Perhaps it is tiredness at 01:23 in the morning, but I feel hopeless and depressed about the situation in which the West finds itself. We are at war with jihadi Islam, in particular with Iran. Yet the vast majority of (especially) the political elite will not face up to that fact and I don’t know if they even recognise that in 1979 fundamentalist Iran declared war on the West and that in 2001 Al-Qaeda declared war on the West. They don’t want to recognise that we’re not the villains but the victims of a reawakened aggression from our distant past.
In 1683, Vienna was besieged by the Ottoman Empire. That siege was no mere act of statecraft – it was a Jihadi war, a holy war aimed at the permanent conquest and conversion of non-Muslim states.
What puzzles me is what do we do? How can we fight this? The best answer that I have is democracy, secularism and the Enlightenment. We have the first functioning Arab democracy in Iraq – ok, I don’t like the inclusion of Sharia in the constitution but it can theoretically be removed and history is full of surprises. Afghanistan is not lost though it is on a knife-edge long term at the moment but that can be solved by a number of ways, more troops, better coordination and a more sustained political and financial effort here but above all by taking the war into Pakistan. The tribal areas have been turned into Islamist havens and we owe a duty to the inhabitants to free them from these medieval barbarians (and I use that word in the most bestial of senses).
But for the long term this starts with being honest. We have a fundamentally dishonest governing Labour Party, which will not make the sacrifices (moral or intellectual) that are required. And I don’t believe the Tories under Cameron will make those sacrifices – but I am open to being surprised. I believe that the best we small band of believers can do is to keep on saying and writing the truth that we are in a war and that these barbarians are our enemies. We cannot bargain with them or “understand” them because their objectives are the destruction of our society. We did not bargain with the Nazis in the last resort and we said then and will say again, “Thank goodness that we did not.”