Saturday, December 5, 2015

A Breathtaking Display of Weakness

Barack Obama could have learned something from French president Francois Hollande. Alas, he did not.

Thus we are obliged to contrast Hollande’s strong reaction to the Islamist terrorist attack on Paris on November 13 with Obama’s breathtaking display of weakness after the Islamist terrorist attack in San Bernardino on Wednesday.

Hollande called an act of war an act of war. He named the terrorists as Islamists. He began a bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq. He would have invoked article 5 of the NATO charter, declaring that an act of war against one member nation was an act of war against all other NATO nations, but Barack Obama, we assume, rejected the idea.

And al Jazeera has reported that the French government is shutting down radical mosques, mosques that are in the business of inciting violence:

France is likely to close up to 160 mosques in the coming months as part of a nationwide police operation under the state of emergency which allows places of worship that promote radical views to be shut down, one of the country's chief imams has said.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told journalists on Wednesday that three mosques had been closed over the past two weeks during the state of emergency - marking the first time France had taken such action against places of worship.

On Wednesday, police shut down a suspected radical mosque east of Paris and arrested the owner of a revolver found in related raids as part of the crackdown, Cazeneuve said.

While some French citizens, in the aftermath of the massacre, did say that they thought that their nation had provoked the otherwise peace-loving Muslims to attack them, their voices were soon forgotten as the nation mobilized to fight Islamist terror.

Good leadership beings a nation together, to fight a foreign enemy or even to address national problems. Bad leadership divides the nation against itself, making it functionally ineffective.

I have covered the French government response in some detail because it has been an object lesson in political leadership.  More so when compared with the Obama administration’s default to craven submission towards all things Muslim. Compared with Barack Obama, Francois Hollande has looked like Churchill.

Keep in mind, a couple of weeks ago Barack Obama told the American people that there was no chance of there being a terrorist attack on our nation. Thus, when the terrorist attack took place he refused to admit that he was wrong and took the coward’s way out. First, he indulged in some legalistic double talk and declared the ISIL was not an existential threat to America. Second, he refused to say that the terrorist attack was terrorism. His spokesman called it “a terrible act of violence.”

Now, he has just barely been dragged kicking and screaming into saying that it was an act of terror—because his FBI said that it was—but he still cannot pronounce the word Islamist.

The Obama administration’s craven response shows why people resort to terrorism.  After all, the purpose of terrorism is first to show that America’s freedoms make it weak and ineffective, and second to garner respect for Islam. And also, terrorists want Americans to think that they had it coming, that they deserved it, that they are being punished for their sins.

Given the Obama administration attitude, no one should have been surprised to see the family of the terrorists hire a representative from CAIR, the American affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, to explain that it was all America’s fault.

This shows that the Obama administration attitude has provided fertile ground for the Muslim Brotherhood to present its message and to guilt-trip America.

Of course, Obama does not think that Islam is the problem. Nor for that matter does Hillary Clinton. Following their lead, Democratic politicians and their media enablers are pushing their own divisive narrative: the problem is the second amendment and the NRA.

Today the New York Times led the march with a front page editorial—the first one, we are told, in 90 years—calling for nothing less than unilateral disarmament. Now the Islamists see that the more they commit acts of terrorism, the more the American left will call on Americans to lay down their arms. What better sign of a successful action.

The New York Times also agrees with the Obama administration that the real enemy is Islamophobia.  It declares that the true problem is ignorance. This assumes that the solution is education. And yet, when your position makes no sense education will never work. If you allow people to consider all sides of the argument they will likely conclude that you are living an illusion. The Times really wants brainwashing and indoctrination, so that you think what it wants you to think.

The Times pays lip service to the horrors of terrorism, and then adopts its naturally supine submissive pose. Thus do the terrorists win. After all, the purpose of the attacks is to garner respect for a failing civilization called Islam. When your first reaction is to declare your great respect for all Muslims, you are part of the problem, not the solution.

Unfortunately for the administration, when people commit acts of terrorism in the name of Islam, the reputation of all Muslims will suffer. It is a normal human reaction. Also, large numbers of Muslims sympathize with ISIS. Large numbers of Muslims support ISIS. Muslims voted for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. They voted for Hamas in Gaza. We are not talking about a couple of crazies. We are talking about a major international movement, one that has gotten stronger by preying on the perception of American weakness.

For the zealots and ideologues, the only thing that matters is the narrative.

According to the narrative, the problem is not the crazed Islamist terrorists who enter the country without having been adequately screened. It is not the pipe bombs that they were assembling in their living room. It is not their willingness to gun down innocent civilians at a Christmas party, taking special care to kill the one Jew in the room.

No, the problem is your hearts and minds. You need to show love and care for your Muslim neighbors. And let’s not forget that the fear of being called a racist prevented one of Syed Farook’s neighbors from alerting the police about the strange happenings in Farook’s place. People died because good Americans are more afraid of being called racists than in defending the homeland.

And then, speaking for the administration, the Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, declared yesterday that the true enemy was bad speech and bad thoughts. Lynch declared war against Islamophobia. In particular, she wants to take up arms against bad language, nasty rhetoric … especially when directed against Muslims.

In stark contrast to her French counterpart (see above) Lynch has nothing to say about the radical imams who are preaching violence in American mosques.

The Daily Wire quotes her remarks:

“The fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor, as someone who is sworn to the protection of all of the American people, which is that the rhetoric will be accompanied by acts of violence," she said.

"Now obviously this is a country that is based on free speech, but when it edges towards violence, when we see the potential for someone lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric—or, as we saw after 9/11, violence directed at individuals who may not even be Muslims but perceived to be Muslims, and they will suffer just as much—when we see that we will take action," said Lynch.

After touting the numbers of "investigations into acts of anti-Muslim hatred" and "bigoted actions" against Muslims launched by her DOJ, Lynch suggested the Constitution does not protect "actions predicated on violent talk" and pledged to prosecute those responsible for such actions. 

When did anyone believe that the constitution protects criminal acts?  Attorney General Lynch is calling for a crackdown on what she considers to be hate speech because she believes that it leads to criminal actions. She has nothing to say about those imams who are fomenting violence by radicalizing your Muslims. And, where was she when the Black Lives Matter movement was calling for the murder of police officers?

The sad story here is that America was attacked by Islamist terrorists on Wednesday and the Obama administration has refused to step forward to lead. It has indulged in its typically divisive politics, trying to blame the attack on Republicans and the NRA. So, we have a nation divided and the root cause of the division lies in the White House.

You cannot fight a common enemy when you are fighting against yourself.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

"The future does not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam."
President Barack Hussein Obama
United Nations General Assembly, New York City.
September 25, 2012.

That's all you need to know.

Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: According to the narrative, the problem is not the crazed Islamist terrorists who enter the country without having been adequately screened. It is not the pipe bombs that they were assembling in their living room. It is not their willingness to gun down innocent civilians at a Christmas party, taking special care to kill the one Jew in the room.

I hadn't heard anything about any a Jew. Here's an article (bottom), so a Messianic Jew at least. I recall a Messianic Jew is one who considers Jesus the Messiah.

Anyway, while there's still no clear narrative why someone stockpiles arms and ammo, and then attacks an inconsequential workplace party, but having an opinionated hostile coworker looks like a good instigator. Thalasinos might have been targeted because he was a Jew, but as likely because he was a jerk and had his own projective rage in play.

Yet maybe Thalasinos's aggressiveness saved the city from a bigger massacre? Perhaps the couple had been planning a more strategic attack in their collective mental psychosis, and their growing projective hatred finally got the better of them, like anyone who "goes postal". How else do you describe it except mental illness?

Every militant Atheists will tell you we need to get rid of all religions, and that will get rid of people killing in the name of their God, but I'm afraid people looking to kill can always find a reason.

So never ever talk about gun control because killers, whether Christian or Muslim, will always find access. And someday citizens need their stockpiled ammo and semiautomatic weapons to take on the U.S. government to protect their family. It makes sense.

More profoundly for me, I always wonder about collective madness, whether Germany under Nazi power, or any group, and including our deepening political partisan animosity. It is clear there is some contagion here, whether memes or psychic energy fields for all I know. It suggests to me the more mad the world is getting, the more we all need to monitor our own madness within, and attend that. It is annoying to think you can't reason with people and show them they're wrong. It seems such a promising idea.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/dec/05/san-bernardino-victim-had-argued-with-shooter-about-islam
--------------
Farook, 28, and Malik were Muslims and Thalasinos, a Messianic Jew, took issue with Islam. He wrote fiery posts online and used a derogatory term to describe Muslims. He had also argued with Farook, a fellow health inspector.

Their relationship came under scrutiny on Friday when lawyers for Farook’s family cited workplace tension as a possible factor in the country’s deadliest mass shooting in three years. “Someone made fun of his beard. He was a very isolated, introverted individual with really no friends that we could identify,” David Chesley told a news conference in Los Angeles.

Thalasinos’s widow told the New York Post on Thursday her husband was “anti-Muslim” and “probably had plenty to say” to Farook. “I’m sure everybody has seen his Facebook page. He’s very outspoken about Islamic terrorism and how he feels about politics in the state of the country,” she said. The FBI has called the atrocity an act of terrorism and there are reports Malik, 29 – a Pakistani national who met her husband in Saudi Arabia – pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
...
The day before he was killed, Thalasinos posted on his Facebook page that he had received a threatening message from a man he described as an antisemitic brain surgeon named “Med Ali Zarouk” from Ukraine.

The message stated that Thalasinos would never succeed in making a “country for Jews” and ended by saying “soon you'll get your ass kicked, you will die and never see israel as country believe me never”. Thalasinos responded in the same post that his new hobby was “blocking pagan antisemitic troglodytes”. He also noted that an earlier message from another person was far worse.
--------------

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Aside from the pretzels the Administration and media figures are putting themselves in to not say "Islam," or "Muslim" or Muslim names, or people coming from Muslim countries, or our preposterous mail-order-bride immigration policies to preserve "family unity" (or whatever else), what is striking is the level of DENIAL that is going on. The Wizard of Oz in the corner, begging that you pay no attention to what is actually, really going on.

This denial isn't just weakness, it's rank stupidity. It's intellectualization and tolerance to the point of rationalization that's become coddling that our enemies have come to view for what it is: weakness. Our enemies do not view our Christian cultural inheritance as faith, hope and charity. Again, we have in Progressivism this a stark demonstration of an entire worldview based on "standing up for the little guy," regardless of the "little guy's" choices, behavior or culture. We have the Empire of Nice on parade again, and the empire is crumbling under the own weight of its non-distinction of anti-social, sociopathic and psychotic behavior. "Why do they hate us?" I don't know, and I don't care. They just do. And trying to listen to them, empathize with them and get insight on their feelings is simply a therapy culture gone off the rails and heading toward suicide with a smiley-face. If this is the Progressive agenda, I'd like to know what we're progressing toward, please.

Islam is not just a religion. With Sharia, it is a totalitarian Islamic system: a theocracy, government and lifestyle all wrapped into one package. I don't want the government harassing good, law-abiding citizens who happen to be Muslims living their faith, pursuing happiness and living an American life. I do have a problem with Sharia evangelists who want to contain others' pursuits of happiness and swearing allegiance to terrorist porto-states 7,000 miles away because of their literal interpretation of the the Koran. Islam means "submission." When are we going to get it through our skulls that is what fundamentalist Islam demands of us, with its Sharia totalitarianism? I will not submit.

Sayed Farouk and his Saudi bride seem to have gone all-in on Sharia, and it became their dominating worldview, to the point of killing infidels, killing themselves, and orphaning their child. That's just sick. If that's the length some are willing to go to, there is no way we can stop them. We can only profile their beliefs and the trajectory of their activity. We must identify people heading down this path and make a decision on what we will do with them. We have to fight the totalitarian mindset with an either-or offer of our own. If they want to swear allegiance to ISIS or start a franchise here in the U.S., they've made their bed. Let them sleep in it. In the budding caliphate. Over there.

Ares Olympus said...

IAC: We can only profile their beliefs and the trajectory of their activity. We must identify people heading down this path and make a decision on what we will do with them. We have to fight the totalitarian mindset with an either-or offer of our own. If they want to swear allegiance to ISIS or start a franchise here in the U.S., they've made their bed. Let them sleep in it. In the budding caliphate. Over there.

I agree in principle, that it is possible to identify such people, especially if they are open about their belief, and the same logic could be used against anyone with "free speech" that calls for potential violence.

Even calling abortion murder could be considered criminal activity, since mentally ill people might take up the flag shouting "no more baby parts" as they murder people.

Then we can reflect on the white Oklahoma bomber said his actions were in retaliation of the government's seige on the Waco Texas religous compound that lead to the death of most of the people inside.

I suppose I'm open to the idea that we need a "vow of fealty" by all citizens and visitors to the United states, one that includes a statement against all "hate speech" or "call to violence", and any adult who refuses the vow will be imprisoned or banished from the country.

So whatever form that takes if Muslim's belief in Sharia law is incompatible, then we have a basis of exclusion, incliding all the undesirable Syrian Refugees who are terrorized in part because of our foreign policies.

Of course some Christians might also object to the vow of fealty, and also find themselves homeless. And even righteous atheists might object to making vows to the state.

It does get to be a complicated agenda, to call for political insurrection with deadly weapons if needed, and avoid the state from calling you the enemy, even if your agenda is only exposing the truth of government corruption.

Can we ever trust anyone to judge who is dangerous and who is safe?

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @December 5, 2015 at 7:46 AM:

So here we go again with "the narrative." Who cares about the narrative? The narrative is quite clear: the Farooks were Islamic lunatics.

Who cares whether it's mental illness? This was not a lone gunman or a crime of passion. This was a coordinated, premeditated attack. ISIS doesn't think this is mental illness. This is an American ISIS family franchisee doing its job. The franchisees did exactly what they'd been taught, and handled it in the way they were told was justifiable. They didn't just kill Thasalinos and walk away, they gunned down a bunch of other people... some of whom threw them a baby shower.

Let's say Sayed had someone at work who was an "opinionated, hostile coworker" questioning his religion. So what?

Let's say Sayed thought Thalasinos was a "jerk." So what?

Let's say Sayed found Thalasinos "aggressive." So what?

Thasalinos "wrote fiery posts online." So what?

Thasalinos "used a derogatory term to describe Muslims." So what?

Thasalinos "argued with a fellow health inspector." So what?

The Farook family's lawyers "cited workplace tensions as a possible factor..." So what? What do they need lawyers for anyway? The fighting Farooks are dead.

"Someone made fun of his beard." So what?

Thasalinos was "anti-Muslim... and probably had plenty to say." So what?

Did Thasalinos deserve to die for his thoughts and speech? If we say this is a justifiable/reasonable motive for homicide, we already live in an Islamic totalitarian state. If excuses, explanations, reasons, rationalizations for this kind of mass terrorism makes people feel better, what kind of society do we live in? This isn't homicide, this is ISIS franchisees putting everyone on notice. Are we responding, "[Sigh.] Well, at least we know he shot up the place because his feelings were hurt." So now Christmas or Holiday parties will be a bad idea, because who knows what Ahmed or Mohammed will take it?
It's not too bold to say that it's is the kind of juvenile secular Progressive totalitarianism that's underway on our college campuses. It's the Left putting rigid boundaries around what we can talk about. The result: people are thin-skinned. They either freak out at triggers or use triggers to gun people down... because their feelings were hurt. Because someone questions their identity or self-concept. How well-formed can such an identity be if it's so fragile? The question is: what are we going to do about it? The Obama Administration is quite clear: we're not going to do anything. And you're a bigot for questioning them. Let's talk about the true national threat: Republicans! Trump! Income inequality! Climate change!

Continued below...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Continued from above...

Here's the ultimate truth: personal protection -- the gun -- is our last line of defense. What happens when people make it their first line of offense? Do we control guns more? What are you going to do after you make your 911 call? Wait? But there's Obama, before he knows much of anything about what's going on, talking about "common sense" gun control laws to limit the citizen who cares to follow them. He cannot even say what is really going on. Nidal Hassan's rampage remains classified as "workplace violence." Huh? Is our government looking out for us? Doesn't seem like it. Who IS this Administration looking out for? Hell, an investigation/audit showed that we had 45 people on the terrorist watch list working at Homeland Security. Feel safe? Here's what Obama's telling America: "You're on your own."

We are talking about a totalitarian bent designed to control the mind... determining what is acceptable speech. We're not talking about inciting crime (we already have laws for that). We're talking about common speech between people living and working together. Loretta Lynch is very concerned about this kind of speech, and no doubt is quite eager to define it and create laws to limit it. And our conversation is further constrained. Her remedies miss the point entirely. They won't work. The real deal is as follows... If you question Islam, you are inflammatory. If you insult the Prophet, you get a fatwa. If you dare question Sharia, people like Sayed and Tashfeen Farook will determine the expiration date on your birth certificate. Their worldview will assure that you're not coming down for breakfast anymore, and they'll even do it if it means orphaning their own child. Terror does not emanating from hurt feelings. It's a tactic in a broad strategy. The Farooks weren't %$#@ed up, they were indoctrinated, radicalized and weaponized. The human beings became weapons and worked as intended, flawlessly. The Ummah comes to you, special delivery... Caliphate class service.

What would you suggest we do with that? Given your concerns about "motives" and "instigation" you have offered here, you might as well give up your freedom now. We Americans have become expert on sharing our reasons for everything we feel. Do we feel safer? If we cannot have open debate and discussion of topics, then what are we doing in America? Indeed it is polite to avoid religion and politics in social and work settings, but sometimes people don't abide by that. Perhaps they need to be asked to leave or have their employment terminated. But they don't deserve to have their life terminated.

So look, Ares -- as usual, I don't know what you're trying to say. But if you feel safer with an explanation, then your feelings are safe and intact. All I know is a bunch of people are dead and wounded, and they will not be the last. The only logical outcome I see coming from your "explanation" is to further coddle, listen to, and connect with people who are determined to hate us and our way of life. Therapy in the face of declared fanaticism. They see it as weakness. How do you think that's going to go? I say we stop everything, take a deep break and truly acknowledge the nature of our enemy. Then we can talk. But our leaders don't want to say the words, so a real conversation cannot begin. That is a very serious problem in the face of a clear and present danger.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @December 5, 2015 at 9:59 AM

"I suppose I'm open to the idea that we need a "vow of fealty" by all citizens and visitors to the United states, one that includes a statement against all "hate speech" or "call to violence", and any adult who refuses the vow will be imprisoned or banished from the country."

If we have to start taking loyalty oaths, the Islamists have already won. Sharia will, in some form, have already arrived. We will sacrifice our liberty so that we can protect ourselves from those who desire totalitarian control over our lives. That makes no sense.

One other thing: the dude saying "No more baby parts" was quickly identified as certifiably insane. I'm not comfortable sacrificing liberty to protect myself from insane people. Sociopaths and psychopaths should be institutionalized, by force if necessary. That's what should've happened with that Loughner dude before Sandy Hook... before his mommy bought his guns for him.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @December 5, 2015 at 9:59 AM:

"Then we can reflect on the white Oklahoma bomber said his actions were in retaliation of the government's seige on the Waco Texas religous compound that lead to the death of most of the people inside."

Timothy McVeigh was a psychopath.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @December 5, 2015 at 9:59 AM:

"So whatever form that takes if Muslim's belief in Sharia law is incompatible, then we have a basis of exclusion, incliding all the undesirable Syrian Refugees who are terrorized in part because of our foreign policies."

So past foreign policy initiatives provide carte blanche for mass emigration without a plan for assimilation?

So we just take everyone in who was impacted by our foreign policy? Foreign policy is a projection of the national interest, not a rationalization for people to come here who can't work out their own problems. Isn't that what so many have been saying for so long? We should've just stayed away and left it all alone? The pottery barn rule? I say this is a good time to take that up.

We needn't be taking in massive numbers of Muslim refugees fleeing Muslim countries. Since when has our immigration policy been determined that we take in huge numbers of people fleeing war, persecution and natural disaster? There are lots of global flash points and horrors. Why are we making the Syrians special? They're fighting a civil war. It's a Muslim country... and the 99% of the refugees are Muslims. This isn't a distinct religious minority (like Christians) or ethnic minority (like Armenians). These are people who want to flee their homeland. Do we just... let them in because they'd rather not be there? That doesn't seem like a sensible policy to me. Am I a bigot for asking such questions? Am I "triggering" someone?

Ares Olympus said...

IAC: Timothy McVeigh was a psychopath.

Of psychopaths, apparently some are not violent, but I wonder if we can find a brain scan to keep all psychopaths out of the military if that would make our military more or less successful?
http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/01/life-as-a-nonviolent-psychopath/282271/

IAC: So past foreign policy initiatives provide carte blanche for mass emigration without a plan for assimilation?

I wasn't advocating any specific policy, although it seems sensible to me to not see every religion as monolithic, and that individuals are different, so given some 1.3 billion Muslims, it makes some sense that the proving grounds between muslim and nonmuslim culture can be in cultures like ours with freedom of speech.

Culture will always be a scary question, and immigrants and minorities may always have special difficulties. My ancestors came from Norway in the 1850s, and a large fraction all came from the same village, huge extended families, and the oldest generation never learned english at all, but that was perhaps easier when they came here to farm. Coincidentally lots of the local community gardens in the Twin Cities are lead by Hmong refugees who came here after the Viet nam war ended. And a large fraction of locally owned restaurants are owned by nonnatives with a chance to share their food traditions.

The simplest way that I escape "progressive" thought is to consider the nature of democracy. We talk of democracy as a virtue, while if you ask if we want a world government, we say no, even if it could be 100% fair and balanced. Why? Because we'd go from the world's superpower to a 4.37% share of the world's population, and our voice would be proportionally reduced from what we're used to.

And its a similar debate when we consider 12 million illegal immigrants from south and central America. Even if we wanted to "open our hearts" and make them all citizens, that's a huge potential shift in political power, and we know most of those 12 million are young, and may have young and larger families and will shift the balance of power from those of more northern European ancestry.

And if we allowed anyone from anywhere to come here and become citizens, you can be sure that more Indians and Chinese would come from their overpopulated countries for better opportunity here, and that process becomes its own hidden foreign occupation. It could be like imagining 20 million Americans moving to Canada and then voting for Canada to join the United State.

Anyway, whatever policies we follow, the future won't be like the past, and there is some level of racial or cultural competition for the next generation, and well, you think at all like an Aryan, the darkies are winning the baby contest. And even if we accept they're going to win, we don't have to make it to easy for them right. Oh, yes, that would be a sensible and bigoted position, whatever group you most fear.

I tend to think Trump is right, and walls will be built all over, at great cost, but some will make a difference for something.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @December 5, 2015 at 9:59 AM:

"I agree in principle, that it is possible to identify such people, especially if they are open about their belief, and the same logic could be used against anyone with "free speech" that calls for potential violence."

Regarding safety... as you bring up an important point.

What if those who swear allegiance to ISIS (or belong to some other Islamist organization) go underground? Blend in. You know, act like the 9/11 hijackers and go to Vegas to live it up with prostitutes, or eat hot dogs or whatever else? The ones who are weaponized and intentionally blend in. They don't complain, they don't draw attention. A quiet cell, or perhaps an undercover terror agent (the Iranians have plenty here). Waiting for instruction, for someone to flip the switch... like Project Treadstone agents. They intend to kill us, but they're planning, strategizing... thinking many moves ahead.

I remember watching a TV program on cryptography and encryption a few years back. They were talking about the logic of codes and how the Allies broke the Nazi enigma machine, and how it was about using computers to back out infinitely complex encryption algorithms. The point is that a logical system like this has flaws because of its logic. If you can stay ahead of it in terms of decoding computational power/speed, you can eventually break the code. But what I found most fascinating is that all the cryptographers and encryption analysts said one thing in unison: you cannot break "one time pad." It's been around forever, and always will be.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One-time_pad

If used correctly, one time pad cannot be cracked. So let's say the Islamists or whatever brand of terrorists want to kill us. They get shipped over in a storage container, or send the key in the drawer of a cabinet. So it doesn't go through the internet, phone or mail lines of communication. They're patient. The information travels slowly. But it travels, it arrives, and people are instructed. And all our technological magnificence has no answer to this problem, no solution to this method.

Well, they win that game. And we'll have to fight back.

My point is that if there's a will, there's a way. And if one thing is clear, the Islamist is full of conviction and antipathy for us as infidels. But they've also showed they can be sophisticated and wait. If someone wants to get you, they'll get you. At a certain point, you have to get them before they get you. There is truly no safety.

If American civilization is to go on with its liberty and freedom, we're going to have to make some tough decisions about where we will go and not go, as well as accept that our liberty and freedom carry with it certain risks. We've become soft. We want what we want, and we want it now. And we assume it's going to be there. All the while, with all this convenience, we don't appreciate it... we expect it. We're so protected from physical pain nowadays that we've come to view ourselves as invincible. Or that this level of comfort is the natural state of life on earth. It's nonsense. There is no life without risk. There are psychopaths, weirdos, fundamentalists and all other brands of crazies in this world, and there always will be.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

What we need to be focused on is defeating the Islamist true strategic objective, which is the destruction of Western Christendom and civilization, in order to establish the new caliphate and expand the Ummah and the word of Allah, as given by the Prophet Mohammed. I say that worldview is incompatible with our way of life, and we should NOT be tolerant of it. Tolerance without limits becomes license. Tolerance is a substitute for love, a form of passive indifference to others. Only love is creative. Tolerating people is not loving them. They view our understanding of tolerance as weakness. Our view of tolerance is the exact opposite of submission.

We should stop Islamists with whatever means we have. The tactics will evolve, but we would be wise to maintain our focus on what it is they really want, and confidently stand against it. No quarter. We went to Iraq preemptively, and it didn't work out as planned... in fact, we learned we didn't have a plan to secure the country. Afghanistan is a huge piece of rugged real estate, and we cannot secure it. Camp X-Ray at Guantanamo Bay may seem offensive to our national ideals, but the actual reality is that no one wants these people... anywhere. And we may be queasy about CIA black sites and enhanced interrogation methods. But we are fighting a real war, and wars are messy. We established the Geneva Conventions to establish standards of international law and humanitarian treatment of war. These pacts were set for wars between rival states. Our enemies don't have a state. There are no rules, save human rights, humanitarian obligations, etc. But if our enemies don't care a lick, what do we do? What did we have to do with the Japanese on the island-hopping campaigns? We pretty much had to kill them all. Their culture forbade surrender. What do you do? We finished it was such a devastating weapon that the cultural precepts had to be reconsidered. They surrendered. But the perversion of the Bushido code for political ends is not much different than the repurposing of Islamic jihad for political ends. As Clausewitz said, "War is the continuation of politics by other means." Power is remains a zero-sum game, despite all our attempts to limit and contain it. It's the human condition. If we want to put our head in the sand and pretend we're beyond such things, the story will not end well.

I'm content to clean up whatever mess we make in order to preserve our way of life. If that lowers me in your eyes to becoming a barbarian like them, so be it. I'll be a barbarian who is still alive, as our enemy is quite clear about their intentions about my choices. They want me to submit or die. I say no. If someone is committed to physical violence as their means to a clear end, I choose to answer in kind. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is listed in that order for a reason. I choose life.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @December 5, 2015 at 11:00 AM:

"Of psychopaths, apparently some are not violent, but I wonder if we can find a brain scan to keep all psychopaths out of the military if that would make our military more or less successful?"

Sometimes you need a blunt instrument when no other will do. You shake your head, hanging it in shame, but we all know it's true.

I went and saw the latest "Steve Jobs" biopic with Michael Fassbender as Jobs, and thought it was very well done. It was an Aaron Sorkin movie, so it was heavy on dialogue. There was a scene from the third act when Jobs and Wozniak are arguing with each other in an auditorium about Apple's past, present and future. This exchange was in front of some employees and VIPs who were stunned, watching this unfold, experiencing great discomfort. It was conflict at its finest. And in top-form Sorkin fashion, it was a long exchange in a speechy tone (almost like an Ayn Rand hero in our age of ADD). Back and forth. One thing I loved about this scene was that, in the end, I think both Jobs and Wozniak were right... in everything they EACH said. Their reasoning was clear and sound. But someone had to choose. And it was Jobs' vision that won out. That's the zero-sum game at work, the one we get uncomfortable about. The times we want to retreat to a world of make-believe and pretend we're beyond it all. Well, that's bullshit. It's the human condition. We have a choice: follow our spirit and the better angels of our nature or descend into taking and getting. However, given the number of choices we have, we get both. We become contradictions. That's life.

So when I read your thing about "psychopaths," I couldn't help but think of the exchange at the climax of "A Few Good Men" between Lt. Kaffee and Col. Jessup. We need the Kaffees to stand for justice, truth and humanity. But make no mistake, we do want the Jessups on that wall, and we need them on that wall. We need those who stand for honor, code and loyalty, and we also need the loving creators, celebrating humanity and pushing the human race forward (in the words of Jobs' manifesto). So we need the creator and the brute. The brains and brawn. The artist and the soldier. The smart ass and the curmudgeon. The dreamer and the troglodyte. We all need each other.

What I assert is happening in the form of Obama's presidency is that his core constituency -- the "creators," for lack of a better term -- are creating an America as a preposterous la-la land, while their high income (which expands the very inequality they lugubriously decry) insulates them from reality... from the practical, real consequences of their ideas. So no, to answer your point, I don't believe in democracy. I like what we have in America: a constitutionally-limited federal republic. A republic... where the people are sovereign. While we still have it. But the Islamists don't care about any of that. They want your mind, heart and soul... or they'll kill you. So again, we need both the Kaffees and the Jessups. That balance equates to a better life for all.

Sam L. said...

"Barack Obama could have learned something from French president Francois Hollande. Alas, he did not." He saw no need, for he IS the Smartest Man In The Room.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Sam L. @December 5, 2015 at 4:47 PM:

Indeed. Just ask him.

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