For those of us who support the great struggle against radical Islam, the world reality could not be plainer. The threat of radical Islam is not merely a few thousand terrorists using small explosives to kill a few dozen people at a time -- usually in the faraway Middle East. Rather, it is an historic recrudescence of a violent, conquering old tradition of Islam that almost overwhelmed the world from the Seventh Century until as recently as the 17th century. It is radicalizing the minds of increasing numbers of the world's 1.4 billion Muslims to be very aggressive culturally, as well as violent -- from Africa to Indonesia, to Cairo to Ankara, to Paris, to Rotterdam to London to Falls Church, Va.
Funded by Saudi petro-dollars, it is capable of acting on a worldwide scale and will eventually get its hands on biological, chemical and nuclear weapons. While it probably will not be able to find sufficient unity to form a caliphate, it clearly has the capacity and intent to create violent chaos, to wreak digital havoc on our computer-based world economy and to intimidate western governments to give up the very values and methods that have made our civilization so vibrant and free. Free speech in Europe is already being curtailed to protect radical Islam from even verbal criticism. The flying Imams' lawsuit attempts to intimidate American citizens from even reporting possible terrorist activity to the authorities. Iran's nuclear ambitions are being appeased. How dare the media call it "Bush's War on Terror"? It's our war -- and it was started by the radical Islamists -- not by us. Where will it all stop?
To us, no fair and objective assessment of the state of radical Islam can deny these implications. One must not see the denouement of the Iraq War outside that context. To those who disagree with our view of reality, we are quite ready to impute anything from ignorance, to willful ignorance, to moral cowardice to treason. Those who disagree with us find our alarmism as noxious as we find their willful blindness to reality.
And so the debate stands. Every political decision -- from the Iraq war appropriation vote this week, to the Patriot Act, to the status of Guantanamo Prison, to NSA intercepts, to the presidential election -- is seen through our conceptual squint of the threat or non-threat from radical Islam.
Neither side seems remotely capable of persuading the other of the accuracy of our respective foresights. Two years ago, I wrote a book on the subject. I have talked to thousands and thousands in speeches and millions on radio and TV (as have so many authors these last five years). But the net effect seems to be to re-enforce the opinions of those who already share my view, rather than persuade others to change their mind.
Thus, while others and I will continue to make our case in public, it seems probably inevitable that the correctness or incorrectness of our views will only become persuasive to the multitude when history teaches its cruel, unavoidable lessons. It was ever thus, which is why history is strewed with broken nations and civilizations that couldn't read the writing on the wall. Of course, it is also strewed with sad hulks of false predictors of doom.
Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.
In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.
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