Phi Beta Cons

The Impossibility of Appeasement

Last week, I highlighted a piece decrying Islam’s ignorant defenders, those who gloss over the difficult realities in the Islamic world, preferring to cry “bigot” and storm off TV sets than answer how only a “few extremists” can generate thousands of suicide bombers, hundreds of thousands of jihadists, and millions of supporters and adherents.

This week, I try to answer the logical follow-up question: “If you’re right about Islam, what do we do?”  My answer is (perhaps) disappointingly unoriginal: Stay the course. Radical Islam cannot be appeased, it thrives on victory, and it withers in the face of defeat. Is it a coincidence that Osama bin Laden’s popularity was at its apex after 9/11 and its nadir after al-Qaeda’s lost its grip in Iraq?  

But staying the course utterly depends on convincing enough young people that our enemy is real and that thousands upon thousands of their peers have to join the fight, a fight that may rage — with varying degrees of intensity — for decades.

David French — David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Most Popular


Holy Week with Saint Paul

Just the other day, I ordered a replacement copy of The Passion of the Christ -- it can be so impactful for Holy Week meditation. In the years since its release, it’s become something of required Lenten viewing for me. But this year, there is a new movie to help with prayer, Paul, Apostle of Christ, released ... Read More

Heckuva Job, Paul and Mitch

As Thursday's editorial makes clear, the omnibus spending bill is a disgrace. That may be why about 40 percent of Republicans (and 40 percent of Democrats) voted against it. Apart from the absence of a DACA/Dream amnesty, the immigration portions represent a comprehensive victory by the anti-enforcement crowd. ... Read More
Politics & Policy

California’s Pro-Nuclear Renegade

If California’s upcoming gubernatorial race gets decided solely by money, Michael Shellenberger doesn’t have a chance. The latest campaign filings show that Shellenberger, an environmentalist from Berkeley, has about $37,000 in cash on hand. The frontrunner in the June 5 California primary, Lieutenant ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Sliming of Bari Weiss

If you follow at all the ideological war that’s erupted around the New York Times editorial page, then you know Bari Weiss. It’s too much to call Bari conservative. A better description might be heterodox. On some issues, particularly social issues and immigration, she’s a woman of the Left. On others — ... Read More