Sunday, January 17, 2016

Not On Your Side

     Two excellent articles appeared at National Review Online yesterday:

     Both articles serve to underscore the American Right’s most serious problem. It’s not a problem of strategy or tactics, but of our refusal to admit the motives of an enemy.

     In warfare there is no mistake more reliably fatal.

     In On Broken Wings, in narrating heroine Christine D’Alessandro’s ascent to her full powers and her intended role, I wrote:

     She learned.
     At first it was frustrating, even maddening. What Loughlin was trying to teach her was to set aside her own desires and climb inside the mind of her adversary. It did not come as naturally as her fighting skills had.
     "Of all the musts and must-nots of warfare, this one is paramount: you must conceal your motives. Unless he is insignificant in comparison to you, once your opponent knows your motives, he'll be able to defeat you. He'll probably even have a choice of ways to do it.
     "You must move heaven and earth, if necessary, to discover your opponent's motives. His tactics will be determined by them. If his motives change, his tactics will follow. There lies your opportunity, if you can get him to adopt tactics unsuitable to the conflict. Of course, he could try to do the same to you."
     "What's the countermeasure?"
     "Constancy. Refusal to let yourself be diverted. Of course, that can be a trap, too. Motive is partly determined by objectives. If your adversary's situation changes but his objectives remain the same, he could find himself committed to paying an exorbitant price for something that's become worthless."
     "And that's the time to stop playing with his head?"
     His grin was ice-cold. "You have a gift."

     If real America – the America of the Constitution, individual rights, private property, and aloofness from the quarrels of others – has a major shortcoming in the struggles over the future, it’s that even though the motives of our enemies are easily deduced, we don’t want to admit to them. At some deep level of our minds we know those motives and, when temporarily un-blinded by a more powerful desire, grasp their significance. Yet in our attempts to grapple with our enemies, we consciously occlude them in favor of a pretty delusion: that they can be made into friends.

     The notion of destroying your enemies by making them your friends has a respectable pedigree. Christ’s exhortation that His followers should “turn the other cheek” is its most memorable expression. Abraham Lincoln reportedly hewed to that concept, even as he waged a war that reaped 800,000 American lives. Even Ronald Reagan, thought by many to be the most implacable foe America’s enemies have ever had, harbored a dream of transforming the Soviet Union from a geopolitical adversary to an ally for world peace.

     The deductive trail that runs from tactics to strategy to objectives to motives must be followed out in its entirety. It’s critical to the determination of what kind of enemy one faces. For while there are enemies that can be defeated without being destroyed, and thus can be viewed as potential friends once the fusillades have ended, there are others that cannot.

     One common expression of the “enemy / potential friend” idea is that “we all want the same things.” In cases where that’s true, the idea might be sound. However, it’s not always true.

     Consider Islam. McCarthy’s article lays bare the fundamental problem at hand: Islam is doctrinally opposed to Western moral-ethical norms. It constitutes a religious prescription for conquest of the “infidel.” That’s why it’s so dangerous to admit Muslim immigrants to our shores: regardless of how many are peaceably inclined, they become a haven and a breeding ground for those who aren’t. As I’ve observed before, it’s not possible to separate a believer from the dictates of his religion without separating him from the religion itself – and in the case of Islam, the religion commands that he make war upon us.

     That’s a relatively stark case. Yet Americans stubbornly reject it, preferring to believe that America can moderate this savage, totalitarian seventh-century creed. John Derbyshire has called this the “magic-soil” delusion:

     I want to believe that diversity is our strength; that Islam is a religion of peace; that the Republican Party is a force for conservatism...that Guatemalan gangbangers will become family-values conservatives once they have touched the magic soil of the U.S.A.; that invoking “culture” (which means: the customary behaviors of a people) as an explanation for the customary behaviors of a people increases our understanding; that black kids will do just as well as white kids academically as soon as we fix the schools; that some person somewhere knows how to fix the schools …

     I want to believe the pretty lies. I’ve had enough of depressive realism. I want to take the blue pill. Where’s the nearest retail outlet?

     Far too many Americans want to believe in our “magic soil.” Yet it is no more magical than any other clod of dirt, as events have demonstrated.

     Consider the Left: first operationally, then ideologically. Its demands are unceasing. It never declares itself satisfied; it perennially insists that “rights” are being ignored, that “justice” has not yet been served. When not yet dominant, it adopts every new complaint, however minor or fatuous, as a part of its overarching cause, and every new complainant as part of its coalition. When fully in the saddle, as it was in the unlamented Soviet Union, its principal efforts go to eliminating dissidents.

     What does this tell us about the Left’s true doctrines? What do its unending, infinitely varying demands signify about its core beliefs? Equally to the point, what does its habit of adopting any and every anti-American notion and representative thereof say about its attitude toward American principles and ideals? Is it credible that there’s a rational ideology under all that?

     I claim that the Left in our time has no ideology. The only intention consistent with its behavior as delineated above is a determination to achieve total and irrevocable power over all persons, places, and things. That motive cannot be reconciled with any conception of freedom.

     Only the Stalinists, past and present, have ever been even slightly candid about that motive. That’s understandable; true candor about their desire to enslave everyone on Earth would make the importance of defeating them completely and permanently impossible to deny.

     The patriotic, freedom-loving American Right must disabuse itself of the notion that enemies such as the above can be made into friends. They cannot be converted without undoing the core motives that make them what they are. The thing is as impossible as hot ice or a dry ocean. Their wars with us are total wars, in which one side must be utterly defeated, stripped of all power and any purchase upon it.

     From that it follows that our wars against them must be total:

  • We cannot placate them.
  • We cannot negotiate with them.
  • We cannot imagine that their truces are sincere.
  • We cannot grant them the presumption of wholesome purposes.
  • We cannot, even momentarily, imagine that our combat is done short of total victory.

     A friend, broadly speaking, is someone who’s “on your side.” He wants you to be happy. He doesn’t see your attainment of your goals as antithetical to his. He’ll even help you toward them, if it’s within his powers.

     Islam and the Left can never be “on our side.” Keep that always in mind.


Malatrope said...

"The Left is Hate. Revenge is its Pastime. Genocide is its Legacy."
    —Paul Vincent Zecchino

Avraham said...

The motivation of Muslims is religious. That is not understood in the USA because religious motivations have been delegated to Sunday school and devalued. But that is largely due to the way the structure of the USA was made in the first place. The result is it is hard for people to grasp a religious motivation to wipe out Jews and Christians. They seek financial motives of political motives.

Unknown said...

The allure of the Left waxes and wanes but cannot be ended. Success on the Left sows its own future setbacks because progressive wants do not comport with reality. To end the Left requires use of force that makes the non-Left look hypocritical. So the roller coaster continues.

Reg T said...

Two points: When you say "Only the Stalinists, past and present, have ever been even slightly candid about that motive. That’s understandable; true candor about their desire to enslave everyone on Earth would make the importance of defeating them completely and permanently impossible to deny," it occurs to me to ask, if this is true, why isn't the same importance "completely and permanently impossible to deny" given to islam? It _should_ be, but it isn't. Even most conservatives think eradication of islam and all who would follow its dictates would be excessive.

And I disagree with Avraham. islam is not - and never has been - a religion. It was the "brain-child" (deformed of limb and mind) of a desert barbarian clever enough to realize he could pull together a huge group of fighters if he promised them their "god" would give them permission to rape women and children (of both sexes), enslave those they fought, kill those they wished, and have it all not just condoned, but encouraged. Even today, muslims talk about the rape of women as being pleasing to "allah".

Anyone can make up a "religion", but does that mean we have to respect it as one, treat is as valid?
What if I said it is my religion to hold up banks at gunpoint, rape the tellers, shoot any bystanders or police that arrive, and then go home and burn my neighbors dog to death before I climb into bed after an eventful day? Is that still a religion? If I have two followers? If I have 100? 10,000?

What about a "religion" that said acceptable sex was a male penetrating an infant anally? One that said little girls must have their clitoris removed with a razor blade, without any analgesic or anesthesia? What about a "religion" that says homosexuals must be thrown off of tall buildings? A religion that says men may rape at will, and then the victim must be stoned to death?

A religion that says, since my "god" is otherwise occupied on Thursday nights, I can get together with some of my buddies, dress some pre-pubescent boys up in dress and have them dance and sing for us, then we all get to choose one to anally rape?

A religion that says a man (an imam, actually) may burn his five-year-old daughter with cigarettes, rape her in every orifice repeatedly, beat her until her facial bones are fractured, and otherwise abuse her until she dies of her injuries - and it is acceptable as long as he pays a fine to the child's mother?

Are you getting the picture here, Avraham? Do you still think islam is a religion, simply because some sick bastards use that excuse to rationalize behavior that is so sub-human I am barely able to hold my gorge, simply thinking about some of the acts this cult embraces and encourages?

You can try to justify their behavior in any fashion you wish, but accepting it as a religion is the worst form of denial I can imagine. Their desire to wipe out Christians and Jews came simply from mohammed's rage over being ignored and unaccepted by those two religions as an equal religion, "moon-god" and all. I think the Christians and Jews of that era were a lot brighter than many of us today.