How to Fight Jihadists

Sunday, February 19, 2006

In a word: Ruthlessly.

Wretchard has a fascinating post up over at the Belmont Club which details a successful American campaign against jihadists that took place a century ago. It's worth a full read, but here's a teaser.

Another officer of almost demented courage was Leonard Furlong, who the Moros feared as an almost unearthly being. Furlong actually led a unit of Christian/Moro constabulary men that would go anywhere, any time to take on anybody. One example of his exploits is given below.

Furlong arrived at Bugasan at daylight on the morning of July 9. He had but six rifles in his party. He called to the inhabitants of the house to surrender, and found, not a few Moros, but a gang of 100 armed bandits who surrounded his small force. In one of the most dramatic hand-to-hand combats of the period, Furlong personally killed six of the Moros, and extricated his men without injury to his force. He personally broke a passage through a wall of krismen as point of that compact group of soldiers who battled hand to hand with the odds ten to one against them. ... One of the most striking examples of Furlong's policing activities was his extermination of Kali Pandopatan, the Sultan of Buldung. The Kali had been playing double with the American government, and Furlong, with a dozen Constabulary, had gone to the cotta of the Kali for a conference. Once inside the cotta, he was set upon by more than 400 Moros, armed with barongs. Furlong backed his party into an angle of the walls and was in possession of the field after a terrible hour of slaughter. ...

Perhaps one of Furlong's most characteristic gestures was throwing his hat into the Moro forts he was preparing to assault and wagering that he could get to it before any of his men. It is said Furlong never lost a single one of those bets. In 1911 he was sent to Manila because his superiors feared that he was losing his mind. Furlong shot himself in his quarters.

The main post does not mention one other thing that I wish it had (and I hadn't the time to sift through the 190 comments it already had when I composed this), but General Pershing (for whom a Moslem turns out to be named later in the Belmont Club post), had a no-nonsense way to deal with terrorists that John McCain would be wise to learn about. (But please read the update below.)
In 1911 in the Philippines, our Gen. John J. Pershing arrested several of the most brutal Islamic terrorists of the day. They were found guilty of capital crimes and shot, but not before the bullets used by the firing squad were dipped in pig fat, thus denying them according to the rule of Islam a soft landing in Heaven. Pershing, however, did allow one of the terrorists to escape so that he might report his chums' fate to their superiors.
Our enemy has not changed one bit since those days, except in the sophistication of the weaponry it can obtain from the West. But we have. And if we do not quickly become willing to visit horror upon our enemy, he will do so to us.

-- CAV


2-20-06: A commenter provides a link pertinent to the Bob Tyrrell story on Pershing I passed along. Snopes reports that it can neither substantiate nor rule out Pershing's use of this method of deterring terrorism. It also discusses more of Pershing's dealings with the Moros, including this interesting anecdote.
Col. John J Pershing threatened the mullahs with . . . "splattering of pigs-blood on your houses and families and any who attack us and are killed will be buried in pig-skins." Consequently the mullahs made Pershing an Honorary Chieftan with little if any more trouble in his area of command.


Apollo said...

Even if it isnt true, it would still a good idea :)

Gus Van Horn said...


Thanks for that link! Although Snopes regards the story of Pershing having actually done this as "inconclusive", I found their discussion of his dealings with the Moros very interesting.