Following the London bombings a year ago, I asked in this space how long the civilized world would continue to deny the reality of a war declared on it by modern day al-Qaida bandits and their global affiliates?
In the aftermath of the most recent terrorist bombings of passenger trains in Mumbai, India, evidence of the civilized world’s continued reluctance to respond adequately and with conviction to the asymmetrical warfare unleashed by Islamists has become more alarming than the irrefutable depravity of al-Qaida terrorists.
The culture of denial among the weak and the corrupt is an admission of incapacity by these people of managing the world they inhabit.
Denial in such circumstance demonstrates preference of an inconsequential people for a nostalgic past or an improbable future rather than contending with requirements of the present. When denial becomes the reflexive response of the strong then it is an evasion of responsibility—instead of doing what is self-evidently right, an escape is sought in the labyrinth of legalism and fake morality.
Islamists have succeeded this far in turning the strength of democracies to their advantage. They have exploited the restraint of modern civilization that opts in criminal justice for proportionality, restitution and rehabilitation as evidence of guilt and weakness.
Islamists declared war on the modern world much before Sept. 11, 2001. But the modern world—despite President George Bush’s leadership and effort since 9/11—opted instead to study the neuroses of Islamists, discover root causes of their depravity, offer palliatives by acknowledging their grievances as legitimate, and view the warfare launched by them merely as a problem of domestic law and order.
I wrote last year, “Bandits win, if they win at all, when lawfully organized society is drained of its will to eliminate banditry from its midst.”
The bandits of al-Qaida are winning—growing probably in relative strength of membership, resources, ingenuity in striking their enemy and intimidating neutrals—because democracies remain in denial of what is self-evident in the recent carnage in Mumbai and the continued low level warfare in Kashmir as an integral part of India.
What is required in destroying irreversibly these modern day bandits and their war against the modern world is taking a page from history in the war democracies fought in the last century against German-Italian fascism and Japanese militarism.
In August 1941, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt met in secret and announced the Atlantic Charter as response to the fascists in Europe.
The principle of this Charter—bringing the resources of democracies together in winning the war unconditionally—was extended to defeating Japan after its Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor.
The time is long past to wait upon a corrupt and cynical United Nations to devise a response that should have been prompted by 9/11.
The Charter against terrorism can only be promulgated by democracies with the legitimacy that authorities derive from the will of their people based on the rule of law. Such a Charter would strategically unite the world’s most powerful democracy, the United States, with the world’s largest democracy, India, and bring together Britain, Australia, Canada, Israel and Japan with invitation to others to join in the common effort to crush Islamist terrorists and those who shelter them.
Unless such a Charter is devised we will continue to have our modern version of Nero fiddling while Rome burns.