"The terrorists have won"

Ben Shapiro

8/30/2006 12:01:00 AM - Ben Shapiro

In the current war on Islamofascism, no platitude is nearly as ridiculous as the constant harangue that "if we do X, then the terrorists have won." X can be virtually anything. If you're a conservative, the terrorists have won if we don't fine CBS for showing Janet Jackson's boob during the Super Bowl. If you're a liberal, the terrorists have won if we don't enshrine partial-birth abortion and homosexual marriage in the pantheon of vital American liberties. If you're a libertarian, the terrorists have won if we continue to prosecute pot smokers or pass a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning. If you're Ralph Nader, the terrorists have won if we continue to not vote for you.

It is breathtaking to learn just how wide-ranging the Islamofascist agenda is:

The terrorists have won if the Transportation Security Administration begins searching luggage for toothpaste, said William F. Buckley.

If we ethnically profile travelers, the terrorists will have won, warned former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta.

The ratification of the Patriot Act means that the terrorists have already won, explained Howard Dean.

If the October 2001 Academy Awards did not go forward as planned, the terrorists would have won, averred Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences then-President Frank Pierson.

If Congress tightens the border between the United States and Canada, the terrorists will have won, stated Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

If Samuel Alito is appointed to the Supreme Court, the terrorists will win, implied Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT).

If we stop going to the ballgame or hanging out or going downtown for dinner, the terrorists win, said Juan Williams of NPR.

If Margaret Cho can't be as horrible and offensive as humanly possible, the terrorists will have won, stated Margaret Cho.

Apparently, Islamofascist terrorists have been praying ardently for the day Americans could no longer pack their Crest Tartar Protection; terrorists pop the cork each time a potential Muslim terrorist is profiled at the airport; terrorists wear little party hats and do the Macarena when their phone calls are monitored; terrorists shout "Allahu Akhbar" when Hollywood celebrities cannot fete each other; terrorists applaud thunderously when Canadians can no longer drive across the American border without their passports; terrorists squeal with glee when a Ruth Bader Ginsburg clone joins the federal bench; and terrorists are hockey and Margaret Cho fans.

This is all very, very stupid.

Terrorists are quite clear about what they consider victory: conversion of all non-believers to Islam and the subjection of the entire world to sharia law. When Palestinian Arab Islamofascists kidnapped Fox News journalists Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, they did not ask them to cancel the Oscars, stump for the Supreme Court appointment of Richard Paez or get them tickets to the Laugh Factory. They forced them to convert to Islam at gunpoint.

This is what Islamofascists do. They aren't shy about their goals. Whatever stops them from achieving those goals is what prevents terrorists from winning. Ethnic profiling helps stop terrorists. Monitoring terrorist phone calls helps stop terrorists. Terrorists aren't all that concerned about gay marriage; they don't win if we pass a Constitutional amendment preventing it.

What about the oft-made argument that if terrorists affect our freedoms, then they have won? Pure sophistry. If our enemies affect our freedoms, they affect our freedoms. We may not like our freedoms being affected. Nonetheless, that has no impact on whether the "terrorists have won." Our enemies do not care whether we allow Robert Mapplethorpe to peddle his tripe on the public dime. They hate us either way.

Only if affecting our freedoms allows our enemies to achieve their actual goals have our enemies won. During WWII, they affected our consumption patterns and civil liberties. We won. During the Vietnam War, they made our counterculture into our mainstream culture. We lost.

If the terrorists achieve global sharia, then they will have won. If they erect a mosque on the ruins of the World Trade Center, then they will have won. They will not stop until they achieve their goals. We must not stop until we have shattered their dreams forever.