How to Defeat Radical Islam
How do we defeat radical Islam? We had better find out soon, because the world today has an Islamic nuclear power (Pakistan), and it will soon have another (Iran). If demographic trends continue, yet another nuclear power will have a Muslim plurality soon enough (France). If we approach this strategic threat as we approached the Cold War, which we won without bloodshed, then there is a three-pronged approach that works.
First, we must undermine the economic power of those nations that are home to radical Muslims. Cheap domestic oil and gas production is the key to winning that part of our strategy. America and Canada both have the potential to produce enough fossil fuel to undermine the oil revenue of Islamic states. Not all of these nations are hostile to our interests, but nearly all are sources of wealth that supports the offspring of radical Islam.
The oil shale recovery technology is rapidly increasing oil production not only in America, but in Canada as well, which makes the Keystone Pipeline necessary for more than economic reasons: the more we can assist in making Canadian oil profitable globally, the more we can shift wealth away from Islamic nations and toward friendly nations that share a common interest in fighting Islamic terrorism.
Most of the oil production increase in the last five years that has come from advanced exploration and production techniques has come from American and Canadian production. Creating a de facto OPEC system of Canadian-American oil will also weaken Russia and create incentives for China to behave well, and it will help the economic prosperity of Canada and America.
Weakening the Soviet-bloc economies constricted the options of the Kremlin and created incentives from outlying members of that bloc to become friendlier with us. There is no reason why an American government that that sees the oil and gas industry of North America as a friend and not an enemy could not work with this industry to help defeat radical Islam.
Second, we ought to use the potent weapon of nationalism to fight radical Islam, just as we used nationalism to unglue the Soviet Empire. The Warsaw Pact – Poland, in particular – was a key fissure in Soviet power, but the Soviet Union itself was nothing more than a prison house of nations, from Lithuanians and Ukrainians to Uzbeks and Turkmens.
Look at Iraq today. Who are our natural allies? The Kurds, who are largely Muslim but not exclusively, are right now fighting our fight, with minimal help or support from us. If we helped create a Kurdistan that included parts of Syria, Turkey, and Iran, as well as Iraq, these Kurds would align themselves with us and against radical Islam.
Iran, a nation we are seeing as a sort of “ally” now, is really an empire in which barely 60% of the people are Iranians. The rest are Azeri, Baluchi, Kurds, or other subject nations trapped inside Iran. Why are we not the friends of these trapped peoples?
What is the largest Islamic nation on Earth? Two of the largest Muslim nations – Indonesia and Pakistan – are empires of ruling nationalities. In Indonesia, only 40% are part of the ruling Javanese, and in Pakistan less than 45% of the population is Punjabi. Afghanistan is also a crazy patchwork quilt of nationalities – Pashtun, Turkmen, Uzbek, Baluchi, and others – and none is close to being a majority of the population.
Supporting the Balkanization of Islamia is more than simply “divide and conquer” or “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Giving captive peoples their own nation reduces the frustrations these peoples feel and allows them to see America as a liberator rather than an oppressor.
Third, in spite of the utility of economic leverage and nationalism, we must create a moral alternative to Islam, and this cannot be grounded in the sort of atheism that reigns in Europe and in the American left. Indeed, the descent into materialistic atheism is precisely what radical Islamists want for us, because it is in essence pure despair. Anything, even Islam, looks better than that.
The defeat of the Evil Empire required men of great faith. President Reagan, recall, used the term “Evil Empire” in a speech to evangelicals. Pope John Paul II inspired Poles to risk everything in this life to fight the evil of Marxism. Alexander Solzhenitsyn proved indigestible to the Kremlin because he found God in the Gulag and never let Him go.
We have the paths to win the war waged against us by enemies full of hate, and once we begin fighting along these paths, we will win. Until we choose to win, however, the innocent will suffer, and the monsters will prowl our lands with growing impunity.