody will ever care to get. The response of the public at large promises to be much the same as that to the assassination of Theo van Gogh and the
The first challenge involves securing the public peace, accompanied by a quick and thorough housecleaning. The Dutch decision to broadly curtail immigration is a sensible and long overdue move, and will likely be duplicated across the continent.(A French law echoing
But there are literally hundreds of hostile imams already in residence throughout Europe —— Abu Hamza and Abu Laban being only most well known —— preaching the downfall of their adopted homes every Friday. A nation—state has a right to demand three things of immigrants: that they obey the law, that they learn the language, and that they respect the natives. Many Islamists violate at least two of these provisions, some of them all three. Such renegades must be taken in hand. They require investigation, confrontation, and if necessary, expulsion. The fact that many are facing prison or worse in their home countries is not a European problem. There are few things more contemptible than a refugee undermining the nation that gives him shelter.
An effective method of dealing with provocations like the cartoon jihad must be formulated and put into practice consistently across the EU. This was a deliberately conceived conspiracy, and should be treated as such. The people behind it must be arrested and expelled. The nations involved, which include
Hizb ut—Tahrirm (HT), which organized most of the demonstrations, must be banned, its resources seized, its networks destroyed. HT is already proscribed throughout the Muslim world, no doubt for good reasons. Numerous lesser organizations across
These actions will cause unrest among the Muslim populace, who have been allowed to go their own way for too long. This must be faced. European governments must lose their fear of these people. The power of the Islamic mob, fully established after the cartoon jihad, must be broken. Attempting to govern in the face of a hostile minority, whether criminals, religious fanatics, terrorists, or any combination, is an absurdity. Nor can a society function if it is held hostage by such a group.
If illegal violence occurs, it must be met and overcome by legal force. No other single action will be more important in curtailing Islamist ambitions.
The governments and native populations of Europe will very likely be surprised how many Muslims choose to stand with the authorities under such circumstances. If others find it impossible to endure, they will perhaps be better off in the Muslim world, where they need never be bothered by the sight of an infidel if they so desire. However harsh this may be, it is nowhere near as harsh as the prospect of a continent in chaos.
It's unlikely that any of these prescriptions will be followed voluntarily. No democratic government would willingly enter such a gauntlet if it could possibly be avoided. But welcome or not, something similar will inevitably come as events dictate. The current stock of appeasement—prone governments (among them, sadly, the otherwise estimable Tony Blair) are in their last days. The majority will be voted out in favor of figures such as the inflexible Nicolas Sarkozy. A reaction from an aggressive and pampered minority can be anticipated.
It would be best for the U.S. not to become too closely involved. Not merely in response to Europe's incessant playing of the anti—American card, though such a reaction would not be unjustified. The Europeans can meet this challenge on their own. American power needs to be preserved for use where it is absolutely necessary, where there is no other alternative, as in
All military and security moves, no matter how far—reaching, will be at best short—term solutions to
One thing the
The Europeans, France in particular, have preened and posed while asserting that they had no racial problems. Today we know why — they deliberately isolated their Muslim minorities rather than confront the challenge in good time. (It's interesting to note that Muslim leadership fully concurred — in 1980, the Islamic Council of Europe deliberately chose to concentrate the Muslim population into areas easy to oversee and control. This is not only a European error.) What is this other than 'separate but equal', a concept dismissed from the American legal landscape a half—century ago?
The Europeans have gotten themselves into this predicament through living a racist lie. The