For what, precisely? Our national interest, or the principles we believe in? Which is it?
In Henry Kissinger’s Diplomacy, he says that in a multipolar world the key to peace is equilibrium. It was the breakdown of the international balance of power that drew us into international politics and the wars of the 20th century. After the First War, Woodrow Wilson and his ilk sought to replace the balance of power with international institutions like the League of Nations. After the Second War we half heartedly tried it again with the United Nations, but the reality of the Cold War was a contest between two superpowers, so it was a bipolar world (in both senses of the term “bipolar”).
The 21st century sees the return of a multipolar world, and once again, the necessity of diplomacy to achieve international equilibrium. This diplomacy begins with a mutual understanding with our long term adversary, Russia, the most aggressive of the great powers. This is the key to equilibrium, and to peace. It should be the next President’s highest priority.
Islam is not one of the world’s great powers. It is economically insignificant, except for its oil. This oil is one of the great prizes of the world, and we’ve been fighting over it since it was discovered, and we still are. Three of the great powers, China, Japan and western Europe, are dependent on that oil, while the other two, Russia and the U.S., compete (or, are about to compete) with it for markets of their own hydrocarbons. But, aside from Israel, the Middle East and its oil is not a vital national interest to the United States. It’s up to China, Japan and Europe to keep the oil flowing. They need it, we don’t. It’s not ours, and it’s not our problem.
What is our problem is Islamism. We’re as different from Islam as two peoples can be. From our very first encounters with it, such as Mark Twain’s first best seller, Innocents Abroad, or the New Pilgrims’ Promise, of 1869, we were repelled by their treatment of women. Our first war was with Islam, and the Barbary pirates. It was in order to fight them that the United Sates Navy and Marine Corps were formed. We hated these people, and finally took them out. When the first GI’s landed in North Africa (the 82nd Airborne among them) in 1942 they were completely disgusted by the men, and the way they treated their women.
Islam is a patriarchy taken to the extreme, and one of our core elements is a belief in the equality of the sexes. In our culture, women have control over their own bodies. In theirs, women are little more than chattel. No wonder we don’t get along. We’re Christians, which is a feminized Judaism. Some Christians, such as Saint John Paul II, believe in Marianism, which is a supreme devotion to Mary, the Mother of God. This is why we are completely incompatible with Muslim societies.
The war of the west against Islam is a war of civilizations stretching back almost 1500 years. Hundreds of millions have died in this multi-century war. And more are dying today. Islamism today is a spasm, but in the past it was a real threat. Some of the epochal battles in human history have been between Christian Europe and Islamism. The Christian victories, led by Charles Martel, Don John, and John Sobieski, preserved our civilization. We owe our way of life to their courage.
We’ve got business to do in the Muslim world, but we’re not going to war with it. We’ve got a police action to conduct against ISIS, and then we’re getting out. Though we might be back, if more policing is required. It depends on their behavior.
With Islam, I believe in peace through separation.