Why we must kill more of the Islamist enemy

I have received several notes from people I respect asking what I meant by saying: “We need to get serious about killing many more of our Islamist enemies and their civilian supporters.” I said some form of this on FOX News this week and in several articles I have written in recent weeks.

My statements and the questions they provoked go to the heart of the reason that I began — with the help of several very kind and talented people — to write at this site. As I noted in the first piece I wrote here, I have nothing but the greatest respect for the people at AntiWar.com, LewRockwell.com, and at other sites dedicated to liberty and a non-interventionist foreign policy. They were kind in publishing my work when I first began writing; I remain in their debt.

I began writing here, however, because I believed, and still believe, that the wages of U.S. intervention abroad are war and more war, and that that reality will not change until the American electorate removes our bipartisan interventionist elite from federal office. Let us hope that the Tea Party and other non-interventionists begin that process today.

But it is important to recall that this is a process, and one that is getting a very, very late start. The U.S. government’s interventionism has been growing and solidifying for half-a-century; our grammar and high schools inculcate our young with a belief in the innate goodness of sticking our noses in other peoples’ business and trying to change them — via coercion if necessary — into mirror images of ourselves; and then, on high-school graduation, many of these young people go to universities that largely support endless, militant interventionism, teaching that America proves its worth by what it does to westernize people overseas — especially by building democracies — not by what it does to improve life in North America.

On top of all this, most of the media is interventionist to the hilt. Whether to install rights for women where they are anathema; destroy Iraq and Iran for Israel and Christian Zionists; champion the cause of a female poet in Burma; pour countless millions down the corrupt Haitian drain when Americans are hungry and jobless; or give 400 million borrowed-from-China dollars to massively corrupt Palestinian leaders, the media are often an important motor driving U.S. interventionism.

Now, all of this should be ended as quickly as possible. But that laudable goal is not yet near the horizon. Even if change toward non-intervention begins to take hold today, the Congress, the media, the schools and universities, and the White House will stay in the interventionists’ hands. Another step forward may be made in 2012, but given the vagaries of politics, it is possible that some 2010 gains by non-interventionists will be rolled back. Unless an event occurs domestically that forces most Americans to see the great and perhaps irreversible damage that has been and is being done to the republic by Washington’s interventionism, it will take decades to retire the Wilsonian fantasists who cause wars, waste our blood and money, and erode our liberty.

Where does this leave America? Well, it leaves us with growing popular support for non-intervention — which is good news — but it also leaves the interventionists in power and, more important, it leaves 80-percent of the Muslim world interpreting U.S. foreign policy as an attack on Islam meant to destroy the faith and its followers. While only a percentage of that number has taken up weapons to fight the United States, the motivation for others to begin fighting will continue and grow more compelling while Washington is run by interventionists and its foreign policy in the Muslim world is static.

This reality, in turn, requires Americans to think not only about how to legitimately rid ourselves of interventionists, but about how we defend the republic against the anti-U.S. enemies the interventionists have cultivated and nurtured in the Muslim world for 50 years and more. No matter how much we dislike war, the interventionists have brought us wars which will have to be fought in tandem with political campaigns to send into permanent retirement those politicians, teachers, and journalists who drive the intervention that ignites wars.

To defend the republic while ridding it of interventionists, I do not know of any other viable choice but to use the U.S. military to kill increasing numbers of the Islamist enemy and its supporters. Because the only action that will sap the enemy’s motivation to fight is an end to U.S. interventionism, and because we cannot remove the interventionists and their policies in the foreseeable future, we will have to fight hard and bloodily overseas for the republic’s survival. And we must not shy from the fact that the interventionists — in their slavish, self-interested support for Israel and Arab tyrants — have and are enraging growing numbers of young, U.S.-citizen Muslim males. At some point in the not distant future, these young men will begin conducting attacks in the United States that will come to be regarded as commonplace.

Whether I am right in this calculation, time will tell. And I can say truthfully, moreover, that there is no one who hopes more than I do that those I admire at AntiWar.com, LewRockwell.com, and in the Liberty movement generally are correct in believing both intervention and war-making can be opposed and halted at the same time.

But I do not think this is a realistic possibility. Instead, I believe only the ferocious, bloody-minded use of U.S. military forces against the Islamist enemy and its civilian supporters can keep our foes at bay until U.S. voters rid the republic of the interventionists who have given us nothing but war.

Perhaps it is needless to say, but if we the voters fail to eliminate the interventionists and their policies, the chance of ending this era of seemingly endless war is remote at best, and that, of course, would all but ensure the end of liberties we have known. Indeed, the American citizenry has a vital role to play, while U.S. Marines and soldiers spend their lives to buy time to end war-causing intervention.

Thus, the voters’ task of ending intervention is of transcendent importance. If you doubt that, consider the words of a leading antebellum statesman and future vice president of the Confederacy. “No principle is more dangerous to us,” said Alexander Stephens, “than that of compelling other nations to adopt our form of government. No instance is to be found upon record of any republic having ever entered upon such a hazardous crusade, which did not end in the subversion of its own liberties and the ultimate enslavement of its own people.”

Author: Michael F. Scheuer

Michael F. Scheuer worked at the CIA as an intelligence officer for 22 years. He was the first chief of its Osama bin Laden unit, and helped create its rendition program, which he ran for 40 months. He is an American blogger, historian, foreign policy critic, and political analyst.