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How Will We Know We’ve Won?
[February 10, 2003]

By John Bragg

We face an enemy that believes deeply that God is on their side. Our enemies fight both because they hate us and because they believe that, with God’s help, they will triumph over us one day soon. For our enemies, this is not simply a platitude or a statement of humility. They believe that God will intervene directly and spectacularly, in the mold of Sodom and Gomorrah, in the mold of Joshua bringing down the walls of Jericho, in the mold of the plagues of Egypt.

Our enemies believe that the events of September 11 were a miracle, an example of divine wrath at the United States, the hand of Allah striking down the arrogant empire. The jihad is animated by the promise that Allah will bring them victory. After all, say the jihadists, Allah brought down the mighty Soviet Union, a superpower just as fearsome as the United States.  And, one day soon, he will bring down the Americans. After all, the Americans are weak and cowardly, as Mogadishu proved. The Americans, despite all their money and all their technology can be beaten by the will of Allah and the courage of the Moslems. Look at Saddam Hussein—the Americans have threatened him for ten years, but he is steadfast and stands up to their bluster. Look at September 11—the Americans can be hit, and with Allah’s help they can be beaten.

Contrary to what fatuous Western leftists think, jihad bombers do not sacrifice their lives out of despair. They do not shoot or poison themselves in private, or overdose on drugs, the way suicides of despair do. They cause their own deaths in such a way as to kill as many of their enemies as possible. They sacrifice their lives because they believe that they are warriors fighting for a cause, and that God will grant them victory. Their supporters call them martyrs for a reason—their deaths are intended to serve a cause. That cause is jihad.

This is the belief that drives our enemies. This belief can only be shaken by dramatic evidence of America’s ultimate invincibility. In some it cannot be shaken, and they must die.

How can we defeat such an enemy? We must prove to them that their prayers go unheard. We will win when we prove to the jihadists that we have the courage to stand up to them, that we will do whatever is necessary to kill, destroy and defeat them, and that we cannot be stopped. We must prove that nothing and no one can stand against America, and that to try is not simply suicide, but suicide for no purpose. We must teach them that their cult of death will not bring them victory, only death. We must meet the challenge of those who demand martyrdom—we must supply it wholesale to any and all who ask for it. We must prove that there is no power in being a martyr for jihad. We must kill jihadists in great numbers, and thereby convince the rest that God will not bring them victory, that even God Himself will not save them from America if we are provoked.

Many people have asked about the war on terrorism, “How will we know when we’ve won?” We will know we have won when jihad is acknowledged by Moslems to be a failure. On the day that Moslems are no more likely than Episcopalians to impose their faith by the sword, then we will have won. On the day that a priest, a rabbi, and an atheist has the freedom to walk into a bar in Medina, on that day we will have won. And on the day that a jihadist is no more threatening than having a Jehovah’s Witness at the front door, on that day, we will have won.


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