The United States of America is a unique entity because it remains the ultimate global embodiment of that intersection of politics and economics that makes for a free market democracy, a system based around individual freedoms rather than collective obligations. That also is why America remains the ultimate target.
America is not the only free market democracy in the world, but it is the largest, and its insistence that its way of life is reproducible by other nations makes it a threat. And while other nations may experience economic booms, as recent events demonstrate, the rest of the global economy is very much dependent on the American economy.
Subsidiary nations such as China or the UAE or for that matter Russia, have experienced parasitic economic booms that came from supplying products to America and Europe. When the American and European economies suffered setbacks, their crumbled. This should be a reminder that Lenin's quote "the capitalists will sell us the very rope that we will hang them with", is now more relevant than ever. The countries that pose the greatest threat to us, are also economically intertwined with us. Our dollars represent their prosperity.
This has shifted the nature of the war away from military campaigns, and toward political ones. The dictatorships of the world have long realized that they cannot defeat first world countries in all out wars, even when they have overwhelming numbers on their side. The Israeli-Arab wars were an extensive and extremely expensive laboratory experiment by the great powers that demonstrated just that. Nor were they the only such example. Korea and Nambia are just two of the more obvious examples.
The Russian bear did not refrain from sweeping through Germany and across Western Europe out of fear of American nukes. The Soviet Union had never worried overmuch about absorbing civilian casualties, and it is doubtful that the United States would have been willing to touch off a chain of events leading to the deaths of tens of millions of Americans to defend Western Europe, unless the USSR were to launch first. The bear stayed home because Russia did not believe its armies could defeat NATO. No more than it could have defeated Germany in a straightforward invasion, had Germany not first bled all across Eastern Europe in a prolonged effort to seize and hold territory too vast for it.
The most potent Soviet weapon was not in the Red Army or any particular piece of equipment. Those were barely good enough to beat back an overextended Wehrmacht, and to crush what was left of the resistance across an already crushed Eastern Europe. The most powerful means of attack the USSR had at its disposal was not military assault, but political subversion. The ideology of Communism gained the Soviet Union fanatical adherents and fight columns all across the world, spies in the heartland of the enemy, and allies and sympathizers in the highest spheres of its cultural and political elites.
Islam too knows quite well it cannot defeat America. Still stuck in its early revolutionary stages and waiting around to seize a nation to use as a base for its Caliphate, Islam's most powerful weapon is political subversion. Relying on cobbled together alliances of new Marxists, and post-Communist oligarchies, Muslim terrorist groups have revived the old radical networks that spread subversion across the free world. Or rather they hitched a free ride on them in a cynical marriage of convenience between left wing radicals and right wing fascist theocracts.
But what does political subversion really mean? Beyond the campus and newsprint radicals who spread dissatisfaction in specific circles, without really managing to achieve much, politics has to be grounded in a daily reality accessible to the average person. And the fundamental daily realities are underpinned by economics. The power of Communism lay in its economic agenda. It promised a reordering of society away from the individual and toward the collective. That idea predated Communism and it never truly died. Instead the words changed, code words like "Community-centered" replaced "Communism", "Act Locally, Think Globally" replaced "Revolutionary imperative". The idea was to rebrand those same radical collectivist ideas under the guise of a more "individualistic" radicalism. Call it "YouCommunism".
Islam, like Communism preaches the collectivist response to human inequities. The solution to human abuses of freedom, is to end freedom. In Egypt, Gaza, Lebanon, Pakistan and across the Muslim world-- a major draw for Islam is social justice, with a dictatorship of "incorruptible clerics" governing by Islamic law replacing the Commissars of the People's Republics. The ideologies are different but the framework is the same. That is why Marxist terrorist groups could turn Islamist so fluidly. They were simply replacing one set of titles with another. The Commissar becomes the Imam. Das Kapital becomes the Koran. The aim however remains the same, revolutionary social justice for everyone.
For those who wonder how Western intellectuals can accede to Sharia law seeing the horrors it has produced in countries such as Iran and Pakistan, should remember that Western intellectuals were praising Communism in the 30's, even as the Commissars had filled mass graves with millions of dead. Atrocities do not harm the image of revolutionary social justice movements, they give them credibility. Do you imagine that Che would be worn on a single T-shirt if he had not been a bloody butcher? Would Arafat have his own state to play with, and would Bin Laden have instant airtime for his latest videotape if they were not accomplished terrorists?
Ever since the French Revolution, mass murder has been the biggest legitimizer of social revolutions. Islam is not revered by Western intellectuals despite its bloody nature. It is revered BECAUSE of its bloody nature. Atrocities demonstrate revolutionary commitment. This is something that Osama Bin Laden, Noam Chomsky and Jeremiah Wright understand-- and it is something that escapes the average decent American who seriously believes that most people want the same things he does.
The American experiment created an oasis of decency, a sphere of human freedoms, an island in a dark sea. It is the American strength and the American weakness. It is a strength because it has enabled a society capable of achieving great things. But it is also a weakness because it has created a populace incapable of understanding the sheer hatred directed at them from without, and from within.
The American revolution was a revolution of individualism, casting off the shackles of collectivism and class, and replacing it with the monarchy of the common man as an individual. It was what Lafayette admired about Americans, and what the French Revolution, a collectivist class rampage of bloody mobs and bloodier intellectuals, utterly failed to achieve. From that contrast between the two revolutions, the eternal enmity between the free American model, and the revolutionary collectivist tyranny model emerged. In the aftermath of WW2 that conflict went global. Today it has gone viral. It is a war being fought everywhere and nowhere at once. And it is also a war that we are losing.
The drive toward a global Islamic revolution has absorbed both the lessons of Communism and Nazism, it may be most obvious in its violence, but most dangerous in its demographic, political, cultural and economic expansions. 9/11 may have been a wake up call, but it was an atrocity staged more for the benefit of the Muslim world, than for us. The goal is an Islamic revolution first in the Muslim world, followed by the conquest of the Western world from within. And just as when confronting Communism, we have no idea how to fight back.
The free market economics that buried Communism are no longer as simple a solution because Muslims can and do move to the West, partaking of our standard of living, while planning their Jihads. Muslim countries benefit from our economies by proving slave labor, as in the case of Malaysia, or oil, as in the case of Saudi Arabia, parasitically leeching off our economies. All the while a great mass movement of Muslim immigrants streams into Europe and America, an invading army positioning themselves on our shores as guest laborers to do the jobs that we won't do.
If Communism confronted free market capitalism with an iron wall, Islamism serves as the rat in the wall of the free market, gnawing its way through, feeding itself off our leavings, and preparing for the day when it can bring the wall crashing down... to make way for Sharia finance instead.
The new agitators do not deliver speeches to the "Farmers and Workers" in public parks. Instead they speak in mosques and distribute tapes to their followers. They quietly kill those who fall out of line. Occasionally they practice acts of terrorism to intimidate or recruit, but mostly they prepare and wait. Converts trickle in. Their numbers grow and little by little, they gain more power.
The conflict underway is one taking place between two very different political and economic systems. For Islam to win, the American experiment must be conclusively destroyed at the economic level. The followers of a collectivist system can only serve as the tail in a free market economy. Only by transforming a free market economy into a collectivist system, by suppressing individual initiative and individual freedom, can the stars and stripes make way for the sickle and the crescent. Only by bringing us down to their level of slavery, can the submission-based ideology of Islam hope to triumph over us.