In a stunning development that absolutely no one saw coming, radical Islamists managed to assassinate former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Despite failing at earlier attempts (including strapping a bomb to a kidnapped infant), they didn’t simply give up and either aim for an easier target or try to negotiate, but they kept on trying — and yesterday an assassin with a gun and a bomb got close enough to Mrs. Bhutto to use both.

For all the atrocities committed by Islamists around the world in recent history, it strikes me that they save their most brutal actions for their own kind. For the torrents of blood shed in the name of Allah, the largest portion carries the green tint of Islam.

Jeff Jacoby, the “house conservative” of the Boston Globe, presciently wrote last Sunday about “the Islamist war on Muslim women,” and cited several recent examples of just how savage unfettered Islam can be towards its distaff adherents — and those who fall under its sway. Now he can add Benazir Bhutto to his list.

It’s often been said that Islam has “bloody borders.” According to Wikipedia, there are currently 30 ongoing conflicts in the world. Of those, only a handful don’t involve Muslims on one side — and most involve Muslims fighting Muslims. “Bloody borders?” We should be so lucky. Islam itself is a giant cauldron of blood and carnage. The “bloody borders” are simply the splashings.

If it was simply a matter of Muslims butchering Muslims, I’d be sore tempted to take the isolationist. Ron Paul-esque position and say “let them kill each other, and then we’ll deal with the surrvivors.” But they have a casual disregard for differentiating between their enemies and the innocents.

No, that’s not fair. They seem to revel in the slaughter of the non-combatants at least as much as in killing their enemies. They take the “you’re either with us or against us” mentality to an ultimate extreme — anyone not as absolutely committed to their positions is an enemy, and those who are relatively close to those positions are traitors and worse than those diametrically opposed to them.

Even the most craven among us has to admit that Islam is the “religion of peace” is the most ready of all cultures to resort to the sword. Larry O’Donnell, Democratic activist and noted nut, recently went on a spittle-laden tirade against the evils of the Mormon church — but later admitted that he wouldn’t speak out against Islam because he knows that the adherents of that faith are far more likely — and ready — to behead him. And he doesn’t see the hypocrisy there, because to him he sees a distinction between political opportunism and actually endangering his life.

“Insulting Islam” has become the newest fashion for suicide. Do something — anything — anywhere — that some might construe as an insult to Islam, and you can pretty much be guaranteed that you will be threatened. Draw a picture of Mohammed? Allow school children to name a teddy bear Mohammed? Have a design that — if you look at it just right — might bear a passing resemblance to the Arabic script for “Allah?” Allow rumors to spread that a Koran might have been flushed down a toilet (despite the fundamental impossibility of such a thing happening) or in other way be desecrated? There will be riots in the streets around the world, mayhem, chaos, and howling mobs proclaiming that the tenets of the Religion Of Peace demands death for those who insult Islam.

And now we have chaos and carnage in an Islamic nation that possesses nuclear weapons. Anyone who isn’t terrified at that thought is an idiot — and a dangerous one, whose folly puts us all at risk.

Islam needs — desperately — a Reform. Judaism had its aggressive era, but it ended once they fully conquered their Holy Land. Christianity had its time of tyranny and oppression, but it too outgrew it with the splitting off of the Protestants and the rebellions of the kings of Europe.

The reform will come — or Islam will be destroyed. The butcher’s bill has already been fearsome, and will most likely go higher — by several orders of magnitude. The only real questions are which outcome will be chosen, and who will do the choosing — will it be the Muslims themselves, or will the West make the choice?

Yes, there is an Islamic bomb. Pakistan has nuclear weapons. But we invented them. We’ve had over 60 years to improve on them — and make even better weapons. And those who think that we are afraid to use them need to take a brief trip to Hiroshima and/or Nagasaki. Pushed hard enough, we can wreak more carnage than they can possibly fantasize about — and with far more efficiency than they can even conceive of.

Our only restraint is our own consciences. And should it come down to a matter of survival, we can set those aside quite readily. We have shown that before, time and again.

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(An incomplete version of this was posted prematurely, without its conclusion. My apologies for the confusion it may have caused.)

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