We stand on the brink of Armageddon. Western civilization will not survive the kind of war that both our enemies, and those who claim to be our defenders, are currently preparing to fight.
It's my expectation that "we" will lose the coming war solely because "our" government, and regrettably the majority of American citizens, are unwilling to fight the war to win - to pay the price and do the "distasteful" politically incorrect things that would be required to win a very dirty war. My objection isn't that we're going to fight this war, but that we're going to use the wrong tactics, and in the process become our own worst enemy.
Psychology is always an important factor, and will be critical in the coming war. The best defense is the one that is so credible in the mind of your enemy that it never occurs to him to test it. The most costly defense is one that appears to your enemy to be weak enough to be defeated, because then you're obliged to prove to your enemy that you're willing to do what is necessary to defeat him, by actually doing it.
We've so publicly undermined our own respect for individual freedoms that our enemies don't believe we have the will or ability to effectively defend our principles. We're now going to have to prove that our defenses are effective against a terrorist enemy - and that will require restoring the right and ability of the individual freemen of America to effectively and efficiently participate in the defense of their own rights and freedoms.
Resorting to an authoritarian based defense will only confirm the expectations in the minds of the terrorists that they can defeat freedom in America, and encourage them to continue their war on us. Not only is an authoritarian response the least effective means of combating terrorism, but it becomes the proxy agent of the terrorists - allowing the terrorists to leverage the *relatively* minor amount of direct damage they can inflict on us into exactly the sort of massive harm we are currently inflicting on ourselves in response to their attacks.
Our government can't win the war - it can only snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Serious defensive measures will be required to limit the amount of damage our enemies can inflict on us, but the kinds of measures currently being advocated will be far more effective at destroying freedom in America than protecting it.
Only the citizens of America can win the war, and this is exactly the approach that *our government* is most aggressively obstructing/discouraging. In a conventional war there are undeniable advantages in having a centralized command and control structure that can coordinate air, land, and sea forces. However, many of the battles in the coming war will have more similarities to gangsterism than conventional warfare - especially the war on terrorists hiding within American society.
The terror war in Algeria undoubtedly provides a better model for a large part of the kind of war we will be fighting than the previous two world wars. However, I expect the coming war to become a multidimensional conflict with aspects of both conventional and unconventional warfare. We will have to be effective on all fronts in order to prevail.
The war will be far more vicious and destructive than anything mankind has ever experienced. In spite of initial efforts to contain and localize the war, it will grow into a global conflict that will entangle most of the human population on Earth.
There is currently a great deal of effort being expended on building coalitions with "moderate" Arab nations. The "moderate" Arab nations might nominally *start* the war on "our side", but they will eventually join the radical Islamic fundamentalists. The primitive feudal societies that prop up the "friendly" despots of the Islamic world are only slightly less hostile to western civilization than radical Islam, so it's only a question of *when* the "moderate" Arab states will join the other side, not *if*. This will be a war of cultures, and the "moderate" Arabs will have to choose between the west where they have little of value to offer, and the primitive feudalism of Islamic culture where they can remain the ruling elite. As the biblical saying goes, "they would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven". We should not be placing our trust in unreliable fair-weather friends with such obvious common shared interests with our declared enemies.
I fully expect the Communist Chinese and the residue of the failed soviet bloc to continue to provide covert support for the radical Islamic terrorists - manipulating the terrorists into acting as their proxies in their own ongoing war on free America. The Communist Chinese involvement in the conflict will likely become much more "overt" in response to western military successes in the middle east. And as our true enemies "come out of the wood work", we will have to be willing to ramp up our war effort to overcome them as well.
There will be more "successful" terrorist attacks inside America. The defense against terrorism can at best only be a "stop loss" measure, while the primary focus of our war effort must be directed at ruthlessly and remorselessly removing the malignant culture that is creating and/or supporting the terrorists, from the face of the earth. Any other strategy will be doomed to failure before it starts. If we become focused on preventing further casualties at any cost, we've already lost the war.
While we should make all reasonable efforts to minimize the damage our enemies can inflict on us, our primary strategy must be to take the war to the enemy - to destroy as completely, effectively, and efficiently as we can arrange, the cultural foundations that make it possible for our enemies to attack us. We can only effectively protect our free society by eliminating all those who would try to do us harm - either by physically eliminating the individual terrorists, or by eliminating the cultural acceptance of terrorism as a means of "competing" with the west. Neither of these goals will be easy, nor can they be accomplished "cleanly".
While the war won't be a conventional land war, the philosophy of Gen. Patton will still apply - the best way to minimize overall casualties is an aggressive offense that destroys the enemy's ability to shoot at us as quickly as possible, not cowering in a bunker hoping he'll run out of ammunition before he breaches our defensive walls. If we respond to the casualties our enemies inflict on us with renewed determination to utterly destroy all those who are waging war against us, we can win the war and minimize our total casualties. If we respond hysterically to every casualty by attacking ourselves, we will only encourage our enemies, and ultimately suffer far more casualties both in the war and in its aftermath.
The war can only be won by taking the fight to the enemy. The terrorists will only be ultimately defeated in detail by turning their support structures against them. Every rational self-interested individual with whom terrorists come in contact must become the active front line of the war on terrorism.
While it would be preferable to defeat as many of our enemies as possible by winning the struggle for their hearts and minds, this approach will be severely limited in the coming struggle by the irrationality of our enemies, and our own abandonment of freedom in America. We can hardly win over our adversaries with the advantages offered by individualism and a free enterprise when we've allowed America to be turned into such a poor example of our own principles. The only way to effectively neutralize the threat of an enemy who is committed to dying in the service of his cause is to kill him before he can do you harm. We must be willing to exterminate all those who are unable or unwilling to recognize that it is in their personal self-interest to respect the rights of freemen.
While there have been plenty of displays of emotional overreaction and demands to "bomb 'em back to the stone age" at the moment, I don't see the kind of grim determination necessary to wage the kind of war that can effectively defeat our enemies. We are facing a hydra, and it won't do any good to simply cut off an exposed head or two - it will be necessary to utterly destroy the body of the hydra, which means destroying the underlying culture that supports it. The only ones who seem to understand this are those already demanding prior restraints on how America fights this war - demanding that the nation and individual citizens forgo our most effective defensive measures out of "respect" for the cultures that are actively seeking our destruction.
There has already been loss of life in this nation, and the suffering and dying has just begun. We should, of course, do what we have to in the short term to limit further losses, but we must concentrate our primary efforts on eliminating the source of the threat. We must have the clear intent to destroy the source of our enemies, not destroy everything we hold of greatest value in a futile effort to guard against our enemy's efforts to cause us harm. Stalemate is not an option in this kind of war, and neither is losing. We can only survive by effectively eliminating the desire of those who would make themselves our enemies to even try to wage war against us.
Terrorism must be defeated *before* it starts. Once the terrorist mind-set has taken root in the bent and twisted mind of a true believer, the only remaining alternative is to kill him before he can kill you. We must create a credible expectation in the minds of all potential terrorists that engaging in terrorism against America is the *worst* disaster that could possibly happen to their cause - and everyone and everything they hold of value. We must create such a credible defense that we no longer must prove its credibility - and at this point, the only way to do that will be to demonstrate that we have thrown off the self-destructive efforts of the 5th columnists that seek to yet again impose a defensive strategy of "tying our hands behind our backs while shooting ourselves in the foot" on America.
Terrorism can only be eliminated by making the very thought of it as repellent to those would be our enemies as it is to ourselves. This will require minimizing the adverse effects of terrorism on our society - both physically and psychologically - while maximizing the adverse effects of having engaged in terrorism on our enemies. It will be at least as important to frustrate the efforts of the terrorists to succeed in eliminating freedom in America as it will be to destroy the current terrorists and their supporters.
Most importantly, the primary considerations in implementing defensive measures should be their effectiveness and efficiency in accomplishing the intended goal. None of the measures being implementing today are either effective or efficient uses of the sacrifices being demanded of the American people. Sacrifices demanded to further the ulterior motives of our 5th column internal enemies only sap our ability to fight our primary enemies.
It is the duty of the citizen militia to become the first line of domestic defense against terrorism. In the face of this clear need, "our" government is accelerating its efforts to disarm and dismiss the citizen militia - redoubling its long campaign of attacks on the rights and powers of freemen citizens at the very moment when an aware and involved citizenry is our nation's best - and possibly only - effective defense.
The value of information supplied by informed and aware citizens far exceeds the value of information obtained through surveillance and infringing on the privacy of innocent citizens. Contrary to the claims of "law enforcement", the police almost never solve a crime themselves - they primarily respond to information collected by individual citizens who are personally motivated to demand that the crime be solved. The government has largely subverted the purity of this dynamic through their promotion of paid informants, and "enlisting" the worst elements of society as allies in its "war on some drugs and all of our rights". While "our" government is currently claiming that it needs expanded powers to buy the cooperation of the dregs of society in order to spy on our enemies, it is far more critical that it restore the faith and trust of the citizen militia that is our primary domestic defense.
The only effective security measures will be the ones that the citizens willingly implement out a reasonable expectation of their effectiveness. I don't have to understand every detail of the how and why behind every measure, nor do I expect every measure to work out exactly as intended. However, it is necessary to the survival of freedom in America that there be an solid expectation in the minds of the citizens that all internal security measures are implemented solely and exclusively to defend against the enemy, not to further the ulterior motives of those seeking to exploit the situation to wage their own subversive war on our fundamental principles.
It should alarm anyone who still understands the true meaning of freedom that those most loudly claiming to be "defenders of freedom" today are exactly those who have for years been advocating the most aggressive infringements on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The vast majority of the new "security measures" being implemented to "defend against terrorism" are aimed at expanding government surveillance of innocent citizens, not restoring the right and ability of free citizens to participate in the defense against terrorism. True to form, instead of seeking to re-establish the respect and cooperation of the citizenry in our nation's hour of need, "our" government is instead seeking to exploit the emotions of the moment to further trample the Constitution and Bill of Rights - to exploit the hysterical fear of terrorism that has paralyzed the thinking capacity of too many citizens to seize the absolute power they've long lusted after, but have until now been unable to convince the citizens to surrender to them.
None of the "security measures" demanded by Attorney General Ashcroft since the WTC attack would have been the slightest obstacle to the *real* terrorists - but they are all substantial infringements on the Constitutional rights of American citizens. The Attorney General has repeatedly demonstrated that he is a committed authoritarian who is only interested in using the emotion of the moment to expand the power of government - and of course his own power. And he's just one of legions of 5th columnists in "our" government who pose a far greater threat to the founding principles of America than any foreign enemy ever could.
The new "Homeland Security Secretariat" has a very high potential of becoming the Gestapo of the "new liberated America" where everyone is free from freedom. At the same time, every *meaningful* restoration of the fundamental rights of freemen that *would* make it impossible to hijack an airliner, are dismissed as "out of the question".
Authoritarians have long understood that the easiest way to gain absolute power is to attack a society from within while it's distracted defending against an external enemy. This has been the traditional path to power for authoritarians, and the one used so successfully to incrementally erode American freedoms in the name of cold war national security.
The terror that began when the Communists seized power in war weakened democratic Russia, had driven many to the brink of open revolt before the start of WWII. Stalin probably did more to undermine the ability of the Russian people to resist the Nazis than any other individual "defending" the nation. But through a combination of an effective propaganda machine, and the cold blooded murder of everyone who offered a better alternative, Stalin managed to convince the masses that he was their only hope for salvation. The Communists made sure that those non-communist groups that joined them in fighting the Nazis were destroyed during the war, and where thereby unable to resist the expansion of soviet tyranny after the war. The Communists went on to murder even more Russian citizens than the Nazis, and spread death and misery around the globe. The legacy of the failed but resurgent Soviet Union may yet provide the means of humanity's extinction.
If we turn America into an authoritarian police state out of fear of the terrorists, we will have lost the war even if we manage to physically kill every "terrorist" in the world. Quite likely, such a "victory" will cost us and the rest of the world far more in the long run than the unthinkable alternative of immediate surrender to the terrorists. Those freemen who join with an American Stalin *for the duration* will be purged as soon as their usefulness to the tyrants is exhausted - just like the Polish underground was intentionally "sacrificed" in the Warsaw uprising just before Stalin took over the roll of murderous oppressor from their supposed common enemy.
Will winning the war against the terrorists be worth letting the authoritarians seize absolute power in the process? Will an American Stalin kill any fewer of us than the terrorists? Will a sociopathic authoritarian American Stalin commit any greater crimes against our founding principles than the sociopathic radical Islamic fundamentalists?
The war can't be won on American soil - it can only be lost here. The coming war will mark the end of freedom in America - at least freedom as the founding father's understood the word to mean. The WTC attack is already well on the way to becoming the pivotal "burning the Reichstag" event that will be exploited by America's *resident* authoritarians to finally eliminate what little token respect for the constitution and bill of rights remains.
The west will likely defeat our radical Islamic enemies, but will in the process destroy itself as its politically ignorant citizens, terrorized by both external enemies and internal authoritarians, surrender the last of their freedom in the false hope that absolute security will provide them with absolute personal safety. Long before the end of the "war against terrorism", America will have become a totalitarian police state that increasingly turns against itself until it collapses - dragging the rest of the world down with it into the next dark age.
I fully believe we can only win this war, and still be a free nation when it's over, if we first eliminate the enemy within - those who have been aggressively attacking our right and ability as a nation, and as individual citizens, to effectively and efficiently defend ourselves, our nation, and our free society, for far too long already.
The struggle against our internal enemies will be more psychological than physical. Recovering our lost respect for our founding principles would be the most powerful weapon we could have in our arsenal - one which would multiply the effectiveness of all our other weapons, while undermining the expectations and resolve of our enemies. If the American people fail to recover their lost respect for the principles of individualism and freedom, we will have lost the war even if we exterminate every declared enemy on the planet.
I have no illusions about the coming war. We don't have any choice but to fight it with everything we have. The coming war will be a "dirty war" with no quarter given - at least not by our enemies. We will only survive the war if we as a nation dedicate our full resources to the effort, and are willing to "donate to the cause" *for the duration* many of the comforts and conveniences - and yes, fundamental rights - that too many of us have come to take for granted in peace time.
We must become a united people again. But I believe that "we the people" must demand that "our" government rejoin us in *our* war against terrorism, not endure the further expansion of "our" government's attacks on our fundamental rights as free citizens in the name of defending us against terrorism. If we fail to effectively deal with the anti-freedom 5th column within our society before we go to war, not only will our war effort fail, but we will lose the hearts and minds of the American citizenry to the 5th columnists who will continue to attack us from within.
We've already suffered far more harm from the *reaction* to the attack than from the attack itself - and the "war" hasn't even gotten properly started yet. This will be a long war at least in part because our enemy within will only allow the "war against terrorism" to be "won" when terror is no longer useful as a means of further enslaving the citizens of America.
Who are more evil - those who attack western civilization, or those who exploit attacks by our external enemies to destroy western civilization from within while claiming to defend it?
The worst possible response to a known evil is to create an even greater evil as a defense against the original.