Thursday, June 03, 2004

Islamist Leverage

Taking C.S. Lewis's wickedly sharp "Screwtape Letters" as a model, Belmont Club has been publishing a "memo to Osama."

The core problem the Memo tries to explore is how a committed Jihadist might try to destroy the West given their limited means. Since the Jihadi leaders are intelligent men, they must know their chief hope lies in exploiting the weakness of the West: to turn Western weaponry on itself and exploit the inner divisions in its society. While the Islamist's performance on the battlefield has been laughable, their success at using Western institutions to further their goals has been remarkable. They have converted passenger aircraft, fertilizer, crop sprayers, sources of electrical power and news agencies into potential weapons. Although they do not vote in elections, they decide or strongly influence their outcome in Western nations. While they have no armies worth the name, they are the principal threat to the world today.