Is there not a cause?
~ David (c. 1040 B.C.)
Until philosophers rule as kings or those who are now called kings and leading men genuinely and adequately philosophize, that is, until political power and philosophy entirely coincide, while the many natures who at present pursue either one exclusively are forcibly prevented from doing so, cities will have no rest from evils … nor, I think, will the human race.
~ Plato (“The Republic” 473c-d)
Bombs, bullets and soldiers alone will never stop al-Qaida, Hezbollah, radical Islam and their religious fanatical jihad against Judaism, Christianity and the West. Why? Because Islam is an idea, a belief, a philosophy, a worldview, a religion that over a billion and a half people follow and live their daily lives by.
Islam determines what Muslims think, hear, value, believe … even die for. Islam is what a billion and a half Muslims have banked their eternal destiny on and more than not will gladly give their lives to assure a Muslim world, as painfully witnessed recently in the terrorist bomb plots at London’s West End and Scotland’s Glasgow Airport where so far six of the eight suspects detained are respected, upper-class Muslim medical doctors.
We must change philosophy (religion) by philosophy.
This isn’t an original idea. Remember that the first thing the victorious Allies did after conquering Hitler and his Nazis during World War II was to institute a comprehensive “de-Nazification” program to change the thinking of all Germans away from Nazi fanaticism and anti-Semitism to a representative democracy, establishing a republic based on the legal/moral paradigm of the rule of law and a Constitution. A similar program was enacted by Gen. Douglas MacArthur to convert the Japanese masses away from the maniacal fanaticism of Emperor Worship, which existed for over 1,000 years. Sixty years later, Japan stands as a faithful ally of America and a bulwark republic in an area rife with Communist dictatorships and growing Islamic hegemony.
Why wouldn’t a formal policy of religious conversion, “de-Islamatization” if you will, work for a U.S. president that’s got the guts, vision, leadership and ability to do it? The critics will prattle: “The Muslim faith is a religion of peace, not war”; “All Muslims aren’t bad”; “The Muslims will call us ‘Crusaders.’” Let us prove them right, not by reclaiming or conquering Muslim lands, but neutralizing the radical elements of their religion at the meta (intellectual) level by spreading our Judeo-Christian traditions – traditions that are infinitely more compatible with a democratic-republic form of government than any form of Islam, which, I wrote in an earlier column, is incompatible with a republic.
I know to some readers this sounds a bit radical, Pollyannaish and na?ve, but hear me out. Look at what Muslim countries do to our Judeo-Christian beliefs. There is an explicit, unified and purposeful strategy to forbid strictly the Bible, Christian literature or proselytizing of any kind in virtually all Muslim countries at pains of capital punishment – the most egregious and overt being Saudi Arabia, America’s supposed ally in the war on terror. Yet the Muslims can build mosques in America and in the West as fast as Saudi Arabia, Iran or some other Muslim country, or terrorist organization, sends them the funds. The result: Genocidal Islam grows right here in America, while Judeo-Christianity dies a slow death on the vine due to 150 years of neglect and failure to use the world’s greatest religion as a viable domestic and foreign policy strategy and geopolitical export to the nations of the world.
The crux of the argument is: Can a secular liberal democracy ever defeat genocidal Islamic jihad against the West? I answer no. The problem with the war on terror is that we are asking the wrong people for their expert opinion to deal with the West’s vexing problems of worldwide terrorism.
In the fourth century before Christ, the Greek philosopher Plato, in his magnum opus, “The Republic,” had the same dilemma and criticism with his view of history up to that time and even with the rulers of his day. Plato’s contention was that a competent, well-rounded ruler needed, besides a thorough grounding in the military arts, mathematics and music, to also have a meticulous foundation in philosophy. The Greeks called this curriculum The Quadrivium. The ideal leader needed to be a philosopher-king.
Why? Because philosophers understood better than, say, a military commander, a senator, a well-connected Athenian, “guardians” (officers/soldiers) or “merchants” (business owners/producers), the intricacies of human nature, of mankind’s predilections, perversities, prejudices and what makes them do certain things under certain situations. Moreover, a philosopher, because he is a deep thinker and spends much of his time contemplating the particulars of human nature, would be better equipped to come up with a viable solutions to America’s rhetorical “war on terror.”
Earlier this year in a surprise debate with a former liberal professor of hers, Dr. Mary Grabar made the following prescient remarks on Plato:
I think that’s a big misconception about “The Republic.” In the literature, the claim is often made that Plato was advocating a totalitarian government. But my understanding is that the dialogue is not to be taken literally. Rather, the philosopher-king is the reluctant ruler, motivated not by ego or personal gain. His motivation is the love of wisdom and justice. These ideas, indeed, form the basis for our republican form of government, in contrast to a popular democracy ruled by the masses. You may recall Thrasymachus. …
Speaking as a philosopher, I am convinced that America’s current military strategy in Iraq and Afghanistan is not only ineffective, but generates increasing numbers of fanatical Muslims championing jihad – something to die for.
No wonder our cause in the war on terror is lost before it begins and will only get worse unless President Bush and his war advisers start reading (and following) the enduring and wise admonitions of Plato’s “Republic” and begin fighting a war of ideas, a war of philosophy, a religious war against the Muslim infidels like those battles waged by the great philosopher-kings of old – in primeval times when Christian monarchs like Charles “the Hammer” Martel (686-741), Charlemagne (742-814), Richard the Lionhearted (1157-99), Elizabeth I (1533-1603), Jan III Sobieski (1629-96) and Peter the Great (1672-1725) all fought so valiantly against the Muslim menace, face to face.
As President Bush implements his ill-fated military “surge” in Iraq, I wish he understood that he doesn’t need more troops to be sent to this 21st century Vietnam; he needs one adviser that has read Plato’s “Republic” to give him a crash course on how to follow the tried and true strategies of the magnificent philosopher-king.
Three thousand years ago, David, a future philosopher-king, was born. A young, anonymous Jewish boy on the back hills of Judea asked his king as the armies of Israel cowered in fear before the dreadful Philistine giant, Goliath, the simple but sublime question: “Is there not a cause?” That same teenage boy took a rag and a rock, ran onto the battlefield to confront this 9-foot-9-inch infidel giant, popped him in the head with his slingshot, killing him, and chopped off his head with Goliath’s own sword. Now, in my humble opinion, that boy was a real man! Would to God that America, Britain, Israel and all nations of good will had a philosopher-king to deliver us this day from our two greatest enemies – liberalism and Islamic hegemony.
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