I grew up with the Cold War and Vietnam in the background. Following the Korean Conflict, the United States no longer seemed to be able to fight and win a war. Looking back, I now understand that the blight of secular progressivism, if not Marxism, was already creeping into the mind and soul of the nation. Then President Reagan almost single-handed won the Cold War although the root cultural problem persisted; those who spoke for this growing blight hated Reagan and resented his popularity.
In a sense, The Fight of Our Lives: Knowing the Enemy, Speaking the Truth, and Choosing to Win the War against Radical Islam by Bill Bennett and Seth Leibsohn picks up the situation as it stands today. The counter-culture ideas of the 60’s and 70’s have morphed into multiculturalism. As a result, the country no long has enemies, merely misunderstood people who are reacting normally to the bad things the West has done to them. Such is the attitude that has become prevalent since 9/11 and the apparent philosophy of the current government.
Bennett and Leibsohn state clearly that their “focus is not the specifics of the threat and the specifics of our response” which they believe addressed elsewhere. Rather, they wish to “focus more on us that our enemy.” They chose instead is to explore the nature of the threat and the nature of an appropriate response which is currently missing (page xv).
In a real sense, they write of a “culture war” that very likely is closely related to the broader culture war taking place within our country. In doing so, they summarize a situation with which I am already well acquainted. This is similar to the foolish approach taken in Vietnam. Apart from the rightness or not of the specific conflict, once we put forces on the ground, we should use all our skills, resources, and manpower to defeat the enemy. We fell into a gray fog with our fight to resist communism, but there should be no fog in this war. We have an identified enemy, he attacked us significantly on our own soil, and he has a stated objective to destroy us and our allies. This is the nature of the enemy that The Fight of Our Lives plainly lays out.
That’s just one side of the problem. The other is the wishful thinking that passes for understanding of Islam and the radical element who threaten us. I appreciate the clarity offered regarding Islam compared to Judaism and Christianity. I have studied Islam and its history myself, and I agree that its teachings are not unequivocally peaceful, although many Muslims choose to live quiet, unthreatening lives. Sadly, the voices of supposed moderation have proven to be immoderate. For all the tolerance offered them by the First Amendment freedoms here and the generosity of Americans to those in need, including Muslims, many still support war, terrorism, and the imposition of Sharia law. The case for these statements is made clearly and documented carefully.
Yet multicultural nonsense prevails, schools indoctrinate our children, and secular progressive voices in media and government demand we accept it. Preaching moral equivalence between the traditional values of this country with the ideas of those who shout “Death to America!” is insane. It is this attitude that The Fight of Our Lives seeks to address and, if possible, correct.
I recommend this book to anyone of any ideological bent, whether to reinforce ideas you already hold or to consider the ideas that will not protect you if radical Islam wins this war. Making nice, a strategy of appeasement, will not stop them; indeed, it will embolden them for they respect strength. Their attacks came believing we would yield rather than fight. For a time, we fought and showed them our strength. Now we, under a different President, are acting and showing something else. Insanity is to act in a way not protective of self, ignoring obvious danger. The very ones who promote a conciliatory approach against all reason will be the first to suffer the consequences if radical Islam prevails, for in reality their ideology represents everything that radical Muslim despise. Personally, I prefer to win this fight!