Reflections on the Slaughter in Paris, Part 2: What Can We Learn from Napoleon Bonaparte, Arnold Toynbee, and Other Dead White European Males?

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Editor’s Note: Read part 1 of this series here.

So now we’re launching airstrikes aimed at really hurting ISIS? Fox News reported on Monday that the US military had destroyed 116 ISIS fuel trucks near the Syrian-Iraq border. Considering that oil is the only valuable export that the Flintstones economy of the Islamic State possesses, that’s a devastating blow.

Of course, if we had crippled the ISIS economy a year ago, perhaps 130 people in Paris, and many others, would still be alive today. But as we know, President Obama has been fixated on minimizing the ISIS threat; he famously dismissed the decapitators as the “J.V.,” and was heard bragging that he had them “contained” as recently as Friday, November 13.

Thus it was no surprise to learn that the US has been flying a mere seven to ten sorties a day against ISIS, a tiny fraction of the number that the US flew in past military aerial operations in, say, the Balkans, or in Desert Storm. Moreover, according to the Obama “rules of engagement,” aimed at minimizing civilian casualties—or were we trying to minimize something else, such as US power?—as many as three-fourths of our sorties did not result in any bombs being dropped.

But now, tragically, things are different: As French President Francois Hollande has said, “Terrorism will not destroy the republic, because it is the republic that will destroy it.” And toward that end, France is not only going all-out against ISIS, but Hollande is also conferring with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Yes, France really wants to win.

And what if the US, too, really wanted to win? How would our strategy and tactics change?

In part one of this series, published on November 14, we considered the Obama administration’s fecklessness over the years, the extreme peril that France finds itself in today, and, finally, some historical precedents for success in combating dire threats.

In this second piece, we can further consider ways to win. In fact, we can organize our thinking about victory into five categories: first, Inspirational/Moral; second, Strategic/Civilizational; third, Social/Legal; fourth, Geographic/Physical; and fifth, Cyber/Virtual. Each category is vital; let’s look at each in turn.

I. Inspirational/Moral

The Paris attacks put a new heft of seriousness into our politics. Democrats are now on notice that there’s more to presidential leadership than delivering “free” health insurance to people. And Republicans are now on notice that there are higher priorities than repealing Obamacare.

Indeed, the search for a serious helmsman for the ship of state has begun. And experience counts: The old question from the Cold War, Whose finger do you want on the nuclear button? is once again relevant. And that’s bad news for Republican candidates with no electoral experience whatsoever, namely, Donald Trump, Carly Fiorina, and Ben Carson. Yes, at least two of these three are riding high in the polls, but it’s still a long way till the actual voting begins. Indeed, as the last five days have reminded us, the world can change dramatically in less than a week.

So supporters of Carson must be distressed, for example, to see the headline in Tuesday’s The New York Times: “Ben Carson Is Struggling to Grasp Foreign Policy, Advisers Say.” Is that headline an example of media bias? Maybe, but Carsonites should read the article—including on-the-record quotes from Carson advisers—before seeking to dismiss its gist. To be sure, it’s glaring that the Times hasn’t made an equally big deal about Hillary Clinton being “often confused,” according to a 2013 e-mail from close aide Huma Abedin. Still, from any right-of-center perspective—from neoconservative to realist to libertarian—no GOPer thinks that Carson is the best of the Republican strategists on foreign policy, and foreign policy matters a lot right now.

We need strong leadership. We need leadership that knows what it’s doing, leadership that inspires and motivates.

And we can make this assertion not only from the perspectives of grand-strategizing and international maneuvering, but also for the sake of commanding troops going into harm’s way. To put it bluntly, soldiers like to know that they are risking their lives in a good, or at least winning, cause. And so the power of inspirational leadership bleeds over—yes, “bleeds” is the right word—to the power of a kind of moral leadership. Fighting for a good cause is moral; fighting for a bad cause is immoral.

Indeed, as France’s greatest general, Napoleon Bonaparte, observed about the calculus of battle, “The moral is to the physical as three is to one.” And in military affairs, Napoleon had great moral, or psychological, force; as a 26-year-old commander at the Battle of Lodi in 1796, his personal courage and leadership bonded him to his men; together, they won stunning victories for the better part of two decades.

Yet today, in our time, Obama blows an uncertain trumpet, at best. As everyone in the military knows all too well, the President was profoundly reluctant to acknowledge that Master Sergeant Joshua Wheeler was an heroic KIA in the fight against ISIS; for arcane—and now irrelevant—political reasons, the administration would have loved to list his death as some sort of training accident.

Indeed, even after ISIS declared war on the US—“We swear that we will strike America at its center in Washington”—Obama still hesitated. The current lethargic strategy would be “intensified,” he grudgingly allowed, but that was it. In other words, Obama’s idea is still more “leading from behind.”

When further pressed in the wake of Paris, Obama put all his cards on the table, further explaining his reluctance to incur the costs of war:

Maybe part of the reason is because every few months I go to Walter Reed, and I see a 25-year-old kid that is paralyzed or has lost his limbs.

Thus Obama would seem to have us believe that he is the only one in Washington who has thought about, or witnessed, the flesh-and-blood consequences of fighting.

But Obama’s language is the language of defeatism. It’s certainly true that the president should grapple with the issue of casualties as part of an assessment of the costs and benefits of military action, but, the defense of the nation comes first. We have lots of caregivers—and behind them, some 300 million taxpayers and charitable donors—but we have only one commander-in-chief. According to the Constitution, the president takes the lead in providing for the common defense.

So we really need our president to concentrate on defending the country. Thus when CIA Director John Brennan says, publicly, in the wake of the Paris attacks, that more attacks are coming, that’s Obama’s responsibility. As Brennan explained:

I would anticipate that this is not the only operation that ISIL has in the pipeline. I do believe that this is something we’ll have to live with for quite some time.

It’s Obama’s job to prepare our national security, not preen his moral vanity.

Yes, no doubt our 44th President feels the tension of being a Nobel Peace Prize recipient while being involved in so many conflicts. And, for sure, it’s ironic, although maybe “laughable” is a better word for it. So shame on the Norwegians for handing out a once-respected prize as if it were a party favor, before Obama even did anything. Indeed, the 2009 award stands as a stark reminder that affirmative action is a bad idea.

Still, Nobel Prize or no, Obama has the job of defending the country for another 14 months. And in time of war, we need a martial leader, not a hand-wringer.

We might note also that tough-minded war-leadership knows no party; after all, Hollande of France is a socialist. Closer to home, nearly a century ago, Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt, as a young assistant secretary of the Navy in the Wilson Administration during World War I, spent much time in France, overseeing the small contingent of the US Marine Corps deployed in the fight against the Kaiser. In just eight months of fighting, the Marines suffered nearly 12,000 casualties, during which time, we might note, Leathernecks earned five Medals of Honor.

In other words, FDR knew of combat. And so, a quarter century later, President Roosevelt understood exactly what he was getting America into when he delivered his memorable speech to a joint session of Congress on December 8, 1941:

Yesterday, December 7th, 1941–a date which will live in infamy–the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

In that same address, FDR took the measure of the danger, but then added his own ringing words of resolve:

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory, and our interests are in grave danger. With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God.

We might note that Roosevelt chose not to dwell on the horrors of war; this was not the time for that. And besides, the real horror was what the Japanese had done to us at Pearl Harbor—and that had to be avenged.

Of course, America took care of her own during, and after, the war; the longtime motto of the Veterans Administration—now a Cabinet Department—comes from Abraham Lincoln: “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.” And yes, as an aside, one can certainly question the effectiveness of today’s VA, as well as Obama’s effectiveness as a steward of the VA, but that’s a question for another time. Now, the big issue is winning the war against ISIS. As they say in the Army, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

Yes, this will be—it already has been, going back to 2001—a long war. Our struggle with the Jihadis is well past the point of nitpicky policing or fussy litigating. Obama chose to strive for mere containment, and yet he failed to contain. So now it’s time for rollback, also known as victory.

The United States, joined by France, should go to Raqqa, at least by air, and kill the ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as well as his accomplices in evil.

If it’s at all possible, of course, we should have Arab—or at least Muslim–allies. But as the famous World War II cartoon so memorably put it, if we have to go it alone, then so we must.

Of course, a quick punitive expedition to take out ISIS is not the same as protracted nation-building; hopefully, we have learned that lesson. There is no chance that American troops will succeed as a long-term occupying force, anymore than we succeeded in ushering in permanent improvement in Afghanistan or Iraq.

So if we can’t get allies—and having failed so far, Obama almost certainly won’t start now—then we should be prepared to drop lots of bombs, leave some craters, and go home. But down the road, if we can get serious Islamic allies to supervise a post-ISIS Syria and Iraq, then we can espy the potential for a ground-truth occupation force that could actually create security, if not democracy. (Let’s focus on security.) If so, then we would need a few Americans—hard-bodied and well-trained Socom volunteers, not the middle-aged and undertrained National Guardsmen we so often sent to Afghanistan and Iraq—to help coordinate the occupation. And we should also entertain new geopolitical ideas, such as partitions and the reworking of artificial borders; such steps might entice Arabs and Muslim states to be part of the needed long-term solution.

But again, none of this is possible so long as Obama delegates this work to the likes of Susan Rice and Ben Rhodes—and while he focuses on what he and his billionaire backers really seem to care about, namely, “climate change.”

So yes, we will need a national election to settle the question of which is more important: stopping an attack on our homeland, or trying to stop the sea levels from rising a foot or two in the next century.

Oh, and one more thing: Speaking of strong leadership, it would be nice if our leaders today would redeem the classic moral-military principle of leading from the front. We might recall that all four of FDR’s sons wore military uniforms during the war that their father declared, and three of them were in heavy combat. Yet somehow, this vital aspect of democratic-republican governance—that our leaders share the same risks as the rest of us—has fallen by the wayside. The last US president to see combat as a young man was George H.W. Bush. And the last president whose younger family fought in war was Lyndon Johnson; his son-in-law, Chuck Robb, the future governor and senator, served two tours as a Marine officer in Vietnam. The grunts who do the fighting and the dying may not publicly complain about the elites shirking their duty, but they have undoubtedly noticed. Note to Uncle Sam: We are a lot more likely to win our wars when the whole country is “All In.”

Thus we see the power of inspiration and, yes, morality. But to survive and flourish, we need much more than that. And so we turn, in our survey of victory, to the second category.

II. Strategic/Civilizational

To win a war, we need to be strong; we might note that the strength of a nation is measured not only in the bravery of its men and the productivity of its machines, but also in the unity of its population.

To illustrate this point, we might turn to A Study of History, the 12-volume magnum opus of Arnold J. Toynbee, published between 1934 and 1961. In it, the longtime professor at the London School of Economics traced the the beginning, middle, and end of 23 major civilizations in world history.

As Toynbee explained, “Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder.” That is, they are destroyed from within, not without. And so we Americans might pay heed, because there’s no reason to believe that we are exempt from Toynbee’s grim cycles.

The Oxford-educated historian divided each civilization into three basic parts:

First, a Creative Minority. By “creative,” Toynbee means political, military, and technological problem-solving more than art and culture, although art and culture, too, typically flowed, from the Creative Minority.

Second, an Internal Proletariat. These are the workers—the hewers of wood and drawers of water, to use the Biblical phrase—who are loyal to the system, abiding by the cultural and political sway of the Creative Minority.

Third, an External Proletariat. These workers—or non-workers, even bandits—are mostly outside of the influence of the Creative Minority, and thus are frequently hostile to it.

Toynbee’s argument was that a civilization could flourish only when the Creative Minority was able to impart its values onto enough of the Internal Proletariat to keep the civilization going. If the Creative Minority failed for any reason—be it arrogance, stupidity, or simple bad luck—the civilization was doomed. The bad result, in Toynbee’s terminology, was a “schism in the body social,” to be followed, perhaps, by civil war or breakdown. And so then a new civilization would emerge—although not necessarily a better one. (We’ll get to the External Proletariat in a moment.)

Without a doubt, Toynbee’s historical vision was elitist. But then, he was a conservative—and conservatism is, at its core, the idea that there are things worth conserving. As Toynbee’s fellow Briton, Matthew Arnold, the famous Victorian educator, wrote in his 1869 book, Culture and Anarchy, the purpose of education is to preserve and perpetuate “the best that has been thought or said.” And we might ask: If conservatism is about preserving the best that has been thought or said—what is liberalism about?

So now to today: If we, here in the US, apply Toynbee’s model to ourselves, how do we stack up? Where are we in his cycle of growth, followed by decline?

Perhaps the most obvious point to be made is that the Internal Proletariat—that is, the bulk of loyal workers, taxpayers, and soldiers—is mad as hell; it no longer trusts the Creative Minority to govern and mediate. Thus we have the Tea Party, the anti-Common Core forces, and other forms of peaceful insurgency.

Indeed, the rise of protest candidates such as Carson, Donald Trump—and even Bernie Sanders—tells us that the Internal Proletariat is in revolt. Still, it’s a mostly conservative revolt; the readership of Breitbart News, for example, is more interested in restoration than in radicalism. The folks on Main Street want a return to traditional patriotic normalcy, not a rush into red-fanged revolution. And so the Internal Proletariat responded favorably in 1992, when Bill Clinton proclaimed that he was the candidate for “all those who do the work and pay the taxes, raise the kids, and play by the rules…the hardworking Americans who make up our forgotten middle class.”

So while the Internal Proletariat is plenty riled up, there’s every reason to believe that its demands can be satisfied with a good dollop of limited-government conservatism.

But then there’s the External Proletariat, which is also thoroughly alienated, although for much different reasons, and with much different objectives. As Breitbart’s Milo Yiannopoulos has noted, the #BlackLivesMatter crowd at the University of Missouri is so addled with anger that they have lost their basic human empathy—in the latest instance, for those murdered in Paris. As Yiannopoulos put it,

Campus activists in America showed their true faces during an international tragedy last night: they are the selfish, spoiled children we always knew they were. Black Lives Matter and Mizzou protesters responded to the murder of scores of people in Paris at the hands of Islamic extremists by complaining about losing the spotlight and saying their “struggles” were being “erased.” Their struggles, remember, consist of a poop swastika of unknown provenance and unsubstantiated claims of racially-charged remarks somewhere near Missouri’s campus.

As we can see, the External Proletarian protestors are operating on thin ice with the rest of the country, as they seek to turn small gripes into big protests. And then there are the even more privileged students at Dartmouth University, cut from the same destructive, and self-destructive, cloth:

Black-clad protesters gathered in front of Dartmouth Hall, forming a crowd roughly one hundred fifty strong…The Black Lives Matter collective began to sing songs and chant their eponymous catchphrase. Not content to merely demonstrate there for the night, the band descended from their high-water mark to march into Baker-Berry Library. “F*** you, you filthy white f***s! F*** you and your comfort! F*** you, you racist s***!”

Not only is this not the language of good citizenship, this is also the language of civilizational breakdown. And of course, it was not supposed to happen in the we-are-the-change-we-have-been-waiting-for Age of Obama.

One can suppose that America can survive outbreaks of such youthful idiocy. And we can even survive the permanent enragement of a small minority—so long as it remains only a small share of the overall population.

Yet we must also realize that the linkages of common civility can be pushed only so far. Indeed, there’s plenty of evidence that the student protestors are generating a campus backlash—and that’s before the national electorate gets a say in next year’s election, which, if history is any guide, will go well for “law and order” Republicans.

Still we can observe that even if the forces of conservatism win a big victory, the challenge of knitting the country back together will remain. If America’s civilization is to survive, there will have to be some sort of reconciliation—or at least a lessening of hostilities—between the three groups.

And so as we wrestle with the questions of “How will this reconciliation occur?” and “On whose terms?” we can observe that if we are already having this much trouble with our population as it is—if the External Proletariat is this irrationally troublesome—then now is not the time to bring in more troublesome people from abroad.

III. Social/Legal

In the previous sections, we considered the impact of two forces: first, of inspiration, and second, of insurgency. Now we can consider a third force: immigration.

Fifty years after the enactment of Teddy Kennedy’s brainchild, the Immigration and Nationality Act—the legislation that opened the door to open borders, we can now clearly see the consequences.

To apply Toynbee’s typology from the previous section, we can see that Muslim immigration, in particular, is expanding the ranks of the alienated External Proletariat. That is, we are bringing in people who not only have no stake in America as it is, but are often hostile, even violently hostile. Being multiethnic is fine, but being actively, explicitly, multicultural—that’s a formula for schism and breakdown.

For all those who romanticize the “Ellis Island Experience,” and hope that new teeming masses can pass through Lady Liberty’s golden door, we must note the differences, then and now.

Then, immigrants would come here and be mostly cut off from the Old Country. So they had little choice but to start becoming Americans.

Then, America had a tough-love system of public schools, civic rituals— and even, from time to time, a draft.

Then, the Creative Minority had confidence in itself; it did not hesitate to impose its values on newcomers, as well as the native stock. The result was a new melting-pot race of Americans, each one of them saying the Pledge of Allegiance.

Then, in times of war, we cut off the flow of immigration—not many Germans, Italians, or Japanese came here during World War Two.

But now, by contrast, the old mechanisms of patriotic assimilation—not to mention common sense—have broken down:

Now, global communications enable immigrants to keep their connection to old ways. As Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-American, herself a victim of female genital mutilation, observed earlier this year, Muslim “honor killings” in the US are on the rise.

Now, not only are newcomers not expected to expend effort to build up public institutions, but they are also allowed simply to go on welfare—like the Boston Marathon bombers, the Tsarnaev brothers.

Now, the MSM, a part of of the Creative Minority, being paralyzed by political correctness, is unable and unwilling to report the truth about what’s happening. Indeed, on the big question of national survival, The New York Times, for example, seems to be on the side of breakdown; a November 17 editorial—published all of four days after the Paris massacre— complained about the “embarrassingly small” number of Syrian refugees the US has admitted.

In the wake of such civilizational malpractice, it is thus left to the new media to tell it like it is: We learned, for example, from a site called TheRebel that a scientific opinion poll, conducted by an Arab think tank, found that 31 percent of Syrian refugees support ISIS.

Now, even as we are under attack, migrants keep coming from the countries that are attacking us. We might ask: Don’t any of our leaders know the story of the Trojan Horse? In the words of former homeland security secretary Tom Ridge, “The barbarians are no longer at the gate. They’re inside.”

In the face of this onslaught, we have forgotten the erudite three-part triptych of Toynbee, who surveyed 5,000 years of history to describe how civilizations disappear into dust. And we have even forgotten the plain and simple language of patriotic assimilation: The Pledge of Allegiance, Loyalty Oaths, and so on. Today, a pincer-movement of liberals, on one side, and libertarians, on the other, has converged both to open the border to non-Americans and to destroy the process of Americanization.

So it was irksome, to say the least, that President Obama, the self-styled avatar of this post-American America, gave us a condescending lecture on “tolerance”—this from a man who will have US Secret Service protection, as well as private jets, for the rest of his life.

But from his privileged perch, Obama was happy piously to sling blather-words around as he agitated for more Syrian refugees:

And so we have to, each of us, do our part. And the United States has to step up and do its part. When I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test, that’s shameful. That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion… Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values. Our nations can welcome refugees who are desperately seeking safety and ensure our own security. We can and must do both.

Let’s pause over Obama’s pledge to both bring in more Syrians and properly vet them. As Mike Huckabee said in response, his voice dripping with derision,

We can trust the “vetting” to the people who gave us the Obama website, the digitized version of immigration forms—five years and $1 billion later we have all of one page digitized!—and also gave us us the failed Fast and Furious operation, the IRS fiasco, and Benghazi tragedy.

Meanwhile, even The Washington Post, once a member in good standing of the MSM, is going rogue from the Obama-fied consensus that everything is being properly taken care of. Its banner above-the-fold headline on Wednesday read, “Fear of new terrorist plots spreads.”

Fortunately, the current immigration situation is so out of control that it’s possible to foresee a return to sanity. Yes, our incumbent leaders—and their anointed successors—will continue to lecture us, the unenlightened, on the need for “comprehensive immigration reform,” as well as, of course, the need to really focus on “climate change.”

But we citizens know better. Moreover, we know that if the Toynbeean Creative Minority has truly abandoned its civilization-guarding function, then the Internal Proletariat will have to rise up. It will not only have to win the next election on a message of restoration, but it will also have to establish a more wholesome culture of normalcy.

And so we have outlined the three “I’s”—inspiration, insurgency, and immigration. Now we can complete our five-part survey by considering the importance of barriers, both physical and virtual.

IV. Geographic/Physical

Here’s something you learn from reading ancient history, including, you know, about all those folks who helped their country flourish for centuries, sometimes even millennia: Many old cities did not grow up organically as a result of settlers clustering together. Instead, entire new cities were founded at once, either by kings or city-states, starting with a wall. Ancient Athens, for example, founded at least nine colony-cities this way—that is, starting with a wall.

The reason? In an environment full of bandits, marauders, and conquerors, the most important part of a city was, in fact, its wall. So before settlement, a barrier was built to enclose a big space, and then the area inside was filled in by buildings, sometimes over generations, even centuries.

Thus the cities of antiquity—in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East—were walled with sentries at the gates. Walls were the most cost-effective form of defense, in every historic civilization, East or West.

Indeed, the insecure borders of whole countries and empires were walled off: The Great Wall of China is perhaps the most famous instance, but the Romans built walls all over Europe.

Recently, many have liked to think that the days of crouching inside a fortress are gone, but maybe we thought wrong. Maybe, inside those fortresses, we don’t crouch, bur rather, flourish. As Parisians, for example, struggle to put their lives back together, they might long for the days when their city was adequately shielded from barbarians.

Of course, the militaries of the world have never given up on the idea of protection through fortification. Soldiers routinely live and work in well-fenced silos and bunkers. Indeed, in the age of satellite- and drone-surveillance, they need more protection than ever.

And if such protection is needed for the military, maybe civilians, too, are worth protecting.

Having been reminded of the importance of old-fashioned barriers, we can now consider the equal importance of new-fangled systems of security.

V. Cyber/Virtual

If physical walls matter, so do virtual walls—cyber walls. And that means we must not only upgrade our technology, but also we must keep better tabs on our technologists.

On Sunday, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton lamented that the terrorists have found new ways to keep their secrets:

We, in many respects, have gone blind as a result of the commercialization and the selling of these devices that cannot be accessed either by the manufacturer or, more importantly, by us in law enforcement, even equipped with search warrants and judicial authority.

As Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, explains, terrorists have learned to “communicate under the radar,” using encryption “that we can’t break.” Reminding us of the name of one of the great traitors in US history, Morell continues:

I think this is going to open an entire new debate about security versus privacy. [W]e need to have a public debate about [encryption] … We have, in a sense, had a public debate. That debate was defined by Edward Snowden … and the concern about privacy. I think we’re now going to have another debate about that. It’s going to be defined by what happened in Paris.

In other words, Snowden put the terrorist world on notice; that’s why the Paris mass-murderers, for example, used PlayStation 4s to communicate.

Yes, America suffered a huge defeat two years ago when Snowden defected to Russia, taking his National Security Agency secrets with him. The Obama administration barely noticed, of course, and did nothing to seek his return. And the predominant culture has sought to paper over this massive defeat for America; to this day, Snowden is typically billed as a “privacy activist,” and not, as he should be, as another Benedict Arnold.

It would be bad enough if the threat were only from terrorists and traitors. But in fact, we face an even more awesome cyber-military threat, at least potentially: China. This is from a 2011 monograph by cybersecurity expert Alexander Klimburg:

Chinese hackers have been behind a significant number of high-profile cyber attacks on a number of countries. The United States, nearly every EU country and probably the EU itself have experienced a Chinese cyber attack of one kind or another. Of major cyber attacks publicly reported since 1999, two-thirds or more were probably directly associated with hackers in mainland China. Most media reports point out that these attacks are probably non-governmental in nature, but often say that the hacking is officially sponsored.

Indeed, Klimburg goes on to describe the rise of something called “Patriot Hackers”; that is, computer geeks who work for the government, not against it. We might note that this is an attitudinal stance that few American hackers seem to have considered. As Klimburg adds:

It has been widely reported that the PLA has integrated cyber-warfare units into its standard field-army organisation from 2003 onwards… For many students in technical universities it is Militia units are creating information warfare units a de facto condition of enrollment. Many civilian institutions, especially state-owned enterprises, have a militia role as well… The number of potential recruits for this system is staggering. In 2007, China had over 25 [million] students in state universities, not including those in private training or specialist technical programmes. Millions of information-technology personnel are employed in state-affiliated enterprises. Given these numbers, and the likely number of Chinese patriot hackers who may be part of military structures, it is not surprising that most cyber attacks on the United States come from China. The cybersecurity company iDefense has tracked over 250 named hacker groups in China. No more than 1,000–5,000 hackers are likely to be part of such paragovernmental structures or programmes, but the informal membership could be up to ten times that figure.

So yes, we face a long-term challenge from China far more daunting than that from the Middle East. Fortunately, the Chinese are rational—the mere fact that China has been an identifiable country for 5,000 years tells us that they know something about their own survival—and so it’s possible to imagine a modus vivendi with them.

But the Muslims seem to be a different story. And the threat from them is immediate. And so, if we want to survive, we will have to learn the lessons of civilizational preservation. The secrets of national survival are in our heritage; our challenge today is to remember what has already been learned.