Friday, March 25, 2016

How to Recruit Terrorists

Jochen Bittner is the political editor of the German magazine, Der Zeit. In a New York Times op-ed he evaluates the European solutions to the problem of Islamist terrorism. As we examine it we will be asking ourselves whether it is a symptom or a solution. Serious European thinkers, aided and abetted by seriously intellectual politicians have created the mess. Let’s see how they are analyzing it.

European states, Bittner explains are afraid:

They fear that the union is being pushed into chaos by Germany, its de facto leader, whose bounteous generosity toward migrants is attracting the terrorists of today and tomorrow.

What took them so long? If you prefer a long, detailed and excellent analysis of the German role, especially Merkel’s politics, I recommend Wolfgang Streeck’s article in the London Review of Books.

Some European nations have drawn a rational conclusion from the German/Belgian/Swedish experiment. Bittner disapproves, but he does not have a better solution either. In any event, here is what some other European countries are doing:

Everyone has his own solution, none of them good. Eastern European leaders have come up with an easy equation: No Muslim immigration equals no terrorist attacks. On Wednesday, Poland said it was shutting its doors. Why, these countries ask, should we be forced to repeat Western Europe’s mistake: preach religious tolerance, embrace multiculturalism and end up with hate-breeding parallel societies?

There is nothing intrinsically crazy about this idea. It makes perfectly good sense.

Like it or not, shutting down borders also makes sense, even if it means withdrawing from the European Union. Bittner does not approve of that either:

The skeptical British, meanwhile, wonder why they should have to fund, and depend on, Europol, the union’s weak security agency — and have to work with countries like Germany, which seem allergic to any sort of surveillance. Better, they feel, to leave the union, retake control over their own security, and rely instead on the world’s most powerful intelligence alliance, the American-led “Five Eyes.”

What’s wrong with these solutions, and, incidentally what’s wrong with a full crackdown on Muslim extremists in European countries? Well, Bittner worries about the dissolution of the European Union. He is against that solution because he believes that that is what the terrorists want:

In a way, the very question shows the disproportionality of the thought — unless you think it’s worth sacrificing 60 years of peace and international cooperation to the depredations of terrorists. It’s what they want; European disunity, confusion and extremism put them a step closer to the all-out war between Muslims and non-Muslims they so desperately seek.

It is common for people to float this piece of absurdity: we must not do it because that is what the terrorists want. Why are we so concerned with not giving them what they want? Many of them want to die. Should we deprive them of this glory? If they want an all-out war, why not give them what they want? They cannot win the war. They tried to have an all-out war against Israel and how did that work out for the forces of Islam. Perhaps losing an all out war in ignominy is required to make them come to their senses.

In the meantime, the terrorists do not much care about how Europeans live. They really, really want to Islamize all of Europe, to establish a Caliphate in Europe and to see all Europeans submit to Islam.

Islamist terrorism is motivated by successful operations, by body counts and also by weakness, decadence and mealy-mouthed attacks on Islamophobia. In truth, Barack Obama’s America is following Europe down this treacherous path… because it has no notion what makes terrorists terrorists.

Bittner tries to draw a less accommodating lesson. I am not sure who “we” is, but clearly serious European thinkers have been following a policy of appeasement, dating to the time of 9/11. Now, he has discovered that the religion of peace can serve to produce terrorism. What took him so long?:

For the sake of social peace, after the Sept. 11 attacks, and later after the Madrid and London bombings, we told ourselves that Islam and Islamism had nothing to do with each other. But sadly, they do. The peaceful religion can sometimes serve as a slope into a militant anti-Western ideology, especially when this ideology offers a strong sense of belonging amid the mental discomfort of our postmodern societies.

If you have something to say, why not say it clearly and forthrightly. As for social peace, he must be kidding. It was raw fear that caused the Europeans to cower in the corner and to try to appease Islam. They failed and continue to fail to recognize that militant Islam is unappeasable.

Bittner feels most comfortable with a weak-kneed approach… one that promotes social, political and cultural integration:

There are serious grounds for the alienation between the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and her European partners. There are many practical things she can do in response, but also some big-picture steps. She should speak honestly about Europe’s illusions, past and present. She should lead Europe past its outmoded data-protection concerns and push for coordination among security services. And she should make integration and opportunity a common value for everyone in Europe — a European dream that is more appealing to immigrants than any afterlife kingdom could possibly be.

Frankly, I find this pathetic. There is nothing Christian Europe can offer that is remotely as good as the Muslim afterlife. The notion that Muslims can be integrated has been disproved by decades of effort to integrate Muslims into European societies. In truth, Muslims do not want to integrate. They do not know how. They do not have or wish to acquire the skills necessary to do so.

When incipient terrorists read such tripe they conclude that Europe is weak and about to fail. They conclude that the decadent West will soon submit to virile Islam and that they need but keep doing what they are doing. Because they see it working. It is changing hearts and minds toward Islam, bringing their religion new respect and moving one step close to the Caliphate.


Ares Olympus said...

Stuart: It is common for people to float this piece of absurdity: we must not do it because that is what the terrorists want. Why are we so concerned with not giving them what they want? Many of them want to die. Should we deprive them of this glory? If they want an all-out war, why not give them what they want? They cannot win the war.

So if 0.01% of blacks in America are murderous, trying to start a race war, perhaps we should give them what they want, and start persecuting the other 99.99% until all the blacks unite together against their common white enemies?

Why not judge all minority groups by their worst representatives?

What if the English had banned all Catholics from Northern Ireland, because of IRA terrorism?

Or as Trump said, why not murder the families of the terrorists? Wouldn't that be a deterrent to the terrorists?

Where do we set the boundary of "safe people" if they look like people who are unsafe?

There's lots of interesting questions, and I don't think there are simple answers to most of them.

Maybe we could just ship all the undesireable people into concentration camps? Just give them basic food and shelter and tell them to wait there until someone cares to give them the time of day. That'll certainly help reduce the recruits to the Islamic fundamentalists.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

I love the Poles...

Bittner does not realize her lazy intellect has left her with a multiculturalism offering no hope of assimilation... no hope for the host or the migrant.

Why is this? Because she believes assimilation is a form of cerebral colonialism. Which is really more of the same postmodern Leftist tripe that got the West in this mess. If you're asking stupid questions like "Whose values?" as a means to shut people up, you'll eventually get this multicultural, relativistic society. That's a vacuum! Enter people with a theology of hope. Martyrdom is a form of hope. Or others with proscribed ideas that make sense of the madness. You can only cork a volatile brew like that for so long.

This age of Islamism, Islamic radicalization and Islamic terroriism that's created a "powder keg pluralism" that binds the European host population. If you say what you see, you're castigated as a "racist." If you put blinders on, you're dead in the long run. People are going to do this math and choose as the Poles did. You must halt or deal with the insane pluralism (known as multiculturalism) before the gunpowder goes off.

Bittner is trapped by her own mindless philosophy, and too proud (read: too nice) to find her way out. She has no solutions, only the drip-drip-drip of more of the same. With explosions going off all around her, she believes she's right. No solutions, but feeling superior. So which do you think she'll choose: "I don't know" or continue with the smug facade? The result is a continuation.

I wonder how much longer the normal citizenry of Europe is going to put up with this kind of nonsense. Maybe someone will write "Allahu Akbar!" in chalk somewhere on the Der Zeit campus, and Bittner can tell us all her writers and editors are "in pain."

Bittner's vision of the European Union sounds like a suicide pact to me.

Stuart Schneiderman said...

Bittner is a he, not a she.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares Olympus @March 25, 2016 at 6:26 AM:

Reductio ad absurdum.

Stuart was talking about terrorists, not swaths of people. We're talking about Islamists, not Muslims. If the Islamists believe they are superior and want to martyr themselves, fine. They'll lose. But why not prevent the carnage in the first place? Why not raid these radical Islamic centers and deport these people to an Islamic country where they'll be happy, where they'll live within the boundaries of the current caliphate and feel right at home? Sounds humanitarian to me. And throw in a sprinkling of due process for the Lefties who will otherwise stop breathing

Ares, people who think like you are the new thought police, looking for "racism" under every bed, in every crevice of our lives. You don't care about racism. You are using it as a weapon to silence and otherwise control people.

Your thinking is partially responsible for the rise of this Donald Trump candidacy you so despise, yet you're too self-absorbed with your own moral magnificence, and thus blind to see it. You think all the problems are "out there" somewhere... with all the primitive thinkers out there in America and the world. Those who haven't progressed to your level of cognitive greatness. The problem is not "out there," Ares... it's you, it's in you. People like you created Trump. And your shameless thought policing has been so effective that the only way for people to fight back today is at a ballot box, with a secret ballot. You want to shut up people, to prevent them from sharing what they see, to ruin their lives because you say they're bigots. It's pathetic.

Here you go again with your smug, bizarre theoretical universe. What the hell would you do, Ares? Or do you not experience fear? Are you above it all, like Bittner? My goodness, you lead a luxurious life...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Oops. Well, he sounds so sophisticated that he might take it as a compliment. Maybe he holds himself as "post-gender" or perhaps gave Caitlyn Jenner a humanitarian award or something. I guess I'm rationalizing. I apologize for the oversight.

Ares Olympus said...

IAC, I confess I do largely live in a luxurious life, up in the great state of Minnesota, with idylic Lake Wobegon where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking and all the children are above average. And back down in reality, or incarceration rates are among the lowest in the country, although still higher than in Canada.

And unfortunately outside our our Scandinavian (Aryan!?) heritage we also have one of the worse racial disparities in the nation, in high school graduation rates, and unemployment.
A new study by WalletHub, a personal finance site that does a ton of these types of state-by-state analyses, found that in Minnesota the financial gap between whites and minorities is the biggest in the nation.

That report found blacks in Minnesota were three times more likely as whites to be unemployed and three times less likely to own a home.

And we've got a big Somali population in Minneapolis, and some of them are joining up with ISIS, serious shit! According to 2010 American Community Survey data, there are approximately 85,700 Somalis in the United States, around 25,000 of whom live in Minnesota.

But the closest to danger I've seen personally is a community gardener showing off his machete, possibly threatening me. Even Crocodile Dundee would be impressed. Although I couldn't understand enough of what he said, he was mostly smiling, and seemed proud of his garden plot, so I just smiled back and nodded and when back to my weeding, but I was careful to make sure he didn't sneak up on me. I can run pretty fast when I have to.

Anonymous said...

The readership of the ZEIT weekly is in serious decline, and also its reputation isn't quite as sterling any more as it used to be.

priss rules said...