But what is France fighting for in this war on terror? For terrorism is simply a tactic, and arguably the most effective tactic of the national liberation movements of the Twentieth Century.
Terrorism was used by the Irgun to drive the British out of Palestine and by the Mau Mau to run them out of Kenya. Terrorism, blowing up movie theaters and cafes, was the tactic the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN) used to drive the French out of Algeria.
The FALN tried to assassinate Harry Truman in 1950 at Blair House, shot up the House of Representatives in 1954, and, in 1975, blew up Fraunces Tavern in New York where Washington had bid his officers farewell. The FALN goal: Independence from a United States that had annexed Puerto Rico as the spoils of war in its victory over Spain.
What did the FLN, FALN, Mau Mau, Irgun, and Mandela’s ANC have in common? All sought the expulsion of alien rule. All sought nations of their own. All used terrorism for the same ends as Uighurs do in China and Chechens do in the Caucasus.
Osama bin Laden, in his declaration of war upon us, listed as his casus belli the presence on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia of U.S. troops and their “temple prostitutes.” He wanted us out of his country.
What are Valls’ terrorists, jihadists, and radical Islamists fighting for? What are the goals of ISIS and al-Qaida, Boko Haram, and Ansar al-Sharia, the Taliban and al-Shabab?
All want our troops, our alien culture, and our infidel faith out of their lands. All seek the overthrow of regimes that collaborate with us. All wish to establish regimes that comport with the commands of the Prophet.
This is what they are recruiting for, killing for, dying for. We abhor their terror tactics and deplore their aims, but they know for what they are fighting. For what are we fighting?
What is our vision that will inspire Muslim masses to rise up, battle alongside us, and die fighting Islamists? What future do we envision for the Middle East? Are we willing to pay the price to achieve it?
Comes the reply: America is fighting, as always, for democracy, freedom, and the right of people to rule themselves.
But are we? If democracy is our goal, why did we not recognize the election of Hamas in the Palestinian territories, or of Hezbollah in Lebanon? Why did we condone the overthrow of the elected regime of Mohammad Morsi in Egypt? Why do we not demand democracy in Saudi Arabia?
But hypocrisy is the least of our problems.
The real problem is that hundreds of millions of Muslims reject our values. They do not believe all religions are equal. They do not believe in freedom of speech or the press to blaspheme the Prophet. Majorities in many Islamic countries believe adulterers, apostates, and converts to Christianity should be lashed, stoned and beheaded.
In surveys, the Muslim world not only rejects our presence and puppets, but also our culture and beliefs. In a free referendum they would vote to throw us out of the region and throw the Israelis into the sea.
For many in the Middle East collaboration with America is a betrayal. Our presence spawns more terrorists than our drones can kill.
This week Valls conceded there are “two Frances,” adding, “A territorial, social, ethnic apartheid has spread across our country.”
Have her five million Muslims become an indigestible minority that imperils the survival of France? Have France and Europe embraced a diversity more malignant than benign, possibly leading to a future like the recent past in Palestine, Cyprus, Lebanon, Sri Lanka, and Ukraine?
T. S. Eliot said, to defeat a religion, you need a religion.
We have no religion; we have an ideology—secular democracy. But the Muslim world rejects secularism and will use democracy to free itself of us and establish regimes that please Allah.
In the struggle between democracy and Allah, we are children of a lesser God. “The term ‘democracy,’” wrote Eliot, “does not contain enough positive content to stand alone against the forces that you dislike—it can easily be transformed by them. If you will not have God…you should pay your respects to Hitler or Stalin.”
Germany used democracy to bring Hitler to power. Given free elections from Morocco to Mindanao, what kind of regimes would rise to power? Would not the Quran become the basis of law?
If Charlie Hebdo were a man, not a magazine, he would be torn to pieces in any Middle East nation into which he ventured. What does a mindless West offer as the apotheosis of democracy?
Four million French marching under the banner “Je Suis Charlie.”
Whom the gods would destroy …
Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore. Republished with permission of the author.