President Bush has failed in five years to successfully make the case either to America or to the Western world that we are, in fact, in a mortal, worldwide struggle, what my old boss Newt Gingrich recently called World War III; what I called "The West's Last Chance" in my book last year; and what I and many others have called the clash of civilizations.
I am under no delusions about the nature of Islam. In the February 1999 issue of Chronicles, Srjda Trifkovic (author of The Sword of the Prophet and Defeating Jihad) wrote that to "understand Islam's record with its non-adherents, one should compare it not to Judaism nor Christianity, but rather match it against modern totalitarian ideologies, notably Bolshevism and National Socialism. Each explicitly denied the legitimacy of an form of social, political, or cultural organization other than itself." Note that he is not referring to "Islamism" or "Islamofascism" but Islam. However, Trifkovic shouldn't be confused with the World War Whatever crowd. Back in March he told Jamie Glasov of Frontpage that:
Bin Laden's network may have been damaged and disrupted since 2001 and his cause may in many places be in the hands of self-starters and amateurs, but he could never have dreamed that the world, almost five years after 9-11, would look so favorable to his objectives. A new strategy is needed to make it less so. It can never be "won" in the sense of eliminating the phenomenon of terrorism altogether, but it can be successfully pursued to the point where the Western world can be made significantly safer by adopting measures - predominantly defensive measures - that would reduce the danger to as near zero as possible. The victory will come not by conquering Mecca for America, but by disengaging America from Mecca (energy independence is a must!) and by excluding Mecca from America with a new immigration policy, soberly defined and rigorously enforced. The risk can, and must, be managed wisely, resolutely, and permanently. (emphasis added)
If Bush had sought the advice of Trifkovic on Sept. 12 2001, the country wouldn't be in the mess it is today.
Blankley is grossly understating when he says that Bush has "failed . . . to successfully make the case . . . to America . . . that we are, in fact, in a mortal, worldwide struggle." Bush not only failed, he did precisely the opposite. As Dreher wrote in his book, "9/11 galvanized New Yorkers, and indeed most Americans, and readied us to do something heroic and self-sacrificing, like, say, embarking on a serious and determined national campaign to save energy." Instead we got a cakewalk accompanied by tax cuts.