Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Defensive Warfare

Some folks say that the only valid warfare is defensive warfare. OK. Have the jihadis promised to attack us? Yep. Have they carried our such attacks? Yep. Next question.

So how do we condone attacking nations when it is the jihadis who are at war with us?

Simple. We had a pirate problem in the Mediterranean in the late 1700s, early 1800s. Did we go after the individual pirates? No. We attacked the nation harboring them. Shelled cities. Attacked forts. Burned shipping. Until the pirate masters decided that the game was not worth the candle. Note that those pirates did their piracy in the name of (wait for it) jihad.

Thomas Jefferson was involved and it was called the War Against the Barbary Pirates.


Snake Oil Baron said...

Off topic somewhat: would World War II have qualified as a defensive war? Germany attacked Poland not England or France.

Frankly, I see the "defensive war only" as a profoundly immoral doctrine. But then I am beginning to see any attempt at peace without freedom as result of a murderous ideology.

M. Simon said...


Anonymous said...

M. Simon, I wonder what kind of Jus ad bellum doctrine you would like to see Muslims follow? For if the moral law is one, then the same criteria for going to war should apply to every nation. Do you have a problem with jihad as defined by Sheikh al Azhar Mahmud Shaltut (i.e., only legitimate when defensive) -- or would you approve of a more aggressive doctrine?

M. Simon said...


It depends on if the Sheik's definition of defensive is.

His definition and mine may not be the same.

Islam was propagated through wars of conquest. My opinion is that Islam is reverting to form.

I love the Jeffersonian approach to state supported terrorism. Attack the bastards where they live until they decide it is a bad idea.

... To the shores of Tripoli

Semper Fi.

Simon - Graduate of the US Navy School of Diplomacy

Anonymous said...

But the Jeffersonian approach is defensive -- the point is that you are responding to aggression, not initiating it.

Check out these criteria for fighting a war published by another Muslim scholar (I don't think Shaltut's essay is online).

Of course, Christians took over Africa and the Americas by force (and legitimated by religious doctrine).

Instead of playing this my religion is better than yours game, why don't we just all try to agree on some common principles, like, say, aggressive warfare is bad?

M. Simon said...


You must have missed WTC '93 and 9/11.

Islam is not a religion. It is a political force camouflaged as religion.

Just as Communism is a religion disguised as politics.

This war is has nothing to do with religion on our side. I'm pretty secular myself (nominally Jewish). I think sharia and dhimmitude sucks. in Islam all men are not created equal.

I like what Patton had to say about Islam:

"To me it seems certain that the fatalistic teachings of Muhammad and the utter degradation of women is the outstanding cause for the arrested development of the Arab. He is exactly as he was around the year 700, while we have kept on developing"

-- General George S. Patton: The War as I Knew it

I see no point in going back to the subjugation of women or infidels. Any where on Earth. I guess that would make me a jingoist of sorts.

So be it.

Anonymous said...

"You must have missed WTC '93 and 9/11."

What do you mean? I remember them. I remember something called the Inquisition too, but I don't blame all Christians for that. Should Muslims remember colonialism forever as well? It seems the world cannot progress if we insist on perpetually blaming groups for some crimes committed in the past by a few of its members.

You seem to be caught up on some non-essential items that some extremist Muslims profess

M. Simon said...


Too bad the Islamics have such long memories. Andalusia? Give me a break.

BTW Islam has been at war with America since Jefferson. We may forget. They do not.

Most unfortunate. For them.

This time I think we will break them. Just as we convinced the Indians that warfare was not in their interest. By beating the crap out of them. Experience is a hard teacher. Some men will have no other.

Islamic doctrines on religious purity are no different that Nazi doctrines of racial purity. Both are pagan at heart. And no I'm not referring to modern "pagans". Islam is in many way a collectivist not an individualist philosophy. Just substitute ummah for the state. Or the caliphate if you will.

They need to be crushed. Just as the Nazis, Fascists, and militant Shintoists, and Communists needed to be crushed.

In any case. It doesn't matter. If we quit fighting they will not and we will be back at it again. Might as well finish them off now as later.

Anonymous said...


Just as a few Muslims wish to declare perpetual war on the whole of the West for little reason, it seems some Westerners like you wish to declare perpetual war on all Muslims for just as little reason. Enjoy your personal crusade; but it certainly won't benefit the world.

You might want to remember that at the same time that the US was fighting North African pirates, Americans were heavily involved in enslaving West Africans. You might also want to remember that Morocco was one of the first countries to recognize the newly independent United States. History is not as black and white (morally) as you might wish it to be.

M. Simon said...

Islamics may be too broad.

I'll use a term common in Jefferson's time. Jihadis.

So how about jihadis and the governments that support them.

Anonymous said...

Well, I am Muslim, and I have always considered the US war against Afghanistan to be legitimate, whether based on international law, Islamic law, or just innate morality.

To me it seems quite counter-productive to try to frame the war as Islam vs. the West. Certainly bin Laden wishes it so, but should we so easily cave in to his desires?

M. Simon said...


I am not against Islam.

What I am against is Jihadi Islam.

Unfortunately it seems like we are in a situation like WW2 where Nazis may have only been 20% of Germany but we bombed them all. BTW we have the example of the Mufti of Jerusalem raising two divisions of Jew killers. Two divisions out of a small (millions) population is not a sign that the attitudes of the radicals is a tiny minority.

I'd say they were a large minority, even today.

The best way to counter this is to have a nice conversation with the jihadis you know and explain to them that they are ruining it for all practitioners of Islam and that they should give it up.

Good luck.

BTW I have supported moderate Islam for quite some time. I have no interest in a genocide of Muslims. Or a war on Islam (although I often use the shorthand of Islam when I mean the jihadis).

Go to the side bar and click on my Islam links (way down in the labels section). Comment on any of the articles that interest you. I will respond if I have points of difference. I will see your posts in my e-mail. No need to contact me other than by posting.