"Fascism has long vacated its birthplace in Europe. The fragments of the former Soviet autocracy are democratizing. The caudillos are gone from Latin America. The last enclave of dictators is the Middle East. Yet after Saddam's capture in a cesspool, their hold is slipping, too.As much as I respect and admire Mr. Hanson's knowledge and expertise, on the issue of Islam he appears to be unaware of what makes it tick--the "lunatic ideology" to which he refers (what I call "Qur'anic Islam") is going nowhere. It has thrived for the last fourteen centuries and it will continue indefinitely (barring something approaching a miracle) because it is founded upon and fed by the words of Allah (the Qur'an) and the sayings and doings of its "prophet" Mohammed.
There will probably not be an Assad III or a second Mubarak.
The real suspense is whether the Gulf royals can make good on their promises of reform and elections. Will they end up like pampered Windsors or go the ignominious way of Iran's former shah? In desperation, the apparatchik journalists in the state-controlled Arab press damn the United States, the avatar of change. Syria breaks all relations with America, even as it leaves Lebanon, and is terrified of the Iraqi experiment.
Then there is bankrupt Islamic fundamentalism. The zealots can always tape a beheading or turn out a few thousand to burn an American flag. But the Taliban are gone from power. Iran faces popular disgust at home, while its desperate nuclear plots are awakening even a comatose Europe. And the promise of a return to the eighth century has always had an appeal limited to a few thousand pampered elites, like Osama bin Laden, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri or Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. These losers figured they might become Saladins if they convinced an Arab populace the Jews and America, not their own corrupt regimes, kept them poor. Now they are reduced to ranting about the evils of freedom and democracy.
Oil, terror, anti-Semitism and hating America gave the fundamentalists some resonance, but there were never any ideas. The Islamicists offered nothing to galvanize the Arab masses other than nihilism. That doctrine feeds and employs no one. Instead, we witness the creepy threats and the pyrotechnics of a lunatic ideology going the way of bushido and the kamikazes."
Unless and until the Qur'an ceases to be considered the actual word of a god, its faithful will continue to obey it.
Jihad only smiles while it's recovering, regrouping, and regaining its strength--then it smiles as it cuts off your head.