12 June 2007

Islamism Doomed To Fail?

President Bush speaking at the dedication of the Victims of Communism Memorial in Washington"Like the Communists, our new enemies believe the innocent can be murdered to serve a radical vision. Like the Communists, our new enemies are dismissive of free peoples, claiming that those of us who live in liberty are weak and lack the resolve to defend our free way of life. Like the Communists, the followers of violent Islamic radicalism are doomed to fail."

Dedicating a memorial to the victims of Communism in Washington today, President Bush is right to draw parallels between Communism and Islamic radical extremists. He is also right to list as the great lessons of the Cold War "that freedom is precious and cannot be taken for granted; that evil is real and must be confronted; and that given the chance, men commanded by harsh and hateful ideologies will commit unspeakable crimes and take the lives of millions." However, I ask a few simple questions:

Was it inevitable that loyalists and republicans would be reconciled in Northern Ireland?
Was it inevitable that the Soviet Union would collapse?
Is it inevitable that peace will come to the Middle East?
Are the followers of violent Islamic radicalism doomed to fail?

I suggest we would be wrong to presume any such thing. As our elders know all too well, freedom must be fought for in every generation.


MikeC said...

Ed, I'm glad you ask these questions, and I resonate with the degree of scepticism you reveal in your post.

I hope that President Bush is indeed right, but I don't believe that 'doomed to fail' can be added to any cogent comment about radical Islamism. Similar, perhaps even directly relevant, to the situation between Israel and Palestine, this is not a recent (historically speaking) spat between neighbours, but a religious, ideological, way-of-life, dispute that has its roots in centuries of warfare.

Doomed to fail? How on earth can anyone claim that?

The Stonemason said...

I believe it was a previous American president who said something like 'all that is required for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing?', yet radical, terrorist, Taliban style Islam will fail, for all evil bears within itself the seeds of its won destruction. What is at stake is the degree of harm it does before it fails. Will it be largely held at bay, or it will sweep away institutions, liberties and countries and oppress the world for generations before its nihilistic sterility causes people to thow off its yoke?

MikeC said...

But Stonemason, isn't this just overly optimistic? What evidence do we have this can happen? What events, in the past hundreds and hundreds of years, lead you to think that this kind of evil will fail? What ideological statement are you making when saying that 'all evil bears within itself the seeds of its own destruction'?