World Domination of Radical Islamism

By Chavez, Linda | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, September 26, 2014 | Go to article overview

World Domination of Radical Islamism


Chavez, Linda, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


What a difference a year makes. In September 2013, President Obama bragged to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, "The world is more stable than it was five years ago." This week, the president again addressed the U.N. delegates, but claims that the world is somehow more stable thanks to his leadership were, understandably, missing.

It is difficult to know whether Obama has finally learned his lesson or not. The man's hubris knows no bounds. Perhaps now he thinks he can vanquish Islamic extremism on his terms -- a few bombs here, a cruise missile there, a shipment of small arms to pro- Western fighters on the ground elsewhere.

But the battle to defeat the Islamic State will not be so easily won. Nor does eliminating one group ensure that others, even more dangerous, do not emerge. Indeed, the short, terrible history of the Islamic State (or ISIL or ISIS, as it is variously known) demonstrates exactly how these groups metastasize, with each mutation more deadly than the previous.

The U.S. may have killed Osama bin Laden, but the next generation of al Qaeda, the Khorasan Group, is busy plotting more attacks from bases in Syria. It is one thing for a great power to eliminate the leadership and annihilate the soldiers of an enemy army and quite another to defeat the ideology that inspires others to take their place.

And that is the problem the West faces. The struggles of the 20th century to defeat first Nazism and then communism in some respects pale in comparison with the challenge of the 21st century to defeat Islamist totalitarianism. As an ideology, communism ultimately collapsed of its own weight. Its utopian premise could not meet the test of reality. Communism promised heaven on earth but delivered scarcity and deprivation. Nonetheless, communist ideology advanced for seven decades, spreading suffering to many parts of Europe and Asia and, with more limited success, to Africa and Latin America before collapsing.

But radical Islamism faces no such earthly reality check. Radical religious ideologies are always more difficult than political or economic ideologies to prove false. …

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