Monday, November 27, 2006

Terrorism and Liberty

This started out as a response to a comment from frequent poster “Louie Louie.” LL says he had a conversation with a security boss at an international construction company who told LL that “we aren’t going to win this.” By “this” LL says, the gentleman meant “terrorist activity around the world. What we see going on in Baghdad right now will be Dearbornistan, MI or NYC 50 years hence.” (some capitalization added by El Jefe).
Dearbornistan ?

In any case, I'm more "optimistic" than that, at least on the subject of stopping terrorism. I don't know if we're going to win in Iraq, but I have no doubt over our ability to prevail over violence and threats to public order here and abroad, and over all our enemies once we've decided we want to.

Look up Col. Ralph Peters article from the Sunday New York Post "The Eurabia Myth." (available on Real Clear Politics). The money quote:

Don't let Europe's current round of playing pacifist dress-up fool you: This is the continent that perfected genocide and ethnic cleansing, the happy-go-lucky slice of humanity that brought us such recent hits as the Holocaust and Srebrenica.

The historical patterns are clear: When Europeans feel sufficiently threatened - even when the threat's concocted nonsense - they don't just react, they over-react with stunning ferocity. One of their more-humane (and frequently employed) techniques has been ethnic cleansing.

And Europeans won't even need to re-write "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" with an Islamist theme - real Muslims zealots provide Europe's bigots with all the propaganda they need. Al Qaeda and its wannabe fans are the worst thing that could have happened to Europe's Muslims. Europe hasn't broken free of its historical addictions - we're going to see Europe's history reprised on meth.

As the Real Clear Politics headline put it, in the European context – before matters are done, Europe's Muslims will be lucky just to be deported. Col. Peters does not seem to think such a reaction is as likely here in the United States (although his article speaks more to current demographic trends in Europe). I’m not so sure. People both here and in Europe will demand physical security, and if they don't get it, they will find leaders who will give it to them, by whatever means are necessary.

Terrorism (operationally defined here as, non-state actor, or covert-state actor violence directed at civilians), is going to be stopped, one way or another. . .

Whether liberal institutions (I mean "liberal" in the political science sense), are going to survive in the short run, I beg leave to doubt. I don't think we can have a planet that's half liberal First World and Half Bomberstan/Upper Volta with nukes or oil money, along with world wide mobility thrown in -- that can function without unpleasant controls in place. How do you keep em down on the farm once they've seen Paris, or, as some would call it, Babylon ?

If we aren't going to subjugate the Bomberstans, and we can't convert them (as we've tried to do in Iraq), we're left with domestic controls over everything in the name of self protection; sealing these places off from the civilized world (and somehow still getting oil); or the glass pavement option. (BTW, as others have argued -- Wretchard at Belmont Club has a good post on it called the "Three Conjectures") -- WMD's are going to hurt the jihadists much worse than us.

Either way, whatever the silly liberals, progressives, or whatever they call themselves this week think, it's going to be a hard few decades for the spiritual heirs of Thomas Jefferson. However, stock in the ideas of Thomas Hobbes and Machiavelli is a buy.


louielouie said...

in referencing/researching items listed in excellencies comment i found this passage:

In a famous letter to his friend Francesco Vettori, Machiavelli described how he spent his days:

When evening comes, I return home [from work and from the local tavern] and go to my study. On the threshold I strip naked, taking off my muddy, sweaty workaday clothes, and put on the robes of court and palace, and in this graver dress I enter the courts of the ancients and am welcomed by them, and there I taste the food that alone is mine, and for which I was born. And there I make bold to speak to them and ask the motives of their actions, and they, in their humanity reply to me. And for the space of four hours I forget the world, remember no vexation, fear poverty no more, tremble no more at death; I pass indeed into their world.

OMG, el jefe maximo is Machiavelli.
Machiavelli is el jefe maximo.

i bet SWMBO could verify the accuracy of a typical evening.

louielouie said...

Terrorism and Liberty

ok.......this, is what i think about that.

the only fallacy in wretchard's 3 conjectures is mid-way in the first. in his discussion of the SAFF principles. if the device is constructed in lower manhattan, as opposed to being constructed in islamabad, then the SAFF principles do not apply, and the first conjecture goes out the window.
as for the peters essay, he is conjecturing on a europe that no longer exists. for example, when it appeared in 2002 that the world was going to war, the germans wanted nothing to do with it. of course for financial dealings with the despot in question, but now the germans are only good for calling to order courts that provide the means to try former government officals of other countries.
another example, 30% of french voting for la Pen is still a minority. and given 20% of france is muslim that means 50% are still sitting on their hands.
another example, several/many months ago, when i had not dared enter the throneroom, much less clamor about in the back rows of attendants, i stood at the doorway of the throneroom and heard excellency say that if the pallys acted up again, the world would stand by as the IDF turned the west bank into an abahtoir(sp). i know i mis-spelled that last word, but it means in essence a graveyard, i.e., killing zone. well.....the pallys did act up, though not in the west bank, but once the IDF began to defend israel, the world community came out in favor of a "cease fire". the US of course held this off until it became apparent of the similarities between ehud olmert and neville chamberlain.

the common thread:
in excellency's comments, wretchard's post, and the peters essay the common thread is "will". call it what you want, political will, the will to fight, whatever. excellency uses the term as "just wait", or "when we get ready", or other references. i can also get the same sense from wretchard's and the peter's essays. but a 1940's america was bigoted and racist. there was no ANSWER, CAIR, george soros, and if there was a michael moore he would have been run out of hollywood in a new york minute. on dec. 8, 1941 the internment camps were open for business, on sept. 12, 2001 we had to be tolerant.
all of the things excellency says about europe and america are true. but that was then and this is now. i look at our leadership in this time and see hitler shaking hands with FDR, and we're fighting a war in which we don't want to hurt anyone and either don't know how-to or care-to win.

the reason i come to KoC, GoV, and others, numerous times a day is to find my focus on who the bad guys are. because i am not getting it from leadership, i am not getting it from MSM. if you think you detect a hint of defeatism in my above comments then you are mistaken. if anything, i am samuel adams. the man, not the beer. a rabal rousing whack job that only wanted to fight the british and cared little for the formation of a gov't. just indentify the enemy and give me a fight. i am in a word concerned; both for our leadership, current and on the horizon as lacking, and our people, for they are unable to fight even if willing, while asleep.

as i have used more than my share of bandwidth on this thread i shall retire.