Prompted by the weekend's events and by reading some posts on other blogs I've decided to start a new series of posts of my own about the "war on terror", the "third world war" (actually, this is just a continuation of the first world war that began in the 7th century AD) or clash of civilizations - call it what you will.
I'm basing my posts on the quotes of Sun Tzu - one of the greatest strategists the world has ever known and whose "Art of War" is the benchmark manual for winning wars. The first of these quotes is this ....
All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.
In the current situation I ask the question - who is winning the battle of deception? The answer, I'm afraid, is not us. The enemy has succeeded in convincing large numbers - certainly the majority of our media and political elite - that the root cause of the clash of civilizations is something we have done. Whether it be the creation of the state of Israel, the war in Afghanistan or Iraq, isolating Iran, failure to make concessions to Islamic demands in our own countries - we singularly refuse to acknowledge the fact that Islam has been waging a war on the rest of the world virtually since it's inception.
Mohammed used the art of deception successfully in his campaigns against his native people when they stood up to his political ideology dressed up as religion and the same principle has been applied ever since. The suggestion that the current flaring up of the longest war the world has seen is caused by modern grievances is utterly unfounded.
Could Israel have been the cause of their "grievance" when Barbary pirates were raiding the coast of England for slaves in the 18th century? Of course not, it didn't exist. Was American foreign policy behind these same pirates attacks on American shipping? Ridiculous.
Was the war in Afghanistan behind the Muslim invasion of Spain and Portugal in the 8th century? Could Iraq lie behind the Muslim attempt to take Vienna in the 16th and 17th centuries? It's ludicrous to propose that Islamic aggression is either new or motivated by anything other than the Islamic desire to rule the world. That is the only thing that motivates Islamic terrorism - nothing else. It is true, of course, that the western response of invading and occupying Iraq and Afghanistan has stirred it up - and as we'll see in a later post, that is a good thing - but falling for the myth that these things are the "cause" of Islamic aggression is self-deluding.
If you look at the Sun Tzu quote, you will notice that Muslim terrorist use all of these techniques successfully. When they seem unable to attack, the reality is they are quite capable. When they appear inactive they are actually making active strides, when they seem to be far away, they walk among us, when they are far away, the appear to be at our side.
We, on the other hand, are open and honest about our intentions. We signalled the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq months in advance giving them ample time to co-ordinate their response and marshall their defences (again, something we will see in later posts). In Israel, the Palestinians frequently hold out the "bait" of the "two-state solution" to entice us into more concessions - which we eagerly rush into - only for them to whip it away at the last moment.
We welcome Muslims and Islam into our lands as guests and they thank us and smile politely at us. We grant them concession after concession and in return they demand more and more - then stab us in the back the moment we drop our defences. As we reel around to confront them, they recoil in horror and exclaim "Stop the backlash! Where is the tolerance?".
The Islamic movement is well versed and expert in deception.