The War on Blitzkrieg


Two posts at National Review's Corner blog—two points that cancel each other out quite nicely. First, John Podhoretz sums up a tussle between Kofi Annan and John Bolton:

To paraphrase Kofi Annan just now: We need a ceasefire.

John Bolton's paraphrased response: Nobody knows how to conduct a ceasefire with a terrorist organization.

Two hours later, Kathryn Jean Lopez praises this "focusing speech" from Sen. Rick Santorum, which is so important it's mirrored on NRO's site:

We are not fighting a War on Terror anymore than we fought a war on blitzkrieg in World War II. Terror like blitzkrieg is a tactic used by our enemy, not the enemy itself. We are fighting against Islamic fascists.

Bolton and Santorum are obviously discussing different things—a conflict with one terrorist organization, Hezbollah, versus a conflict with "Islamic fascism." But if Bolton's right and no one knows how to get a ceasefire with a terrorist organization, how can the U.S. get a ceasefire, or unconditional surrender, or anything else from the enemies Santorum delineates? He fingers Hezbollah, Al Qaeda "and other such groups" as the front line of Islamic fascism, alongside state actors like Syria and Iran. How can they be defeated?

This is a truly modern war—a war fought not just on the battlefield, but on the Internet, a war decided less by armies and warplanes than by individuals making individual choices.

Well, that's helpful—the war will be won once we stop individuals from making the wrong choices. And we have to apply the same approach we took in World War II to an enemy that has no state, never officially declares war, and can never officially surrender or sue for peace. That's some focus.