Summary; What will America look like in 2025, after another decade of our long war? Last week William Lind described Saudi Arabia nuking America, a challenge that we might or might not successfully meet. This week I describe an opposite ending: western culture will crush our foes, as it did in the Cold War. We need only remain strong and avoid bold errors that bring defeat (as the Syracuse expedition did to Athens). I intended to revise my May 2015 explanation of why and how we’ll win, but could not improve it and so I repost it. It’s the most optimistic geopolitical analysis you will read today — perhaps this year.
“They hate our freedoms: our freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble and disagree with each other.”
— Speech by President Bush, 20 September 2001.
We attack them with invincible weapons
The people of fundamentalist Islamic regimes suffer an unrelenting bombardment by a callous great power that casually and thoughtlessly destroys their society with high-tech weapons against which they have no defense. It attacks at a people’s most vulnerable point: their children, interrupting the delicate transfer of beliefs from one generation to another.
Radio, television, rock music, Hollywood blockbusters, video games, the internet — all bombard their children with images of affluence, of easy sex, of enjoyable booze and drugs, of freedom from patriarchal authority — showing them a more attractive way of life. We attack them like a high-tech Pied Piper.
Western culture acts as a virus, with the American strain its most virulent. A more accurate analogy is that our culture acts as a mass meme displacing weaker ones. In Silicon Valley they speak of “mindspace.” America exports our ways to fill the minds of the world’s people — crowding out their native culture. Martin van Creveld describes this as “colonizing the future.”
The vital centers of Middle Eastern Islamic culture — Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Syria — adapt, albeit slowly and painfully. But what of the more fragile and rigid societies? Such as Saudi Arabia (and the other Gulf States)?
To survive in the 21st century their leadership class must understand western methods. So they send their young men to western schools, from which most return infected with western values. They hide their vices behind the walls of their wealth, with weekends in Paris and Bahrain — but their people nonetheless know — undermining the Princes’ shallow authority and inevitably weakening their alliance with the Wahhabi ulema, the state’s foundation.