Monday, September 20, 2010

Creepy reading.

While I was lying on my bed of pain this weekend, I spent the awake hours reading Chechen Jihad by Yossef Bodansky. What a thoroughly dispiriting piece of reading.

The Chechen region started off, during the breakup of the Soviet Union, about exactly as nominally "Muslim" as I am "Baptist". Once the shooting started and the outsiders began marching to the sound of the guns and the insiders needed something to use to give themselves a "brand identity", things went from secular to sharia in five years.

Watching that transformation happen around you has got to be creepy; that is, if you manage to keep from getting caught up in it yourself. One minute your neighbors are making cuckoo clocks and BMW's, and the next thing you know they're punching the time clock at Auschwitz and you just know somebody's got to stop and think, every now and then, in between loading the people in boxcars, "Hey, whoa... How did we get here? When did all this happen?"

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Creepy?

If you can see something coming via the study of history, how is it creepy?

Both cultures had the seeds planted long before the climate became optimal.

Shootin' Buddy

Anonymous said...

"Hey, whoa... How did we get here? When did all this happen?"

Good question. We're not loading people into boxcars yet, but a couple thousand freight trains, one-way and southbound into a virtual concentration camp? Who could complain about that? Hey, I guess there's your answer.

AT

Neutrino Cannon said...

But on the bright side of things, it didn't take too long before the Russians bombed it to smithereens!

Anonymous said...

Also wondering ...how the heck do I get out of this murderous madhouse that's run by people who should be the inmates.

Bram said...

"Moderate" Muslims are the greased skids for sharia ride. They never stand up to the crazy imams or the Mutawa (religious police). A quick check of the Koran always confirms that the nuts are right and the moderates are wrong - so sane Muslims back down.

staghounds said...

I was struck by exactly the same thing when I read it, the speed and nonchalance.

But then again, not really.

Blaming "moderate Moslems", "moderate anti-Semites", or "moderate on the slavery question Virginians" isn't the point.

Few people are moderate on the question of taking a serious personal difficulty over helping a stranger. Most are extreme about keeping their eyes down and mouths closed.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Quoting Heinlein: "When a place gets crowded enough to require ID's, social collapse is not far away. The best thing about space travel is that it made it possible to go elsewhere". Oh, that's right, the Anointed One killed off NASA, didn't he?

Frackin' Sheeple U.S. citizens, thanks for the Hope and Change. Wonder how much you get paid to unload Boxcars, or are those jobs reserved for SEIU?

Joanna said...

Reminds me of the Mitchell & Webb skit where the SS officers start to question if they're the baddies because they have skull badges on their caps.

Ken said...

So who needs NASA?

Joe Huffman said...

I just added the book to my wish list on Audible.com.

Thanks.

DirtCrashr said...

Boxcars for Boxer!!
We're getting loaded onto a Union Healthcare Bus with a terminal terminality, while the Ruling Class makes money selling the Big Ponzi scheme.

LabRat said...

From what I understand from Those That Were There, roughly the same thing happened in the Balkans, with that same "it's what makes us Us and not Them" brand-name identity crystallizing around operationally secular Christians and Muslims.

Of course, the sharp end of the ethnic cleansing- a somewhat misleading term, as nationalist identity was functionally the same as religious identity- went from Orthodox Christian to Muslim in that case. And against the Catholics, but that had to do with a bit of tit-for-tat for an earlier round of "cleansing".

Joanna said...

that had to do with a bit of tit-for-tat for an earlier round of "cleansing".

That right there. That's a big part of why most of the world (specifically the Third part of it) is the way it is.

Steve Skubinna said...

Before Beslan I would have stood up for the Chechens, describing the many injustices they suffered at Russian hands over the centuries...

But when they shipped in jihadis to help them murder school children I went all cold on them. And I have a similar question: at what point do you become incapable of saying "Wait a minute - kill kids? No way, what are you thinking?"

Joe in PNG said...

Joanna, you've got that right. Just this past week here in Lae, PNG a light col. in the armed forces got a bit cross threaded with one of the local security companies following an independence day party. The next day he decides that, as a 'big man', he just isn't going to take it. So he rounds up a few of his soldiers and chases off all of the private security guards from all the banks and businesses downtown.

Guess where I was when this happened...

And, to make things even more fun, the military decides to start chasing the vehicles belonging to the local security companies around town- with FN- MAG GPMG's mounted on their pickups. No shots fired, which is a good thing... Because guess where I was when I saw a security truck u-turn to get away from a military truck...

Anyway, things have settled down... for now. Got to love life in the third world.

Pathfinder said...

Read Ionesco's Rhinoceros. Still the best work on the hows and the whys of mob mentality cum keeping up with the Joneses.

I vaguely remember the TV presentation (B&W of course) starring Zero Mostel as the lead. For a fat funny man, it was a unique portrayal in a deadly serious role.

Anonymous said...

LabRat said: "...nationalist identity was functionally the same as religious identity..."

Drop the was and add an is and you've got something there, 'Rat.

Broaden the application to include...well, pretty much every who every where and every when...and that just about explains it all, doesn't it?

AT

Anonymous said...

I am terrified when I read things like this, because I know how quickly tides can change. On the other hand I am comforted that one of my most trusted future bunker buddies and I are absolutely hostile to each other's spiritual view on life, except... We don't care as much about that as much as we care about the freedom to make the decision. Maybe there are others.

I figure, once the dust settles, we can try to give each other the bad stick for s'mores while arguing about whether Jesus gave Mary Magdalene a roll in the hay.