Thursday, February 28, 2008

"We are not fighting Terror" Rick Santorum Speaks at Notre Dame

“This is America’s hour. Like Britain in 1940, we are alone. Completely alone. We will not have anybody on our side. Just us. Just those who hold on to the tenets of Western civilization those who have a reason to fight.” So said former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) on Tuesday, 26th February, when he spoke at Notre Dame on issues related to international security, focusing particularly America’s “War on Terror.” However, as Santorum emphasized, it is not ‘Terror’ that we are fighting: our real and only enemy in the Iraqi war is radical jihadists.

According to Santorum, there are fundamental problems in the approach that the American people and government are taking in the War on Terror. To start, the war itself is inaptly named. “Terror is a tactic. Saying that we are going to war on terror is like President Roosevelt saying that we are going to war on kamikaze, or blitzkrieg,” Santorum stated. This is not a war on terror, nor is it a war on terrorists. Nor is this a war on Islam, Santorum clarified, “[We’re] not fighting a religion, we’re fighting radicals within a religion.”

There is already a war going on within the religion of Islam, Santorum explained, this is why there is a need to define America’s enemy in terms of religion, because that is how they define themselves. “How do they define us? As Infidels – it’s a religious term. They are in a holy war. Everything they say and do is based in their theology.” And this is where America has erred in its understanding of this “War on Terror,” as the former senator described, “we ignore [their theology]. We try to make it a politically correct war. The American people will not sustain this war unless they know why we are fighting it.”

A pivotal point that needs to be addressed is the difference between the American and jihadist cultures. Santorum posed the question to the crowd: “If you think about what are the pillars of the American left [culture] – feminism, homosexual rights, civil rights, separation of church and state, reason over faith in the public square, pacifism, abortion on demand – can you think of any group of people on the face of the earth that are, point-to-point, 180 degrees from the American left, any more than the jihadists?”

So what can we do? Very importantly, action must be taken within the Muslim community in response to the jihadists’ abuses, Senator Santorum urged, “The problem has to be solved within the Islamic world. We need to create space for brave, moderate Muslims to engage theologically the ideology of the jihadists.” While Muslims must play a role in the success of the war against jihadists, an attitude change, at the least, is certainly called for on the part of the American people and government. “When you try to spread democracy in the Islamic world, this is a complete affront to everything they believe. This is a theological problem, yet we have not described it in those terms.”

The situation is one of much urgency, a theme continually stressed throughout Santorum’s talk, and it is one that America must stand against on its own. “This is America’s hour...We will not have anybody on our side. Just us. Just those who hold on to the tenets of Western civilization those who have a reason to fight.”


Anonymous said...

this has been mentioned before, but his candidness was refreshing. There were several times when I was shocked at the un-politically correct words that came out of his mouth, but afer I had recovered, i thought it was a shame that current politicians can't be that honest.

Anonymous said...

why can't the Administration just come out and say that we're fighting islamic extremists instead of turning this war into something based on some abstract theme related to terrorism? Is this the reason why we're in Iraq and will it take us into Iran next? does Congress - both democrats and republicans - know this is why we're fighting the war? does the army know this? I've heard stories of soldiers who come back saying that we shouldnt' be over there in the first place and stories of other soldiers who think that our presence is necessary.

the entire thing is confused.