9-11, Ten Years Later: Islam’s Unmitigated Success
On the morning of September 11, 2001, I thought that the Muslims had made a big blunder. At first I believed that they had scored an auto-goal: This was the sort of thing that would shake up the Western world, wake it up to the fact that the Islamic demographic deluge—a process that had been in full swing for some two decades before 2001—would now be subjected to some long-overdue critical scrutiny to which the politicians would have to respond. I hoped that the end-result might be the kind of formative, life-altering awakening that, particularly in the case of Western Europe, would prevent our further slide into self-destruction.
This pretty illusion lasted for about 48 hours. It disappeared as soon as I saw President George W. Bush go into the mosque in Washington, D.C., later that same week, dutifully taking off his shoes before declaring that Islam was the religion of peace and tolerance, that the perpetrators of 9-11 did not really understand Islam and were distorting the message of the Prophet. When in addition I saw identically intoned editorials in Le Monde, The Guardian, Corriere della Sera, The Independent, or the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, it became clear to me that the Western elite class was behaving in 2001 exactly the way it did in 1937 and in 1981.
Why those particular years? Well, in 1937 the Moscow Trials were at their height. The trials of Comrades Kamenev, Zinoviev and others were followed by those of Marshal Tukhachevsky and a host of other Red Army officers. They were some of the most egregious misuses of the quasi-judicial process ever used in history. And yet, just as the Gulag machine was switching into high gear, the apologia of Stalin in the Western world was reaching a hysterical pitch. If you read Arthur Koestler’s “Darkness at Noon,” or—at the opposite end of the moral divide—Walter Duranty’s New York Times dispatches from Moscow, you’ll know what I am talking about. The lies, the inability or unwillingness to tell the truth about what was going on in Moscow in 1937 was a sure sign of a strange phenomenon: The more murderous, the more outrageously antihuman Communist behavior became, the more determined the Western elite class was to come to its defense, as subsequently witnessed by Mao, Tito, Che and Ho.
Fast-forward to 1981, when the AIDS epidemic was officially recognized as such. Its direct link with promiscuous homosexuality was soon established and remains undeniable. Lo and behold, that same instant the grandsons and granddaughters of Walter Duranty & Co. suddenly discovered that the Gay Lifestyle is one of the most valuable contributions to our multicultural civilization, worthy of praise and emulation. Any attempt to link that particular “lifestyle” and its idiosyncrasies—such as hundreds of partners, randomly encountered—with the grim harvest of death was banned. Contrary to evidence, it was asserted that AIDS could happen to all of us at any moment. It became a metaphysical evil unconnected to any particular form of human behavior, just like “terrorism” was to become two decades later.
The aftermath of 9-11 proves that the spirit of celebrating death and depravity is alive and well all over the Western world. The events of that day triggered off an immediate and massive wave of officially sanctioned Islamophilia, akin to the elite class Sovietophilia at the height of the Purges and sodomophilia amidst the AIDS epidemic. It soon transpired that, far from committing a blunder, the Muslims scored an incredible coup on 9-11. They effectively tested the limits of “tolerance” of the Western elite class at an entirely new order of magnitude—and they found out that there are no limits! It became obvious to the Muslims that the more outrageous you are in your stated intentions—and nobody has been more frank in this respect than the founder of Islam, both in his alleged revelations and in the Hadith—the more determined your Western fellow travelers will be to assure their subjects that Muslim intentions are not like that at all.
The geopolitical harvest for the Jihadists has been rich and rewarding. The biggest prize of them all was Turkey. Not only was it the most populous of the ostensibly secularized Muslim societies but it was also once ruled by radical reformers most determined to break with the Islamic mindset and tradition and to turn Turkey into a modern European nation-state.
Already in the early 1990’s the late Turgut Ozal, first as prime minister and later as president, tried to reverse that legacy. He laid the foundation for the success in that endeavor by the AKP, the Justice and Development Party, over the past decade. The AKP came to power in February 2002 and for the past nine years Prime Minister Erdogan has pulled off a succession of coups. The first among them was his decision in early 2003 not to support the United States in the war against Iraq, not to allow the passage of U.S. troops across eastern Turkey to open the Western front, and yet to be praised and celebrated as the “essential partner” by then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz during his subsequent visit to Ankara. The key AKP objective was to change the constitution and to neutralize the Turkish army as the legally sanctioned guardian of secularism, which they did in a stage-managed referendum exactly a year ago. And yet the masterminds of the project were congratulated for this giant step towards full democracy by President Obama and the European Union. In recent months the AKP regime imprisoned some two hundred senior-ranking Turkish military officers, both active-duty and retired, as part of the Operation Sledgehammer—a monstrosity on par with Stalin’s 1937 Moscow Trials which remains virtually unreported in the Western media.
The significance of Turkey’s metamorphosis from Kemalism to post-Kemalism to anti-Kemalism cannot be overstated. Turkey is now a regional power in its own right and it is pursuing a neo-Ottoman strategy with three main thrusts. One is in the Balkans, one is in the former Soviet Central Asia and the Caucasus, and one is in the Arab Middle East. In all three of those regions Turkey is now conducting a fully autonomous policy. That policy is effectively helping each and every local Jihadist movement, such as the Bosnian-Herzegovinian SDA (the Party of Democratic Action) which is now headed by Bakir Izetegovic, son of the late author of the notorious Islamic Declaration, Alija Izetbegovic. Turkey is fully supportive of the radical religious leader of Bosnia’s two million Muslims, Mustafa Ceric, and his counterparts in the Sanjak region of southwestern Serbia and in Kosovo. Turkey, rather than Saudi Arabia, is sponsoring the Islamic revival of the Pomak community in Bulgaria.
In the Middle East the Turks have gained popularity in the Arab Street by systematically and openly destroying their previously close relations with Israel. They did so without so much as a peep of protest from the United States, which indicates the limits of what the friends of Israel inside the Beltway can do. They are notably ineffective when it comes to criticizing this “essential bridge between the East and the West,” the tail is wagging the dog. And vis-à-vis the former Soviet Central Asia the Turks are pulling wool over Moscow’s eyes by pretending that they are the moderate barrier to the extremist Wahhabist influence emanating from the Arab world. At the same time the Turks have established a special relationship with Azerbaijan, Turkmenia, Kazakhstan etc.
The exceptionally capable team of Prime Minister Erdogan, President Gul and Foreign Minister Davutoglu has brought this process of Turkey’s re-Islamization to the point of no return. It is no longer possible for the army to contemplate a coup, let alone to carry it out. The middle class Westernized Turks who were the backbone of the Kemalist order, feel like the Jews of Berlin in the last days of the Weimar Republic (as an American journalist living in Turkey put it to me in Istanbul last January). They see the writing on the wall but they are hypnotized by fear and can do nothing to affect the outcome.
The second richest jewel in the crown of Islam’s geopolitical advance after 9-11 is of more recent origin: Egypt. It is no longer necessary to argue in detail why the Muslim Brotherhood will be the ultimate beneficiary of what has come to pass over the past eight or nine months. Suffice to say that the Brotherhood is so confident of its power that it is going to contest only one-half of all constituencies. It does not want to be too successful right away, so as not to alarm unduly the Army which still has a number of nationalist-secularists in its senior ranks. The Brotherhood already has a tacit understanding with the military, according to which the Army will run the transition in political terms while the Brotherhood will quietly be given an upper hand in cultural and educational areas. We can confidently expect the Islamic Republic of Egypt to come into being within three to five years.
Why is the United States acting as if this was a great and glorious victory for democracy? Prima facie it does not make sense. Any sober analysis of the Egyptian political scene should have started with Mubarak’s brief experiment with democracy. In December 2005 he allowed the Brotherhood to contest a quarter of seats, and it swept the board in all of them, proving yet again that “democracy” in the Muslim world equals Islamization, or to be precise, re-Islamization, like in the case of Turkey. And yet Washington remains enthusiastic. The most significant result of the Iraqi war is that is has been made safe for the ayatollahs with close links to Iran. As soon as the last “Coalition” soldier leaves Afghanistan, it will revert to its Hobbesian ways or else to a Taliban-style Islamic dictatorship.
One possible answer regarding American motives may be roughly as follows. The friends of Israel are developing a long-term Machiavellian ploy: they are pleased to let these previously secularist Muslim states revert to their Jihadist ways, so that our unsinkable aircraft carrier appears that much more valuable and indispensable as the only reliable ally in the region. The Muslims are just impossible, we supported their democratization—and now, look! The Jihadist veterans of Benghazi have replaced Qaddafy, the same thing has happened in Tunisia, and we were helping them bring down Bashar al-Assad in Syria…
It is entirely possible that this is the broad agenda of some elements of the power structure inside the Beltway. On the other hand, within that structure there are still many people who do believe that all those English-speaking, tweeting yuppies from Tahrir Square protests last February will have an upper hand in Cairo and that the Arab Spring will go on from one triumph to another—but of course not to Saudi Arabia, not to Bahrein, not to the Emirates, because our friends there have warned us that things would get out of hand and that we would end up with some rather nasty Shiite dictatorships.
The aftermath of 9-11 has not only displayed the geopolitical shortsightedness of the Western elite class. Above all it has unveiled the extent of its self-hate. This goes well beyond its inability to protect the citizens of the Western world. It reflects a pathological desire to enable the enemies of the traditional nations of Europe and of what used to be “the American people” to establish a physical, cultural and political foothold in those countries. The elite class has been facilitating this process every step of the way, to the point where it is no longer possible to have a meaningful debate on the character of Islam in the European Union or Canada. Effective criminalization of meaningful debate has reached the point where merely quoting Islamic sources can get you into trouble if the guardians of the multicultural grail determine that you had done so with hostile intent.
What 9-11 has done for the Muslim world is enormously valuable. It has tested the will of the West and found it wanting. There is no need for further terrorist attacks, and if they happen it will be by some isolated self-starters disconnected from the “community.” Large-scale attacks are no longer necessary. The point has been made. What the Muslims need now is merely to continue on the long Gramscian road that will turn Dar-al-Harb into Dar-al-Islam. The shift is well under way and it is statistically predictable. In Britain, net immigration is greater than ever before, and much of it consists of Muslims from the Subcontinent, the Middle East and Africa. On current form the strategy of Riyadh and Ankara will continue to pay dividends because there is nothing in the way of changing the demographic transformation of Europe in particular. By the end of this century some of its oldest nations will no longer be able to reverse the process, and there will be no political will to make an attempt.
What can save us? A miracle! Or else, as I said eight years ago at the JRC meeting in New Orleans, what can save us is a precipitous, drastic economic crisis that would remove all legitimacy from the ruling elite and end any credibility it may have in managing the crisis. For the time being people are still looking to governments for solutions, rather than perceiving them as part of the problem.
What can help save us is the fact that the Muslims are not capable of thinking creatively and establishing harmonious and prosperous polities. If there is a belated recovery of the West in the wake of a global economic meltdown, and if the Muslim world is subsequently left to its own devices, the end-result will be the rediscovery of meaning and faith in the West—and yet another round of decline into moral depravity, intellectual decrepitude and material poverty in the Muslim world.