It is getting quite boring to hear about war on terror from people who have no idea what war means and familiar with terror mainly in contexts of their relationships with spouses, bosses, and doctors. I think that it is a high time to clarify meaning of what we are dealing with so I would like to offer my own understanding of situation, actions that would resolve it, and expected consequences of not resolving it.
First of all I’ve got to repeat something that many people keep saying ever since 9/11/01 – terror is just one tool of war among many and making war on terror makes no more sense than it would make for United States to declare war against air carriers after Perl Harbor, simultaneously trying to maintain peace with Empire of Japan because Japanese are very nice people and have very ancient history. Technically it could be done and any attack against Japanese battleships, leave alone industry and cities would be considered illegitimate. The only small catch is, I think, that in this case we would still be continuing war with Japan waiting in fear while they completing building their next air carrier and discussing if it would be legal to attack it before it wiped out another American city. On other hand if American leaders of 1941 were as soft minded as American leaders now, we would probably don’t even know by now that once was such a country as America before the great Japan took over the world around Pacific ocean and started the great racial fight with the great Germany which took over world around Atlantic ocean.
So who attacked us, and whom we should be making war on? It is simple – Islamic Dominance Ideological Movement (IDIM) attacked us, and we have to make war on people who belong to this movement until they surrender, will be taken prisoners, or killed. The complete victory will be achieved when the number of individual belonging to Islamic Dominance Ideological Movement is close to 0.
As form of human cooperation and congregation Ideological Movements are somewhat different from nation-states, mainly spatially and by type of inclusion. Spatially nation-states are based on geography and control of territory, while Ideological movements are thinly distributed around the multiple geographical regions and do not have control over territory until they took over some nation-state as it happened with Communist Ideological movement which took control of Russia in 1917 or National Socialist Ideological movement which took control of Germany in 1933.The type of inclusion of individual into Ideological movement is mainly voluntary, while inclusion of individual into Nation state usually based on residence of individual on territory under control of nation-state. Consequently key to power of Nation-state is control over territory while key to power of Ideological movement is control over minds.
Therefore the war against nation-state includes taking over territory from nation-state until individuals in control of nation-state has no place to go, and either surrender and become POW or just killed. Correspondingly the war against Ideological movement includes convincing individuals who capable to change their mind to leave this Ideological movement, while making people who are not capable to change their mind either POW or dead. Nation-state as collective is controlled by political and bureaucratic hierarchy therefore to win the individuals in control of hierarchy should be targeted. Ideologues and propagandists control ideological movements, therefore individuals who are the most influential ideologues and propagandists should be targeted.
Practically right now a serious war against Islamic Dominance Ideological Movement would include attempts to discourage, capture, or kill all people who attach themselves to this movement. It is not really that difficult to identify such people because they advertise their attachment every way they can. They do it because they have support of many individuals in control of nation states with significant Muslim population and sympathy of many people in control of democratic nation states. The reason for this is that both groups of individuals in control belong to intelligentsia, that is people brought up and educated on abstract notions of multiculturalism and collectivism. However my intention in this post is not to discuss reason of what is, but rather suggest what could have been done if (counterfactual assumption) leaders of democratic states, especially USA were serious about defending security of their citizens against attacks by members of IDIM.
Let’s ignore all previous attacks including 9/11 and assume that it started with Boston bombing. The facts are simple – 2 young foreign-born residents of USA voluntary become members of IDIM and in accordance with main ideas of this movement exploded bomb that killed Americans. These two young men did not invent IDIM, but rather learned about its ideas from multiple propagandists with prominent role in this case belonging to Australian Islamic cleric Sheik Feiz Mohammed. Let’s see what action could be taken by individuals currently in control of American nation-state, which would lead to speedy destruction of IDMI.
First and foremost according to the constitution President could ask for declaration of war against this movement. That would lead to clearly identified mission for the state to convince all individuals identified as belonging to this movement to change their mind, if not possible to capture them as POW, and if this also not possible to kill them. In process all nation states that provide cover for such individuals could be identified as allies of IDIM and therefore put under the thread if war.
With war declared, USA could publish names of all individual it consider members of IDIM and demand them publicly reject this ideology with clear understanding that this rejection will not be revocable. If refused, they should be invited to surrender as POW and moved to POW camp in some remote place were they would be kept in humane conditions, but without access to communication tools until the end of movement. All nation states that refuse apprehend such individuals who refuse to surrender could be subject of traditional military action. If this war conducted decisively it would cut off all propagandist facilities of IDIM. Without propagandist facilities any movement dies out in short order.
Back to the real world – none of this will be done and consequently IDIM will continue its existence and quite probably expansion. It is already taking over some significant nation states and most probably will be able to achieve the level of success of communism and national-socialism ideological movements of XX century. I do not foresee a serious chance of victory for IDMI mainly because nation states that they are capable to take over do not have such advance military capability as Germany, Japan, and Soviet Union had in XX century, but terrorists will kill thousands in Western world in future years. And there is no doubt that millions of people in the Muslim word will have their life completely screwed the same way as lives of people in Russia and Germany were screwed. Eventually it will be defeated, but at much higher cost then it could have been.