JIHADISM AND THE WAR OF IDEAS
John Lenczowski, a White House National Security Council official during the Reagan administration, is urging the U.S. government to wage ideological war against Islamic terrorism and political jihadism.
“We have spent trillions in this country fighting Islamist terrorism as if it is a military problem,” Mr. Lenczowski, president of The Institute of World Politics, told the Senate Homeland Security Committee on June 14.
“This is like trying to eradicate mosquitoes by inviting your friends for a garden party, arming them with shotguns and shooting mosquitoes all afternoon. You’ll get a few.”
The problem is that jihadist ideology produces more terrorists dedicated to establishing a totalitarian caliphate worldwide.
“This is not a military problem — it is a political propaganda, ideological, cultural and religious doctrine problem,” he said.
The answer is to wage a “war of ideas,” but the U.S. government lacks ideological warriors in the fight, Mr. Lenczowski said.
Jihadis are migrating to non-Muslim lands and creating separatist enclaves under antidemocratic Shariah law, with the ultimate goal of political demographic conquest.
“Modern totalitarian Islamism, which incorporates Marxist-Leninist political strategy, forms the basis of the recruitment of new jihadists, both terrorists and resettlement jihadists,” Mr. Lenczowski said.
“Defeating this ideology requires an ideological counterattack based on superior moral precepts,” he said. “Above all, this requires telling the truth and ending self-censorship about radical Islamism and an information campaign exposing the ideology, exposing jihadists’ strategy, Shariah and the crimes of radical Islamist regimes.”
To better deal with the problem, the government should create a new public diplomacy office within the State Department, Mr. Lenczowski said.