Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The unnameable threat

David Warren argues something politically incorrect: "In the course of three years’ intense study of the issue, I’ve become convinced that there is -- well, this is a slight exaggeration -- no such thing as ’Al Qaeda’. It is, more precisely, only a name applied vaguely to one of several financing and logistical arms of the Wahabi branch of what could more accurately be called the ’Islamic Jihad’. Not an army, nor a disciplined network of underground cells, but an historical movement -- and thus more comparable to something like ’the Enlightenment’ in the West, than to any organized militia. Not to say the Jihad shares ideals with the Enlightenment -- far from it -- but rather, it is similar in being a vast idealistic movement, consciously advanced by men who co-operate as and where they think they can be most effective -- but taking their orders, ultimately, not from men but from ’the zeitgeist’, or ’Allah’."

The Belmont Club reflects on this more extensively, and adds to it (follow the links) by, among other things, noting the probable importance of
the chaos at Los Alamos Laboratory. Giving the war its right name, Belmont asserts, would affect both our Constitutional system and the way we wage war. Very thoughtful. Read the whole thing.  

Discussions - 1 Comment

The Belmont Club is outstanding, but I think Wretchard mis-spoke a bit in that posting. Here’s an excerpt from an e-mail I sent him:

Re. today’s posting. You write: "a major branch of a world religion would be declare a de facto enemy of the state. Not people, not a country; nothing with a capital unless it be Mecca, but a system of religious belief. It would strike at the very root of the American Constitutional system, the separation of Church and State."

Not sure what you mean by that last line. Certainly in the original, Founding-era understanding of that idea, there would be no problem identifying a fanatical religious sect as an enemy of the state. Perhaps you mean the more recent vapid notion that it is somehow illegitimate for the government even to recognize that religion exits? If so, the necessary disposition toward the enemy would hardly "strike at the very root of the American Constituional system." It would merely clear away some weeds.

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