This is an interesting column, but ultimately irrelevant. We ARE at war. We KNOW the source of the ideology and funding of those at war with us.
Just as we were not at war with every German or Japanese citizen, we annihilated the sources of ideology & funding by bombing to rubble Dresden, Cologne, Berlin, Tokyo and hundreds of other cities.
There is and was nothing wrong or immoral about this. They were the enemy, just as a branch of islam is today. Collateral damage is part of war; too bad.
The mission of any military force is “to organize, train and equip forces for the conduct of prompt and sustained combat operations.”
These people provide every function of a military: they organize (in mosques), train (in camps, online videos and their magazines and publications) and equip (money, weapons) their warriors for the conduct of war. They raise, house, feed, clothe and indoctrinate their citizens & subjects to do exactly what they are doing: wage war against us.
This makes them perfectly legitimate targets.
Given the pre-modern nature of islam, it is (as noted by Osama bin laden) a weak-horse-strong-horse culture. Annihilating, with one fairly small tactical nuke, each of Mecca, Medina & the ZamZam Well would cause islam to weaken & die within 2-3 generations.
For those who dislike this, what is Plan B? Nothing in their culture will lead them to their own Enlightenment & putting reason before superstition. Are you willing to trade decades (at least) of literate, educated, modern Western liberal citizens for a few thousand pre-modern savages in infantry battles? For that is the alternative.
As with most of life, this is not between “good” and “bad,” but between “bad” and “worse.” The “worse” is allowing pre-modern illiterate savages who do not and can not bring to the modern world & economy anything of value to continue to deprive the modern world of safety, progress, life.
We have been talking this ad infinitum since 2001. It is past time to get as serious as are our enemies, take the war to the enemy, use our technology to ensure we maximize our productivity in the endeavor, and destroy any ability of this opponent ever to wage war against the West again.