Monday, November 13, 2006

Politics: Best thing that could have happened, really...

At the risk of excommunication from the circle of Shiny Happy People, let me share a deep inner belief of mine: The West is broken. Maybe not terminally, hopefully not permanently, but the heirs of the Rennaissance and the Enlightenment now live in the land of the Sensitive and the Entitlement.

Europe is already feeding the mouths that bite it at a rate that has strained its economies beyond that which they can bear. The aliens within the various realms of the old country are rapidly reaching a point of critical mass; a point where one of two unpalatable scenarios is destined to play out: Either the minority gains enough of a plurality to vote themselves the sharia law they clamor for and transform Bat Ye'or's Eurabia from prophecy to reality, or, alarmed by the rising tide, the populist masses of the continent dust off sixty-year-old uniforms and banners in a backlash just waiting for the right demagogue to trigger it. Neither one will be pretty.

Here in the states, Red Versus Blue has taken partisanship and incivility to levels rarely seen without triggering scenarios like Fort Sumter or Kent State. While a billion people chant for our destruction, we have one party that wants to talk to them and another that says some of them are bad, and should be fought by... well... giving Granny Smith a cavity search at the airport so as to avoid offending Abdullah.

As unfocussed, ham-handed, and frequently counter-productive as most of the GOP's actions in the War on Islamofascism (whoops!) Terror have been, I'll give them the benefit of the doubt and say that they may have delayed the inevitable somewhat. I'm not necessarily convinced that that's a good thing, however. There is a part of me, fiddle in one hand and bow in the other, that is ready to see the ball get dropped by the new guys in charge, because I really do believe that that's what it's going to take to get people to take this seriously. If it's going to take the hadjis sending New York or LA up in a cloud of radioactive debris to wake us up, well, better now then ten or fifteen years from now, when the French nuclear arsenal belongs to a country where thirty percent of its population believes in honor killing, female circumcision, stoning gays, and the righteousness of jihad.


(And to my Libertarian friends who want to natter about the religious right and its fear of gay cooties and whatnot in this country: When the Southern Baptists start donning semtex underoos and blowing themselves to Heritage USA in the local mall, then it'll be "Game On" for them, too. Let's keep our eye on the currently active threat, okay?)

33 comments:

The Student Shooter said...

I agree. Fortunatly, I live out in the middle of nowwhere and not in a city that is a major target...

We could have stomped this Islamofacist uprising with a couple of well placed nukes, in my opinion...

At the very least, there is no way we can fight an effective war while trying to keep from hurting our enemies feelings i.e.- not profiling, etc...

Marko said...

The local Fundies don't do Semtex sweaters, on account of suicide not getting you into heaven and all that.

However, they do resort to blowing up stuff in God's name on occasion. Didn't you live in Atlanta, host to both a bombed gay bar *and* a bombed abortion clinic?

xwbrxgs!

Tam said...

"Didn't you live in Atlanta, host to both a bombed gay bar *and* a bombed abortion clinic?"

Yes, I did.

And I saw the thousands of Evangelicals pouring into the streets, celebrating the bombings, chanting "Death to Secularism! Down with Capitalism! Democracy is Satan!" I saw the accused bombers go free because the authorities were afraid to upset the multicutural status quo. I saw the...

no, wait...

I didn't see any of that.

It's telling that you have to stretch back a decade to find a counter-example.

Like I said, no doubt there are fringe elements of the jeezo-nazi crowd that would love to get just as frisky, but lets not conflate the two into the same level of risk.

The common cold and Ebola are both viruses, and both are dangerous, but let's not get them confused, okay?

Marko said...

Whatever, Tam.

I don't discount the threat from militant Islam. I want to see the violent jihadis push up daisies. However, most of the "teh Muzlimz are our doom" stuff I see on the Intarwebs these days (some of it even originating from writers like Dan Simmons and Orson Scott Card, people who should know better) is thinly veiled agitprop, scaring the masses with prospects of dhimmitude and forced prayer to Mecca. What purpose does it serve other than to drill into people's heads that there's no such thing as a "moderate" Muslim, that the whole religion is the problem, and that the extremists speak for the whole billion?

Yeah, a couple of well-placed nukes...that'll solve the problem. All the shit I read online regarding the "Muslim problem" is just steering the scared sheep into one direction: to accept the idea that all Muslims are the enemy, so we can just pull the trigger on all of them.

You don't save our civilization with genocide. We stared down the Russkies over tens of thousands of MIRVs without losing sight of who we are, and that threat of mushroom clouds was infinitely more likely. You can't eradicate Islam any more than they can eradicate Christianity, so these debates are mostly big, chest-thumping circle jerks anyway.

You'll get lots of approving comments from the Malkin/Coulter crowd for this analysis, and your conservative street cred will rise without a doubt.

I'm out.

Tam said...

Yeah, that's me: Sucking up to the Coulter crowd. We've known each other for years, Marko, so I certainly hope you don't believe what you type.

Your Cold War analogy is apt.

Throughout the Cold War there were factions in the West that maintained several interesting viewpoints being paralleled in today's conflict:

1) Capitalism and Communism are equally bad, victimizing the common man who only wants peace.

2) The Communists aren't our enemies, just those bad men in the Kremlin who have perverted the philosophy.

No, the war is not with Islam. It is with Islamofascism. Unfortunately, that virulent strain of anti-secular, anti-capitalist, anti-assimilation philosophy is ascendant, and until it gets policed from within its own ranks, denying its existance won't make things any better.

The war is not Christianity versus Islam, it's Classical Liberalism, science, and secularism versus fundamentalist religious dogma, and the condoning of violence against the non-believer.

9/11, Madrid, Bali, London, Paris: Who do you name as the perpetrators? What do you suggest as a solution?

Tam said...

Y'know, on further reflection, I find it interesting that I get accused of advocating "genocide" and the "eradication" of Islam in a post that mentioned neither.

All I'm saying is that we need to get serious about who our foes are. Call a spade a spade. Western European nations are going to need to quit offering asylum and dolecheques to those who clamor for their destruction. The US is going to need to cowboy up and quit subsidizing Wahaabists in Saudi while decrying terrorism elsewhere.

Reluctance to declare someone an enemy is immaterial if they've already sworn themselves to your destruction.

Kaylee said...

Comparing domestic fundamentalists to the jihadis is just plain [i]asinine[/i] Marko. Please, you know better than that.

As to the genocide thing.. the longer we put off actually facing the problem of a fanatic culture, the likelier that will become. Either they fix themselves (the whole idea of our little nation-building forays over there, really) or we have to do it. And it will be a heck of a lot nastier if we have to do it.

Marko said...

I don't dispute the existence of radical Islam (although "Islamofascism" is a stupid label for it), and I am certainly not in denial about it.

My beef is with the inability to distinguish between the words "some", "most", and "all" when it comes to Muslims, radicalism, and terrorism. I am not afraid to call a spade a spade, but most of the "analytic" pieces on the Islam problem just try to reaffirm the opinion of the ignorant and fearful majority: that there is no distinction, or that it is so small as to render ethical issues moot when it comes to the use of force.

To wit: I don't care if .1% or 99% of gun owners commit crimes with their guns--I am not morally responsible for their actions, just my own. I am certainly not obligated to march down the street denouncing every single school shooter, and a failure to do so is not a sign of approval of their actions, regardless of what Sarah Brady says.

Why should it be any different for Muslims? What are those hack pieces other than a plea to see all Muslims as the problem, because *this* time it's OK to deal with people based on their religion rather than their individual opinions and actions?

"One billion people chanting for our destruction"...give me a fucking break. You're smarter than that, smarter than to imply that Every. Single. Muslim. on the planet wants to see us destroyed, including the Haji-Mart owner down on Cumberland who has been selling smokes and candy to UT students for the last twenty years without blowing anyone up or chanting for anyone's destruction.

As to your question: the acts you mentioned were perpetrated by radical Islamist terrorists who deserve to be strung up by their nuts (if they had any) and torn apart by rabid weasels. I am not in denial about that. I am, however, perfectly aware that the terrs in question are a subsect of a minority sect of Islam, and that their organization has killed far more fellow Muslims than Westerners.

It's sad to see that a bunch of uneducated religious fanatic hoodlums can make a whole culture piss their collective pants, throw out all the principles that make us better than them, and seriously contemplate religion-based extermination as a viable option to deal with a bunch of two-bit criminal pissants.

Kaylee said...

Again with the hyperbole. Acknoledging that radicalized Islam is a threat is a WORLD away from "pissing our collective pants" and blindly killing anyone who walks out of a mosque.

Hence my earlier comment about genocide. We can acknowledge the threat now, NAME our enemy, and engage them.

Or we can wait until the nuke goes off in Manhattan, at which time a whole lotta folks are gonna be screaming for razor wire and camps, and won't be in the mood to listen to fine distinctions like "guilty" and "not guilty"

Lizard said...

Does blowing up abortion clinics and sniping at doctors count? How about using the mechanisms of the law (just as presumed Islamic majorities in Europe will do) to implement their agenda? (Abortion bans in ND,creationism all over the country, etc)

IAE, your main point is well taken. The problem is, the West is in a state of permanent self-loathing. There is nothing American and European "intellectuals" like better than rending their shirts over supposed failings. In America, it is considered a sign of utter and complete moral failure that there aren't enough women CEOs -- meanwhile, over in the Mideast, women are stoned to death for leaving the house without a male relative -- and we're supposed to be more tolerant of *them*.

If the WTC didn't wake people up, I don't think a nuke will, either. If anything, we can look forward to even more "We deserved it!" moral equivalency crap from the left.

(Lizard has a simple solution: Do not allow immigrants to live where they choose, but, rather, place them RANDOMLY throughout the country. This forces them to assimilate.)

Lizard said...

Damn, I wish I could edit comments.

A quick addendum: Tam is utterly correct when she notes we have no moral duty to subsidize our own destruction. People who want to leave their gods-forsaken hellholes and become Americans ought to be welcomed; people who think America should become the same type of hell that saner people are fleeing from ought to be sent back with all due haste. Period.

Marko said...

"Name our enemy", huh?

You may be able to make the distinction between the bad guys and the regular Muslims, but I've been knee-deep in posts on TFL where people argue until they're red in the face that "radical Islam" is a redundancy, and that we'd drop the adverb if we weren't so frickin' PC. Hell, the first response to your post suggests "well placed nukes" as a solution to the problem. ('Cause, you know, we have the nukes that only kill the bad Muslims when you drop one on Mecca, or Damascus, or wherever.) Just do a search on TFL for threads with "Islam" in their title, and tell me that all those fine folk contributing their Final Solutions in there have any interest in anything but a neat good/bad guy classification.

The whole problem is with the people who believe that our enemy is Islam, period. Not radical Islam, not fundamentalist Islam, but Islam, period, full stop, no qualifiers.

I don't think there's a neat and easy solution to the problem. I think ultimately Islam is going to have to go through its own Reformation, or eat itself from the inside. Hell, they're having mortar battles between Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods now in Baghdad. I think we're a long way from being forced into dhimmitude by a religious group that can't even abstain from killing each other in large numbers over minor theological differences. It's like watching the beginning of the Thirty Years' War.

Kaylee said...

"I think ultimately Islam is going to have to go through its own Reformation, or eat itself from the inside. "

Halleluya Amen! Preach! :)

And lizard.. tell ya what. When the combined deathtoll caused by our local fundy wackjobs over the last say.. twenty years starts edging close to what the jihadis pull off in the average week, you get back to us on the equivalency thing, m'kay?

3yellowdogs said...

"It's sad to see that a bunch of uneducated religious fanatic hoodlums can make a whole culture piss their collective pants, throw out all the principles that make us better than them, and seriously contemplate religion-based extermination as a viable option to deal with a bunch of two-bit criminal pissants."

I don't know what you've been reading, but I don't know anyone who can remotely be characterized as serious who has advocated religious-based extermination as an option in dealing with radical Islam. I'm not sure posts at TFL qualify as influential opinion. Let's not overstate the case here.

As to Tam's original idea, I agree that the West is, if not broken, seriously damaged. It's been feminized and weakened by forty-plus years of liberal intellectual self-hatred that has metastasized through a significant portion of the culture. To wit, Tam's example of cavity-searching granny because we're too afraid to engage in intelligent profiling and only incovenience Middle Eastern males between 18 and 45 years old.

Until we get serious and deal with the Islamofacist (yes, that is an accurate as well as descriptive term) threat, we can only expect more attacks and the kinds of ugly responses none of us would want.

jesperskibbey said...

Marko,

You are a voice of reason, thank you. It's a crying shame you can't run for President of the USA.

Tam,

From your writing, it sounds like you don't know any Muslims personally. I am not talking about seeing someone at Kroger every week. How many Muslim friends do you have? How about Middle Easterners in general? Have you ever talked with them about the war on terror? I really want to know.

If you have spoken with Muslims about the War on Terror over dinner and a smoke, your writing does not reflect it.

Unless you only talked to only one Muslim person who must've been a real pill.



From conversations with friends from the Middle East over the past 3 months:

A quote from an Iranian friend (Muslim, Male, 23):

"Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is so embarrassing, when he makes those Death to Israel speeches, he makes Iran look so bad."

A quote from an Iraqi friend (Christian, Female, 28):

"I believe that we should pull out of Iraq, because I see that the Iraqis are not doing their job in the area of security, they want the Americans to do it for them. I love America, and I hate to see America loose good people".

Saudi Friend (Muslim, Male, 26)

"The religious police make you hate the Islamic religion. If you are in the mall, and walking to a store too close behind a girl, they kick you out. If you hair is too long, they will cut it on the spot, it really sucks. I like it better in the west, you can do what you want".

If you don't know any Muslims personally, I challenge you to get out and meet some. There is a thriving Muslim community in Knoxville, truly a very interesting and diverse group of people.

I guarantee doing so would add depth to your writing about Muslims. Makes the difference between the writing of someone like Hemmingway, and that of a smart blogger who reads a lot.

Think about how many hits those 1 Billion Muslim potential Blog readers would give you...Tamara: The Voice of Classical Liberalism, Science, and Secularism! (Your blog profile pic on a T-Shirt, with the words in red) Gosh, the T-Shirt revenue alone would fund the war on terror.

Tam said...

jesper,

I have quite a few Muslim acquaintances here in provincial K-town. They are, indeed, peace-loving, hard-working, good neighbors and good citizens.

They will also be the first to tell you that they are about as representative of social and religious views of the average resident of the Gaza Strip or Aulnay-sous-Bois as, say, Marko is representative of the average German's views on gun control and laissez faire capitalism.

Gregg said...

WOW, well at least we have an example as to why this problem is not discussed, as well as why Granny Smith , not the apple, gets strip searched at the airport.

Marko and jeperskibby, please chill out a bit please.
I know that the subject riles you up. However, a few important points have been made.

If the individual responsible are not 'taken care of' (killed, removed from any and all power, etc...) then we are likely to ahve a genocidal backlash. This is not a moral judgement, I'm not saying that this is right, but I am not saying it is wrong, I am just stating my opinion that a certain stimulus is likely to result in a certain response.

No, I don't think that every last muslim is the problem, but when was the last time you saw rioting in the streets because of a cartoon lampooning jesus or pope? Both make regular appearances on "Family Guy" along with God. However, no matter how offensive those pieces might be there is no rioting. Yet the same can not be said about muslims. Again, these are verifiable facts, embarrassing, but verifiable.

In closing, what I'm trying to say is that this needs to be discussed, and the problem needs to be resolved. Otherwise we are likely to end up playing cowboys and muslims, which none of us want.

Tam, I apologise for the length of my post.

Anonymous said...

OK, call it what you want but we had a worldwide dose of the brand of asshats that are being discussed in the last century. Islam is not the problem, militant Islamists are! Militant Islamic countries are! NAZIs were the problem! Tell me how different militant Islam is! Oh, and if the Southern Baptists down the street start doing that kind of crap on a regular basis they need their ass kicked too!

jesperskibbey said...

Tam,

Thanks for the reply, the Muslims I speak to on a daily basis do consider themselves a slice of the overseas population for their age group. Most are here for a year or so of English (and liquor), at most a graduate degree, then back home to find a wife (or husband).

Gregg,

The first poster suggests that "We could have stomped this Islamofascist uprising with a couple of well placed nukes", and you are asking me to chill out?

All,

I think Tam has started a great dialog here! 18 comments, fiery diatribe, Nukes, Nazis, Gay Bars, Ebola, Evangelicals, Islamofacists, Semtex, and sweaty palms on keyboards. All courtesy of DARPA, TCP/IP and Al Gore (an Un-Holy Trinity if ever there was one).



Jesper Skibbey

comatus said...

"I think Tam has started a great dialog here!" --Yup, and with this unprecedented number and length of comments, it's decision time for regular lurkers & posters: I have a couple of opinions, several rhetorical criticisms, and one fact I might add IF a truly continuing go-around, a la LGF, is something this audience (and this log proprietor) find desirable. Let's comment on the commentary. Do long strings belong here, or do they compromise Tam's pith?

Because I am a smart guy, interested in my own survival. Tam's pith is not something I compromise lightly.

Tam said...

"Let's comment on the commentary. Do long strings belong here, or do they compromise Tam's pith?"

Comment away. That's what the comment section's for.

That, and arguments.

Insults are down the hall.

Rabbit said...

During the Cold War, we knew exactly who the enemy was. They wore uniforms and came from a specific political region and country, or their proxies, just like our soldiers and our proxies.

I have friends who are Muslim. I live in N. Texas, which has a remarkably active Muslim population. Those who want the death of the West aren't wearing uniforms in a straight-up fight. Americans prefer a head to head fight, and culturally we're not accustomed to internal insurgencies or infiltration. If this escalates against the West, and I believe it will, it's going to get messy all around, and all those decades of PC are going to go flying out the window when western civilization scrapes off the parasites.

Regards,
Rabbit.

divemedic said...

Americans are a funny bunch. When they get scared, anything is possible. Ask the Americans of Japanese descent who were interred in WW2.

If we get a sufficiently scary attack, we could see some real backlash against all Islamics.

Don Meaker said...

Muslim governments, or mullas, or emirs have been killing infidels in the name of Allah since Mohamet.

This is part of Islam, and has been for a while. Moderate Islam was invented to give the Caliphs wiggleroom, that is to permit them to suck up to the infidel when they wanted to.

I will point out that Islam has Sufi tradition, which seeks direct experience of G-d. But every time Islam becomes an "established religion" it suffers the usual weaknesses of any established religion. And Islam just now really really wants to be an established religion.

Whenever any religion becomes established, faith is replaced by coersion, virtue is replaced by corruption. That happened to Christianity when it became the established religion of the Romans.

The good news is religions can recover from their status as "established". Christianity did this when the catholics lost temporal power over all but the rump state of the Vatican. Catholics in nominally protestant countries (say Tolkien in the UK) hold to their religion based on faith. The Orthodox did this when they lost Contantinopole, and again when they were removed from the government of Russia.

phlegmfatale said...

What a lively can of worms. Well done, Tam! I agree with your post, and it's been a slow, wretched dawning of realization for me. I talked with a liberal friend on the phone Sunday night about the current upleasantness in Iraq, and she bemoaned the fact that we "never tried mediation," and that "these Arab countries have been communicating with each other for centuries." *much eye-rolling here* I 'splained her that like it or not, 9/11 was a shot across the bow to the Western world that the fight is going to happen, and we can have it on their doorstep or they'll keep bringing it over here. Either way, this boil will be ruptured to devastating effect. Frankly, I'd prefer all baked plains of irradiated glass occur on their side of the pond. I also told her that the only hope for a peaceful world is the secularization of the Middle East. I still say we hand out free X-boxes to M.E. children and put up barbecue pork stands on the border. Some Memphis-style ribs could do a whole passel of convertin'.

The Student Shooter said...

Also remember that the local "homegrown terrorists" are usually isolated from each other. They usually don't see themselves as part of an overall violent movement like Radical Islam.

Radical Islam is already here in the states, and not just from those of Middle Eastern descent. Think about it. I'm not gonna go any furthur because I would probably be called a rascist. That sect is gonna be a problem sooner or later, too.

We need to get serious and start really fighting an effective war before we have to use the nuclear option to prevent terrorists from acquireing nuclear weapons of their own if they have not already. And you do know that if we have a nuclear attack, or bio or chem attack for that matter, we are supposed to respond in kind, right?

The Student Shooter said...

Oh yeah, people who make young schoolgirls return to a burning building and burn to death because they are not wearing burkahs deserve a slow painful death. They are neither humans nor animals, but pond scum.

Gregg said...

phlegmfatale,
Don't forget the beer. Nothing goes with bbq pork products like good ole beer!

Heck, that there's the place where the first beer was brewed, it would be good for the beverage to return to it's roots.

Hmmmmm, maybe we should just annex Kuwait, divide into three parts and import the best BBQ cooks from the Carolinas, Memphis, and Kansas City. Add in a couple of good microbrews in each section and within 20 years there would be peace in the Middle East.

Less bloodshed and a whole heck of a lot more profitable than an ocean of glass.

phlegmfatale said...

gregg - well, I'm cool with that as long as by "beer" you don't mean the stuff that should have been left in the horse. We need to serve the drinkable kind. Yeah, beer snobbery = world peace. It just makes good sense.

gregg said...

Phlegmfatale,
Actually I was talking about the real stuff, not the fizzy yellow BMC stuff. On a positive note, micro and craft brews are increasing their market shares significantly. Of course I tend to brew my own, so I know it's going to be tasty. Not that I am as addicted to hops as the mighty Tam...

Billy Beck said...

For Christ's sake... I've been up all night working over technology-transfers to China during the Ozark Long March, in the context of the Seventh Fleet Follies, and I decides to take one more lap around my blogmarks before nap-time, only to find thirty comments here.

For now, I'll just say that it's not for nothin' that I'm calling this period of history "The Endarkenment".

We're all surfing through history. Keep yer boards waxed.

randy said...

Look to the Israeli model; that's what's coming.

Car bombs, suicide bombers, mass shootings in shopping malls.... the near future in our own streets.

The liberals will answer with calls for more gun control. Our politicians don't have the balls to fight this war, and it IS likely to go on for 30 years.

Jeffro said...

"The whole problem is with the people who believe that our enemy is Islam, period. Not radical Islam, not fundamentalist Islam, but Islam, period, full stop, no qualifiers."

No, Marko, that is your problem. Yes, I agree, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater, but don't minimize the threat by claiming we are approaching it with too broad a spectrum. I'm sure you're tired of hearing this argument, but I'd feel a lot better if we saw the "moderate" Muslims out in the streets protesting the actions of their far more radical brethren. The analogies of the "moderate" Muslims to the "moderate" Germans circa the 1930s is apt.