Before too long, we’ll have a Second Civil War to blithely ignore the lessons of.
There’s a tried and true American approach to suppressing terrorism, and it worked quite well during Gen. Sherman’s 1863 Kentucky campaign and Gen. Phil Sheridan’s subsequent reduction of the Shenandoah Valley. We don’t have to be particularly smart; we merely have to do some disgusting things. Sherman and Sheridan suppressed sniping at Union soldiers by Confederate civilians by burning the towns (just the towns, not the townsfolk) that sheltered them. In other words, they forced collective responsibility upon a hostile population, a doctrine that in peacetime is entirely repugnant, but that in wartime becomes unavoidable. By contrast, the peacetime procedure of turning petty criminals into police snitches has backfired terribly. No doubt we will learn that the perpetrators of tonight’s horror at London Bridge were known to police, like the Manchester Arena suicide bomber and most of the perpetrators of large-scale terrorist acts in Europe during the past several years. (Update: “At Least One London Bridge Terrorist Was a ‘Known Wolf'”) The remedy is time-tested and straightforward. We merely require the will to apply it.
Yeah, well, that’s gonna be a problem right there. Best we just go on with the “cower in place” strategy for a long while yet. We can all keep comforting ourselves each time a few dozen more of us are slaughtered by having a good cry; it seems to be working well for blithering idiots all over the world so far, right?
Like Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, who burned a great swath through Georgia and the Carolinas, Sheridan believed that war is won not just by killing soldiers but by denying them support from a broader civilian population.
Actually, it’s worse for us than that: Sherman believed, and explicitly stated, that wars were won only when the spirit of the opposition, both military and civilian, was utterly and entirely broken—their will to resist crushed right out of them—and not one moment before. He and Grant both proved, along with a lot of other leading officers throughout history, that competence in warfare is less a matter of intelligence and more a matter of brutal, implacable resolve.
In other words: it all comes down to will. The will of our enemies to conquer us must be bested by our own will to defeat them. So far there’s absolutely no sign at all that that’s the case. We lack the fortitude to even call the enemy by his proper name; for us to even be discussing defeating him is very nearly an obscenity.
DOOMED update! It’s laugh or cry, folks.
That last bit is especially poignant; since Brits long ago allowed their government to disarm them, they’re now reduced to throwing chairs and bar glasses at their Muslim tormentors. It bears repeating: before we can defeat the Muslims, we will first have to crush the Left, and nullify its malign influence on our lives. That’s every bit as true here as it is there, and everywhere else.