To be told that Sunni Islamism is about death---and killing---will not surprise the readers of AT or most people with above-room-temperature IQs. Sunni Islamism is about killing Joooos. It is about killing Christians. It is about killing other Muslims. It is about killing women. It is about killing the past. It is about killing themselves in its cause. It is about killing everyone and everything that is different from whoever is doing the killing at the moment.
But Barry Rubin, in a keen piece from his blog (and reproduced in The Jerusalem Post) lays out in detail the depths and consequences of the mortal treat posed by the three main elements of that force:
It's the age of revolutionary Islamism, especially Sunni Islamism. And you better learn to understand what this is all about, real fast. (Shia Islamism, important mainly because of Iran and especially due to its nuclear ambitions is number two on the threat list. But that's not our topic today.) Focusing on the Sunni tidal wave, the foundational bit of knowledge is that there are three types, and you better learn them all and their complex interrelationships because a lot of people are going to be misinforming you about this and getting others - never themselves, of course - killed.
Of al-Qaida he says:
They may be the worst guys, but they are not the West's main global strategic problem. Everybody who isn't basically a supporter of an al- Qaida group hates al-Qaida, except for the Taliban which is really sort of a similar version. Why? Simple. Because al-Qaida wants to overthrow every regime (they do play a little footsy with Iran but even that's limited). Oh, and they also loathe Shia Muslims which makes for even more enemies and fewer potential allies.
Of the Salafis he says:
One thing is clear though: the Salafis' goal is exactly the same as that of the Brotherhood. The only question is how fast to go, how radical to talk, and how much violence to use. And another thing is also clear: neither in Egypt, nor in Tunisia, nor in Gaza (where the Brotherhood is called Hamas) will the Salafis overthrow the Brotherhood people. We can be less sure about Syria where the balance of forces is not yet so clear.
Of The Brotherhood he says:
The Brotherhood is the Communist Party of Islamism. And you don't have to take it from me; that was an idea expressed by the moderate, anti-Islamist brother of the Brotherhood's founder. The Brotherhood wants a Sharia state. It would like a caliphate (run by itself, of course). It wants Israel wiped off the map and America kicked out of the Middle East. It wants women put into second-class citizenship and gays put into their graves. It wants Christians subordinated or thrown out.
Then of the whole sorry lot he goes to that dark corner about which we all have known, into which we all have been headed, and the consequences of which we have feared to speak:
They will lose. Just as the Communists did, just as the Nazis did, just as the Fascists and Japanese militarists did. But how many decades will it take? How many millions of people dead and injured? How much human potential and natural resources wasted? And will Western policy make easier the ultimate triumph of moderation, moderation that includes millions of anti-Islamist Muslims and also includes lots of Middle Eastern Berbers, Kurds, Turks, Iranians, Druse, Christians and - yes - Israel.
That's it: They plan to and may well kill millions of us, and we will have to kill many more millions of them before the struggle ends--if it will!
He sums it up:
Or will the West make things harder, longer and worse. Of victory, I have no doubt. Of Western good sense, all too much uncertainty.
Indeed! Will the Sunni Islamists' totalitarian soul mates on the Left allow the eyeshades to be lifted in time for anything recognizable or worthwhile to remain amongst the ashes? Or will there just be ashes all around? Again:
Of Western good sense, all too much uncertainty.