June 12, 2016

MY USA TODAY COLUMN IS ON ORLANDO: An Untraditional War: We can’t stop ISIL-inspired massacres if we deny we’re fighting Islam’s jihadist strain.

UPDATE: Some cogent thoughts from Alex Pournelle:

I agree with every word you say here, but I think it lacks a key component. And, yes, you are space limited.

This is an information war. The grandparents of these mass murderers had different ideals, at least in embryo. Baghdad used to be so cosmopolitan that SFO was “Baghdad by the bay”. Persia, too, was advanced, and I don’t just mean in historic times.

We, the West, used to be very good at exporting ideas, classical liberal ideals, personal freedom, actual tolerance. We don’t, any longer. (Hollywood had shown it can still export ideas, but not so much ones supporting freedom or classical western values.)

Without actual psywar, without actual belief in the Constitution, this evil will not be destroyed, not at its actual base: the hearts and minds of the world where it spawns.

That of course goes to the Long March through the legacy educational institutions you so eloquently cover, but also to the larger question of why naming our actual enemy is fundamental to victory.

So, too, is the concept of victory, which we have discarded in the last decade.

Indeed.

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