Barry Goldwater on Islamic Terrorism

Barry Goldwater on Islamic Terrorism

The following is an excerpt from Barry Goldwater’s world-changing book, The Conscience of a Conservative.

In this excerpt, I have taken the liberty of replacing each reference to the Communist threat with a reference to the Islamist threat.

This plan, which Barry Goldwater laid out in 1960, was used by Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s to lead us to victory over the Soviet empire.

Barry’s timeless wisdom shows us both the path to victory and the steps which we must take in order to follow that path.

Our Goal Must Be Victory

1. The key guidepost is the Objective, and we must never lose sight of it. It is not to wage a struggle against Islamic terrorism, but to win it.

2. Our strategy must be primarily offensive in nature. Given the dynamic, revolutionary character of the enemy’s challenge, we cannot win merely by trying to hold our own. In addition to guarding our frontiers, we must try to puncture his. In addition to keeping the free world free, we must try to make the Islamic world free. To these ends, we must always try to engage the enemy at times and places, and with weapons, of our own choosing.

3. We must strive to achieve and maintain military superiority. Mere parity will not do. Since we can never match the Islamists in manpower, our equipment and weapons must more than offset his advantage in numbers. We must also develop a limited war capacity. For the latter purpose, we should make every effort to achieve decisive superiority in small, clean nuclear weapons.

4. We must make America economically strong. We have already seen why economic energy must be released from government strangulation if individual freedom is to survive. Economic emancipation is equally imperative if the nation is to survive. America’s maximum economic power will be forged, not under bureaucratic direction, but in freedom.

5. In all of our dealings with foreign nations, we must behave like a great power. Our national posture must reflect strength and confidence and purpose, as well as good will. We need not be bellicose, but neither should we encourage others to believe that American rights can be violated with impunity. We must protect American nationals and American property and American honor – everywhere. We may not make foreign people like us – no nation has ever succeeded in that – but we can make them respect us. And respect is the stuff of which enduring friendships and firm alliances are made.

6. We should adopt a discriminating foreign aid policy. American aid should be furnished only to friendly, anti-terrorist nations that are willing to join with us in the struggle for freedom. Moreover, our aid should take the form of loans or technical assistance, not gifts. And we should insist, moreover, that such nations contribute their fair share to the common cause.

7. We should declare the world Islamist movement an outlaw in the community of civilized nations. Accordingly, we should withdraw diplomatic recognition from all Islamist governments, thereby serving notice on the world that we regard such governments as neither legitimate nor permanent.

8. We should encourage the captive peoples to revolt against their Islamist rulers. This policy must be pursued with caution and prudence, as we as courage. For while our enslaved friends must be told that we are anxious to help them, we should discourage premature uprisings that have no chance of success. The freedom fighters must understand that the time and place and method of such uprisings will be dictated by the needs of an overall world strategy. To this end we should establish close liaison with underground leaders in the Islamic world, furnishing them with printing presses, radios, weapons, instructors: the paraphernalia of a full-fledged Resistance.

9. We should encourage friendly peoples that have the means and desire to do so the undertake offensive operations for the recovery of their homelands. For example, should a revolt occur inside Iran, we should encourage and support guerrilla operations in Iran by the free Iranians. Should the situation develop favorably, we should encourage the Iraqi’s to join free Iranian forces in a combined effort to liberate the enslaved peoples of Asia.

This is hard counsel. But it is hard, I think, not for what it says, but for saying it openly. Such a policy involves the risk of war? Of course; but any policy, short of surrender, does that. Any policy that successfully frustrates the Islamist’s aim of world domination runs the risks that the Islamists will choose to lose in a kamikaze-finish. It is hard counsel because it frankly acknowledges that war may be the price of freedom, and thus intrudes on our national complacency. But is it really so hard when it goes on to search for the most likely means of safeguarding both our lives and our freedom? Is it so hard when we think of the risks that were taken to create our country? – risk on which our ancestors openly and proudly staked their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.” Will we do less to save our country?

The risks I speak of are risks on our terms, instead of on Islamist terms. We, not they, would select a time and place for a test of wills. We, not they would have the opportunity to bring maximum strength to bear on that test. They, not we, would have to decide between fighting for limited objectives under unfavorable circumstances, or backing down. And these are immense advantages.

The future, as I see it, will unfold along one of two paths. Either the Islamists will retain the offensive; will lay down one challenge after another; will invite us in local crisis after local crisis to choose between all-out war and limited retreat; and will force us, ultimately, to surrender or accept war under the most disadvantageous circumstances. Or we will summon the will and the means for taking the initiative, and wage a war of attrition against them – and hope, therefore, to bring about the internal disintegration of the Islamist governments. On course runs the risk of war, and leads, in any case, to probably defeat. The other runs the risk of war, and holds forth the promise of victory. For Americans who cherish their lives, but their freedom more, the choice cannot be difficult.

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1 comments
krkk44
krkk44

Barry Goldwater (BG) is completely right. He was then, in the fight of the free world against the communists. And he is right now, in the struggle again islam. Unfortuantely, BG does not mention the greater threat and graver danger: We, members the western and civilized society, have become too decadent to be able to fight back. We love to be "multi-cultural", even if this means, we invite members from sickening societies that want to either destroy or convert us. It is easy then for aggressive moslems to move into the vanishing western world and inherit it. A sad evolutionary process, but that exactly is happening now.

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