Well, Gentle Reader, what do you think of our State Department now?
I'm not one for half measures, but neither am I inclined to "overdo it." If there's a gentler way to achieve some end whose attainment seems to require mass bloodshed, I'll always be willing to listen to it.
Trouble is, if the end to be attained is the suppression of Islam-powered savagery, I don't see a gentler way. Neither does anyone else.
Recently, retired Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, better known to many for his novels than for his geopolitical insights, posited that there's only one effective way to respond to events such as those currently occurring throughout the Middle East: Reprisals that kill large numbers of Muslims. A clip of his opinion aired during Fox News's popular segment The Five. Left-liberal Bob Beckel, the show's comic relief -- what's that you say? He's serious? C'mon! -- immediately denounced Peters: "He doesn't know what he's talking about."
Beckel is, of course, faecularly replete. (Family-friendly website, remember?) No one has ever come up with an approach to dealing with the Muslim Middle East that: 1) works, and 2) doesn't involve mass bloodshed. The Israelis will tell you...but left-liberals are disinclined to listen to them.
What the civilized peoples of the world would really like is a way to pacify world Islam without incurring bloodstains on their consciences. There is an approach...but it requires a hardening of the heart even so.
Imagine the following public statement from the president of the United States:
Inasmuch as the riots in Benghazi, Libya, which have taken the lives of four American diplomats posted there, indicate that that city has become lawless, I have decided to destroy it. I intend that it be completely leveled, the ground it occupies made uninhabitable for at least a generation. Therefore, exactly one week from today, one of our Trident submarines will launch a cruise missile armed with a mid-yield nuclear warhead, targeted on the Benghazi city center. The United States will undertake no subsequent cleanup or remediation of the site. It will be left as it is, as a warning to others inclined to attack American diplomatic personnel.
The one-week delay of our reprisal is calculated to permit the residents of Benghazi to escape before the destruction of the city. We don't seek to shed anyone's blood. However, the strike will take place on schedule, regardless of whether any occupants remain in that city. We will not be deterred by "human shields." Anyone who believes otherwise is welcome to remain in Benghazi, though it will cost him his life.
Moreover, this will henceforward be the standing policy of the United States. Should law and order in a city with an American embassy or consulate degrade so badly that American lives are lost or American soil is invaded, that city will be destroyed one week afterward. The world is on notice: Americans have had enough. From now on, if you dare to spill our blood, you will reap the most terrible consequences imaginable. Test us if you dare.
Needless to say, the denunciations would be worldwide. They would shake the very ground. But assuming the president were firm in his resolve, there would be no further attacks on American diplomatic institutions in other lands. You don't mess with a nation willing to respond to attack in such a fashion.
Our problem is that we've placed more weight on the opinions of our enemies -- in which category I include everyone anywhere who goes by some variation of "progressive" or "transnationalist" -- than on our rights and well-being and our duty to uphold them. Note that the Russians have never committed that error, and so have had a tiny fraction of our problems with Islamic savagery. It's time we learned from their example.
The Islamic world is pre-Euro-Medieval in its worldview and its ethics. Islam itself is the reason. How could it be otherwise? The creed teaches its adherents that deceit, fraud, and violence in the cause of Islam are quite all right, even mandatory in some contexts. Disbelieve if you like, but it's down in the black-and-white of the Qur'an, and heavily reinforced by the life story of the "Perfect Man," the Prophet Muhammad.
They believe in the use of force to advance Islamic domination of the world. Let them feel the force we command, in its full fury. We'll see who backs down first.
Please, spare me your objections about how Muslims in the United States behave. They're surrounded and heavily outnumbered by actual civilized men, a great many of us armed and prepared to act. Yet even here, Muslims have attempted gambits intended to intimidate us "infidels" into granting them special privileges. Some of those gambits have succeeded; consult the residents of Hamtramck and Dearborn, Michigan for confirmation.
The objections from conscience -- that such a policy involves collective guilt and collective punishment -- are significant and should be dealt with. Here's my response.
The government of a nation-state, deemed sovereign over its territory, has the responsibility for maintaining law and order within that territory. At the very minimum, that requires that the government act to safeguard the lives of the representatives of other nation-states, under the conventions that have protected diplomatic missions since the Congress of Vienna. Thus, a government that fails to protect other nations' diplomats, or that actively encourages assaults upon them, is an outlaw government, which may rightfully be regarded as invalid by the other nations of the world. When such assaults occur, other governments have the duty to respond in whatever fashion is required to restore order and deter further violence against their representatives.
In the most extreme case, when a government completely fails of its obligation to keep the peace, it is no longer sovereign. Other nations are justified in regarding its territory as no longer the jurisdiction of a nation-state as we understand them. That puts that territory on a plane with the "high seas." Persons who commit felonies there are automatically consigned to the category of "enemies of all Mankind," whose lives are forfeit to anyone who wants to take them. That, after all, is the law of the ungoverned: the rule of naked force and nothing else. He who dares to dwell there has bet his life on his prowess, much like a prospector in the jungle or the Arctic wilds. Civilized men, who recognize individuals' rights and the constraints of law, are free to do what they like about whatever threats emanate from such a realm.
It can be no other way when savages wreak violence upon those of us who behave as civilized, rational men.
Mine is a hard prescription, though if respected by those upon whom I would visit it, it would reap no lives. There would be outcries against it worldwide. The volume of condemnation from the Left and the glitterati would deafen many an ear. That simply doesn't matter.
Either we believe in our right to life, our innocence before Man and God, and our right to defend ourselves as we must, or we don't. If we do, then reprisal in quantity for the harms being done us by the savage mobs of Islam is more than our right; it's our duty. If not, we are merely pretenders to the banner of justice, and we deserve to perish.
"Take your choice -- there is no other -- and your time is running out." -- Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged