From Spengler, September 28th, 2014:
Since 9/11 ...the strategic plan of Islamist terrorism is to poison the Western soul with horror, by setting in motion atrocities too grim for the Western mind to bear.
There is very good reason to believe that they are succeeding. Judging by the proliferation of the horror genre in popular entertainment, we are succumbing to horror by stages...
This is not simply the brutality of the pagan world employed by the Romans with their mass crucifixions as much as it was by Muslim conquerors of the Middle Ages: it is a refined and exquisite sense of horror learned by modern Muslims from the Nazis, whose example inspired the Muslim Brotherhood as well as the Ba’ath Party. Strictly speaking, the Muslim Brotherhood is nothing more than the Arab-language wing of [the Nazis], and movements like ISIS a more radical version of the same thing...
We have seen this throughout, and most recently in Gaza, where Hamas used every means possible to maximize its own civilian casualties in order to horrify the world.
Whatever the circumstances, one should not rejoice in the death of civilians, but it is necessary to harden our hearts against an enemy who detects weakness in our delicate sense of humanity. Because we misunderestimated the nature of the enemy we confront, we have no means to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe on a frightful scale. We face an apocalyptic enemy, with a lot to be apocalyptic about.
... The Sunni-Shi’ite war could prove to be the grave of radical Islam if the West takes the appropriate measures. We must remember, though, that the target of radical Islam is not territory or power in the conventional sense, but the vulnerable Western soul. In this respect we should be afraid–very afraid.
... The West confronts not a throwback to medieval Islam, but a Westernized version of Islam transformed into a totalitarian political ideology. Although it draws upon Islamic sources and overlaps with some strains of Muslim belief, the ideology of Al-Qaeda [ISIS et al] has greater kinship with Nazism, another synthetic pagan religion, than with traditional Islam.
Like Nazism, it is a deadly threat. Remember that Hitler very nearly won. If Hitler (to cite one among many examples) had not declared war on the United States after Pearl Harbor but instead offered himself as a mediator between Washington and Tokyo, would the US have declared war on Germany? And in the absence of US involvement in Europe, would Hitler have lost? Or if Hitler had thrown the British into the sea at Dunkirk rather than holding back his tanks? Or if Hitler had enlisted the Ukrainians and Balts as allies rather than butchering them?
... [the Islamo-Facists] might win, and by the same methods.
...[Islamo-Facists] want ...to destroy the West and happily will sacrifice millions of Muslim lives in order to do so. Indeed, the mass sacrifice of Muslim lives may lie at the heart of its battle plan...
Evil for its own sake becomes imaginable only when the Christian civilization of the West abandons Christianity and stares into the abyss of its own destruction. ...Unlike the Western adherents of Nietzsche, who cried, “God is dead, and everything is permitted!”, the Islamist radicals have invented a God who permits everything.
...The grand vulnerability of the Western mind is horror. The Nazis understood this and pursued a policy “des Schreckens” (to cause horror) and “Entsetzens” (terror, literally: dislodgement). Horror was not merely an instrument of war in the traditional sense, but a form of Wagnerian theater, or psychological warfare on the grand scale. Hitler’s tactical advantage lay in his capacity to be more horrible than his opponents could imagine. The most horrible thing of all is that he well might have succeeded if not for his own megalomaniac propensity to overreach.
...From America’s moral collapse in the face of the horror of Vietnam, there arose a repudiation of classical Western culture unlike anything seen previously in the English-speaking world. The West nearly threw up its hands in the face of the challenge from the Soviet Union in the late 1970s.
Getting down to tactics, how can [Islamo-Facists] overcome the West with horror? Let us suppose that some state or state agency over which Al-Qaeda wields influence possesses a weapon of mass destruction, with sufficient potency to cause a very large number of deaths in a Western country. If it deploys that weapon and causes a very large number of casualties, the West may have no choice but to bombard the offending country with nuclear weapons and destroy its capacity to make war. Given that [Islamo-Facists] has tendrils deep in numerous governments, even a nuclear bombardment of one rogue state might not diminish its capacities. The West would be left with the horrific fact of mass destruction of civilians combined with continued insecurity.
Time is on the side of [Islamo-Facists]. ...the West should think of itself as the underdog, fighting against the clock, and seize the tactical initiative. It should act unpredictably, with the objective of confusing and disrupting an enemy who until now has chosen his targets at leisure. ...the West should act unexpectedly and without mercy against states which allow [Islamo-Facists]. ...Doing so now offers at least the chance of gaining the respect of the Islamic world. Failing to do so makes probable a gradual accumulation of failures. It means that the war will be [the Islamo-Facist]’s to lose.
We were lucky with Hitler. We may not be so lucky again.