March 7, 2008

Germans are good at following orders...

From Al-Qaeda Is Losing the War of Minds , By Peter Wehner,

On the way various influential clerics are turning against Jihadism. Such as Sayyid Imam al-Sharif ("Dr Fadl"), a former mentor to Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Sheikh Abd Al-‘Aziz bin Abdallah Aal Al-Sheikh, the "highest religious authority in Saudi Arabia." (The poor terrorist boobies will soon be reduced to using the Archbishop of Canterbury for religious leadership.)

...Not surprisingly, al-Qaeda’s stock is falling in much of the Arab and Islamic world. A recent survey found that in January less than a quarter of Pakistanis approved of Mr. bin Laden, compared with 46 per cent last August, while backing for al-Qaeda fell from 33 per cent to 18 per cent.

According to a July 2007 report from the Pew Global Attitudes Project, "large and growing numbers of Muslims in the Middle East and elsewhere [are] rejecting Islamic extremism". The percentage of Muslims saying suicide bombing is justified in the defence of Islam has declined in seven of the eight Arab countries where trend data are available. In Lebanon, for example, 34 per cent of Muslims say such suicide bombings are often or sometimes justified; in 2002, 74 per cent expressed this view. We are also seeing large drops in support for Mr. bin Laden. These have occurred since the Iraq war began.

Since General David Petraeus put in place his counter-insurgency strategy early last year, al-Qaeda has been dealt punishing military blows. Iraqis continue to turn against al-Qaeda and so does more of the Arab and Muslim world. In the past half-year an important new front, led by prominent Islamic clerics, has been opened. Militarily, ideologically and in terms of popular support, these are bad days for Mr. bin Laden and his jihadist jackals.

If we continue to build on these developments, the Iraq war, once thought to be a colossal failure, could turn out be a positive and even a pivotal event in our struggle against militant Islam. Having paid a high cost in blood and treasure and having embraced the wrong strategy for far too long, we stayed in the fight, proving that America was not the "weak horse" Mr. bin Laden believed it to be. Having stayed in the fight, we may prevail in it. The best way to subvert the appeal of bin Ladenism is to defeat those who take up the sword in its name...(Thanks to Orrin Judd).

Toldja so.

But wait, haven't we been in this situation before? Where we beat the stuffing out some murderous enemy, and then they suddenly discover that our ideas have merit?

I think it was in Lionel Davidson's thriller set in postwar Germany, Making Good Again, that somebody asks how a bunch of ex-Nazi's can ever form a democracy. And the answer was something like: "Germans are good at following orders. We've ordered them to become a democracy. They will obey." I always liked that. And it was true! Same thing with Japan.

And it will be true with the Islamic world too. They are good at following the "strong horse." That's us, if only we don't lose our civilizational self-confidence...

Posted by John Weidner at March 7, 2008 9:09 AM
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