To exonerate the U.S. from its decades of interventions, human rights abuses, murderous sanctions and occupations, the minds behind the war campaign are now trying to sustain this barbarism in the name of “fighting the war against the Islamist totalitarianism threatening open societies.” 
Unlike the secular totalitarians, none of the so-labeled “Islamists” has vowed to bring a regime change in Washington. Did they say they want to change the lifestyle in Western society by force? In fact, they cannot.
The reason is simple. As long as their own societies remain occupied, corrupt and blind followers of the material comforts alone; as long as they don’t have a model to present to the West, no sane “Islamist” can even imagine to begin with reforming, let alone threatening, Western societies.
James Bovard concludes: “There is no evidence that Islamic governments or movements threaten the survival of America. America’s survival is far more likely to be threatened by launching an endless series of religiously motivated unnecessary wars.”
In fact, the real friction begins when those who want to throw out corrupt dictators and reform Muslim societies are demonized as Islamists. The war lobby realizes that the US-backed repressive regimes have outlived their utility, but the much needed reforms should not be Islamic.
Warriors of the clash with Islam also know that if Muslim societies are given opportunity to live as they may like, they will prefer to live by Islam rather than the US supported Baathism, monarchism, sheikhism or secularism.
The crisis deepens, when the warriors against Islam have to promote democracy as well as tactfully holding Muslims from expressing their will in free elections. Unable to live with too many Algerias, they have decided to live with dictators like Mubarak and Musharraf for as long as possible; replace them with Karzai kind of puppets when necessary; and impose occupation councils until the advisors for a war on Islam make sure that a kind of constitution and system is in place that will never allow Muslims to live by Islam.
“Islamists” do not have ICBMs. They cannot occupy or transform Western societies through suicide bombings as Friedman would make us believe. The only way they can threaten the so-called open societies is to come up with an alternative model of a just order.
As long as the promoters of a clash with Islam can deny Muslims this opportunity by promoting divisions among them, they can live safe and fat at the backs and bucks of a perfectly duped public.
The public is asked to make the “war of ideas” the central issue of upcoming elections in the US. What are the ideas, is unclear. What is clear is the resolve that they do not want to see emergence of an Islamic State, period.
Once warriors of the Frum and Friedman club succeed in their campaign that the “war on terrorism” and subsequent occupations are nothing but a “war of ideas,” the world won’t see so many anti-war protester in the Western street the next time their country go on a killing spree for occupation. The reason: it would no more be a war based on lies about weapons of mass destruction. It would be a war based on lies about the ideas of mass destruction.
Ideas are not found or destroyed in plants and bunkers. No UN team or David Kay would then be able to expose the new generation of lies about ideas of mass destruction. The war would thus go on till completing globalization of tyranny because there would be no mechanism to confirm that the ideas they hate are now dead.
If Frum Friedman & Company are genuinely interested in a war of ideas, let them propose a moratorium on the use of physical force for making an argument. Let them recall their troops and ground their B-52s. Let us see the power of their ideas without the support of Tom cruises. Let us see their power of converting conjecture into “ideas” and ideas into “terrorist philosophies” without the use of daisy cutter and other banned weapons.
What is presented as a threat and anger of Islamists is nothing but a reaction to the deliberate American effort to deny a people their right to real reform. Perle and Pipes are presenting, what Naomi Klein calls “appointocracy,” as democracy and occupation as liberation.
It is absolutely not the gut middle-American feeling that there should be a war to donfront the overblown “Islamist” threat. This war is sold to public on the basis of exploited feeling after 9/11 and some vague definition of terrorism. All this is now being transformed to a “war of ideas” to exonerate the establishment and specifically steer the war towards undermining the very way of life prescribed by Islam.
Friedman calls it a “smarter approach than the Bush’s team” which has failed in properly mixing the fear of terrorism with the still under-construction-threat of the Islamic way of life.
The intolerant advocates of war are seriously struggling to “build a national consensus for what’s going to be a long cold-war-like struggle” against those who are working for establishing an Islamic model. They have yet to prove how an Islamic way of life undermines interests of the non-Muslim states.
The advocates of war believe that with the strategy of preemptive occupations, the US will “address the misgovernance and pervasive sense of humiliation in the Muslim world.” An analysis of the ground realities contradicts this conjecture.
You cannot address misgovernance of a butcher by replacing him with a band of butchers. Tyranny replaced by tyranny remains a tyranny. To assess the resultant feelings of humiliation, one only needs to ask those who prefer to take their lives rather than living under such tyrannies.
In short, bombing and killings is no argument. “Smashing someone in the face” as proposed by Friedman is not a way to spread ideas. He believes smashing Saddam and Taliban has “sent message to every government in the area.” Other than Iran, we don’t see any government in the areas that is not already on its knees before Washington. Most of them are dependent on the US protective umbrella.
The target of terrorist approach to inculcating fear is the credible alternative to both the US sponsored repressive regimes and the “free” lifestyle that has taken upon itself the killing spree to preserve itself.
Friedman admits two realities but explains none. He admits that the murderous occupations have intensified anti-US sentiments, which he thinks are cancelled out by the second reality: the dialogue among Muslims “about the necessity of reform.” The fact is that the so-called reforms are not only meaningless but also the second source of anti-Americanism.
Those who incubate intolerance towards Islam are desperately struggling to bring democrats, republicans and everyone else on the same boat, just as they were at the same wavelength against communism. Friedman says: “Lord knows we need it.” The world, however, knows that the resultant globalization of barbarism will be in no ones interest. Imposing a way of life on 1.3 billion people in the name of ideas is no joke.
Notes:. Thomas Friedman, “The war of ideas, part 5,” The New York Times, January 22, 2004. . James Bovard, “The Neocon War on Peace and Freedom, Part 2,” The Future of Freedom Foundation, February 20, 2004. . Ibid. Thomas Friedman. . Naomi Klein, “Bush’s Iraq: an appointocracy,” Globe and Mail, January 22, 2004.