I haven’t written for a few weeks because I’ve had a glum period with weekly issues that beckon my time too weakly for words. This season recalls January and February as the ‘Gloom Period’ at West Point. The oppressive gray world of gray uniforms, buildings, sky and snow was offset only by the brooding black of the rocks, mountains, statues and the cynical humor of cadets. I was a cadet there during the Vietnam War and taught there during the Reagan Era of the Cold War.
When I was an inmate, we stood in formations three times a day to wait our turn to march into the mess hall. The winds howled down the Hudson Valley horizontally and filled my right ear with snow. Always the right ear. The slightest change in the wind would pause the icy blast. I welcomed each second of respite. But, I stayed steeled for what I knew would slap my face, too soon, again. Eventually, the short-lighted days of incredibly long weeks would pass until the winds changed enough to chill, but not sting with ice. The harbinger of Spring, still more months away, was the wind.
So, too, the winds of war shifted during those years. As always, wars change while they’re being fought. I’d read a lot of history and expected this guerilla war to run 10 years with major power involvement. So, ran Vietnam, but the Great Power, America, lacked the will to win and lost. Vietnam lasted longer than any war – except the collection of campaigns and wars called the Indian Wars (1608-1890). The War the politicians call, hopefully, the Global War on Terrorism (but should be known by its proper name – WW IV – The World War against Islamists) has run longer than WW II. And, I just felt a shift in the winds of this war.
The world-wide Muslim demonstrating, Islamist rioting, Liberal prostrating, and political posturing following the publication of mere cartoons signals a changing wind. The multi-dimensional Muslim protests are uni-directional. Always, Israel and the U.S. are the enemy. Europe is the enemy too, when Europeans stand up for Western Civilization. The cartoon cacophony is waking up more in the West.
The Muslim cultural incompatibility with the West can’t be glossed over with the syrupy rhetoric of Wilsonian idealism and soft, wealthy, suburban Methodist ecumenism. The Islamist World War comes from a naturally-occurring minority, measured in hundreds of millions, of totalitarian Muslims bred and fed by a comparatively, barbaric Islamic Civilization. Many Americans and some Europeans see the War, like a long, hard Winter, as it is becoming, not as we wish it to be. Except, of course, the Liberals.
This is worth writing about. The Liberals, like the trail company in line, will be the last to turn their faces into the wet wind and march. European Liberals may not fall into ranks until it’s too late. Their failure to stop Muslim immigration, reproduce their own European populations and confront Islam in the market place of ideas with Christian Faith and Evangelism means the Muslim population bomb will cloak Europe in burkhas by the end of this century. The Dark Ages won’t be as black as the coming night of Western Civilization in Europe.
Multi-culturalism is bunk. No two cultures have ever co-existed in the same time and place to guide a civilization. Ever. Muslims must renounce the Koran’s calls for Sharia law and submit to secular civil law, based on Judeo-Christian thought and Western tradition, to live as citizens in the West. Muslims must accept the full freedom of thought, speech and religion for others, including conversion from Islam – and especially from those who insult them. Muslims have to grasp individual rights that are God-given, not defined by Allah, to live as equals, not enemies, in our civilization.
Meanwhile, American Liberals sooner, or more 9-11 attacks later, must understand the meaning for the greatest military and economic power the World has ever seen. America can use this Imperial power without Imperial ambitions. Unlike Pax Romano, America won’t conquer. Unlike Pax Britannica, America won’t colonize. Yet, America will fight wars on the barbarian periphery of our Civilization. A Pax Americana for Western Civilization is the conjoined twin of WW IV. Our long, long peace and war must contain Islam until Islamic Civilization picks up the 800 years they’re behind with a Renaissance, Reformation, Enlightenment and Great Awakenings of modern thought. The Muslim howling about cartoons sounds like changing winds. Is your perception of the war changing?
James Atticus Bowden is a military 'futurist.' His novel, Rosetta 6.2, should be published in mid-2006. A retired United States Army Infantry Officer, he is a 1972 graduate of the United States Military Academy. He earned graduate degrees from Harvard University and Columbia University. He holds three elected Republican Party offices in Virginia.