There’s no question that Biden’s name will forever be linked to one of the worst military blunders in the postwar period.
But an older error set the stage for bad decisions that have empowered modern jihadism for forty years — the failure to understand the true nature of Islam as documented in 1400 years of practice and doctrine. As a result, we have pursued policies based on delusion and false paradigms.
Carter and Iran:
The first mistake was our misreading of the 1978-79 Iranian Revolution and the kidnapping of our embassy staff in November 1979. Jimmy Carter’s feckless response followed the stale narrative of anti-colonial resistance to our Cold War self-interested disregard for aspirations to national self-determination, political freedom, and human rights.
Our ally the Shah of Iran, despite Iran’s geostrategic and economic importance, fell victim to Carter’s naïve belief that “moral principles” and “idealism” were more significant than military readiness and a realist willingness to use force to protect our national interests and allies. Misled by that paradigm, Carter withheld support from the Shah, assuming that a secular coalition would replace him. …
In reality, the [Iranian] revolution was a religious phenomenon, a response to the Shah’s modernization and secularization policies such as emancipating women and protecting minorities like Jews and Baha’is. The Ayatollah Khomeini, godfather of the revolution, made this motive clear in 1963 when he said the Shah’s regime was “fundamentally opposed to Islam itself and the existence of a religious class.”
Missing too from Carter’s thinking was the historical role of jihad in Islamic reform movements. Khomeini’s sermons and books, the latter dismissed by our security agencies, were clear on the religious obligation to create a political-social order based on Islam and Sharia law. And the means for achieving it was jihadist violence and martyrdom.
After he took power in Iran, Khomeini articulated the violent nature of jihad: “Islam is a religion of blood for the infidels but a religion of guidance for other people.” And its goal is the global triumph of Islam: “We shall export our revolution to the whole world. Until the cry ‘There is no god but Allah’ resounds over the whole world, there will be jihad.”
Such statements are consistent with Koranic verses such as “Slay the idolators wherever you find them,” or “Fight those who do not believe in Allah,” or “O you who believe! Fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness,” or “Kill them wherever you find them.” …
[Clinton’s] Secretary of State Madeleine Albright called Islam “a faith that honors consultation, cherishes peace, and has as one of its fundamental principles the inherent equality of all who embrace it.” Ask the frightened women of Afghanistan, desperate to escape the Taliban’s Sharia-based brutal practices, about the notions of “inherent equality.”
Bill Clinton took the same tack when he praised Islam’s “deepest yearning of all––to live in peace,” a claim refuted by 14 centuries of Islamic invasion, occupation, plunder, and enslavement, all justified by the Koran, Hadiths, and Muslim jurisprudents and philosophers like Ibn Khaldun.
George W. Bush likewise indulged such ahistorical apologetics: Islam’s “teachings,” he proclaimed, “are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of Allah, blaspheme the name of Allah.” But what we call “evil” to pious Muslims like Khomeini or Osama bin Laden or the Taliban are sacred duties to fulfill the will of Allah that the whole world embrace Islam, the one true religion. It bespeaks Western arrogance to tell pious Muslims what their scriptures really mean.
Sigh. Their fantasies endanger us all.
It’s a three way struggle: woke and Islam are in an alliance of convenience to drag down western civilization. But Islam is far stronger than woke, so when woke no longer has western civ. to hide behind it will quickly disintegrate.
My view and that of a great many Instapundit readers is that politics is downstream from culture, which is downstream from philosophy and theology, so talking about one necessarily encompasses assumptions and principles, often unstated, about one or both of the others.