On October 12, Taliban leader Mullah Omar declared that it had reached a "success point" in its "jehad" (sic) against the Karzai government, and called upon other Jihadist organizations to finish the job in the Taliban's attacks on US and NATO forces, and to overtake the Afghan government. UK predictably responded today by standing behind Karzai's efforts to negotiate with the Taliban who seek to overtake the Karzai government, with the belief that it can "split" the Taliban, disregarding the Taliban's Islamist constitution and shared Islamist beliefs of the Taliban ideology, as the UK/UN/NATO/US State Department goal's remain focused on "stabilization" of Afghanistan.
In the United States, also on October 12, U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney issued an advertisement stating that his concerns regarding "Jihadism - violent, radical Islamic fundamentalism... [and] Their goal is to unite the world under a single Jihadist caliphate. To do that, they must collapse freedom-loving nations like us."
These comments on Jihad were met with mockery, laughter, and scorn by elements in the mainstream media, blogs, and a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee. Newsweek mocked Romney's concerns about Jihad, the Atlantic called such concerns "ridiculous", bloggers issued text and video mocking comments about the concerns, and Democratic National Committee spokesman Damien LaVera stated that Romney's comments on Jihad showed "no understanding of the threat facing our country".
On October 13, Steven Emerson appeared on FOX cable news and was roundly condemned by Alan Colmes for his "offensive" use of the terms "Islamic Jihad", "Islamic militant", and "Islamic extremist." Two weeks prior, Alan Colmes similarly mocked the Investigative Project's (IPT) concerns about ex-Virginia immigration commission member Esam Omeish speeches calling for "the Jihad way" as nothing more than "conservative political correctness". The Washington Post reported Esam Omeish's justification for "the Jihad Way" as merely calling for "struggle", and reported condemnations of the IPT revelations about Omeish as coming from "a small group of right-wing anti-Muslim bigots."
This continuing dangerous denial of the threats of Jihad, its ideology, and refusal to debate the issues of political Islamism represents yet another fault line in America's national security. When concerns about Jihad and Islamism are a source for mockery by American media and political organizations, then clearly the Jihadists and the Islamists are winning the War of Ideas.
Jihad is not a joke. Its ideology embracing death and causing violence is demonstrated every day throughout the world. Those mocking discussion of the threat and ideology of Jihad continue to undermine the War of Ideas in the United States, and undermine the efforts of moderate Muslims to fight Islamism and Jihadists. The growing denial is a bi-partisan problem that cuts across socio-economic backgrounds and levels of education.
But the denial is indefensible, regardless of the lack of a coherent strategy on Jihad and Islamism, and such denial must be publicly and vigorously condemned. It is a national disgrace. The apologist gamesmanship with the term "Jihad" is an ongoing propaganda effort that must be addressed by American political leadership.
As pointed out by Dr. Walid Phares, an ongoing propaganda effort has been made to try to redefine "Jihad". However, as Dr. Walid Phares points out in his book "The War of Ideas", "[t]he historical reality of jihad is intertwined with the evolution of the Islamic state since the seventh century. It is emphatically not a modern, recent, and narrow creation by a small militant faction". Moreover, Dr. Walid Phares points out that "democracies cannot recognize ideologies and movements that call for warfare based on theological grounds" and that a "redefinition [of jihad] can only be effective in the wake of a reform in Islam that touches the theological level".
On October 10, 2007, the United States government issued a "National Strategy for Homeland Security". Like its predecessor September 2006 "National Strategy for Combating Terrorism", you won't find the word "Jihad" in it, nor will you find a strategy for addressing Jihad or political Islamism, because neither is addressed as within the scope of the nature of the threat to the United States. The ambiguous terms "extremist" and "terrorist" are used instead, and the result are "strategies" without a precise and agreed-upon definition of the nature of the threat, focusing on tactics and operations instead.
What is the value of such ambiguous terms as "extremist" and "terrorist"? As shown in the documentary Islam versus Islamists, Tempe Wahhabist Imam Ahmad Al Shqeirat views anti-terror Muslims like Dr. Zuhdi Jasser as an "extremist". Iran calls the CIA and the US Army "terrorists". The importance of defining Jihad and political Islamism in our national security strategies is vital.
However, despite the apologist propaganda on Jihad, and the lack of a sufficient strategy, we all share accountability for knowledge. Since 9/11, who in America, regardless of their age, background, or political beliefs, can honestly say that they have no knowledge of the threat of Jihad to this country? Who is genuinely ignorant about Jihad in the United States? Is the dangerous denial of Jihad a fear of accountability? Is that part of the monofocus on tactics, rather than ideology?
The answer to ending this dangerous denial and to beginning an effective counterattack in the War of Ideas remains the task of developing a true blueprint strategy on Jihad and Islamism. But that blueprint strategy does not begin with the disciplining of great minds and analysts, but rather with the national willpower and resolve to face the accountability for what we already know, rather than busying ourselves with distracting arguments on tactics, operations, and politics -- for an enemy that we, as a nation, fear to identify. With great knowledge, comes great responsibility. It is a responsibility that America must accept, and it is a responsibility that America must demand that its governmental leadership and its media accept.
In a subsequent article, I will focus exclusively on the blueprint aspects of our war strategy, and why a use of hybrid methodologies may be necessary to effectively deal with the complex definition and identity of the enemy and the nature of the threat, so that the war blueprint strategy provides the flexibility needed for the global war against Jihadism. Until America's political leadership defines Jihad as a military threat, and defines its position on political Islamism, the War of Ideas will continue to be lost to those who espouse this dangerous denial on Jihad's threat to America and the world... and those who live in fear of the accountability that such knowledge of Jihadism demands of them.
The War of Ideas: Jihadism against Democracy by Walid Phares, February 20, 2007, pages 201-202, 205-206