I believe there is a way to defeat ISIS and militant Islam. But they’re fighting an asymmetrical war, which is why we’re having such a time with them. The solution is necessarily asymmetric. Understand first that the Islamics are fighting a religious war. If you think that they’re not religious and just criminals, or that they are fighting a political war, you won’t solve the problem. They are religious, but not fringe. It is the religion itself that is fanatical and it always has been. Religious motivation is greater than political motivation, not less, despite what atheists think. And so you have to fight a war against the religion. If you won’t do that, give up, they’ll win. Go big or go home.
But their religion has its weakness.
Christianity is a departure from Judaism and other religions in that it teaches that God is with us, not apart from us. Mohammedanism has a very primitive concept of god. To Islam, god is apart from the man. He is removed. He is conceptualized by his prophet Mohammed and by the location of the prophet’s actions rather than by the spirit or soul or divinity that lies within the man himself. You may not realize it, but that’s a large part of why our world views differ so. They can accept murder and other atrocities because man himself has no intrinsic value.
In my opinion, the way to defeat them is to destroy the external manifestations they direct their religious fervor towards, namely Mecca, Medina and parts of Jerusalem. And the mosques, the “holy” sites. And as much as possible, their book. That’s where they’re deriving their fervor from.
One could defeat Islam by destroying Mecca and Medina and leaving them no place toward which to bow or reminisce about the valor of Mohammed, no destination for their taj, their pilgrimage. When their god did not protect the holy sites, they would see his powerlessness. They would squeal like pigs for a while, but then the “religion” would die and there’s an end on’t. At a minimum, it would piss them off, which nothing else seems to do.
I don’t expect Obama to proceed along these lines.