Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Andrew Sullivan is currently having a conversation about whether Mark Steyn and Glenn Reynolds are insufficiently opposed to genocide of Muslims.

I'd say the answer should be self-evident to any student of history. Steyn and Reynolds are as opposed to genocide of Muslims as FDR was opposed to genocide of the Japanese in 1933.

Right now we are involved in a limited war. We have decided that civilians are not the enemy, but people who must be persuaded to reject the fundamentalists competing with us in this war of ideas. If we win the war of ideas, we win. Huzzah.

But what happens if we lose this war of hearts and minds and most Muslims embrace the fundamentalists? What happens if we start taking thousands of civilian casualties on the US mainland on a regular basis? What happens if many Muslim governments fall to fundies and declare jihad against the US?

What would happen then is obvious: total war. We'll pummel them until they either surrender or are eradicated, and the vast majority of us won't particularly care which path they choose, anymore than Americans in 1945 were particularly concerned for how many Japanese we had to kill to win the war. The only thing Americans feared in 1945 was that we'd take a million casualties invading Japan. 90% of Americans would gladly have seen every last Japanese man, woman, and child killed if it would end the war without taking those casualties.

In 1945, before the atomic bombs were dropped, Truman stated that if Japan did not surrender unconditionally, the Japanese nation faced total destruction. Genocide.

I conclude with a quote from Admiral Halsey shortly after Pearl Harbor: “Before we’re through with’em the Japanese language will be spoken in hell!”