War is Over? Unilateral Declarations of Peace means Surrender

President Biden  at the United Nations declared that the the Afghanistan  was over.  This is idiocy. Normally  for a war to be settled, both warring factions should agree. The Taliban did not, nor have our many enemies in the Middle East, declared an end to hostilities. The subtle political warfare punctuated by terrorist acts and threats in which the  Iranians have proven themselves masters continues unabated.  They understand we have shown ourselves vulnerable to this type warfare.

The debacle of the US evacuation from Afghanistan has empowered our enemies, primarily in the moral and psychological sense. The idea that insurgencies always win… a very popular idea in the 60’s particularly in the middle East  has been proven wrong by the continual failures of insurgencies to win…in Palestine, Syria, Iraq,  but the  idea was prevalent in the 60’s in which the terrorists exalted in random and spectacularly cruel  tactics  to  gain public  attention, whether  adverse  or  not.   This  strategy  ultimately  failed,  but  the  glamour  and  notoriety  continues to appeal  to the individuals depicted by Eric Hoffer in his book the True Believer, an extraordinary book  of   knowledge about  the  psychology  of  terrorism.Lest we forget because the cancel culture of Islamist attacks are usually covered up by mental issues, workplace violence,  and unknown maladies.

We need to keep our eye on the ball. see below.


Hoffer writes that these terrorists are like actors on a stage and the world is their audience. They live in an unreal world, fashioned in their own minds.”they are made to feel that they are not their real selves but actors playing a role , and their doings a performance rather than the real thing. Dying too they see as a gesture, an act of make-believe.”

Eric Hoffer The True Believer


From my experience and many years being involved with Middle Eastern culture, the sense of theatrical  martyrdom done in a spectacular manner has great fascination, especially in the name of Islam. The images of the Kabul fiasco  has elevated their sense of ultimate power,  in which patience and determination will always prevail against their  implacable  enemy, the West. We remain in the house of war and the House of peace (Islam) subdues the House of war, there can be no peace.

The  war on the West, particularly this country, has been re-energized, and ennobled  by the Afghan mess. Radicals of all stripes cheered the visuals of an America in total disarray and military leaders apparently clueless.  Fuel has been added to the  slow burning embers of a forever war. The truth is that maintaining a democratic republic does require a near endless war and if the people of the democracies are not up to the challenge their democracy will perish.

The House of war and peace as  defined by Bernard Lewis:

The world is divided into the House of Islam and the House of War, the Dar al-Islam and the Dar al-harb. The Dar al-Islam is all those lands in which a Muslim government rules and the Holy Law of Islam prevails. Non-Muslims may live there on Muslim sufferance. The outside world, which has not yet been subjugated, is called the “House of War,” and strictly speaking a perpetual state of jihad, of holy war, is imposed by the law. The law also provided that the jihad might be interrupted by truces as and when appropriate. In fact, the periods of peace and war were not vastly different from those which existed between the Christian states of Europe for most of European history.

The law thus divides unbelievers theologically into those who have a book and profess what Islam recognizes as a divine religion and those who do not; politically into dhimmis, those who have accepted the supremacy of the Muslim state and the primacy of the Muslims, and harbis, the denizens of the Dar al-harb, the House of War, who remain outside the Islamic frontier, and with whom therefore there is in principle, a canonically obligatory perpetual state of war until the whole world is either converted or subjugated.

Bin Laden in a quotable quote. “People always prefer the stronger horse”

Do most Muslims subscribe to this? No they do not; certainly not any of the   high-minded Muslims I know.  Many who do believe it see it coming to pass peacefully through the innate superiority of Islam. However those termed islamists  do  believe it requires war  and they often are the ones who are most eloquent and  control the mosques.  The apologists for Islamism, who control much of Western Middle East scholarship in academia,  preach the peaceful definition of Jihad, the struggle against evil  within each individual.  The Western apologists conflate attacks on Islamism,  (The political ideology based on a particular interpretation of the Islamic doctrine) to attacks on Islam as a religion. We see this tactic has been very effective in that Islam and terrorism in the same sentence has been erased from the US bureaucratic lexicon.  However it must be understood that the Islamists  (jihadists) buy into the belief that the house of war ( (the West) must be subdued by violence.  Their numbers are small but the Muslim communities tolerate them and too many are often sympathetic to them.

Maj, Nidal Hasan US army (Islamist)killed 13 at Ft Hood Texas. Obama said it was “workplace violence. “Many associates noted his Islamist proclivities but were afraid to report him because they would be labeled “Islamophobic”

The experts indicate that the likelihood of a 9/11 type attack is low. But the likelihood of lone wolf attacks are greater. But in fact my analysis leads me to believe that our security and intelligence is no better than in 2001. Many of the so-called improvements are more cosmetic than real. For instance at a recent congressional hearing the head of the National Counterterrorism Center, Christine Abizaid, told then committee that the US is safer than it has been for 20 years, while at the same hearing,  the head of the FBI, Christopher Wray  told the committee that  agency is investigating over 2000 cases of suspected terrorist  activity,  double that of a year earlier. It would seem that there is a wide divergence in analysis.

George Kennan Famous Ambassador who finally broke through the cancel culture  barrier of the Roosevelt  era to depict the terrorist state of Stalinist Russia.

With the influx of unvetted Afghans from one of the most fundamentalist Islamic countries in the world it probable  that Islamist terrorism inside this country will erupt once again. The idea that these people fled from the terrorist Taliban regime is not evidence of anti-Islamist beliefs. The profusion of terror organizations and warring tribes from Afghanistan means that many were simply fleeing from rival Islamist or tribal groups opposed to Taliban rule. The attacks by the ISIS on Taliban targets is proof of this fact. One should be aware of the history of the Algerians who fought for France in the Algerian civil war. When the French departed these ” harkies” as they were called, were being slaughtered by the revolutionaries. The  French  brought them and their families to France and their descendants are one of  main perpetrators of the Islamist  terror attacks in France.

George Kennan, the great American Diplomat and thinker  writing of the third world and our aid to them  wrote, “favors and kindnesses will be normally hailed as evidence of our weakness, our dependance, and our ignominy, and exploited as proof of the cleverness of those who succeeded in extorting all beneficence out of silly Americans.” ,he also wrote in his diary “one of the great American delusions has been, and is, that these  values  (Judaic /Christian) are readily communicable  to others who did not inherit them–and that all you had to do was bring these others to our shores, plunge them into the midst of our civilization, and they would instantly be penetrated by this political ethos and responsive to it in their behavior.

In fact the politically correct censorship of Islamist terrorism discussion and analysis has much further made us vulnerable to attack.  As I have made the point many times, Islam is a religion but it contains elements within its doctrine that lend it to violence and a sense of triumphalism. It is of note that many Nazi figures though highly of Islam  as a more  muscular soldierly  religion, particularly Heinrich Himmler  ( although they considered the Arabs as a decidedly inferior people. The “Aryan” Iranians were more acceptable.)1

As history has shown again and again, when totalitarian movements are contained they tend to implode. The radical Islamist worldview is a totalitarian movement and has the same type appeal as communism and fascism, and also the same weaknesses. It is primarily ideological. Its decline and ultimate demise will not be the result of some hearts and minds campaign or a more balanced Palestinian policy  in the Middle East. It will be brought about by a steadfast United States with a tough policy that does not bend to intimidation, nor allow the facilitators of violence in the Western intelligentsia to minimize Islamist outrages and endemic brutality. These are the same sort of intellectuals who believed the totalitarianism of fascism and communism would bring about the ideal society in which they would (supposedly) enjoy an elitist status, isolated from the brutish realities outside their centers of learning and university campuses. Most important, it is incumbent upon a world Muslim community to recognize the immense harm the Islamist movement has brought to them. Unfortunately  Islam, contrary to conventional views, is a very intricate and complicated belief system and the room for very wide variations in traditions and doctrine can be interpreted in many divergent ways, from the Jihadists to the peaceful sufis.

The fact that few can read the Qur’an and even fewer understand the context in which it was written  leaves the field open to the local imams, many with little religious education, self-promoters, and others who, with a distorted or very narrow under- standing of the essence of Islam, impart their political and ideological half-baked versions of Islam on their local following. In other words, the understanding of Islam for most Muslims depends on what they hear from their local religious authorities, including those who  are interested in power and adulation than  maintaining the spiritual health of their followers.

A final quote from George Kennan . Let us not deceive ourselves into believing that the fanatic local chauvinisms of the Middle East represent a force that can be made friendly or dependable from our point of view, or one to which would have any right to engage ourselves in the moral sense.

  1. Hitler himself  was enthused  about the “Mussulman” religion telling to attendees at his table talks that while Islam promises virgins and streams of wine to soldiers killed in battle, “Christianity offers nothing  but hallelujahs.” Of course the enmity toward Jews evident in the Qur’an was appealing factor to the Nazi regime.

About Tex

Retired artillery colonel, many years in a number of positions in the Arab world. Graduate of the US Military Academy and the American University of Beirut. MA in Arab studies from the American University in Beirut along with 18 years as Middle East Seminar Director at the JFK Special Warfare Center and School, Served in Vietnam with 1st Inf Division, Assignments in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, plus service with Trucial Oman Scouts in the Persian Gulf. Traveled to every Arab country on the map including Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.
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