Dave Sim's blogandmail #307 (July 15th, 2007)
UPDATE 26 JUNE 07 1604 HOURS EST – Okay, took a break out front of City Hall with a Diet Coke and two oatmeal raisin cookies. While I was there two teenage girls decided to immerse themselves beneath the jetting plumes of water. I don't know if it was that or the Diet Coke but I'm a good deal wider awake than when I went down there.
I think I'm going to go with a couple of excerpts from Victor Davis Hanson's "Beyond Iraq". Darrell suggests that I just plug his book A WAR LIKE NO OTHER as a trade-off but I'm still going to err on the side of caution and stick to excerpts.
"…the unpopular war in Iraq did not create radical Islamists and their madrassas throughout the Middle East that today brainwash young radicals and pressure the region's monarchies, theocracies and autocracies to provide money for training and weaponry. All that radicalism had been going on for decades – as we saw during the quarter-century of terrorism that led up to 9/11. And rioting, assassination and death threats over artistic expression in Europe have nothing to do with Iraq."
Well, that's forensically true but I think you have to separate the monarchies and autocracies from the theocracies and recognize the extent to which Islam is governed by massive collective guilt. If you aren't living as if you are in the seventh century, every scrap of materialism you have in your life is a reminder that you aren't really striving "on path of God". The net effect of which is that you attempt to bribe God into having a good opinion of you by arming those living closest to the seventh century who are willing to die on behalf of the worldwide Muslim umma which is perceived to be under constant threat. If you're a radical Islamist, you don't have to "pressure" Westernized monarchies and autocracies. All you have to do is show up and they'll go scrambling for their chequebooks.
"Right now, most al-Qaeda terrorists are being trained and equipped in the Pakistani wild lands of Waziristan to help the Taliban reclaim Afghanistan and spread jihad worldwide. These killers pay no attention to the fact that our efforts in Afghanistan are widely multilateral. They don't care that our presence there is sanctioned by NATO, or involves the United Nations, or only came as a reaction to 9/11."
No, of course not, because NATO and the United Nations are non-Muslim organizations and the multilateralism is all pretty much composed of non-Muslim countries. That which is scrupulously NOT Muslim needs to be eliminated so that Islam, as they conceive of it, True Islam, seventh-century Islam, can flourish.
"These radical Islamists gain strength not because we "took our eye off Afghanistan" by being in Iraq, but because Pakistan's strongman, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, can't or won't do anything about al-Qaeda's bases in his country. And neither Bush nor Nancy Pelosi knows how to pressure such an unpredictable nuclear military dictatorship."
Aye, there's the rub. Because when you look at Pakistan it's not really clear what it is that you're looking at. Theocracy? Yes, it certainly has elements of that. There certainly won't be a completely non-religious, secular Muslim in the President's office anytime soon as far as I can see. The national character seems to still be going through a "what were we THINKING?" vis a vis Benazir Bhutto. At the same time secular decisions are made. The choice to support the War on Terror in the first place back in 2001 was a distinctly non-theocratic decision. Was it an autocratic decision? Well, we can't say for certain. How strong is Musharraf and how strong is his military faction? Is he a figurehead or a genuine strongman? The question, as I see it, goes beyond the Republican or Democratic ability to pressure "an unpredictable nuclear military dictatorship" and hinges on how much of a dictatorship it is, who is the real dictator and/or dictators and how solid is their stranglehold on the country? It's all guesswork but the evidence seems to suggest that it's shifting on an on-going basis. Sometimes the collective military dictatorship has really had it up to the eyeballs with al-Qaeda and the Taliban and they step on them as you would step on a scorpion: very carefully. Other times they've had it up to the eyeballs with the West and then basically let the Taliban move back and forth at will. Musharraf has survived a number of assassination attempts and is basically riding the tiger and trying to hang on. The longer you last the more solid your footing because the body politic basically arrives at the conclusion that too much thrashing around is a bad idea and the periods between thrashing around get longer. The problem with that is that stability is a fine sounding goal but what you're talking about is a military dictatorship with nuances of a theocracy and shadings of an autocracy. Do you want to make it stable enough that fifty years from now you're dealing with Musharraf's son? The only thing worse than a military dictatorship is a dynastic military dictatorship.
I think the Bush Administration has things right with Musharraf. You try to be as understanding as possible of the untenable situation he's in but when al-Qaeda and the Taliban are pouring back and forth across the border with impunity you fly Condi Rice or someone at that level over there immediately to go screaming through the streets in a ten- car motorcade to the Presidential palace, to see Musharraf personally and immediately and to make it clear that that's unacceptable and that he has to do a better job or else. That is, he will do the right thing but you make it easier for him to do the right thing if you can be shown to be actively giving him no alternative. That gives him "cover" with his faction and his faction "cover" with the overall military dictatorship. "It's not what I WANT to do, but you know the Americans can make things very unpleasant for all of us if I don't order the border closed and if you don't close the border when I tell you."
"Should a peace candidate win the American presidency in 2008, prompting the U.S. to pull out of Iraq before the democracy there is stabilized, in the short term we will save lives and money. But as the larger war continues after we withdraw, jihadists will still flock to the Sunni Triangle. Hamas and Hezbollah will still rocket Israel. Syria will still kill Lebanese reformers. Iran will still try to cheat its way to a nuclear bomb. Ayman al-Zawahiri will still broadcast his al-Qaeda threats from safety in nuclear Pakistan. The oil-rich, illegitimate Gulf sheikdoms will still make secret concessions and bribe increasingly confident terrorists to leave them alone. And jihadists will still try to sneak into the United States to kill us."
Yes, exactly. The question is one of: what is the net effect of a Loosened Grip? The stance of the peace candidates is that the net effect of a Loosened Grip is gratitude (on the part of all of those Islamist individuals factions cited) for America choosing to be merciful and take a step back and that gratitude showing itself in a generalized peace. But the evidence doesn't support that view as having any validity – I mean, ANY validity.
It would mean that the peace candidates had learned nothing from Jimmy Carter's experience when he was elected in 1976 and chose to do exactly that: roll American forces back everywhere around the world to give everyone a little breathing room. PARTICULARLY among Islamists this was taken as a sign that God was intervening – which is always what Islamists are watching for -- in flashpoint areas and weakening the infidels' resolve. The Shah is toppled in Iran and the Ayatollah quickly takes them back to the seventh century. Same thing with Israel withdrawing from Gaza and from Lebanon. The Islamist nutcases swarm into the abandoned territory, the sophistication of the overall political context goes back to the seventh century and the temperature of the conflict goes up, not down.
In the Islamist frame of reference, the only reason that a stronger force with better military hardware and more and better equipped soldiers would withdraw rather than stay is because of cowardice, fundamental and innate corruption, the intervention of Allah on behalf of the Islamist side in the conflict or all three.
"In the case of staying on in Iraq, at least, our long term plan is to go on the offensive to confront radical Islamic terrorists on their own turf, and try to foster a democratic alternative to theocracy or autocracy."
And to do so just by proving that America can't be MADE to leave and that, therefore, democracy can't be eliminated as an alternative or even marginalised. It is on the front burner 24/7. All that can be done is to find the means by which and the degree to which Islam is to be wedded to democracy. And the result has to pass muster with American conceptions of human rights.
My own opinion is that feminism is like a spiritual Dutch Elm disease in society. As soon as you have feminism entrenched in any society, the birth rate plummets and, consequently, those cultures susceptible to feminism catch the disease and begin to wither and die and those cultures which are not as susceptible to feminism take over.
White America and black America have both proven susceptible to feminism so their birth rate is plummeting and they are both rapidly being replaced, demographically, by Hispanic Catholic America, as an example, which is virtually impervious to feminism (a larger subject for another time, but basically Hispanic Catholicism is Matriarchal – like the Cirinists -- having devoured the more potent forms of goddess worship by falling big-time for the Mary, Mother of God riff. Matriarchies are completely immune to feminism in the same way that Cirinism was immune to Astoria's Kevillism. To a genuine Matriarch -- which the vast majority of Hispanic Catholic women are -- feminism is "daughter crap" and that's all that it is. You let them mouth off as much as they want, knowing that non-mothers are temporarily crazy until they become mothers -- they always have been and they always will be, may the Blessed Virgin open their eyes – but you keep up the pressure and the guilt until you make sure they get married and you make sure they get pregnant and presto-change-o they turn into Matriarchs. As they always have and as they always will, glory be to the Blessed Virgin).
Muslims procreate at a much higher rate than do infidels because their culture isn't susceptible to feminism so any crowded environment bordering a Muslim country or jurisdiction is going to get encroached upon and taken over. If the border country or jurisdiction has been infected with feminism that only speeds up the process. The Muslim environment expands and the feminist environment withers.
So, in a larger sense what we're seeing, I think, is that there is no way "back" from feminism so the only thing we can do is to try to infect Muslim society with it so that their own birth rate plummets and we have a fighting chance. And I think the experiment will be successful. As long as Muslim women in Iraq and Iran can see that their men are helpless in the face of the feminist infidel – all those masculine women dressed exactly like the men and carrying guns! -- they're going to start infecting their own society with feminism. Once the infection starts, it can't be stopped – truth be told, it can't even be slowed down. The female half of the culture basically chooses to commit collective cultural suicide by choosing to become as masculine as possible and therefore causes the birth rate to plummet and hastens their own culture's eradication in the space of two or three generations. I mean, to the extent that you're not even allowed to discuss White America or Black America as valid cultures even as both are disappearing and, because of waning demographics, being shunted aside. And, of course white feminists and black feminists both consider the humbling and eradication of their respective cultures to be a triumph. Just as Muslim feminists will consider the withering of Islam to be a triumph. And the male half of each culture knows instinctively that (well, apart from me) they can't say anything about it.
That's a very potent disease.
And, to me, from God's perspective that's just everything unfolding as it should. Those cultures which are centrally informed by faith in God flourish and the secular cultures which are opposed to God wither and die. That is, I think God isn't particularly in favour of the perpetuation of White America and Black America. If America becomes an Hispanic Catholic country I don't think God will be shedding a tear over the elimination of those cultures that have turned their backs on Him. I think he just sees it as basic housekeeping. If you leave the larger choices up to the women, they will eliminate your culture from the chessboard. God didn't do that, you did that. You used your free will or failed to use you free will to advocate better choices and you eliminated yourself. Here's your hats and coats, what's your hurry? Now God, having endured a society that poisoned itself with movies and television and rock and roll can now get interested in America again. How is Muslim America going to interact with Hispanic Catholic America and the Bible Belt (which stuck with Him all through the psycho movies and television and rock `n' roll century) now that all those atheistic lunatics have eliminated themselves?
Now, aren't you glad that I only pulled out a few excerpts instead of discussing the whole column?
Darrell also wrote:
"Here's a fun news story from Florida. A guy is going to court asking that the judge cancel the alimony payments he's been forced to make. His ex-wife has had a sex-change operation, and now her driver's license/health card, etc. says M instead of F. The guy's argument is simple: the state of Florida says it's illegal for men to marry men: therefore it must be illegal for men to have ex-wives who are men; therefore the state of Florida can't force me to make alimony payments to a man; therefore I win! What do you think? Sounds simple to me, but the judge hasn't reached a verdict yet, he needs more time to think it over…"
See, I could have discussed that one, as well. Count your blessings.
Victor Davis Hanson, always worth reading. Check him out at www.victorhanson.com. And tell him a cartoonist who wishes to remain anonymous sent you.
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