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Whither Egypt? Whence Syria? (Wrong Questions)

July 26th, 2013 - 7:29 pm

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July 25th was the 70th anniversary of the fall of Mussolini, voted out of office by the Grand Fascist Council, arrested by order of the king, and imprisoned.  At first, Italy remained in the war under a military government, but the armed forces were in shambles, the Allies had landed in Sicily, and the new government negotiated an armistice with Eisenhower that was agreed on September 8th.  Whereupon, in a matter of days, the Germans occupied most of the country, liberated Mussolini from a mountain top and set him up with a little “republic” in the north, and the battle of Italy was on.

Mussolini had led a mass movement to power, had successfully challenged the dominant superpower of the time (Great Britain), had enjoyed enormous popularity for most of two decades, and had entered the war on the side most military experts expected to win (Nazi Germany).  He had every reason to expect to rule Italy for years to come, and to be a major actor on the world stage.

It didn’t work out that way.  The Americans were unexpectedly bombed into the war at Pearl Harbor, and created an army and a system of production of weaponry that virtually nobody anticipated.  The Germans unexpectedly invaded the Soviet Union as winter approached, its troops unprepared for the terrible weather.  Hitler was defeated at Stalingrad.  The Allies invaded North Africa, defeated Axis forces, and attacked Italy itself.  Thus, July 25th.

This surprising history comes to mind when I read the confident predictions and analyses about the various battlefields in our world today.  You couldn’t anticipate the fall of Mussolini — at the hands of men he had appointed to high office — until the surprising and dramatic events took place.  Without Pearl Harbor, the United States would not have entered the war and it would most likely have taken a very different course.  Without the German invasion at the wrong time, Stalingrad would not have occurred, and the Allied North African campaign might have been delayed, or even lost.

These crucial events, and others like them, were the results of human decisions, and many of them were mistakes.  At the end of the day, it was all about winning and losing, and the Axis lost even though Germany and Italy had created wildly popular and successful totalitarian mass movements.  And the defeat of the Axis was also the defeat of fascism and Nazism, neither of which plays any significant role anywhere in Europe.

So when I hear some smart people say that the Muslim Brotherhood is not going away, or that Assad is doomed, or that Assad is going to win, I want to say to them, “But we don’t know.  It all depends…”  Popular mass movements like the Brotherhood can indeed go away, especially if they are defeated.  Fascism was once a global movement, but it’s gone, even if some of its evil elements survive here and there.  It’s gone because it was defeated, and its claims to represent the future were thereby demonstrated false.

The Brotherhood might be decisively defeated in Egypt.  The jihadis might be decisively defeated in Syria.  So might Assad, along with his Russian and Iranian defenders.  You may think any one of these outcomes is impossible, but impossible things happen all the time.  My father delighted in quoting to me a slogan from General Electric in the 1930s:  “The difficult we do at once;  the impossible takes a little longer.”

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Top Rated Comments   
Exactly.

Also, in WWII we would never think to allow Nazis into the country, much less freely advising the upper echelon of our military and government. And the same for the Cold War -- we may have gone to an extreme at times worrying about Communists infiltrating our government, but we definitely recognized the true danger.

And yet, we have allowed Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups to advise and influence all levels of our government, up to the Pentagon and the White House.

A good example was the terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki, who was declared a 'moderate' by the media, gave presentations to the US Army, and led prayer services for Congressional Muslim staff at the US Capital.

And our current president has significantly and consistently supported Muslim Brotherhood at home and abroad (e.g. Egypt and Morsi). He also regularly consults and is visited by Muslim Brotherhood and other extremists at the White House.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
> Just as we broke the ideological spine of fascism and Nazism and Communism, we, or others, can do the same to jihadism.

The problem with your article is that you misidentify the ideology of our enemy. 'Jihadism' is not a separate ideology from Islam. It is just a strict literal and extreme implementation of the commands of Mohammad and Islam.

The Jihadis might be best compared with the Nazi Death Squads... but not the ideology itself which was Nazism. The ideology behind the Nazi Death Squads was Nazism. The ideology behind the Jihadis is Islam. What you are calling 'Jihadism' is just the active implementation of the full force of Islam.

And that is why your analysis fails. The problem will not go away by simply (and perhaps only temporarily) defeating the Muslim Brotherhood, or some specific Jihadi group.

There are few, if any 'good guys' in these conflicts. The pro-western secularist and non-Muslim elements are in the extreme minority. And those Muslims who do not directly participate in Jihad still share the same supremist ideology with the Jihadis.

Furthermore, in the Mid-East conflicts that US has involved itself in -- Iraq and Afghanistan -- after 'winning' the wars, we did NOT correct the problem by following the post-WWII pattern of de-Nazification that the Allies implemented in Germany (and similar policies in Italy and Japan). We allowed the constitutions of both Iraq and Afghanistan to explicitly support Sharia -- the inhumane Muslim law that is in direct conflict with Democracy.

To continue the WWII analogy, that would be like the Allies allowing the new German constitution to state "no law will be implemented that contradicts Nazism".

And our open door policies towards Muslim immigration and proselytism in the US has brought the problem home to us via a large number of domestic terrorist plots -- such as the Boston Bombings, Ft. Hood et. al.

We cannot win a war when we do not understand and acknowledge who our enemy really is.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Twelve short years after 911 America has a demagogic, anti-Christian, President who is so pro Muslim that he supports the Muslim Brotherhood. The sad reality is that things will get a lot worse before they get any better in that war for which the public has so little appetite that it cannot be named.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (58)
All Comments   (58)
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So you want this civilizational war. The Blueprint is the 2nd world war. Communist , fascist Nazi already had a people united by a glue that binds namely Christian so they made converts from millions of Christians
USA back in 1940 was far more a Christian nation then it is today as pagan idolatry is now the religion taking over because in a material wealth nation pleasure is the glue that binds thus expect added numbers of babies aborted beside the 53million and look forward to the euthnasia of the elderly and what happens to democracy in the midst of this war?
The coming of a man who has the people worship him as God to bring about the glue that binds in a bloody war in the 21st century with so amny weapons of mass destruction. This is not the best way to defeat pagan idolatry I believe
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
I implore you as servant of the High Holy Emperor in Heaven turn inward and a Christian nation before you attempt to extract the splinter from your brother's eye or find yourselves under the spell of another glue that binds the worship of Satan the Devil who does not share power with the rif raf but make sure there is plenty of glue that binds the people to obey him
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Along the same lines, the same movement we are seeing today in the name of Islam, was originally in the name of other things - pan-arabism, semi-Communism, a Nazi-style movement called ba'athism (still that in Syria), etc.

The PLO, the terrorist organization controlling the Palestinian authority, was founded as a left-wing "liberation" movement. Hack, even Bin Ladin only attacked because he though he could win.

It doesn't matter what you call it. Islam or Islamism oe Jihasim, or whatever. The problem isn't defining the enemy. The problem is defeating him. If we do so, he will lose his charm.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
RLC2: good questions, all of them. the brain trust is smothered in a big fog of political correctness/moral equivalence/historical ignorance. this is what you get when the crazies take over the asylum, aka the educational system.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Syrian Christian describes religious cleansing of city by Islamic extremists July 25, 2013

http://www.jns.org/news-briefs/2013/7/25/syrian-christian-describes-religious-cleansing-of-village-by-islamic-extremists
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good analysis Michael, and thanks for keeping your eye on the ball.

Too many would have us believe it is like a carnival side show shell game.

38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
So what then are your predictions, Michael? I see outbursts of optimism over the revived 'Arab Spring' in Egypt from certain well-meaning people. Great. The people aren't enthusiastic over the Ikhwan, and that's good. And they wanted Mubarak out (and Obama helped there). And now, we are supposed to be seeing a new democratic flood in Egypt - unless it sticks on military dictatorship and civil war with the Ikhwan...they don't seem eager to go away.

Then your somewhat cheerful (?) predictions involving victory, after much bloodshed, are made while the White House is occupied by someone who scorns actual American history, has no use for what used to be 'typical Americans' (patriotic sorts), and has helped sow chaos in the Muslim world while supporting some of the darker forces against Israel. Well, wait, he 'supports' Israel but supports(ed) the Hamas and the MB too...

Predictions - Syria cantonizes, Lebanon is destabilized to an extent, the Sunni-Shi'a Iraq battleground continues to reignite, the negotiations with the PA go nowhere (or Bibi makes one-sided concessions and rips the Israel body politic asunder). And more Islamic terror, er, Jihad, flares up across the world, mostly in the Third World, but not only. And it all drags on and on because nobody-but-nobody will truly recognize the intrinsic threat in Islam. Bush did not, Obama certainly does not...and Hilary, the next President?
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
after i write to warn against making predictions, you ask ME to make some? i'm terrible at making predictions. I thought Romney was going to win, just start there...
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
As did I, *sigh* :-(
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
Greetings:

I much enjoyed your analysis, but, for me, Islam is the millstone. And if your plan doesn't include constraining, undermining, or eradicating Islam, you don't have a plan. What you have is a hope.

As our ostentatiously islamophilic President continues to demonstrate, he does not or wants not to perceive that threat. Muslims have been following their supremacist world domination strategy for some 1400 years. The problem will continue, to one degree or another, until Islam itself is dealt with as fascism was.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
thanks. my "plan" is to defeat the jihadis, and the best next move is to support the opposition in Iran. i agree with you about the president, i don't expect him to try to defeat radical isalmists, since he often acts as if he wanted them to win. except, of course, when he drones them down...
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
"Without Pearl Harbor, the United States would not have entered the war...."

If you're going to cite history, at least get it right.

The historical evidence does not, in any way, support your statement. By the summer of 1941, the US was already in a naval shooting war with Germany in the Atlantic and had already occupied formerly neutral European territory (Iceland). Hitler was telling his staff that war with the US was inevitable, and that he was only waiting for an advantageous time to declare it. For his part, Franklin Roosevelt had privately voiced similar sentiment. Churchill, of course, was doing everything possible to embroil the Us in the war in Europe.

Had Japan merely absorbed Europe's Asian-Pacific colonies, as suggested, the US almost certainly would have found an excuse to declare war because the US economy and military depended on vital commodities produced in those regions.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
But what is the US? Aren't you estimating the power of the isolationist - oh, excuse me - non-interventionist movement of the time?
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
No. The American Isolationists power has been exaggerated and was waning significantly by 1940. US troops were occupying Danish territory by mid-1941, and Representatives of the US Navy were planning joint operations with the Royal Navy against the Japanese Navy in the Pacific. Pearl Harbor certainly made it easier for Roosevelt to declare war on Japan, but it was not the only likely event that would have triggered US entry into W W II.
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
yessir. Peace in our time!
38 weeks ago
38 weeks ago Link To Comment
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