Father James V. Schall nails it as to why our fight against the Jihadists lacks effectiveness:
The so-called “Muslim terrorists”, then, do not think of themselves as “Muslim terrorists”. They consider themselves to be the only real followers of Mohammed. They see themselves as doing exactly what he and his first followers did in the saga of a rapid conquest of much of the African, Arab, and Middle Eastern worlds. The conquest of Europe would complete the stymied efforts at Tours and Vienna, victories that allowed Europe to remain Europe and not become Muslim much sooner. Moreover, jihadists have a perfectly intelligible explanation for what they are doing and how they are doing it. It is a sophisticated intellectual theory deftly designed to explain exactly why these “terrorist” acts are both legitimate and indeed praiseworthy in the eyes of Allah. The voluntarist metaphysics behind such reasoning is by no meant unfamiliar to western thinkers. And it is this intellectual battle that we are unwilling to or unable to fight.
Briefly, the assigned mission of Islam is to conquer the world for Allah. Submission to Allah is the highest human good. Any means to carry it out is good if it is successful. Carrying out this mission, in this view, is a Muslim’s vocation. With the re-establishment of the caliphate, this mission can now recommence. No other religion or its symbols, including ones more ancient than Islam, are allowed within its conquered territories. The fact that many individual Muslims may not agree with this interpretation is irrelevant. There are millions that do agree. But numbers are not the key factor.
Fear rules both the Muslim and western cultures that oppose the jihadists or are its victims. This fear is kept alive by methods of warfare, shrewdly applied, that utilize modern technology but rely on old and reliable techniques. Muslims fighters learned some time ago that modern weapons are not particularly effective against them. Slitting the throats of ten Christians on international TV is more effective than weapons of mass destruction, which they would also like to possess. We see that trucks and cars are often feared means of their warfare.
Thus, tanks and bombs are not particularly effective against individual and seemingly random attacks on enemy homelands. With local passports and cell phones, small arms, home-made bombs, and knives, any large western city can be brought to its knees for several days. It is something of a joke now to think that such things as the Transportation Safety mechanisms we have in airports make much difference. The downing of a Russian passenger plane may still happen, but attacking schools, buses, trains, churches, or just random individuals anywhere in the world will instantly be on international news with the usual disclaimers. Bringing down passenger planes may be an obsolete means in terms of effectiveness.
As long as we choose (and it is a choice) not to identify the problem the more it is successful and the more it will grow. That growth may indeed be the reason it is not identified. The deeper problem lies in the truth of Islam’s mission to conquer the world for Allah. If it is true, that is, if the Qur’an is a revelation of God, then it will eventually win. Even if it is not true or from God, as I do not think that it is, even in Christian apocalyptic terms, it may well win. If our view of the world is cast in terms of relativism, of diversity theory, of pacifism, we really have no clue about that is happening. One cannot but admire the logic and abiding persistence within Islam to continue its centuries-long, Allah-given mission to conquer the world.
One can speculate about why we cannot locate the problem, and therefore not face its real attraction for its millions of followers within Islam. In no actual Muslim country is there any real freedom of religion. Whenever and wherever possible, all or part of Muslim law is established as civil law. Many Muslim countries are “peaceful” only in the sense that their governments, usually military dictatorships, keep down that radicalism that would overthrow them and is overthrowing them in many places. Muslim masses wait to see who is winning. They know even within Islam that they cannot afford to be on the losing side.
Go here to read the rest. Our leadership in the West is unwilling to acknowledge what should be obvious: this is a war of religion. The San Bernardino massacre illustrates the depth of the problem.
Syed Rizwan Farook was born here. He graduated from California State at San Bernardino with a degree in environmental health. He worked for the San Bernardino government, earning 70K a year, inspecting restaurants. By outward appearances Farook was a mainstream American who happened to be a Muslim. However, Farook had gone through a religious conversion and joined the rank of the jihadists. His wife from Pakistan, already radicalized, was more than happy to join him in killing infidels. They dropped off their six month old baby with Farook’s mom before they carried out their massacre. Imagine their commitment. They were willing to see their baby grow up an orphan simply in order to kill as many of us as they could.
Until we acknowledge what we are confronting, we will never succeed with the half measures we have adopted. The Jihadists will never be stopped by their co-religionists. Too many sympathizers, too many afraid and too much hatred of infidels even among “moderate” Muslims. Jihadists are willing to be martyrs for their cause and we should give them every opportunity to do so. This is going to be an exceedingly bloody conflict and our current leadership, embracing too many delusional beliefs, has no stomach for it.