Sunday, January 10, 2010

War Against Islamo-Fascism: The Real Combat Zone

The differences in mindset with regard to the war against Islamo-fascists could not be starker than in the following two essays. They show where the real combat is taking place and how, in order to win the war against the jihadis and their ideology, one American ideology must win over this country.

In one, by Newsweek editor Fareed Zakaria, we have the quintessential Progressive approach. The other, by Mark Steyn, shows the foolishness of that line of non-attack.

Zakaria asserts:
Don’t Panic [title]

How our frenzied response to terrorism only feeds it. [subtitle]

"In responding to the attempted bombing of an airliner on Christmas Day, Sen. Dianne Feinstein voiced the feelings of many when she said that to prevent such situations, 'I'd rather…overreact than underreact.' This now appears to be the consensus view in Washington, but it is quite wrong.
"If we are not terrorized, then the attack didn't work."
Tell that to the jihadis' victims. Note in the following the usual Progressive trust in the wisdom of 'experts', of which we apparently have no shortage. He says:
Is there some sensible reaction between panic and passivity? Philip Zelikow, the executive director of the 9/11 Commission and later a senior State Department official in the Bush administration, suggests that we should try to analyze failures in homeland security the way we do airplane catastrophes.

When an airliner suffers an accident, major or minor, the National Transportation Safety Board convenes a group of nonpartisan experts who calmly and methodically examine what went wrong and then issue a set of recommendations to improve the situation.
Of course, consistent with the Administration's line that this is no more than a technical problem, a "man-made disaster", all we need do is tweak the knobs on the machine of State a little, in the way the wise witch doctors employed by Attila decide, and all will be well. Or, at least tolerable if we radically lower our expectations about public safety to a 'realistic' level.

[See Thomas Sowell's new book, Intellectuals and Society for details. Also, see Ayn Rand's For the New Intellectual for a discussion of the relationship of Attila and the Witch Doctors (as well as the source of the fundamental errors troubling Western civilization in the past 2,000 years).]

Deeper, observe the fundamentally mistaken outlook, signalled by the false alternative "panic" vs "passivity." It's not panic on the public's part to demand that the Federal government do properly and well one of the few things legitimately within its scope of authority.

Of course, Zakaria himself suggests that these are not our only alternatives. But he betrays his error when he suggests (a) treating this like an ordinary plane crash, and (b) that, if we react with strong emotion, we're necessarily being irrational. Fear, anger, disgust, and outrage are all perfectly rational responses not only to the event, but to the reasons it occurred and — even more so — to the Feds' responses to date.

By contrast, a very welcome contrast, read what someone not polluted by Progressivism and therefore genuinely concerned about American security has to say:
This is not to say (to go wearily through the motions) that all Muslims are potential suicide bombers and axe murderers, but it is to state the obvious – that this "war" is about the intersection of Islam and the West, and its warriors are recruited in the large pool of young Muslim manpower, not in Yemen and Afghanistan so much as in Copenhagen and London.

But [Obama] cannot say that because he is overinvested in a fantasy – that, if only that Texan moron Bush had read Khalid Sheikh Mohammed his Miranda rights and bowed as low as Obama did to the Saudi king, we wouldn't have all these problems.

So now Obama says, "We are at war." But he cannot articulate any war aims or strategy because they would conflict with his illusions. And so we will stagger on, playing defense, pulling more and more items out of our luggage – tweezers, shoes, shampoo, snow globes, suppositories – and reacting to every new provocation with greater impositions upon the citizenry.
And, Steyn shows that — contrary to the Progressives' fantasy that they alone are members of the "reality based" segment of society — it's men like Steyn who are actually willing to call a spade a spade sword a sword. He opens with,
Not long after the Ayatollah Khomeini announced his fatwa against Salman Rushdie, the British novelist suddenly turned up on a Muslim radio station in West London late one night and told his interviewer he'd converted to Islam. Marvelous religion, couldn't be happier, Allahu Akbar and all that.

And the Ayatollah said hey, that's terrific news, glad to hear it. But we're still gonna kill you.

Well, even a leftie novelist wises up under those circumstances. Evidently, the president of the United States takes a little longer.
Evidently, so do leftie Newsweek editors.


Ted Amadeus said...

We ARE talking about the people who turn convicted murderers and child-molesters loose on the streets every day; who insisted that if we threw away all our nukes the Russians and the rest of the world would do likewise and still want to disarm every American with a legal firearm.
The leftist pattern of punishing the innocent continues, because "most fatal diseases are progressive."

I hasten to add that none of this would be happening today without another great leftist bit of UN-constitutional interventionist error: Planting a bunch of squatting Russians in Palestine in 1948 and placing their theocracy on permanent subsidy of the American taxpayer.

UNRR said...

This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 1/11/2010, at The Unreligious Right

Jeff Perren said...


I appreciate your regular readership, but you're on thin ice here. It's one thing to be opposed to Israel's existence, or their support by the U.S. govt. The second is a mixed issue, since there are U.S. national defense considerations, and the first is up for debate.

(For the record, I support Israel's existence right where it is and believe that at least some U.S. Federal assistance is appropriate. If it irritates the Islamist jihadists, so much the better. And, neither in theory nor in practice is Israel anything close to a theocracy.)

But, this,

"Planting a bunch of squatting Russians in Palestine in 1948"

borders on anti-semitism and that is one thing the editorial policy of Shaving Leviathan does not look askance at.

Tread lightly.

Ted Amadeus said...

*long disgusted sigh*

Your recent Chesterton quote fits well here, also.
Perhaps if you genuinely wish to defeat your political opponents, you should get out of bed with their FOOL-osophies of socialistic altruism.
Hint: "Supporting Israel's right to exist" is not equivalent to supporting its sovereignty and independence.
Amazing how history repeats itself: 200 years ago, WE were the colonies of an oppressive and crumbling empire that defended its imperialism as altruistic. Now, Israel gets that unfortunate and untenable position.