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At stake in the Iraq war: survival of a way of life

Unless the English-speaking peoples step up, they'll lose the great struggle against radical, totalitarian Islam.

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The English-speaking peoples of the world need to unite around their common heritage of values. And they need to sacrifice their naiveté about the true nature of war – and the losses that inevitably go with it. Otherwise, they will lose a titanic struggle with radical, totalitarian Islam.

The reason they are under such vicious attack – my home city of London came within minutes of losing up to 1,000 innocent people in an attempted nightclub bombing two weeks ago – is that they represent all that is most loathsome and terrifying for radical Islam.

Countries in which English is the primary language are culturally, politically, and militarily different from the rest of "the West." They have never fallen prey to fascism or communism, nor were they (except for the Channel Islands) invaded.

They stand for modernity, religious and sexual toleration, capitalism, diversity, women's rights, representative institutions – in a word, the future. This world cannot coexist with strict, public implementation of Islamic law, let alone an all-powerful caliphate.

Those who still view this struggle as a mere police action against uncoordinated criminal elements, rather than as an existential war for the survival of their way of life, are blinding themselves to reality.

Sending signs of surrender

But recent news suggests the blindness is growing. Antiwar sentiment in America is swelling. As key Republicans desert the president, senators are pushing amendments to force the withdrawal of US troops. All this before US Gen. David Petraeus reports on the surge.

Are the English-speaking peoples really about to quit before Islamic totalitarianism has been defeated in Iraq? Are they seriously contemplating handing the terrorists the biggest victory since the Marines' withdrawal from Beirut? It was that surrender in 1984 that emboldened Osama bin Laden to believe that his organization could defeat a superpower. Surrender in Iraq would prove him right.

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