Sunday, July 01, 2007

Mark Steyn's America Alone, VI--So What Can We Do?

Steyn's book, together with the input of a friend from Canada, has pushed me to read further on the subject of Islam and America.

I have now read The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) by Robert Spencer and I try to keep up on Dhimmi Watch and Jihad Watch.

So one becomes all alarmed . . . and then????? What can (or should) we do as a result of knowing or discovering the things Steyn points out? Steyn suggests several things. Spencer suggests many more. And then, through the auspices of Jihad Watch, I bumped into a third commentator who provides several additional very useful insights.

So let me pass along what I have learned.

I'll share Steyn's here, in this post, since his recommendations are from his book.

I'm not sure I "buy" too many of them as being truly useful, but they're not a bad start for a person like me who hasn't even begun to think about these issues on his own. . . .
  1. Support women's rights--real rights, not feminist pieties--in the Muslim world. This is the biggest vulnerability in Islam. . . . The overwhelming majority of females in Continental battered women's shelters are Muslim--which gives you some sense of what women in the Middle East might do if they had any women's shelters to go to. When half the population of these societies is a potential source of dissent, we need to use it.
    [Note from John: I'm not sure Steyn is correct about how readily Muslim women will be to go up against the system. As he and others have noted, it is often the women who are at the forefront of raising suicide bombers. And it astonishes me how many female converts speak up to say they feel "liberated" by Islam!]
  2. Roll back Wahhabi, Iranian, and other ideological exports that have radicalized Muslims on every continent. We have an ideological enemy and we need to wage ideological war.
    [Note from John: I like the concept, here. I'm not sure how the U.S. government or "we the people" are supposed to do this. But the government could certainly start with the Wahhabi and jihadist imams in the U.S. mosques. --Spencer provides a much more finessed perspective in his recommendations (yet to come).]
  3. Support economic and political liberty in the Muslim world, even if it means unsavory governments: an elected unsavory government is still better than a dictatorial unsavory government. It's not necessary for Syria and Egypt to become Minnesota and New Zealand. All that's necessary is for them to become something other than what they are now. And on the bumpy road to liberty, every Muslim regime that has to preoccupy itself with intern dissent has less time to foment trouble beyond its borders.
  4. Ensure that Islamic states that persecute non-Muslims are denied international legitimacy and excluded and marginalized in international bodies.
    [That, I can applaud!]
  5. Throttle the funding of mosques, madrassas, think tanks, and other activities in America and elsewhere by Saudi Arabia, Iran, and others.
    [Note from John: Again: sounds like a reasonable suggestion to me!]
  6. Develop a strategy for countering Islamism on the ideological front. Create a civil corps to match America's warrior corps and use it to promote alternative institutions, structures, and values through a post-imperial equivalent to Britain's Colonial Office, albeit under whatever wussy name is deemed acceptable: Department of Global Community Outreach or whatever. . . .
    [Note from John: Not sure what he means]
  7. Marginalize and euthanize the UN, NATO, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and other September 10 transnational organizations and devote the energy wasted on them to results-oriented multilateralism.
  8. Cease bankrolling unreformable oil dictatorships by a long-overdue transformation of the energy industry.
    [Note from John: I'll buy that!]
  9. End the Iranian regime.
  10. Strike militarily when the opportunity presents itself.

--America Alone, 205-206

I have to confess: I'm not very comfortable--indeed, I'm not comfortable at all--in the arena of Steyn's geopolitical recommendations. But I thought I should pass them along since it is he who "opened my eyes" to the issues we're discussing.
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