Until the West’s leaders are prepared to call a spade an invasion, all this brave talk of fighting militant Islam will result in nothing more than a few more air strikes, more summits and, just maybe, additional special forces advisers on the ground. That is not enough. We will lose
Last Wednesday, former Army officer and now poster girl for the LGBTI community, Catherine McGregor, had a piece in the Daily Telegraph. Here is the opening sentence:
Australia is engaged in a war, though you would never grasp that from listening to our political leaders or the political class.
Well, that’s refreshing, I thought. I had previously written McGregor off as, primarily, a self-promoting activist. Maybe there’s more to her than I thought, I thought. Let mes see what she has to say. The piece started promisingly with McGregor explaining that our present troubles had their genesis a long time ago.
I do not subscribe to the populist view that this began on September 11, 2001. There have been perennial frontier clashes between Islam and the West going back to The Crusades. Muslim invasions of Europe were defeated as recently as the lifting of the siege of Vienna in 1683.
She rightly criticizes the progressives’ position: that Islam was not the Orlando killer’s motivation. Unfortunately her piece goes rapidly downhill from there, degenerating into a lament at the way that conservatives have allegedly mistreated her LGBTI cohort:
Conservatives have been just as guilty of sophistry. The worst have instinctively blamed the victims for flaunting their “perversion” and piously observed that Islam and homosexuality are each derived from Satan. I could not make this garbage up.
“I could not make this garbage up”? I rather think she did. Perhaps she should have named and shamed any conservative who spouted this ‘garbage’ – a conservative of standing, that is, not some lunatic on Twitter or the utter crazies who fill the pews at the infamous Westboro Baptist Church. Perhaps she didn’t think to cite them when writing her article, but the ABC certainly did. On Thursday’s Lateline, compere Tony Jones did a satellite interview with Louis Theroux that began by quoting the crackpot congregation’s delight at the Pulse massacre. Remember, it was a Muslim who killed 49 people in an orgy of bloodshed, but Lateline chose instead to place its focus on an entirely unrepresentative group of “Christians”. Why would that be, do you think? No need to answer.
But back to McGregor, who continued in a similar vein. And at the end we are not treated to any suggestions as to how Group Captain McGregor, a senior serving officer, thinks we should prosecute this war she claims we are involved in. On her initial point — Islam’s expansionist enmity for the West — McGregor is right. But like her former boss and mentor, Australian of the Year David Morrison, she seems unable to talk the talk, let alone walk the walk.
Yes, we are at war. Most Quadrant readers have known as much for years. After the Charlie Hebdo massacre, Francois Hollande also said it, but whether the French president or any of the so-called leaders of the West genuinely understand what this means is highly doubtful. That they have the stomach for such a war for is an even more dubious proposition.
Europe is being invaded, an invasion that commenced many years ago and has been facilitated by one of the most self-destructive initiatives that the West could possibly devise: the European Union. That most of the invaders are unarmed is neither here nor there. Thanks to the mindless vacuity of the progressive Left and its infiltration of all our institutions, they haven’t needed to be armed. But the effect is the same. The sheer numbers of those so called ‘refugees’ guarantee that they will fester as sullen, unassimilated and parasitic communities, feeding off their host nations while coming to represent an ever-larger and more powerful demographic within them. Ultimately, as Mark Steyn has warned (see the clip below), they will take over.
So until our leaders, starting with those most affected — Cameron, Hollande, Merkel et al — are prepared to bite the bullet and call a spade an invasion, all this brave talk of ‘war’ will result in nothing more than a few more air strikes, more summits and, just maybe, a few more special forces advisers on the ground. If we, and by that I mean the West, are ‘at war’, we need to act accordingly. Wars are not won by air strikes. They are not won by special forces, valuable though they may be.
No, wars are won by balanced conventional forces deployed in such overwhelming numbers that the enemy cannot prevail. We can continue to bleed, suffering relatively small numbers of casualties every year for the next 100 years (as suggested by former Chief of the Army Peter Leahy) or we can do the job properly and mobilize on the scale we did in 1939.
I know that this will be a hugely risky and complex undertaking. I do not have the understanding to suggest how the geopolitical considerations might be resolved — how Saudi Arabia or Iran might react to such an intervention, for example. I only know that the Middle East has been unable to get its own backyard in order. Sooner or later, we will have to do it for them, if for no other reason than to protect our own civilisation.
Such a mobilization would involve Australia. A stable Europe is as much in our interest now as it was in 1939.
I’m not suggesting the West tool up and go en masse into the Middle East. What I am suggesting is that when we do go into a trouble spot, such as Syria or Iraq, we do it properly and be prepared to be there for the long haul. If that means staying in Afghanistan or Iraq for 20 years, so be it. It would also necessitate working with Russia. The West held its nose and danced with Stalin, it can do the same with Putin if necessary.