Diana West

No one has ever adequately explained why the jihadist "insurgency" fights on in Iraq. Really. It's not enough to say these Islamic fanatics want to drive "infidel" U.S. forces out of Iraq, or that they want to bring down the Iraqi government. It is by remaining in Iraq that the United States has built up a democratically elected but Islamic government in Iraq -- and an Islamic government is the goal of every good jihadist. In other words, our Islamic enemies should be at peace with the Iraqi government because its constitution makes Islamic law supreme. "No law that contradicts the established provisions of Islam may be established," says Article 2. That single line contains the blueprint for a sharia state, and if there's one thing a jihadist apparently likes, it's a sharia state.

Recently, Sayyed Ayad, a liberal member of Iraqi parliament who favors the separation of church (mosque) and state, spoke in Washington. When I asked him what could be done under Iraq's constitution to foster democracy, not sharia, his answer was chilling.

Pointing out that Iraqi voters chose this sharia-supreme document, he said: "They have to try it for 10 or 20 years, and then change it." Maybe.

Which leads me to another point no one has adequately explained: Why exactly American troops fight on in Iraq. Sure, the objective is to destroy the hellions of the insurgency -- a killing machine more aptly and derisively described by the late journalist Steven Vincent as "paramilitary death squads." And I still believe the goal of killing jihadists "there," not "here," is entirely commendable. But even after their destruction, does an American victory lie in making Iraq safe for sharia?

The same question applies to Afghanistan, where another democratically mandated sharia state has been established thanks to the U.S. of A -- as the world finally noticed when an Afghan Christian "apostate" named Abdul Rahman had to flee to Italy rather than face Islamic "justice" in the courts or on the street.

Maybe this all proves that Islam and democracy don't mix. Then again, maybe they mix just fine; it's the mixture itself -- sharia for the people -- that clashes with liberty as defined in the Western world. This is the lesson we seem determined not to learn. But in making such ignorance inviolate, we end up making the world safe for sharia.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).